What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 8 Oct 2010, 3:00pm

Creative Zen X-Fi Style 16GB

Tested at £100

It’s no sonic thriller, but the Creative is likeable and affordable

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  • Fun, fairly robust design
  • good format support
  • smooth sound and crisp pictures


  • Lacks the sonic insight of the best

At £100 for 16GB, the Creative is a multi-media portable with a very impressive pound-to-memory ratio.

With good video format support, FM radio, and a built-in mic and speaker, it ticks all the spec boxes, too.

As well as handling the free downloads from BBC iPlayer, the Creative will play AVI video files without conversion. It looks great, with very decent detail and bright, natural colours.

For sound, though, you should swap-out the bundled headphones as a matter of urgency, and avoid the daft ‘Crystaliser' and ‘Expand' settings.

Play hi-res files (FLAC and WAV are supported) and you'll get decent weight and solidity, though others are more detailed.

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