secrets of the Creative Touch
Jun 10, 2004 at 5:40 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


100+ Head-Fier
Jul 12, 2001
The Zen Touch appears to be a substantial improvement over the Zen Xtra regarding size, battery life, and, especially, the improved controls. Nonetheless, while specs on portable audo gear are notoriously sketchy (in both literal and slang senses of the term) the "up to 97 db" SN ratio on the Touch v. "up to 98 db" on the Xtra/NX/Zen and the Channel Separation of "up to 74dB" on the Touch v. "up to 75dB" on the Xtra/NX/Zen made me wonder if there has actually been a substantial change electronically that would result in a noticeably degraded sound on the Touch relative to the earlier models (which have had the best sonic qualities of any HD players, in my estimation).

I noticed further that the power output is not specified for the Touch, nor the Xtra (the Zen is given as 100mw, which actually means 50mw per channel, the NX power output is no longer given, but in an email a ways back, Creative specified it as 50 mw per channel).

So I emailed Creative about the power output on the Touch, and thought this intriguing response might be worth sharing:
Several customers have inquired about the Zen Touch power output, but I regret that information has not been made available to us. I was informed that it is considered confidential, and we do not have access to it at this time. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
I'll be curious to hear of any A-B comparisons of the sound of the Touch and the previous Zen models.

Btw, i just got a Muvo2 4gb, and initial impressions of the sound are quite favorable--it definitely has what I remember as the "Creative Zen" sound from previous models (NX and Xtra, no longer owned), which, at the risk of sounding retro, i would say is noticeably higher fidelity than any other HD players i've tried from Rio and Apple. Fwiw, the Muvo2 has the same SN ratio and channel separation as the Zen/Xtra/NX, but only 15mw per channel, and, interestingly, has a harmonic distortion figure of < 0.05%, twice as good as the < 0.1% figure given for the Zen/Xtra/NX.

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where all these specs were standardized and reliable, and where companies were not so secretive about the measured performance of their products?
Jun 10, 2004 at 6:14 PM Post #2 of 5


Headphoneus Supremus
Nov 10, 2002
i dont think its much of an improvement. same firmware. no new features. non-removeable battery and possibly a non-repalceable hard drive since its 1.8-inch now. i think all they did to boost battery life was use a thinner drive and use double the battery, cuz its the same thickness as the Xtra..
Jun 10, 2004 at 6:31 PM Post #3 of 5


100+ Head-Fier
May 24, 2003
It's not really moving the game forward is it! The sign that a company has succeeded in creating a new must have product is when you want to give up the model you have to get the new one. In this case, other than the battery life, I don't know what the fuss is all about. Surely this isn't Creative's idea of next generation which will put it directly in competition with Karma 2, Ipod 4th Gen, and whatever Iriver will come out with?

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