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SanDisk Clip Sport Go 32GB MP3 Player Black

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IEC 60529 IPX5: Tested to withstand water flow (12.5L/min) at 3 min. Must be clean and dry before use. The SanDisk 16GB Clip Sport Plus MP3 Player lets you take your audiobooks and music with you on the go without having to carry around a larger device like a phone or tablet. For joggers and gym-goers, the SanDisk Sport Plus is supposed to provide the ideal design at an affordable price without compromising on audio quality. I put down my phone and tested the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus MP3 Player for a week to see if its design, performance, and sound quality make it a worthy contender among its competitors. The battery lasts for 20 hours on a single charge, but factors like Bluetooth usage and radio use can affect the battery’s performance. During testing, I was able to play music for 9 hours and 40 minutes straight on a pair of wired earbuds, but I didn’t let the device go into sleep mode at all during that time, and I frequently cycled through the menu options. It’s a 1-inch 128 x 128 pixel LCD display. That’s slightly higher-res than the 96 x 96 pixel screen of the Clip Zip, but it’s still pretty low-res compared with today’s phones, and the 240 x 432 pixel screen of the iPod nano. As we saw with the Clip Sport’s build, it’s not quite Apple-grade. The panel quality is just OK, with pretty severe contrast shift should you turn the screen at the wrong angle. To get a proper view on the SanDisk Clip Sport’s sound quality we compared it with an iPod Classic – a benchmark of reasonable, but not staggering, sound. Maximum volume on the SanDisk is greater, and the width of the soundstage is quite similar.

Based on 3.5 min songs @ 128kbps bitrate. Approximations: results will vary based on file attributes and other factors.

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Sport Plus is clearly targeted towards active users who enjoy jogging, hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. It’s a tiny MP3 player, only measuring 2.6 inches tall by 1.75 inches wide. The featherweight music player has a clip—a must-have for anyone who wants to use their MP3 player on the go. The clip grabs on tightly to clothing, so it doesn’t fall off while you’re on your daily run. The SanDisk Sport Plus has an IPX5 water resistance rating, and you won’t damage the MP3 player with a little sweat or rain. The IPX5 rating means it can withstand low-pressure water jets. There is an EQ to hand too, but it’s pretty poor. The presets are rather crude, and the custom ‘user’ mode isn’t sophisticated enough to be particularly useful. A big sound quality win for the Clip Sport, though, is codec support. As well as the usual AAC and MP3, the player supports FLAC and OGG files. These aren’t supported by iPods, or Sony’s low-cost ‘sporty’ MP3 players. The SanDisk Clip Sport is a small, fairly cheap MP3 player. It doesn’t have the gloss of Apple and there are few improvements over old models, but it is better. You’re asked to select your region upon start-up, and if you select Europe the player is subjected to extremely aggressive volume limitating that effectively ruins the player with any earphones that are remotely hard to drive.

These days a small cheap player doesn’t need to mean a compromise in sound quality. The SanDisk Clip Sport offers decent sound quality and – as long as you don’t select Europe as your region – masses of volume. It’s the same setup we saw in the Clip Zip. However, battery life has been improved hugely since that model. It has gone from 12 hours to 25. These numbers relate to playing 128kbps MP3s on loop, so actual performance will be a fair bit worse. However, it means the difference between charging once a week and every couple of days – a huge improvement. We got through a week’s use off a charge. The MP3 player market is in such a diminished state that we’ve learnt not to expect much ‘innovation’ in new products, and you don’t find it here either. However, it’s a good budget alternative to an iPod shuffle. Verdict You get a pair of earphones in the box, and they’re of reasonable quality. They’re IEM-type isolating earphones – a bit bassy and with just entry-level sound, but not terrible.

But it’s not bad. It’s a full colour display, and the interface makes good use of the colour palette. It’s bright, it’s colourful and quite simple too, with none of the fiddliness of some other budget players.

Aside from the buttons, a lead hardware feature is the SanDisk Clip Sport’s screen. Some MP3 players at the price don’t have a screen at all. You can’t replace the lithium polymer rechargeable battery. But the device has a two-year limited warranty, which provides some peace of mind in terms of the unit’s overall quality. However, presentation of the mid-range is different. The Clip Sport has much more up-front, harder mids, making vocals sound closer to your ears. The softer, more diffuse mids of the iPod Classic are a little easier on the ear, and the Clip Sport can sound a little harsh at times. However, in pure sound quality terms they are roughly comparable – not great, but decent. It works seamlessly with Audible, and I could clearly hear every word Rob Inglis spoke when I listened to Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers while on a walk. Features: Music and Audible books

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There are also none of the neat extra bits you get in one of Apple’s players. The Clip Sport won’t work with earphone remote controls, it won’t remember where you were navigating in your music library should you leave the player for quite a while, and it won’t pause music when you unplug your earphones.

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