SanDisk Sansa e140 review

Price when reviewed

Don’t judge the Sansa from its dated looks, because we were hugely surprised by the quality of the audio it produces.

The piano intro to Muse’s Bliss sounded authentic, and when the guitars and drums kick in it’s hard to suppress the air-guitar urge. Calmer bass lines were powerful and rich, giving warmth to Eric Clapton’s Change the World and adding funk to Beck’s Beercan. To get the same clarity from the high end, we had to fiddle with the EQ settings and boost the 250MHz channel.

The audio quality is largely down to excellent noise-blocking earphones; on other players, these produced the same strong bass-rich sound. The Sansa is unusual in having an expansion slot too, which takes SD cards up to 2GB in capacity, but there’s also 1GB of onboard memory. And the integrated FM radio tuner picks up a signal fairly easily.

We often got lost hunting around the menus, though, and the cheap buttons feel flimsy and unresponsive. Add these faults to the dated style, and the iriver or iPod nano are much more desirable. But the sound quality is impressive nonetheless, with ten hours from an AAA battery.

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