• Easy to use MP3 player
• Strong sounding built in Speaker
• SD Card slot
• Features two headphone jacks for sharing music
• Fun interactive MP3 player via Shake feature and navigation bands
• Very affordable MP3 player
• Cool colors and packaging to attract younger demographic
Minimum System Requirements: (for direct connection only)
• Windows XP
• Windows Media Player 10
• CD ROM Drive
• USB 1.1
• Sansa Shaker
• 512MB Card (in Unit)
• M200 spec type headphones (1 pair only)
• CD with user guides
• 1 AAA Battery
• Quick start guide
When I first saw this unit I knew it was aimed at the kids rather than the more discerning adults, but I didn't let that get in the way of some fun music playing.
First impressions are that it's designed to be more rugged and resistant than your standard run of the mill MP3 player, but I resisted the urge to start dropping it from various heights to see how well it handled it .
I decided to give it the kid test and see how easy it was to use it straight out of the box without the benefit of reading the manual. I am please to say it is very easy to figure out how to use it. There are two rotating/twist bands one located at each end of the unit, these control the volume and the other controls the track selection. At one end is the play/pause button which also doubles as the power button and the control button for the shake (change rack) action that gives this unit it's name.
Uploading the songs is as easy as plugging in the unit into your PC with the supplied USB cable, if you have Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista, Linux or a Mac this will be detected automatically and displayed as a removable drive. If you have Windows 98 then sadly (unless you own a Windows 98 compatible SD card reader) you are out of luck as the Shaker doesn't support Win 98.
There is no LCD display on this unit so the songs play in alphabetical folder/file name order, so if you want a custom playlist you will need to name the files/folders accordingly either before you upload them to the Shaker or once they are on the Shaker by plugging it into your PC and manipulating the files directly on the unit.
The sound quality from the headphones is okay by most standards, however i'm sure there are some people out there who would complain about it, but IMHO they do the job. The sound out of the inbuilt speaker is also okay and as the previous review has stated will fill a small room and would also be good for listening to podcasts at your desk or anywhere else.
The player is made of plastic with a rubberized base to keep if from vibrating off the table. The build quality is very toy-like in feel; however, it also possesses a kid-friendly ruggedness.
What is really nice and will keep your kids from fighting are the dual headphone ports, which not only allow both kids to plug in and enjoy the tunes, but also enable you to keep your sanity by not having to listen to repetitive nursery rhymes or the newest Raffie album. (But really, they will still find a way to fight over it, so just buy one for each kid.)
Operating the Shaker is very simple. The top white band twists to the left or right to control the volume. The bottom band operated in the same way will skip tracks forward and backward; holding it down will scan through the songs. On the front is the pause/play button that also acts as a power button when depressed for a few seconds. Finally, what makes the Shaker the Shaker: the shake control. To keep the player from skipping tracks from accidental shakes, you must hold down the pause/play button before giving it a little up and down shake.
The Shaker is a standard MSC device, so it will show up as a drive and can be used on any modern operating system (Linux, Mac, and Windows). To load music on the player, you can either plug it in directly to the computer via USB or remove the SD card and insert it into a card reader.
Playback: Music plays back in alphabetical order and can be organized into folders. The files play alphabetically by folder, then alphabetically by tracks inside that folder.
Internal Speaker: The internal speaker is decent and will fill a small room with sound. The quality is what you would expect from a single 1" or so speaker. Nothing impressive, but the kids won't really care.
I think that this quality is where the Shaker can cross over to the adult demographic. The Shaker would be a great way to listen to a podcast while sitting at your desk or doing some work around the house by simply clipping it to your belt loop.
Sound Quality: Does it really matter? Will your kids really care? No. But if you must know, it's pretty much unmoving and flat. Nothing you want to plug anything more than the standard included earbuds into.
The Sansa Shaker is not intended for the person reading this review, but rather for their children. If you are an adult considering this as a legitimate audio player, there are better choices, with better audio quality, sold in the same price range. Although clearly aimed at children, I could see this player used by adults as a quick and easy way to listen to podcasts without headphones. For around forty bucks, the Sansa Shaker is a great way to get your kids started early with technology. The Shaker is a kids' toy with the durability and fun factor that will keep them entertained.
Random listing from 'Audio Hardware'...
Lightweight cordless headphones for long time usage
• Lightweight Open-Air Wireless Headphones for Long Hours of Listening Comfort
• Signal Reception of up to 7m (Direct Distance)
• Large 30mm Driver Unit ... more...
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