Best MP3 Players

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 9, 2022
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
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BEST 2022
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Supported Formats
Battery Run Time
Memory
Usability
Warranty
 
PROS

The Bluetooth 4.2 allows you to connect the player to wireless earphones and enjoy clear, noise-free sound. With NFC™ One-touch Connection, synchronization takes only a few seconds.

CONS

There is no video playback.

OUR VERDICT

The folks behind Sony know how to amuse and please music enthusiasts with good audio quality. Thanks to the Digital Amplifier Master HX™ with DSEE HX™ upscaling, every audio file will boast studio-quality sound.

detailed parameters
Supported Formats

MP3, WMA, FLAC, WAV, AAC/HE-AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, DSD, APE, MQA

Battery Run Time

Up to 45 hours

Memory

16 GB + slot for microSD

Usability

3.1" TFT Display (800 x 480), FM-radio, S-Master HX™ digital amplifier, DSEE HX™ upscaling, NFC™ One-touch connection

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The durable and water-resistant housing will not let you down in extreme situations. The FM-radio is famous for its high-quality signal reception, so you can listen to radio stations without interference (you can save up to 30 stations in memory).

CONS

There is no memory card slot.

OUR VERDICT

The SanDisk Sport Plus MP3 Player has compact dimensions of only 1.69"x 2.6" x 0.73", a light weight of 1.28 oz and a clip, so it absolutely will not bother you while running or walking. The built-in memory can hold up to 4000 songs in MP3 format.

detailed parameters
Supported Formats

MP3, WMA (NO DRM), AAC, (DRM free iTunes) WAV, FLAC

Battery Run Time

Up to 20 hours

Memory

16 GB

Usability

1.44" TFT Display, FM-radio, Bluetooth, Stopwatch, Durable and water-resistant housing, Clip-on design

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The 2.4-inch TFT-display boasts a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, which means that you can comfortably watch videos or even full movies (in AMV format) on it. The high contrast screen reads well in bright sunlight.

CONS

The included headphones are of poor quality.

OUR VERDICT

This model was created for athletes who cannot imagine their runs without their favorite music: the pedometer will determine the distance covered, and the armband will securely fix the player on your arm. The equalizer function will help you adjust the sound based on the genre of songs.

detailed parameters
Supported Formats

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

Battery Run Time

Up to 55 hours

Memory

16 GB + slot for microSD

Usability

2.4" TFT Display (240 x 320), FM radio, Bluetooth, voice recording, Time and date, Alarm, pedometer function, Sports armband included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This model provides 70 hours play time, the equivalent of 3 whole days use, and allows syncing to Media Monkey playlists for free.  

CONS

The interface is a bit clunky. 

OUR VERDICT

The AGPtEK AO2S Music Player was created with active people's needs in mind. It boasts the longest battery life on a single charge (compared to the other MP3 players in this review), fabulous sound quality, and extra-durable design with shock absorption, making it safe to use it anywhere you go.

detailed parameters
Supported Formats
MP3, WMA, FLAC, APE
Battery Run Time

70 h

Memory

16 GB + microSD card (up to 128 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 mp3 player has a built-in sensitive microphone that allows for voice recording even if a person is pretty far from the unit. This is especially handy for lectures and conferences.

CONS

It takes some time to create a playlist. 

OUR VERDICT

This model by Berennis supports most audio formats, documents, video, and photo files. So, if you are looking for a multi-functional mp3 player that won't break the bank, this model is a good choice.

detailed parameters
Supported Formats

FLAC, MP3, AAC, WAV, AMV, OGG, WMV, TXT

Battery Run Time

Up to 30 hours

Memory

16 GB + slot for microSD

Usability

1.77" (128 x 160), FM radio, voice recording, Time and date, Alarm

Warranty

1 year

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Sony Walkman NW-A45/B

Studio Quality Sound

The Sony NW-A45/B Walkman is a basic music player that doesn’t support video playback and has no apps, but it offers exceptional audio quality. How is that? Well, you hear every sound as if you are standing right in front of the music artist.

The sound is very clear and natural, just like it was intended to be. The manufacturer has achieved such clarity by improving the hardware. The folks in Sony have designed a new circuit board for better electricity flow which makes the power supply stable and the sound clearer. They also have added the S-Master HX amplifier to reduce noise and distortion, which makes for the purer vocal.

Last but not least, the NW-A45/B Walkman supports Hi-Res and DSD audio formats which are known for studio-quality sounding. With all these improvements, you get a superior authentic sound.

However, these are not all the clever improvements that make this player sound so good. For example, the NW-A45/B supports the DSEE HX function that restores the quality of compressed music files to deliver you more natural and rich sound.

Review of Sony Walkman NW-A45/B 16GB MP3 Player with Hi-Res Audio (Bluetooth, NFC)

Easy Controls

The Sony NW-A45/B has the 3.1’’ full-color touch screen with Sony’s proprietary interface. It looks pretty nice and is bright enough to be well-read under sunlight. The control buttons (back, now playing, home, and settings) are on the bottom of the unit, as well as the equalizer and sound enhancements. The album image is displayed on the top.

As for the software, it is quite simple and user-friendly. For example, you can plug the player in your PC or tablet without installing a special program. The player appears as a USB storage drive so that you can drag and drop your files effortlessly. There is also a separate breakout menu for Hi-Res audio files and convenient classification by the album/ artist. Importantly, it doesn’t break the album if there is a guest singer. All songs stay together.

The NW-A45/B also supports Bluetooth connection, so you can pair it to your wireless earphones or try Sony’s noise-canceling headphones and enjoy really great sound.

Sony Walkman NW-A45/B 16GB MP3 Player with Hi-Res Audio (Bluetooth, NFC) in the use

Great Design

The Sony mp3 player feels nice in hands and is quite small to fit in the pants pocket. The location of the control buttons is on the right side, while the MicroSD slot is on the left (this Walkman is compatible with 128GB cards).

The metallic housing has a matte finish, so it doesn’t collect fingerprints that easily. The build quality is perfect, as always with Sony. There are no creaks and gaps.

Indeed, the NW-A45/B player can please a user who demands the best build and audio quality. After all, with Sony, you always get what you pay for.

Detailed review of Sony Walkman NW-A45/B 16GB MP3 Player with Hi-Res Audio (Bluetooth, NFC)

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B0765ZVM6Y

 

SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Thousands of Song In Your Pocket

MP3 players, while long having been mostly replaced by smartphones, still have a small but loyal segment of the market. This is due to these devices being extremely inexpensive yet having a high quality to them that makes them reliable devices. SanDisk, one of the longest-running MP3 player manufacturers, have retained a good reputation in this market, which they carry forward with the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth.

One thing that people will notice immediately about this MP3 player is that it doesn't share the same "flat" design that many other players have. In fact, the bulky appearance makes it look larger than it actually is. This MP3 player, which comes in a blue plastic waterproof case, is extra durable and able to withstand a beating, as well as the elements while still remaining extremely lightweight. It will fit easily in anyone's pocket, and the included clip on the back of the player even lets you wear it outside the pocket, on a belt, or on an armstrap, meaning you can take this player with you anywhere you go, even while going through a rigorous exercise regime. The lightweight design of this player also means you won't feel it, no matter where you are holding or wearing it, so it won't get in the way of your activities.

Review of SanDisk Clip Sport Plus 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth

Wireless Capabilities

One of the nice features that many users will appreciate about this MP3 player is that it includes Bluetooth functionality, which lets you take advantage of wireless capabilities by pairing it with other devices. If you have a Bluetooth speaker, for example, you can easily pair the device with it to use it as a virtual jukebox for you and your friends. If you're more into listening to music on your own, you can also pair a set of wireless headphones with the device, giving you a full wireless experience. Those who like listening to music while engaging in activities such as sports or exercising will truly appreciate not having any wires getting in the way.

SanDisk Clip Sport Plus 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth in the use

Enjoy Music from Anywhere

If the 16 GB capacity of the player, which allows storing up to 4000 songs, doesn't give you the song selection that you want or need, you can take advantage of the built-in FM tuner in order to listen to your favorite radio stations. The FM tuner supports the full range of the spectrum, so you won't have to worry about missing any radio stations, and the built-in memory lets you save up to 30 different stations for quick access to them. The device can run for up to 20 hours on a full charge with wired headphones, giving you plenty of juice to last you all day and then some. In short, if you're looking for a tried and true MP3 player that gives you the full wireless experience, then this model from SanDisk will be your best choice.

Detailed review of SanDisk Clip Sport Plus 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $44.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B01LRXHO48

 

Soulcker 16GB

More Than Just Music

The primary purpose of any MP3 player is for playing music, which is something that any model should do well. But sometimes, users want a little more out of their media players than just basic music playback. For these users, the Soulcker 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth 4.0 is a great choice that should meet their needs. An immediate glance of this MP3 player shows a design that is common with many others, including a flat body and a decent-sized LCD screen, but the internal capabilities of this media player are what really set it apart from the competition.

Many of those who prefer using MP3 players to smartphones are ones who like listening to music while playing sports or exercising, something that the makers of this MP3 player are aware of. That is why they have included a pedometer that lets active people track their physical activities, including the distance they have covered in any given day, so you can easily track your jobs and runs without having to carry a bulky smartphone with you. The lightweight design of this unit especially makes it ideal, as you won't feel the weight of the unit at all, no matter how you are carrying it.

Review of Soulcker 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth 4.0

Video Playback and Wireless Connectivity

As we stated before, this MP3 player is good for more than just listening to music. The player also supports the playback of video files, allowing you to enjoy visual entertainment at any time. The 2.4 inch LCD display has a high resolution of 240 x 320, so any videos you watch should appear in high quality, without any grainy distortion like what appears on low-resolution screens. In addition, this player also supports wireless functionality through Bluetooth 4.0, so you can use wireless headphones or speakers with the device, which can be paired up in just a few seconds. Those who appreciate not having any wires to get tangled in will certainly love this feature.

Soulcker 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth 4.0 in the use

Easy to Use

With all of the functionality that this player provides, some users may think that it might be a bit complicated to control, but that is far from the case. The player has well-marked, easy to use controls that will take you no time at all to get used to, with clearly laid out visual elements on the screen that let you navigate through the player without any problems. The player can run for up to a whopping 55 hours on a full charge, giving you more than 2 full days of continuous use, so those who want to take this device with them on a short trip can do so without worries of the device running out of battery power. You can even expand the 16 GB of internal storage by adding a micro SD card, so there are virtually no limitations to how much music and videos you can hold on the device. In the end, this highly capable MP3 player can meet almost all of your entertainment needs while on the go.

Detailed review of Soulcker 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth 4.0
Last updated price $36.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07P42Z5CP

 

AGPtEK A02S

Supports the Best Formats

What good is an MP3 player if it doesn't support the best audio formats? Not very good, according to many who can really notice the difference between certain audio files. Fortunately for them, there is a player that can meet their audio playing needs. The AGPtEK A02S MP3 Lossless Sound Music 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, which is achieved due to the lossless comprehension of digital audio so you can listen to your favorite music in its original glory, hearing every small detail of each song.

This player also supports audio downloaded from any source, so whether you use a specific music download service, or you prefer to rip songs from your favorite CDs, you can feed this audio player with high quality tunes, provided that the service used doesn't contain DRM. The 16 GB of built-in storage should prove sufficient for most music collections, but for those who require more storage space, you can expand the total storage by adding up to a 128 GB microSD card. Just note that the producer claims that this player is compatible with AGPTek Memory Cards only.

Review of AGPtEK A02S MP3 Lossless Sound Music Player

Extremely Long Battery Life

The AGPtEK MP3 player is a compact and lightweight unit engineered with a durable shock absorption surface, making it able to withstand rigorous activities. It is perfect for people who go 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 that is great for recording memos throughout your day. The device automatically scans and saves FM stations and can be connected to a car via the AUX port, so you can enjoy your music collection while driving.

This music player features the longest battery life on a single charge in comparison with the other MP3 players in our review. Thus, the built-in battery can last for about 70 hours of continuous audio playback. In a more likely scenario, this means that the player could possibly last people for most of a week before needing to be recharged. Moreover, this MP3 player offers a fast charge feature, so a 30-minute 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, so you won't have to wait all day to resume listening to your favorite music. For those who find the extremely long battery life to be the most important aspect of any player, then this model simply can't be beat.

AGPtEK A02S MP3 Lossless Sound Music Player in the use
Last updated price $29.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B013QWN3WA

VIDEO
AGPtek A02 8GB MP3 player Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

My music library is colossal (music is my life) so not only having 16 GBs internal memory, with the expansion up to 128 addition GBs, was a plus, but it also supports the AAC format (another necessity for me).

Size & Weight

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

Features

I bought this as a christmas gift for my son... he loves that it's an MP3 player (which comes with quite a bit of storage) an fm/am radio, and a voice recorder

Power

The best is how long the battery lasts 24 to 30 hours of playing before you need to charge. Would recommend highly.
 

BERENNIS A30

Entertainment Hub

Are you looking for an mp3 player to use on-the-go? If yes, would recommend you to consider the Berennis A30. It's one of the most popular players in the budget category on Amazon today and there are many reasons for that.

The heart of this model is a powerful chip integrated into the intelligent Hi-Fi system. It makes for a very decent sound and easily brings it on par with some of the more expensive models. Of course, it doesn’t do miracles with very bad audio files, but if you download music from reputable sources, the sound will be clear and pure and you will definitely enjoy it.

Next, the Berennis A30 supports a wide range of music formats - MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC, and WAV - as well as TXT, AMV files, and FM radio, so you can use it not only for listening to music but also for reading a book or watching some video, which is convenient to do thanks to a 1.77’’ display. The screen is bright, rather big, and well-read even in the sunlight.

The internal storage space included is 16 GB; this is enough to store music, video, and even a library of your favorite e-books. Plus, you can increase this space by using a MicroSD card with capacity up to 128 GB, letting you store thousands of books, tracks, and full-length movies.

Another perk is the Bluetooth 4.2 function. Thanks to it, you can connect the player to wireless earphones or a headset and listen to your favorite playlist tangle free. Handy for trips, workouts, and commuting by public transit.

Review of BERENNIS A30 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth 4.2

Just Tap and Listen

The Berennis A30 mp3 player has a sleek high-tech design. It looks nice and feels expensive. The player is very convenient for one-handed operation. It is ergonomic and thin, so it fits a hand perfectly.

There are only 3 buttons: two for volume control on the left side and an on/off button (with the microSD slot) on the right. Most operations can be done with 7 touch-sensitive buttons on the front panel. They are very responsive and LED backlit for use in dim light. Plus, the player is featured with a one-key lock function to help you avoid accidental song switch.

As for the battery, the A30 is equipped with a Li-poly battery that fully charges in 2.5 hours. After that, it offers up to 30 hours of continuous music streaming.

BERENNIS A30 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth 4.2 in the use

Useful Extras

In addition to all the handy options, the Berennis A30 offers, it is equipped with a sensitive microphone for voice recording. It is quite powerful and makes clear recordings from a distance. This is especially handy for recording a lecture or any other speech.

All in all, this is a fully-featured player that won’t let you get bored. Audio, video, text, FM, and recording support in addition to a very good sounding make it a very decent mp3 player. It costs less than $30 and but it's easily one of the best models in its price range.

Detailed review of BERENNIS A30 16GB MP3 Player with Bluetooth 4.2
Last updated price $35.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07D6KWPCY

 

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

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