The 5 Best Audio Players for Walkers of 2021

Stay entertained while you exercise outdoors

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There are plenty of reasons to leave behind your smartphone as you go for walk, from taking a tech detox to keeping distractions to a minimum as you enjoy your surroundings. While it may not feel like second nature to leave everything behind, there are plenty of simple audio players to keep you entertained and feeling light on your walk.

Whether music, podcasts, or audiobooks are your go-to, these are the best audio players for walkers to complement your next neighborhood stroll or hike.

Our Top Picks
The only device you need to bring walking, the smartphone option holds all of your favorite music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
With most of the features of the iPhone but at a budget-friendly cost, this pick allows you to take your iTunes library with you.
While it may have been discontinued by Apple, it's a great solution for walkers and runners thanks to its compact size.
The affordable option allows you to record your own tapes from other media with no need for a computer.
Stay connected in an old-school way with this portable radio, and set the ambience for your walk with your favorite stations.

A smartphone is the only device you need to bring walking. You can listen to music, streaming services, podcasts, audiobooks, and radio. Having access to cellular data is the big difference between the audio entertainment you can access on a smartphone compared to other devices. With most smartphones, you can connect wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones. Beware of the latest iPhone models where that's your only choice without an add-on to connect to your wired headphones or earbuds.

You can send messages and make phone calls. Apps provide maps, track your walking speed and distance, monitor your heart rate, and more. You can take photos along the walk. It effectively eliminates the need for much of the stuff walkers used to carry, such as maps, music player, camera, and phone. The drawback is that a smartphone is fairly sizable. You have to think about how you'll carry it. With most smartphones, you can connect wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones. Beware of the latest iPhone models where that's your only choice without an add-on to connect to your wired headphones or earbuds.

Battery life can be an issue for smartphones. You'll likely need to recharge it at least daily, if not far more often when using some apps and GPS.

Apple 32 GB iPod touch

iPod nano 7th Generation

The iPod touch can do a lot of what the iPhone does, such as taking your iTunes library along with you for music, audiobooks, and podcasts. However, you can only listen to streaming services when connected to WiFi, which is unlikely on outdoor walks. It has Bluetooth for connecting to wireless headphones and earbuds. You'll need to connect to WiFi or your computer at home to update those and to send messages. It has a camera. However, it lacks true GPS so you can't fully track your walking workouts for speed and distance. The motion sensors will tell you your steps and other health for pedometer apps.

Apple 2GB Pink iPod shuffle

iPod Shuffle

The iPod Shuffle has been discontinued by Apple, but you can find it on closeout or used. It served for years as a great solution for walkers and runners, with its tiny size and lightweight making it ultra-portable. It does just one thing—play music, podcasts, and audiobooks. The drawbacks are that you can't go wireless as it doesn't have Bluetooth, and that may have led to its downfall. But with the small size and built-in clip, it's a great choice for half-marathon walks and wired earbuds.

Jensen Stereo Cassette Player

The Walkman is still going strong. The disadvantage is that it is old technology. Tapes are getting harder to find or crumbling to dust. For longer walks, both the player and tapes are bulky. You'll have poorer audio quality, especially if you record your own favorites. The advantages are that it is inexpensive and you can record your own tapes from other media with no need for a computer. You may be able to borrow audiobooks on cassettes from your local library. You'll have to search for models that might support Bluetooth earbuds.

Sony Portable AM/FM Radio

 Sony ICFP26 Portable AM/FM Radio

FM or the less-common AM/FM radios can be a feature of the other types of audio players, or you can buy a stand-alone radio. The disadvantage is that you may have poor reception or difficulty finding a station you enjoy. The advantage is that you can stay connected in an old-school way.

Final Verdict

If cellular data connectivity is a must, you can't go wrong with Apple's iPhone 8 (view at Amazon). The pick is just what you need to keep you entertained while also doubling as a resource in the case of an emergency.

And if you prefer to be hands-free, and screen-free, on your walk, Apple's iPod Shuffle (view at Walmart) easily fits into your pocket or clips to your athleisure.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

An RRCA-certified marathon coach, Wendy Bumgardner has walked over a thousand 10-kilometer events, over 100 half-marathons, seven marathons, two Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks, and one Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. She’s an avid walker who keeps abreast of the latest trends, information, gear, and research on walking for weight loss, fitness, and sport. 

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