Sansa clip volume issue with 'clipping' or 'pops' when connected to car stereo

I have two Sansa Clips (2gb and 4gb) that both exhibit the same behavior.  When listening to the Clips with headphones, everything is fine.  However, when I connect the clips to my car stereo (using a miniRCA cable to the dashboard stereo) the Clips will play OK but the problem is that due to road noise etc, I need to turn up the volume both on the in-dash sterero and the Clips.  However, when I do this, at a certain point, the Clips will “clip” or “pop” when the sound gets to a certain level.  I have tried changing the volume back and forth between normal and loud, and also played with the equalizer with no effect.  My car stereo volume is maxed as well.  This is a real problem since it’s virtually impossible to listen to the Clip when driving (especially with podcasts or audio books where sometimes the speaking voice is low, so I need to crank up the volume).  Is there some kind of limiter built in to the Clip?  If so, is there any way to disable it?


In some versions of the software, there is a sound limiter–check under Setings/Volume.

Thank you for your reply.  I had already checked that – that’s what I meant when I said I had tried changing it from normal to loud.  As an aside, I forgot to mention in my original post that both of my Sansa Clips are using the latest 01.01.32 firmware.

Anyway, I hope this is not a built-in limitation.  If any Sansa engineer happens to see this, please consider for a future firmware update bumping up the maximum output without clipping.

I dont know how you are set up exactly but try a different cord to connect to the car. It may be such a thing as the cord you have cant handle the out put.

Well, I’ll be.  That did it!

The strange thing is that the cable I was using worked fine with another mp3 player I have (Cowon).  I could crank up the volume and had no clipping or pop.  But with the Sansa Clip, I had the problems.  Thus, I never thought to check the cable.

Regardless, I tried the Sansa Clip with another mini RCA cable and it worked great.  Thanks, Conversion Box!

Sounds like a bad headphone jack that plagued some of the Fuzes and Clips. Every player I’ve seen with the hi-volume stutter/skip problem has been due to the jack. Some people are putting small washers on their headphone plugs to space them out a small amount to avoid the problem. Do a test: connect your “bad” cable and pull it out slightly, about .5 to 1mm, and see if the problem goes away. The good cable worked because the contact centers on the plug are slightly different. The root cause is defective jacks due to improper contact position causing leakage across the L and R channels. Some plugs work and some plugs don’t depending on their ring spacing tolerance.