11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Middle of the road,
This review is from: Creative ZEN X-Fi3 8GB Touch MP3 Player with Bluetooth (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)The Creative Zen X-Fi3 is a fairly chunky MP3 player from MP3 veterans Creative Labs. It breaks with its contemporaries by being very black and very plastic; until you turn it on and are treated with a bright screen. I had Zen 2 before this and its stand out features which are carried over are that it has great sound reproduction and a strong FM Radio; with 32 presets on the X-Fi3. It can play a wide array of audio formats including the uncompressed FLAC if you want audio perfection; it will play music from music stores where the music isn't locked and in an avalanche of manuals (one manual in about 20 languages) is a money off voucher for another store; but the Amazon MP3 store is simpler to use and as I have an Amazon Account already so less hassle. Unlocked music from the iTunes music store works with a problem too. You have two choices for getting music onto the X-Fi3 you can use the still tiny USB cable that comes in the (large) box or Bluetooth. Either way its a question of manually pushing files over to the Xen there isn't software to help you on the way. You are going to use the cable for two reasons though 1, it charges the Zen and 2 its just much faster than bluetooth. That said the bluetooth features are a great addition to an MP3 player; you can wirelessly send your music to bluetooth speakers and headphones or if your car has it (and my Prius does) bluetooth to your car stereo. If you are done with the music you uploaded; or its time for the Archers; there is a fairly good FM radio (it holds its signal well) and you can store 32 presets on the X-Fi3 which is great.
The supplied headphones which are sold separately - Creative EP-630 Noise Isolating Earphones (Black) - are far better than any included headphones I have had before. They are in the ear noise isolation headphones; and come with 3 different size silicon adaptors. They feel great and have a nice warm sound - they are far from perfection in audio but for included headphones they are way above average.
Creative are describing this as a Touch player; and I think its marketing department is being allowed to take some liberties with reality. I had a X-Fi2 and that sounded just fine but had clunky buttons and a lousy software interface. Unfortunately the X-Fi3 has basically the same interface; though the mechanical buttons are replaced with tiny touch sensitive areas around the case. When the iPod first came along the big revelation was the wheel that let you scroll through long lists to find the song you wanted to listen too - with the Touch iPods that was replaced with dragging the list around the screen - unfortunately on the zen's you press and hold or press press press its just not a good way to find the music you want to listen too.
When you look at this; take a long hard look at the iPod nano which has a user friendly front end in iTunes for getting music on or off and to my hands a simpler software interface. You don't get bluetooth but you do get Nike+ fitness features which may be just the thing for the new year. 3 stars for great headphones and sound; losing 1 for the lousy interface and the more fiddly way of getting music onto the device.