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Sandisk Sansa Clip 2GB MP3 Player Review

sansa picture

Sandisk, known for making quality MP3 players at a low price, has made what is possibly "the best low-price player." And this would be the Sandisk Sansa Clip. It's cheaper than the iPod Shuffle, and it has way more features!

The 1 GB model is about $35, with the 2 GB model coming in at just $50. The iPod Shuffle starts around $50 for 1 GB, with their 2 GB player at around $70. And the Shuffle doesn't even have a screen!

The audio quality, even with the stock headphones, beats a lot of other MP3 players. (Try some Maximo iMetal headphones and the sound should improve even more.) The Sansa Clip looks good, too, and it's easy to carry around thanks to the built-in clip.

While the Sansa Clip is great all around, it's perfect for use in the gym while working out. It's small and light so it doesn't get in the way, and it's tough and durable thanks to the internal Flash-based memory.

It would also do well for any situation where it might get lost or stolen. ($50 for a Sansa replacement is better than losing a $399 iPod, that's for sure.)

Now for the details...

sansa clip on pocket

weight and size

It's very small and light. It is a tiny bit bigger than the iPod Shuffle, but it's still small.

audio formats supported

MP3, WMA, and secure WMA. Also supports ebooks direct from Audible.com.

memory capacity and format

The Sansa has 2 GB internal flash memory. Great for "on the go" use in the gym, when you go jogging, gardening.

battery type and life

Operates on an internal rechargeable battery which has a claimed life of 15 hours. I was getting about 15 hours in my tests.

It's very easy to charge - just plug it in to your PC via the included USB cable. However, the charge time can take up to 5 hours.

While the battery life was good, I was disappointed in the standby battery life, though. After a full charge, the player sat for a week without being used, and it went completely dead. (It would be nice if it held a charge at least a week, in case I need to use it unexpectedly and forgot to charge it recently.)

displays and appearance

The display is small but easy to read. It uses a yellow highlight and blue text on black background. Yeah, it sounds odd, but it's actually nice, indoors and out. (This is where it really beats the iPod Shuffle, which has no display at all.)

The menu works well. I wasn't too sure about it beforehand, with the dual-purpose wheel and the home button, but I picked it up in no time. The only trick is that you have to hit buttons twice sometimes. For example, if the display has turned off (which it does after 10 seconds or so,) you have to hit a button to turn it on, and then hit the button again to do something like pause the music.)

sansa connected via usb

interfaces and transfer

Just a USB cable, and it works great. The Sansa will sync to Windows Media Player if you want, but I'm happy to just drag and drop albums, pretending the device is just another folder on my hard drive. Files transfer plenty fast, too.

I just plugged it in to my PC (running Windows XP) and it was recognized instantly.


No software is needed, although you can use Windows Media Player to create and sync playlists to the device.

sansa ear buds


It has an FM tuner with 40 programmable station presets, voice recording, earbuds, etc. All included. (Another example of how this beats the iPod Shuffle.)

There is no case or arm strap, but I prefer the built-in clip anyway. It clips on anywhere, and it keeps weight down. (An arm strap would weigh more than the MP3 player itself!)

The clip is removeable, too, in case you just stick the Sansa in your pocket.


The USB cable is fine. It's short, but I like that. It might be bad if your USB ports are hidden on the back of your computer, but that shouldn't happen unless your computer is really old.

If I had one complaint, it's that the headphone jack is on the side, right above the volume control. I'd rather have it on top to have a cleaner line for the headphones, but it's a minor complaint. (The cord bends a bit from edge of my pocket to my head, and it can be a hassle to reach the volume control.)

the verdict

Buy it!

I'm very happy with mine. I actually got a red one and a black one to match my outfits. (Well, it was more to have a backup on hand, but the color coordination doesn't hurt!)

(Note that the red looks great in real life, much better than the product pic at Amazon.com, which isn't that great.)

go shopping

I got my Sandisk Sansa Clips at Amazon, and you can too:


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