Clip: Where's the Oompf? Pump Up the Volume!

After all the positive reviews I read about the Clip’s audio quallity, I was quite surprised to find that this puppy doesn’t put out the sound at anywhere near the level of my older M250 Sansa.

In fact, it was so obvious that I expected to see this forum filled with messages from other otherwise-content Clip users who had to face the fact that–although the sounds are good–they’re too low.

Unfortunately, choosing the “High Volume” setting doesn’t solve the problem. (Is that like “turning it up to 11,” a la Spinal Tap?)

I’m not trying to blow out my eardrums, but I’d like to be able to play the Clip through my car speakers without having to crank the Clip’s volume to the max. Like I mentioned, in the same exact settings, the older M250 blows the doors off the Clip. Wish they could put the M250’s output in the Clip’s terrific design.

Thanks,
KHM

I’ve had 4 various MP3 players so far, including the clip, and all of them have needed their volume turned to max when playing through my car radio or my audio-input clock radios at home.  I thought it was normal.

/ali

Turn the volume to MAX when using in the car.  It wont hurt the player or the sound quality.

I noted this in an earlier posting:

http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/board/message?board.id=clip&message.id=195&jump=true#M195

A couple of folks suggested EQ settings but that didn’t help my case.   Given our mutual experiences of volume being too low, I’m really surprised that there are more people complaining about it being too loud! 

Time to contact Support – I sure hope the problem can be remedied because I otherwise really like this player

Get a pair of Ultimate Ears. I have to just about turn the sound off…these are the best out there. These guys make customized professional units for the professional musicians and singers. They also started making off-the-shelf models for non-professionals…in fact,  Radio Shack sells one of these models.

Mike

I agree the sound quality isn’t what I expected especially after reading all the posting and  hype about the Sansa Clip by CNET.  I yell at my husband all the time for having the TV or Radio too loud, so  you know if I am complaining than there is a problem.  I am going to exchange my clip and hopefully it’s a defect.  If not I just lost out on $60. 

I suspect you need more sensitive earphones.

A good deal out there for a start:  Shure E2C earbuds ($60-70), or SE110.  Good sound, and the price is fair. 

http://www.compuplus.com/i-Shure-E2c-Sound-Isolating-In-Ear-Color-BLACK-Earphones-E2CNEFS-1006458~.html?sid=7011ost30w591gj

or you could try a headphones amplifier, there are several just do a search, you could try your hands at building your own like the cmoy amp:  http://tangentsoft.net/audio/cmoy-tutorial/. they also have somthing like a tutorial on building it on revision 3.

Check anythingbutipod.com, they have a review for a very cheap but good amp the Fiio e3: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archives/2008/07/fiio-e3-headphone-amplifier-mini-review.php

try one of those options if you get a chance, post your results. 

@techmor wrote:

or you could try a headphones amplifier, there are several just do a search, you could try your hands at building your own like the cmoy amp:  http://tangentsoft.net/audio/cmoy-tutorial/. they also have somthing like a tutorial on building it on revision 3.

 

Check anythingbutipod.com, they have a review for a very cheap but good amp the Fiio e3: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archives/2008/07/fiio-e3-headphone-amplifier-mini-review.php

 

 

try one of those options if you get a chance, post your results. 

I just ordered an E3…can’t wait for it to arrive. There is also a newer model, the E5, which unfortunately looks like an iPod Shuffle, but it is better than the E3.

http://www.fiio.com.cn/en/showproduct.asp?id=301

http://www.fiio.com.cn/en/showproduct.asp?id=309

And since the E3 runs on AAA’s, I bought some rechargeables and a charger…so I will be golden!

Message Edited by Marvin_Martian on 01-10-2009 05:02 PM

Message Edited by Marvin_Martian on 01-10-2009 05:05 PM

Clip has weak output and that’s a fact.

If someone get Clip and finds that the music doesn’t play loud enough the answer like ‘‘buy new 70$ headhones’’ or  ‘‘get yourself headphone amplifier’’ is just not fair advice.

Clip sounds OK but nothing to write home about. I would go to the store and exchange the Clip for some other player with higher output. For sure I would not buy amplifier or new headphones just because the Clip has weak output.

Actually, I think the advice is fair:  headphones dramatically change the listening experience. 

Buying a headphone amp for the Clip seems silly. The headphone amp is probably much larger than the Clip, and also much more expensive. A more efficient earphone or headphone doesn’t have to cost $70 or more. A Sennheiser MX560 earphone(112 db/mw efficiency) or the Sennheiser PX100 compact headphone(114 db/mw efficiency) might be $30 or less. There are also other good inexpensive and efficient headphones and earphones.

@giltic wrote:

Clip has weak output and that’s a fact.

If someone get Clip and finds that the music doesn’t play loud enough the answer like ‘‘buy new 70$ headhones’’ or  ‘‘get yourself headphone amplifier’’ is just not fair advice.

Clip sounds OK but nothing to write home about. I would go to the store and exchange the Clip for some other player with higher output. For sure I would not buy amplifier or new headphones just because the Clip has weak output.

If you want weak output, try a Creative Zen. Not saying they are a bad player… They have better battery life than the Fuze, but they acheive it byhaving a lower output to the phone jac, and struggle with the KSC75’s that I use quite successfully with my Clip and Fuze. :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s nothing wrong with  the advice to try different headphones…after all, just about every player’s stock headphones are average at best, and I think most people upgrade. There are cheaper alternatives than the ones Miikerman suggested for the budget conscious, but his advice to try different ones is valid.

@jk98 wrote:
Buying a headphone amp for the Clip seems silly. The headphone amp is probably much larger than the Clip, and also much more expensive. A more efficient earphone or headphone doesn’t have to cost $70 or more. A Sennheiser MX560 earphone(112 db/mw efficiency) or the Sennheiser PX100 compact headphone(114 db/mw efficiency) might be $30 or less. There are also other good inexpensive and efficient headphones and earphones.

Silly? Actually, it is quite common…the sound signature is so clean that many people use small amps and then hook them up to BIG headphones that cost hundreds of dollars, that do need a bit more cojones than most DAP’s have(Cowon D2 is the notable exception). If you have good, efficient IEM’s, then yes, you probably don’t need one.But some of us can’t wear IEM’s. Many “full” size headphones are found a little wanting, even the relatively affordable ones.  And if you had explored  my links, the FiiO amps are very small, and they are both cheaper than even a 1GB Clip. Frankly, I thought you would appreciate my choice, given that the E3 I’m getting runs off AAA batteries(I have rechargeables coming)

  Tongue Out

I totaly agree with all of you. I also bought new headphones when I’ve got the Clip. This goes for us experienced listeners.

But…try to think like an average listener - he goes to the store for a new MP3 player. Comes home and want to listen to some music. He finds out that the player doesn’t play like it should or like he has imagin it would. Then he comes to the forum for an advice and the first answer is ‘‘you should buy a new headphones’’.

He would say: ‘‘But why, I’ve got them with my player. I’ve bought the player WITH the headphones. Do you want to say that the headphones I’ve got are no good? Why they selling them with the Clip?’’

Like going to buy a new car and then we find out that it wont turn left. We go back to the store and the seller would say - ‘‘Yes, you won’t be able to turn left. If you want that you must buy a new stearing wheel.’’

I think that an average listener doesn’t want to buy a new headphones - he doesn’t want to spend another 40 or whatewer bucks because he just got a new headphones with the player. He expects that the thing will work.

If this what you are talking is true, then on the Clips box should be a warning that headphones are no good and  someone should buy a new one in the same time he got the Clip.

I have a FiiO E5 hp amp I use with Sennheiser HD600s.  The amp also works well in the car.

I find the JVC air cushion headphones provide LOTS of volume with the Clip,  even without the Amp.

I bought the air cushions  for about $17.

The output level of the Clip is the same as other MP3 players we have tested.

Message Edited by sansafix on 01-12-2009 09:54 AM

No it’s not sansafix.

Trekstor iBeat plays quite louder and Philips GoGear plays significant louder; even my old Teac MP-111 plays louder.

"But…try to think like an average listener - he goes to the store for a new MP3 player. Comes home and want to listen to some music. He finds out that the player doesn’t play like it should or like he has imagin it would. Then he comes to the forum for an advice and the first answer is ‘‘you should buy a new headphones’’.

Imo, mp3 players should be sold without headphones. Here’s why. First of all, there are 4 types of headphones/earphones, canalphones, earbuds, closed headphones and open headphones. Let’s say the preference for each type is equal. So whichever type is included, 3/4 of the people will be disappointed.

Then there are preferences for a brighter vs a bassier headphone or earphone. Most people buying a player will already have high quality earphones from previous players. If a $20 earphone is included and the price is $20 higher, those who usually use a $70 or so earphone will be disappointed. So instead a very low quality cheap earphone is included, which many people toss in the trash. What a waste. I would like to see a basic skin/clip included in the box rather than an earphone(okay, the Clip has a built in clip, but this comment was made for mp3 players in general).

“The output level of the Clip is the same as other MP3 players we have tested.”

I guess you are comparing it to other small players that have a builtin clip, but not to all other players. 

I guess you didn’t test that esoteric brand(you know which one I mean, lets not name it here) that has a model with a full sized SDHC card slot, 52 hour listed battery life,  and 37 mw per channel into 16 ohms output, and another model by them with 24.5 mw/channel into 16 ohms output. I hope Sandisk will make players like these(or better!) as Sandisk would probably price them lower, and would have much wider distribution. There seem to be plenty of mp3 players that put out 5mw per channel or less into 16 ohms.

@jk98 wrote:

“The output level of the Clip is the same as other MP3 players we have tested.”

 

I guess you are comparing it to other small players that have a builtin clip, but not to all other players. 

I guess you didn’t test that esoteric brand(you know which one I mean, lets not name it here) that has a model with a full sized SDHC card slot, 52 hour listed battery life,  and 37 mw per channel into 16 ohms output, and another model by them with 24.5 mw/channel into 16 ohms output. I hope Sandisk will make players like these(or better!) as Sandisk would probably price them lower, and would have much wider distribution. There seem to be plenty of mp3 players that put out 5mw per channel or less into 16 ohms.

What is tha actual output of the Clip and Fuze? I’ve never seen it anywhere, and would be curious to know. I can say, however…Sansa Clip/Fuze+Fiio E3+KSC75+Led Zeppelin is a little bit of heaven on earth…now at tax time I’ll get an E5 too.

MusicMusic

 Edit: Metallica’s Kill 'Em All isn’t too shabby either!

Message Edited by Marvin_Martian on 01-13-2009 03:06 AM