Swapping to our - cheaper - Griffin TuneBuds, the X-Fi compared well to both the Sansa Fuze and Samsung P2, producing a clear and natural sound. As well as a nicely non-invasive set of EQ pre-sets and a Bass Boost setting that's best avoided, the Big Deal sound modifier on the X-Fi is the... X-Fi, which comes in two parts: the Crystalizer and the Expander.
Now lack of space and an unwillingness to bore the hell out of you all mitigates against us getting into too much detail about this first-time appearance of Creative's X-Fi technology in a mobile device, suffice to say that the Crystalizer is essentially a stereo widener which does a good job of opening up the sound-scape without making things sound too artificial, on either the “On” or “Max” settings. The Expander reinforces the lower frequencies, which often suffer from electronic stereo widening.
Re-charging is through the USB cable only
By way of test we listened to Kate Bush's Aerial - yup, both discs - and Sir John Barbirolli's glorious Berlin Philharmonic Mahler 9, and while the X-Fi didn't have us on our knees weeping for the beauty of it all neither did it have us wishing we were listening to another player.
Video play isn't bad either, being crisp and colourful, though the screen is rather prone to washout if viewed from much off 90°. In both video and audio playback, and irrespective of file size, the X-Fi is blessed with very a smooth and fluid fast forward/rewind facility that ramps up nicely the longer you hold the control down.
In its 16 and 32GB iterations, the X-Fi comes with Wi-Fi, albeit with pretty poor reception. It struggled to pick up a signal in the office and is the first device we've ever had a problem with there.
forgot to mention....
That it was also much better value than in UK/US, cost me 170 quid ($399 SGD) with a free silicon case, for the 32GB model :)
Just bought one......
for my missus, as she needed a device with recording ability for her pesky masters degree lectures.
I've got an iPod touch and have to say that although the touch is a far more pleasant experience to use, the sound quality from the X-Fi is superior in everyway. I used Shure E310 headphones, not the standard kit ones with either the creative offering or the touch and it really is that much better.
Shame the touch doesn't have a mic, otherwise I'd give her that and keep the x-fi for myself :)
And for those of you complaining about USB only charging.....iPods are the same, unless you had an old generation iPod that came with a seperate plug in charger, your also stuck with USB only charging or have to buy a seperate charger....so whats the differance (except that a mini usb charger is cheaper to buy than an apple one)
The MuVo was my first MP3 player - it sounds like they have NOT come very far since then. True, the MuVo lacks the nice big screen, but it also doesn't pretend to be ANYthing it's not.
And at least the MuVo can be powered off cheap Ni-MH or Ni-Cad batteries.
It seems folk are continually experimenting with even worse ways of entering text. Bravo!
It's not a firmware bug, it's the album. My guess is the X-fi prefers Hatebreed or Machine Head!