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Sansa Clip+ vs Clip zip vs Fuze+

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello~ I'm new here at head-fi! Well, not exacty.. I've been lurking around but only recently created an account.. Anyways I'm looking for a DAP and am a little confused about the 3 in the title.. Some people claim that they are very different while others seem to believe they are almost identical.. I'd like to hear your opinions and suggestions as to which one I should get.. I'm open to suggestions for other DAPs as well! Also how would the SQ of these DAPs compare to an iPod touch 3G?

A little info about my gear: I have the HiFiMan RE-ZERO and the V-moda Crossfade M-80.. I'm playing through my phone which is a Huawei Ascend G330 (not a great phone but my workplace has camera restrictions..) which is the main reason I want to get a DAP cos it has a pathetic battery life and it probably has bad SQ.. I know my bottleneck could be my source quality, I'll fix that in time to come..

Thanks in advance!

Hello moderators! I wanted to post this at the help and introduction forums but everyone there seems to be discussing Headphones and IEMs. That's why I decided to post this here instead.. Please help me move the thread if I'm wrong.. Thanks!
Edited by Alesco - 12/10/13 at 6:00pm
post #2 of 9
The Clip+ and Zip have almost identical hardware, the main difference being that the Zip has a colour screen. The main differences in Sansa's firmware are that the Clip Zip can play AAC files and that it doesn't have the well known pitch error of some of the older Sansas such as Clip, Clip+ and original Fuze. Aside from that the players are much the same in use and can both run Rockbox firmware if you prefer it to Sansa's.

The Fuze+ has entirely different hardware than the Clip+ or Zip. It sounds at least as good but many people absolutely hate the touchpad control. The touchpad works nicely enough with Rockbox but is truly awful in Sansa's firmware. I have a Fuze+ 8GB and wrote a review of it in this board's Head Gear section and concluded that I would not buy the player unless intending to run Rockbox. With Rockbox you actually get to enjoy the great sound and nice screen. It has a lot more processing power and more RAM than the Clip players so it's much quicker at refreshing database and so on. It can also play some very large files that sometimes cause problems for the Clips and old Fuze. It has longer battery life too (now up to about 40 hours in Rockbox). I found the radio on the Fuze+ a little better than on the Clip+ as it has RDS and is a bit less noisy with weak signals. With very sensitive IEMs some people hear annoying system noises with the Clips and old Fuze. I haven't seen any report of this with the Fuze+ and in my experience it sounds extremely good even with extremely good headphones such as Sennheiser Momentums as well as with cheaper IEMs and headphones.

I haven't owned my Fuze+ long enough to compare durability with the older players but touchpad controls might last better than any small buttons. Time will tell.

I would say the advantages of the Clips over the Fuze+ are the convenience of a very tiny player with a clip on the back and the ease of use of normal hardware buttons. The Clips work nicely enough out of the box whereas the Fuze+ really does need Rockbox firmware installed. The Fuze+ advantages are the very legible bigger screen, the extra power, the extra battery life and the absence of any system noise.

All the players' output levels are much the same and they all have low impedance output so can be used with all kinds of earphones and headphones.

I would choose either the Zip or the Fuze+ according to the control interface you prefer. If you don't want to run Rockbox then get the Zip.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post

The Clip+ and Zip have almost identical hardware, the main difference being that the Zip has a colour screen. The main differences in Sansa's firmware are that the Clip Zip can play AAC files and that it doesn't have the well known pitch error of some of the older Sansas such as Clip, Clip+ and original Fuze. Aside from that the players are much the same in use and can both run Rockbox firmware if you prefer it to Sansa's.

The Fuze+ has entirely different hardware than the Clip+ or Zip. It sounds at least as good but many people absolutely hate the touchpad control. The touchpad works nicely enough with Rockbox but is truly awful in Sansa's firmware. I have a Fuze+ 8GB and wrote a review of it in this board's Head Gear section and concluded that I would not buy the player unless intending to run Rockbox. With Rockbox you actually get to enjoy the great sound and nice screen. It has a lot more processing power and more RAM than the Clip players so it's much quicker at refreshing database and so on. It can also play some very large files that sometimes cause problems for the Clips and old Fuze. It has longer battery life too (now up to about 40 hours in Rockbox). I found the radio on the Fuze+ a little better than on the Clip+ as it has RDS and is a bit less noisy with weak signals. With very sensitive IEMs some people hear annoying system noises with the Clips and old Fuze. I haven't seen any report of this with the Fuze+ and in my experience it sounds extremely good even with extremely good headphones such as Sennheiser Momentums as well as with cheaper IEMs and headphones.

I haven't owned my Fuze+ long enough to compare durability with the older players but touchpad controls might last better than any small buttons. Time will tell.

I would say the advantages of the Clips over the Fuze+ are the convenience of a very tiny player with a clip on the back and the ease of use of normal hardware buttons. The Clips work nicely enough out of the box whereas the Fuze+ really does need Rockbox firmware installed. The Fuze+ advantages are the very legible bigger screen, the extra power, the extra battery life and the absence of any system noise.

All the players' output levels are much the same and they all have low impedance output so can be used with all kinds of earphones and headphones.

I would choose either the Zip or the Fuze+ according to the control interface you prefer. If you don't want to run Rockbox then get the Zip.

Thanks for taking the time to type such a long and detailed reply man.. It's really appreciated.. I don't mind running rockbox, but the rockbox on fuze+ is stated as unstable.. How exactly is it unstable? I am currently more inclined to getting the fuze+ because I don't mind it's size and the longer battery life is quite attractive.. So if I can know how rockbox is 'unstable' it'll help me make the decision.
post #4 of 9
Rockbox on Fuze+ is fine for daily use imo. It has gone through a lot of changes in the last few months and can now be installed using the Rockbox Utility so it's very easy. I bought mine in August, rockboxed it on day one and use it all the time. I update Rockbox if there is a significant change that affects the Fuze+ port, which has been quite often. I'm not claiming it's perfect but as long as you are happy with touchpad controls there aren't any big issues left that need working out. The "unstable" tag means things can and do change, not necessarily that anything is flaky or unreliable (though that could happen with changes). I find the only regular annoyance is that if the touchpad gets damp or grubby it can go a bit crazy but that's my fault for handling the device carelessly.

The status page for the Fuze+ Rockbox port is at http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SansaFuzePlusPort
post #5 of 9

I switched from a Clip Zip to the Sony E465, my 49 year old eyes needed the bigger screen, the only draw back with the Sony E465 was you can not use add-on memory (Micro-SD) like the Clip Zip.

I'm guess you can find good deals on used Sony E series on eBay.

 

Might also post your questions on the website anythingbutipod.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses guys, I guess I'll the fuze+ with rockbox.. I don't want to post in another forum cos I won't be able to monitor the thread for the next couple of days and I don't want people to think I'm a spammer..
post #7 of 9

just got the fuze+ with rockbox and I swear it sounds less full and more analytical/clean compared to the zip rockboxed. Going back and forth between the two using the same songs, it's definitely noticeable. The fuze touchpad works decent but isn't 100% responsive. 

post #8 of 9

Interesting read. I've ignored the Fuze ever since I handled one with the stock firmware. PErhaps now it is indeed a good option

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by fateicon View Post

just got the fuze+ with rockbox and I swear it sounds less full and more analytical/clean compared to the zip rockboxed. Going back and forth between the two using the same songs, it's definitely noticeable. The fuze touchpad works decent but isn't 100% responsive. 

Unless you carefully level matched the players then you may be hearing a difference due to even a fractional difference in dB. You also need to check that replaygain is disabled before making a comparison (it is on by default in some playback modes in Rockbox).
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