7 Best Audio Players for Low-Tech Walks

Stay entertained while you exercise with a Sony 8GB Walkman MP3 Player

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While walking is a simple and easy form of exercise, some people find it a bit boring. Audio players are a great way to add some fun to your walking routine by allowing you to listen to your favorite music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more. The best audio players for walkers provide great sound quality and long battery life.

Reviewed & Approved

If you're looking for a dedicated audio player, we recommend the lightweight Sony 8GB Walkman MP3 Player. On the other hand, Apple's iPod Touch is a higher-tech, Bluetooth option that doesn't require wired headphones.

When shopping for an audio player, you'll want to make sure it's durable and easy to operate. Look for touch screens or easy-to-press buttons that are simple to differentiate. You can also look for hands-free and wireless options that clip to your clothes and have Bluetooth connectivity for your headphones.

We selected the best audio players for our list based on battery life, cost, durability, what type of screen the device has, and ease of use.

According to our research, these are the best audio players for walkers to complement your next neighborhood stroll or hike.

Best Overall: Sony 8GB Walkman MP3 Player

4.7
Sony 8GB Walkman MP3 Player

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 35-hour battery life

  • 8GB of storage

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Playlists don't transfer from computer

  • Included earphones may be uncomfortable

What do buyers say? 79% of 700+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

For a classic audio player from a trusted brand, we recommend Sony's Walkman MP3 Player. It uses Sony's ClearAudio technology that provides excellent sound quality and includes 8GB of storage, making it our best overall pick for walkers.

You can easily drag and drop files from both a Mac or Windows computer, and the Walkman also has a built-in FM tuner. It's lightweight, making it perfect for carrying on walks, and has a battery life of up to 35 hours.

The Walkman comes with earbuds and a USB cable.

Battery Life: 35 hours | Bluetooth-Enabled: No | Screen Size: 1.77 inches

Best Budget: SanDisk Clip Jam MP3

4.2
SanDisk Clip Jam MP3

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Compact

  • 5 available colors

Cons
  • 2,000 song limit

The SanDisk Clip Jam is a compact and affordable audio player that holds 8GB worth of music with the option of additional storage through a microSD card slot. The Jam doesn't have a lot of extra features cluttering it up, so if you're looking for a basic, wallet-friendly audio player, we recommend this option.

It has an 18-hour battery life, so it will last for several workouts, and a locking feature so you don't accidentally hit buttons while you're on the move. It also has a built-in clip to attach it to your waistband or pocket so it's easy to take with you, comes with a set of earphones, and is available in five colors.

Battery Life: 18 hours | Bluetooth-Enabled: No | Screen Size: 0.96 inches

Best Battery Life: Apple 32 GB iPod touch

iPod nano 7th Generation
iPod nano 7th Generation. Courtesy of Amazon.com
Pros
  • 40-hour battery life

  • Includes a camera

  • Can track steps

Cons
  • Streaming services only work with WiFi

  • Screen is small compared to other smart devices

The iPod Touch can do a lot of what the iPhone does—like taking your iTunes library along with you for music, audiobooks, and podcasts—so we recommend it for walkers looking for a higher-tech option. And with a music playback time of up to 40 hours, the Tuch will last through many walks. However, you can only listen to streaming services when connected to WiFi, which is unlikely to happen on an outdoor walk.

The iPod has Bluetooth, which allows you to connect to wireless headphones and earbuds. You can even send messages from this device, although you'll need to be connected to WiFi or your computer at home to do so. We love that the included motion sensors will calculate your steps and other health metrics for you with any downloadable pedometer app, but there is no true GPS included.

Battery Life: 40 hours | Bluetooth-Enabled: Yes | Screen Size: 4 inches

Best Waterproof: H20 Audio Stream Waterproof MP3 Player

3.8
H20 Audio Stream Waterproof MP3 Player

Amazon

Pros
  • Fully waterproof

  • Compact

  • Easy-to-use buttons

Cons
  • Short cord for included headphones

  • Sound quality may be spotty

The H2O Audio Stream Waterproof MP3 Player has easy-to-use controls and a Seal-Tight connector that, when paired with the included Audio Surge headphones, creates a water-tight seal to protect your device. We highly recommend this device to those living in a rainy climate or for swimmers looking to listen to tunes underwater.

The Stream has 8GB of storage and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a built-in, rotating clip so you can attach it to your waistband or pocket.

The included headphones have a very short wire because the audio player is designed to be clipped to a swim cap or hat. But the company also offers a version with a normal-length earphone cord for those who want it.

Battery Life: 10 hours | Bluetooth-Enabled: Yes | Screen Size: No screen

Best Smartphone: Sony Xperia 1 III

Sony Xperia Smartphone
Pros
  • 360-degree Reality Audio

  • Built-in triple camera

  • Full-Stage stereo speakers built in

Cons
  • Short battery life

  • Expensive

A great option for those willing to splurge on top-of-the-line sound quality, the Xperia 1 III provides an immersive sound experience through headphones or the Full-Stage stereo speakers that are built in.

Sony is known for its sound quality, and this phone is no exception with 360 Reality Audio that surrounds you with sound, making it feel as if you are right there with the artist. The powerful speakers built into the front of the phone are designed to reduce vibration if you're listening without headphones.

While this phone is a little pricey, along with superior sound quality, it also has all the features you'd want in a smartphone. Features like a high-quality camera that lets you shoot in RAW format to have more control over editing and a professional-grade display screen.

Battery Life: 7-9 hours | Bluetooth-Enabled: Yes | Screen Size: 6.5 inches

Best Screen-Free: Mighty Vibe Portable Music Player

Mighty Vibe Portable Music Player

Amazon

Pros
  • Compact and lightweight

  • Water-resistant

Cons
  • Short battery life

  • Doesn't support all streaming platforms

The Mighty Vibe is compact and lightweight and provides the ability to listen to Spotify and Amazon Music playlists without the need for an internet connection. With no screen to crack or break, we love that this device is durable, yet so small you won't even notice it clipped to your waistband. You can wirelessly sync your playlists using a mobile app and use Bluetooth headphones with the Mighty, making it very convenient.

While the Mighty Vibe's battery life is on the shorter side, its water-resistant, durable design makes it an ideal device for your walking workouts.

Battery Life: 5+ hours | Bluetooth-Enabled: Yes | Screen Size: No screen

Best Smartwatch: Garmin Forerunner 245 Running Smartwatch

4.7
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music Smartwatch

Amazon

Pros
  • Syncs with music streaming services

  • Sleek and durable design

  • Features GPS and health metric tracking

Cons
  • Only holds 500 songs

  • Variable battery life depending on use

When you think of an audio player, you don't typically think of a watch. But Garmin's Forerunner 245 Music has all the typical fitness features you'd want in a smartwatch, plus it allows you to listen to music right from your wrist without a phone. Just sync your streaming playlists right to your watch and head out the door. You'll need wireless Bluetooth headphones, and the battery life should last for 6+ hours, depending on what other features you are using.

The Forerunner supports playlists from Spotify and Amazon Music and you can download up to 500 songs right to the watch. We also love that it includes GPS and workout tracking features, so you can have everything you need for a walk in one place.

Battery Life: 6+ hours | Bluetooth-Enabled: Yes | Screen Size: 1.2 inch diameter

Final Verdict

If you're looking for simplicity from a trusted brand, we recommend Sony's 8GB Walkman MP3 Player. It has a long battery life and is easy to use.

And if you prefer a higher-tech Bluetooth-enabled device on your walk, Apple's iPod Touch easily fits into your pocket and has 40-hour battery life.

How We Selected the Best Audio Players for Walkers

In a high-tech world, finding an audio player that is uncomplicated but still keeps you entertained is essential. To find the best audio players for walkers, we analyzed product details and features and read product reviews for dozens of audio players from the most trusted brands. We then used specific criteria to narrow down our search further.

First, we considered products from brands that are well-known for quality technology. Next, we selected products designed with audio playing as their primary purpose and that support multiple audio file types. Finally, we prioritized devices with a minimum battery life of eight hours to last for several workouts (although a few on our list fall just short of this benchmark), and button controls or a screen that is easy to use while you're on the move.

What to Look for in Audio Players for Walkers

Music Sources

An important consideration when choosing audio players is where you will source your music from. If you listen to mostly streaming apps, you'll want a device that uses cell service and not just WiFi. If you want to be able to store music on the device itself, look for one with adequate storage to suit your needs. Between 4GB and 8GB is average for most devices.

Battery Life

Battery life is an important consideration for audio players. Especially since you'll be taking it with you on walks. A device that holds a long charge is more convenient and will reduce the need to remember to plug it in all the time. A device designed specifically for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks without a lot of extra features and apps will usually last longer as well.

Headphone Compatibility

Using your audio player on walking workouts will usually require headphones. Some devices have them included, but if you want to use headphones you already own, make sure they are compatible. Not all devices are Bluetooth-enabled so if you want to use wireless headphones, check the device specifications first.

Screen and Controls

A device that is easy to use is essential during a walk or other workout. Look for a screen that is clear and bright and large enough to read easily while you're on the move. Minimal buttons or controls that are clearly marked will make the device convenient to operate.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of headphones can you use with your audio player?

    What headphones you use really comes down to personal preference. You can use wireless headphones if your audio player uses Bluetooth technology. You’ll need to pair your headphones to your device to establish a connection first. Wired headphones generally require a 3.5 mm plug to fit the port on your audio player, so you should verify that the headphones you choose are compatible before buying.

    Wireless headphones are less reliable but wired headphones keep you tethered to your device. Earbud-style headphones or over-ear headphones can be used with most audio players. No matter which you choose, you’ll want headphones that are sweat-resistant, lightweight, and that stay put during a workout.

  • How are workout music players different from normal music players?

    Audio players designed to be used during workouts are usually lightweight and compact. They’re often made to be able to clip to your waistband or be carried in an armband or small pocket. Workout audio players are typically sweat-resistant, durable, and have easy-to-use controls that can be operated while you’re on the move.

  • Can't you just use your smartphone?

    While you can use your phone for music during your workouts, there are several reasons and advantages to using a device specifically for playing audio while working out. Audio players are less distracting because they eliminate apps and other features not related to your workout. It's easier to stay focused when you don't have text messages and email alerts popping up.

    Also, many smartphones have done away with headphone jacks so you’re forced to use Bluetooth headphones which are sometimes unreliable, and not suited to everyone. Most dedicated audio players are smaller and easier to carry and operate during workouts.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Jen Zeltwanger is an ACSM-certified personal trainer. An avid runner and walker for 35 years, she has completed every kind of race, from 5ks to Marathon distance runs, including the Chesapeake Bay Bridge 10K and the Marine Corps Marathon.

Jen has 26 years of experience in the health and fitness industry as an exercise physiologist and knows the importance of quality products to make fitness easier. She specializes in researching and writing about products that support home, outdoor fitness, and a healthy lifestyle.