This little mp3 player isn't for the media lovers who need every song they know all in one place, but is perfect for those who just want a little at a time. Particularly for those who go out for a run or to the gym and like to have their music on them while doing so. For the price, this may even be a temporary option between upgrading iPods or something similar.
In the box you get the mp3 player itself, a usb cable for charging and transferring music, a pair of earphones (not great) and a user manual.
The clip is handy, as it means the mp3 player can completely stay out of the way, leaving your hands free. It is much better than most mp3 players on a morning run.
It is a plain black, no frills mp3 with only 5 buttons. But what more do you need? Perhaps a screen if you are looking for a particular track, but I have found it isn't really necessary, you can get a long just fine listening to all of the music choices.
A single full charge takes around 2 hours, and I find that this gets me around 8 hours of listening time, although Archos' website states a full charge should get 11 hours. It is a rechargeable battery so you don't need to mess around and waste money buying new batteries for it every week, you simply plug it in to your usb. I did find that the battery life becomes a lot less after continual use and charges though, but this is the same with all rechargeable batteries.
I found that I could fit around 500 songs at one time - this really depends on the file size of each mp3, though.
- Overall -
I like this little mp3 player, particularly for use at the gym or for short journeys. For longer journeys or just a casual mp3 that you use all the time I would prefer something with a screen, as for longer listening time it can be frustrating not being able to see what you're listening to, or being able to simply skip to one your favourite songs without continuously clicking next.
For people who may travel to work or school a lot will know that listening to your favourite tracks can really help eliminate the boredom. If you have a fair bit of money then you may already have a Smart phone capable of MP3 playback or have invested a large sum of money in to an I pod touch.
But what if you are on a budget and don't have to much spare money or you just need a temporary solution before you spend a couple hundred on your own Smart phone. Whatever your case may be the Archos Clipper is suitable for both
From an aesthetic point of view it is nice piece of tech. The black looks sleek and the clip allows you to transport it on your belt or shirt. The buttons are responsive and the build quality of them is quite high as you don't hear an awfully loud "click" noise that I have experienced when I have bought other budget MP3 players
Using the device is simple enough you flick the lock button on the side on and hold down the play button for a few seconds. The main problem with these type of MP3 players is if you ever want to find a particular song then you will have to keep pressing the "next" or "previous" track buttons to find it. Then again with an MP3 player like this you are paying for the portability this device offers.
Its 2GB of space whilst its not exceptional it is manageable for those who only listen to there music on the go. I've managed to fit around 475 songs on to it. However the amount will vary depending on how much the music file may of been compressed before it was placed on to your MP3 player and of course the length of each song.
Battery life is reasonable clocking in at around 4-6 hours. And when the battery power has been expended just plug it in to a USB port with the cable provided to charge it up again
As a lover of music, I have had portable music players since I was a teenager - I had one of the original (and huge) Sony Walkman players in the early 80s and over time I have progressed from tape to CD to mp3.
My first mp3 player was an iPod Classic Video which I got over five years ago and while it's a great little player, size and battery life were put to the test when I went to the gym - I had to wear it on an armband when I worked out which isn't really ideal.
I bought a Sansa Clip player a couple of years ago for the gym but when my daughter expressed an interest in coming with me to the gym, she eyed up the Clip herself. I was going to buy her a new one, but Argos didn't have any on offer, and I didn't really have time to wait for one from eBay. I also had a £5 voucher for Argos, and therefore was keen to buy there.
I was on the verge of just plumping for an iPod Shuffle, but my eye was drawn to the Archos Clipper on the Argos website, selling for just £19.99.
Archos are well known for their Tablet - a media player which competes with the iPod Touch - in fact I thought long and hard about whether to get a Tablet rather than a Touch when I purchased last year. So Archos lost out on my custom for a portable media player, but when it came to a small shuffle mp3 player, they won - purely on the basis of cost.
The player is very small - it's about 2 inches in length and one inch wide - but has the all important clip which means you can clip it on to your clothing when you are on the go.
It's only available in black - and it's for this reason I ended up keeping the clip and giving my daughter my pink Sansa Clip - as she really dislikes black. She also wanted a player with a screen and the Archos, as a shuffle player, doesn't have one.
There are five control buttons on the front of the player - you can skip forward or back using the two buttons on the left hand side of the player, turn up or down the volume using the two buttons on the right hand side and you use the middle button to turn the player on and off and also to pause play.
The player comes with a set of matching black round in ear headphones which I discarded almost immediately because I didn't like them - but that dislike wasn't based on sound quality (which was surprisingly good) but more on comfort - I far prefer the in ear "bud" style earphones and also prefer something a little softer inside my ears and the Archos earphones have no foam covers.
~~Use and Thoughts~~
Turning the player on is easy enough. There is a lock button at the side of the player, and I would advise you to always have this locked if not in use - I've forgotten a couple of times and wondered why music could be heard emanating from my handbag - closer investigation revealed it was my Archos playing merrily away.
Once the player is unlocked you merely press and hold the centre "play" button on the front of the player and that will get you started.
I bought this predominantly to use in the gym - and one issue I had had in the past with my little Sansa Clip was the volume didn't actually go up loud enough to drown out the music playing through speakers inside the gymnasium.
I had expected the Archos to have the same problems but I was pleasantly surprised to start working out and not have to crank the volume up to the maximum to hear my music and nothing else.
Obviously you need to add music to the player - Archos have some obscure pieces of music already added to enable you to try the player out and check it is working, but obviously you need to add your own.
The player doesn't come with any software - it's merely a plug and play device and your computer will recognise it as an external storage device. You link the player to your computer using the USB device which connects via the headphone socket on the player.
All you do then is copy and paste the songs you want on your player from your own computer's hard drive. The player can handle mp3 and WMA files, so if you use iTunes for downloads you will have to convert your files before uploading.
The player has a capacity of 2 GB, and Archos claim this can hold up to 1000 songs, but I find that wildly optimistic - I currently have 240 songs on my player and have used up more than half the available space. So bargain for around 500 songs as a more realistic figure.
The clipper feature at the back of the player is reasonably durable and very easy to use. I had read a review on the Argos website by someone who had complained bitterly about breaking the clip as soon as they opened the packaging, so I was a bit nervous about how useful the clip would be, but I had no problems unpacking the player and can only conclude the person who broke the clip whilst unpacking must have been either incredibly unlucky or incredibly ham fisted.
I have taken this to the gym on numerous occasions now and found the clip to be easy to use and has a decent tension ensuring the player stays put on my clothing no matter how strenuous the exercise I am doing.
What has really impressed me about this player is the sound quality - compared to the Sansa Clip the sound is just more powerful which is exactly what I need for the gym. I don't notice any reverb when I have the volume cranked up - all I get is crystal clear music and at a volume which really surprised me given the size of the player.
Battery life is good too - although I do tend to recharge it after every gym session. Full charge takes about 2 hours or so and you can tell if the battery is fully charged if the small LED light on the left hand side of the player is solid. If the player is charging, it will flash whilst connected to your computer.
I have played the player solidly for a few hours and the battery has been fine however with no sign of it exhausting.
My only minor criticism is the gap between songs if you choose to skip a track - the Archos is quite slow to find another song to play so expect a gap between one song ending and another one starting.
This is a perfect companion for the gym or for those who like running - you can clip it to your jacket or your top and just leave it to play while you work out.
If the gym you frequent loves to play throbbing music loudly, don't fret - with the Archos Clipper you will be able to blot that out and hear your own music.
The only thing which might turn people off is the fact you can't search for a specific track and play it - this is a basic shuffle player but if you limit the songs to ones you know you want to hear whilst working out then you shouldn't find yourself reaching for the skip button too often. Archos says this can be used in "normal" mode too but as you can't choose folders or albums all it is doing is working it's way through your list of songs - at least using the shuffle feature gives you an element of surprise.
For £19.99 this is a great little player for those who need a small, yet powerful mp3 player and if you are looking for something to use in the gym, I wholeheartedly recommend the Archos Clipper.