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Creative ZEN X-Fi3 16GB Bluetooth MP3 Player
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Average Customer Review:
( 33 customer reviews )
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47 of 52 found the following review helpful:
So Much Potential!Jan 14, 2012
By Mark Jones
I have been a long-time Nomad/Zen fan, going right back to the days of the original hard disk Nomad. I bought the X-Fi3 expecting the same great quality.
The player has three huge features that actually were quite good: First, the sound is utterly fantastic. The built-in EQ functionality is stellar, and I don't believe I have ever heard my music sound so good. Second, the wireless functionality worked great, and I really loved being free of cords. Finally, the capacity (with the addition of an SD card) is tremendous.
The unit also features the same great drag-and-drop freedom of loading music that is expected from Creative.
This could be the greatest player ever, BUT...
There is no function to search by artist, etc, by selecting a letter. On my older Zen, if I want to play the Moody Blues, I can right-arrow over to "M" and have them up and playing in a jiffy. Not on the X-Fi3. You have to scroll down through the entire artist list to get to the middle. And, the scrolling is SLOW. It took THREE MINUTES to scroll down my very lengthy list to get to the "M" artists!
After finally getting the Moody Blues on cue, I listened to the stellar sound quality for a while, and then shut the unit down, intending to pick up from where it was currently playing, as all the other Zens do. NOPE! With power back on, you are at square one - nothing in the Currently Playing list. Another three minutes to get back to the "M's", and of course it was not where I had left off.
A bit later, I tried scrolling down to a different artist. You can hold the control down, and WAIT as the list is scrolled. Getting close to the target, I released pressure...and the scrolling continued. I pressed the up-arrow, and scrolling reversed and continued. Nothing I could do would stop the scrolling. I finally had to shut the unit down.
The Bluetooth works great, but it does not stay on after power down. You have to scroll through menus to get it going again. Another slow process.
The controls work, but are nowhere near as easy to use as on my older Zen which uses actual buttons.
Accessing lists of artists, etc, is VERY slow. There are long Please Wait pauses every time you try to bring up a list. This seems even more extreme when accessing music from the SD card expansion. And it's not just the first time, it's every time. Between that slowness and the slow scrolling, I could have finished the first song on my older player by the time this one is ready to go.
Packaging? Utterly and completely unbelievable. It took over 30 MINUTES to get the unit extracted from two very solid thick plastic cocoons. We have all had frustrations from opening sealed plastic products, but this exceeds them all by miles. The outside plastic is seamless, requiring hobby tools to penetrate. Sharp edges are immediately created, and working with the package is very dangerous. After finally getting the outer layer open, there is a second MUCH thicker inner package. You can see the unit floating tantalizingly inside, but no way to get in. I had to use X-acto knives, shears, pointed scissors and gloves.
Finally, there is no bass boost or custom EQ as in older units. Admittedly, this is less critical given the fantastic built-in EQ functions, but it would have been nice to boost the bass at times.
The wonderful sound, wireless freedom and easy loading give this unit so much potential. It is incredible that the other lousy features and problems make it unacceptable. I had hoped for a firmware release to correct some of these, but after navigating the very unfriendly Website, could find nothing.
With great regret, I am sending this player back. Even worse, there do not appear to be many choices for alternatives. I sure hope my older Zen lives a long, long time!
13 of 15 found the following review helpful:
Keeping up the tradition...Jan 06, 2012
By Kindle Customer
This will be my fourth Creative MP3 Player. I've always liked their products and if someone hadn't have stolen my X-Fi, I'd still be using it.
So, today the new addition to my Zen family arrived. The new Zen X-Fi3, and well - I have to say I love it. It doesn't disappoint.
While it did take an act of congress to get it out of that packaging, everything else has worked just as smooth as every other Zen I ever owned. In fact? A tad bit easier than some.
Plugged it right in to my computer, it already had a full battery charge and was ready for the hours of delightful fun as I just drag-dropped my music to it. Simple. Easy. I was able to access the user manual on my computer with ease. Basically, if you've ever used an external hardrive or a flash drive - it is just that easy. Very neat and well... Did I mention Easy? No messing with stupid programs that want to sync this with that, no trying to figure out if I already have that song downloaded or where did it put that... Drag, Drop, Done.
But, just to see how it would work, I gave it a whirl with Windows Media Player (which I loath) But, the two acted nice with one another and grooved right along. Syncing worked smoothly, and everything organized itself properly - I'll probably stick with the drag-drop method as I'm a stickler for proper tagging/placement for my music, and I hate it when WMP puts things in weird places. And frankly, it is just easier.
Sound quality? Just as awesome as ever. Clear, crisp and perfect.
Here's hoping it lives up to the Zens that came before it.
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
PlayrerSep 19, 2013
You can not find a song unless you scroll down until you find what you want. The song, title, album, etc can not be changed. I followed the instructions the company gave me but, wasted hours trying to. Avoid it
5 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Dissapointment; frustrating, slow, and not reliable.Feb 08, 2012
By Mojave Mike
What this is: an MP3 / wav / video-file player a little smaller than a deck of cards.
Pluses: it's got a decent size format and a bright display, has extendable memory (accepts micro-sdhc cards), can be selected via BlueTooth or USB, has an FM receiver built-in, and some fairly neat features.
The sound is excellent.
* the buttons are fussy at best
* it pauses a lot
* Upon detecting an SDHC memory card, it pauses to scan the entire card. It can understand some playlists, but has a limited ability to do so (there must be some fixed format they haven't published?) It can take more than 5 minutes to scan a 32GB sdhc. Playlists that work with Windows, and my car's audio system, do not work with Zen (it fails to find the music, though it lists all 300+ playlists).
* The bluetooth interface seems also to be prone to lapses.
* when it dims, there is no indicator if the unit is on, wasting batteries.
* though it does not complain, it is unable to read m3u playlists
* it seems to lack a decent playlist management interface
I had recently had a different brand MP3 player that was over a decade old, which ran an open-source OS, and had a very terse interface. However, that MP3 player was extremely predictable, fairly fast, had friendly and easy to use controls, and was reliable (enough so I used it for over 10 years!).
By comparison, this costs as much and is less functional for my uses.
5 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Headed the Wrong WayFeb 03, 2012
By Leslie Spencer
Creative makes some of the best MP3 players around. My son went through 8 iPods in one year,until they stopped replacing them. He's disabled and drops his players a great deal. When we found the Creative Zen three years ago, it was our salvation. A great player and very sturdy. I also have a Zen, and I love it. Nothing else out there that can compete with the storage size, controls, ease of navigation, and quality of sound. Just before Christmas, my son's 32g Zen quit holding a charge and we had to replace it. We were so happy to see that the X-Fi 3 was just hitting the market, as they quit making the Zen. Well, my son prefers to use my old 16g Zen over it. The unit freezes way too much, the buttons are fiddly at best, and frustrating the rest of the time. Sound quality is still great. Navigation is about the same. Instead of the flat credit card size, they have an ugly little box with half the screen size, an issue with people whose near vision is not what it was. I would never use this player for pictures or video, as I did the old Zen. All in all, this is a step in the wrong direction by Creative. A significantly worse player than the Zen. Still trying to get my son to use the one we bought, as we put his music on a 32g micro sd card so he could switch between devices. No dice so far.
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