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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MP3 musicians might not be as popular as they were a decade ago, but that doesn& apos; t mean they& apos; re outdated engineering.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 storing your entire music library at a higher bitrate than your 2009 iPod Shuffle ever could.

To that intent, if you& apos; re on the look-out for the best MP3 musician 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 telephones as portable music players, you& apos; re here because you& apos; re looking for a separate music player- one that is not merely stores your music, but constructs it voice its best.

The best MP3 players, due to their sound fidelity and durability, are the ultimate devices if you adoration listening to music- and new innovations in music are shaping them even better with each passing year.

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

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

Best MP3 musician: Onkyo DP-X1A

Onkyo has been a well-known and esteemed epithet in audio for years, and for good reason. The Onkyo DP-X1A were not able to be the most compact player on this list, but it is the best all-around, offering big customizability, an intuitive interface, and fantastic tone quality.

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

The player is built with a full version of Android 5.1, complete with features like Wi-Fi connectivity and the Google Play Store. Which ensues 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 seem character, it& apos; s an absolute dreaming. It substantiates a range of music formats, including FLAC, OGG, WAV, MP3, ALAC, and more. In terms of hardware, the machine has two chipsets, one to power the overall machine, and one to handle the DAC and amplifier- ensuing in a noise-free experience.

We tested the musician with multiple pairs of headphones across multiple rate assortments, and were stunned with the clarity and extraordinary tone of the audio. There’s a reason the Onkyo DP-X1A sits atop such lists – it’s a animal in the portable audio world-wide.

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

Best MP3 player: iPod Touch( 7th Generation)

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

With” an improvement in influence, ability, and communications”, the updated iPod touch is fully geared towards gaming, with the liberate coming only in time for the launching of Apple& apos; s new gaming service, Apple Arcade.

The bigger upgrade, at least for audio fanatics, 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 called Vox, we listened to Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. The strings had a warm and natural tone, while soprano vocal duets surged sweetly above the mix without ever sounding harsh.

In our review we also tested out the inbuilt orator at the bottom of the iPod touch, and it jam-pack quite a punch despite its sizing. It won’t do for just listened to your Hi-Res music, but if just want a little background music for your gaming sessions and can’t be bothered to excavate your headphones out, it runs just fine.

If you need a brand-new MP3 player, and you don& apos; t mind employing iTunes, the iPod Touch will do just fine.

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

Best MP3 musician: HiFiMan SuperMini

HiFiMan is perhaps best knows we its headphones, but it attains some pretty great MP3 players, too. For an example, gaze no further than the SuperMini.

The SuperMini, as the call indicates, is a little smaller than most of the other players on this list, but that doesn’t seem to come at a huge cost- it’ll still deliver excellent audio character 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, support a fairly big scope of audio formats, including FLAC, DSD, WAV, MP3, and AIFF, and audio with a sample rate 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 presentation, and is controlled via three buttons located under the screen. The tradeoff to using a monochrome display, nonetheless, is that the battery life is decent, to participate in at a hefty 22 hours.

In terms of music, the high-end on this musician is nice and crisp, without being too aggressive by any means. On top of that, there are plenty of mids to go around, without the musician at all straying into incorrect province. We were a little skeptical of the idea of a musician from a company that gives musicians well into the multi-thousands of dollars range, but the SuperMini holds its own, and at a decent price.

Read the full critique: HiFiMan SuperMini

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

Best MP3 player: Astell & Kern AK Jr

Best MP3 player: Astell& Kern AK Jr

Astell& Kern is known for building top-notch audio devices at reasonable rates, and for that reason we anticipate the Astell& Kern AK Jr is the best mid-range MP3 player out of the ones we& apos; ve envisioned( and hear ). In fact, after spend some time using it, we would argue that it’s a pretty serious contender against even much more expensive players.

Before diving into the player’s capabilities, you’ll notice how well-designed it is. The sleek, metal looking is very classy, and using it gives you a similar” 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 device 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 top of that, it supports all major audio formats, including FLAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, AIFF, and more- and it’s able to play at sample rates of up to 192 kHz.

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

Tap through applying the touchscreen, and you’ll be able to select the music you want to listen to. It would 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 terrible either.

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

Music is dynamic and crisp, with a nice and powerful audio in every aspect. The soundstage on these, when paired with a great pair of headphones, is huge- that’s to say the left and right are clearly identified, while devices placed at the center of a mix are given plenty of room to breathe. We particularly enjoyed the guitar solo on AC/ DC’s Back in Black, while Eminem’s rap on Lose Yourself cut straight through the mixture- precisely the route it was supposed to.

Best MP3 player: SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Best MP3 player: SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Looking for an MP3 musician to take working 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 opinion, the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus is the best option.

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

Perhaps most important for a device 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 passing or performing 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 powerful as what you’ll find on your smartphone, but it’s still capable as a music player. It’s not touch-sensitive, though: instead, you navigate through hardware buttons that likewise serve as playback controls when music is playing, but we didn’t have any issues.

As for the clang, as long as you don’t anticipate full audiophile-level quality here( you won’t get it ), we think you& apos; ll find the voice extremely capable. Overall it& apos; s somewhat muddied with a small dip in lucidity, but for most that won’t matter- specially when you& apos; re out on a lead or making the weights at the gym.

Best MP3 player: Sony NW-A45 Walkman

Best MP3 musician: Sony NW-A4 5 Walkman

If the idea of using iTunes freaks you out and spending more than $ 200 on an MP3 player only isn& apos; t plausible, 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 colorings that will suit any savour. For audiophiles, the NW-A4 5 aids Hi-Res playback, plus DSEE H are helpful in restore lossy records back to a near lossless state. 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 still accommodating 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 wholly filled with Apple’s proprietary AAC codec, and luckily most MP3 players will support 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 likewise 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 merely devour room. Often MP3 players likewise has only one included microSD card slot, which allows you to expand upon the included storage as your library expands- but usually only up to a certain size , usually around 512 GB.

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

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

Read more: techradar.com

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