Reading: Best MP3 player for 2022
There ‘s only one ipod MP3 player left in Apple ‘s batting order, and, sadly, it does n’t have a scroll wheel. The ipod Touch is basically an iPhone without the telephone, with a 4-inch touch screen and a camera borrowed from the iPhone 6 era. But that ‘s precisely the point : This 2019 refresh can run io 13 and 14, and it can pull music from iTunes ( on Windows ) or Apple Music ( on the Mac ). It works seamlessly with Bluetooth headphones and speakers, but unlike mod iPhones, it mercifully includes an old-school earphone jack, excessively. And, because it ‘s got the App Store, you can besides opt for alternate services like Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube and the like ( so hanker as you can access a Wi-Fi hot spot ), in summation to or alternatively of the Apple Music app. At around $ 180 for 32GB ( add about $ 100 for 128GB, or $ 200 for 256GB ), an ipod Touch is n’t bum, and it ‘s getting long in the tooth. But it ‘s the most capable and compromising option here, specially for those who are already in the Apple services universe — or refuse to leave their iTunes-based MP3 library. It ‘s besides a courteous disengagement portable MP3 actor option for kids if you do n’t want to spend up for an iPad, which starts at $ 300 and is n’t pocket-size .
Read our Apple ipod Touch 2019 review .
The Mighty Vibe is the closest modern equivalent to the ipod Shuffle, the screenless ipod that was beloved by runners for weighing following to nothing and barely spooling off songs from their darling playlist. ( It ‘s besides a great appliance loophole for sleepaway camps with “ no screen ” rules. ) The catch is that this model entirely works with Spotify Premium and ( thanks to a late firmware update ) Amazon Music, both of which can be synced wirelessly. The Vibe can store upwards of 1,000 songs in its music library, and — unlike the old Shuffle — it supports radio and wired headphones. But it charges through the earphone jack via a proprietorship cable, rather than more omnipresent micro-USB or USB-C connectors. The 5-hour battery animation is acceptably, as is the $ 100 monetary value chase ( recently up from $ 90 ), which feels higher than what you want to pay for this MP3 device product in an era of $ 30 radio receiver headphones and $ 200 smart phones .
Read our Mighty Vibe Spotify Music Player review .
Other MP3 players
Yes, the ipod Touch and the Mighty Vibe are truly the only two products I can recommend in this category with any degree of enthusiasm. But they are n’t the only options. If you ‘re looking for a bargain basement choice ( under $ 50 ), a dangerous high-end alternative ( starting at $ 200 and going to four figures ) or some matter to workarounds, read on .
Cheap option for drag-and-drop fans
John Falcone/CNET The ipod Nano portable music player was arguably the high point of the ipod line, and it was discontinued in 2017. But that has n’t stopped a thriving market for knockoff players. I bought what was ( in the past few months ) the to see if it came stopping point to the real thing. Spoiler alarm : It did n’t. But it ‘s crap bum and broadly adequate if you ‘re looking for an MP3 format music player that lives outside your call. Syncing from iTunes or the Apple Music app is n’t supported : You connect it to your computer and good drag and drop the music files. The portable music musician product I played around was the. No, I ‘ve never heard of Mibao either — and what appears to be a about identical adaptation of the musician is sold under the post, besides. But for around $ 30 ( ! ), you ‘ll get 32GB of onboard storage ( with a microSD expansion slot for more ) and extras including wired headphones and an armband. It supports standard 3.5mm headphones and Bluetooth radio receiver, though the latter involves a finical pair work for music play. It has an onboard FM radio, besides. Alas, you get what you pay for : The company ‘s web site is n’t in English, so good luck with any technical school patronize. More importantly, though, the Mibao ‘s D-pad navigation and miss of external playlist support equitable had us longing for that classic ipod coil roulette wheel of yore. Yes, the Mibao is cheap and yes, it plays your music files — but that ‘s about it .
Micro player for runners
Sarah Tew/CNET In the ( distant ) past, the bantam SanDisk Clip family of players were a serviceable option for basic music playback ( with similar drag-and-drop limitations to the Mibao above ). But some Amazon reviewers have criticized the former iteration of that exemplary — the Clip Sport Plus — saying that its Bluetooth joining was n’t up to snuff. If you want to go this route, you might want to stick with electrify headphones.
Sony Walkman Headphones
Sony Want to listen to music while you ‘re swimming ? Sony offers rainproof headphones that double as an MP3 musician with 16GB of storage. We have n’t reviewed these at CNET, and the Amazon reviews are n’t enthusiastic, but it ‘s such a singular waterproof MP3 musician choice, I wanted to include it here .
Aftershockz This 4GB “ actor in a earphone ” model uses Aftershockz ‘s patent bone-conduction technology. It ‘s besides amply waterproof, and retails for $ 150. ( CNET has n’t tested these hands-on, either. )
Music on your wrist
Angela Lang/CNET once upon a prison term, people strapped ipod Nanos to their wrists and called it an Apple Watch of sorts. Nowadays the real number Apple Watch can act as a sorta-kinda ipod, at least for Apple Music subscribers. Just sync some playlists to the Watch, and you can enjoy digital music ( not to mention podcasts ) on a plant of radio receiver headphones, even if the iPhone is nowhere nearby .
The budget hack
Any old smartphone
Samsung If you ‘ve got an old telephone — or you buy a new one without serve — you ‘ll have access to the full kingdom of app-based music services, and any music files you care to upload. Something like the $ 130-ish Samsung Galaxy A10E ( shown above ) fits the circular nicely, since you can drop in a MicroSD wag that you ‘ve preloaded with tunes. But again, the close you get to the $ 180 crisscross, the more an ipod touch beckons .
High-end portable music players
Astell & Kern and Sony Walkman
Andrew Hoyle/CNET Audiophiles have hanker looked down on digital music because the sound timbre was notably inferior for golden-eared listeners with distinguishing tastes. But the development of lossless file formats ( such as FLAC ) and brassy ample multigigabyte storehouse have made portable high-fidelity music a reality. At this item, there are in truth merely two major players in the high-end portable music outer space : Astell & Kern and Sony ( where the Walkman sword still lives on ). I ‘ve used earlier versions of each post, but not the stream models. range from about $ 218 to $ 3,500 and beyond. start at $ 700. If you ‘re the classify of person who has difficult drives full of decompress music audio files — and can hear the difference between that and relatively low-resolution MP3 and AAC files — then, by all means, pair up one of those players with your electrify earphone of choice .
A better high-end alternative
Tidal, Amazon and (soon) Spotify
That said, I think the better option for budding audiophiles is a subscription to one of the respective music services that offer higher bitrates on your existing devices. This premium set about began with, which offers content at 1,411 Kbps and up. Amazon has since joined the party with ( bitrates up to 3,730 Kbps ). And then there ‘s Spotify, which is planning a higher-quality offer called Spotify HiFi. If you like what you hear, consider upgrading to a ( that ‘s “ digital to analog converter ” ) like the Audiofly Dragonfly and a unplayful wire earphone. then you ‘ll have a solid audiophile option that ‘s dear for the road, without the need for a standalone music player .
Your MP3 collection in the cloud
YouTube Music and iTunes Match
If you ‘ve got a digital music collection that includes one-offs and live tracks that are n’t available on the mainstream services, you can upload them to online services, where they can live aboard subscription tracks and be shared among multiple devices ( including smart speakers ). YouTube Music, once known as Google Play Music, offers this servicing at no extra cost for up to 100,000 tracks. Apple users can opt for iTunes Match, which lets you upload your own digital music to live in tandem with Apple Music tracks. It costs $ 24 a class, above and beyond the price of Apple Music.
If you opt for either of these options, make sure you keep a local accompaniment of your files, good in shell these services go away. bill that Amazon shuttered its “ MP3 footlocker ” servicing in 2018 .