Best running MP3 players at a glance
Listening to music while exercising or running actually boosts blood flow and enhances the performance, plus it seems to reduce fatigue and act as a stimulus for running or exercising more and more intensively. A research from the American Council of Exercise has found that people listening to music when training or running have an increased endurance of up to 15 percent.
But the big question is which type of device or MP3 player you should get for running. The questions you should ask yourself include – whether you are getting it for running or for other purposes, and if so – does it have a clip to attach to the clothes or other, is it small enough or big enough, does it have a radio or a stopwatch, how many songs can it store, how much does it cost, how easy is it to use and how long do the batteries last – amongst other things.
Best Running MP3 Player Reviews
The choice of is so wide that it can actually be quite overwhelming, which is why we would like to share our top choices for the best MP3 players for runners. Here are our top picks and some of the reasons we chose them.
Apple iPod nano 16GB Silver (8th Generation)
This generation of the iPod from Apple is actually the thinnest one yet and has a width of only 5.4mm. Once you are synched with iTunes or your computer, you can add up to 16GB of music or videos. This iPod can provide 30 hours of music playback and up to 3.5 hours of video. The controls are user friendly so you won’t need to keep stopping your running or exercise to change a song. It also has FM radio functionality as well as a step counter for your convenience. It is Bluetooth compatible and a strong clip to keep it safely attached while running.
SMALL MP3 Player for Running – SanDisk Clip Sport 8GB
This Clip Sport Model by SanDisk has been designed and made especially for joggers and fitness enthusiasts, which is why it is super lightweight and has a strong clip for easy clip-on. It features a big color LCD screen and is very user friendly. It has a microSD memory card slot to add more memory, music, audio books and others. The storage on this device is 8GB, but additional memory can be added via the card. The player provides dynamic audio quality for an enhanced music listening experience. It has a nice FM radio tuner feature and it can interface with the TV’s in the gym as well. Supports all popular compressed music formats, and offers 25 hours of music playback in between charging. It comes with matching colored earphones.
WIRELESS MP3 Player for Running – Sony Walkman NWZW273S
This wireless and fully waterproof MP3 player by Sony is an amazing choice for all kinds of exercises and sports, even swimming or running in heavy rain. The gadget is a one-pieced device, which can be charged via the 3-minute quick charge function and can offer up to 60 minutes of audio playback. It can be synched easily with iTunes, Internet explorer and Windows Media Player for quick adding of new playlists and tracks. The audio quality is excellent and there is some extra deep bass for added fun. It is wireless, hands-free and non-distracting. It doesn’t tie you to just one service for music so you are free to upload from wherever you prefer.
AGPtEK [2016 NEW UI] A02
This is a great choice for running or driving and offers an amazing 70 hours of playback after each full charge. The built-in memory is 8GB which means you can add up to 2,000 songs. There is an option of adding up to 64GB via the Micro SD card slot.
It is easy to use and also has a dictaphone function with a noise cancelling feature. This wonderful device supports all common audio formats and can display album art on its display. Has a variety of language options for the menu. The package includes a USB cable but doesn’t include earphones or the special armband by AGPtEK, but it still is an amazing little device which will provide music to your ears for 3 days non-stop at a great price!
Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle
This is another great choice suitable for runners and other athletes. It is very compact and ultra-light, and has a storage of 16 GB which is roughly 5,500 songs.
The play time is 4-6 hours, and it has a built-in rechargeable battery. It can play music in the most common compressed audio formats: MP3 WMA and WAV. The video formats it supports are: AMV and AVI. It also offers e-book reading, JPEG picture, reading, FM radio (plus a recording function from the radio) and both audio and manual scan modes. The screen of this device is a 1.82 inch full color, TFT LCD. The audio quality is excellent and it has a wide variety of equalizer settings.
BLUETOOTH MP3 Player for Running – mbuynow 16GB
It offers a massive 50 hours of audio playback per full charge. Its storage is 16GB, and you have the option to add up to 128GB of memory via memory card. It can be charged through a computer or with a general charger, and full charging takes only about 3 to 4 hours.
Best of all, it is Bluetooth compatible, so you don’t need to plug in your earplugs, you can connect to Bluetooth speaker or headset very easily. This device supports music (MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, FLAC, APE and ACELP), video (amv), voice recording, JPEG picture viewing, listening and recording FM radio, eBook and others. Perfect for running without any dangling wires getting in the way.
Characteristics of a Good Running MP3 Player
There are many features which you should look for when choosing the best running MP3 player. Like choosing shoes, there is no one-fits-all solution. If you have flat feet it is certainly not a good idea to get cushioned shoes suitable for high arches and vice-versa. So, with that in mind, pick the characteristics which are really important for you and those which are desirable. Here are some of the main ones we recomend that you consider before buying:
- The size. Obviously you won’t want to be running around or training with a bulky device which causes discomfort in your pocket or strapped to your arm. It is a much better idea to get a more compact one which can be clipped easily and safely to your clothing.
- Pick buttons over a touchscreen. The reason being that using a touchscreen while running is not exactly easy and can be distracting. Just pushing a button to change the track or playlist is much easier.
- Memory capacity. It is obviously better to pick a player which has a larger capacity, so you can listen to all your favorite running tracks. But then again, even with just 2GB memory you will have about 14 hours of music.
- Display is better. If your MP3 player has a display, using it while running will definitely be easier.
- Water resistant. If you pick an MP3 player which is waterproof, you can use it for running in the pouring rain, swimming or other water sports too.
- Wireless. There are a number of MP3 players which offer Bluetooth connectivity, and this will save you the burden of needing to tackle with dangling wires for your earphones while you are exercising.
- Batteries. These are usually sufficient for at least 12 hours, so this feature is not so crucial.
- Spoken menus. These are great for running and will make things much easier, especially if you don’t have a display.
- Sound quality. This is a crucial feature, but in many cases it depends on the quality of the headphones you use, so make sure to get good headphones if you are very picky about the sound quality.
- Managing the music. The software used for getting music onto your device is very important.
- Charging time. The faster you can fully charge it – the better.
- Additional functionality. If it has a stopwatch, a Dictaphone, a step counter or other additional functions which can come in handy while you are running, then good for you!
- Safety issues. Keep in mind that if you are running outside on the road, in the park or elsewhere, it is always a good idea to get ear clips which do not completely block the ambient sound, or if you don’t have one of these, use only one of the earbuds. This of course, is for safety reasons, such as hearing an approaching car, dog or other danger.
- Comfortable earbuds: When you are picking the earbuds make sure you get ones which comfortably fit your ears and are sweat-proof and durable.