Best MP3 Players

Review & Comparison, Last Update December 3, 2018
An MP3 player is a popular device among music fans who love music and are eager to keep it with them wherever they go. Due to its small size, an MP3 player is easy to fit in a pants pocket, purse, and even attach to a belt so that it wouldn't impede your other activities. For this review, we've selected the 5 best models of portable-sized music players you can find on the market so far. Check them out and take your pick. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Supported Formats
Battery Run Time
Memory
Usability
Warranty
 
PROS

This mp3 player has a touch screen that makes it simple in use. Can be customized according to your needs.

CONS
Requires iTunes installation on a PC for transferring files.
OUR VERDICT
The best device for those who adore both quality sound and video. Incredibly portable and compact player for sport-oriented people.
detailed parameters
Supported Formats
AAC, MP3, AIFF, WAV, H.264, M4V, MP4, MOV, MPEG-4, HE-AAC, Apple Lossless, Audible
Battery Run Time

Music: Up to 30 h
Video: Up to 3.5 h

Memory
16 GB
Usability

2.5" widescreen Multi-Touch display, Bluetooth 4.0, FM tuner with Live Pause, Built-in pedometer

Warranty

1 year

PROS
It takes only 2 hours to fully recharge the player. Exclusive Sony ClearAudio technology ensures a deep and rich sound of the streamed playlist.
CONS
Sampling frequency may not correspond to all encoders, copyright protected WMA, AAC-LC files cannot be played back.
OUR VERDICT
This excellent player offers a broadband from 20 to 20,000 Hz and 5-band equalizer to playback your favorite music in the best quality.
detailed parameters
Supported Formats
MP3, WMA, JPEG, Linear PCM, AAC, MP4
Battery Run Time

Music: Up to 35 h
FM Radio: 12 h
Video: Up to 4 h

Memory
16 GB
Usability

1.77" TFT backlit LCD, Clock, Alarm clock, Timer

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The lock button, 1.8" color display, and sensory panel make the control of this mp3 player simpler and more enjoyable.

CONS

The quality of voice recording could be better.

OUR VERDICT

This high capacity player by Dansrue allows a user to listen to music and radio not just via headphones and speakers but also via any Bluetooth-compatible device. A pretty versatile model, indeed.

detailed parameters
Supported Formats

MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC, WAV, AAC-LC, ACELP, AMV, JPG, TXT

Battery Run Time

Music: Up to 60 h
FM Radio: Up to 40 h
Video: Up to 5 h

Memory

16 GB + microSD card (up to 128 GB)

Usability

1.8" LCD-display, Bluetooth 4.0, FM-radio, Built-in Speaker, E-reader, Voice Record feature

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS
This model is designed for music and sport. Free synchronization to playlists by Media Monkey.
CONS
A SD card doesn't come with the player, so you need to buy it separately.
OUR VERDICT
Perfect for those who live fast. You won't be afraid that the player will crash owing to a shock absorption surface. This device offers the longest battery run time and fabulous sound quality.
detailed parameters
Supported Formats
MP3, WMA, FLAC, APE
Battery Run Time

70 h

Memory
16 GB + microSD card (up to 64 GB)
Usability
Works with a car via AUX port, automatically scans and saves FM stations, can be used as a timer or a voice recorder
Warranty

1 year

PROS

This model features quite a capacious built-in battery that holds the charge for about 70 hours when listening to music and 40 hours in FM-radio mode.

CONS

Videos over 200 MB might lag.

OUR VERDICT

The FenQan 8GB mp3 player has a bunch of handy options allowing a user to listen to music and radio, watch videos, images, and even read TXT-books; and this is for a very lovely price.

detailed parameters
Supported Formats

MP3, WMA, WAV, APE, FLAC, AMV, JPG, TXT

Battery Run Time

Music: Up to 70 h
FM Radio: Up to 40 h
Video: Up to 6 h

Memory

8 GB + microSD card (up to 128 GB)

Usability

1.7" LCD-display, FM-radio, E-reader, Voice Record feature

Warranty

6 months

Apple iPod Nano (7th Generation)

Supported formats

IPod nano supports almost all currently available video and audio formats. This outstanding device allows you to open AAC, MP3, AIFF, WAV, H.264, M4V, MP4, MOV, MPEG-4, HE-AAC files. Thus, you will never face the problem of file converting and will be free to download any content you wish. Additionally, Apple iPod nano supports Apple Lossless and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), hence, you can listen to your favorite music in a high-quality stereo sound. For your convenience, the producer has designed this marvelous device with adjustable maximum volume limit. Now you customize it depending on your preferences. iPod nano would become an ultimate player for people who value hi-tech devices. Listen to music, watch movies and enjoy quality sound and video, or simply use it for audiobooks. This player is all you need to be entertained!

Review of Apple iPod Nano (7th Generation) 16GB Blue MKN02LL/A

Battery Run Time

The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides 30 hours of music or 3.5 hours of video constant playback. But, these parameters are true when the battery is fully charged. It takes only 3 hours to recharge your device using a USB cable connected to your PC. What is important, Apple iPod nano features a fast charging mode that charges up to 80% of battery capacity just in 1.5 hours! So, when you are limited in time, such mode is quite important and helpful.

Apple iPod Nano (7th Generation) 16GB Blue MKN02LL/A in the use

Memory

This IPod comes with 16 GB of built-in memory. Unfortunately, it comes with only one available memory capacity but it is quite enough to store up to 4000 songs. Still, if you have plenty of apps or video files, this amount will be decreased. Therefore, this model is perfect for those who store only music and download playlists directly from iTunes. Like all the Apple products, the player requires iTunes installation on your PC for transferring music files.

Detailed review of Apple iPod Nano (7th Generation) 16GB Blue MKN02LL/A

Usability

IPod nano is designed with the 2.5-inch Multi-Touch screen that simplifies the player's management. Additionally, this model features Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection technology allowing you to synchronize the player with other devices. But the unique feature of Apple iPod nano is the special FM tuner with Live Pause. This option lets you stop a broadcasting and then resume it just from the place you've paused (limited by 15 minutes' pause). We should also mention that Apple iPod nano player comes with a built-in accelerometer in order that images on the display are always positioned upright. This sensor can also serve as a pedometer that counts each step you take.

Apple iPod Nano (7th Generation) 16GB Blue MKN02LL/A application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Apple iPod nano (7th Generation): Unboxing & Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Works well, I even reworked a couple of videos to play on tiny screen. Bluetooth works well... Its an iPod works like I'd expect.

Features

It's very easy to update this on your iTunes page, (even if you have satellite Internet, which I have if I want Internet access. No other choice in my rural area)

Size & Weight

Works great, plenty of room for tons of songs , just the right size to take a long on a walk or jog.

Power

A most excellent device. Very easy to use, holds more music then I will ever down load, battery last a very long time over 10 hours of continued play
 

Sony NWE395/B 16GB Walkman MP3 Player

Everything is Really Simple

Turns out that you can easily transfer music, videos, photos, and even playlists to your Sony NWE395/B MP3 player. Just drag and drop all the necessary data from iTunes or Windows Media Player and enjoy your favorite media files. Another outstanding thing about this player is that it has a 5-band equalizer that offers you an ability to adjust the sound up to your preferences or some genres (Heavy/Pop/Jazz/Unique/Custom). This model is quite handy as it is designed with 1.77 TFT backlit display. Thus, you can easily scroll through the menu to choose a song or view photos. Another important feature Sony NWE395/B offers is a built-in clock with ability to set an alarm clock, hence you can be aware of the current time and will never sleep through important meetings. You will also like the sleep timer functions that are meant to prolong the battery life by shutting off the player after a certain lapse of time you've set. Quite handy MP3 player with outstanding sounding!

Review of Sony NWE395/B 16GB Walkman MP3 Player

Designed for High-quality Music

First of all, we should mention that this MP3 player produces high-quality and clear sound. Such quality is achieved thanks to Sony's exclusive ClearAudio technology that automatically optimizes the balance of frequencies and reproduces stereo sound that resembles the original song's quality. The technology comprises several features such as Clear Stereo, Clear Bass, and Dynamic Normalizer to ensure the balance of the volume level between songs and provides you with deeper sound. Here, Clear Bass enhances bass levels and minimizes distortion at high volume while Clear Stereo provides improved channel separation.

Sony NWE395/B 16GB Walkman MP3 Player in the use

Interesting Facts

Do you know that Sony Corporation had changed its name in 1958 from Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo? The previous brand name was a jaw-breaker for Americans and that's why Akio Morita, a joint holder of the company, chose a new name "Sony" as a mix of 2 words. One word was "sonus" ("sound" from Latin) and the other one was "sonny" (a common slang term used to call a boy in America in 1950). 

You might have heard of the golden guinea pig figurine stored in Sony archives in Tokyo. It is a present to Masaru Ibuka from one of his employees. It became a company's symbol in response to an article that claimed Sony was a "guinea pig for transistors and other companies were besting them". In a radio interview years later, Ibuka said in response: "If a guinea pig spirit means developing innovative ideas and embodying them in new products, then I think this is an admirable spirit."

Detailed review of Sony NWE395/B 16GB Walkman MP3 Player

More Products to Consider

Sony CSE006ARM - is a special armband for E and S series MP3 players. A perfect choice for people who like listening to music while working out.

Sony NWE395/B 16GB Walkman MP3 Player application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Review of Sony Walkman NW-E393 16GB

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Cool display. EXCELLENT shuffle mode

Size & Weight

I wanted a small pocket size music player that I could use with a headset while working outdoor

Features

This is our second Sony Walkman mp3 player. We like them. Holds songs, pictures, videos and simple to use. Highly recommend.

Power

The battery life is also wonderful and it charges quickly.
 

Dansrue M06

All-In-One Player

We’d like to introduce this mp3 player by Dansrue to you, the device that can easily rival most of its more expensive competitors for being feature-rich and way cheaper. Indeed, this model has a lot to offer. In addition to basic “listening to music and radio” functions, this gadget allows you to watch videos, photos, make voice and audio recordings, and read books.

For starters, with this player, you get 16 GB of flash memory and compatibility with a Micro SD card of up to 128 GB. This is enough space to store thousands of audio and video files. Basically, the only thing you will likely need to keep your audio collection safe and always at hand is the Dansrue M06 mp3 player.

In addition to a built-in FM radio, you get a recorder that lets you record your favorite songs right off the radio. You can also make voice recordings, which makes the M06 model popular with students, writers, journalists, etc. Whenever you need to record a lecture or have a plot idea you’d like to remember, this model will help you out.

This high capacity mp3 player also allows a user to read books in TXT format: the model is designed with a 1.8" screen, quite bright and well-read. Though someone might find reading a book from it not as convenient as from an E-book, still, such an option may come in handy. By the way, talking about useful features, this player has a pedometer. So not only can you walk or jog to your favorite music but also know the exact distance you’ve covered. Isn’t that great?

Review of Dansrue M06 MP3 Music Player

Small Details

Aiming to produce a durable device, the manufacturer has designed the M06 mp3 player with Zinc alloy frame and acrylic mirror that is not just crush-resistant but also looks very elegant and attractive. It is soft to the touch and more convenient to use thanks to well-arranged operation buttons. The Dansrue engineers have decided to combine touch and press buttons in one device, which looks pretty well and is easy and convenient in use. Thus, you can control the playback with sensory buttons located on the front panel under the bright colored screen. Power and recording buttons are on both sides of the player; USB and Micro SD slots are also there, as well as the lock button that won’t let you accidentally switch a song in the pocket. As for the battery, this video player has a lithium-ion one that can provide you with about 60 hours of audio playback on a single charge.

Dansrue M06 MP3 Music Player in the use

Smart Player

The Dansrue M06 supports Bluetooth 2.0 and higher thus letting its user connect and listen to music via any Bluetooth-compatible device. You can apply your wireless headphones or earphones, Bluetooth speakers, or connect it to your car of 0000 PIN code. Well, your options are almost infinite.

All in all, if you are looking for the player that has a lot of storage for your audio, video, and images, and can play it all back in a pretty good quality, then this model is a wise investment.

Detailed review of Dansrue M06 MP3 Music Player

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

AGPtEK A02

Supported formats

AGPtEK player supports 4 different audio formats. Along with MP3 and WMA, this player allows you to open specific FLAC and APE files. FLAC and APE formats offer you an opportunity to revel in a high-quality stereo sound. Such audio quality is achieved due to a lossless comprehension of digital audio so you can listen to your favorite music in the original sounding. Now you shouldn't worry that your player will not play specific audio formats thus you can download music from any source.

Review of AGPtEK A02 MP3 Lossless Sound Music Player

Battery Run Time

AGPtEK player features the longest battery life on a single charge in comparison with other MP3 players in our review. Thus, the built-in battery can last for about 70 hours under condition of continuous audio playback. Moreover, this MP3 player offers fast charge feature, so 30-minutes charge will work for 10 hours use. We are sure that this option is not just important, it is extremely necessary for every user. And a full- charge time is about 3-4 hours.

AGPtEK A02 MP3 Lossless Sound Music Player in the use

Memory

This player comes with 16GB of built-in memory. As in the case with SanDisk player, AGPtEK also features a memory card slot for more data storage space. AGPtEK supports up to 64 GB microSD card that ensures storage of approximately 12 000 MP3 files on your player, though a card is sold separately. You should note that the producer claims that this player is compatible with AGPTek Memory Cards only.

Detailed review of AGPtEK A02 MP3 Lossless Sound Music Player

Usability

AGPtEK MP3 player is a compact and lightweight unit engineered with durable shock absorption surface. Perfect for people who go in for running, workout in a gym or just for everyday use. In addition to music playback, this multifunctional device features a timer option and a noise cancelling voice recorder. AGPtEk automatically scans and saves FM station and can be connected to a car via AUX port. This MP3 player is a reasonable choice for the unity of features and a low price.

AGPtEK A02 MP3 Lossless Sound Music Player application

VIDEO
AGPtek A02 8GB MP3 player Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Clear display, easy navigation, high quality sound.

Size & Weight

But I do love the size of this. Much lighter than the iPod.

Features

Very compact player with good fidelity that handles pretty much all the formats including Apple, FLAC and other lossless schemes.

Power

The battery life is awesome. It is easy to charge.
 

FenQan 8GB

Sound Is Close to Original

The FenQan mp3 player is a Hi-Fi model that produces audio in excellent quality, offers a user a stable operation and a bunch of features for a very lovely price that is a bit lower than many other models with the same characteristics are sold for. If this sounds like the player you’d like to get, this model should be right up your alley.

First and foremost, this model is equipped with professional intelligent digital noise reduction chip which helps reduce noise and improve the sound quality. The result is Hi-Fi class sound – very natural and so close to the original. You can also watch a movie or any other video in AMV 160 x 128 size format or look through your photos in JPEG or BMP. As for the reading option, this video player offers it too by allowing you to read books and documents in TXT format. So you can use your player not just for audiobooks but for e-books as well.

Its memory is probably the biggest flaw of this model. This is not the most capacious mp3 player in our review. It features only 8 GB of flash memory. However, FenQan is equipped with the Micro SD slot that supports TF cards with up to 128 GB storage space. That’s enough for quite a large audio collection. By the way, to download it onto your player, you just need to drag and drop the needed files into the folder using Media Go on your PC. It is completely free to use. You can also connect this device to your car to play it on the go. You will just need an AUX cable for that.

Review of FenQan 8GB MP3 Player

Ergonomic Design

The FenQan Hi-Fi mp3 player is a wise purchase for all music enthusiasts who also love jogging, working out in a gym, or walking after a meal accompanied by relaxing music. In addition to high-quality sound this model produces, it features a pretty ergonomic design that guarantees effortless and intuitive control of the player. For instance, you can put it into an arm holder and go for a run. It is very compact so you won’t feel it, and it has press buttons that you can switch tracks and turn the volume up with easily by touch. By the way, the FenQan 8 GB model has a two-colored body which looks pretty cool. It is available in black/light green, blue/red, and red/black. So if you are selecting a gift for kids, this colorful mini player is an inspired choice.

FenQan 8GB MP3 Player in the use

3 Days of Playback

What we also like about the FenQan 8 GB mp3 player is its battery. It allows you to play music for up to 70 hours non-stop, listen to the radio for up to 40 hours, and playback 6 hours of video. By the way, it takes only 2.5 hours to fully charge the battery, which is super fast considering the playback time it offers.

Without a doubt, this is a great mp3 player that offers a lot of useful options and features that some more expensive models support. If you are on a budget but wouldn’t want to deny yourself in buying a top-notch player, then the FenQan 8 GB mp3 player is a great choice.

Detailed review of FenQan 8GB MP3 Player

 

What Is an MP3 Player?

Music players have got through many changes over the past 30 years. From massive cassette to CD players and to their compact digital versions that can store thousands of songs, and all of them are in your pocket. No more are we limited to a specific audio format. Modern players can play back music in mp3, AAC, WMA lossy, FLAC, etc. and stream the radio. However, these are the basic functions that are not extraordinary and every model has them. The best mp3 player though allows a user to watch videos and images in JPEG, MPEG-4, WAV, AMV formats and more. It also supports TXT which turns it to an E-book; may have a pedometer to determine the distance you cover during your walks; and is sometimes made waterproof which means, if you are a swimmer, you can take it to the pool. Even if the housing is not water resistant, your mp3 player is pretty likely to support Bluetooth. Thanks to this handy option, you can use wireless headphones or workout earphones that can also be waterproof and listen to your workout playlist distantly. If a player supports Bluetooth, it can playback through any Bluetooth compatible device.

What Features to Compare

Storage Type and Capacity

MP3 players can be divided into two groups: hard drive players and flash players. The letter ones use flash cards for storing the information while the former MP3s have hard drives for that. A hard drive device usually offers you a bit more storage space than a flash MP3. The memory capacity matters since the higher this index is, the more songs you can store. Modern players allow you to store from a few hundred megabytes to a hundred gigabytes and more. To decide what type will be the best for you, you should make some calculations. Usually, a 3-minute song requires about 3MB of space, so, if a player has 5GB memory, it will hold 1000-2000 songs. Calculate how many songs you need to carry around and calculate how much space you need, then buy an mp3 player with capacity at least slightly bigger than that, though in a nutshell, the more storage space you'll get the better. In case it is not enough for you, it is possible to extend the memory by using an SD card.

Sound Quality

Without a doubt, this is one of the most important criteria of a good MP3 player. Here, you should mostly pay attention to:

  • The bit rate. The higher it is, the more likely a song will sound like the original. The most common bit rates are 128, 160, 192, 256, and 320 Kbps.
  • Next, signal to noise ratio adds to the sound quality a lot. As a rule, a good index is from 80 to 90 dB, and the higher it is the clearer the sound will be.
  • As for the volume, it is measured in mW, and if you are going to listen to music on-the-go, consider buying the model with 15 mW and higher so that you could enjoy your playlist even in very noisy places.

Supported Formats

There is no doubt that all of these devices support MP3. But what if you have an audio in another format? When your player supports many different formats, you don’t have to waste time converting your music. So, we recommend looking for the model that supports as many formats as possible. Besides, some MP3 players can even play video, so you should know what files you will be able to run. It is better to take into account, though, that almost all mp3 players support MPEG-4 and AMV formats but these files should have a specific size (160 x 128, for example). So you can either convert video with specialized software or download video that has already been converted.

Usability & Extra Options

Convenient location of the buttons, intuitive interface, and extended battery life - this all makes the use of an MP3 player pleasant and effortless. We also paid attention to navigation through folders, volume control, and information about the current track on the screen. A shockproof and water resistant feature, camera or voice recording are the options that also have significant value for some users. Luckily today, there are a lot of different models on the market, so you can select the best model according to your preferences. Some models have built-in Bluetooth, thus allowing you to exchange your tracks with your friends or connect your device to a car stereo. If this sounds like the option you would like to have on your player, check it out too.

Sources:

1. Donald Bell MP3 player buying guide, CNET July 2, 2013.

2. How to Choose an MP3 Player, wikiHow.

3. Wendy Sheehan Donnell How to Buy an MP3 Player, PCMag. August 8, 2013.

4. What is an MP3 Player? Digital Unite.

5. Portable media player, Wikipedia.

6. Kevin Bonsor, Jeff Tyson, Craig Freudenrich How MP3 Players Work, HowStuffWorks.

7. Rhonda Callow Types of MP3 Players: What Should I Buy? brighthub. January 21, 2011.

8. Chris Woodford MP3 players, Explain that Stuff. April 9, 2017.

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