SanDisk Clip Sport MP3 Player Review
Using the Clip Sport, battery life, and final thoughts
Over the last several weeks I have been using the SanDisk Clip Sport every day for my morning walks, and afternoon workouts. So it has been used daily and been through many charge cycles.
Loading music is pretty straight forward. You can access the unit like a flash drive and drag your MP3s to the Music folder on the unit. If you so choose you can use play lists. The SanDisk Clip Sport uses M3U play lists that are stored in the folder with the songs. The unit is smart enough to sniff out what artist and albums you put on the unit without the play lists, but thats only if your MP3 tags are correct. If you have the album art embedded into the MP3 it will display that as well when the song is playing. The one thing that can be a little annoying is that internal storage and the SD card can not be used in tandem. You can access one or the other, but things like the Shuffle will not go from internal to external on its own.
The interface is extremely simple to navigate. Switching between MP3 player, FM Tuner, and the stopwatch can be easily done, even when running. The finer details in the submenus, that will very per users ability to walk and chew gum at the same time.With my use, the most interaction with the controls while working out was with the stopwatch feature and hitting the center button for lap count and split times, with the rare backing up to the MP3 menu to change the station on the FM tuner, or skip a song. The Timer function is not all that great, it can not be set for anything shorter than 60 seconds and when it finishes counting down it pauses what ever you have playing and they you have to not only restart the timer but the music as well. Rather than chiming once and letting you restart it with the press of the center button.
The battery life varied depending on how much I used the FM tuner. If I ran just MP3s I would get through the week on one charge for just my work outs, couple days of constant use while at work. Bringing the FM tuner into the mix that changed things up a bit. A solid hour of FM tuner use there is a noticeable drop in battery charge. Using the FM tuner while setting at my desk, the battery lasted my 8 hour work day; but needed to be charged that night to be ready for the next day.
The SanDisk Clip Sport uses a standard mini USB connector for the charging and file transfers. This is nice as most cell phones use this connector so stands a good chance you have alternate chargers in the car and desk at work already that will charge during the day if needed. Getting to a full charge takes about 3 hours from completely dead.
The SanDisk Clip Sport is a very nice little no-nonsense MP3 player. It is super easy to use, light weight, and very affordable. The ability to expand the stock 4GB or 8GB capacity with an external microSD card is also nice. Since it is so affordable, you wont be as upset if it gets stolen or destroyed at the gym as compared to say your smart phone.
There was only a couple draw backs I could see to the unit. The timer, for me, is just about useless. With it pausing the music and having to back out of the menu, restart the music, then set the timer again. It was just a pain. So I didn’t use it. The other is the non-merging of the internal and external memory. After a couple days of use I was able to get used to it, it was mainly remembering where I put what songs. After a couple weeks I just ran the external SD for all my music. Was easier and quicker to load music to the card on my USB3 card reader. The Clip Sport refreshes pretty quick, so no long waits as it scans for changes. Some may not like the larger foot print of the Clip Sport over the older Clip+. I like the large size as I have large hands, and the larger screen is nice while on the move. The larger font on the menus is easier to read than those on the Clip+.
Now if you are thinking that this would be a good candidate for Rockbox, well don’t get in to big of a hurry. From what I have seen and read the Clip Sport is not compatible as of this moment. That’s where the Clip+ and old Fuse units still have a place.
Currently the Clip Sport can be found for $39.99 for the 4GB models and $49.99 for the 8GB models. Just need to pick the color and you’re good to go. You can easily add a 32GB microSD card for under $22 shipped and end up with enough storage for your the larger portion of your music library!
Legit bottom line: The SanDisk Clip Sport is a very nice little no-nonsense MP3 player. It is super easy to use, light weight, and very affordable