Initial review of 4GB Fuze - it's good!

Having owned the Fuze for a full day now, here are my initial thoughts on this player.

Sound Quality - Excellent.  I have owned a 2Gen Nano, a 1Gen Shuffle and an older Sandisk SDMX1-256R.  Fuze sound quality is the best of the lot, even over the oft touted 1Gen Shuffle.  (IMHO the shuffle was very overrated for SQ)  My recordings are generally 128k MP3 or 64k WMA.  Using a variety of earbuds, the Fuze outperforms for clarity.  I have noticed that the sound level is quite higher with the Sansa buds over 2 of my Sonys that have been favorites.

Navigation - Good.  I was somewhat confused at first about when to back navigate and forward navigate when hitting the “menu” button during song play to move to other songs.  Once I fugured it out, it makes sense.  Podcast navigation is OK.  I love the fast forward functionality in book or podcast files.  Starts slowly and then ramps speed as you progress through the file and offers very good control - meaning I don’t often overshoot where I want to go in a file.  I am not bothered by the fact that hitting the next button does not forward to the next podcast - but would be fine to change this on next upgrade.  

I will also add that my playback does not skip while moving through menus or scrolling through song selections - playback is flawless.

FM Tuner - Good. Reception for the most part gives me local channels.  Having temporarily owned other units with FM tuners (Rio and Memorex) Sandisk players have the best radio reception.  Not as good as a car for numbe of channels recieved, but it does pick up the ones that I want.  Easy to set stations as presets using the menu button.  One note - do not auto add after manually inputting presets.  It will erase them and only input the ones “auto searched”.  Not sure why that happens, but it does,  so beware.  One huge note here  - the quality of my FM record function is sporadic.  When recording begins, the radio reception goes to mostly static with the radio station broadcast in the background, making it unlistenable while recording.  Also the recording has mucho static.  Not sure if I got a bad unit or if this is how it’s going to work.

“Audio out” - Good.  My van has an aux port to connect ipods from headphone jack.  Connected my Fuze and the sound quality was excellent.  Yes, you do have to turn the volume up to nearly max on the Fuze to get the volume in the car OK.  But, I did not hear any distortion or other sound defects.  I connect my daughter’s nano and my Ipaq to the car and they all need max volume to deliver sound through the car.  I’m satisfied.

File Compatability - Very good.  No problems playing all of my files.

Video - OK.  Used media converter to transfer a movie file (The Rocketeer) that I have formatted for my Ipaq.  Initial file was a 230 MB avi file at 30fps and 320X 240 resolution.  Playback is slightly choppy, but not to the extent that it is unwatchable.  Would be good to see if the video would be smooter with a higher quality source file.  

Summary - I really like this player for sound quality and most of the other features,  but I do have an issue with FM recording.

Message Edited by John-B on 08-30-2008 03:58 PM

I’ve had mine for 3 weeks now and am very happy with it.  Bought it due to the features it has, radio etc but the thing that swung it was the micro sd card slot.  I have a Creative Zen which I’m happy with it but the Fuze is so much easier to transfer files than the Zen.  Everyone who’s seen it is impressed with the features it has, the price and the overall look of it.

One small gripe would be the position of the headphone socket but that’s a small thing in the overall satisfaction of the player.

As it’s relatively new here in England I’m finding it difficult, if not impossible to find any kind of accessories, but I’m sure that will improve over the coming months.

I’m one happy customer.

I am enjoying my Sansa Fuze too. 

I don’t mind not having a lot of accessories available, saves me some money :wink:

I also am not a fan of the radio song saver.  I’m just not bothering with that.

How’s the speed of scrolling for you guys? Is it fast enough?

@joshtee wrote:
How’s the speed of scrolling for you guys? Is it fast enough?

You mean going through songs to try to find the one you want?  I would like it faster, but it seems fine with me.  Unfortunately I didn’t listen to much music at work (now I can) so I didn’t label my songs, so Have a few CDs on my MP3 that say 01Track01 and then 02Trck02.  So if I try to find a song it can take forever to get past those.   So I never do that.  Other then that I don’t have to scroll through much so the speed is ok.

The scrolling is OK if you don’t have many items to get through.

With an 8GB Fuze + 8GB microSDHC, I have 2,448 songs on my Fuze (and its not full!). “Artists” and “Albums” are pretty unusable - it takes me 48 revolutions to get through all of my artists, and 56 spins through the albums (it would be several times that many revolutions if I didn’t disable album art in lists). Getting through the songs would take somewhere around 250 spins (though there’s no way I’ll ever try that; the Song menu is best avoided).

I use Genres very carefully; its the only way to make this little beast usable with lots of music.

Good to know to use Genres for music.  I keep adding to my music.