Best MP3 Player 2019: TechRadar's guide to the best portable music players

Best MP3 Player 2019: TechRadar’s guide to the best portable music players

MP3 musicians might not be as popular as they were a decade ago, but that doesn& apos; t mean they& apos; re outdated engineering. In fact, modern MP3 players do a significantly better job at accumulating your part music library at a higher bitrate than your 2009 iPod Shuffle ever could.

To that objective, if you& apos; re on the look-out for the best MP3 participate that money can buy in 2019, you& apos; ve come to the perfect place: Here we& apos; ll run down all the top alternatives, and tell you everything you need to know to make a sensible buying decision.

While most tribes are more than happy to use their phones as portable music musicians, you& apos; re now because you& apos; re looking for a separate music player- one that not only accumulates your music, but builds it sound its best.

The best MP3 players, due to their sound fidelity and stability, are the ultimate machines if you enjoy listening to music- and new innovations in phone are making them even better with each overtaking year.

That said, be said that the machine( in such cases an MP3 player) is only one link in a long audio chain. You’ll also need to think about what audio codec your library is in, and you will obviously also need an immense duet of headphones,( high-fidelity DACs are insignificant if you’re using a inexpensive duet of earbuds ).

If you need a little help, check out the best headphones for 2019.

Apple iPod Touch Portable Audio Device

Best MP3 actor: Onkyo DP-X1A

Onkyo has been a well-known and reverenced word in audio for years, and for good reason. The Onkyo DP-X1A may not be the most compact player on this list, but it is the best all-around, render massive customizability, an intuitive boundary, and marvelous reverberate quality.

Let’s start with the design, which is pretty nice. In general, the DP-X1A appears a little like a phone, but much thicker, and is completely optimized for audio utilization. How so? Well, for starters, it has two audio ports- one headphone jack and one balanced production for those interested in a cleaner and overall better quality sound. Additionally, the machine has an easy-to-use volume wheel, as well as physical playback buttons and two microSD card slots for those with a sizable collect of music.

The player is built with a full copy of Android 5.1, ended with facets like Wi-Fi connectivity and the Google Play Store. Which outcomes in an MP3 Player that is to Android what the iPod Touch is to iOS. Unlike the iPod, nonetheless, the Onkyo DP-X1A is built for super-high-quality audio.

Speaking of the music aspect, it& apos; s an ultimate illusion. It patronizes a range of music formats, including FLAC, OGG, WAV, MP3, ALAC, and more. In periods of equipment, the maneuver has two chipsets, one to ability the overall invention, and one to handle the DAC and amplifier- resulting in a noise-free experience.

We tested the musician with numerou duets of headphones across variou toll ranges, and were dazed with the clarity and remarkable quality of the audio. There’s a rationalization the Onkyo DP-X1A sits atop this list – it’s a ogre in the portable audio life.

Read our full refresh: Onkyo DP-X1A Digital Audio Player


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Best MP3 musician: iPod Touch( 7th Generation)

Apple took us all by surprise when it announced the iPod touch 7, the first upgrade to its portable music and video actor since 2015.

With” enhancements to strength, ability, and communication”, the updated iPod touch is fully geared to gaming, with the release coming precisely in time for the launch of Apple& apos; s brand-new gaming assistance, Apple Arcade.

The bigger upgrade, at least for audio admirers, is the support for the Hi-Res Audio codec FLAC, as well as Apple Lossless, giving you more options than ever when it comes to accessing audiophile-quality music.

Using a Hi-Res Audio playback app for iOS announced Vox, we listened to Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. The strings had a warm and natural character, while soprano vocal duets rose sweetly above the mix without ever sounding cruel.

In our review we too researched out the inbuilt speaker at the bottom of the iPod touch, and it carries quite a punch despite its width. It won’t do for just listened to your Hi-Res music, but if really demand a little background music for your gaming seminars and can’t be riled to delve your headphones out, it directs just fine.

If you need a new MP3 player, and you don& apos; t thought working iTunes, the iPod Touch will do just fine.

Read the full review: iPod Touch( 7th Generation )


compact player

Best MP3 participate: HiFiMan SuperMini

HiFiMan is perhaps best known for its headphones, but it prepares some pretty great MP3 players, too. For an example, search no farther than the SuperMini.

The SuperMini, as the reputation proposes, is a little smaller than most of the other musicians on such lists, but that doesn’t seem to come at a huge cost- it’ll still deliver excellent audio quality and it’s pretty easy to use, too.

The device, which has a price tag of $399( PS400, AU $399 ), doesn’t have any onboard storage – you’ll have to buy a microSD card separately. It does, however, endorsement a pretty gigantic reach of audio formats, including FLAC, DSD, WAV, MP3, and AIFF, and audio with a test pace of up to 192 kHz.

The user interface may not be as flashy as some others on such lists, but it’s still pretty easy to use. It’s a monochrome expose, and is controlled via three buttons located under the screen. The tradeoff to using a monochrome flaunt, however, is that the battery life is decent, sitting in at a hefty 22 hours.

In terms of tone, the high-end on this actor is nice and crisp, without being too aggressive by any means. On surpass of that, “theres a lot” of mids to go around, without the participate at all straying into inaccurate subject. We were a little skeptical of the idea of a musician from a company that presents participates well into the multi-thousands of dollars straddle, but the SuperMini holds its own, and at a decent price.

Read the full discus: HiFiMan SuperMini

This make is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a penalty alternative in the Onkyo DP-X1A


Best MP3 player: Astell & Kern AK Jr

Best MP3 musician: Astell& Kern AK Jr

Astell& Kern is known for building top-notch audio maneuvers at acceptable prices, and for the above reasons we reflect the Astell& Kern AK Jr is the best mid-range MP3 player out of the ones we& apos; ve experienced( and listen ). In fact, after spending some time applying it, we would argue that it’s a pretty serious contender against even much more expensive players.

Before diving into the player’s abilities, you’ll notice how well-designed it is. The shiny, metal looking is very classy, and using it gives you a same” status epitomize” feel as you’ll get with the iPhone.

The AK Jr comes in at $259( PS250, AU $399 ), which is a very reasonable price for a maneuver of this calibre. For that rate, you’ll get 64 GB of onboard storage, though there is a microSD card slot in case you want to expand upon that storage. On exceed of that, it substantiates all major audio formats, including FLAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, AIFF, and more- and it’s able to play at sample frequencies of up to 192 kHz.

The interface of the device is relatively easy to control, very. The home screen simply gives you options for songs, albums, artists, and so on.

Tap through use the touchscreen, and you’ll be able to select the music you want to listen to. It “d be nice if” that touchscreen was a little more responsive, but you get used to it. Battery life sits in at around nine hours, which isn& apos; t amazing, but not horrible either.

So how does it sound? In one word: beautiful.

Music is dynamic and crisp, with a delightful and powerful announce in all other aspects. The soundstage on these, when paired with a great pair of headphones, is huge- that’s to say the left and right are clearly defined, while gauges placed at the center of a mix are given plenty of room to breathe. We particularly experienced the guitar solo on AC/ DC’s Back in Black, while Eminem’s rap on Lose Yourself trimmed straight through the mixture- precisely the road it was supposed to.


Best MP3 player: SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Best MP3 musician: SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Looking for an MP3 musician to make spill with you? If so, you probably want something small and light- it probably doesn’t need to hold day’s worth of music, and it probably doesn’t need to offer the highest audio quality out there. Most of all, you probably don’t want to fork out a ton of cash for it.

If that’s you, in our view, the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus is the best option.

For starters, the maneuver offers 16 GB of storage, and while that may not be much for your telephone, 16 GB can hold a ton of chants. On top of that, despite being built for sport, it actually reinforces a fairly wide range of audio formats- including MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, and WMA.

Perhaps most important for a invention like this is the battery life, and it’ll last you a good 20 hours. You’ll even get Bluetooth, which is a huge deal for many who will be using this while extending or playing other activities and don’t want cables to get in the way.

The interface is relatively easy to use too. Sure, it’s a little dated, and isn’t as potent as what you’ll hear on your smartphone, but it’s still capable as a music musician. It’s not touch-sensitive, though: instead, you navigate through hardware buttons that too serve as playback powers when music is playing, but we didn’t have any issues.

As for the music, as long as you don’t imagine full audiophile-level quality here( you won’t get it ), we believed to be& apos; ll find the reverberate unusually competent. Overall it& apos; s somewhat muddied with a small dip in lucidity, but for most that won’t matter- especially when you& apos; re out on a range or stumbling the values at the gym.


Best MP3 player: Sony NW-A45 Walkman

Best MP3 player: Sony NW-A4 5 Walkman

If the idea of using iTunes monstrosities you out and expend more than $ 200 on an MP3 player just isn& apos; t probable, then your best MP3 player is probably the Sony NW-A4 5 Walkman.

Packed with 16 GB of built-in storage and a slick touchscreen UI, the NW-A4 5 beginning at around $149 and comes in multiple hues that will suit any smack. For audiophiles, the NW-A4 5 helps Hi-Res playback, plus DSEE H are helpful in rehabilitate lossy registers back to a near lossless regime. Unlike your phone, Sony& apos; s Walkman comes with an S-Master HX digital amp that& apos; s powerful sufficient to drive some relatively high-impedance headphones while continuing to altering low-impedance cans, too.

Versatile and easy to use, the Sony NW-A4 5 gets the nod as our MP3 player pick for the first-time buyer.

What MP3 players does TechRadar recommend?

So, what do you need to look for in an MP3 player? Well, the most important thing you need to think about is the audio codec your music library is in.

Anyone who utilizes iTunes will probably have a music library fully filled with Apple’s proprietary AAC codec, and luckily most MP3 players are in favour of that codec. Nonetheless, if you consider yourself an audiophile, you’ll need support for lossless codecs like FLAC, WAV and ALAC, as these codecs don’t use the compression methods used on lossy codecs like AAC or MP3. However, they will take up more space.

You’ll also need to consider how much music is in your, well, music collecting and then how much storage you’ll need. This is especially the case when you’re using codecs like FLAC, which simply down opening. Often MP3 players too has only one included microSD card slot, which allows you to expand upon the included storage as your library expands- but usually merely up to a certain size , naturally around 512 GB.

Here& apos; s the best part though: unlike smartphones, MP3 players are built to last-place, so there’s no need to go on an endless two-year upgrade-cycle like you might with a smartphone. This wants it’s probably in your best interests to make some time and find the one that’s right for you, as you will probably be using it for a few years to come.

Search for a something to listen to on your new MP3 player? Check out our register of the best podcasts around.

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