Get insider access
Preferred headphones store
Current deal: The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless have dropped by $100 on Amazon.com. See all Cyber Monday deals on headphones.

Creative SXFI Air Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Oct 04, 2019 at 09:59 am
Creative SXFI Air Wireless Picture
6.4
Mixed Usage
6.8
Neutral Sound
6.2
Commute/Travel
6.7
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
5.5
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Creative SXFI Air are mediocre over-ear closed-back headphones. Their sound profile lacks sub-bass and detail on vocals and lead instruments, which means they aren’t suited for a wide variety of music genres. On the upside, they have a nice head mapping feature that customizes your sound profile inside one of their two companion apps. However, they practically don’t isolate against ambient noise, though they're comfortable enough to wear for a while. The SXFI Air also have an easy-to-use touch-sensitive control scheme. They're kind of a mix between Bluetooth headphones and a wired gaming headset.

Our Verdict

6.4 Mixed Usage

Mediocre for mixed usage. The Creative SXFI Air have a decent audio reproduction for music, but they won’t be great for any other use. They practically don’t isolate at all against ambient noise and their design isn’t made for sports. They aren’t stable enough for sports and will make you sweat more than usual when working out. Due to their wireless latency, they won’t be great to use wirelessly for watching video content and gaming, but this can be nullified by using them wired with their analog cable.

Pros
  • Decent sound profile.
  • Head mapping feature for customized sound signature.
  • Comfortable design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • High Bluetooth latency.
  • Sound delivery inconsistencies between users and reseats.
6.8 Neutral Sound

Decent for critical listening. The overall sound profile of the SXFI Air is decent but lacks sub-bass and detail on vocals and lead instruments. Their treble range is also overemphasized, which will make sibilants overly sharp and piercing. However, they have a unique head mapping feature that makes you a personalized sound profile. They are also quite comfortable to wear for a while.

6.2 Commute/Travel

Mediocre for commuting. These headphones are Bluetooth, which is useful for traveling, you won’t get a great isolation performance out of these. They don’t have an ANC feature and barely block any noise, especially lower-end ones like the rumble of an engine. You’ll only rely on their poor passive isolation and playback sound to mask out ambient noise. They also don’t fold or swivel to lay flat, making them less portable. On the upside, they’ll be comfortable for long rides and their battery life should last you long enough for most flights.

6.7 Sports/Fitness

Okay for sports. They aren’t the most stable option and over-ears will make you sweat more than usual when working out. They're also not very portable as they don’t fold into a more compact format and don’t even swivel to lay flat.

6.5 Office

Okay for the office. They're comfortable to wear for a while and their battery should last you a full work day, but might need daily charging. However, they aren’t the best option when it comes to noise isolation. They practically don’t block any ambient chatter, but you’ll be able to drown out some ambient noise with your music. They can also be used while charging or wired if their battery is dead, which is convenient in an office setting.

6.8 Wired Gaming
5.5 Phone Calls
  • 6.4 Mixed Usage
  • 6.8 Neutral Sound
  • 6.2 Commute/Travel
  • 6.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.5 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.8 Wired Gaming
  • 5.5 Phone Calls
  1. Update 3/27/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Creative SXFI Air are sleek looking headphones. They have a matte finish that looks nice and the headband is well padded with a leather-like fabric. The ear cup pads are thick and made from a porous fabric. They are quite bulky over-ears, and there’s RGB lighting around the cups. They come in an all-black design, or in white with black pads.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.75 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

The Creative SXFI Air are quite comfortable over-ear headphones. They might feel a bit big for some, and the mesh fabric is a bit rough on the skin, which not everyone will like. However, the cups are very deep and should suit most ear shapes and sizes. Also, the headband is well-padded and distributes the weight of the headphones well.

6.5
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Optimizer

The controls on the SXFI Air are decent. There’s a touch-sensitive surface on the back of the cups that acts as your control scheme. The touch commands aren't always consistent, but you can control calls, music, and your volume. While they're easy to use, the inconsistencies of the surface can be frustrating at times. On the upside, you also have a source/Bluetooth physical button to switch between your different sources. You can even insert a microSD card with pre-loaded music and use that source button to play files on it.

6.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.5 C

Like most over-ear headphones, the SXFI Air aren’t the most breathable option. On the upside, the cup padding is porous and allows some airflow, but you might still sweat more than usual if you wear these headphones during sports. You shouldn’t have any issues during a casual listening session.

5.4
Design
Portability
L 7.7 "
W 7.7 "
H 3.3 "
Volume 196 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

These headphones are quite bulky, even for over-ears. They also don’t fold into a more compact format and the cups can’t swivel to lay flat, which makes it a bit more difficult to carry them around.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones don’t come with a traveling case.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Creative SXFI Air are decently built headphones. The headband is reinforced with metal and the hinges feel solid. However, the mesh padding feels a bit cheaply made and the cups’ material feels shallow and plasticky. Unfortunately, these headphones don’t have a lot of range of motion, so they won’t resist well to physical stress.

6.5
Design
Stability

These headphones aren't a stable enough option for sports. Head movement makes them sway around, and they can easily fall off your head. This shouldn’t be an issue when simply listening to music casually.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Creative SXFI Air headphones
  • 1/8” TRRS audio cable
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Detachable microphone
  • Microphone port cover
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-3.24 db
Treble Amount
-2.09 db
6.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.73 dB

The frequency response consistency is just okay. Depending on your head or ear shape and size, you might experience a different frequency response with this headset. There is a noticeable difference in both the bass and treble ranges, which could result in different sound profiles.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.54 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
76.61 Hz
Low-Bass
-6.5 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.51 dB
High-Bass
2.52 dB

The bass performance of the SXFI Air is good. The overall bass might lack a bit of thump and rumble due to the elevated low-frequency extension, which will disappoint fans of bass-heavy music. There’s also a small bump in high-bass, which makes the overall bass a bit boomy.

7.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.84 dB
Low-Mid
1.2 dB
Mid-Mid
0.97 dB
High-Mid
-2.04 dB

The Creative SXFI Air have good mid-range performance. The response throughout the range is fairly well-balanced. However, it's mostly over our target curve, resulting in more forward-sounding vocals and lead instruments. The bump in low-mid is also the continuation of the high-bass, which results in slightly cluttered vocals.

6.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.31 dB
Low-Treble
-2.41 dB
Mid-Treble
1.3 dB
High-Treble
-7.87 dB

The treble performance is also good. There’s a small dip in the low-treble, which is going to affect the brightness and detail of those frequencies, but the overall response is over our target curve, making these headphones sound a bit sharp on S and T sounds.

6.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.24 db
Dips
1.95 db
8.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.58
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.98
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.71
Weighted Phase Mismatch
3.95

The stereo imaging of the Creative SXFI Air is good. The group delay is under the audibility threshold, which is good. Our unit also has well-matched left and right drivers, but did show a bit of phase mismatch, which can result in inaccuracies in the stereo image. However, this might not be audible for most people. Note that these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

4.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.44 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.17 dB
PRTF Distance
8.09 dB
Openness
6.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.5

The soundstage is sub-par. There isn’t a lot of pinna interaction, which results in a small soundstage. On the upside, the minimal activation is accurate and should sound fairly natural. These headphones won’t sound as open as open-back headphones.

2.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Yes
7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.352
WHD @ 100
0.122
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated
Isolation
3.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-10.99 dB
Bass
-0.13 dB
Mid
-3.1 dB
Treble
-29.64 dB

The noise isolation performance is bad. This maybe due to the porous pads, but the headphones practically don’t block any noise in the bass and mid ranges. This means they won’t be a great option for commuting and traveling. On the upside, the treble isolation is pretty good and will block S and T sounds and A/C system noise.

7.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
39.83 dB

The leakage performance is decent. These headphones’ leakage isn’t too loud and is mainly concentrated around the mid and low-treble ranges. This means that the leakage will sound thin and fuller than that of in-ears, but it won’t be as disturbing as open-back headphones. People surrounding you shouldn’t hear what you’re listening to, unless you’re playing your content at a very high volume in a very quiet environment.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
4.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
226.27 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
11.65 dB
HFE
23322.39 Hz
Weighted THD
1785.584
Gain
17.98 dB

The recording quality of the Creative SXFI Air’s microphone is mediocre. The small protruding integrated mic sounds thin and muffled. It lacks detail but will still be fairly audible and comprehensible in a quiet environment.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
11.98 dB

The mic of the SXFI Air is mediocre at noise handling. It struggles to separate ambient noise and actual speech, making it difficult for the other person on the line to hear you in moderately loud environments such as a busy street. It will be better suited for very quiet environments.

Active Features
7.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
11.2 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
11.2 hrs
Charge Time
2.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The battery performance of the SXFI Air is just okay. They give about 11 hours of continuous playback, which is slightly disappointing especially since they don’t have a power saving feature, so be sure to turn them off if you’re not using them. On the upside, you can use them wired, even if the battery is dead, and while charging as well.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Creative SXFI Air Control
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Parametric + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

The Creative SXFI Air actually have two apps instead of one, called SXFI Air Control and SXFI App. With those apps, you get access to a great amount of customization. There's a head mapping function that personalizes the sound profile of the headphones to your particular head and ears. You also have a good parametric EQ with presets and can also customize the color of the RGB rings on the cups. There’s also a virtual surround sound mode called Super X-FI.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
187 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
266 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
294 ms
Android Latency
242 ms

These headphones are Bluetooth compatible, but unfortunately doesn’t support multi-device pairing and NFC, meaning they can only be connected at one device at a time. Thankfully, their pairing procedure is fairly easy, simple, and works well.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
8.3
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
USB-C
Detachable Yes
Length 5.1 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
62 ms

The wired compatibility of the headphones is amazing. You'll get audio and microphone support on consoles, phones, and PCs if you use the analog cable. Via USB, it supports both audio and mic on PC and PS4, but you won’t be able to use the USB cable on the Xbox One.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don’t have a base/dock.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The Creative SXFI Air are a mediocre pair of headphones. They don’t have the best sound profile by default, but they have a unique head mapping feature that customizes a sound profile inside the app. They're kind of a mix between Bluetooth headphones and a gaming headset. See our recommendations for the best headphones, the best gaming headsets, and the best over-ear headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Creative SXFI Air Wireless. These ANC headphones block a lot of ambient noise, they have a good sound quality and are more comfortable than the Creative. They're also noticeably better built and offer about twice the battery life. On the other hand, the Creative have a better sounding microphone and a unique head mapping feature.

SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless

For gaming, the SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless are a better option than the Creative SXFI Air Wireless. Their microphone sounds better and they have a better overall control scheme for gamers. Their sound is also noticeably better. On the other hand, the Creative can be used over USB. Both headphones can be used Bluetooth as well, but the Arctis offer more battery life, but don’t have an app like the Creative.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are much better headphones than the Creative SXFI Air Wireless. They're much more lightweight and comfortable, have a much better-balanced sound profile, and one of the best ANC features we've tested to date. On the other hand, the Creative have a better sounding microphone and a unique head mapping feature.

Audeze Mobius

The Audeze Mobius are better headphones than the Creative SXFI Air Wireless. The Audeze are better-built, have a better audio reproduction, and have a noticeably better performing microphone for online games. The Audeze also have a unique head tracking feature that gives an immersive experience. Both headsets are Bluetooth compatible as well, but the Creative offer passive playback, which you can’t do with the Audeze, unfortunately. The Creative also have a nice head mapping map that customizes the sound to your head.

Price trend (United States Last Year)
Retailers' prices Amazon.com BestBuy.com B&H
Black
SEE PRICE
Unavailable
Unavailable
White
SEE PRICE
Unavailable
Unavailable
Deals

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider
EARLY ACCESS

Gain early access to all tests results for new products

Early Access UI
PRICES LISTED

Prices will now be listed directly in reviews and tables

product prices UI
MORE VOTES

Have 5 votes per product category to choose which product we’ll review next

Additional votes UI
UNLIMITED ACCESS

Gain unlimited access to detailed test results in tools and results (no blurred results)

test table UI

Create Post

Create Deal