My wife got me an 8MB Creative Zen - reviewed here - for Christmas and I am very pleased with its performance through my headphones. However, when I connect it to the AUX input of my hi-fi, the sound quality is no match for the same music played from the CD player. The level is much less and needs higher volume adjustment for …
It looks like you're confusing sound quality with volume. It seems there's nothing wrong with the sound quality of the aux output; it's just at a lower level than the CD player's output.
There's nothing stopping you plugging the headphone output into the amplifier. That way you can adjust the volume on the Zen to match the CD player. Otherwise, it's a choice between ripping your amplifier apart to try to increase the gain on the input you connect the Zen to, or putting a potential divider (four resistors in total) in the lead from the CD player, to bring this down to the same level as the Zen aux output.
The headphone output is amplified, the aux output isn't. The aux output is for use with an external amplifier, e.g. HiFi. Hence the difference in loudness/amplitude.
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