We could hardly overlook the thing that give the Clip its name, the...err, clip. Detachable from the player only by a fairly hefty shove the plastic spring loaded clip is a pretty effective piece of design; push down at the top and it opens, let it spring back and it shuts with a degree of force that inspires confidence in it staying wherever you put it. A raised circular ridge on the clip ensures a firm grip on t-shirts and the like.
When it comes to sound quality the Clip doesn't compete all that well with its bigger brother the Fuze. Back-to-back listening of a couple of classic Jethro Tull albums – Songs from the Wood and Heavy Horses – and Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight showed the Clip to be competent, but unexceptional.
It feels a little on the plastic side, but it doesn't creak at all
With the EQ set to normal the Clip lacked the solid bass and sense of warmth that made the Fuze so pleasant on the ear. Moving the EQ setting from 'normal' to 'rock' improved matters a fair bit, highlighting just how movable a feast the sound quality on an MP3 player can be and anyway as the Fuze is one of the best sounding MP3 players we have comes across saying the Clip is not quite as good is really not major league criticism.
One thing we wish the Fuze and Clip didn't have in common is the rather crumby bundled earphones. We replaced them with our trusty Griffin TuneBuds, which are not only far more comfortable but also considerably better sounding.
Sansa claim a battery life of “up to 15 hours”, the best we managed was just shy of 14 hours, which for a player of its size was reasonable enough.
@USB mass storage device
"Loading the Clip is a straightforward operation as either an MTP or MSC device and it picked up ID3 tags with 100% accuracy."
MTP: Media Transfer Protocol (access with a sync protocol or application)
MSC: Media Storage Class (access as a removable disk)
So you can sync with a crappy software stync tool or by drag & drop as an external hard drive.
USB mass storage device?
That's all very nice, but can you access it as a USB mass storage device? I hate having to use crappy proprietary Windows only applications to manage my music.
Ooooh I have one of these!
It's my 'workout' mp3 player (actually my only one, but that's all I use it for) - it's small, light, cheap & gets the job done. I'm not that bothered about sound quality - it seems fine to me. I think there *may* be a 'increase volume' option somewhere as there was with a previous Sansa mp3 player I had.
Works both with Linux & Windows - can plug it in & it's recognised as removable device. Also, you can create your own playlists (m3u files) under either OS & have them appear in addition to the 'Go list' - useful if you have some tracks that you have to listen to in a specific order (i.e. live albums, etc).
Once complaint is that outside (in the sun) it can be extremely difficult to see the display. Which makes it hard to switch tracks, etc, while running. Aside from that, I love it. I use my own (el cheapo) headphones, so can't comment on the quality of the included ones..