The 4 Best MP3 Players of 2021

Keep your music in the palm of your hand

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Our Top Picks
"The battery lasts up to 18 hours, and the screen is bright and easy to navigate."
Best for Running:
AGPTEK A26 at Amazon
"It’s small (just 1.33" x 2.12"), lightweight (just about 3 ounces), and features a built-in clip you can attach to your clothing."
"It comes with 16GB of storage, can hold up to 5,500 songs, and is simple and straightforward to use."
"It’s an MP3 player and earphones all in one, so you don’t have to worry about messing with wires."

When working through a tough workout, music can be a source of motivation, a performance booster, and even a cue to take a breath once your favorite song ends. MP3 players are an easy way to keep your tunes close by so you can leave the phone in the car—especially if you don't want to be weighed down by distracting notifications. 

MP3 players' compact size and lightweight feel make it easy to slip them into your pocket or a waist pack. Newer models feature more storage and longer battery life than the one you owned in high school, and more details to improve your listening—including built-in clips for easy carrying and FM radio features. 

Here are the best MP3 players to complement your next gym session or run. 

Best Budget: SanDisk Clip Jam MP3

This tiny MP3 player from Sandisk is a favorite with customers. Its no-frills design and low price make it a hit with those who just want to carry their tunes on the go without much fuss.

It comes in a variety of colors, and while this one features 8GB of storage, it also comes in models with 4GB and 16GB of storage capacity. There’s a built-in microSD card slot too, so you can add more storage if you choose, and it features an FM radio tuner so you can listen to your favorite stations as well.

The battery lasts up to 18 hours, and the screen is bright and easy to navigate. It also comes with an attached clip, so you can easily clip it onto your clothing, hat, or anywhere else that’s handy, which makes it great for running or other activities when you don’t want to haul along a lot of gear.

Best for Running: AGPTEK A26 8gb bluetooth mp3 player

There’s nothing like pounding the pavement to the beat of your favorite songs, but taking them along can be a pain without the right gear. This Bluetooth player from AGPTEK makes it a snap though. It’s small (just 1.33" x 2.12"), lightweight (just about 3 ounces), and features a built-in clip you can attach to your clothing.

It comes with 8GB of storage, though it will support up to 64GB with a micro SD card. It features FM radio and recording capabilities among other features. Runners and other exercise enthusiasts love to pair it with wireless Bluetooth earphones. They say it’s so small and lightweight, they get lost in the music and forget they’re wearing it.

Best for Kids: Hotechs MP3 Player/MP4 Player

The price point (about $20) makes this MP3 player from Hotechs a great choice for kids who have a tendency to drop, lose, or otherwise destroy their electronic devices. It comes with 16GB of storage, can hold up to 5,500 songs, and is simple and straightforward to use. It comes in a variety of fun colors and includes earphones and a USB cable as well.

Customers say the quality is good, the price is right, and it’s easy for kids to use. Many are impressed with all the functionality it provides, including the ability to watch movies and listen to FM radio, for the price.

Best Headphone MP3: SONY Waterproof Sports Wearable MP3 Player

SONY NW-WS413LM BLUE Waterproof Sports Wearable MP3 Player

When you want to keep things as simple as possible, there’s this wearable MP3 player from Sony. It’s an MP3 player and earphones all in one, so you don’t have to worry about messing with wires. Just put them on, and let the music play. Great for sports, they’re not only sweat-resistant but also waterproof, so you can use them to swim in salt water or fresh water.

Ergonomically designed, they come with 4GB of storage and feature up to 12 hours of playback and an optional ambient noise function, which allows you to still hear some of what’s going on around you while your music plays. It also comes with two sets of earbuds—one standard and one waterproof—and you can drag and drop audio files from most any music service.

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