FM stations with SansaClipZip (reception is not good) Any suggestions, please?

I recently purchased 2 San Disk Sansa Clip Zip.


Here is my question/concern:
My radio feature (FM radio) is not picking up channels as clearly has I had hoped.
The FM radio contains static and doesn’t pick up many channels.

Can you please give me some possible suggestions/tips to resolve my FM radio reception issues on my Sansa Clip Zip?
I’d like to get more FM stations with better reception.

Thank you very much for your time and assistance.
I look forward to hearing from you.

I tried this already, and it is NOT working.

Sansa Clip Zip Firmware 01.01.21

Once its back to the main menu, head to “Settings” >“System Settings”> “Info”, and verify the “Version” is now 01.01.21"x".

Mine is still reading 01.01.21 A?

Thank you.

Have you set your “Region” in Settings > Radio Options to your geographical location, either US or Rest Of World?

And remember, the head/earphone cord doubles as the FM antennae. It should be fully extended (or as close as you can) for optimum reception; coiled up or stuffed in a pocket to prevent dangling, etc.) probably will not work.

As far as your firmware version goes, you have the latest. The suffix at the end (in your case “A”) only indicates you selected North America as you “Region” (different setting from FM) when you initially set it up.


Thank you for your reply.

Yes.  I set my “Region” in settings for US.

The head/earphone is fine - fully extended like you said.

Oh, I have the latest?
I didn’t realize that about the firmware version.

Do I need to download anything at this point?

I appreciate your time and help.


Should I be setting my FM Region to something different?

I just want a clear radio FM reception. :wink:

Have you tried the radio in different locations? Have you tried using the player with a headphone that has a longer cable? Are you near or far from the stations you are trying to receive? If you are close to strong radio stations then you might be overloading the tuner. If you are too far from the stations you want then you might not be getting enough signal and a longer headphone cord might help.

Without knowing where you are and which stations you are trying to receive, I don’t know if the problem is signals that are too weak, signals that are too strong, or adjacent signals that are too strong.


Thank you as well for your reply.

I truly appreciate any help and advice that I can get.

Yes, I have tried different locations, and the reception does vary (in and out) for the most part.

Maybe it’s my location?

No, I haven’t tried using the player with a longer cable.

I’m not the closest to the stations, but other mp3 devices worked fine picking up the FM radio reception.

It very well could be the signal strengths?

But, I can certainly try a longer headphone cord?

Thank you.

If there are mountains or tall buildings nearby, you might be getting multipath, reflection of the signal off these with a slight delay, which interferes with the main signal.

No, there are no mountains or tall buildings, but the signal still may be weak.

NOW, my battery isn’t staying charged.

I hate to say this, but I’m starting to regret my purchase.

I searched for weeks for a mp3 player, and this isn’t what I expected.

I’m just disappointed.

@agreene30 wrote:


Should I be setting my FM Region to something different?


I just want a clear radio FM reception. :wink:

If you are in the US, then the FM Region setting should also be set to to USA. Remember, this is a different setting than than the main 'Region" (see my 1st reply).

Are you experiencing static (no station pick-up ) on both players? Generally, the FM tuner on the Zip is much better than on its predecessor, the Clip+. It even displays the station ID via RDS, or Radio Data System (if the station is broadcasting it) so if your FM Region setting is correct and headphone cord extended I’m really puzzled why you’re not picking up any channels.

One other thought . . . the PAUSE function acts like a MUTE button when using the FM. Make sure this isn’t on. When you tune to a local station you’re familiar with (and should be able to pick up), do you hear static or silence? Static would indicate no reception whereas silence would be the PAUSE/MUTE button is on.

One more thing . . . are you sure the headphone plug is inserted on the way into the jack? The jack is very tight on new players, and may ‘look’ and ‘feel’ like it’s all the way in, when in fact it’s not. Give a little twist and firm push and see if it doesn’t go a little farther in.


Thank you, again.

The FM Region is set properly.

I have some radio station pick-up, but with a lot of static on both players.

I had no idea the Sansa Clip Zip is better than the Clip Zip+ for radio reception.


I do see the station ID and Radio Data System on some of the channels?

No, the Pause button isn’t pressed, but I definitely know when I do. :wink:

I just have bad static in the channels.

Yes, I have my headphone inserted in all the way.
I did notice the jack was tight (facing front of device at top right hand corner).

However, I will make sure that I give a firm push in next time.

Now, why is battery not staying charged on top of all this?
Do I need to replace this device already?

I appreciate all your time and help.

FM on the clip zip is pretty good compared with it’s predecessors. Mine does fairly well compared with my indoor stereo or portable radio, other players might do a little better, but nothing is quite as good as the radio in my auto. Reception does depend on orientation of the headphone cord and you might have to  move this around for best reception.

Sansa clip models are clip, clip+ and clip zip (no zip +). Prior to the clip there were M models. There are also other Sansa offerings such as the fuze.

The old M model using a single AAA battery was quite good for fm. The original clip was also good, mine not quite as good as the old M model. The clip+ that I have was sufficiently poor that I picked up the clip zip. I’ve been told by members of this group that the clip+ could use one of two receivers, mine obviousy having the poorer one. My clip zip is at least as good as the original clip and picks up a range of stations, but this is very dependent on your location.

You might have got a bad unit. Call SanDisk Tech Support and ask them about both the poor FM reception and unusal battery life (although you didn’t say what it was, so i can’t know if it’s out of line or not.). If they deem it defective, they will replace it under waranty for you.

Thank you.

I have notified San Disk about this a few weeks ago.

Best to speak live with them, if possible, rather than sending an email, etc.

I have.

Thank you, again.

I’ll just have to purchase a different mp3 player in the future.

I was hoping for a better device with FM radio reception.

My Samsung U5 was much better, but they are no longer available.

@agreene30 wrote:


I’ll just have to purchase a different mp3 player in the future.


I was hoping for a better device with FM radio reception.

I wouldn’t necessarily take that attitude. As mentioned before, the FM Tuner in the Clip Zip model is very good. You are the only person I can remember (and I’ve been around here for a little while) that has had problems as you describe, and faulty devices are rare and can happen with any manufacturer.

SanDisk is also known for their stellar customer service and replacements of defective products under their very liberal and fair warranty, even in some cases replacing something that was clearly no fault of theirs.

And just to clarify, I do not work for, or have any vested or financial interest in the company. I’m just sharing what I’ve seen here on the forum over the years. I also believe there would be a good number of others here that would agree with what I’ve said.


Points well taken.

Maybe it is my location?

Trust me, I have the worst luck, so I would have a faulty device. :wink:
Seriously, I’m not saying this is the case by any means.

I will certainly contact them once more to see if a replacement device is needed.

No, I greatly appreciate you sharing your thoughts and comments.

You know a lot more than I do, and you have been very helpful to me.

Thank you.

Certainly you would want to try it in different locations to either rule out or confirm the player is at fault. Let us know how is goes. Without giving out your GPS coordinates or privacy, maybe you can give us an idea about where you are located, the FM stations in your area and their proximity and so on.

As menioned above, your headphone cable acts as the antenna for the radio.  And so it can help to use headphones with a long cable and to have the cable extended (and not just wrapped around for storage).