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Lifewire / Erika Rawes
Includes earphones and backup buds
Good battery life
Audible file support
Has no slot for memory card
Spotty Bluetooth connectivity
The SanDisk Clip Sport Plus MP3 player has some perks, like water resistance, a durable design, and support for several file formats, but the lack of a MicroSD card slot is a major shortcoming.
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.
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 screen is a 1.44-inch TFT-LCD, but it looks and feels pretty retro. It’s a non-touch color screen, but it feels reminiscent of a color screen from back in the early 2000s. On the bright side, the font is large enough to see from a few feet away, so you can see the menu if it's clipped to your waist or an armband. The button controls are intuitive and easy to navigate, so you won't waste time fumbling around, trying to find your favorite song or audiobook while you’re exercising.
The SanDisk Sport Plus is extremely light—so light, you can barely feel it on you. In addition to a charging cable, it includes a pair of in-ear headphones and two sets of replacement buds for the headphones. The wired headphones are pretty basic, but they stay in the ears well. However, if you stick the buds too far in your ears, they can create an uncomfortable suction.
When using the included earbuds, the sound quality is decent in the middle volume settings. Pop and rock songs tend to sound better than hip hop songs with heavy bass, as the bass is scratchy with the included earphones. I listened to a download of the song Chains by Nick Jonas, and it sounded scratchy on full volume with the included earbuds.
When I switched out the earphones for a pair of Bose earphones and adjusted the equalizer to the full bass setting, the sound improved dramatically. There are equalizer settings for pop, rock, jazz, classical, funk, hip hop, dance, full bass, and full treble. You can also customize equalizer settings. This SanDisk Sport Plus has one of the most impactful equalizers I’ve tested—you can hear a major difference between each of the equalizer settings.
When I switched out the earphones for a pair of Bose earphones and adjusted the equalizer to the full bass setting, the sound improved dramatically.
This is an excellent music player for audiobooks. 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.
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.
You can add both lossy and lossless music files into the SanDisk Sport Plus, which supports WMA (NO DRM), AAC, (DRM free iTunes) WAV, FLAC, and Audible AAX in addition to MP3. But oddly, there’s no MicroSD slot. The music player has a 16 GB capacity, which is enough to store up to 4,000 MP3 songs, but lossless format file sizes tend to be pretty large, so I was disappointed at the lack of expansion potential.
The MP3 player has a radio that works pretty well, and a number of menu settings I found useful. For instance, there’s a stopwatch and timer, which are helpful for timing workout sets. The player has Bluetooth, but only a transmitter and not a receiver, so you can connect a pair of wireless earbuds or a Bluetooth speaker, but you can’t connect to a phone or PC via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection is spotty, and it went in and out even when I had the player clipped to my clothing and my Bluetooth earbuds in my ears. The Bluetooth range, though not published anywhere in the spec sheet, appears to be about 10-12 feet. After about 12 feet, I experienced frequent drop offs.
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.
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.
The SanDisk 16GB Clip Sport Plus MP3 Player sells for around $60. Even though the price sounds pretty affordable, it’s a bit too high for this unit. You can find the renewed version for a much more reasonable $35.
The Agptek Clip sells for $28, so it’s about half the price of the SanDisk Sport Plus. The Agptek has a secure clip like the SanDisk, and it’s also designed for exercise and activity. But instead of the device itself being water resistance rated, the Agptek includes a water-resistant case to help protect it from sweat and moisture.
The Agptek also has Bluetooth transmission capability, and even comes with an armband on which you can clip the MP3 player. The SanDisk Sport Plus looks higher quality than the Agptek, as the SanDisk has a larger, clearer screen. It’s also more Audiobook friendly, and it has a cleaner design overall. But, the Agptek has a MicroSD card slot and a more affordable price.
A solid MP3 player for listening to songs or audiobooks during a workout.
The SanDisk Sport Plus has a few issues, mainly its lack of a MicroSD slot and spotty Bluetooth connectivity, but its design and other features will make it desirable for some users.