Creative Zen V Plus (2GB)


- Small in size
- Good sound quality
- FM tuner
- Voice recorder
- Line-in connection
- Ability to store videos and photos
- Inexpensive


- Display has a reputation to damage easily
- Display has tendency to freeze
- Poor radio reception
- Doesn't include AC adapter

Full Review

In box:

Creative Zen V Plus
Creative software CD
USB cable
Line-in cable
Storage pouch
Information booklet


Being both a lover of music and a connoisseur of MP3 players, I was excited to, after hearing many positive reviews, investigate the Creative Zen V Plus.

Though the Creative Zen V Plus has a hefty competitor in the Ipod Nano, I found the extra features of the player to be a strong selling point. The Creative Zen V Plus boasts features such as an FM tuner, a voice recorder, video playback, and line-in capability -- all in a lightweight package.

Upon first inspection, I found the design of the player to be pleasing to the eyes. Depending on which memory capacity you purchase (there are four capacities: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB), the Creative Zen V Plus is offered with a unique color in each model. The model that I'm reviewing today is the 2GB model, and I find the green trim and overall design of the player to be an asset.

However, I also found the thickness of the Creative Zen V Plus to be a possible flaw with consumers who are accustomed to using the Ipod Nano or similar thin players. If you have used the Ipod Nano for a long period of time, the extra thickness of the Creative Zen V Plus could be a drawback in the otherwise stellar design of the player -- personally, I didn't find the extra bit of thickness to be a hindrance, and I'm sure the majority of consumers won't, either.

The software was easy to install and I was adding music to my Creative Zen V Plus within minutes of opening the box. The player is compatible with many online music stores including Napster To Go, Yahoo! Music Unlimited and Rhapsody To Go, so finding new music to add to your collection is simple.

The line-in capability is also a positive feature. With line-in, no computer is necessary to add music to your collection: simply connect one end of the line-in cable to a stereo or personal CD player and the other end of the cable to your Creative Zen V Plus, play the music you want to add to your collection (either from a CD, cassette or radio station) and press the record button on the player. The player also possesses a voice recorder, an alarm clock and a calendar.

I found the FM tuner to have poor reception -- after performing an autoscan, the player was only able to find one radio station and it was barely listenable because of static interference -- but this is most likely a localized problem.

Although the screen is scratch-resistant, the display of the Creative Zen V Plus is notorious for having flaws -- I, myself, encountered a flaw (a solid black line across the middle of the display) within a few days. Even though I know this was not caused by me, I will withhold judgement, since I'm not sure if it was caused by faulty manufacturing of the product or if it was a usual LCD problem. Luckily, the Creative Zen V Plus comes with a 1-year warranty for such problems.

The best asset of the Creative Zen V Plus, in my opinion, is the sound quality. While you won't get Bose-like sound, the music I've listened to on this player has been lush. Furthermore, you are able to tweak the sound to your liking: the player has eight EQ presets (disco, new age, acoustic, rock, jazz, pop, classical and vocal ) and ability to create your own custom EQ. However, I do recommend purchasing a comfortable pair of headphones to use with this player.

In Closing

At $69, the Creative Zen V Plus is a fantastic player for the money. Not only will you save money compared to buying one of its competitors, but the Creative Zen V Plus possesses features that many MP3 players of similar price lack. Although I give the Creative Zen V Plus a positive review, I suggest experimenting with many MP3 players to find one that suits you best before making a purchase.