Best MP3 Player 2020: Choose the right portable music player to carry you and your songs

Believe it or not, the MP3 player isn’t dead. Well, it really depends on what you think when you think of an MP3 player. Sure, our smartphones can do everything they can, so you may not see the classic iPod of the past. But whether it’s for much higher quality audio or just to have a compact and affordable device that isn’t overwhelmed by all the extra features of the phone, there’s still room for audio-only devices. The premium you need to find an MP3 player with a powerful DAC and amplifier (although it may be the least possible to play lossy MP3 files) and use high-end over-ear headphones. Provides sound and power. Earphones. In addition, many of these devices offer significant support for different audio formats, different connectivity options, and more storage flexibility. So if you’re looking for a portable home for your music library, you can find it here.

TL; DR-These are the best MP3 players:

1. Onkyo DP-X1A

Best MP3 player

Our pick

Onkyo DP-X1A

on Amazon

Believe it or not, there are some MP3 players over $ 1,000, but the person using them may not be playing the actual MP3 file. If you need high quality options but don’t want to dig too deep, the Onkyo DP-X1A is offered at a more reasonable price and offers a full-fledged audio chop. The Onkyo DP-X1A is as compact as last year’s iPad Video and weighs less than 0.5 pounds.

Included in the package is an Android-powered audio player with 64GB of storage and dual microSD card slots to dramatically increase the storage of your music library. Since you are running Android, you can also download the streaming app from the Google Play store. It differs from a regular Android phone or a basic MP3 player in that it includes dual Saber amplifiers and a DAC. These are used to drive the left and right audio channels separately when using a 4-pole balanced audio output. With support for a wide variety of audio formats, you can definitely take advantage of its performance. And if you ever want to throw away the cable and make it wireless, the aptX codec via Bluetooth can support high quality audio.

2. Sony NW-A55

Best budget MP3 player

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Well, you know there are benefits to getting a dedicated audio device, but maybe you don’t want to spend as much as you spend on a new phone just to get it. The Sony NW-A55 is a modern Walkman that brings you the high-end audio you’re looking for for just over $ 200. This gives you a sleek design and touchscreen display that prepares you to face the iPod Touch directly, but it also has physical playback controls on the side of the device.

However, when it comes to audio, the Sony NW-A55 is much better than the iPod Touch. You can connect a pair of wired headphones to the unit and enjoy your favorite lossless audio files sent by the S-Master HX amplifier. You can also use DSEE HX to upscale compressed audio files. Not limited to wired headphones. The Sony NW-A55 includes an NFC that can be easily paired with Bluetooth headphones and supports both the aptX HD codec and the LDAC codec, so you can enjoy excellent audio quality via Bluetooth. .. Also, if you’re at home and don’t need a portable music player, you can connect the NW-A55 to your computer and use it as a USB DAC.

3. Astell & Kern Kann

Best MP3 player for less than $ 1000

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Astell & Kern Kann

on Amazon

If you think your MP3 player should have an impressive physical presence-literally and figuratively, somewhat heavy-then Astell & Kern’s Kann writes your name everywhere. It happens to look like a 20,000mAh battery with a color screen, but Kann is oversized, but uses that area for four outputs (two headphone ports and two line output ports). You can easily connect it to your home audio rig and take advantage of the high quality AK4490 DAC.

In addition to 64GB of onboard storage, it has a microSD slot and a full-size SD card slot for a total of 2,112GB of storage. It also includes a pair of amplifiers to separate the left and right headphone audio of the drive. The player supports file formats such as WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, AAC, ALAXC, AIFF, DSF, Tidal is integrated, but Spotify is not.

4. Astell & Kern AK Jr

Best MP3 player for less than $ 500

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Astell & Kern AK Jr

on Amazon

This is the penultimate appearance of Astell & Kern in this list. In reality, Astell & Kern happens to make some great portable audio players, this model is a few years old, but it’s hard to find a better one for less than $ 500.

Unlike cans, juniors are thin and light, so they are easy to carry on the go. It has a 3.1-inch touch screen and 64GB of onboard storage. It can be further expanded to 256GB via microSD. Jr also supports all major file formats including MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC, AIFF, and also supports high resolution DSD like more expensive models.

5. Apple iPod Touch

The most versatile MP3 player

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Apple iPod Touch

on Amazon

Yes, Apple still sells the iPad Touch. The presence of iOS 13 makes it a versatile portable device that can be used for books, videos, games, and almost anything you do with your iPhone (except making phone calls). You can also access the Apple Arcade.

Of course, the iPod Touch is a little different from other MP3 players. Like other iOS devices, it doesn’t have an expansion slot, but you can buy a Touch with 32 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB of storage. And even though it looks like a miniature iPad, it’s not really a music-first kind of device. It supports the most common file formats such as MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, but that’s it.

6. Astell & Kern A & futura SE100

The best MP3 player if the price is okay

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Astell & Kern A & futura SE100

on Astell & Kern

The idea behind a portable music player is as follows. If you feel you need an MP3 player in the age of smartphones, you should go all-in. Like the awesome A & futura SE100, it features a gorgeous textured carbon webbing on the back, a 5-inch display on the front, and artistic zigzag volume control.

The A & futura SE100 relies on a 32-bit 8-channel ESS Saber ES9038Pro DAC and a pair of matching amplifiers. All of these have good signal-to-noise ratios. It supports almost all file formats including WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, AAC, AIFF, MQA and also supports native DSD playback.

It also has a capacity of 128GB and can be expanded to terabytes via the microSD slot. The SE100 has a USB Type-C port for fast charging (112 hours of playback when connected for 2 hours) and fast transfer. It has both a standard headphone jack and a balanced port.

7. SanDisk Clip Jam

The best impulse buying MP3 player

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SanDisk Clip Jam

on Amazon

As long as you set your expectations properly, you may be surprised at what you can get for $ 30. The SanDisk Clip Jam has the potential to be a portable player suitable for children and situations where you don’t want to carry expensive portable devices with you. Wireless connectivity is not available and does not support apps or streaming. However, you can add a microSD card to increase the 8GB onboard memory to a total of 40GB.

There are several bright colors, and as the name implies, they incorporate clips that can be used to attach to clothing. It also plays MP3, WMA, AASC, OGG, WAV and FLAC tracks, so this may be enough.

What to look for in a portable music player

We tend to call portable music players “MP3 players”. This implicitly acknowledges the overwhelming popularity of the lossy and highly compromised audio format. However, the most important consideration when purchasing a player is to make sure that the format in which the music is stored is supported. This may include Apple iTunes tracks in AAC format, FLAC, OGG, or lossless, high-quality “audio fan” tracks. DSD file. Also pay attention to the storage capacity. A moderately sized music collection of high bitrate music can easily reach hundreds of gigabytes.

Most audiophiles already know the value of a high quality digital-to-analog converter (DAC). MP3 players with high quality DACs can easily achieve better sound than PC onboard sound cards. Also, while the benefits of having a pair of DACs in an MP3 player are controversial, driving the left and right stereo channels with a discrete amplifier ensures accurate sound reproduction.

Need to get an MP3 with a balanced audio port? It depends on your headphones and how good your hearing is. A well-balanced port reduces lyneham, increases the signal-to-noise ratio, and allows you to listen to more music. However, you must be able to replace the standard 3.5mm headphone cable with a 2.5mm balanced cable. Headphones should ideally be designed for balanced connections. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

Also, if you want to connect your player wirelessly, look for Bluetooth support. Ideally, use an aptX wireless codec that supports high quality audio. Otherwise, ask the same question as you would ask a portable device and buy an audio player. Do you like interfaces such as battery life? Do you do anything other than play music? Run apps and play games.

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Dave Johnson has been writing about games and technology since the days of the Palm Pilot.Watch him yell at the Twitter void @davejoh..

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