Great Sound But Shame About The Memory

After recommendation in a hi-fi forum, about the sonic qualities of Sansa Clip, I was very interested in getting one of these especially given the possibility that support for lossless codecs such as FLAC and APE may be coming.


But facility to add memory is sadly missing. Surprising really, considering that it is made by a company that is a leader in microSD cards :dizzy_face:

It’s purely a physical limitation since the Clip SOC supports external flash; the Clip form factor kinda prohibits add-on cards - it’s just too small. Do the other players in this class support external flash (Shuffle, Zen Stone / Stone Plus)? Nope.

The Sansa C200-series will have the same SOC when the C200 V2 hardware comes out (AFAIK,  maybe it’s out already, but there are still C200 V1 HW out there too) so the sound quality “should” be virtually identical, and the C200 supports micro-SD. So if you really need an expansion card, probably should just get a C2xx V2 player.

The 4GB Clip is coming too, and unless you want to spend a large fraction of the player cost on a card to  get this capacity - just wait for the 4GB Clip

If you’re a RockBox hound, the Clip SOC has not yet been ported over, so keep that in mind too. But I’ve owned/own E250, C250, and 2GB Clip and like the Clip best of all despite the lack of RB support. Just don’t need it really as the Clip is great (and getting better) with Sansa’s stock firmware. IMO…

As Click said … many of the Sandisk Sansas support microSD cards.  I think one of the intentional main feature of the Clip is its really small size (and therefore, lack of a microSD card slot).  Of course it also happens to have great audio quality too … I wonder how much larger it would have to be to have a microSD card slot …

Message Edited by PromisedPlanet on 01-19-2008 04:33 PM

Thanks Click for your post.  Lots of useful info there :manhappy:


I have a Sansa Express that is even smaller. But it takes microSD cards.  With the latest firmware upgrade people are fitting 8GB cards that cost much more the the SE.  But I guess, like me they just love the amazing little SE.

Crazy but one guy want to RockBox the SE !!


I got interested in Clip because of comments in the audiophile community. Don’t know if C200 series ever received such acclaim.  Though, I have read some good comments about the sound quality of PMPs from Creative Labs. (hope I don’t get kicked out for saying that! LOL)


I have not listened to any other Sansas. Don’t know what SOC is either. Does it mean that it is a chip of some sort with everything on it including the audio ?



From what I’ve heard, the sound quality on previous SanDisk products is nowhere near as good as the Clip’s.

When looking to buy an MP3 player (my very first) I was on the verge of purchasing something else, mainly because i did not like the idea of a nonm-replacable battery- and I thought interchangeable memory cards would be nice also- but after hearing so many good things about the Clip, at the last minute I changed my mind and bought the Clip…and i am very happy that I did!

BlueMax wrote:
I have a Sansa Express that is even smaller.

Huh, I didn’t know it was smaller … just looked up the specs, that’s pretty amazing.  It has a much smaller display, though, doesn’t it?

Oh Cllipman!  You were on the verge of buying a Shaker, weren’t you?  :smileyvery-happy:

Any way to find out which ‘SOC’ (whatever that is) is in which player?

What is the name of the best ‘SOC’ for best sound quality using headphones?

chris1207 wrote:
Oh Cllipman!  You were on the verge of buying a Shaker, weren’t you?  :smileyvery-happy:

HAHAHAhahahahahahaha!!! ROTFLMAO!!!LOL!!!

Uh…yeah…   (Actually, I was gonna buy the Creative MuVo 2GB…it doesn’t take memory cards either, though…it’s only real “advantage” was the AAA battery- but seeing as how long the charge lasts in the Clip, and that the battery should last at least 3 years…I’m SO glad i went with the Clip!)



looking at the pics of the CLIP, the OLED of SE could be the same size

SE has the same graphics and same 4 line display and number of characters.

Physical size of the SE screen is 22mm x 12 mm.


Don’t really know why CLIP is bigger. Can take a bigger battery?

Weaving in & out here -

“SOC” is “system on chip” and it’s the brains & brawn of the device. Well, most of the brain - the flash storage memory itself is external to the SOC. Anyway it’s been confirmed that the SOC in the Clip (and v2 e200, c200, Express, mebbe some others) is the Austrian Microsystems AS3525. There’s threads popping up all over on this - here, at ABI, and Rockbox forums.

Go here for a link to some information about the SOC

Cheers Click for the explanation and the link.


Description for AS3525 state:

"It has a variety of audio inputs and outputs to directly connect electret microphones, and auxiliary signal sources via a 10-channel mixer to a 16 Ohm /32 Ohm headset , 4 Ohm speaker or auxiliary audio peripherals.’

If that is so all Sansas based on the same SOC should sound the same!

Some  PMPs such as Meizu M3 Music Card has a separate audio chip. The lastest one being Wolfson WM8987 which can play FLAC and APE.


Do the Sansas also have separate audio chips?!

Loads of pics and info in “SanDisk Sansa Clip Disassembled” at

Its got one more chip in it. A DAC on a chip!

I use separate DACs in my hi-fi set up. They can make a huge difference to audio quality.


The V1 e and c series used a different SOC. The V2 versions of these use the same SOC as Clip and Express, AFAIK. I didn’t catch that seperate DAC, it’s a bit strange that they would NOT just use the SOC capabilities, unless Sansa was positioning these players toward audiophiles/discriminating users. And if that were the case, where’s the OGG support and gapless playback?

Maybe they’re “sandbaggin’ it” on some really cool features  :wink:

BTW the flash storage is external to the SOC and is the bigger chip (the one with the leads on opposing ends) adjacent to the SOC, which remains the same for 1GB, 2GB, 4GB (and likely, 8 and even 16GB in the future) Clips.

Message Edited by Click on 01-20-2008 04:59 PM

I’ve also read that the Clip separates its electronics more thoroughly than some other devices, with the speculation that this improves the sound.  Sounds good to me.


Thanks Click for another informative post.

It is Meizu and some others who use the new Wolfsen DAC; from what I read; not Sansa.  And as you say the second chip in the Clip is the memory.


Good to know that Express also use the same chip as the great sounding Clip.

BTW. How to tell V2 or not?

Now, don’t forget, that the SoC and DAC aren’t the only things that have their influence on the sound quality. For example, everyone, who built his own headphone amp (and I believe that some of the members did) knows, that even capicitors and resistors can make a huge change in the sq.
As for BlueMax - try some WMA vbr v98. The Clip copes with them and they sound “pretty” good :slight_smile:

Kilar Ezan, I agree. Quality of the rest of the components and synergy is important. Looking at the pics, Clip is well shielded too.

I already have hundreds of CDs ripped into FLAC and APE formats. Transcoding messes up tags, though I tried hard.

This is the main reason I looking for a player that can play lossless formats. That means having big memories and ability to expand.

I wonder if there are any other players out there that sound as good as the Clip ?!

BlueMax:  "Good to know that Express also use the same chip as the great sounding Clip."

That doesn’t mean the Express sounds as good!

If you’re really as hardcore into music as you sound talking about FLAC and APE.  I don’t know much about the second format but I’m sure it’s users don’t monkey around when buying an mp3 player!  Just buy the 150 or 200 dollar Cowon or Creative Labs mp3 player you really want already.  Then get a Clip for it’s even greater portability!



I was attracted to the Clip after reading about it in the audiophile community about its superb sound quality and reports that future upgrade could add support for lossless codecs. But was disappointed by the lack of memory expansion.


Which Cowon? Which Creative Labs?

Needed for active use so it need to be light weight and flash only. Don’t really need anythng other than audio.

 With 300MB per CD, storing lossless need bags of memory plus expansion slots.

Message Edited by BlueMax on 07-09-2008 05:54 AM