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Sansa Clip+ bad build quality, or bad luck ?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, i recently bought sony mdr-v6 headphones and i was really happy to use them with my rockboxed sansa clip+ (+32gb sd)

First the jack solder loosen up ( as it commonly happens), i opened it, scratching the edges, and solder it again.

No major damage to the case was done, but i was pretty mad about it.

 

2 months later, the right botton started to have problems ( worked 80% of the times ), when trying to open it again i screw up and damaged lots of things, jack went of, and now displays the page loading firmware.

 

my mp3 was not even 2 years old, i am dissapointed in the build quality.

I will try to fix it but dont think i can.

 

So, did i have bad luck, should i buy another one ( clip+ or zip), or should i get smthg with better build quality ?

 

i do have a low budget, so the cheapper the better, but if i have to pay for build quality so my mp3 lasts, i will

 

thanks in advance

post #2 of 10

I'm going to guess bad luck.

It's only $35-$40 for a new Clip Zip 4GB.

post #3 of 10

Sansa players are pretty cheap, so I wouldn't put high expectations on their build quality. You're mostly paying for the sound.

 

With that said, my Clip Zip bricks on me at least once every day I use it. A reset fixes it every time, but it's very annoying (especially when I'm trying to listen to a whole album nonstop). But aside from that, the Clip+ or Zip should be fine if you take good care of your stuff.

 

But if you're able to break your budget five times over, the Fiio X3 looks promising. 

post #4 of 10

you got a dud.....

 

Sansa clip + 8GB $30 delivered...... eBay

Refurbished  

post #5 of 10
There is a very well known engineering/production axiom: "Cheap, fast, good. Choose two." In terms of a product like this you could pose it as "Cheap, great spec, good. Choose two."

It's a very cheap product made down to a price both in terms of materials/components and quality assurance. The most obvious physical manifestation of this to the user is the incredibly crappy headphone socket which has several problems: it is not always soldered securely, it's very short so only holds a tiny section of any jack plug, and it doesn't have the usual spring clamp so doesn't securely hold an inserted jack plug.

Having said that it is possible to open the case without breaking internal components. My 8GB Clip+ got immersed in sea water. I opened the case by using a common pry tool like this one

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, R1.1.1.M2b

It's easy enough to do and there is no reason to damage anything internal. I did put a small crack in the case outer at its thinnest part, around the microSD slot, and this might be hard to avoid. I rinsed the whole thing with fresh water and left it to dry for a couple of days. It booted! I put the case back together and it has been working for the last 5 months just the same as it had since I bought it in December 2010. "Just the same" in this case means noise from the headphone jack as the unclamped jack plug moves, noise from disk access or CPU load sometimes even during playback, occasional crashes on USB connection and sometimes tracks skipping to the end.

This isn't a Rolls Royce and they don't ask a Rolls Royce price. I think build quality and performance are in line with the very low price. For the price the feature set is very good indeed so you get a lot for your money but nobody should be expecting high quality components throughout, immaculate assembly, or a QA process that enforces standards that the manufacturer isn't even trying to attain. If you get one whose headphone jack is solidly attached and which holds tight to any jack plug, and which doesn't make weird noises and which never hangs then well done. Otherwise join the club of people who got what they paid for.

Despite any issues or potential issues I'm not sure there is anything else worth getting for the same price so Sansa have pitched this with great expertise. Despite making some negative comments about the Clip+ I think it is good value, this being validated by a very reliable mechanism, the market itself: it's not a perfect product but you can't get anything as good for the same price and if you want something better you do have to spend more money.

When I don't need the Clip+'s micro size I'm still using my iRiver H140. It is really nicely built, made of high quality components and has an impressive specification. It is easy to disassemble and reassemble. It sounds better than the Clip+ (noticeable with with higher impedance 'phones and at high levels). It has lasted maybe 8 years so far (two new batteries). Other significant difference? It cost about eight times more than the Clip+.
post #6 of 10
Value engineering at its finest.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJazzyH View Post

Sansa players are pretty cheap, so I wouldn't put high expectations on their build quality. You're mostly paying for the sound.

 

With that said, my Clip Zip bricks on me at least once every day I use it. A reset fixes it every time, but it's very annoying (especially when I'm trying to listen to a whole album nonstop). But aside from that, the Clip+ or Zip should be fine if you take good care of your stuff.

 

 

Mine is Rockboxed and never quits on me. If yours isn't Rockboxed, you should either RB it, or else re-do your ID3 tags..... your files may have tags the original firmware choke on.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

Mine is Rockboxed and never quits on me.

My Clip+ is Rockboxed and brainfarts quite often, almost always on m4a. Of course with the original firmware it can't even play m4a so it's hard to feel too unhappy about it. Some formats are more demanding to decode than others and m4a is a step too far for some old players and newer players with very low spec hardware. I don't think my Clip+ has a playback issue with mp3 or vorbis but with m4a it's never a big surprise if it quits unexpectedly.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post


My Clip+ is Rockboxed and brainfarts quite often, almost always on m4a. Of course with the original firmware it can't even play m4a so it's hard to feel too unhappy about it. Some formats are more demanding to decode than others and m4a is a step too far for some old players and newer players with very low spec hardware. I don't think my Clip+ has a playback issue with mp3 or vorbis but with m4a it's never a big surprise if it quits unexpectedly.

I don't have very much music in m4a, so I haven't noticed any hiccups with it. Of course, they (Sansa) claim the Clip Zip OF can play it natively, but there's a big old asterisk next to that in real life....lol.

post #10 of 10
It happens mostly with high bitrate files. I use get_iplayer to download BBC radio "listen again" shows which are aac in a flash container (intended to be consumed via www browser or dedicated smartphone app). get_iplayer uses ffmpeg to mux them into m4a and adds iTunes compatible metadata. If I copy them to my Clip+ it is by means of a script which uses MP4Box to hint them. BBC Radio 3 files appear to be CVBR 320 kbps. Other BBC stations use much lower bitrates, anything from 54 kbps HE-AAC to (C)VBR 128 kbps AAC LC and these usually work OK except some of the HE-AAC files play back at half speed in Rockbox (I use the pitch/speed correction and all is well).

I expect that aside from the problem detecting/handling HE-AAC the problems arise from hardware limitations. I know I saw somewhere Sansa actually specify the Zip's AAC playback capability is limited to files of 10 minutes or less. There is mention of it at http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68532 where saratoga mentions that the problem is due to m4a files' huge seek tables. This ties in with my experience with my old iRiver players which can kind of play aac in Rockbox but which can't seek and may freeze and need the hardware reset button to recover.
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