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280 of 283 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the world's best music player just got better
Short version: Overall, an ideal gift for just about anyone and probably the best music player I have ever used. If you want to spend more money - don't buy another player, just invest in some better headphones and a big micro SDHC card.

Long version (because I love listening to music and can't say enough good things about this gadget):

Pros: So...
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by Happy Ears

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153 of 162 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SanDisk - Not worth the box - It is now!
Well thanks to a kind Amazon user responding to my previous damning review I have now unlocked the European volume limiter. This little unit now works fine connected to my hifi. It works really well. The screen is a little small and I havent yet sussed out getting the album covers to show but it is easy to use. For any future potential purchaser that have difficulty with...
Published on 7 Jan 2012 by C. G. Lloyd-morley


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280 of 283 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the world's best music player just got better, 27 Oct 2011
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Short version: Overall, an ideal gift for just about anyone and probably the best music player I have ever used. If you want to spend more money - don't buy another player, just invest in some better headphones and a big micro SDHC card.

Long version (because I love listening to music and can't say enough good things about this gadget):

Pros: So many it is hard to know where to start. Here are some highlights:

1. Unbeatable bang for your buck. (Except maybe if the older clip+ is sold off cheap....).
2. Physically, it's smaller (and lighter?) than a matchbox - great for always having in your pocket or bag. Secure "clip" (of course) so handy for gym, running etc. Jazzy colours are available to put you in a good mood even before you switch on. Decent and bright colour screen to display album art, so easy to see at a glance what you are listening to, which for me was a problem for me with the earlier clip+.
3. Sound quality. This is excellent. In my view, on a level playing field without using their equalizers and on the same 'phones, this player sounds better than any iPod I've listened to and better than my own more expensive Sony S and A series players.("Better" is a subjective thing - so perhaps I should say in my opinion it sounds just as "clean", "detailed", and has enough "umph" and "bottom end" compared to much dearer players).
4. Getting music on it is dead easy by drag-and-drop. No need for special software like iTunes.
5. FM radio with RDS station display. Radio uses the headphone cord as an aerial and works with other `phones.
6. Supports the common music formats, inc mp3, AAC, and FLAC, and for mp3 anyway seems to play "gapless" - nice for listening to concerts without the player inserting silence between tracks.
7. Expandable memory - up to 32GB micro SDHC card. You can also load / update the card without plugging the player into the computer.
8. Micro-USB charge cable - easy to get a replacement.
9. Good battery life on mp3. I got 13 hrs on mp3 v2, and still had a little juice to spare.
10. Earphones are pretty good ear-bud types, easily upgraded - good 'phones can make a huge improvement to how this player sounds.
11. Good volume for headphone listening. This little beast easily powers decent medium sized/quality phones like my trusty Sennheiser PX100s I use at home. The player also has a region-specific volume limit. If you set the region of the player to UK/Europe (whatever the option is when you first switch on), even to my middle aged ears the volume is fine. But this is less than the player is capable of - if it sounds too quiet, like it will if you regularly play it through a car or home stereo, re-setting the Zip and changing the region to rest of world and/or using the replay gain feature with your own music can make it noticeably louder. Personally, I have kids with young ears who mainly use `phones so the EU volume limited setting is fine for us and saves our hearing.
12. Nifty additional features, like recoding from in-built mic/FM radio, and a stopwatch.

Is it a worthwhile "upgrade" if you already have a clip/clip+?

1. Yes - if you want the album art or improved radio/station display.
2. No - if all you want is better overall sound or are hooked on the enhancements free "rockbox" software gives earlier clips (ZIP isn't rockboxable, yet). (*)

Cons: Not really disadvantages, but so you know what you're getting:

1. The software/interface has some bugs so you'll need to keep an eye on SanDisk's website. [...] SanDisk have been known to add new features to the older Clip+ in this way). Nothing much to worry about though, and updating is easy.
2. RDS station name display needed a software update from the sandisk website before it worked on my Zip. Now it is is fine. (I'm in UK). This is a great feature on such a small gadet and worth buying for this alone if you're into radio. If you're player comes with the latest software the RDS should work straight off.
3. FLAC (CD-quality) noticeably hits the battery life compared to mp3. But, it also takes up several times the space and it is debatable whether or not most of us can even tell any difference between high bitrate mp3 and "lossless" FLAC. If you want near-as-dammit CD sound quality without being hammered on battery life or file size, using the player with mp3 recordings encoded by a high quality lame VBR setting should be fine (I use v2, or v0 for my favourite albums). I can't comment on iTunes' AAC playback, though the player is meant to support DRM-free AAC.
4. If you really want something to show your photos on, or play games/videos, look elsewhere (seriously, the screen is tiny and not up to iPod/walkman resolution).
5. Boring colour choice in the 8GB size. I mean it - black and grey???
6. Feels "plasticky", but this is also part of the attraction - after all, if you lose or break it, it won't cost a fortune to replace.
7. Rockboxers will have to wait. (*)

With Xmas coming, a Zip, decent set of phones, and micro-SDHC card would make an ideal musical package for almost anyone!

* EDIT 7.12.11: Since posting this, it has become possible to run "rockbox" on the zip. Rockbox isn't supported by sandisk and people who try this do it at their own risk. I won't be trying it as I'm giving this zip to my daughter as a present and don't want to risk ruining it or voiding the guarantee. There are several internet forums discussing pros and cons of "rockboxing" which are easy to find. I've no connection with either sandisk or the rockbox developers - just think that as it comes, the zip is a really tidy little gadget.
*EDIT 21.6.12 With the latest firmware, RDS now works in UK. I've changed my review as it didn't work when I first bought my Zip.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 27 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. G. Foreman (Mirfield UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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73 years young, love music, heard of MP3 of course but never used it or imagined just how good it could be. If you wanted to listen to good music when I was a lad it came all packed into three hundredwieght of Honduras Mahogany, and NO! you couldn't take it jogging with you. This Sansa is a wonderful little gadget not difficult to get used to, I can even operate it in the dark now. But the performance! After I reset it to "Rest of world". and bought a set of Reid and Heath earbuds, the quality of sound just blew me away. Simply fabulous. A big thank you to the young Techies and sound engineers who put all this gear together and place it well within reach. Seven star stuff really
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Audiobooks, 21 Nov 2011
Perfect little device. Immensely small but quite sturdy. Perfect for Audiobooks. It took me quite some time of research until I found this perfect solution.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and will only get better with Rockbox - also see for low-volume fix!, 19 Nov 2011
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I'll start by saying that I very nearly returned this immediately as completely unfit for purpose: apparently some beancounters in Brussels have decreed that for our own protection, the maximum volume output by any portable audio player sold in Europe must be slightly quieter than a mouse farting. Luckily after a quick Google, I found that circumventing this is a simple matter of changing the player's region from 'Europe' to 'rest of world' (you'll need to do a factory reset and reselect when it prompts you) and voilà; additional volume on tap, up to really ear-splitting levels should you so desire!

I wanted a replacement for a 2nd generation iPod Nano that was never quite the same after getting soaked during the Great North Run. I have a 160GB iPod Classic which pretty much lives hooked up in my car, and a HTC Desire HD w/16GB that I always have on me and onto which I throw a few tunes for when I'm at work or out and about. Neither is particularly portable so I also need a small, sturdy device with the sole purpose of playing tunes in the gym and when running.

Even as a non-Apple person, I must say my old Nano was bloody fantastic. However the new one is way overpriced and the tiny touch screen is infuriatingly fiddly for big man-hands to try and operate when running (I borrowed the missus's once...), so I went for the Sansa Clip Zip.

Three things immediately appealed to me:
- Micro-SD slot to expand memory (put that unused 8GB card out of my phone to use).
- Wide range of format support (Mmmmm.... FLAC ;) )
- Rockbox support coming soon.

So after a week of usage and tinkering, I offer the following observations:

Good:
- Excellent audio quality: all my lossy music is MP3 @ 320kbps and it sounds flawless through my Shure SE215 IEMs. Not tried any FLAC yet.
- Battery life appears to be very good, and pretty much spot on that quoted by SanDisk
- File navigation is quick and powerful. I would like to see an 'all files alphabetically by file name' browse option, but that's nit-picking.
- Standard micro-USB connection and no bloated software required - just appears to the OS as a removable drive.
- Value proposition is absolutely epic! Same price as an iPod Shuffle with 4x the memory and a usable screen, or less than half the price of an 8GB Nano.

Bad:
- UI is a bit quirky and lacking a few basic things like song time played/remaining - uh, seriously guys, this is DAP interface 101 stuff...
- Copying files is sloooowwww - internal memory writes at ~3MB/s, SD card ~2MB/s (same card in my phone writes ~10MB/s)
- Playback of VBR AAC/M4A files encoded by iTunes is sketchy: stuttering and slowdown are evident.
- Skipping through tracks takes too long - it feels like you're holding down the fast forward button for ages.
- Bundled earphones are predictably useless. Surely everyone has a good pair of earphones already: at this price point don't bundle any at all and knock a couple of quid off instead.

Overall 4* - The good points of the Sansa Clip Zip /FAR/ outweigh the bad. AAC playback issues may be a problem for some (I only encoded stuff down to ~160kbps AAC as a necessary evil to fit twice much on my 8GB Nano) but in my opinion it only narrowly misses out on being a 5* product, mainly due to slow file copying and the fact that the UI feels a little unfinished. Rockbox will be along shortly to rectify the latter, and at that time the player will become damn near perfect.

---

Just like to make a quick edit to this review to say that I just accidentally put my Clip Zip through the washing machine and now that it's dried out it still works perfectly. If that's not a ringing endorsement then I don't know what is! :)
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153 of 162 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SanDisk - Not worth the box - It is now!, 7 Jan 2012
By 
C. G. Lloyd-morley "CLM" (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well thanks to a kind Amazon user responding to my previous damning review I have now unlocked the European volume limiter. This little unit now works fine connected to my hifi. It works really well. The screen is a little small and I havent yet sussed out getting the album covers to show but it is easy to use. For any future potential purchaser that have difficulty with low volume, go to settings, factory reset, pick English, then "rest of the world", this unlocks the ridiculous Euro volume setting.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect combo of old and new, 31 Oct 2011
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I'm not going to spend too much time on this, as the first review is an excellent summary of this product.
Anyone who owns/owned one of the previous models will feel right at home with the clip zip - navigation is similar (but improved with a dedicated back button), design is still attractive, quality good and it is as small and convenient as ever.
One of the new features is that the player is now capable of displaying album art. This is a nice addition, even if the picture quality turns out to be a little disappointing. I actually had a hell of a time getting art onto the thing, I use "Music Bee", not media player, and its is great for 99% of tasks but I ended up putting album art on manually. (Opening each album folder on the player whilst it is connected to my PC, and saving a picture of the album art from the net into each album folder, naming it folder.)
The stopwatch is a good addition, although not sure if I will use it much its good to have it there.
The Clip zip also displays the time in the top left, unless I am just a fool, the clip + never did this and it was lacking.
Very attractive, better looking than the last model, I got red which looks great but I'm sure all colours do.
Micro SD is a great feature- I would actually recommend buying the 4gb model, even if you want lots of space, and buying a 16gb card for less than 20.
Start up is a little slow but no big deal.
As always setting location as EU brings a volume limit, this can be reversed but I like to protect my ears, so I resist the temptation.
The handy Clip is obviously still there and works well, although I am going to be gentle as I broke it off the last model by messing around.

All in all the best alternative to apple products, and a loveable little machine.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An alternative fruit in an Apple dominated market..., 23 Nov 2011
Having been never convinced that all things must be Apple (for now, forever...), I had been looking for an MP3 player for about 3 months. I was interested in the Sansa Clip+ as it has excellent reviews. This is the updated version of that tried & tested format, and once found, I quickly decided to take the plunge.

My criteria list included (in order of importance):
* Had to have excellent sound,
* Can take a broad variety of formats
* Was easy to use/navigate,
* Was capable of using SDHC cards for increased capacity,
* Was conforming to micro USB standards (future proof & will mean fewer propritary chargers lying around/having to pack),
* Was relivitely inexpensive so that I could take it anywhere without having to consider what if it was lost/damaged,
* Had a built in radio.

All of these are covered by the Clip Zip and has a few extra gems thrown in including:
* It is a true Plug'n'Play device (using Windows 7), and once set up is not just seen as an external drive on the PC,
* Displays Album Art,
* You can copy your playlists,
* Has an inbuilt 'GoList' playlist function (which is great for marking tracks for future playlists when on shuffle mode).

Drawbacks, for this money there are none really. It won't feel as solid as a Nano and the earphones provided do not do it justice. Just get a proper set of ear buds (I went for SoundMAGIC E10), and be amazed at this little MP3 Player.

R
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lets itself down in the set-up procedure, 24 Feb 2012
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I bought this for working out in the gym, basically to cover up the dreadful Radio 1 type music they play. Even at full volume at home I can still clearly listen to the relatively quiet television in my front room AND carry on a conversation. The unit is also much smaller than the 'enlarged' photograph on the Website, meaning the screen is not as clear as I need.

From reading other reviews I discovered that setting it to European sets a volume limit on the headphones. Getting rid of it is a minefield as the suggested master re-boot doesn't work on mine. I managed to do it through a format and then through the menu programmes. Why the threshold is there, or set so low, for the european market is beyond me.

I e-mailed the manufacturers and got a reply the next day:
"Dear Robert,

Thanks for emailing SanDisk Technical Support. It is our goal to make sure you have all the resources you need to get the most from your product.

I understand that the volume level of your Clip Zip is too low. This level is set as a default due to EU regulations on health concerns. For more information and instructions on how to increase the volume, please take a look at the link below:

[...]

"Clip Zip
1. Reset the Sansa player to factory settings: Settings > System Settings > Restore
2. Set the region as Rest of World.
3. Change volume setting to High: Settings > System Settings > Volume > High"

If they had put that in the manual I would definitely awarded it 4 stars, possibly 5.

An actual size photograph of the menu screen would have been useful, perhaps with a coin or rule beside it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On balance, a good buy if the price is right ., 6 Aug 2012
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When buying a budget mp3 player we have to accept there may be limitations. But I have to say I've found few on this model - few that matter to me anyway, and that's what counts.

I have to say I'm not in the slightest bit interested in syncing etc - in fact I judge an mp3 player on how little software I need to put on my PC. With the Sansa Clip Zip I need nothing more than drivers (provided automatically by Win7) to have my PC treat the unit as a storage medium - and charge it while it does so. I have a large collection of mp3s, largely ripped from my own extensive CD collection, a few from older vinyl. I know there are better methods around now, but to my aging ears good-quality mp3s are fine. All I want is to be able to transfer them to my player as easily and quickly as possible. This the Sansa Clip Zip seems to do admirably - I just treat it as a pendrive.

Sound quality is fine, given better earbuds than those provided (though the latter aren't in fact all that bad - don't throw them away.) The Sansa doesn't seem to display as much exif data as I'd like, but that may yet be down to my learning curve. It does have that most important (to me) feature of offering a folder facility so that sound files can be played directly from folders without having to mess with tags etc.

So - not the ultimate in mp3 players - but a purchase I certainly don't regret making. Especially as it has something that many other players don't offer - a memory card slot. This has the disadvantage that you have to choose that slot to play the files - you can't (as far as I know so far) access both main memory and card memory at once. Not a huge failing for me though - I keep classical music on the card and everything else in main memory.

I do have one small niggle - in fact it may end up being a major niggle. The unit is a bit bare without a decent cover - in fact I worry about it getting scratched and/or the memory card dropping out and getting lost. Silicon rubber covers are available widely - but they're a tiny item for (IMHO) the silly prices demanded. Including a cover with the unit wouldn't have beggared Sansa I feel - many other manufacturers supply one as a matter of course. Especially as what might cost Sansa pennies to include may cost buyers pounds to buy separately. Sansa - we're happy when your goods are cheap, not so happy when you are.

In total though - a nice little player and I like it.

....
Addenda 1...

When I bought the Clip Zip from Amazon, it was with a couple of freebies included.

One was the 'Amazon Basics Portable Stereo System'. This is a cheap 2-speaker mp3-player addon that is in no way worth the 16+ that Amazon claim as the selling price. I wouldn't pay that, and my freebie went straight to our local charity shop. If I didn't have a halfway-decent mini hi-fi system to plus my player into, I'd stick to earbuds before suffering music on these tiny speaker systems.

The other freebie was a couple of pounds-worth of free mp3 downloads. I download a file costing under a pound - got it free OK but the balance of the offer disappeared. I've found that with other 'free' MP3 offers on Amazon - spend part of the voucher and the balance seems to vanish.

Despite that, I still recommend this little player - just don't let these doubtful freebies sway you either way. At the forty-three pounds I paid, the Sansa Clip Zip is worth it anyway.

....
Addenda 2...

The recharge cycle of this unit is proving sub-standard. I bought it to replace a similar-spec Philips unit that eventually died after years of good service. I used to recharge it about twice a month. I'm having to recharge this unit twice a week. Not a labour of hercules but enough to make me subtract a point.

....
Addenda 3...

I have to say here that although I don't regret my purchase at the then (July 2012) price of 43, I DON'T consider this item as worth the current 56 price (Oct 2012) - an inexplicable price hike in such a crowded market.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, 5 Dec 2011
By 
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This player is simply incredible and needs to be seen to be believed. Sandisk have taken all the good of the clip+ and fixed every last fault as far as I can tell. While I enjoyed the Clip+ it had several faults that annoyed me.
1. The buttons weren't great they were small and harder to press than necessary:
The buttons on the Zip are fantastic much larger and only require a light press, the volume buttons are much improved and a quick press of the power button locks the player. Also improved is library scrolling, a double press of the center button gives an alphabet search function, there's no home button anymore but instead a back button which is much more logical, as with the home button a double tap of the return button brings you to the now playing screen.

2. The two colour screen on the Clip+ was fine, but it needed another line because it displayed the track and artist but not album and this often annoyed me:
Again the screen on the Zip is fantastic, it's a decent resolution and displays album art, artist, track, album, time and play mode. Menus are excellent, it uses the same excellent layout as the Fuze+ but without the annoying controls or lag.

3. I own the original Fuze and have briefly owned the Fuze+, the replay gain function worked very well on both of these players using the "song" setting, But it just never seemed to work properly on my Clip+:
I haven't used this new Clip long enough to give a definitive answer but the replay gain function seems to work well.

Overall I was fairly pleased with my clip+ but it just wasn't as perfect as everyone made out, the Clip Zip however is probably better than people are saying. I've read a lot of reviews saying that it might not be worth forking out for the Clip Zip if you already own the Clip+. Well I have to disagree this is a far more polished piece of equipment thats an absolute joy to use, It's also the first small gym style player I've owned thats made me think I could do away my larger video capable player.
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