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Looking for something cheap and cheerful: Fuze replacement

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello once again Head-Fi!

 

I haven't been around here for quite some time, but now that my Sansa Fuze is starting to show it's age, I'm looking for something to replace it.

The power/lock slider is really worn, the battery life has degraded over time and I just feel like trying something new.

I've really enjoyed my Rockbox'ed Fuze over the last 5 or so years. It has made me appreciate the brand and that's why I've started looking into their current players.

 

I'm looking for an easy-to-use player that's reasonably cheap, has great sound quality and has good battery life. Great audio playback has my priority, video playback is not very important.

I'm willing to spend up to 60 euro's (roughly 80 dollars). My main music interests are rock, alternative and electronic.

 

I've been looking at the Clip+ and Clip Zip primarily, after reading some bad feedback on the Fuze+. 

Only thing that concerns me on these players is battery life. I've also read that these players have a more mid-focused sound signature.

I wouldn't particularly mind this, as I do find the Fuze to sometimes lack a bit in musicality. The overall sound signature is rather flat, according to my ears.

 

I'm currently using MEElectronics M11+ in-ears and primarily listen to music while commuting. 

 

Will the Clip+ or Clip Zip fit my bill, or are there other devices out there that fit my needs better?

 

Thanks!

 

EDIT: ...and my 200th post! What a coincidence. :)

post #2 of 12

The Clip+ and Clip Zip basically sound the same as the Fuze. I suggest that you get the Clip+, as the Clip zip displays less song information(unless you use Rockbox). The Clip+ gives only around 12 hours of battery life. To get around that, I use usb battery packs. These players will play while charging from a battery pack. For that past few years Sandisk released a new player at the end of August, however we haven't seen one yet from Sandisk this year. Is it delayed, or will there be no new player from Sandisk this year? We don't know, as Sandisk has said nothing.

post #3 of 12

If you Rockbox the Clip+ or Clip Zip, as I believe every owner should, then they will most likely sound very close if not the same as your Fuze. I haven't had a Fuze in a while so I can't do a comparison, but Clip+/Clip Zip with Rockbox sound the same. 

 

Depending on what files you use on them, you can safely count on 15 hours battery life. Ogg Vorbis and FLAC actually do a little better than MP3, last I checked, they might get you closer to 17 hours.

 

Definitely avoid the Fuze+. Rockbox cures the issues with the shoddy firmware, but it can't help with the godawful touchpad controls that will most likely make you very angry before long.

 

You didn't mention what capacity you wanted on a player....the price range you mention, you may be able to find a Sony E-series player, which would have much better battery life, but no card slot.  

 

Best of luck! smile_phones.gif

post #4 of 12

He mentioned 60 euros ($78) as what he wants to spend. I guess the Clip+ is his best option. Even a 16GB Sony E465 will cost more than this. There are now very few decent mp3 players under $100. Three years ago when I bought my first Clip+ I was expecting to see more and better players players under $50 in coming years. Instead we now see few players under $100, and nothing that is significantly better than the Clip+ for under $100. While the Samsung Galaxy players are interesting, they are all well over $100. Even if i would decide to spend $150 on a Galaxy Player 3.6 or Cowon C2, I still won't get HD radio or more than one card slot. At least the C2 gives over 40 hours of battery life. The GPS on the Galaxy Player seems cool, however its camera seems to be too low in resolution to be very useful. Instead it will be a hassle in places where cameras are  forbidden(some government buildings, some museums, some corporations, etc.). I hate the idea of having to leave my device with the security guard. Imo cameras on devices should be an optional accesory, and be of decent enough quality(at least 8 megapixels and have a decent lens).


Edited by JK1 - 9/19/12 at 5:12am
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies so far!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

If you Rockbox the Clip+ or Clip Zip, as I believe every owner should, then they will most likely sound very close if not the same as your Fuze. I haven't had a Fuze in a while so I can't do a comparison, but Clip+/Clip Zip with Rockbox sound the same. 

 

Depending on what files you use on them, you can safely count on 15 hours battery life. Ogg Vorbis and FLAC actually do a little better than MP3, last I checked, they might get you closer to 17 hours.

 

Definitely avoid the Fuze+. Rockbox cures the issues with the shoddy firmware, but it can't help with the godawful touchpad controls that will most likely make you very angry before long.

 

You didn't mention what capacity you wanted on a player....the price range you mention, you may be able to find a Sony E-series player, which would have much better battery life, but no card slot.  

 

Best of luck! smile_phones.gif

 

I currently only have 4GB of music on my Fuze. I don't have a really big music collection, but I also change my playlists around a lot. I could just buy a bigger SD-card if I really need more space. I think my next player will have at least 8GB of storage space, so that I'll have plenty of storage for the years to come. And I definitely will avoid the Fuze+, thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

He mentioned 60 euros ($78) as what he wants to spend. I guess the Clip+ is his best option. Even a 16GB Sony E465 will cost more than this. There are now very few decent mp3 players under $100. Three years ago when I bought my first Clip+ I was expecting to see more and better players players under $50 in coming years. Instead we now see few players under $100, and nothing that is significantly better than the Clip+ for under $100. While the Samsung Galaxy players are interesting, they are all well over $100. Even if i would decide to spend $150 on a Galaxy Player 3.6 or Cowon C2, I still won't get HD radio or more than one card slot. At least the C2 gives over 40 hours of battery life. The GPS on the Galaxy Player seems cool, however its camera seems to be too low in resolution to be very useful. Instead it will be a hassle in places where cameras are  forbidden(some government buildings, some museums, some corporations, etc.). I hate the idea of having to leave my device with the security guard. Imo cameras on devices should be a detachable accesory, and be of decent enough quality(at least 8 megapixels and have a decent lens).

 

I'm also surprised at the small market for budget MP3 players. I would expect a lot of demand for small and cheap music equipment, but apparently Apple have had a big influence in what kind of music gear people buy. The prices have only been going up for the last few years. 

 

I've looked at some of the other players you mentioned, but I definitely don't have the need for the Galaxy Player as I have a smartphone that will do the Wi-Fi, GPS and camera thing just fine. :) I have a HTC Desire HD but I'm just not satisfied with it's music playback, so I stuck with the Fuze. I'm probably spoiled by the Fuze's sound quality and user interface.

 

The Cowon C2 looks nice, but is really hard to find here in the Netherlands and quite a bit above my budget. I don't mind spending a bit extra for a great device, but $150 is really stretching it too far. 

post #6 of 12
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

You can get 4GB Cowon C2 for 84 euros. (SD expandable, 55 hours battery life, Jet effect's 3.0)
http://www.ebay.nl/itm/NEW-COWON-C2-Touch-Screen-MP3-PMP-Player-4G-Black-Digital-Media-Player-/320867758511?pt=Other_MP3_Players&hash=item4ab53571af

 

Unfortunately, that particular C2 has to ship from Korea. I'm also not big on buying through eBay, because warranty can be quite the hassle. All the local prices I have managed to find are >100 euro's, so I'll pass on the C2.

I'm leaning towards the 8GB Clip Zip at the moment. Are there really not similar players for roughly the same price as the Clip Zip?

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belabor View Post

 

Unfortunately, that particular C2 has to ship from Korea. I'm also not big on buying through eBay, because warranty can be quite the hassle. All the local prices I have managed to find are >100 euro's, so I'll pass on the C2.

I'm leaning towards the 8GB Clip Zip at the moment. Are there really not similar players for roughly the same price as the Clip Zip?

 

The only thing similar in the same price range is the older Clip+....although Apple would happily sell you a 2GB Shuffle with no screen for about the same price...lol. You really have to double the price to take the next step up, to get more (potential) capacity and more battery life, and perhaps better sound.

post #9 of 12

Instead of buying an 8GB Clip+ it is probably much cheaper to get a 4GB Clip+ and a microSDHC card. In the US an 8GB Clip+ is $55, while a 4GB Clip+ is just $35, and a 16GB class4 microSDHC card is $10. some even buy a 2GB Clip+ and a card.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, I've been reading some threads on the Porbale Source Gear boards, and I think the Clip+ or Clip Zip is indeed my best bet.

 

I've been using Rockbox on my Fuze for quite some time. If I want to use Rockbox on my next device as well, would it be better to go for the Clip+, since it's had more time to develop?

I've read that the two players are pretty much identical, apart from different buttons, larger clip and bigger screen on the Zip.

I don't really have a need for album art, especially if it won't display well on that small screen anyway. 

 

Basically, I'm a bit stumped. Why is Sandisk selling two products that are so similar?

How would I choose between them if the prices are also pretty much the same?

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belabor View Post

Well, I've been reading some threads on the Porbale Source Gear boards, and I think the Clip+ or Clip Zip is indeed my best bet.

 

I've been using Rockbox on my Fuze for quite some time. If I want to use Rockbox on my next device as well, would it be better to go for the Clip+, since it's had more time to develop?

I've read that the two players are pretty much identical, apart from different buttons, larger clip and bigger screen on the Zip.

I don't really have a need for album art, especially if it won't display well on that small screen anyway. 

 

Basically, I'm a bit stumped. Why is Sandisk selling two products that are so similar?

How would I choose between them if the prices are also pretty much the same?

If you're going to definitely Rockbox, then yes the Clip+ has has the more development time. There are still a few things not finished on the Zip port, as I understand it, although nothing that affects me. 

 

Why are they selling two things so close? Their original plan was that the Zip was going to be the replacement for the + (it was introduced 2 years later),  but since their firmware developers dropped the ball with a few things on the Zip, the + kept selling so well they seem to have kept it alive, even adding new colors over the last few months. The only definitive upgrade on the Zip is that the physical clip on the back is built stronger.

 

There was a time when I would have recommended buying the Zip over the +, just for the fact of the fresher battery alone, but that was before I saw the new colors added to the + line, which makes me think they are indeed still building new ones. 

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belabor View Post

Well, I've been reading some threads on the Porbale Source Gear boards, and I think the Clip+ or Clip Zip is indeed my best bet.

 

I've been using Rockbox on my Fuze for quite some time. If I want to use Rockbox on my next device as well, would it be better to go for the Clip+, since it's had more time to develop?

I've read that the two players are pretty much identical, apart from different buttons, larger clip and bigger screen on the Zip.

I don't really have a need for album art, especially if it won't display well on that small screen anyway. 

 

After I had to solder the headphone plug of my Fuze for the second time, I knew it was time to change my player, I have a Clip+ now, the smaller screen is not so annoying as I could expect, but I'm missing the wheel which improve ergonomics IMHO. I'm fine with my 4GB Clip+ and a 32GB µSD card.

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