Best MP3 Players for 2022 Revealed! – #8th is Really Amazing

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In 2001, the Apple iPod popularized the concept of the MP3 player. Since then, the audio industry has gone through massive shifts. Therefore, you might think that MP3 players are no longer available in the market. However, in order to save phone storage and easy access to music, the MP3 player is still in vogue and marketing well.

In this article, you will find a compilation of the 10 best MP3 players available in the market.

Astell & Kern A&Ultima SP2000T

Best for overall performance

Astell Kern A -Ultima SP2000T mp3 players

Image Credits: astellnkern

A&Ultima SP2000T has been designed to provide the optimal listening experience.

Specifications

Size (78.1 mm)W x (141.1 mm)H x (17.5 mm)D
Weight 10.89 ounces
Body Material aluminum
Display 5″ FHD 1280 x 1080 Touch display
Supported Audio Formats WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
Playback Time About 9 hours
Charge Time

About 3.5 hours (Standard – 9V/1.6A Fast charging)

About 5 hours (Standard – 5V/2A General charging)

Built-in memory 256GB
Special Features Triple Amp system, TERATON ALPHA, Vacuum Tube Amplifier Compatible
Price $2499

The Astell & Kern A&Ultima SP2000T is definitely the top MP3 player you can buy. This portable music player delivers a premium digital audio experience. However, the Triple Amp System takes acoustics to a whole different level. Also, it employs a Vacuum Tube Amplifier that supports 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm output jacks.

Moreover, its Dual-Band wi-fi supports uninterrupted wireless connection with improved compatibility. The A&Ultima SP2000T allows you to select between three modes- TUBE AMP, OP AMP, and HYBRID AMP mode.

Furthermore, the OP AMP mode delivers clarity and dynamic sound, while the TUBE AMP mode offers a warm and musical sound. The HYBRID AMP mode enhances the resolution of the TUBE AMP for more musical detail.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Dynamic sound Hefty price
Full HD display Comparatively bulky build
Wireless transfer with AK File Drop
Dual-Band Wi-Fi
Responsive control interface

Cowon Plenue D3

Best for battery life

Cowon Plenue D3 portable mp3 player

Image Credits: cowonglobal

The Plenue D3 might be small but offers a top-tier audio performance.

Specifications

Size 53.1mm(W) x 79.2mm(H) x 16.2mm(D) 
Weight 8.8 ounces
Body Material Metallic
Display 2.8” touch-capable LCD panel
Supported Audio Formats DSD, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, MP3, WMA
Playback Time 30 hours
Charge Time About 3.5 hours (Standard – 5V/1A or higher Micro USB DC Adapter)
Built-in memory 64GB/ MicroSD SDXC (Max 128GB)
Special Features Bluetooth, Dual DAC, Volume wheel, USB Type-C
Price $279.99

The Cowon Plenue D3 impressed us with its stylish design and new features. The third upgrade from Cowon has a volume dial, Bluetooth, and a dual DAC. The build of the MP3 player is light and matchbox-shaped. Due to it’s size and features, it is surely worth it to consider as one of the best MP3 Players to buy for a trip.

Moreover, the D3 has introduced small rhythm, timing, detail, and musicality upgrades.

In addition, the Plenue D3 supports a vast range of formats, including DSD, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, APE, MP3, WMA, OGG, and DCF. Furthermore, with Bluetooth, you can listen to your music from a wide range of devices. In addition, it can be paired with a wireless speaker or headphones. Even after being this much feature packed, the power-saving DAC minimizes battery consumption and delivers up to 30 hours of playback time.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Extensive battery life Low-resolution screen
Bluetooth connectivity          
The detailed presentation across frequencies
Classy build and finish
Small and portable

Astell&Kern A&Norma SR25

Best for performance

Image Credits: astellnkern

The A&norma SR25 delivers high-resolution and balanced audio.

Specifications

Size 2.5 x 0.63 x 4.26 inches 
Weight 6.3 ounces
Body Material Aluminum
Display 3.6” 720×1280 Touchscreen
Supported Audio Formats MP3, ALAC, AAC, APE, DSF, AIFF, FLAC, WMA, WAV, OGG
Playback Time 21 hours
Charge Time About 2.5 hours (Standard – 5V/2A)
Built-in memory 64GB/ Expandable MicroSD 
Special Features Quad-Core CPU, Bluetooth LDAC Codec Support, Dual DAC
Price $699

The SR25, the second model in the Astell&Kern A&norma line, brings high-resolution audio for a premium listening experience. It supports native DSD256 and 32bit/384kHz audio and boasts superb performance. In addition, this MP3 player includes a perfect circuit design for the highest sound quality.

Moreover, the SR25 supports 21 hours of continuous playback so that the music lasts the whole day. Also, it comes with 3.6 inches 720×1280 touchscreen. The Dual Cirrus Logic CS43198 Master Hi-Fi Level DACs do not compromise battery life to squeeze out a stellar audio performance. As a result, you can enjoy an Ultra-Low Noise Filter that allows you to experience Astell&Kern’s excellent sound, with Zero Noise, on the SR25.

Furthermore, the SR25 supports Wi-Fi connectivity to access music streaming services

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
High-resolution audio Comparatively pricey
Improved battery and UI          
Bluetooth LDAC on board
Faster Quad-Core CPU
Native playback support

Apple iPod Touch (7th Generation)

Best for versatility

Apple iPod Touch (7th Generation) - apple

Image Credits: Apple

Apple iPod Touch provides a list of features that prove they were a way ahead of time.

Specifications

Size 2.31 x 0.24 x 2.31 inches 
Weight 6.4 ounces
Body Material Aluminum and stainless steel
Display 4-inch Retina display
Supported Audio Formats AAC-LC, HE-AAC, HE-AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC‑3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC‑3), and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+)
Playback Time 40 hours
Charge Time About 4 hours
Built-in memory 32GB / 128GB / 256GB
Special Features Front-face and rear-face camera, A10 Fusion chip, Siri
Price $199 – $399

You must be wondering why is Apple iPod hasn’t come yet in our best Mp3 Players list. So here it is, Apple has launched a whole host of extensive features with good audio quality in the iPod Touch 7th Generation. With a crisp 4-inch Retina display, the iPod is closer to a phone than a music player.

However, iPod Touch does not lack in terms of music quality. Also, you can stream 50 million songs with Apple Music and download your favorites.

Moreover, it supports multiple audio formats and uses Bluetooth 4.1 wireless technology and WiFi for a seamless audio experience. In addition, the maximum volume limit is easily configurable. Finally, the iPod Touch 7th Gen is perhaps the most versatile portable music player on the market.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Multiple features No Micro SD
Impressive sound No Touch ID
Good picture quality
Great battery life
WiFi connectivity

Sony NW-A55L

Best for audio

Image Credits: Sony

Sony NW-A55L offers high-resolution audio on a budget.

Specifications

Size 3.5 x 1.75 x 6.5 inches
Weight 7.05 ounces
Body Material N/A
Display Touch-screen, TFT color display with white LED-backlight
Supported Audio Formats MP3, WMA, FLAC, WAV, AAC, HE-AAC. Apple Lossless, AIFF, DSD 
Playback Time 45 hours
Charge Time Approx. 4 hours
Built-in memory 16GB/ Micro SD, Micro SDHC, Micro SDXC
Special Features S-Master HX, DSEE HX
Price $219.99

The Sony NW-A55L offers hi-res audio support, with only 16GB of internal memory. Also, it boasts an impressive 45 hours of battery life. In addition, the NW-A55L lets you enjoy the authentic sound with its incredible audio fidelity.

Apart from that, you can now relish the subtle details of your sound with High-Resolution Audio. The in-built S-Master HX reduces distortion and noise across a wide range of frequencies for a rich, full-bodied sound. Meanwhile, the DSEE HX restores all your compressed music files.

Furthermore, the NW-A55L features Easy Bluetooth connectivity with NFC One-touch for stable connectivity. In addition, the large touch screen allows effortless control. Finally, you can also make playlists on the device so you can listen to your favorites on the go.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Easy Bluetooth connectivity Micro SD card required
Hi-Res Audio             No Touch ID
Good picture quality
Large touch screen
Impressive battery life

Astell&Kern KANN Alpha

Best for powerful audio

Astell _ Kern Kann Alpha

Image Credits: astellnkern

Kann Alpha is a beast that pumps out powerful and amplified sound.

Specifications

Size 6.1 x 4.02 x 2.44 inches
Weight 1.3 pounds
Body Material aluminum
Display LCD touchscreen
Supported Audio Formats MP3, MQA, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV, and native DSD256
Playback Time 141/2 hours
Charge Time Approx. 3-4 hours
Built-in memory 64GB/ Micro SD 
Special Features Dual ESS ES9068AS DACs, LED Volume Wheel, MQA & MQA-CD playback support, DAC Filters.
Price $1,099

Kann Alpha was designed to provide ultra high-power output in a digital audio player while ensuring a compact design. As a result, it offers powerful 12Vrms ultra-high output. Also, its innovative and complete circuit redesign delivers crosstalk of 141dB and top-notch audio performance.

Besides, Astel&Kern’s first DAP supports a 4.4mm balanced output. It also offers 14 1/2 hours of continuous playback.

Additionally, Kann Alpha supports the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and 24-bit Bluetooth codecs (aptX-HD, LDAC).

Moreover, Kann Alpha is a WiFi-enabled device. Through the WiFi feature, connecting via password-protected signal sources, KANN Alpha supports over-the-air firmware updates, music streaming, DLNA network connections, etc. Lastly, it provides bit-to-bit playback up to 32bit/384kHz and Native DSD(DSD256). As we can see it has a strong body, it sports a sound system even more powerful that it. Hence, it is a good fit for our list of best MP3 Players.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Bluetooth 5.0 Inconvenient streaming service integration
WiFi            
Good levels of detail
Punchy bass
Artistic design

SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Best for sports

SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

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SanDisk Clip Sport Plus is an affordable, water-resistant MP3 player perfect for sports.

Specifications

Size 0.68 x 1.74 x 2.6 inches
Weight 1.28 ounces
Body Material aluminum
Display LCD touchscreen
Supported Audio Formats MP3, MQA, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV, and native DSD256
Playback Time 20 hours
Charge Time Approx. 2 hours
Built-in memory 16GB 
Special Features Water-resistant, FM tuner
Price $44.99

The SanDisk Clip Sport Plus is small and light, making it the perfect option for sports. With 16GB of storage, it can still store plenty of songs. This compact MP3 player supports a wide range of audio formats.

Moreover, its battery life is also quite impressive at 20 hours. In addition, it supports Bluetooth connectivity, so that you can enjoy a hassle-free workout. Furthermore, the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus is lightweight, so that you can clip it on your clothes or gear comfortably. Also, it includes a built-in FM Radio so that you can tune in with your favorite stations.

Furthermore, its simplistic design allows you to navigate easily. Although it does not deliver high-quality audio, this MP3 player is a safe bet whether you are in the gym or a marathon

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Bluetooth wireless  Average audio quality
Durable            
Lightweight
Decent battery life
Easy to use

Astell&Kern A&Futura SE200

Best for performance

Image Credits: astellnkern

The SE200 offers premium-quality audio, designed to complement your sound profile

Specifications

Size 3.02 x 5.20 x 0.62 inches
Weight 9.66 oz
Body Material Aluminum
Display 5-inch Touchscreen
Supported Audio Formats WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
Playback Time

AKM: 10 hours 

ESS: 14 hours

Charge Time 9V/1.67A Fast Charging
Built-in memory 256GB 
Special Features Multi-DAC (2 x ESS ES9068AS + 1 X AKM AK4499EQ)
Price $1,799

The SE200 is Astell & Kern’s first music player with two DACs (Digital to Analog Converter). As a result, this gives the user a choice of two DACs- (the ESS dual configuration and the AKM DAC). Combining the three DACs, they have produced the world’s first multi-DAC MP3 player. Also, the SE200 gives you control over the unit’s audio quality.

Moreover, it was not designed with one AMP circuit but multiple AMP designs. This multi-AMP design optimizes the AKM and ESS DACs used in the player.

Astell & Kern has also designed independent circuits that do not interfere with each other to produce the best sound possible. Furthermore, you can now customize your sound by choosing from various DAC filters, allowing you to choose your preferred sound profile. That’s why it is the most unique selection in our list of best MP3 Players.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Premium Hi-Fi sound Hefty price
Dual DAC            
Lots of features
Excellent performance
Versatile

FiiO M11 Pro

Best for budget

FiiO M11 Pro - fiio

Image Credits: FiiO

FiiO M11 Pro delivers crisp clear sound on a budget

Specifications

Size 5.12 x 2.76 x 5.12 inches
Weight 8.2 ounces
Body Material aluminum
Display 5.15 inch HD (1440 x 720 resolution)
Supported Audio Formats WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, DSF, Apple, LOSSLESS
Playback Time 9.5 hours
Charge Time About 2.5 hours 
Built-in memory 64GB 
Special Features 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm headphone outputs, All To DSD + Two-way LDAC Bluetooth, Two-way Type-C, USB Audio/DAC, SPDIF output, QC2.0/MTK PE quick charge, 2.4/5G WiFi,  DLNA, WiFi file transfer, FiiO Link, AirPlay
Price $650

The FiiO M11 Pro proves that it is a serious competitor. It is the first Android-based High-Resolution MP3 player. With Samsung Exynos 7872 SoC and dual AK4497, it ensures an outstanding experience. The OS runs smoothly, and even though the battery life is not impressive, M11 Pro packs a lot of punch with dual DACs and the THX amp.

Furthermore, the fully balanced THX AAA-78 amplifier can deliver a more powerful output. In addition, the MQA decoding offers ultra-high resolution lossless playback.

Although the soundstage is not as good as some competitors, it is at par.
Lastly, with the M11 Pro’s dual-band Wi-Fi, you can expect better signal strength, as well as more stable connections.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Multiple supported audio formats The sound could be better.
Powerful hardware configurations            
Great User Interface
Extensive functions
Dual-band wi-fi

Onkyo DP-X1A

Best for sound quality

Onkyo DP-X1A

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Onkyo Dp X1A is “a supremely adaptable high-performance player.”

Specifications

Size 0.5 x 2.99 x 5.08 inches
Weight 7.2 ounces
Body Material aluminum
Display 4.7 inches (720 x 1280)
Supported Audio Formats DSD 11.2 MHz/5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz, DSD-IFF, FLAC, ALAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF (Maximum 384 kHz/24-bit*3), AAC, and MP3
Playback Time 16 hours
Charge Time N/A
Built-in memory 64GB 
Special Features Sabre Reference Audio DACs, Wi-Fi, Qualcomm aptX, Bluetooth Wireless
Price $980

The DP- X1A brings more hardware refinement, features, and power to the plate than its predecessors. It has dual ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DACs and dual ESS Sabre 9601K amplifiers. Also, each DAC and amplifier is dedicated to its own stereo channel for high audio fidelity.

Furthermore, with the DP-X1’s balanced headphone output, you can use high-end headphones to their fullest potential.

Moreover, the EQ of this player lets you control the sound of your music. With 64GB of memory, you can save plenty of songs.

Furthermore, its dual-band wi-fi supports streaming from on-demand music apps. It is also powered by a quad-core processor, making the UI smooth and fast. Onkyo DP-X1 A is your answer if you have been thinking of getting an Android-powered digital audio player.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Stellar sound quality Bulky build
Dual DACs and amps            
Intuitive Interface
Android compatible
Two microSD card slots

Buyer’s Guide: What to look when choosing best MP3 Players?

How to choose best MP3 Players

Image Credits: Rolling Stone

MP3 players is now generally known as Digital Audio Payers or DAPs. Of course, the majority of the population finds smartphones more reliable to listen to songs. However, DAPs are capable of holding up to 40,000 songs these days. There are a lot of things to consider before you buy a DAP. We have listed some of the essential guides to buying an MP3 player.

Storage Size (GBs) – There is no point in buying an MP3 player that does not have enough space for storage. MP3 players support internal storage that lets you store your music files. The storage capacity can range from 2GB to 256GB.

Battery Life – The battery life determines the number of hours the battery will last with a single charge. Generally, the battery life can range from 15 hours to 40 hours.

Display type – With technological innovation, the screen display of the MP3 players has diversified and expanded. Some of the available types are the following:

  • Touch Screen – This display lets you select with the touch of your finger
  • Multi-Touch Retina Display – With making selections with touch, these displays are more defined than standard touch screen displays.
  • Color Displays – These displays feature colors. Typically, MP3 players with color Displays are navigated by a set of buttons.

Wi-Fi – MP3 players with Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to access websites such as YouTube for a seamless streaming experience.

FAQs

What is a DAC?

DAC stands for a digital-to-analog converter. A DAC takes digital data and transforms it into an analog audio signal. Afterward, it sends that analog signal to an amplifier. You listen to an analog signal converted from digital by a DAC.

How to add music to your MP3 player?

You can add a pre-existing collection of MP3s or audio files to your MP3 player on your computer. You can do it by connecting an MP3 player to your computer with a cable. Once you locate the files, you can simply transfer your music files to the MP3 player.

What is DSD audio?

DSD (Direct Stream Digital) was designed to be a more straightforward and space-efficient way of storing digital music data than PCM. It can also easily convert to PCM files with sampling rates based on multiples of 44.1kHz. It is mainly used for its simplicity and cheapness of implementation.

How much does it cost to buy an MP3 player?

You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $500 or more for any premium MP3 players. Cowon Plenue D3 comes at a reasonable price of $279.99. The more expensive ones, like A&Ultima SP2000T, costs around $2499.