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Best MP3 Player 2021 • 7 MP3 Player Reviews

To ensure that you’re buying the best MP3 Player, we’ve spent a good amount of time testing each of the items in the product table below making a comparison.Yes, people still use MP3 players, and it isn’t just a whim. Many of us actually prefer having a device dedicated to audio playback, mostly because we want a more faithful sound than that usually offered by cell phones. This is particularly true for music lovers and audiophiles. The reason why a half-decent MP3 player provides better quality than a phone is due to various factors. In addition, these devices have dramatically evolved to distance themselves from smartphones. Throughout this guide, we will introduce you to these criteria, as well as to a selection of the best MP3 models currently available on the market.

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Tested Products 7
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Hours Spent 72
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Evaluated Studies 177
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 465

What is a MP3-Player and how does it work?

These portable electronic devices designed to play audio files have been in fashion for years now. The emergence of cell phones has led part of the public to forget about them, but manufacturers have responded with significant evolutions over the years. Their performance has dramatically improved, and they are cheaper than ever.

In addition to this affordability, the transformation has taken the form of players with larger memory capacity. Inherently offering greater output power than most mobile phones, hi-res models now include powerful audio chips that can process the sound in much higher quality.

Advantages and disadvantages of MP3-Players

Advantages

  • They focus exclusively on sound and are far superior to standard MP3 players. It goes without saying that their quality is light years ahead of most smartphones.
  • They integrate quality audio chip.
  • The sound processing ensures higher audio quality if you compare the same file with the playback provided by smartphones and basic MP3 players.
  • Their audio output is more powerful.
  • They can play files with and without audio loss, making the most of their potential.
  • You can connect certain models to a computer to use as a DAC.

Disadvantages

  • The colorvariation of every MP3-Player is differentWhile you can find good hi-res models for around $100, the best models will set you back over $500.
  • If you don’t care much for sound quality, this is an unnecessary expense.
  • You won’t make the most of their potential if you don’t have quality headphones.
  • Having an MP3 player means you have to carry another device with you in addition to your phone.

Shopping Criteria for MP3-Player

Now that you are more familiar with MP3 players, you should know that hi-res devices offer various features that make them stand out from other devices designed to play music. That being said, there are still certain key factors that you should know before making your purchase. They will help you choose the right model if you get lost amid the wide range of products available.

Audio Quality

Before you get your hands on an MP3 player, make sure you analyze how important sound quality is to you. If you are happy with what your cell phone has to offer, you may not be so interested in purchasing an additional device. MP3 players and their technology are designed specifically for playing music.

If audio quality is a priority for you, on the other hand, you won’t regret buying one of these devices. They provide higher output power and better sound chip performance than the vast majority of cell phones. The difference in quality is quite noticeable with a basic player – not to mention hi-res models.

Type of MP3- Player

Once you have decided to buy a player for an enhanced music quality experience, you will need to choose between standard and hi-res models. The main difference between the two types is the output power and the quality of their DAC. The sound processing of the hi-res devices is much better, which means that the audio quality is superior.

Entry-range hi-res players will cost around $100, with brands like Sony and FiiO offering products with an incredible quality considering their price. If you want to go for the very best in the industry, remember that this can set you back $1,000. These models are tailored to audiophiles and music lovers with well-trained ears and powerful headphones.

Did you know: The first MP3-Player got developed in 1997?

Connectivity

Nowadays, in addition to the standard 3.5-mm jack plug, many MP3 players integrate Bluetooth connectivity. That being said, this mode isn’t particularly recommended if you care about the audio quality because this system further compresses the data regardless of its format.

The most advanced MP3 players can even offer Wi-Fi connectivity. This system is much more efficient than Bluetooth and allows you to pair your device with headphones or speakers through the bandwidth without losing sound quality. If you are willing to make the investment, you won’t regret it.

Additional Features

Broadly speaking, cell phones with the best sound quality will equal the performance of low-end hi-res players. A smartphone with a powerful output and a top audio chip will set you back $600 to $1,000, which the most affordable hi-res models won’t cost you more than $100.

Once again, we want to emphasize the importance of headphones. Having a good MP3 player with a quality DAC and great output power won’t do you any good if you connect it to poor earphones. To get the most out of your device and its audio potential, we encourage you to go for at least medium-range headphones.

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FAQ

Are MP3 players more efficient than cell phones?

First of all, it is essential to remember that there is a wide range of products – both for smartphones and MP3 players – with different features and performance. Generally speaking, specific players offer better audio quality than cell phones, mainly because their sole purpose is to reproduce sound. The difference in performance further increases when you look at hi-res models. If you analyze the technical specs for the sound of cell phones, you will notice that little information is given. If you read a hi-fi player’s characteristics, on the other hand, a long list of specs is given. This shows why MP3 players are more efficient than cell phones. The device that processes the sound is always the most important. Mobile phones are getting thinner every year and must include a screen, battery, processor, graphics card, sound card, antenna, and other components. A hi-fi sound player can focus exclusively on integrating a quality audio chip.

What file formats and audio codecs do MP3 players support?

These electronic devices generally support a wide range of audio formats, some of which are compressed and have a loss of quality. Others are somewhat compressed but do not lose quality. Finally, you can also find uncompressed formats with intact quality, but these take up more space. Here is a list of the most common types: MP3: This is the most typical format. The files are compressed, but they offer good quality if you keep them at a bit rate of 320 Kbps. WAV: This digital format was developed by Microsoft and IBM without audio compression. Its biggest drawback is that it takes up a lot of space. FLAC: Free-license audio codec. Its main advantage is that it allows compression without losses, so you don’t sacrifice sound quality. This is why it is a favorite among audiophiles and the star format for hi-res MP3 players. It needs less space than WAV. AIFF: Audio format developed by Apple Inc. Its quality is excellent because it is not compressed. OGG: Free and open audio format developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation. It is generally delivered with the Vorbis codec, whose quality is similar to that of MP3. This audio file is used by platforms like Spotify. ALAC: Format developed by Apple to compete directly with FLAC. It is used by Apple Podcasts and Music.

What is the DAC of an MP3 player?

First of all, let’s clarify that any device that allows you to listen to music integrates a DAC, which stands for digital-analog converter. In other words, any cell phone, computer, DVD player, and, of course, MP3 player has a built-in DAC. However, certain DACs available have greater features to obtain a superior sound experience. To get a sense of this, keep in mind that no cell phone advertises the DAC found inside the device. This is because it is not designed to provide high-quality sound. Hi-res MP3 players, on the other hand, will generally mention it in their technical specs since it is directly responsible for its performance. If you want to go a little further, you should know that these hi-fi players even give you the option of using the device as a DAC when connected to a PC. This basically means that your computer uses the MP3 player’s sound card to improve its performance, which is ideal when your PC’s card is fairly poor.

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