Posted 20 hours ago


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About this deal

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. The M11S is insightful enough to make minor or transient information apparent, and it can describe the most nuanced dynamic variations in a solo instrument with ease. It has more than enough headroom to dispatch the big dynamic shifts with no difficulty, and it can also describe a big, wide and properly defined soundstage. The treble is perhaps a little on the bright side, but not so much that we'd consider it a deal breaker. The interface is easy to control. Tap through options using the touchscreen, and select the music you want to listen to. It could be more responsive, but you get used to it. Battery life is around nine hours, which isn't amazing, but not terrible either. As the name suggests, Lossless Audio doesn't sacrifice any of the musical information: the successors to the WAV format used in CDs, which is also lossless, use more advanced technology to take the audio information and make the file smaller without compromising on quality. There are several versions of Lossless Audio including Apple Lossless, FLAC and WMA Lossless, and as you'll see from our guide above you'll often find that the best MP3 players support at least some of those formats.

IEC 60529 IPX5: Tested to withstand water flow (12.5L/min) at 3 min. Must be clean and dry before use.

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. 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

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. It supports a huge range of formats, including DSD(DFF, DSF, ISO), FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, APE, MP3, WMA, OGG and DCF. Music sounds brilliant and with Bluetooth, you can listen on a range of different devices. Although there's no Wi-Fi streaming available. 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. 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.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. 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. 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. Although it hasn't been shouted about, four new and quite different-sounding DAC filters are also onboard, which will work if listening in 24-bit/192kHz or less PCM (although they won't work in MQA and DSD formats) and they certainly add value and scope for customization at the level. If your budget stretches to this player and not a penny more, you won't be disappointed. 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.

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. Others might not have a great deal of space on their phone if it's an older model, so want to store music elsewhere, and some people might not want to use up battery or data when they're on the move. We tested the player with multiple pairs of headphones across multiple price ranges, and were stunned with the clarity and exceptional quality of the audio. There’s a reason the Onkyo DP-X1A sits atop this list – it’s a beast in the portable audio world.

Thank you!

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. MP3 players won't suit everyone, many prefer the convenience of having all of their music on their phones, but there are plenty of reasons why an MP3 player is a great idea for some people. Is MP3 quality as good as CD?

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