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Review: The Sansa Clip+ (Plus) MP3 Player

Clip+ Offers Nice Mix of Sound Quality, Features and Value

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Review: The Sansa Clip+ (Plus) MP3 Player

The Sansa Clip+ in its packaging.

Photo by Jason Hidalgo

Good things apparently do come in small packages.

At least that's the impression I got with the Sansa Clip+ (i.e. "Plus"), an update to Sansa's original Clip player.

As someone who owns three different versions of the iPod — including Clip competitor, the Shuffle — my music player preferences have typically tilted toward the devices with the small "i." But after trying out Sansa's little wonder, I just couldn't help but develop a fondness for the device. There's certainly a reason why the Clip line has developed a passionate following. Read on for my impressions.

PROS

Excellent sound: After sampling my share of budget-priced players, I must say I was pleasantly surprised with how good the Sansa Clip+ sounds. You can choose from several preset settings. But bringing up the equalizer and tweaking your settings is where you really get excellent results (even a simple "v-shape" adjustment for equalizer newbies works pretty well). The 5-band equalizer may be a few bands too short for control-freak stereophiles. But really, it's more than enough to get the job done.

Ease of use: You don't have to be a brain surgeon to operate this device. For the most part, controls are pretty easy to figure out and are intuitive. You can also make a quick playlist on the go by holding the middle button while highlighting a song, which will add it to your "GoList." It remembers where you leave off when you shut down as well. A pretty user-friendly player overall.

Expandable memory: The Clip+ has a MicroSD slot that allows you to bump up the number of tunes you can fit in.

Robust feature set: The Sansa Clip+ has a feature set that really gives this device great bang for the buck. Besides playing music, audiobooks and podcasts, the device also has a digital FM tuner, voice recorder, and SlotRadio and SlotMusic capability. It can even record songs from the FM radio.

Portability: The Clip+ easily fits in the palm of your hands and is easy to take with you anywhere. You can throw it in your pockets or, as its name implies, clip it to your clothing. This makes it perfect for jogging or during plane trips when space and weight are both prime considerations.

CONS

The Sansa Clip+ MP3 player.

Photo by Jason Hidalgo

Navigating large list: Although the ability to expand your playlist via a MicroSD card is great, navigating your tunes can also get a bit cumbersome once your list gets large. Adding an option to quickly skip by letter, for example, would've been nice.

Battery life: While 15 hours certainly isn't bad, it's still less than practically every "i" player. Except for the Nano's piddly 10 hours, for example, battery life can last anywhere from 24 to 36 hours for music on the iPod line of players. As someone who has traveled internationally many times, I can say from experience that 15 hours can go by pretty fast

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I've really racked my brains trying to find something bad about this player. But it's really hard to find much to fault about the Clip+. Its excellent sound, along with a pretty solid feature set, gives this device great bang for the buck given its price.

Yes, it has a few kinks that could be worked out. But overall, it's one of the best music players out there — budget or otherwise.

Name-brand elitists may thumb their noses at the device. But unbiased music aficionados will recognize this as a worthy player. It certainly puts a similarly priced iPod Shuffle to shame. And that's coming from an iPod Shuffle owner. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure: A review sample was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

CLIP+ PRICING

The Sansa Clip+ easily fits in the palm of your hands.

Photo by Jason Hidalgo
  • 2GB: $39
  • 4GB $49
  • 8GB $69
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