Feeds
60%

Creative Zen X-Fi 16GB media player

Burdened with a fair amount of frankly pointless functionality

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Creative Zen X-Fi 16GB

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.