Best Sansa Clip+ Alternatives

Back in the old days, when iPod Shuffle was considered the epitome of a small music player, only a select few knew the existence of a better alternative.

The one with the screen and storage capacity far exceeding Shuffle's measly 4GB. Adding songs worked by dragging ang dropping, iTunes who? And with Rockbox firmware, 'twas quite thrilling filling your 128GB Micro SD card. Those days were really the golden days of owning a Sansa Clip+. :'(

my sansa clip pluses my sansa clip pluses2

Spoiler: all my Clips are dead.

Fast forward to 2021, Sansa Clip+ is now a rare, overpriced mess. There's now a gaping hole in the small-light-cheap-sounds-good sector of the audio realm. SanDisk tried to fill that hole by releasing their Clip Sport/Jam models. Why don't they shove their underpowered, less capable, awful versions of the Clip+ into their corporate holes, instead. If SanDisk really cared, they wouldn't have discontinued their Clip Pluses! >:(

The Clip+ was tiny yet powerful!

the sansa clip

Clip: YES
Screen: YES
Storage: Built-in 4GB/8GB memory, can handle 128GB~ Micro SD
File support: MP3, OGG, FLAC, WAV, WMA
Battery: 15 hours~ playback
Features: FM radio with 40 presets, audiobooks bookmarking, voice recording w built-in mic, sleep timer, can be flashed with Rockbox
More features with Rockbox: alphabetical song titles unlike many Chinese daps where the order of songs depends on the time added, plays more audio file formats like AAC, advanced EQ, gapless playback, THEMES and FONTS, last.fm scrobbling, improves sound quality, improves battery life, removes the EU volume limit

The Clip+ was the very definition of a small MP3 player. It was cheap, lightweight and feature-packed.

benjie s5, agptek m20, ruizu x05

Going back to an iPod Shuffle felt crippling having spoiled by the Clip+. Benjie S5 / AGPTEK M20 / Ruizu X05 were serious contenders. They were small, lightweight and sounded almost as good as the Clip+. But they didn't have a clip. They felt lacking. There are Clip clones, but they just aren't that good. You know when you lose something good and you just keep looking for it in others hoping to find better or just as good alternatives? It's a disappointing journey.

So, you ask, what's the best Sansa Clip+ alternative, then?

Real answer:
A cheap refurbished (lol) / 2nd-hand / revived from the dead Clip+

Answer for the sake of listing more capable products within the Clip+ current price range that pretty much defeats the Clip+ main purpose:
HiBy R2 / Shanling Q1

hiby r2, shanling q1

HiBy R2 features:

hiby r2 features

Shanling Q1 features:

shanling q1 features

Hopeful answer:
Philips SA1208 / Philips SA1102

philips sa1208, philips sa1102 mp3 players

Philips SA1208

Has a clip
Has a screen
Built-in 8GB memory
8 hours~ playback
FM radio with 30 presets
USB direct plug design (supports OTG transmission)
No Micro SD card slot :(

Philips SA1102

Has a clip
Has a screen
No built-in memory, needs Micro SD card
7 hours~ playback
Supports MP3, WAV

Philips SA1208 and Philips SA1102 are quite mysterious and elusive MP3 players with so little info available. There are no in-depth reviews online. I'm not even sure if they're real Philips products or just products of imagination. But, thankfully, they're not clones. They're small, lightweight, have a screen, have a clip, easy song transfer, sound good. They scratch an unsatisfying itch. They'll do. For now.

Image credit: aliexpress.com, amazon.com, newegg.com