MP3 Player Reviews: The best Flash, Hard-drive, Ultra compact MP3 players, MP4 players, and docking stations. Learn more about MP3 technology, and the various types of players that exists in the market.
Table of Contents
Best MP3 Players
Here are some popular MP3 players.
Ultra Compact MP3 Players
These are still popular because of their tiny size, which makes them perfect for working out or even traveling.
Apple iPod shuffle 2GB Slate NEWEST MODEL
Colorful, clip-and-go iPod shuffle, with built-in buttons and VoiceOver, access your favorite songs, and playlists wherever you go.
Hard Drive MP3 Players
These are useful at home (with a docking station attached) or in case you’re going to be away from your computer for a long period of time. These come with a more traditional hard drive and offer an average of 160GB of storage, and more.
Apple iPod classic 160 GB Black NEWEST MODEL
Capacity for 40,000 songs, 25,000 photos, or 200 hours of video.
Apple 80 GB iPod AAC/MP3 Video Player Black
80 GB hard drive for up to 20,000 songs, thousands of photos, and hours of video.
It needs to be seen how these fare against the smartphones in the long run. MP4 players are designed for watching movies as well; its more of a pocket-size video player.
Apple iPod touch 32GB Blue NEWEST MODEL
4″ Display, 40 Hours Of Music Playback, 8 Hours Of Video Playback when Fully Charged.
Apple iPod touch 64GB White NEWEST MODEL
iPod Touch, iPod Touch loop, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide.
MP3 Docking Stations
Just get a high quality MP3 player and matching Docking Stations and you really don’t need another music system at home. Averaging around three pounds, these portable MP3 speakers are perfect for home use or on the go.
Bose SoundDock Series II 30-Pin iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock (Black)
Remote control, charger, Auxiliary input for additional sound source, such as a portable DVD, CD or other MP3 player.
Logitech S715i Portable 30-Pin iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock
Plays and charges your iPod and iPhone, Wireless remote, Powerful balanced sound.
MP3 Players: Buying Guide
As you may have probably observed that most gadgets today are getting cannibalized by smartphones, as they offer a range of features packed in one device.
Here’s an interesting article that talks about how smartphones are posing a serious challenge to the existence of point and shoot cameras. The same threat applies to media players as well, unless they innovate and give something more to the end-users.
Flash MP3 players are already facing the heat from phones. However, that doesn’t mean its all over for MP3 players. There are several media players that still have a place of honor in many purses, backpacks and even at homes, primarily because they offer easy access to your personal entertainment collections anytime & anywhere.
Popularity of MP3 Players
Almost everybody seems to own an Mp3 player nowadays; it comes built-in in most smartphones as well.
Be it at the gym, or traveling to work, or even walking the dog, everybody likes to carry their music library along, and that is what makes these gadgets more appealing.
When this technology was introduced, the quality of the music was a bit below par, obviously because it used some form of compression to achieve a smaller file size.
Over the years, the technology has become better and the audio quality now is almost as good as that provided by CDs.
Another reason is that it makes your music collection much more portable; something that was difficult during the CD days.
Today, you can simply download your favourite songs, save them in your player, and carry with you wherever you go.
Mp3 stands for Moving Picture Experts Group layer III, and is a technology used to compress audio data to fit smaller memory space, without any audible loss to the audio quality.
But why use compression? Because raw audio data can be huge, which makes it difficult to store and use on portable devices.
With Mp3 you can store about ten times more audio data, compared to what you can store on a standard audio CD.
So I guess, you get the idea why it’s so popular!
Here are few more things to know about these devices:
Mp3 vs Mp4
There are many who think that MP4 is a more modern and updated version of MP3.
Do you agree to that?
Well, it’s not so. Mp4 is something very different in its features.
MP3 can be considered to be of a particular category belonging to audio formats, whereas MP4 is considered to be a container format.
However in spite of these differences, mp3 files can be run in either of the players.
More Types of MP3 Players
Depending on the number of songs and videos that you want to store, these are further categorized, mostly based on their memory capacity. Here are the more common ones:
These are the smallest in size, with the lowest capacity, and are very light. An example is iPod Nano.
These rely on the internal flash memory or on removable memory cards to store the various songs.
These are perfect for jogging or at the gym, because of its lightness.
Hard Drive-based player
Also known as Digital Jukebox, these use a hard disk drive to store the media files, and may be able to store a much higher volume of files, compared to the Flash ones.
These are best for situations where you’re going to be away from computers for long periods of time. It’s also ideal for listening in the living room, and it can easily be connected to some good external speakers.
Examples are iPod video, Sony Walkman. The Micro Mp3 player with hard drive has a lower capacity and is lighter than an Mp3 player with hard drive. Examples are iPod Mini, Zen Micro (Creative Labs).
MP3 CD player
Some music players only have a CD drive and do not have any other AUX-ins or USB slots. These types are similar in nature and work by reading the MP3 files that are burned into a CD.
Wireless / Headphones / Speakers
Recent advancements in technology have made wireless technology better and affordable, so you do get MP3 players that employ wireless headphones; so no more clumsy wires. Besides, these models give you much better battery life as well.
But then, even if you don’t opt for wireless, its important to realize that Mp3 player sound quality is only as good as the headphones you are listening with.
So do spend a little time and money on superior quality headphones, and if possible get expertanl speakers as well.
Cheap MP3 Players
Does it make sense to buy a cheap MP3 player?
Well, if you don’t have the budget, then there’s not much that you can do. Can you?
But then there’s always a correlation between Price and the Quality. So a cheap one may not have more features, and may be of poorer build quality.
That is why you need to evaluate the features available on cheap MP3 players, and see if it’s useful to you.
Ever since Mp3 players were introduced in the early nineties, there has been a never-ending argument over its audio quality. Some say that the compression results in audio quality loss, while some others feel that it only removes the frequency of audio data that cannot be possibly heard by people, so there is no real loss in the sound quality.
But the fact is that mp3 players are here to stay; there are many who listen to music, watch movies, access pictures on these. Some of these mp3 players come with built-in radio!