Customer Review

270 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good improvements on orginal Clip, September 8, 2009
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This review is from: SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 4 GB MP3 Player (Red) (Electronics)
The title says is all: Clip +. It is really the first generation of the Clip plus a few well thought out design and firmware changes.

The volume control is now on the opposite side, the side with the usb plug rather than the headphone. With right-angle headphone plugs, you needed to swing the headphone plug out of the way to use the volume control on the old Clip.

The on/off switch is now on the top instead of the left side (where the volume control now is). I often needed to turn off my Clip while under a shirt and not looking at it. I actually turned it off only about half the time because of slide switch. Now there's simply a button on the top. The hold button, which used to be on the on/off switch, is now activated by holding down the menu button. Since I rarely used the hold button I can't say whether this is an improvement.

The clip on the back is a big design change. The clip, for better or worse, is no longer detachable. Personally, I liked being able to detach it if I was using velcro rather the clip to attach to something, like a bag. That being said the new clip is sleeker. Closer to the back of the body and a bit wider. The clip now has a ridge at the end of the clip as opposed to the circle of the old Clip. It seems to hold on just as well.

The square controls (as opposed to the former round controls) doesn't make much of a difference. If you are using the controls by feeling rather than seeing, the square may make it a bit easier to know where you are at on the controls.

Otherwise it is the same size and all. My old Clip silicone case fits it OK, but I will get a new case when they come out.

Inside there are some firmware changes. Included now is a menu item for Slot Player chips (a soon-to-be obsolete format if I've ever seen one). The menus slide rather than jump, giving it a smoother look (I guess). In the old Clip, when you pressed the center button while a track was playing, it went to a visualization, then a listing of the current track playing. Obviously a redundancy. Now, it show info on the next track to play, instead of the current one. Other changes had already been incorporated in firmware updates for the original Clip.

One new function is the replay gain function. Very useful if you shuffle songs. This allows music to play back at about the same volume without you, the listener, having to actually change the volume. It works by adding a bit of instruction to each music file with information about how loud or soft the track is and then the volume of the player adjusts accordingly. Whether your tracks have replay gain information on them depends on how you got them. Many media players, like Media Monkey, can read the tracks and add this information.

One further note on the replay gain function. It should be set to song if you are on shuffle. Also the pregain is set a bit low. If you find yourself fiddling with the volume, increase the replay gain setting to 6 or 9.

The manual says it has gapless play. I believe you need to rip your tracks as gapless for this to work. Many standard mp3 converters don't do this, but maybe it is more prevalent for AAC (iTunes).

The best for last: a micro card slot. This allows you to add capacity to the player (currently the limit is 16gb with larger cards on the horizon), well above the 4gb that it comes with. If you have gone lossless (I use FLAC) then you know that extra file space is a big plus. With only FLAC files, the 4gb player holds about nine hours of music (probably five times more with normal MP3 files). This is fine by me but if I'm going on a trip then having the expansion capacity will be a big plus.

Sound quality wise, it sounds about the same to me, compared with the old Clip. Which means it sounds great, amped or not. Some have noted a fuller, warmer, louder sound, but my old ears can't pick that out.

Why people don't use these by the droves at the gym is beyond me. I still see very few of these players down at the Y, while I see all manner of big iPods. This little machine is perfect for the gym or any on-the-go activity.

August 2011 update: Nearly two years later and this player is still my favorite. The one I recommend to everyone (great Mother's Day present as long you include upgraded ear buds, such as the Yuins). Durability isn't an issue at all. If you want to up your listening experience pair it with the DigiZoid portable sub-woofer (yes, that's not a typo).
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 10, 2009 5:36:36 AM PDT
Omdata says:
Good review; can you comment at all on the new gapless playback capability?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2009 6:51:55 AM PDT
I'm sorry but I don't know much about gapless. Gapless has always been one of those features that some feel is important but didn't make much difference to me. So, I don't have any files set up as gapless to play back on the Clip +. I do see that it supports gapless, at least it says so in the manual.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2009 7:09:31 AM PDT
Omdata says:
Okay. I know it's not important to many, but it's a dealbreaker for me. Thank you for your reply :)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2009 8:48:31 PM PDT
mikerman says:
The efficiency of the gapless depends on the file type. IIRC, people are saying that it truly is gapless, with ogg vorbis files. With MP3 VBR files, it is very near gapless--I still hear a tiny, slight click (like a skipping sound with an LP) between some songs.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2009 5:19:12 AM PDT
Omdata says:
Hmm, okay. Interesting. Thanks for replying! Any idea about LAME encoded mp3's?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2009 9:10:57 AM PDT
This player does seem to support gapless. I played the Abbey Road medley (FLAC, remastered) and it played back gapless. Haven't tried something like Dark Side of the Moon or a live album yet.

Posted on Nov 14, 2009 5:30:03 PM PST
psychdoc says:
Good review, however I am probably the only person on the planet who cares about the quality of the voice recorder feature. I am a professor and want to record my lectures for my students who have disabilities and for students who have to take internet courses but do not learn best in that format. I tried one SanDisk product and found it only recorded every third word (my students might like that). I walk when I lecture and need the device to clip on my jacket or hang around my neck (that is how the previous one worked). Do you have any thoughts? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2009 11:53:36 AM PST
I'm sorry but I don't know anything about it's recording abilities. I do dictate and record meetings regularly but use an Olympus digital recorder.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 12:30:57 PM PST
Rahman says:
Ross, thank you for the very well written and thorough review.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2009 1:07:28 PM PST
Math Man says:
Have you found a way to control the order in which your songs play back? On some devices I can control the order by including the track number when I rip the song then dragging and dropping the album folder into the device. Then the songs on the album will play back in the same order as they appear on the album or, if I want to change it, I can assign my own track numbers and they will play in the order according to my track numbers. Not so with this device. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the order in which it plays songs back. It'll play one songs from one album, then most of the songs on another album, then who knows where it will go next. I love many things about the device, but would love an easy way to manage the order of the song playback. The best I've been able to come up with is playing all songs in a specific genre. At least then I can get lucky and the songs can be played back in an order which is compatible with my needs at the time, such as when I'm at the gym or in a mellow mood.
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