FM radio volume set too high?

Hi all, I just noticed that I can’t set the FM radio volume low enough – I take it all the way down to one notch above the bottom, and it was still louder than I wanted, and then it just becomes mute.

If I compare the mp3 volume at that same level, it’s very soft – so it seems the radio and mp3 volumes are on different scales? 

The FM radio volume depends on the signal strength for each station. I guess you are in an area that has very high signal strengths.

@jk98 wrote:
The FM radio volume depends on the signal strength for each station. I guess you are in an area that has very high signal strengths.

When I’m in a car, driving away from a station, it’s not as if the car radio gets gradually quieter – it gets static-ier. Shouldn’t that be the same with the Clip+?

In a quiet room, I find the Clip+ almost unlistenably loud at the very lowest setting above zero – and if I switch to play an mp3 at the same volume level, for the mp3 it’s at a whisper (as I would expect).

You’re saying your Clip+ plays FM radio at a similar volume to an MP3/FLAC/whatever when you have the volume set to the lowest level above zero, and switch back and forth between music vs. radio?

Message Edited by turnstyle on 11-12-2009 07:15 AM

The radio is just a bit louder than the mp3 playback on my Clip+. Are you using a headphone with a long cord? Using a headphone with a shorter cord, or folding up part of the cord might reduce the signal strength for the radio, and might reduce radio volume?

Message Edited by JK98 on 11-12-2009 02:29 PM

@jk98 wrote:
The radio is just a bit louder than the radio on my Clip+. Are you using a headphone with a long cord? Using a headphone with a shorter cord, or folding up part of the cord might reduce the signal strength for the radio, and might reduce radio volume?

I gather you meant to say “The radio is just a bit louder than the *mp3s* on my Clip+”? Did you try at the lowest volume above zero?

fwiw, my phones are sensitive IEMs, but they don’t have a long cord (about 4 feet).

I’d be curious to know from anybody else checking in here – if you set your volume to just above zero, and compare the sound of the Clip+ radio vs. playing a track – are the levels similar, or is the radio much louder?

thanks! 

At the lowest level, the volume is quite low for a low powered jazz station, but much louder(still relatively quiet though, but not quiet enough for me to fall asleep to) for a high power rock station. I am using Sony E888 earphones(16 ohms, 108 db/mw). Perhaps you should get a short headphone extension cord with a built in volume control to solve your problem.

@jk98 wrote:
At the lowest level, the volume is quite low for a low powered jazz station, but much louder(still relatively quiet though, but not quiet enough for me to fall asleep to) for a high power rock station. I am using Sony E888 earphones(16 ohms, 108 db/mw). Perhaps you should get a short headphone extension cord with a built in volume control to solve your problem.

And so when you compare the rock station to your MP3s – is that then noticeably louder?

(I don’t really want to add a volume pot between my Clip and my phones.)

I’m curious to know how common this problem is – and whether, for example, SanDisk might add a secondary volume control to the FM radio options section within settings (ie, so I could adjust the radio volume to be closer to the mp3 volume).

As it is, it just seems weird that the lowest possible volume is almost too loud to listen to…

I can’t hear anything when playing mp3 files at the lowest setting. The rock station is loud enough to be heard

quite well at the lowest setting. It would be nice if there would be a second volume control so one could have the radio at around the same volume as mp3 playback.

@jk98 wrote:

I can’t hear anything when playing mp3 files at the lowest setting. The rock station is loud enough to be heard

quite well at the lowest setting. It would be nice if there would be a second volume control so one could have the radio at around the same volume as mp3 playback.

 

 

Is there any way to get suggestions like this to SanDisk? 

http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/board?board.id=featuresuggestions

Don’t hold your breath waiting for suggestions to be implemented. Notice how many suggestions I have made there.

In the meanwhile, a simple headphone extension cable with a volume control definitely is the way to go.  Unobtrusive, light and inexpensive, from electronics stores/Radio Shack/etc.

@miikerman wrote:
In the meanwhile, a simple headphone extension cable with a volume control definitely is the way to go.  Unobtrusive, light and inexpensive, from electronics stores/Radio Shack/etc.

Thank you, I do understand that I could add another volume control between my Clip+ and my phones, but this strikes me as something that SanDisk should fix, and I’m hoping perhaps other people have noticed the same problem and might comment as well – perhaps SanDisk might then take notice and include this among any other firmware fixes they might have coming.

(fix: never-ending battery charge indicator, the rapid shut off after about 35% battery, optional “force perfect pitch playback mode”, adjustment for this relatively high radio volume problem, and whatever other ‘obvious’ fixes there might be)

I still think the Clip+ is a nifty little thing, and I can use the radio outside (where the background noise is louder), but I can’t comfortably use the radio indoors – without adding another volume control to the mix, and (imho) I shouldn’t have to do that! 

I absolutely agree with you.  But in the meanwhile.

Just to let you know you’re not the only one to have noticed the high volume level when listening to the radio.

I’ve just purchased the clip+ a few days ago myself and use it early in the morning at work when it’s quiet.

I had been listening to the music library at a comfortable volume level when I switched to the radio where the sound became almost deafening. I immediately set it to the lowest volume level where I also find it still to high.

I’m somewhat surprised by some posts that indicate that it’s normal depending on the strength of the radio station.

Back in 1925 someone invented AGC to control the strength of radio signals so that people wouldn’t have to adjust the volume level in their cars. Here is a link if anyone is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_gain_control

Hopefully a firmware update might provide some kind of a work around as I can’t really listen to music that loud since I prefer to keep my hearing intact! ;o)

The wee FM chip includes, among cool things like the demodulator, an AGC.  Note that all radio stations will have the same problem regardless of signal strength.  It’s the net gain as compared to the digital playback that can use a bit of adjustment.

This was addressed with the earlier Clip via a firmware update; the gain of the auxiliary input (analog) for the processor was adjusted a wee bit, and FM matched the average mp3 / wma (digital) volume level. 

When stereo FM was conceived, reverse compatibility with monaural FM receivers was solved by transmitting the signal as L+R and L-R, with a subcarrier pilot tone (synchronizes phase) signal to demodulate the sideband signal correctly.  As a kid, I thought the invention quite ingenious.  The world of analog has some very cool things hidden within.

There’s hope for this issue, and a few gain steps will work wonders.  Pardon the pun- stay tuned!

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Message Edited by neutron_bob on 11-30-2009 05:44 PM

Part of the problem lies with the Clip+, while the remainder is that nasty little word known as compression. I counted the steps in the Clip+ volume range and came up with 0 to 40. With my Clip+, changing the volume setting from High (the default) to Normal, makes zero difference. I also noticed the volume between 1 and 10 are identical in the FM mode. While it is not really too loud for my JVC 32 ohm headphones, it is bizarre. I think this is something Sansa needs to address at some point. The other half of the issue, is the same thing that makes TV commercials louder than the rest of the programming. That would be compression. Rock stations are notorious with their desire to remain at a loud volume, all the time. Sansa can’t fix this.

I was just about to start a new thread on this problem when I discivered this thread.  I purchased a new “Clip+” at Best Buy yesterday and find the radio volume abruptly increases/decreases at 50%,…even tho the meter indicator travels smoothly through the entire range.  The radio volume adjustment on my two plain “Sansa Clips” and two earlier Sansa’s all go smoothly from zero to max with no problems.  SO I can only conclude faulty manufacturing.  

Until someone shows me how to fix the “stuck/too-high” volume problem with my new “Clip+”, I assume this is a manufacturing gltch…which is I didnt expect from Sansa.  NB - several months ago I purchased a “CCrane” shortwave mini-radio with the same problem reported by many new owners. Is this a China manufacturing problem?

I have 4 other Sansa’s and none of them have this volume problem…including my two plain Sansa Clip’s.   I can only conclude the “Clip+” has a manfufacturing glitch on the radio volume control.  My “Clip+” playback volume works smoothly from zero to full volume, and back down.

Agree, the radio volume glitch is Sansa’s problem.  Buying NEW earphones/buds with volume control is Not a solution for me nor hould it be for anyone.  I have invested quite a bit in just the right earbud that matches almost equally my 4 other Sansa’s…and it matches perfectly the music library playback for my new Clip+.  Why should I have to shop for new earbuds???    THis is a glitch.  However, I am going to play around with the gain control just for kicks to see if that helps.  

I assume here is no chance of turning this Clip+ in as a defective product since all the Clip+'s have the same problem???

Message Edited by resonanz on 12-05-2009 03:41 PM

Message Edited by resonanz on 12-05-2009 03:45 PM

resonanz wrote:
I have 4 other Sansa’s and none of them have this volume problem…including my two plain Sansa Clip’s.   I can only conclude the “Clip+” has a manfufacturing glitch on the radio volume control.  My “Clip+” playback volume works smoothly from zero to full volume, and back down.

That was an early issue with the original Clip, that was corrected in a firmware update, if I remember correctly. There has been no update yet for the +, so I imagine it will be corrected when there is.