The best MP3 player 2020
MP3 players might not be as popular as they were a decade ago, but that doesn’t mean they’re outdated technology. If you truly care about sound quality, you’d stop listening to music on your smartphone and instead invest in an MP3 player. It may be hard to believe, but more than a decade after the iPhone started killing the iPod and people turned to their smartphones for music, MP3 players still live on.
SanDisk Clip Jam
At $40, the SanDisk Clip Jam is one of the more affordable MP3 players available. But it’s also one of the smallest, with a tiny 1-inch display and physical buttons that let you quickly jump between tracks. The device has an 8GB drive, which means it can carry up to 1,000 songs. And if you want to listen to the radio, it also comes with an FM tuner. Best of all, it offers 18 hours of playback on a single charge.
Sony NW-A45 Walkman MP3 Player
The name may be a blast from the past, but Sony’s NW-A45 Walkman MP3 player has all the bells and whistles to make it the top pick in this category. It offers excellent audio quality, support for a wide array of audio files — including Hi-Res audio content — outstanding battery life (up to 45 hours between charges), expandable storage, and intuitive controls that include a touch screen and tactile buttons, among many other features.
Crucially, the NW-A45 Walkman is also reasonably priced, especially considering how capable it is. There are two colors to pick from: dark gray and light blue.
Onkyo has been a well-known and esteemed name in audio for years, and for good reason. The Onkyo DP-X1A may not be the most compact player on this list, but it is the best all-around, offering huge customizability, an intuitive interface, and fantastic sound quality.
Let’s start with the design, which is pretty nice. In general, the DP-X1A looks a little bit like a phone, but much thicker, and is completely optimized for audio use. How so? Well, for starters, it has two audio ports – one headphone jack and one balanced output for those interested in a cleaner and overall better quality sound. Additionally, the device has an easy-to-use volume wheel, as well as physical playback buttons and two microSD card slots for those with a sizable collection of music.
HiFiMan is perhaps best known for its headphones, but it makes some pretty great MP3 players, too. For an example, look no further than the SuperMini.
The SuperMini, as the name suggests, is a little smaller than most of the other players on this list, but that doesn’t seem to come at a huge cost – it’ll still deliver excellent audio quality and it’s pretty easy to use, too.
The device, which has been reduced to $150 (around £120 / AU$220) from it’s original $399 price tag, doesn’t have any onboard storage – you’ll have to buy a microSD card separately. It does, however, support a pretty huge range of audio formats, including FLAC, DSD, WAV, MP3, and AIFF, and audio with a sample rate of up to 192kHz.
Apple iPod touch
Apple’s latest iPod touch is truly in a league of its own when it comes to sheer entertainment capabilities. Equipped with the same A10 Fusion chip as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, a 4-inch Retina touch screen, an 8 MP camera, and Apple iOS, the device can do a whole lot more than play your MP3 collection.
Apple iOS is what sets the iPod touch apart from all competitors. The tech giant’s mobile platform will give you access to a vast selection of high-quality apps and games, including access to all major music and video streaming services. Save for making phone calls, the media player will deliver an iPhone-like experience, including the ability to FaceTime and iMessage people.
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