Review: SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player



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2012 UPDATE: I was using this MP3 player until the Summer of 2012. The only reason I replaced it was because the battery was losing its charge (as all MP3 players and iPhones do over time). Since 2009 I have become an avid Android user. I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 with an Android OS to replace the SanDisk Sanda Clip+. FYI, if it wasn’t because of the battery issue I would still be using it. That is how much I liked the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player.

PRODUCT REVIEWED: SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player

I want to start off by saying if you are looking for a device that plays video, this is NOT for you. Do not waste your time by reading the review below, it does not play video. If you are looking for a compact and excellent MP3 player with good sound quality then proceed to the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player review below.

When it comes to MP3 players in my life the two most important features are compact size and sound quality. I have previously owned over a dozen MP3 players and messed around with many others. The SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player fares well compared to every player I have ever owned. But it is not perfect. Read the review below to find out all about it.

Included in Packaging
The product box contains a “Quick Start Guide”, Earphones, USB 2.0 data transfer cable that is also used for charging the device and the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player. The Quick Start Guide will give you a basic run through of various features and settings.

Sound Quality
The Sansa Clip+ has very good sound quality. But you must know that the audio files you transfer to the device play a big role with the quality of audio you hear. So if you transfer an audio file that was recorded in poor AM quality you will hear low quality audio coming from the Clip+.

Supported Audio Formats
The Clip+ supports MP3, WMA (also secure WMA), Audible, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC audio file formats. MP3 players that support MP3 and WMA formats have been common for a long time. When you throw in the Audible.com, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC playback capability, you get an MP3 player that reads more popular audio formats than most players currently out.

Storage Capacity / Expansion
The Clip+ version that I purchased comes with 8 GB of memory. Realistically the player has exactly 7,535 MB of storage space built-in. Yes, it is missing half a gigabyte. All players are similar and do not have exactly the amount advertised on the box. This is true for at least 1 of 2 reasons… either the manufacturer posted the PREformatted size which is always bigger and/or they advertised a Gigabyte as 1,000 MB instead of the standard 1,024 MB. The Clip+ has a built-in memory expansion slot. It reads microSD and microSDHC cards. The largest capacity microSDHC card (at the time of this writing) is 16 GB. The player can hold 1,883 songs out of the box, given that the average song is 4 MB and the built-in storage is 7,535 MB. If you purchase a 16 GB SDHD card the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ has a combined storage capacity of over 5,650 songs.

Battery Life
The advertised battery life is 15 hours. If you read the small writing at the bottom of the box the 15 hours is with “continuous playback”. In the real world the batter life is more like 11-12 hours. The battery is not replaceable.
EDIT: The battery ended up lasting 3 years until the charge started declining.

Music Transfer Cable / Power Adapter / Charging
You transfer music and charge the MP3 player with the same USB cord that is included in the box. The transfer of music is extremely easy. No software is needed. Just plug it into any Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 computer and it will automatically be recognized. Windows will automatically treat the Clip+ like a portable USB drive for easy audio file transfer. Unlike iPods it will not bind to a single computer or give you any type of hassle when transferring music to or from a computer. You can easily transfer music to and from any Windows computer (XP, Vista, 7 and 8).

Size / Weight / Design / Navigation
The SanDisk Sansa Clip+ is a very small MP3 player. 2.16” in length, 1.36” in width and .6” in thickness. It weighs .85 ounces. The player has a sleek looking design. Very visually appealing for something so small. It takes about 15 minutes to learn how to navigate around the song menus and change various player settings. Just read the Quick Start Manual that comes in the packaging and you will be fine, even if you are a beginner. Advanced users can just ignore the manual, jump right in and learn how to navigate around the player in less than 5 minutes :-)

Extra Features
It comes with a built-in FM tuner for local FM radio reception. There is a built-in microphone for personal voice dictation. When playing back audio books you are able to “bookmark” them. So you are able to pause and leave the audio book to listen to something else like a song or FM radio and the player will automatically bookmark your current location. When you want to come back to the audio book you are brought back to the exact place you left off. There is a built-in clip on the back that is not removable (unless you break it off). I walk around with the Clip+ on my belt. It is a nice feature for runners and working out while listening to the player. Supports slotRadio cards. I have never personally knows anybody who has purchased or used a slotRadio card but just in case this is a feature you want in an MP3 player you are in luck.

Negatives
Advertised 15 hours of battery life (11-12 hours of realistic battery life). Other small players double the advertised amount. When charging via a wall adapter when the player is turned off, there is no feedback on the LCD. You have no idea if it is charging or when it is fully charged. With that being said the player has never had any problems charging when connected to a wall adapter (besides the visual feedback). I have owned the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB for about two months as of this writing. The built-in clip still works fine but is slightly broken already. Although this is probably my fault due to rough handling of the player.

Final Thoughts and Rating of the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player
The SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB is by far the best MP3 player I have ever owned. The 3 main points I love about this player are the sound quality, expandability and the very small size. I really wanted to give this player a 5 Mouse Pointer rating but I could not. I had to take a full point away due to the poor battery life compared to other small MP3 players and give it 4 out of 5 Mouse Pointers.

My Rating of SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB MP3 player is 4 out of 5 Mouse Pointers

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