I was listening to my fairly new Clip+ (had it one month) when the playback started to act funny, like a CD skipping, and then half the vocals dropped out. No matter which song I listen to, the vocals are garbled. I tried fooling with the EQ setting, reformatting the player, updating the firmware, everything I can think of – no use. It feels like one of those things that “just happens” to the Clip, like a cheap design flaw. Infuriating to have to send it back when I just got it.
Check to see if your head (or ear) phone plug is pushed in all the way. The internal jack can be very tight on new units, fooling people to believe it’s in all the way when it really isn’t.
Something like this could cause the symptoms you’re experiencing.
A simple question: and you reset as well, right (hold the power button down for 20-30 seconds)?
Missing vocals is symptomatic of a missing ground (common) connection at the headphone. Since you are listening to the difference between channels when the ground connection is missing, you will not hear the monaural part of the recording.
This is usually the vocals! Try reinserting the headphone plug, or try a different headset to rule out a problem headphone cable.