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Top 25 MP3 Players

written by: D Lamberti•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 5/31/2011

This list of 25 high quality MP3 players compares 25 different MP3 players that are designed to fit specific needs. From iPods to waterproof MP3 devices, this is the definitive list of the best MP3 players available.

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    The SanDisk Sansa View MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The slim SanDisk Sansa View MP3 player has a 2.4-inch color TFT screen for viewing videos. The player supports WAV, MP3, AAC, WMA and Audible files as well as JPEG and WMV, MPEG4 and H.264 files. This MP3 player made the top 25 because of its exceptionally long battery life: 33 hours of audio or 5.5 of video. The 8 GB SanDisk Sansa View goes for a low price of just $69.99 USD, and the 16 GB costs $94.99 USD, making them very inexpensive for their memory sizes.

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    The Pearl RCA MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The inexpensive Pearl RCA MP3 player sells for less than $50 USD. Its 2GB memory can hold up to 680 songs and can be used as a flash drive as well. Additionally, the Pearl RCA MP3 player has a built in audio recorder, boasts a 15-hour battery life and a built-in SD card slot to store even more music. The Pearl RCA MP3 player doesn't work with music programs like iTunes. Instead, you can drag and drop folders of music onto the disk image. This player made the top 25 because it is an inexpensive MP3 player with a long battery life.

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    Philips GoGear Spark MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The Philips GoGear Spark MP3 player is a very small MP3 player, measuring 43 x 43 x 14 mm. Despite its small size, it has a 1.5-inch OLED display and a dynamic, easy to use interface. It supports MP3, WMA and WAV audio files and can double as a portable storage device. It also has a built in FM radio tuner and a 27-hour battery. It sells for $49 USD for the 2 GB version and $59 USD for the 4 GB version. A great alternative to the iPod shuffle, which is why it was put into the top 25, it will only work on Windows based PCs.

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    Fourth Generation iPod Shuffle

    Rating Average

    The fourth generation iPod Shuffle is an inexpensive option for fans of Apple. Selling for $49, the major features of the iPod Shuffle is VoiceOver, which speaks that name of the artist and song playing, battery life or playlist names. It has no screen and is controlled via five large buttons on a wheel on the front. The iPod Shuffle works with Macintosh or Windows and connects via a USB cord. The iPod Shuffle made the top 25 because of its small size, low price and versatility

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    Sony Walkman W250 MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The $60 Sony Walkman W250 MP3 player supports MP3 and WMA audio files. While it cannot play video or tune into FM radio, its redeeming feature is that the MP3 player and headset are built into one. Two earpieces connect to the water-resistant body and can connect to each other with a magnetic lock that turns off the player, maximizing battery life. It connects via a mini USB cable to Windows based PCs. This small, one-piece MP3 player is great for runners or for working out, which is why it made the top 25.

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    Even more MP3 players to review! There are tons of MP3 players available, but each one will fit different needs and perform different functions. Are you on a budget, looking for a cheap MP3 player for just music? Or are you looking for a touchscreen MP3 player that can be used as a handheld computer as well? Read on to find which MP3 player suits you best.
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    RCA Lyra MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The $50 RCA Lyra MP3 player has a large variety of features. With 8GB of memory, it has much more memory than other MP3 players of similar size. While this MP3 player will not work with iTunes, Mac users can drag and drop music to the MP3 player, which connects to the computer via USB. Additionally, this MP3 player comes with video support. All music and video files on player are automatically converted into the appropriate file formats, a huge benefit and the reason that this MP3 player made the top 25 list.

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    SanDisk Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The inexpensive SanDisk Sansa Clip+ MP3 player includes a large variety of features. Possessing a one-inch OLED screen, a 15-hour battery life, FM radio/recording and voice recording, this is a great alternative to the iPod Shuffle. It sells for $69.99 for the 8 GB version, $49.99 for the 4 GB version and $39.99 for the 2 GB version. Each version allows users to insert a SD card to store even more music. It is compatible with all major operating systems and made the top 25 because of its memory expansion capability.

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    Fifth Generation iPod Nano MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The fifth-generation iPod Nano MP3 player has a large number of features, including a 2.2-inch screen, a built in video camera, an FM radio tuner, a voice recorder and even a pedometer. The video camera shoots at 30 fps at a 640 x 480 resolution, and the scroll wheel is very easy to use. A built-in feature called VoiceOver speaks song titles and artists as the tracks change, making it great for exercising. This player made the top 25 over the sixth-generation because of its video camera and video capabilities. The fifth-generation sells from $192.99 USD from Amazon.

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    Archos 3 Vision MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The inexpensive Archos 3 Vision MP3 player has a wide variety of features and sells for only $90. It features a three-inch touchscreen, FM radio capability, an audio recorder that can record from the radio and a modest battery life of 14 hours of music or four of video. With 8-GB of memory and a sleek design, this MP3 player made it to the top 25 because of its low price, features and great audio quality.

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    Cowon S9 MP3 player

    Rating Average

    The high-quality touchscreen Cowon S9 MP3 player is designed to compete with the Apple iPod Touch. It has a 3.3-inch AMOLED display, giving it a sharp picture and a great viewing screen for videos. Measuring 57 x 106 x 12.8 mm, it has a built in flash player, document support, and an FM radio tuner/recorder. It supports MPEG-4, WMV, DivX and XviD video files, as well as most audio files. It can charge from empty to full in only five hours through a USB cable, which equates to 50 hours of music or 10 of video. It is lacking Wi-Fi support, though Bluetooth is offered, which means that no web browsing or wireless downloading is available. This MP3 player made the top 25 list because it is one of the closest competitors that the iPod Touch has ever had, selling for $168.99 for 16GB and $218.99 for 32GB.

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    This is the comprehensive list for MP3 players from various manufacturers, from Apple to RCA. Including waterproof MP3 players, MP3 players ideal for the gym, or maybe even MP3 players for kids, this list will detail all 25 of the best MP3 players available.
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    Coby MP826 4GB Touchscreen MP3 player

    Rating Average

    A very low budget touch screen mp3 player, the Coby MP826 mp3 player is a sleek touchscreen player that sells for only $50. It supports both audio and video, though only MPG, MP4, AVI, VOB, FLV and WMV files will play on the Coby MP826. It connects and recharges via a USB cable, but unfortunately, the Coby MP826 mp3 player will not work on Macintosh based PCs. It only is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7, making it completely inaccessible for Apple and iTunes users. The Coby MP826 mp3 player made the top 25 list because it is so inexpensive for a touchscreen player.

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    Creative Zen Stone Mp3 Player

    Rating Average

    The Creative Zen Stone mp3 player is a very inexpensive music player that is ideal for people who do not have a lot of music that they want to listen to. Selling for only $39.99, this music player doesn't have a lot of features or memory, but the price more than makes up for the limited features. Music is transferred via a USB cable, supporting MP3 and WMA file formats, and will run on Windows, Macintosh, or Linux based computers. For such an inexpensive MP3 player, the battery is surprisingly long lasting, with up to ten hours of audio playback. This MP3 player made the top 25 simply because of it's very low price.

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    Cowon iAudio 9

    Rating Average

    A great MP3 player for a budget, the Cowon iAudio 9 mp3 player possesses a number of high quality features for a surprisingly low price of $150.00 USD for a 16GB MP3 player. It has a 2 inche screen, and measures 43 x 95 x 9 mm. It can play a wide variety of audio and video files, as well as some other miscellaneous file formats like flash, JPG and TXT files. The user interface is smooth and responsive, and the built in slider button is really easy to use when navigating through music, movies, and other files. This MP3 player made the list because it was inexpensive for it's size, and offers a large variety of compatabile files coupled with an easy to use user interface.

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    Zune 4 mp3 Player

    Rating Average

    The Zune 4 MP3 player is Microsoft's direct competitor for the iPod Nano, selling for $149.00. It has a number of built in features that justifies the higher price. It has a glass screen that is much more durable than a plastic LCD screen that the Nano uses. It also has a built in FM tuner, wireless sharing and syncing, an online marketplace that can be used to download files directly to the Zune, free games and built in picture browsing.

    However, the Zune 4 MP3 player has a short battery life, with the battery draining even faster when the wi-fi is on. Additionally, it is hard to read the time remaining numbers and the progress bar on the Zune 4 MP3 player, even with the backlight on. This MP3 player made the top 25 list because it possesses a number of features that other 4gb MP3 players of similar size, like the iPod Nano, do not have.

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    UWaterG2 Waterproof MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The UWaterG2 waterproof MP3 player is a tiny waterproof mp3 player ideal for people who run or swim a lot and are worried about their MP3 player getting rusted out or fried by sweat or other liquids. Measuring 1.2"x1.8"x0.4", its perfect for use while exercising because it can fit into any pouch or small fold in clothing, and is marketed as "The World's Smallest Waterproof MP3 Player". It has a 2gb storage capacity, and the battery will last in between 6 to 8 hours before needing to be charged. However, it requires special waterproof headphones, because it has a locking mechanism in the headphone jack that blocks out water and allows the MP3 player to function around water, as well as having no screen to show what is being played. This is one of the top 25 MP3 players simply because of it's size and it's completely waterproof body.

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    From touch screens to huge memory capacity, the top 25 MP3 player list continues with iPods, RCA MP3 players, and waterproof workout models that are great for hitting the pool with.
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    Fourth Generation iPod Touch

    Rating Average

    The fourth generation iPod Touch is the industry standard for touchscreen MP3 players. With built in Wi-Fi support and a preinstalled store for applications and music, this MP3 player is really a handheld computer. Two built-in cameras allow video calls to other iPod Touches and HD video recording. You can make and save audio recordings with ease, and download third-party applications from iTunes or the App Store. Starting from $229 from Apple's website for an 8GB model, up to $399 for a 64GB model.

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    Nu Dolphin Touch MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The waterproof Nu Dolphin Touch MP3 player supports both MP3 and WMA audio files. Ranging in sizes up to 8GB, this MP3 player also features FM radio and a touchscreen that works even while wet. It takes around an hour and a half to charge from empty to full, and a full battery charge will last for around eight hours. It comes with an armband and straps that make it a great MP3 player for use while swimming, the reason why it made the top 25. The Nu Dolphin Touch MP3 player sells for $119.27 at Amazon.com.

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    Zune HD MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    Measuring 4.0 by 2.0 by 0.3 inches, the Zune HD MP3 player is the iPod Touch's direct competitor. It supports WMV, HD DMV, MPEG 4, H.264, DVR-MS and iPod-formatted clips (except DRMed videos), WMA, MOV, AAC, MP3, MP4, M4A and M4B files, which covers most available file formats. It has a built-in FM radio that supports current song information and Wi-Fi access that allows users to access and browse the Internet. The Zune HD MP3 player can be used to read eBooks or download apps from the Zune Marketplace and comes in two sizes: 16GB and 32GB. Both have a battery life of 32 hours of music and eight hours of video. The Zune HD 16 GB sells for $158.88 and the 32 GB model for $203.54. The Zune HD MP3 player made the top 25 list because of its direct competition of the iPod Touch and its unique features.

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    Sylvania Touch Screen Video MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The easy to use Sylvania Touch Screen Video MP3 Player offers 4GB memory that can be expanded via a built-in memory card slot. It features a 2.8-inch LCD touchscreen and supports audio, video, photo, and text file formats. You can buy it for $54 from Amazon. It connects via USB to the computer, and comes with its own software for transferring files. This MP3 player makes the top 25 because of its superior ease of use being one of the easiest to use MP3 players detailed here.

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    Creative Zen V Plus 4 GB Portable Media Player

    Rating Average

    The Creative Zen V Plus 4 GB Portable Media Player sells for $75 from Amazon. It is a great MP3 player for kids, featuring a small, easy to handle body. The large 4GB memory is great for kids who want many songs on their MP3 player, while not being so large that the price is outrageously expensive. It can also be used to watch videos, making it great for the car, and an easy to use interface that kids can figure out. This MP3 player made the top 25 because it is one of the best players that suits children's needs.

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    Wrapping up the top 25 MP3 players with the clean and simple MP3 players that have no frills, just a lot of what you want. Including huge memory MP3 players, video players and MP3 players that are more like personal media devices than anything else, read on for the last part of our comprehensive guide on the top 25 MP3 players.
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    Apple iPod Classic

    Rating Average

    The Apple iPod Classic is the granddaddy of all MP3 players. The original iPod model, this MP3 player has a huge amount of memory, storing up to 160GB of music, videos and photos. That is enough space for 40,000 songs, 25,000 photos or 200 hours of video time. The LCD screen is 2.5 inches, making it quite comfortable for watching movies or videos, and the battery lasts for 36 hours of audio and six of video, long enough for three movies. The Apple iPod Classic made the top 25 MP3 player list because of its massive amount of memory. It can be purchased from the Apple Website for $249.

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    Blue Raven MediaMate 7080 80GB MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The Blue Raven MediaMate 7080 80GB MP3 player has a large amount of memory, holding up to 80GB of videos, photos or audio files. It has a seven-inch LCD screen and can be used as a portable hard drive. It has a built in card reader that can be used to read SD/MMC and MS cards. Its voice recording feature is a great tool for recording lectures, taking oral notes or leaving voice memos. This player made the top 25 because of its large screen, which cannot be found on any other MP3 player. It can be purchased from Amazon for $399.99.

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    Ematic 2GB Color MP3 Video Player

    Rating Average

    The inexpensive Ematic 2GB Color MP3 Video Player really doesn't have features that other MP3 players don’t have, but costing only $25 USD from Amazon, it is practically nothing in price. This MP3 player made the list because it offers the same features as more expensive MP3 players at a fraction of the cost. It works on Windows, Macintosh or Linux based PCs. The Ematic 2GB Color MP3 Video Player has a built-in FM tuner and recorder, a 1.5-inch color screen and E-Book reader capabilities for TXT files. It comes with its own software that is easy to use to make playlists and for uploading music to the MP3 player, which connects via a USB cable.

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    Creative Zen X-Fi 8 GB Video MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The Creative Zen X-Fi 8 GB Video MP3 player is relatively inexpensive with a very good battery life. With a 2.5-inch LCD screen and an FM radio tuner, this $189 MP3 player is has great video playback capabilities, which is why it made this list. It supports MP3, WMA, AAC5, WAV and Audible audio files; MJPEG, WMV, MPEG-4 (including DivX and XviD) video files; and JPEG photo files. Boasting a 30-hour audio playback battery life or 5 hours of constant video playback, this MP3 player is definitely one to look into.

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    Sony NWZE454B Walkman MP3 Player

    Rating Average

    The Sony NWZE454B Walkman MP3 player has a very impressive battery life, lasting for 50 hours of audio or 10 hours of video playback. It has a 2-inch LCD screen that is great for watching movies and a built-in voice recorder for voice memos. This player can double as a USB drive using the built-in "Open format" option. The reason that this MP3 player made the list, however, was the built in karaoke mode, which lets you sing alone with your favorite songs.

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    References

    Source: Author's own experience