Workout Music Players by Sansa

December 3, 2008 · 6 comments

Disclaimer: Sansa sent me these two workout music players to review, however I am under no obligation to do so nor to make the reviews positive. These reviews reflect my personal opinions about these music players.

As I wrote recently in Motivated by Music it sometimes takes a bit of a kick in the pants for me to hit the treadmill. I’ve been meaning to put together this review for a couple of weeks now but I had not yet opened the Sansa Clip player until today, when I threw some music on it and rocked out a couple of miles on the treadmill.

Here are my thoughts on the two players sent to me by Sansa.

Sansa slotMusic Bundle with the Don’t Quit Fitness Card

Sansa slotMusic Player

In September a new physical music format was introduced by leaders in music, retail and flash memory technology called slotMusic. These microSD cards work in any microSD-enabled device like mobile phones, MP3 players or computers, allowing you to enjoy DRM-free MP3 music with the convenience of a microSD card.

In October Sansa released a new MP3 player called the Sansa slotMusic Player, which is their entry into the slotMusic market. In addition to releasing the player they also announced a variety of personalized, branded slotMusic players called bundles, one of which is the Don’t Quit Fitness Bundle that I am reviewing here. You can also purchase a growing list of popular albums in microSD format.

The player itself is about the size of a cigarette lighter and comes with earbud headphones and a AAA battery. The device is very simple - there is a slot for the microSD card, a port for the headphones, a volume control, a play/pause button, a rewind button and a fast-forward button. That’s it. While it is heavier than most players its size I think that is actually a design feature because it really feels solid like there is actually some metal in there and not all cheap plastic. Sound quality was great.

The Don’t Quit Fitness Card that is included in the bundle includes a USB-microSD adapter for the computer and contains two tracks, a Workout Mix that I guess I would describe as having a techno beat, and a Rock Mix that seems a little techno too. No vocals on either track, except for some sound effects. This is not music that I would normally listen to but I must admit the base beats did get me pumped up. Using the USB-microSD adapter you could also add additional music because there is about 80% of the 1GB storage still available.

The concept of the slotMusic format and the Sansa Bundles is an interesting one that I think will appeal to certain segments of consumers. Certainly this is not designed for music and computer geeks who want the sleekest MP3 player with room to store thousands of songs. These players are designed for those who need to get up and going quickly with little fuss and with little technology knowledge needed.

The branding concept of the bundle is something I could see a lot of companies jumping on. For example, how about a “Best of NPR” bundle - distribute the player and everything to a large group of people who may otherwise have no way of listening to offline audio. I could also see pre-packaged motivational recordings working well these this.

I think this is a good entry level MP3 player for anyone needing to get up to speed quickly and easily, with little fuss.

The player retails for $19.99, the bundles for $34.99. Individual slotMusic albums are $14.99.

Sansa Clip

Sansa Clip

The Sansa Clip is a tiny MP3 player with big sound and unique features. The storage ranges from 1GB to a soon to be released 8GB. The model I am reviewing is the Sansa Clip 2GB MP3 Player.

I thought my current MP3 player (Creative Zen V 1GB) was small. The Clip is tiny and light. I wore a t-shirt with a front pocket on my run today and I was able to clip it to the pocket with no problem, it’s so light it didn’t bounce around at all and I couldn’t feel it. It comes in 5 different colors - black, silver, blue, pink or red, however that depends on what model you get. For example, if you want silver you’ll need the 4GB model.

The Clip is charged using the USB connection to a computer and the manual suggests a battery life of up to 15 hours, which would be awesome, at least compared to my current MP3 player. The software that is included is Rhapsody, but of course you can manipulate the music from your computer just like you can any other MP3 player.

While the clip is neat and the built-in microphone useful, there is one feature that really sold me:

The Clip includes an FM radio. And it must have a pretty good antenna because it worked very well in my basement workout room where I was able to get a clear connection to my primary radio station which I normally can’t get on other radios.

Because of the handy clip, the small size and mostly because of the convenience of a built-in FM radio, the Sansa Clip is my new workout music player.

The 2GB Sansa Clip retails for $59.99 but is currently selling for $29.95 on Amazon.

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Fitness Blogger December 4, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Good review John. You certainly put the research in. I have to have music when I am running on a treadmill. It can get very monotonous otherwise.

logtar December 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Bass beats do get me pumped up, but groups like Linkin Park do it a lot better.

Levi December 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm

I’ve had at least three Sandisk mp3 players, and my latest is this Sansa Clip 2gb. It’s a freaking awesome choice for workouts, if you get a good one.

In the same order, I got a good one, and one with a screwed up battery that needs charged every night whether I use it or not. So that’s unfortunate, but it works great when the battery is charged!

chelsea December 5, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I am listening to my 2GB clip model right now. The FM receiver was the main reason why I bought mine last year .Sadly, this feature stopped working after about four months. Also, I found it difficult to listen to books on tape because it would not successfully fast-forward more than two minutes. I am getting the “Fuze” model for christmas, though, in hopes that that bugs have been worked out.

LisaNewton December 8, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I’ve never listened to music while I walk. I’m not really sure why, but I’m behind the times as far as music goes. However, this gadget sounds great. I could put the little disc in my cell phone, which I do take with me. (A few months ago, I fell and since then, I take my phone, just in case.)

Thanks for the info…………………:)

Sorry to hear about your fall Lisa - that is a good idea to have a phone with you.

Single December 9, 2008 at 9:29 pm

I think you just talked me into getting the Sansa Clip. I was looking for a small mp3 player with a radio and this one sounds great!

I think you’ll like it. Frankly it didn’t even occur to me to look for an MP3 player with a radio for some reason but now that I have one I love it.

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