Pros: Cheap, small, portable, will last a long time.
Cons: doesn't sound any better than my phone or an iPod.
My reviews are usually long winded and detailed, but in this review im keeping things short as this is not a high-end product by any means.
I have had the Sansa Clip since June of last year, and it has served me well ever since. It is uber-convenient and portable. This thing is small, and i mean really small. I take it with me basically everywhere. It has survived through a lot of sweat and water in the gym or when working out, i also dropped it a couple of times. This little thing has been through a lot of abuse and it can take it. Usually with my cheap, budget-oriented gear, my use is rough and i don't think the Clip has a problem with that.
Almost entirely made of plastic. Doesn't have much weight to it which does give the impression of cheapness but as i said previously, this things can take some pretty heavy abuse. So yes, its made out of plastic, but who's to complain, it costs less than 30 bucks.
Very easy to use and navigate through, however some of the settings are a little hard to find (such as EQ) but thats ok. There is some slowness and lag when switching through songs quickly or moving through the UI too quickly. This is probably a good time to mention that my Clip is NOT rockboxed.
Now this is the part that surprised me a bit, and not in a good way either. From reading the glowing reviews, I figured these would at least be as good as an iPod or a smartphone in terms of sound. But no, these sound worse actually. I don't know, is my unit defective? Have my ears been spoiled by my higher end gear? Or is this unit simply overhyped in terms of sound? A lot of people here say that the sound is comparable to an iTouch or to a decent-sounding smartphone, but i simply disagree. I honestly don't understand what all the fuss is about. Following is a brief description of the sound and comparisons with other DAPs i have tried.
The Clip is not neutral whatsoever. It has a kind of dark, smooth sound with the a hint of warmth. I have found the Clip to be lacking in dynamics. This is especially noticeable when paired with anything that isn't an IEM. Even my easy to drive, low impedance JVC S500's sound like they lack some punch and impact. Its weird the way this DAP sounds, it not thin, but it feels weak. I hope im getting my point across. Simply put, the sound doesn't feel authoritative. Initially, i thought this had to do with the low volume i usually like to listen to, so i cranked the volume up. However, the problem still persisted.
The bass on this DAP is, well, not so good. The sub bass extension weak and midbass feels like it lacks impact. There is a nice amount of upper bass though. Bass definition and tightness is meh.
Midrange is decent. Vocals are leaning towards the dark side which sometimes equated to loss of clarity but i really can't complain much here. Instruments sound okay. Nothing special here, but nothing bad either.
Highs are rolled off. I think they are the worst part of the spectrum. They lack detail and extension, and don't sound clean at all. They are smooth though, which was nice for long listening periods.
Soundstage is also meh. The Sansa sounded very closed in and congested to me. Kind of has some "wonkiness" in the soundstage. Instrument separation is not that great either.
Compared to my old iTouch: (not sure which gen, but i think its 3rd or 4th gen)
The ipod had a much cleaner sound and sounded a lot more authoritative. I didn't like the treble on the iTouch as it sounded splashy and uncontrolled, but i did like the bass. Extension and texture was
great. Basically everything was better than the Clip. Same comparison applies to my phones (Xperia Z3) though my phones is a bit better than the iPod. These comparisons are just for reference so you can see how the Clip compares to popular DAPs.
As you can see, im not very fond of the way the Clip sounds. And im not even a harsh critic. I just don't understand how people compare it to products from Apple and such.
Everything else though, is brilliant for the price.
This was my own, subjective review of the Clip through my own, imperfect ears. So take it with a grain of salt.
And as always, YMMV