Creative Zen Micro Wired Remote
Although the Apple iPod Mini is the most popular MP3 player in the world, it's not the only one that people buy. Trailing just behind the market-devouring iPod is the Creative Zen Micro, a colorful microdrive player with a taste for subscription music. Luckily for Zen Micro owners out there, the device's popularity has justified the availability of accessories, including the useful Creative Zen Micro Wired Remote.
This attractive Zen Micro-style in-line remote features a 32-inch cable that plugs into the Micro's headphone jack. Based on the orientation of the remote's play/pause key and the track-forward and reverse buttons, we were able to infer that this cable protrudes from the top of the remote, while the port for your headphones resides on the bottom. The latter's placement is counterintuitive: It would make more sense for the headphones to come out of the top, since your head will almost always be above the remote. The aforementioned buttons are located on the front of the remote along with a volume toggle; dedicated volume buttons are nice indeed. These tactile buttons give you a definite sense of control, especially when you're blindly controlling your Micro. On the right side, you'll find a hold switch and a mode button, which conveniently allows you to switch quickly between digital music and FM radio. A clip for attaching the remote to your shirt or bag resides on the back.
As one would expect from an in-line remote, the Creative Zen Micro Wired Remote functioned well. Response time between hitting a button and hearing the result was immediate, and audio quality was not diminished. Of course, as is the case with any wired remote, be prepared for the additional cord clutter that it necessitates.