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The Best Rated MP3 Players for 2010

written by: unsel•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 5/20/2011

The MP3 player market is full of exciting models, with great portability, and stunning designs. We've already seen many new MP3 models in 2010, and more are due to be launched. But for now, I'll list the best rated MP3 players for 2010 on the market right now and explain what sets them apart.

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    Sony NWZ-E438F

    The Sony NWZ-E438F Sony NWZ-E438F has a compact and standard design; not very fashionable, but that isn’t a bad thing, as it makes the player Sony NWZ-E438F look simple and decent. The Walkman has a 2 inch LCD screen, and the control pad is located just below it. The control pad is a five-way control pad that lets you play/pause the music, and navigate to the menu items. There is also a home/back control and an option key, which brings up various contextual menus. The bottom of the unit has a USB port, and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. The right spine of the Walkman houses a volume rocker, and a hold switch.

    The sound quality this device generates is just amazing. The Walkman offers many options for sound enhancements, including four presets, and two or five-band custom equalizers. The Walkman battery lasts for approximately 5 to 35 hours, depending whether you are playing video or music. This is a very reasonable amount of time, if you ask me.

    The Sony NWZ-E438F is an excellent device for anyone looking for a decent and easy-to-use MP3 player, with a slim design, solid sound quality, handy features, and a long battery life. The player comes in a variety of colors to suit most preferences, including red, black, blue and pink.

    The Walkman is only available in 4GB and 8GB models, for $84.00 and $139.95, respectively

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    Microsoft Zune HD

    Constructed of fine aluminum, glass and black plastic, Zune HD is a very nice looking music player. This small multi-functional device won’t fit in the jeans pocket, but it will easily slip in most pant or shirt pockets. The beautiful 3.3-inch touch screen takes up most of the device’s face. Underneath the screen are the home button, and a power/hold button on the top edge. There is also a volume rocker on the left side, and beside it is a tiny button that brings up the QuickPlay options. On the bottom of Zune are the Zune port and a headphone jack. The Zune HD lacks speakers, though it’s not a mark against it.

    . The Zune HD's audio quality is very good. In my experience, it surpasses the iPod Touch or iPhone by a wide margin. However, for many ZUNE HD music enthusiasts, its sound quality would be just adequate, and not stunning. These people give negative scores to Zune HD because it lacks advanced audio controls, and applications beyond the basic audio player functions. Zune HD does get beaten on these slight weaknesses, but these are trivial matter. Overall ZUNE HD is an awesome and a very powerful audio player.

    The Zune HD’s battery lets you listen up to 30 hours of non-stop music, after only one charge. Zune HD also offers internet browsing, radio and sync over wireless connection. I have owned many multimedia players in the past, and I must say that Zune HD seems to be the best one I’ve owned so far.

    Zune is available in many different colors, at a reasonable price of $203 (32 GB), $334 (64GB), on

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    Apple iPod NANO

    The Apple iPod Nano is an amazing, beautifully looking multimedia player, available in 5 vibrant colors. If you have used iPod before, Apple iPod Nano the iPod Nano deserves your great attention. With a more durable body, nearly double battery life, better screen brightness, and a new headphone, this device is the best replacement for your iPod, or any other player.

    The sound quality of this player is exceptional, the user interface and the menus are fairly simple to use. The iPod Nano lacks an important Home button though, because of which the device requires users to swipe from left to right on the screen to return to the previous page, or tap and hold the centre of the screen to go back to the main screen.

    The 3.5mm headset jack and the iPod port are found on the bottom of the player. The iPod Nano has an internal mic for audio recording, a hold switch on the top, and nothing at right and the left. The device also comes with a powerful integrated speaker, which can easily blast out your neighborhood or anything else.

    The 8GB model is available for $115, and the 16GB model for $164, on

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    SanDisk Sansa Clip +

    Sandisk offers a MP3 player at 2.2 inches x 1.4 inches x 0.5 inch, with 1-inch OLED screen. The player is housed in an extremely sandisk-sansa-clip lightweight and small body. It is one of the most compact Mp3 players I have come across in the recent past.

    Below the screen of Sandisk Sansa Clip+ is a circular, four-way pad that performs menu navigation and all the music control functions. At the right of the pad is a home key that brings you back to the main menu. There is a dedicated volume control at the left side, and the power button is found at the top. The Sandisk Sansa Clip+ has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and a hold and a standard mini USB port for music transfer. The jack, the controls, and the port may seem a lot for this small device but these are very well laid out on the player.

    This player produces excellent sound quality at all – low, mid and high frequencies. The player includes both a five-band customizable EQ, and preset equalizer settings. The battery life of 14.1 hours isn’t thrilling, but maybe enough for most people. To conclude, the Sandisk Sansa Clip+ is truly people’s player. You can buy it te at an extremely affordable price of $41.00, and $56.90, for 4GB and 8GB, respectively.

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    Philips GoGear SA52 MP3 player

    Philips is one of the oldest manufacturers of multimedia players. The Phillips GoGear SA52 MP3 player is another addition to its Philips GoGear SA52 MP3 player lineup of inexpensive, yet exciting MP3 players. The GoGear SA52 MP3 player is very nicely designed. It feels durable in the hand, and not at all cheap. The player comes with a bright 2.8-inch screen. Underneath it, you will find all the basic controls. There is a 5-way control pad, with a play/pause button in the centre. There is also the option button at the right, and the back button at the left of the control pad. The 3.5mm audio jack is located on the bottom of the device, and the hold/lock button, reset buttons are also found here. There is also microSD card slot, and a built-in 3.2 MP camera.

    Philips GoGear SA52 MP3 player offers extremely impressing audio quality, without any distortion. The sound seems to be flat sometimes, but only when you play certain type of music. The player’s battery life runs to 30 hours for music and 6 hours for video, with a single full charge.

    The Philips GoGear SA52 MP3 player with 8GB memory is reasonably priced on Amazon, at $125

    -- Now that you have found out the best rated MP3 players of this year, you might be interested in looking at the top 10 best headphones for your MP3 player.

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