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Sandisk Sansa Clip Review

In the congested MP3 market, Sandisk has been enjoying healthy success with its Sansa range. Competing with the heavyweight iPod, Zune and Zen ranges is a pretty big ask, but Sandisk reckons it has some clever tricks in its range. In this review we’ll look at the Sansa Clip 1GB, which sits squarely in iPod Shuffle and Zen Stone territory.

First impressions

Unboxing the Clip reveals an ultralight but solid feeling player, with an iPod-esque control pad and decent size screen. The whole unit, including the clip, is larger than the iPod Shuffle due to the built-in display.  Tricked out with a four line ultra-cool OLED screen, FM radio, voice recorder and spring clip, the forty dollar Clip beats the Apple and Creative competition on paper. Several EQ options, backlit controls for low light and play & play USB connectivity complete the specs.

Navigation is pretty easy, it turns out that the control wheel is actually a textured four way pad with good responsiveness to touch. A home button exits out of menus. The OLED screen is as bright as expected, and is easily readable outdoors.

Loading on music is a simple case of plugging in a USB cable, dragging songs into the Windows Media Player sync pane and clicking on ‘Start Sync’. WMP transferred each song to the Clip in about two seconds then automatically disconnected the Clip when done.  You can also copy files across to the Clip in a file explorer window if you prefer using it that way.

How does it sound?

Plugging in Beyerdynamic DT250 reference headphones revealed a fairly balanced sound output from the Clip. Most importantly there was no over-emphasis of bass frequencies, which can create muddy playback especially when paired to a bass heavy set of consumer phones. The EQ settings were disappointing and probably best left alone unless you have a particularly poor set of headphones, in which case the onboard five band graphic might help.

Moving away from the neutral 250s to the more consumer hi-fi style 231s, the Clip delivered a great listening experience which was upfront but not tiring. Basses were solidly resolved and stereo imaging was good. For an MP3 player, there was also plenty of detail in the top end which never became drowned out by the mid or bass frequencies. Dance tracks came thumping through the cans and rock had me reaching for the volume control.

The FM radio is a useful feature and reception is decent enough for occasional use. The Clip held on to stations (as well as my shirt) walking through my apartments, witching automatically between stereo and mono when the signal weakened. The Clip can store presets and record from the radio. The voice recorder function is also a useful addition.

Overall the Clip is an outstanding music player for the price and should have the execs at Creative and Apple more than a little worried.

Neil Berman


Apr 27, 2008 - Posted by | Audio, Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve recently purchased Clip at . I’ve got because of small size and rather big screen for that tiny thing. I highly recommend it!

    Comment by silverman | May 14, 2008 | Reply

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