A Newbie's non technical review.

I have only recently bought a Clip Sport and must say I am very impressed by the little beast.  For many years I was a Creative Zen fanboy, but with their demise and the rise of smartphone, I graduated to listening to music on my DAB radio when I walked the dog.

Recent though I had a hankering for another mp3 player and relive the naughties dream. There isn’t a lot to chose from out there now if you don’t want iPod or generic Chinese crap so I opted for a Sony Walkman NWZ A15.   It cost nearly £120 and I was not impressed.  The sound was hampered by European Union nanny state volume regulations, navigation was lousy, bookmark options crappy and it doesn’t support audible!

In desperate I bought a refurbished 8gb Sport on eBay and I was knocked out enough to buy another brand new one. So here are the reasons I like it so much…from a non tekky point of view:

For the price, the sound is super, and can be eardrum bothering if you wish.  It supports audible with logical bookmarking. The FM radio does a good job too and it actually supports station info and information scrolling - eat your heart out Sony with your crappy FM display.  Ok, it’s plasticy but the clip is great and you can tart it up with a silicone skin.  No, I am pretty much bowled over by it.

So would I change anything?  Well, the time displayed permanently on top of screen would be nice and probably feasible.  DAB radio would be fantastic but I know that is dreamland because of size and hardware as well as budgetary constraints, and it is only because I can’t get my favourite radio station 6music on FM, so no big deal. Of course Bluetooth would be nice but can live without that too. I believe the Sport Plus has Bluetooth but then it doesn’t have a card slot.  I know which I would prefer.

So there you are, I’m a happy dog walker at the moment!

Stop press: Just sent away for a Clip ZIP so I can play around with Rockbox.

@tintin wrote:

I have only recently bought a Clip Sport and must say I am very impressed by the little beast.  For many years I was a Creative Zen fanboy, but with their demise and the rise of smartphone, I graduated to listening to music on my DAB radio when I walked the dog.

Recent though I had a hankering for another mp3 player and relive the naughties dream. There isn’t a lot to chose from out there now if you don’t want iPod or generic Chinese crap so I opted for a Sony Walkman NWZ A15.   It cost nearly £120 and I was not impressed.  The sound was hampered by European Union nanny state volume regulations, navigation was lousy, bookmark options crappy and it doesn’t support audible!

In desperate I bought a refurbished 8gb Sport on eBay and I was knocked out enough to buy another brand new one. So here are the reasons I like it so much…from a non tekky point of view:

For the price, the sound is super, and can be eardrum bothering if you wish.  It supports audible with logical bookmarking. The FM radio does a good job too and it actually supports station info and information scrolling - eat your heart out Sony with your crappy FM display.  Ok, it’s plasticy but the clip is great and you can tart it up with a silicone skin.  No, I am pretty much bowled over by it.

So would I change anything?  Well, the time displayed permanently on top of screen would be nice and probably feasible.  DAB radio would be fantastic but I know that is dreamland because of size and hardware as well as budgetary constraints, and it is only because I can’t get my favourite radio station 6music on FM, so no big deal. Of course Bluetooth would be nice but can live without that too. I believe the Sport Plus has Bluetooth but then it doesn’t have a card slot.  I know which I would prefer.

So there you are, I’m a happy dog walker at the moment!

 

Stop press: Just sent away for a Clip ZIP so I can play around with Rockbox.

If you like the Sport, my guess is that you will be bowled over by the Zip, the Sport’s unimpeded older cousin (and even without adding Rockbox to it).

@tintin wrote:

Stop press: Just sent away for a Clip ZIP so I can play around with Rockbox.

If you like the Sport, my guess is that you will be bowled over by the Zip, the Sport’s unimpeded older cousin (and even without adding Rockbox to it).  If only that original line of the Clip had been continued and developed–one can only imagine how good the line could be today.

I look forward to it. I opted for the 4gb as the 8gb models are pricey now on eBay.  I can always insert a decent sized sd card.  What is it that you prefer with the zip?

@tintin wrote:

I look forward to it. I opted for the 4gb as the 8gb models are pricey now on eBay.  I can always insert a decent sized sd card.  What is it that you prefer with the zip?

A Rockboxed Clip Zip is great, except that the battery life at around 16 hours or so for mp3 files isn’t long enough. The Clip Sport gives 25 hours of battery life, however it isn’t Rockboxable, the contents of internal memory is not integrated with that of card memory, but instead they are in separate databases, each limited to 2,000 songs. There is the experimental firmware which supports 4,000 songs for each, however some weren’t pleased with it, so Sandisk no longer makes it available. 

@tintin wrote:

I look forward to it. I opted for the 4gb as the 8gb models are pricey now on eBay.  I can always insert a decent sized sd card.  What is it that you prefer with the zip?

Well, and with Rockbox installed, you can use a mega-sized micro-SDXC card–people have used 128GB and 200GB cards.   :slight_smile:

That’s one of the reasons.  Plus, even without Rockbox installed, the Zip doesn’t have the database limitations of the Sport (the Zip uses a more functional/robust microprocessor).  The Zip also feels, to me, to be more polished. 

You may want to check out the Zip reviews posted here (including one by yours truly), for more.   http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/Sansa-Clip-Zip/Clip-Zip-Reviews/td-p/242614  

@tintin wrote:

I look forward to it. I opted for the 4gb as the 8gb models are pricey now on eBay.  I can always insert a decent sized sd card.  What is it that you prefer with the zip?

Well, and with Rockbox installed, you can use a mega-sized micro-SDXC card–people have used 128GB and 200GB cards.   Smiley Happy

That’s one of the reasons.  Plus, even without Rockbox installed, the Zip doesn’t have the database limitations of the Sport (the Zip uses a more functional/robust microprocessor).  The Zip also feels, to me, to be more polished. 

You may want to check out the Zip reviews posted here under a sticky thread at the top of the Zip forum (including one by yours truly), for more.

Clip Zip reviews

OK. I may be the only person on this Forum who actually likes the Clip Sport !!!  I bought a few more this year to keep me satisfied for the next several years.  There are many persons on this Forum who can likely resolve any specific problems you may encounter with the Sport (and Jam)

Best Wishes

Thank you Miikerman, some good reading there. It makes me wonder why Sandisk brought out the Sport which in many ways is a step backwards from the Zip - the song limitation, no time display, ditching radio recording etc.  And then you look at the Sport+ - ditching the card slot!

I would have thought Sandisk would pay very close attention to what people want in their devices (within reason of course given size and cost.). I am sure this forum could design the ultimate clip by committee!

I guess we are dealing with a listening format that is strictly “noughties” in approach and there is no mass market out there anymore, just a dedicated following who seek the holy grail of mp3 players.

But then, if vinyl can make a comeback…

Funny that you mention a vinyl comeback.  I am still working on mp3 encoding many of my old LPs from the 60’s - 80’s. Most of these I bought at used record stores and used record shows.  My Clip Sports are perfect for organizing and playing all my “Lost Gold” tracks. And I really appreciate the album art display. I get the images from The Google.

@tintin wrote:

Thank you Miikerman, some good reading there. It makes me wonder why Sandisk brought out the Sport which in many ways is a step backwards from the Zip - the song limitation, no time display, ditching radio recording etc.  And then you look at the Sport+ - ditching the card slot!

 

I would have thought Sandisk would pay very close attention to what people want in their devices (within reason of course given size and cost.). I am sure this forum could design the ultimate clip by committee!

 

I guess we are dealing with a listening format that is strictly “noughties” in approach and there is no mass market out there anymore, just a dedicated following who seek the holy grail of mp3 players.

 

But then, if vinyl can make a comeback…

From what I have gathered (although I’m still not convinced), it relates to SanDisk’s take on the economics of it.  But it just seems to me that the fruit company has made a successful go of it–and I think that some (or even many?) of us would be willing to pay x dollars more for a quality player from the likes of SanDisk.  (Would $10 or even $20 make a difference to many consumers, if the quality is there?  Look at what a former company like Beats was able to do in its space . . . .)

As to the lack of a card slot on the Sport+, that may have as much as or more to do with the water resistance feature.

I agree, I would pay a premium for all those extra features if I knew the company was listening to the loyal consumers, and were backing it up with firmware updates when necessary.

Back to the Sport Plus, why did Sansa decide that total waterproofing was more important than expandable storage?

@miikerman wrote:


@tintin wrote:

Thank you Miikerman, some good reading there. It makes me wonder why Sandisk brought out the Sport which in many ways is a step backwards from the Zip - the song limitation, no time display, ditching radio recording etc.  And then you look at the Sport+ - ditching the card slot!

 

I would have thought Sandisk would pay very close attention to what people want in their devices (within reason of course given size and cost.). I am sure this forum could design the ultimate clip by committee!

 

I guess we are dealing with a listening format that is strictly “noughties” in approach and there is no mass market out there anymore, just a dedicated following who seek the holy grail of mp3 players.

 

But then, if vinyl can make a comeback…


From what I have gathered (although I’m still not convinced), it relates to SanDisk’s take on the economics of it.  But it just seems to me that the fruit company has made a successful go of it–and I think that some (or even many?) of us would be willing to pay x dollars more for a quality player from the likes of SanDisk.  (Would $10 or even $20 make a difference to many consumers, if the quality is there?  Look at what a former company like Beats was able to do in its space . . . .)

 

As to the lack of a card slot on the Sport+, that may have as much as or more to do with the water resistance feature.

I would be willing to pay up to $100 for a player with a built in battery if it is worth the price. For a high quality player that uses an easily swappable inexpensive standard rechargeable battery, I might pay up to $200 or perhaps even more if it is really great. Some of the things I want in a player are high enough power output, a metal enclosure, two card slots, being Rockboxable(or else coming with firmware that is as versatile and customizable as rockbox). Now that I have a player that outputs up to 65mw into 32 ohms, I 

am not so pleased with players that have much lower power output. I wonder when mass market portable audio players will start using silver based rechargeable batteries. These have much higher energy density than lithium based ones, and are much safer. They are already common in hearing aids. 

@tintin wrote:

I agree, I would pay a premium for all those extra features if I knew the company was listening to the loyal consumers, and were backing it up with firmware updates when necessary.

 

Back to the Sport Plus, why did Sansa decide that total waterproofing was more important than expandable storage?

Imo Sandisk made a mistake with the Sport Plus by only including 16GB or flash memory. Imo since the player’s database can support up to 6,000 songs, having 32GB built in would have been the obvious choice, as flash memory is so cheap now. I hope Sandisk comes out with a premium version of the Sport Plus, with 32GB built in, and double the battery capacity. Getting just 7 hours of battery life using bluetooth makes the Sport Plus not so practical. Some people like to leave a player in a gym locker, and take it home to charge as infrequently as possible. 

@tintin wrote:

I agree, I would pay a premium for all those extra features if I knew the company was listening to the loyal consumers, and were backing it up with firmware updates when necessary.

 

Back to the Sport Plus, why did Sansa decide that total waterproofing was more important than expandable storage?

My guess is, SanDisk was aiming for the Apple iPod Shuffle market, the gym exercise crowd, where sweat-proof is more important than large storage.  Me, I guess I just don’t sweat that much.   :wink:

@jk98 wrote:


@tintin wrote:

I look forward to it. I opted for the 4gb as the 8gb models are pricey now on eBay.  I can always insert a decent sized sd card.  What is it that you prefer with the zip?


A Rockboxed Clip Zip is great, except that the battery life at around 16 hours or so for mp3 files isn’t long enough. 

Battery in rockbox is closer to 25 hours, at least if your battery is still in good condition.  I think the best I saw was someone who got 29 hours with MP3, although I think that was with a special build.  

@saratoga wrote:


@jk98 wrote:


@tintin wrote:

I look forward to it. I opted for the 4gb as the 8gb models are pricey now on eBay.  I can always insert a decent sized sd card.  What is it that you prefer with the zip?


A Rockboxed Clip Zip is great, except that the battery life at around 16 hours or so for mp3 files isn’t long enough. 


Battery in rockbox is closer to 25 hours, at least if your battery is still in good condition.  I think the best I saw was someone who got 29 hours with MP3, although I think that was with a special build.  

I never got anywhere near that. I think I was getting around 16 hours on a Rockboxed Clip+, although it was a few years old when I put Rockbox on it. I did notice longer run time using Rockbox, however the difference wasn’t so huge, perhaps just 15% longer?  Now battery life is down to around 3 hours. I can’t complain though, as the player is 7 years old, and has had huge usage. I never thought it would last that long, although the clip did break off a few years ago. 

@jk98 wrote:


@saratoga wrote:


@jk98 wrote:


@tintin wrote:

I look forward to it. I opted for the 4gb as the 8gb models are pricey now on eBay.  I can always insert a decent sized sd card.  What is it that you prefer with the zip?


A Rockboxed Clip Zip is great, except that the battery life at around 16 hours or so for mp3 files isn’t long enough. 


Battery in rockbox is closer to 25 hours, at least if your battery is still in good condition.  I think the best I saw was someone who got 29 hours with MP3, although I think that was with a special build.  


I never got anywhere near that. I think I was getting around 16 hours on a Rockboxed Clip+, although it was a few years old when I put Rockbox on it. I did notice longer run time using Rockbox, however the difference wasn’t so huge, perhaps just 15% longer? 

My old Zip gets about 8 hours in the Sandisk firmware, about 20 in rockbox for Lame MP3.  That is about 250%, which is a bit more than 15%.  I haven’t tried testing with a new battery, but a battery that got 12 hours in the Sandisk firmware ought to give you 30 in rockbox.  

If you’re getting 3 hours battery life, you probably need a replacement battery.  

I wonder what the maximum number of charges would be over the battery’s lifetime?