Enquiring about quality of recording with Sansa Clip

I am considering purchasing the Sansa Clip, to be used often for recording lectures, and occasionally from the radio. I am concerned about the recording quality, since previous experience with devices that record in WAV format severely limit sound quality. (I have used other devices that record in MP3 format, with quite good, clear sound.)

Can someone please send me a sample file of voice & radio recordings (converted to MP3) so I can evaluate the suitability for my needs?

Any other recommendations would also be appreciated.


The thing that surprised me about recording off the radio is that the produced wav file is only 22050 hz instead of the 44100 I was expecting from ripping CDs.  I haven’t tried to record voice yet.

The question is how is the sound quality?

The sound quality of voice recordings is usable if the speaker is within 2 or 3 feet of the player. It won’t be great though. The sound quality for FM recording is disappointing for music, but would be okay for a talk show.

To record speech, it might be a good idea for the speaker to clip the player to his shirt. The Clip will not do a good job of recording a lecture from the back of a large room.

I have no problem putting the device directly in front of the speaker (lecturer). But I need the result to be a crystal-clear recording. Can someone send me a sample voice recording (converted to MP3 format)?


A sample recording or even several samples won’t give you an idea of the sound quality in real use, as the mic is not directional, and it will pick up fan noise and other noise in the room. I have experimented recording with my Clip and my Fuze. Distance from the lecturer is crucial. If the lecturer clips the player to his shirt pocket then results can be quite good. On his desk, even two or three feet from his mouth and already there will be quite a bit more noise. If you want semiprofessional quality, then you probably need to spend $150 or more for a decent digital recorder that has a high quality built in mic, or else buy a digital recorder and a  decent external mic.

You can get a Clip for a low price and experiment with it yourself. If it is not good enough for your recordings, then at least you have a nice small high quality player.

Message Edited by JK98 on 07-20-2009 01:42 PM

Does anyone know if the .wav files come up for Voice recorder files, using the built-in microphone, as only 22khz as well?

This is pretty much the determining factor I have found with the under $50 price point etc…

Also, does Sansa make anything that records from its internal mic to 44.1khz or better?


If you want decent recordings, then get a recorder. There are compact recorders with a card slot and mic jack for under $100. These are the Sony UX512, Ax412,and PX312, as well as the Olympus ws700m and ws710m. the PX312 is under $50. The AX412 and PX312 run on two AAA batteries, the others run on just one AAA battery.

The Sandisk players are nice players, but they are horrible as recorders.

@hypetrot wrote:

Does anyone know if the .wav files come up for Voice recorder files, using the built-in microphone, as only 22khz as well?


This is pretty much the determining factor I have found with the under $50 price point etc…


Also, does Sansa make anything that records from its internal mic to 44.1khz or better?



I don’t think there is any point. If you want high quality recording you should buy voice recorder with a real microphone. Increasing the sampling rate won’t help for something like a clip.

I would say that what you’ve heard about poor quality of the files created by the Clip are either misguided, or, it’s possible that the distance from the source was so great that the was the primary factor in the degradation of the resulting file. I have recorded vocals; acoustic guitar( a Yamaha & a DCX1E Martin acoustic/electric);electric guitar (a Strat)played through both Marshall and Crate amps where I merely watched closely the amount of gain/overdrive I was using as well as making sure that the volume didn’t result in clipping/red-lining; Casio Keyboard with both the drum machine feature as well as a large variety of the tonal sounds offered; a Korg PX5D (aka Pandora’s Box) played through both brands of amps with both the acoustic & the electric guitars. All of these recordings produced that .wav files which I’ve then edited and mixed and saved in a variety of file formats (i.e.wma,mp3, DVI/IMA wave files, and MS ADPCM wave files). They have all been better than I had ever expected and have made me a big fan of Sandisk.

Your post about recording and the Sansa Clip is insightful.  Have been very impressed witht the Sansa Clip, and

never expected it to produce such relative high fidelity, from what seems like a pin-hole microphone.  Not sure what

the frequency response is, but this is an amazing utiilty recorder.

Question, as I am recording music also, and was so impressed by the Sansa, I was looking for a Sansa digital

recorder that had input for an aux microphone.  I don’t believe they make one.  From your experience, are you familiar

with a small compact digital recorder that has an Aux. Mic jac,and in-line monitor.  I have a Zoom H-2, buit the

Sansa is so easy and fool-proof, that I’m looking for something that simple, but give good quality recordings from

the Aux. Mic.    Thank.s

Sony and Olympus make very compact digital mp3 recorders with a mic jack and micro SDHC card slot. If you want something with a separate line in and mic jack, you need  larger recorder like the Zoom H1 or one even larger. The Zoom H1 gets only around 8-10 hours of battery life on one AA battery, while the compact Sony and Olympus models get around 25-29 hours on one AAA battery.

I have been using the Sansa Clip with our ministry for two and a half years. I bought it for the live audio recording capabilities. I have recorded sermons on it every month with fantastic results.  I have bought at least six of the 2G model. At times the device has given me fits, but overall, those who see it in use are amazed and fascinated. You may sample my recordings at

http://sermon.net/kteamsusa  You can even see it on the collar of everyone I record

As someone said above you have to clip it on the speaker’s collar for best results. For acoustic guitar singers I have clipped it on the mike stand cable behind the mike. I have clipped it onto the cloth on the pulpit or even just laid it there. People with very baggy necks tend to hit the plastic with their skin.  If the speaker comes into contact the SansaClip, rubs it or bumps it, you get a crackle or a pop on your recording. 

I edit most of my recordings in Garage Band and clean up those noises. 

I use the Sansa Clip exclusively now for voice overs and announcer intros on recordings.

I also use them for videos.


I go into Final Cut and synch up the audio feed with the original video sound. kinda tricky, because the capture rates can vary and you have to change the speed of one or cut out a frame now and then to catch up. 

PROBLEMS with live recording:

Over the years there are nightmares with the clip.

I used to get mad and send them back for warranty coverage.  I’ve found the firmware update repairs some, but not all problems. 

  1. Randomly you will get an error message when you want to record that says something like “not enough database space” followed by the unit crashing.  Now I simply hold the on off switch firmly up till it turns it off, then repeat the process to turn it back on, which usually eliminates the message.

  2. One of my units has always made a high pitch squeal for about 15 seconds when you start a recording that goes away, but ruins quick recordings.

  3. I had one shut off after 3 1/2 minutes every time you record. I had one that would skip a syllable of the talk. 

MP3 playback:

The sansa clip is fine as an mp3 player that you load from your computer. My wife hates it because it is not user friendly like an iPod. You have to know how to click up and down the menus.  

FM playback: my son and I took two units to a Rangers baseball game and listened to the play by play with our earphones. Personal radios.

Storing music: If you change the name of a .wav file and leave it on the unit. it no longer shows up on the player scrreen. It’s still there, but you can only play in off your computer.

Now if I have a problem with a SansaClip i just grab another one.  I like to take two or three to a live event and put one one several people to record them. 

I love the Sansa Clip, even with it’s defects.

Nice report. I just hate the “inherent defects” issue with the Clips, though . . . . :frowning: