The Best MP3 Player: The Sansa Clip+

If you’re looking for a way to play a sizable chunk of your music library on the run in a device with minimal size and weight, look no further than the Sansa Clip+. The Sansa Clip has been around for years now and has garnered a reputation as having top notch audio quality in a small, matchbox-sized format which is convenient for jogging, working out and traveling light. The new Clip+ is an upgrade to an already great player, adding a more solid build, support for browsing files which are organized in folders and, most importantly, the addition of a MicroSDHC slot, allowing you to add up to 16GB of flash storage to your player. This means if you got the 8GB Clip+ and added a 16GB MicroSDHC card you’d have a whopping 24GB of flash storage – or if you’re on a budget, you could get the 4GB Clip+ and add an 8GB card for 12GB of storage (knowing you can always upgrade to a 16GB card later when they come down in price). Even with just a 4GB MicroSDHC card, 8GB of music is plenty to keep my ears happy for even the longest of trips.

The Clip+ is available in 2GB (black only), 4GB (black, red, blue) and 8GB (black only). It supports playback of MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, Ogg and Audible (audio book) audio files. The battery life is rated as 15 hours – enough for even the longest flights, but if you happen to need a charge, it has a standard 5-pin mini-USB port, allowing you to charge it with with your laptop and many phone chargers (i.e. older Motorola chargers). It’s 2.16 x 1.36 x 0.6 inches (55 x 35 x 15 mm) and a mere .85 oz (24g) with (surprise) a clip on the back.

In addition to having more storage capacity and superior sound quality, one of the ways in which the Clip+ distinguishes itself from competitors is by having a small OLED display so you can actually see what’s playing – unlike Apple’s iPod Shuffle, where if you can’t remember the name of the song that’s playing, you’re out of luck. It also includes an FM radio with the ability to make both radio and voice recordings – another feature the iPod Shuffle lacks.

All in all, Sansa has improved on an already great MP3 player that delivers amazing bang for the buck in a package that won’t leave you wondering whether to pack it or not and at a price that won’t have you worrying about it being lost or stolen.

Hot Deal Update: Amazon has momentarily dropped the price of the 4GB Clip+ to $39.99 with free shipping.