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MP3 & Media Players

Updated: 25-05-2024 23:24
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#1
alaScore 100

Sony NW-A306

A solid portable music player, but the Sony NW-A306 can’t quite escape the feeling that it could...

3 expert reviews

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#2
alaScore 99

Sony Walkman NW-A306

Here's everything you need to know about Sony's latest Walkman that couldn't be more different...

3 expert reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Majority MP3 Player

One of the cheapest MP3 players on the market, the Majority MP3 Player embraces its low-cost...

1 expert reviews | 10 user reviews

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#4
alaScore 98

Apple iPod Touch (4th Gen, Late 2010)

The addition on the iPhone 4's A4 processor and Retina Display, alongside 720p video recording...

151 expert reviews | 22830 user reviews

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#5
alaScore 98

JBL Tuner 2

JBL has made a versatile if not exactly powerful radio

2 expert reviews

#6
alaScore 97

Apple iPod Touch (5th Gen, Late 2012 - Mid 2014)

The perfect 4-inch fun factory for those who can't afford an iPhone 5.

52 expert reviews | 13873 user reviews

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#7
alaScore 97

Samsung YP-K5

Samsung has created an innovative new MP3 player, but does the market really want such a device?

58 expert reviews | 400 user reviews

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#8
alaScore 97

Apple iPod Touch (7th Gen, 2019)

The iPod returns for one last hurrah

14 expert reviews | 19 user reviews

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#9
alaScore 97

Sony NW-A3000

Sony’s entry-level Dolby Atmos soundbar is a step in the right direction if you want to improve...

25 expert reviews | 764 user reviews

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#10
alaScore 96

Apple iPod nano (5th Gen, 2009)

The 5th gen iPod nano is inarguably Apple's best yet. It's still more expensive than its peers...

87 expert reviews | 7636 user reviews

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#11
alaScore 96

Apple iPod Touch (1st Gen, 2007-2008)

So can a simple touch screen really be worth paying this much for? The short answer is yes, but...

150 expert reviews | 5581 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

Sony Walkman NW-A105

You don't need a dedicated music player for listening to music but if music affects your life in...

2 expert reviews | 60 user reviews

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#13
alaScore 96

Creative ZEN

A solid pair of over-ear noise-cancelling headphones from the Creative, the Zen Hybrid features a...

125 expert reviews | 5728 user reviews

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#14
alaScore 95

Apple iPod Touch (3rd Gen, Late 2009)

As a mere media player, you'd be hard pushed to justify the high cost of an iPod touch. But as a...

60 expert reviews | 6500 user reviews

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#15
alaScore 95

Apple iPod Touch (6th Gen, Mid 2015)

In today’s smartphone-dominated portables market, one thing’s for sure – if you do hanker after...

23 expert reviews | 4427 user reviews

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#16
alaScore 95

Apple iPod Nano (4th Gen, 2008)

There’s no doubt that the fourth generation iPod nano is the best so far. The design is beautiful...

83 expert reviews | 7239 user reviews

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#17
alaScore 95

Pioneer XDP-100R

An appealing hi-res player with excellent features, loads of storage and a refined sound

14 expert reviews | 33 user reviews

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#18
alaScore 95

Apple iPod Nano (7th/8th Gen, 2012/2015)

. These replace the Apple earphones that have accompanied every Apple player for years, and they...

37 expert reviews | 11592 user reviews

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#19
alaScore 95

Apple iPod Shuffle (4th Gen, 2010)

Format support is also the standard among the iPod family. AAC and MP3 are the two main types...

55 expert reviews | 9951 user reviews

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#20
alaScore 95

Creative ZEN X-Fi

Transferring tracks is a little slow over Wi-Fi - you wouldn't want to copy more than a few...

100 expert reviews | 1322 user reviews

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#21
alaScore 95

Apple iPod nano (6th Gen, 2010)

To purchase an iPod nano, you have to be happy to do so fully aware than you are paying well over...

82 expert reviews | 7414 user reviews

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#22
alaScore 94

Apple iPod Touch (2nd Gen, Late 2008)

or TV show in bed but not much else - and Nike+iPod support for athletic types. I'd argue the...

61 expert reviews | 11914 user reviews

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#23
alaScore 94

Apple iPod nano (3rd Gen, 2007)

It now plays video, and on a bigger, brighter screen than before. Apple is claiming in typically...

72 expert reviews | 6205 user reviews

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#24
alaScore 94

Apple iPod classic (6th/7th Gen, 2007/2009)

Complaints about the restrictive file format support, volume level and games compatibility aside...

87 expert reviews | 11906 user reviews

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#25
alaScore 94

Apple iPod classic (5th Gen, 2005)

Particularly appealing if you like a red click wheel on your black iPod and you still aren't sick...

99 expert reviews | 10305 user reviews

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    Buying Guide

    Buying Guide - MP3 & Media Players

    First Steps: Brainstorming - Or: How To Find Your Perfect Product?

    Your first thought should not be what kind of design or brand it could be but how – and for what exactly – you are going to use your new MP3- or Media player. Do you want it to be your companion during your work-out? Do you want to store your complete music collection on it? Are you also planning to watch videos on it (which is great for long distance travelling)? Would you like to make it your portable photo collection? Wanna listen to audio books? Do you wish any other functions like voice recording, radio reception, wireless capability (wireless music purchasing and downloads, song sharing), voice recording or personal information management (phone books and schedules).

    This automatically leads to the questions whether you need big storage capacity or whether it is more important to have easy-to-use controls.

    Basic distinction of the three types:

    Memory Flash Players
    These players offer those with integrated memory, separate memory cards and USB drive MP3 players and are the most affordable and the smallest in size. With few moving parts they are ideal for every day listening and during exercise.

    Hard Drive Players
    If you want your portable music library, this is the type of player you need. Hard drive players store between 1,000 to over 15,000 tracks depending on their capacity. Storage size can vary from 2GB to over 40GB. Hard drive players usually offer small screens displaying track and artist details plus a user-friendly menu system to choose songs.

    Multimedia Players
    These players use large hard drives and are bigger and heavier than other MP3-Players. This size and storage capacity is to enable the displaying of photographs and video playback. With these devices you can enjoy watching your favorite movies or music videos. One single portable device offers access to your favourite music, videos and photos.

    Display
    Next to size and design, an important factor to consider is the display. It is useful to have it big enough to show the entire song title and have it readable under all conditions including outdoors. In case you want to watch videos and photos on your MP3-Player big display is a crucial factor.

    Weight
    The weight of MP3 players starts at about 40g per player for small integrated memory players, but is usually more in the range of 300g for a large multimedia player. The greater the storage capacity of the player the larger the size and the heavier the weight. Following the current development of storage technology size and weight is constantly reduced.

    Capacity
    The memory capacity of your MP3 Player is essential for the amount of music storage. The basics you need to know to understand what is behind the abbreviations is "MB" as the abbreviation for megabyte which it basically speaking a unit for measuring data. "GB" means gigabyte, which is a larger measurement of data stored. 1 gigabyte is equivalent to 1024 megabytes.

    Average speaking you can assume that one song on a MP-Player needs approximately 4 MB memory size (a rule of thumb is that 1 minute of music = 1 MB), meaning that a 512 MB Player offers space for approximately 130 songs.

    Capacity Hours of MP-Music
    128 MB 2 hours
    256 MB 4 hours
    4 GB 66 hours
    20 GB 333 hours
    40 GB 666 hours

    Audio Formats
    The MP3 music format is currently the most widespread but many of the online music providers offer other formats such as WMA or AAC. These formats have been developed as they provide better sound quality at the same size. Plus they provide a royalties protection system which makes them very successful within musical spheres. Other formats are e.g. Ogg Vorbis and the Sony format ATRAC. Please check the compatibility with the player you are interested in.

    Battery Life
    The life of a battery is linked to memory storage. Big hard drive players mostly use in-built rechargeable batteries, which last between 8 and 20 hours each time. But they cannot be replaced easily, so once the battery life has expired, one needs to buy a whole new player. Batteries of Flash memory players (usually recognizable due to their stick construction) last much longer, depending on the level of volume.
    Please keep in mind that the life expectancy of a rechargeable battery decreases with time.

    Sound Quality
    Sound quality is mainly dependant on the quality of the headphones (or speakers) you are using.
    Another contributing factor to the quality is the data transfer rate, the so-called “bitrate” which is measured in kilobits per second (kb/s).
    The higher the bitrate the higher the sound quality – but the higher the bitrate, the higher the amount of data that has to be saved on your MP3-Player. Using 192 Kbit/sec needs a third more saving space than the 128 Kbit/sec you usually can find in the internet but you then have sound data in the quality of a CD.

    Interface / Connection:
    In order to transfer data from you PC / Mac to your MP3-Player, most of the devices can be easily connected via USB. Read the product descriptions for details in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. This is especially relevant for hard drive and multimedia players where the amount of data transferred is quite considerable.

    Firmware:
    The operating system of a MP3-Player is called „firmware” which is either already pre-installed or can be easily downloaded from the web pages of the manufacturers. In order to update please visit the corresponding websites.
    This is especially important for MP3-Players with an internal hard disk.

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