SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 2 GB MP3 Player (Black)

asymcon

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Opus and WavPack support, ultra low consumption, excellent sound, small footprint, packed with advanced/geeky features, EQ (!!!), speed control
Cons: Not suitable for ultra sensitive IEMs due to slightly elevated noise floor, sub-optimal crosstalk performance into 16Ohm and THD+N
The following review considers Clip+ with one of the latest Rockbox builds. Any features mentioned therein are from Rockbox frontend, not Sansa.
 
Clip+ won my annual price for the most influential product of 2016 in price/value ratio. Granted, it was released in 2009, but finally I got it last year, and it was instant winner, topping even the most awesome buy of AKG K240DF.
 
At first I needed something to replace the aging SX480 CD player, which still does work, but I'm not that avid "CD burner" nowadays. Fiio DAPs are just too heavy and large to be convenient for portable operation, so I opted for Clip+, despite the reports of CPU chirping in the headphone out (which none of my units experience).
Yet Clip+ managed to overthrow one DAP after another. In the end, I kept only Clip+ and I couldn't be happier with it.
 
So how did that happen?
 
Firstly Clip+ boasts with higher-than-average battery runtime of 20 hours. With special beta Rockbox, it's possible to get even 30 hours when playing back FLAC at 44.1kHz. Both my Fiios (X3II and X5II) top at 12 hours max. To get more, power banks need to be introduced, which increase weight and size, pushing them into "transportable" category, rather than "portable".
When Clip+ arrived at the scene, naturally the first thing to do was listening and comparison test. I compared Clip+ to X3II and X5II very extensively for over 2 months and found no verifiable improvement in sound, not any that would justify the extra price or power consumption. As I'm no placebophile and focus on more "down-to-earth" features than fantasy-like promises of "better sound" at all costs, suddenly Fiios lost precious ground. There are still reasons to keep them (DAC functionality, DSD, automatic sample rate switching), though not for the majority of uses.
 
I desperately wanted WavPack and Ogg-Opus since 2015 and Clip+ delivered in full and also added IT, S3M, XM, MOD module support and MIDI playback with its own soundfont. No other DAP regardless of price (yes even HM-901), at least those I checked, come with Opus support.
To those who don't know what's Opus - it's lossy, compressed format, currently with the best compression vs. quality ratio. Even 128kbps sounds incredibly transparent. Usually only vocals give it up.
 
Clip+ unlike other "high-end" DAPs also comes with advanced features such as crossfeed, HAAS virtual surround, speed control, 10 band equalizer with adjustable Q, channel operations, ReplayGain, time-stretching and onboard compressor/limiter. Constructing playlists on the go is super easy, and they're stored in m3u8, thus fully compatible with WinAMP or Foobar2000.
There's 100% true gapless playback on all its supported audio formats, except modules. Where Fiio would pop during track change (lossy formats), Clip+ jumps to next track without any sound.
And for good measure, voice and FM recorder is included too. Built-in microphone is no high-class, but it's easily replaceable for say Primo EM184 or EM258. Both achieve good clarity for voice recording and even some music. Clip+ offers lossless formats for recordings, including WavPack.
 
Where Clip+ slightly lacks, that'd be the department of power. Both Fiios achieve over 100mW figures into low impedance loads and very impressive voltages for DAPs.
2.67Vrms for X3II and 2.82Vrms for X5II. Clip+ runs at 0.82Vrms maximum - all figures are into unloaded output (5MOhm).
However considering that Clip+ amp stage, integrated into its SOC, together with DAC, runs for couple miliwatts, that's fully understandable. In another words, Fiios consume over 40 times more power.
 
There are likely more features I have unintentionally left out, but for me, the Clip+ is the best DAP I have ever owned, hands down. If you don't have it, you can still get refurbished unit, just like I did for about $60 for 8GB model.
 
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trondareo

New Head-Fier
Pros: 32G SD expansion, Rockbox, decent sound quality, decent battery life. So small you wont notice its there.
Cons: So small you wont notice its there. In an age of smartphones and touchscreens the screen feels old fashioned,
This is the best value for weight music player there is!
With Rockbox flashed it has plenty of customization and sound quality tweaking options. However the flashing process was a bit scary for a noob like me.
It already plays any format you throw at it, so flashing with rockbox is really only for the tinkerer in you.
 
People have argued that the headphone cable should be on the other side. I dont feel this matters as the device is so light it is easy to grip anyway.
 
Wearing reading glasses, I feel the screen is a bit difficult to read outside, but with rockbox you have plenty of options for display design and fonts.
 
Otherwise it is a pleasure to use. You do not have to drain your phones battery to play music, audiobooks or podcasts. ist so small and light you never have to wory about taking it along. The battery last a good long time.
I´m happy with it!

Krisman

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Audio, battery life
Cons: Sound not up there anymore
Have enjoyed using this little beauty. If you want a no fuss, great sounding player at a very good price then look no further. Unfortunately more recent players have up'ed their game and surpassed the Sansa in features and more importantly sound quality. The sound is clear, roomy and detailed but lacks full transparency and sounds slightly coloured in the mids. But given the price these points are minor. Good NOT great device in todays over crowded but full of great devices marketplace.
autoteleology
autoteleology
I have to completely disagree with this review on all counts.
1. If you Rockbox the player (and really, there's no reason not to), there's no other player out there to my knowledge with MORE features.

2. While this player might not stack up to a thousand dollar sauce and amp, this retails for $30 and sounds better than any iPod; what did you expect?
Krisman
Krisman
Well several Cowons, Sonys, Philips and even some obscure Chinese brand that a friend brought back from Shanghai for $20 sounded on par if not better than the clip to me. Yes your points on price are spot on...but for me the price is not so important. It does sound very good, but is just showing it's age now. Agree most iPods sound crap but the newest iPod touch sounds very good indeed. Against a clip it is more than a match, at least with my reshelled Westone W4Rs and even driving my Senny HD-25 SP2s. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is just little old mine :) PS I think you meant thousand dollar 'source' not 'sauce'. That would be a damn expensive sauce!!!! :)
kiteki
kiteki
" and even some obscure Chinese brand that a friend brought back from Shanghai for $20"
Was it the Teclast X19HD?

tumburu

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: cheap, rockbox compatible
Cons: scan noise, battery life, screen
There's not much to be said about this little fella. It is a great value, if it didn't have that scan noise when powering up and the rather small screen I would like it even more. At it's price it's really hard to beat.

7nationarmy

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: SQ, Size, Flac, Rockbox, Clip, MicroSD expansion, Price
Cons: Fingerprint magnet, and nothing else
Really small, portable player with capabilities that worth a lot more than its price. Very good SQ for an entry level player, able to play FLAC, great UI and battery life with Rockbox. Clip is very useful for exercising/strapping an amp. The best thing: it is very cheap!

kwakor

New Head-Fier
Pros: Size, Flac, Clip, MicroSD to 32GB, Rockbox
Cons: Shiny front, battery life, bassed bass
It's very small player, so I like it. I have Clip+ since Christmas and I'm very satisfied!
tdockweiler
tdockweiler
I'm glad you mentioned it had bassed bass, otherwise I would not have purchased it!
kwakor
kwakor
You're welcome. But it's only my opinion.
FroyoShark
FroyoShark
What do you mean by "bassed bass"?

JAnderton

New Head-Fier
Pros: Good sound, small size, light, portable, great battery, extendable memory
Cons: UX could be a tad better. Packaging is a (one time) pain to open
It's a great music player that is portable and has a clip to be used while on-the-run. It works well and is simple to use. It supports MP3 and FLAC, the two main formats I love and allows drag drop of music into it. It also connects as a PnP device as well as in managed mode using WMP giving you options on how you want to manage your music.
 
Over all, it's a great music player. Best at it's price point (as a small portable music player in the iPod shuffle/nano range as opposed to the full display type players).
It's so good that when I lost my first player (I gave it to a friend who forgot to pick it up after lunch :/), I went out and bought it again. And do note, I can't buy this at a local store (in India). I waited for a friend to fly back from the US with this player for me.
That's how good this is :wink:
 
Note: My review is based on the 8GB player I have which exactly the same except for the size and cost. Don't be put off on the money I paid, I paid $53 for the 8GB with delivery off Amazon.
wrathzombie
wrathzombie
Really, I got my 32 GB card for less than $50(Rs 2400) in October 2011 and I have a clip +(RockBoxed) as well playing APE, ALAC, FLAC, MP3 everything... works well. UI is good too.
palmfish
palmfish
I had a Clip+ and recently picked up a Clip Zip. Same sound but now a color screen with album cover art (low rez). These things fight way above their weight class! I love them!
JAnderton
JAnderton
Good point wrathzombie. I see the 32GB microsd card for Rs. 2199 (~$44.24) which is almost as much as the player itself. Sure, it's bound to cost that much right now and tbh, I don't really need an upgrade at the moment. Knowing the price curve of silicon memory devices and the fact that I don't *really* need one right now, I think I can wait it out till it comes down a bit.
It's not about being cheap or anything.. it's just that I don't need the upgrade right now so that $50 would be more useful in getting me a good pair of earphones :p
Had thought about rockboxing it but never got around to it for some reason.
@palmfish: Wow, didn't know a new one came out. Looks sweet :) If I ever need to get another one (hope I don't "lose" this one too :p) I'll consider these.

koolkat

1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Supports FLAC, simple interface, good DAC
Cons: Headphone jack's on the right side, should've been on the left.
Packaging
 
  • Sansa Clip+ player.
  • USB interconnect cable to charge via PC and to transfer data.
  • CD installer for Rhapsody.
  • Earbuds.
 
Pros
 
  • It supports a lot of formats, even lossless formats.
  • Very simple interface, easy to understand.
  • Very good music playback. Definitely better than players around and even above it's price point.
  • Option to add extra microSD card to increase storage space.
  • Can be clipped onto sleeve or slipped into your pocket easily.
 
Cons
 
  • I would've liked the headphone receiver jack to be on the left side.
  • Very small and lightweight, not very difficult to misplace.
  • 10 hours playback time.
 
I use the Jazz EQ preset.
 
To sum it up, I prefer the Clip+ sound to the sound from a PSP, iTouch and iPhone 3GS.
 
 
Highly recommended. 
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GeneralSmirnoff

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Great sound quality for the price, extremely portable, MicroSD slot, INEXPENSIVE!!!
Cons: The battery life does not last as long as I want it to
This is probably one of the best purchases I have made this year! 
 
I was looking for a player that didn't have any shiny buttons or an ultra high resolution screen. I wanted a player that did what a portable music player was first intended to do, let you listen to your music with great sound quality on the go! The Clip+ does not disappoint! I can write pages about how the Clip+ is an amazing device and how it provides massive bang for the buck, however the Pros and Cons that I wrote basically sum it all up.

zmd

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Small, nice screen, has a screen and buttons, inexpensive, Rockbox!
Cons: Just OK battery life, but hey..
If you like your music player to have buttons and a screen, you know what I mean. This baby is solid bang for buck and there's quite a bit of bang in a small package. Great SQ, great design IMO and the microSD slot make the Clip+ awesome.

Will13

New Head-Fier
Pros: Portable, good sound (once ROCKboxed), easy to use, and cheap
Cons: feels abit cheap compared to the Fuze, but at the same time its still well made, no LO
I got this alittle while ago with a S:Flo2, and I used it for awhile then just used the S:Flo2, but after ROCKboxing it with ROCKbox 3.7, I think this is 1 of the best value MP3 players around, and its even better considering the ease of use, battery life, and size, in my honest opinion though the Fuze is the better buy if you don't need a small MP3 player, it feels alot better made, and is even easier to use, also the Fuze as a LO, so it sounds better when paired with my E7
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