Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier Soundbar Demo with Atmos and DTS:X at CEDIA 2017 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier Soundbar Demo with Atmos and DTS:X at CEDIA 2017

Holy cow. Mind blown. Read more here: Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier Soundbar Demo at CEDIA 2017

The Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier cold be the best soundbar I've ever heard.


30 seconds of Hotel California playing through the Xi-Fi Sonic Carrier on the open show floor at CEDIA 2017

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post #2 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 07:17 PM
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My god, how many "best of CEDIA" awards are being handed out? Do these go out to who ever wants to pay for them? You would think if there was a "best" of award, there would be only one.
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post #3 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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My god, how many "best of CEDIA" awards are being handed out? Do these go out to who ever wants to pay for them? You would think if there was a "best" of award, there would be only one.
One dozen, split between myself and Editor Scott Wilkinson. All were a surprise to the recipient. I only awarded one to a soundbar. This is the last of the ones I awarded. Any other questions?
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My god, how many "best of CEDIA" awards are being handed out? Do these go out to who ever wants to pay for them? You would think if there was a "best" of award, there would be only one.
AVSForum, for the first time in its history presented 12 Best Of awards and decided that CEDIA was the best place to start. There were no set categories going in because we've been surprised in the past. The new AVSForum awards cannot be purchased as they represent the legitimate thoughts and feelings of the editorial staff. Integrity. We plan to continue this new effort virtually for reviewed products and physically at events.

Your inference is off base.

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post #5 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 09:25 PM
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Saying that this is the best sandbar you've ever heard really stretches plausibility a bit too far.
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post #6 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post
Saying that this is the best sandbar you've ever heard really stretches plausibility a bit too far.
That's true. He may not be a very good judge of sandbars.
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Hey Mark, if I'd known anyone like you were speaking to Creative prior to seeing this, I'd have asked if you could asked Creative when might let their extremely patient pre-purchase customers know if they're still intending on fulfilling their the September delivery stated on their website (until recently). I think I'm going to have to hit them on social media as there's no other info around at the moment. This whole thing has been the slowest mainstream product launch ever...
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post #8 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 11:14 PM
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Someone needs to let Creative know that just because it has 15 drivers and 2 sub drivers doesn't mean it is a 15.2 system. At best it is a 7.1 system since mids and tweeters are usually part of one speaker. $5800 is way too much for 5.1.2 Atmos. Plenty of soundbar options that are much cheaper and deliver similar performance. Only thing it has going for it is its height profile but it still requires a stand or shelf under the TV to place it on, unlike a Yamaha YSP, which can be attached to the wall.

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post #9 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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That's true. He may not be a very good judge of sandbars.
Interesting theory.

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post #10 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Saying that this is the best sandbar you've ever heard really stretches plausibility a bit too far.
That's illogical How can you tell me what I heard? That would be quite a stretch.
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post #11 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Someone needs to let Creative know that just because it has 15 drivers and 2 sub drivers doesn't mean it is a 15.2 system. At best it is a 7.1 system since mids and tweeters are usually part of one speaker. $5800 is way too much for 5.1.2 Atmos. Plenty of soundbar options that are much cheaper and deliver similar performance. Only thing it has going for it is its height profile but it still requires a stand or shelf under the TV to place it on, unlike a Yamaha YSP, which can be attached to the wall.
I am reporting on how it sounds, not critiquing the marketing or making comparisons based on specs, be it yours or Creative's or anyone else's.

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post #12 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Mark, if I'd known anyone like you were speaking to Creative prior to seeing this, I'd have asked if you could asked Creative when might let their extremely patient pre-purchase customers know if they're still intending on fulfilling their the September delivery stated on their website (until recently). I think I'm going to have to hit them on social media as there's no other info around at the moment. This whole thing has been the slowest mainstream product launch ever...
It was a last minute whim, demoing this thing.

I know it had been a long time coming. I am not interested in drama. Just reporting what I heard.

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post #13 of 90 Old 09-12-2017, 11:58 PM
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It was a last minute whom, demoing this thing.

I know it had been a long time coming. I am not interested in drama. Just reporting what I heard.
All good, I know that's exactly what happens at trade-shows, you can stumble right into demos.

Mind you its been an inordinate amount of time coming and most people consider me beyond patient in many situations. I've hit Creative up on their social media with a please update the pre-order people. They've had my money since last April..
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post #14 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
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All good, I know that's exactly what happens at trade-shows, you can stumble right into demos.

Mind you its been an inordinate amount of time coming and most people consider me beyond patient in many situations. I've hit Creative up on their social media with a please update the pre-order people. They've had my money since last April..
All I gather is that one reason Creative was at CEDIA is because this product is close to launch. And yes, I have tracked this thing and have to concur, it has been an extraordinarily long time coming. So much so, it was a bit of a mythological creature in my realm. But it's my personal opinion it is a uniquely great sounding soundbar.

As you probably noticed, the new word is "December for new orders" which hints that pre-orders are going out before December. I was not thinking about any of that stuff (delivery windows) at the show.

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All I gather is that one reason Creative was at CEDIA is because this product is close to launch. And yes, I have tracked this thing and have to concur, it has been an extraordinarily long time coming. So much so, it was a bit of a mythological creature in my realm. But it's my personal opinion it is a uniquely great sounding soundbar.

As you probably noticed, the new word is "December for new orders" which hints that pre-orders are going out before December. I was not thinking about any of that stuff (delivery windows) at the show.
Yeah it was definitely a bit of unicorn for a while there. At least it isn't Vapourware .

Yep, I had the same take. But at the same time is hard to crystal ball it with such things. Hopefully they respond on social media soon with something concrete.
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post #16 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 01:02 AM
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I am reporting on how it sounds, not critiquing the marketing or making comparisons based on specs, be it yours or Creative's or anyone else's.
Fair enough. I just have my doubts about it sounding like $5800 worth of speakers/amps. Do you think it has legs at $5800. I didn't check on the price of the additional sub modules, but at least they can be added. Wonder why there are 4 SD/MicroSD slots and whether the USB host supports BIG drives. Doubt it supports RAID but there is an Ethernet port for that.

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post #17 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Fair enough. I just have my doubts about it sounding like $5800 worth of speakers/amps. Do you think it has legs at $5800. I didn't check on the price of the additional sub modules, but at least they can be added. Wonder why there are 4 SD/MicroSD slots and whether the USB host supports BIG drives. Doubt it supports RAID but there is an Ethernet port for that.
That's where things get weird. I'm not sure exactly what it sounds like, but I know that nobody else at the show gave me a demo that performed the tricks the X-Fi Sonic Carrier did out in the open, with no walls or ceiling to reflect off of. Beamforming and virtual immersion that was blatantly holographic was what I heard, and clearly it was not able to leverage reflected side-channel or elevation-channel sound when taking that approach. It's really tough to say what the full potential of this thing is, or how you'd go about making a value judgment.

We all know you can cobble together a more than decent-sounding system for five grand using a good AVR, subwoofer and a bunch of speakers.

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post #18 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 01:38 AM
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That's where things get weird. I'm not sure exactly what it sounds like, but I know that nobody else at the show gave me a demo that performed the tricks the X-Fi Sonic Carrier did out in the open, with no walls or ceiling to reflect off of. Beamforming and virtual immersion that was blatantly holographic was what I heard, and clearly it was not able to leverage reflected side-channel or elevation-channel sound when taking that approach. It's really tough to say what the full potential of this thing is, or how you'd go about making a value judgment.

We all know you can cobble together a decent-sounding system using a good AVR, subwoofer and a bunch of speakers.
If Creative has anything equal to or more advanced than EAX 5 in that box, then they can perform some pretty neat tricks ( and I don't mean that in a bad way ) with that DSP. They have 30+ years of experience doing that in the PC world with their sound cards. That makes a lot of sense when you think about how they decoupled each driver and can send effects to individual drivers. I dug up what I could on it but there really isn't anything on their forums. I'm set on my gear, but I know of a few married folks ( WAF applies ) with deep pockets that would spring for something like this if it delivers.
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post #19 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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If Creative has anything equal to or more advanced than EAX 5 in that box, then they can perform some pretty neat tricks ( and I don't mean that in a bad way ) with that DSP. They have 30+ years of experience doing that in the PC world with their sound cards. That makes a lot of sense when you think about how they decoupled each driver and can send effects to individual drivers. I dug up what I could on it but there really isn't anything on their forums. I'm set on my gear, but I know of a few married folks ( WAF applies ) with deep pockets that would spring for something like this if it delivers.
If I get my hands on one I plan on performing the ultimate sacrilege and putting it under a 120" projection screen in a home theater and seeing if it can handle a full-on home theater. I mean why not, right? I think it would be fun to get my hands on that, I mean I'll readily admit as far as soundbars go it's out of my price range, but like you said...
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post #20 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I shot 30 seconds of the X-Fi Sonic Carrier playing "Hotel California" on the open show floor. Just my camcorder's mic, sorry.

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post #21 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 03:11 AM
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I shot 30 seconds of the X-Fi Sonic Carrier playing "Hotel California" on the open show floor. Just my camcorder's mic, sorry.
I have to say, your camcorders mic capture of the X-Fi Sonic Carrier playing Hotel California being played out of my mono speaker on my Samsung Galaxy S 6 Plus sounded sonically 3D and very much alive. Amazing.

In all seriousness I hope this does sound as great as it sounds like it truly is. I've had an X-Fi Fatality branded soundcard that I purchased for gaming years ago for $500 and it still works today being moved thru 4 different desktops and is over 15 years old.

I think it might be time to start praying to the Holy cow now. Or at least brand it X-fi
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post #22 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 03:51 AM
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I seen this at the show and was very impressed. Like Mark it was a detour when I and the business owner I work for stopped in. We were both impressed and surprised. is it the best sound bar I have ever heard? Maybe, it is tough to judge without doing a comparison. But, I think it is the most complete and best performing sound bar in all aspects at the moment. There might be some that sound a little better like Paradigm, Martin Logan, B&W, Focal, etc. but none of those have can create the soundstage or surround/Atmos effect this does. The Yamaha 5600 may or may not have better surround sound and Atmos effect, again without a comparison who knows. But, the 5600 won't pass many of the video formats due to older HDMI chips with only 10.2gbs bandwidth. From memory I think this might beat the 5600 in sound quality and maybe in surround/Atmos effect. I think many were hoping to see a 5600 replacement, but no luck.

The point is this sound bar is in the ball park of the best in all aspects and it is the complete package. It plays all the latest audio formats, passes through the latest video formats including DV they told me, has probably the best included subwoofer and can use multiple subs. It has two main disadvantages for many consumers. One is cost as not everyone is going to drop $5800+ on a sound bar. The second is size, many looking for a sound bar want something less obtrusive and often trade off performance for aesthetics.

For the person that asked about a comparison to a traditional system, the answer is no it does not compare with a well set up system for the same price. Not even close, no sound bar does nor can it. But, that is not its purpose. A traditional system will take a lot more time and have a lot more difficulty in installation and set up. This sound bar will be more than good enough for many.
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I think we must be talking about sandbars, as I can conceive of paying $5800 for a sandbar because at least it's real estate (even if it's underwater). I'm intrigued by the Nakamichi Shockwave 9.2 system, which has not yet been reviewed, because, like everything else, a product becomes attractive as it presents a balance between price and performance. I frankly think that if other soundbar makers gave themselves a budget like the Creative soundbar that they could perform sonic magic as well, particularly as we're at the cusp of some very interesting virtual immersion based on DTS: X.
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I think we must be talking about sandbars, as I can conceive of paying $5800 for a sandbar because at least it's real estate (even if it's underwater). I'm intrigued by the Nakamichi Shockwave 9.2 system, which has not yet been reviewed, because, like everything else, a product becomes attractive as it presents a balance between price and performance. I frankly think that if other soundbar makers gave themselves a budget like the Creative soundbar that they could perform sonic magic as well, particularly as we're at the cusp of some very interesting virtual immersion based on DTS: X.
The thing is, after covering high-end audio shows where they swap $20,000 power cords with $40,000 power cords and ask you to listen for the difference, a $5,800 sound bar is the farthest thing from shocking.

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I understand your point, but for those outside of that rarefied atmosphere, where price is no object to manufacturers, it is shocking.

I hope you're kidding about $20,000 and $40,000 power cords, because if you're not, this is even more discouraging at a time when many people, including veterans, don't have enough to eat, or a roof over their head.
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post #26 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 08:41 AM
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this is vaporware from CES '16, who knows if Creative will ever really release this. Probably the price of it would scare most customers away, besides Creative has always just release PC hardware, not much experience with Home Theater Audio
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this is vaporware from CES '16, who knows if Creative will ever really release this. Probably the price of it would scare most customers away, besides Creative has always just release PC hardware, not much experience with Home Theater Audio
Sounds good for something that does not exist.

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post #28 of 90 Old 09-13-2017, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I understand your point, but for those outside of that rarefied atmosphere, where price is no object to manufacturers, it is shocking.

I hope you're kidding about $20,000 and $40,000 power cords, because if you're not, this is even more discouraging at a time when many people, including veterans, don't have enough to eat, or a roof over their head.
That's no joke, and there are even multi thousand dollar USB cables that are claimed to make a difference. It's total lunacy!

Something else I wanted to mention, regarding this soundbar, additional subwoofers are $2199 each. Which is to say, a not insignificant part of this system's price is for the subwoofer itself. And without it being a great subwoofer, basically the whole system would be for naught. But it does raise the prospect that it completely maximalist outfit with four of the wireless subs comes in at $12,396. Or $12,696 if you go with Piano Gloss on the Sonic Carrier itself.

Still less than a "decent" pair of six-foot speaker cables at one of those shows.

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I called YAMAHA here in Canada, as I had a question about the YSP-5600 and I asked the rep about a future update for the 5600. He mentioned, not guaranteeing it, that an update could happen around June 2018. I really would like to see what the next iteration of the 5600 will be. Hopefully it will be priced somewhat lower than the Creative X-Fi.
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I'm glad you admit that some of this is lunacy. Your point about buying an additional subwoofer for this unit only drives the point further home for me… woe to the man who buys one of these and an additional subwoofer! ($7999 for a two sub soundbar!)

Don't get me wrong. I'm always fascinated by creative and innovative technology. I'm sure this sound bar is a good choice for an affluent person who doesn't want a lot of equipment around. But for the average person, it's too much. Just look at the forum posts about comparative sound bar pricing.

The ultimate sweet spot is not where you sit on the sofa, but widening the listening audience for music (and movies) at home. Making high-quality sound attainable for a large audience is a very good design goal. This is why someone like Andrew Jones is a hero of mine, because even though he is capable of creating ultra expensive loudspeakers, his aim is to bring high-quality audio to a larger listening audience.

I do think you have to spend some money to get great sound, but I think there is a clear point of diminishing returns, beyond which subjectivity and bragging rights begins to dominate over real audio performance. And, again, conspicuous consumption rankles me in general, and more so when a lot of people are hurting financially.

I wouldn't say that this sound bar is an egregious example of conspicuous consumption (unless you get that additional subwoofer), but it's too much for me to spend on a soundbar. I am really curious about the new Nakamichi, though. And I'm curious about your forthcoming review of the totally inexpensive Yamaha YAS-207.

I do think the possibilities of DTS X virtual sound are going to positively impact the newer generations of soundbars.
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Last edited by taichi4; 09-13-2017 at 11:17 AM.
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