By May 23, 2009

SanDisk Sansa Express Review

Sound quality, ease of use, capacity and size are all attributes that you would consider when buying an MP3 player. It seems from previous posts from my fellow reviewers that SanDisk’s Sansa range have been a hit and match up to these attributes.

Sansa_front The SanDisk Sansa Express

Through this review we will see if Sandisk have done it again and brought out yet another impressive MP3 player with the Sansa Express – or have they dropped their standards?


What’s in the Box:

  • SanDisk Sansa Express MP3 player
  • Headphones (3.5mm plug)
  • Quickstart guide
  • CD (with PDF guide and other software)
  • Sansa stickers
  • Music downloads leaflet
  • Important info leaflet
  • USB extension cable
  • Lanyard

For more info check out Matt’s unboxing video 


SanDisk Sansa Express specification:

  • 1GB internal memory (2GB model available)
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) 1 in x 0.7 in x 3.1 in
  • microSD slot to expand your capacity and provide portability of music
  • Direct USB connector-No cable needed 
  • New sleek, compact design      
  • With this MP3 player you can enjoy music & FM radio
  • Built-in Mic for Voice Recording
  • Four-line, bright OLED screen
  • Digital FM tuner, with FM recording
  • Simple to use controls for fast device interface navigation
  • Supports MP3, WMA, protected WMA, WAV, and Audible files
  • 15-hour, rechargeable lithium polymer battery life



Front – The four line OLEB display can bee seen in this picture. There is also the playback controls which act as a navigation D-pad when in the menus

sansa-express-main SanDisk Sansa Express – front view


Bottom – the volume buttons are located here.

Sansa_side_a SanDisk Sansa Express – bottom view


Top – The power button and hold/lock switch can be seen here.

Sansa_side_bSanDisk Sansa Express – top view


Left – The USB connection is located on this side and it covered by the cap shown here. The lanyard attaches to the cap.

Sansa_connector SanDisk Sansa Express – left view


Right – The microphone, 3.5mm headphone socket, space for MicroSD card (up to 8GB)

Sansa_end_viewSanDisk Sansa Express – right view



  • Looks stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • FM recorder
  • Inbuilt USB – no USB cable required


  • Unable to delete files/track via the player itself



SanDisk’s Sansa Express is a very affordable MP3 player. Now, normally you can following the saying, “You get what you pay for”, but not in this case. The Sansa Express looks like it would be more expensive – a great looking gadget!

The OLED display is completely flush to front of the MP3 player which really adds to the look and the minimalist buttons make it quite stylish.

Matt mentioned on the unboxing video that the lanyard is made of wire (like earphone wire) and with the way it is packaged its all creased up. It’s actually not a problem though as although the player is very lightweight it is still heavy enough that the lanyard straightens out no problem. The earphones on the other hand. the wire on these don’t straighten out as easily. But I wasn’t bothered as I didn’t really use them that much. I’ll explain why later.

This model is only 1GB but it’s actually enough space to fit up to 250 songs (based on 4mb files). You can also expand the memory by using a MicroSD card. It will take up to an 8GB card which will give you loads of space.

The functions on the Sansa Express are pretty basic and you can’t expect fancy graphics such as album art as the OLED screen is only dual colour and has 4 lines for text. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The details on the display are clear and tell you what you need to know.

Transferring music from a pc to the Sansa Express is extremely easy and the menu on the player is simple to navigate through.

It offers an FM radio which you can actually record. I found this a really good idea and quite handy. You can also preset up to 20 stations. There is also an inbuilt microphone which you can use for voice recording. I played about with the FM recorder and voice recorder which worked nicely. The only thing is that you can only delete the files by connecting it to a pc.

You can create an on-the-go playlist so you can sort out the songs you really want to hear. You can create the playlist on the player itself or plug it into a pc and sort the files that way.

The Sansa Express offers a variety of EQ settings (normal, pop, rock, jazz, classical, and custom). The sound quality of the earphones sounded ok to me at first, but then I tried my own ones. This made me realise that the Sansa earphones’ quality actually wasn’t that great. It wasn’t terrible and I could live with them, but using higher quality earphones shows the high sound quality that the Sansa Express offers.

The battery life on this player is brilliant! This is probably due to the fact that the Sansa Express doesn’t offer a very fancy graphics heavy display to I guess it’s a nice compromise.



This is a great MP3 player, and the price of it makes it that bit better. It’s stylish, lightweight, easy to use and you can have up to a total of 9GB of space (8GB MicroSD card + 1GB internal memory).

You may want to use your own set of earphones as the bundled ones don’t really do the player justice.

In general, the Sansa Express is another hit for SanDisk.



Reviewed by: Emma

Posted in: Reviews

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