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Old 02-04-2012, 09:49 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
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Default Creative Zen X-Fi3 RMAA Tests

Borrowed the X-Fi 3 from a friend, and of course had to run it through RMAA. Results are quite good. No idea why the frequency response is a bit "wavy" - but it doesn't matter, I verified that the X-Fi3 doesn't resample 44.1kHz material. It has a flat enough frequency response with low impedance IEMs (no capacitors in the output path) and it's also rather flat with difficult multi-armature IEMs (low output impedance). Crosstalk under load is sub-par, SNR isn't that great either, but the rest is all fine. The "X-Fi Crystalizer/Expand" stuff seriously messes everything up, but that was to be expected...

Of course audio performance alone doesn't make the X-Fi3 a good player at all - it's rather horrible, actually. Tedious touch controls, counterintuitive menu handling, extremely basic and bare, and horribly slow and laggy processor. Not recommended for anyone. On the positive side, it uses MSC transfer mode and has a standard Mini-USB plug... and of course APT-X.

Creative Zen X-Fi3 - Impedances (vs. Clip+)
Creative Zen X-Fi3 - Crystalizer + Expand
Creative Zen X-Fi3 - Samsung HS3000 APT-X

I couldn't measure APT-X properly, somehow it wouldn't play nicely with RMAA and/or my sound card. It does sound quite good, however - much better than regular A2DP Bluetooth audio.
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