SanDisk Sansa Shaker Review

sansa shaker main SanDisk Sansa Shaker Review

The ubiquity of digital audio players is becoming more evident as companies venture into younger demographics. SanDisk does just that with an MP3 player targeted at the tween and possibly even the toddler demographic. Enter the Sansa Shaker. Doused in gender specific colors of pink and blue, the Shaker resembles more of a toy than an MP3 player.

The Shaker cannot be taken as a serious digital audio player; it is definitely intended for the kids. However, I can see this being used as an inexpensive podcasting device with its practical internal speaker. And at around forty bucks, it is a great way to introduce your kids to digital audio.

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Inside the Box

In the box, you will find everything you need to get started. They’ve even preloaded kid tunes. Inside you will see: the player, earbuds, a standard USB cable, a carabiner clip, one AAA battery, and stickers that will probably end up on your walls or furniture. Also included is a preinstalled but removable 512MB SD card.


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.

Loading Music

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.

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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.


JDGAFFLIN on June 26, 2007 3:32 PM

Im gonna have to find a woman to pop out a few puppies for me so I can get them this.Great reveiw, ‘Zo.

Alex M on June 26, 2007 9:07 PM

The battery I find is the only real downfall of this player….but it’s basic enough

Jeremybernhardt on June 29, 2007 6:06 PM

personally i would get one of these just because it looks pretty cool\simple and has a internal speaker (even if it sucks im a podcaster). I wounder if it could stand being used as a football…

francis on July 8, 2007 11:05 AM

As much as I like the concept, I find the implementation totally missed its point:-Given the video, the battery is WAY too easy to access for my kid: No way I’ll let this thing in the hand of my 4 years old.-Commands are actually MORE complicated to use than any regular MP3 player, as they require Both hands coordination. Strange for a device targeting kids…-No LOCK functions (as far as I can tell), which is key (believe me..) if you don’t want to be requested from your kid to “fix it” whenver he will accidently hit the wrong button…I am still looking out there for a decent implementation of a MP3 player for kid. Oh and one last thing: Head phones ? For kids ? Yeah, what a great way to turn them deaf by 10…

Tonya on July 10, 2007 7:08 PM

I have been trying to get music into this thing for an hour and nothing is happening. It only comes with not even one page of instructions that consist of drop and drag the music into it…. I can not drag it off the screen. In the instructions the only thing that comes up is the user guide. Which tells me the same thing and the one page instruction….NOTHING!!!

Kris on July 19, 2007 10:15 PM

This little player is great for my 8 year old. She loves it & it is easy enough for me (not a technical person)to down load the music to. Although I think it is not “child proof” enough for kids under 6 (states right on the package “not intended for ages under 8″). This should get her familiarized with digital music and the procedures on how to down load, THEN, we’ll think about a more advanced/expensive player.

shakrrocks4ever on December 17, 2007 5:28 PM

kool this looks awesome and i am 80 yrs old i want one lol stay w/ the times

us on December 22, 2007 5:39 PM

I am taking these stupid things back. I have tried for 2 hours to get music from either of my computers NO LUCK!!!! This sucks.

Lorraine on December 26, 2007 7:35 PM

I searched for days trying to find this for my son and finally found it. Now I can’t download any music to it. Both their website and the Best Buy website say its compatible with Rhapsody. That’s a lie. Don’t believe it. I have now paid $15 for a mobile membership that doesn’t work with this player and another $0.89 for each song, but they are still protected files and still in WMA format. My son is getting really upset and I’m on the verge of returning this thing. Its completely useless!!!!!

Laurie D Fant on December 27, 2007 1:05 PM

Lorraine,You need a converter to convert your files to MP3 files to get them to work. Google for a converter and you should be fine. There are lots of free converters online. My son loves his! He is nine and it is the best thing I bought for his this Christmas aside from his drum set!

Dwayne Burtin on January 1, 2008 11:09 AM

I bought one of these for my son this Christmas and it’s been nothing but problems.It wouldn’t play songs in folders. So i deleted the folders and dropped in mp3′s and it played fine for a while. Then it just stopped working. Changed the battery and it still wouldn’t work. Plugged it into our PC and couldn’t access the sandisk at all. Windows would recognize the device but upon clicking on it I was asked to insert a disk into the drive.Two days later I try again and this time it insists that the drive has not been formatted. So I format the drive, losing all the data that I couldn’t access anyway and I was finally able to drag more songs onto the players disk. All of the songs previously on the player were gone of course.It played fine for a few minutes but then it began to shut off after about 20 seconds of play. I double checked the format on the songs on the player to make sure they were mp3. I tried using different songs – same results. And now it’s returned to my original problem. I can’t access the sandisk and windows is asking me to insert a disk into the drive.This very simple to use player is so simple that’s it’s a defective piece of junk.

Garbage mp3 player on January 1, 2008 12:16 PM

Same here. Piece of junk. Can’t get a lick of music on to it and the frickin’ songs that can with the device can’t be removed. Thank God my kid received this as a gift because I would have been po’d if I would have paid 5 dollars for this thing. My kid wants nothing to do with it so at least I got a free 1 GB card out of the thing.

RRC on March 28, 2008 10:30 PM

I have a Sansa and rhapsody account. My child wants to listen to music too. I would like to introduce him to a wide variety of music while he is still malleable. Got him a shaker because I don’t want him to damage his hearing. Shaker is incompatible with Rhapsody. SanDisk is STUPID as heck. They have missed an opportunity to get kids into the digital music market with this child friendly player . This would have been so easy if it worked like my sansa. DUMB DUMB DUMB

Kimbo on May 27, 2008 5:07 PM

This thing is not designed for the younger kids (maybe seven and up). If you want to give a player to your toddler, consider the SweetPea3 ( It’s designed for young kids and can be used by 1 year olds (try getting a 1 year old to hold down the pause button while they shake the Sansa)

Drive-In-Freak on June 21, 2008 1:36 PM

…and us grownups like it too.SD card slot, no annoying built in battery (1 AAA cell..yes! a REAL and COMMON battery..woohoooo!), built in speaker,and you can score one dirt cheap. What’s not to like?’s no screen, eq or extras at all, but for podcast listening it’s great.Now let’s see how long my iPod Shuffle will float after I toss it into the lake. It’s useless to me now. Hmmm…about 20 seconds..not bad. Bye bye iPod.

Shan on August 10, 2008 11:25 AM

We bought one for my son (then 4yrs) at Christmas and he LOVES it! We now have a 16 month old daughter who loves it too! We are now searching the web to find an inexpensive one for her. Hands down, this is one of the best things we have bought for our kids. We are huge music fans so this fits into our lives just perfect!!!!

equestriangav on September 15, 2008 11:18 PM

Duz it support SDHC 4gb so u could put like a 1000 songs in your pocket and i dont want one beacause i have a creative zen4GB black and it has an SD SDHC slot

Mark on July 20, 2009 11:08 AM

Does anyone know where I can buy a blue 512MB/1GB Sansa Shaker for my boys birthday next week? I live in the UK and as far as I can see, there are none in stock anywhere. Is this product really that good? Thanks, MAK

Wayne on September 8, 2009 1:55 AM

Hi,does anyone know if the Shaker will loop play? I need it to automatically get to the end of all the songs, return to the beginning and keep playing. I want to leave it looping as part of an audio installation.Thanks

zuned on March 3, 2010 9:29 PM

does it have: voiceover,voice control,eq or anything standard?

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