What volume settng works for you?

After doing a lot of research, I bought the Clip as my first-ever player.  And I’m really, really pleased…except for one thing:  The overall volume capacity seems low.  

But since this is my first player, I have no baseline to compare and am wondering if something is defective with the player.

So far, I’m using the stock earbuds and have mostly listened to spoken word in a quiet setting. A very comfortable volume setting is about 75% in the “High” setting but on some recordings I have to push it to about 90%. 

I tried another set of (cheap) earphones and got the same results.

But today I tried to use it in my car unsuccessfully.  The Clip was plugged into a GE-branded FM transmitter tuned to an unused frequency.  I had to turn the volume to maximum on both the Clip and my (stock Honda Accord) car radio to hear the recording.
And on the highway, I couldn’t hear it at all.  I realize this test may be the fault of the transmitter so am looking to borrow another portable audio device to test it.

Also, changing between the Normal and High volume settings seem to make little and sometimes no difference.

So as I pursue my concern, I’m hoping others can comment on their experience with the Clip’s volume settings.  Thanks.

(In an another matter, I also noticed a vocal song where the vocal seemed a little high-pitched. So I played the track simultaneously on the Clip and my near-idle PC and the Clip consistently played the track–and other tracks–about one second faster each 60 seconds. I’ll be trying to set up a control test for that one too.)

What equalizer setting are you using?  That’s probably very important.

It should be noted that the custom equalizer setting does not amplify frequencies, and I assume that the Sansa presets are the same way.  They only dampen the frequencies, and after making my own custom setting, the sound quality and volume increased dramatically.

Might want to give that a try if you haven’t already.  It made a world of difference for me.

agreed the customer EQ is your best chance. mp3 companies are limited by how loud a device can be. you have got to love lawsuite happy america.

With my Clip, there is a noticeable decrease in volume when switching from the default EQ setting to one of the other custom EQ presets.

I recommend looking for a headphone with a high sensitivity rating  (-100 db would be good)  its more efficient.

Also the content source level has a dramatic effect.  Newer recordings tend to be much louder.

WIth the car stereo I recommend EQ in the Normal (off) position. also  If you get decent phones you will find that Normal can give you good sound and the max output volume.

The transmitter could be a problem.  In General the High volume setting will scale the max output to a better level.

For Transmitter or car Aux in you want to set the volume out to Max, its normal and safe.


Thanks for your replies but, darn, they don’t help.  My Clip’s EQ is always set to Normal.

Since only one other person in the entire forum has commented on volume being too low, maybe my device is defective. I’ll contact Support.   I’m astounded that there are people who complain their Clips are too loud. Hey, maybe I can trade with them!

More data from my experience:

* When I use other portable devices with my FM transmitter, their volume output works fine. e.g., cassette players, CD players.  It’s actually a great little transmitter–I can choose any frequency I want and I “dial in” to unused frequencies without nearby broadcasts.

* With the Clip, I need to set my car radio’s volume to max volume, amd I mean absolute max.  Yep, not a problem–UNLESS I happen to forget that volume setting when I tune to a regular radio station. Ouch, very painful to my ears and speakers.

* Also, when I set the car radio to max volume, I hear radio interference that i don’t hear at lower volumes. ie., When using other portable devices.  Using max volume doesn’t seem like a reasonable expectation.

* I get the same results with all of my recordings no matter what their source: Ripped CDs, downloaded music and audiobooks, podcasts, etc.  I do rip some cassette recordings I have to increase their gain to bring their audio level up to par with everything else.

Best bet is to call sandisk tech support and see if they’ll rma it.

This also is my first mp3 player but I have found that if you go to Equalizer-Custom_ and raise all the setting bars to maximum this will increase your volume to almost painful level.    Your are correct.  I didn’t see much difference if any swithching from normal to high volume setting.  Good luck.

Thanks for the suggestion! 

Since my posting, I did some Google sleuthing and found a very informative thread that discusses the topic of volume output. Can be found here:


Based on this article and other readings, I get the impression that probably all MP3 players have very similar low wattage output specs.  I can’t find the specs for wattage output so I’ll start by asking if Support can tell me how the Clip compares to other Sansdisk models.  My hunch is that they are all very similar…in which case I think a “headphone amplifier” will be my only solution.   Never heard of those products until just now…there’s always a learning curve when using new technology! 

I’ve now owned 3 different MP3 players - the other two were Creative Zen V Plus and Stone Plus. Over the last two years or so, I’ve tried two wireless FM interfaces to hook to the car system (like you), and was very unhappy with sound level and the quality. I had a cassette player in my car; I found that there are $10-20 adapters will give you  much better sound level and quality. A little more hiss than the direct-wired Aux Input, but lot’s cheaper than a new head unit. I used one for about a year, and was happy with the set-up.

When I bought a new ride earlier this year, I put in a $160 Sony head unit with a real Aux Input, and this works the best for me.

Hope this helps. I just bought an adapter at Radio Shack as a second gift (getting a buddy his first MP3 player - the Clip). They’ll likely let you open the pack and let you try-before-buy. 

Another thought - could the jack inside the Clip be dusty/dirty? I’ve had this happen before, and cleaned it by getting a headphone plug and really cleaning it well with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth. Then, I dipped the plug into the alcohol, let the excess drip off, and then inserted it several times into the player. Make sure it’s powered OFF - and leave it off for a few minutes to make sure any alcohol that remains inside has evaporated. This worked for me.

For the record, the Clip is the easiest to use, handiest player I’ve tried. It also has the best, brightest display - I can browse on it much easier than an iPod or Zen.

Oh, and I highly recommend the Firmware Upgrade to 01.01.18A. It really makes browsing faster and easier.

Message Edited by GM_Drives on 12-22-2007 12:45 PM

After changing firmware on my Sansa Clip I found that it become to play music with lower volume.

Equalizer doesn’t help me.

But I found 1 interesting option in my Sansa:


And check High here. IT really helped me, I hope it will help you too!!! :smiley: