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.
In fact, there's a surprisingly robust market for devices that primarily play music. The target audience ranges from children who might not be ready for a smartphone to older people who might not want to deal with a full-fledged handset. Or it could be those who simply want to work out to music.
Whatever your reasons, there's a host of MP3 players and media players that offer compelling features. These are the best MP3 players for your money right now.
Apple iPod touch
After four years (Apple left it untouched since 2015) Apple finally updated its iPod touch. Apple isn't doing much to change its device, outside of upgrading its CPU to the A10 Fusion chip and providing a 256GB storage option. The company didn't need to do much, though, as the iPod touch is still most popular and prominent MP3 players on the market.
Design wise, it's still elegant as an essentially a slimmed-down iPhone that plays your music, but also gives you access to apps in the App Store. The A10 Fusion chip will make those apps sing a little louder, as augmented reality app support is a marquee new feature. Just note that the display is on the small size at 4 inches. Other features include an 8-MP rear camera, a FaceTime HD front camera and six color options. Expect up to 40 hours of battery life during audio playback. The device starts at $199 for 32GB of space.
Display size: 4 inches | Storage: 32GB to 256GB | FM tuner: With App | Rated battery life: 40 hours audio, 8 video | Size: 4.9 x 2.3 x 0.2 inches | Weight: 3.1 ounces
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.
Display size: 1 inch | Storage: 8GB | FM tuner: Yes | Rated battery life: 18 hours | Size: 0.6 x 1.6 x 2.6 inches | Weight: 0.8 ounces
Sony Walkman Wearable
Sony's Walkman Wearable is an attempt by the company to bring back the MP3 player of old and combine it with the wearables people want. The device is technically earbuds and an MP3 player in one, but since it comes with only 4GB of space, you'll be able to store only up to 500 songs on it at any time. Sony says that the wearable is waterproof and sweatproof, so you can wear it while you work out. It offers up to 12 hours of battery life.
Display size: N/A | Storage: 4GB | FM tuner: No | Rated battery life: 12 hours | Size: 5 x 2 x 7.44 inches | Weight: 1.13 ounces
SanDisk Clip Sport Plus
The SanDisk Clip Sport Plus is a diminutive device that's compact enough to clip to your clothes and is water-resistant. It comes with 16GB of storage, allowing you to store up to 4,000 songs for listening on the go. It has a small, 1.4-inch display for viewing album artwork and other content and physical buttons that will allow you to quickly change songs, pause playback and more. And at $59, it's one of the more affordable options available.
Display size: 1.4 inches | Storage: 16GB | FM tuner: Yes | Rated battery life: 20 hours | Size: 2.60 x 1.74 x 0.68 inches | Weight: 1.28 ounces
Sony Walkman NW-E394
If you're looking for a Sony Walkman that comes with a nice screen and physical buttons, the Walkman NW-E394 is the way to go. The device ships with 8GB of storage for storing up to 1,000 songs. The screen, which measures 1.8 inches, is designed to showcase album art and other information about the tracks you're playing. In addition to an FM tuner, the NW-E394 comes with a big battery that delivers up to 35 hours of playback on a charge.
Display size: 1.8 inches | Storage: 8GB | FM tuner: Yes | Rated battery life: 35 hours | Size: 3.6 x 1.7 x 0.4 inches | Weight: 1.44 ounces
Pioneer MP3 Player
Pioneer’s MP3 Player is all about one thing: giving you premium audio quality, as long as you're willing to pay for it. The MP3 Player, which costs a whopping $300, comes with 16GB of storage to support up to 4,000 songs. It comes with a 2.4-inch LCD for viewing album art and other content and its built-in Wi-Fi is designed to help you connect to content wherever you are. Pioneer has boosted its audio performance with hi-fi support to help justify its lofty price.
Display size: 2.4 inches | Storage: 16GB | FM tuner: No | Rated battery life: 12 hours | Size: 2.5 x 0.6 x 3.9 inches | Weight: 4.32 ounces
Sony Walkman NW-E395
Sony's Walkman NW-E395 is similar to the NW-E394, but has one major advantage over the alternative: double the storage. The 16GB device comes in black or red and has a 1.8-inch LCD screen to let you sift through content, see album art and more. Physical buttons on the front control playback. The player can store up to 4,000 songs, and with 35 hours of playback on a single charge, there's plenty of juice inside the device to keep you listening to music throughout the day.
Display size: 1.8 inches | Storage: 16GB | FM tuner: Yes | Rated battery life: 35 hours | Size: 3.6 x 0.4 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 1.38 ounces
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.