sansa clip black

Do you ever get bored when you work out? Perhaps you’re riding an indoor trainer, running on a treadmill, or just running laps on the track, around and around and around…

When I do that, I get bored out of my mind! But the simple fix is to carry an MP3 player. Then my workouts go from “monotonous exercise” to “listening to some good music.”

You can’t get just any MP3 player, though. You need one that’s easy to use, easy to carry, and tough enough to withstand a workout. I have found that MP3 player, and it’s called the Sandisk Sansa Clip.

Here’s why I chose the Sansa Clip:

The Price. I would be very hesitant to carry a $300 iPod during a trail run due to the risk of damage. So the $50 price tag on the 2 GB Sansa Clip (back in 2008) was perfect. If it would ever break, replacing it won’t drain my bank account.

Prices have dropped consistently, and you can now get a 4 GB Sansa Clip for only $35. Even the 8 GB version is under $50.

Size and Weight. The Sansa Clip is tiny! This player is very small and light, and the built-in belt clip allows it to attach to your waistband. You don’t even notice you’re wearing it.

I’ve tried using other MP3 players and cell phones, and after using the Clip, they’re simply too bulky!

The Clip. Like I said, this thing just clips right onto your waistband. That’s awesome because even if you have pockets on your running shorts (unlikely,) it sucks having an MP3 player in one. Arm bands are even worse – they are uncomfortable and don’t stay in place if you’re moving your arms.

So the clip is awesome! (But if you don’t like the clip, you can actually slide it off to make the unit even smaller.)

Built-in Battery. The Sansa Clip has a built-in rechargeable battery. There is no need to buy a bunch of AAA batteries or special chargers – you simply plug this into your computer’s USB port and it charges automatically.

sansa clip black

Easy to Use. First, the buttons are self-explanatory. Play, pause, skip, etc. And it has a “hold” function so your body movements don’t accidentally switch songs or pause it inadvertently.

Second, you don’t need any special software like iTunes. I load music on this player by dragging and dropping it from my computer, just like this is a USB thumb drive. Fast and easy!

(If you want to get fancy, you can sync playlists through Windows Media Player.)

Durability. The key to a good MP3 player for our purposes is flash-based memory. Hard drives are fragile and might skip or break while running normally, but the flash memory in the Sansa Clip is rock solid.

And for the most part, the entire device is solid. I have had a few issues, but every single one of these Clips (I think I’ve had five now) lived a long and happy life before crapping out!

About those problems…

When you use electronics for six years, you’re bound to run into a few problems and hassles.

On my first player, the battery life sucked!

Let me start by saying that I set up three of these Sansa Clips for family members in 2008. First I set up the players for my mom and dad, loaded music, tested them, etc., and they were perfect.

But when I set one up for myself, the battery would die in no time! The claimed battery life is 15 hours, and I’ve heard of people getting as high as 17-18 hours if they use low bitrate files. But I was lucky to get 10 hours of battery life from a four hour charge!

That’s not the worst part though. I’m lucky to get the claimed 15 hour battery life even when this thing is turned off! Typically the charge is drained in one day, even if I don’t turn the thing on! It was like the battery was constantly being drained as if it was in use.

So if I’m going to run 3-4 times a week for an hour each time, that’s a mere 3-4 hours of required playback. But the player still needs charged each and every night!

If I don’t have access to a computer each night, I’m sh*t out of luck! (My other MP3 player with rechargeable AAA batteries was less hassle than this.)

Then we broke a clip mechanism.

The actual plastic clip on my mom’s Sansa Clip broke off after about a year of use. One day it just snapped.

And another was laid to rest after five years.

One of the Clips I got in 2009 finally reached the end of its lifespan in late 2014. First, the display went. Then the battery life diminished. Then it would no longer connect to the computer. Finally, the battery quit holding a charge, rendering the unit useless.

My final verdict is…

The Sansa Clip is definitely a good MP3 player for athletes. It’s great for running and good for working out – I don’t think there’s a better choice available. It’s small and light, pretty tough, cheap, and might last for five years!

So despite my bad luck with a couple of these, I’d be willing to buy another one from Sandisk (which would be the upgraded Sansa Clip+ now.) Of course, I’ll have my fingers crossed that the new one works properly!

Official website: www.Sandisk.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Sandisk
Product: Sandisk Sansa Clip MP3 Player
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-10-24
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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4 Comments
  1. I love my Sansa Clips — I have two of them. But the plastic clip has broken and the metal spring no longer works. I’d like to find a replacementplastic clip. Any ideas?

  2. @Roger

    If Sansa sold spare parts, that would make things so easy. The clip is made to be removeable so it would be so simple to replace if the part was available for $1 or so.

    But I don’t think they offer spare parts (since they don’t even do repairs.) And I haven’t seen any “accessories” that would help.

    The only solution I can think of is finding someone with a broken Clip, where the belt clip is fine but the LCD screen or something is busted. Maybe you could find one real cheap on eBay, but it’s a crap shoot.

  3. @Roger

    Out of my family’s 5 Sansa Clips over the past 4 years, three are going strong and two have broken – one was the battery, the other was a broken clip like you experienced!

    Unfortunately we couldn’t engineer a quick fix for the clip.

  4. And another one bites the dust! Looks like I might be in the market for a new MP3 player! (I’ll update the review shortly.)

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