Product Type: Sandisk MP3 players
Newest Review: ... interface is a little to basic/simple for me, it's sometimes not easy to figure out how to get to the file you want; and if you use a lot ... more
Sandisk Sansa Clip + 2gb - What do you buy when you don't want iPod?
Sandisk Sansa Clip Plus 2 GB
Member Name: Stu1027
Sandisk Sansa Clip Plus 2 GB
Advantages: Small, Good Sound Quality, Expandable Memory, Bright and Clear Screen.
Disadvantages: May be too small for some? Tiny Screen.
There are of course those that will argue and claim that Apple is the very devil itself for unleashing the iPod onto an unsuspecting and uneducated public but personally, I think that's just sour grapes. What Apple did was give everyone the opportunity to soundtrack their lives in a way that had never been done before and to do to look cool while you were about it. Which is more important. It's genius and don't let anyone tell you different.
But what do you do when you find yourself in the position of needing a new mp3 player but not being able to afford the entry level Nano at over £100? Well, you could consider the 2GB Shuffle available for around the £35 mark. For that you'll get all the functionality of iTunes and the Apple interface for a sensible price. But it's only 2GB and 2GB fills up pretty quickly. And there's no screen so you can't see important things like playlists and battery life. Oh there's flashing lights where different colours mean different things and a voice function that tells you what playlist you're on and how much battery you have left but, is it just me, or does that seem like an awful lot of faff for what should be pretty straightforward functions? The answer to that question is, Yes, it was too much of a faff because I discounted it for that reason. But that left me with a problem. What else is there?
The answer to that question is a limited number of players offering snippets of the iPod's functionality wrapped up in ultimately inferior packages. The more you look the more you become disillusioned by the choices on offer. You would be amazed for instance, at just how many manufacturers don't even offer a shuffle function on their products! No shuffle?!!! Are they mad?!!
They'll give you drag and drop functionality and even playlists but what use is that when to drag and drop in the first place, I'd have to locate files in my 140 plus gigabytes of music files manually? That's going to be a major hassle. What happened to plugging in via USB and pointing and clicking?
So after days and days of searching and frustration, I came upon the Sandisk Sansa. A friend of mine had recommended this model to me when I first mentioned I was in the market for a new player but, on a quick glance at it, I had skipped over it for supposed bigger and better players. I reasoned that I must be able to get more for my money in this day and age. That was a mistake.
The list of specifications on this teeny tiny little gadget (it is smaller than a standard sized matchbox!!) is impressive to say the least. I don't believe you will find a player that comes close to it for a similar price in the market today.
1. MEMORY: The memory is expandable by the addition of a micro SD card. This might not sound important but, as I said before, 2GB will fill up very quickly and don't forget that a proportion of the on-board memory is utilised by the machine for the operating system. You will only get about 1.5 GB available for loading your music onto straight out the box. If you think that sounds a bit odd, remember, they all do it. Even Apple.
But here's the reality, if you shop around, you can find an 8GB SDHC card for about £6. If you purchase that (as I did) you've just given yourself an MP3 player with a capacity of approximately10GB for less than £40 quid! 10GB will let you store (depending on file size) around 2500 songs! Nothing else in the £40 quid price range comes anywhere near that sort of capacity!
2. SOUND QUALITY: First of all, dump the supplied headphones. You're not getting the best out of this player if you stick with them although for those of you who are not bothered about sound quality they are perfectly adequate. I am bothered about sound quality so I use the player with my Sennheiser HD201's. The quality is excellent when you consider the size of the player and very good when I have my critical head on. Sound quality is very much horses for courses so I won't bore you with lots of details about frequencies and the like. What I will say is that the equaliser settings are best avoided and a custom setting is the order of the day. Putting it simply, if you want it that way, it can be as loud and bassy as you like.
***VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION*** When you first turn the player on, you will be asked to enter your country of origin info. If you state that you are in Europe, a volume limit will be placed on the player. This is because of EU directives on music players and so called 'damaging volume'. To avoid this, simply select your country of origin as the United States. This removes any volume restrictions and lets you listen to your music as loud as YOU want and not as loud as someone tells you you can!
3. SCREEN: Ok, it's small. But it is also very bright and easy to read. The text is rendered in a mix of blue and orange on a black background and this works very well. You can specify how long you want the screen to stay on for in the settings to save the battery and the navigation through the menus is easy and quick to master. You don't need to be a computer genius to use this player.
4. BATTERY: Published battery life is 15 hours on a full charge BUT this will depend on usage and what headphones you use (larger headphones require more power). Personally I think 10-12 hours on a full charge is a more accurate assessment for battery life from my experience and this has proved to be more than adequate. You are supplied with a USB cable in the box but no mains plug. This means that if you don't own a usb plug you have to charge your device using a free USB port on your computer. This could be viewed as restrictive but, most people have a USB plug these days (think of your smartphone mains plug) and I just use one I already have to charge the player without using my computer. If you want to buy a USB plug you can pick them up for a quid. Job done. Of course, you'll be plugging it in to your computer USB when you want to put music in or take music out anyway, it's just with a usb plug, you don't have to use your comp every time you want to charge.
5. PORTABILITY: As I mentioned earlier in the review, this player is TINY! It will fit in any pocket you care to choose unobtrusively and easily. For me this is a major plus as I hate bulky gadgets that only fit in certain pockets or places on your person in order for them to be used conveniently. You also have the option to use the on board clip to attach the player where you see fit. The clip is sturdy and well made and holds the player exactly where you want it. It's probably helped by how light the unit is and is a definite plus.
6. OTHER FEATURES: Standard music player selections, i.e. Artist, Albums, Genre etc
Built in FM radio, great reception and easy to use. (No RDS though! So you need to know your channels)
Shuffle feature - VERY IMPORTANT!!!
Great little graphic display when music is playing (bars style graphic)
Simple to use control pad.
Downloadable manual (from SanDisk site)
As you can see, you get a lot of player for your money here and, if you're willing to spend a little more, a hell of a lot of player! Sandisk claim that you can use a 32gb SDHC card if you so desire which, if you do gives you a mammoth amount of storage for something so tiny. Personally I wouldn't do that because of the cost but it's a trade off. If you spent the £62 that a 32GB card plus the Sansa would cost on a 'better' player you wouldn't get anything like the storage but you would most likely get a bigger screen and a flashier player. I would go for storage and sound quality every time personally but it is always down to personal choice.
There are some pitfalls with the Sandisk Sansa. You can't change the battery so, when it eventually dies all you'll be able to use the player as is an external drive and you're in the realms of hoping you get at least a couple of years out of it BUT, Sandisk is a well known and well respected brand so, in lieu of problems actually occurring, I am more than happy to take that risk.
The screen, while being very good for what it is, is VERY small and I could see that being an issue for some. Also the supplied USB cable is very small. This is no doubt in order to keep the costs down as much as possible but a bit longer would have been nice. When charging the unit tends to hang and I would much rather be able to place it flat on a table or sideboard.
But in the grand scheme of things these are niggles and no more and they certainly shouldn't turn you off buying this excellent little player.
***I can also report that, upon installation of 3rd party software onto your PC/Mac, you can also sync this player with iTUNES. I have done this myself and it works like a charm. ITUNES compatibility should be a major plus point for anyone buying an MP3 player because it is just so easy to use and sort out your music. The player will sync with Window Media Player and various other applications you can download but iTunes is the best and easiest to deal with by far for the majority. If you're fine with other applications then you're all set no matter what you choose.***
The reality is, I'm saving for an iPod Classic because they are the best. But in the meantime. this brilliant little player will serve me very well.
Summary: Great Price, Great Performance, Great Player.
|Ease of use:|