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iPods & MP3 players Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Creative Zen X-Fi review

£95.72 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Creative

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The Creative Zen X-Fi is beyond question a better all-around digital music player than any of Apple's current iPods.

The Creative Zen X-Fi is beyond question a better all-around digital music player than any of Apple's current iPods.

The Creative Zen X-Fi has better sound, superb headphones, an amazing feature set, expandable storage via an SD card slot, an easy-to-use interface that will please users who don't want to work with a touchscreen, and - here's the kicker - the ability to stream and download music from your PC wirelessly. It looks great, too, and it costs about half as much as Apple's current Wi-Fi-enabled iPod Touch players.

The 16GB X-Fi sells for £149. And if that sounds like a bargain, consider that you can also expand the Creative Zen X-Fi player's storage capacity by up to 32GB, thanks to its SD Card slot.

A few features differentiate the Creative Zen X-Fi from the competition. Not only can you download music, video, and images wirelessly from your home computer to the player, but you can also stream media from your computer, from Creative's servers (which offer podcasts and free music), or from a computer on an open network.

Plus, you can fine-tune the already superb sound with the Creative Zen X-Fi's five-band EQ settings; save voice recordings; listen to FM radio; and enjoy the listening experience right out of the box without buying new headphones, thanks to the surprisingly good-sounding Creative EP-830 earbuds included with the unit. The earbuds, which Creative sells separately, fit snugly in the listeners' ears, and provide clear low-end audio, with midrange treble that aren't tinny.

Creative's highly touted X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity Audio playback goes far in helping this player sound amazing. Its signal-to-noise ratio of 83 dB is second only to the SanDisk Sansa Connect's 84 dB in our tests. And the X-Fi earned the best rating of any player we've tested in terms of harmonic distortion and noise - at a barely registering 0.01 percent.

What does that mean for your ears? Creative's X-Fi technology, coupled with the great out-of-the-box earbuds, delivered very deep, clean, well-defined audio. The player supports AAC, MP3, WAV, and WMA formats, as well as Audible audiobooks. You get an on-board speaker as well, but it pumps tinny, clock-radio-quality sound out of its single, small speaker.

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Creative Zen X-Fi Expert Verdict »

Creative Zen X-Fi 16GB reviews verified by Reevoo

Creative Zen X-Fi 16GBScores 8.0 out of 10 based on 14 reviews
16GB or 32GB capacity
Built-in Creative X-Fi technology
SD / SDHC card slot
2.5in screen displaying 16.7 million colours
Built-in speaker
FM Radio with 32 station presets
Battery life: 25 hours audio (15 hours with speaker) based on 128kbps in WMA, 5 hours video
Supported audio formats: MP3, WMA (DRM 10), AAC (M4A), WAVE, Audible
Supported video formats: WMV9, MPEG4, DivX, XviD (320 x 240)
Supported photo format: JPEG (Baseline: Up to 16.6 Mega Pixels)
Voice Recorder format: IMA ADPCM (16 kHz, Mono)
Wireless LAN: Wireless streaming, Downloading of content, Emotive Text Chat with Friends
1-year limited hardware warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

It's an outstanding digital music player that rises to the top with ease. The masses may continue to think iPod first when they need a new MP3 player - but it will be a shame if they do. The Creative Zen X-Fi is arguably the most innovative, feature-packed player on the market, and it's an absolute steal for the price.

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