best mp3 players for running

Best MP3 Player For Running 2021 – Review & Buying Guide

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In the early 2000s, mp3 players were the latest big thing in technology. With the evolution of smartphones and streaming services, portable music players got replaced. Slowly everybody seemed to forget how practical these devices were.

Of course, downloading music or streaming it directly can have many benefits. However, no matter how big your microSD card is, it will eventually get packed with all those music files. And if you are outdoors, you may not always have internet coverage. This is when good old mp3s come in very handy.

Comparison Table

Product ImageProduct NameBattery LifeMemory StoragePrice
Pioneer Hi-Res Digital Audio Player

Pioneer Hi-Res Digital Audio Player

15 hours

16 GB
Sony NW-A55/B Walkman
Sony NW-A55/B Walkman

45 hours

16 GB
Mighty Vibe Spotify and Amazon Music Player
Mighty Vibe Music Player

5 hours

8 GB
Sony NWE394/B 8GB Walkman MP3 Player
Sony NWE394/B Walkman MP3 Player

36 hours

8 GB
SanDisk 32GB Clip Sport Go MP3 Player, Red - LED Screen and FM Radio
Clip Sport Go MP3 Player

18 hours

32 GB

MP3 players are especially useful if you are engaged in sports or other physical activities such as running or hiking. It is then when the bulky smartphones can be impractical to carry around or simply too distracting. Simple controls and simple yet compact designs are trademarks of these portable music players. Nowadays, you can find wireless, waterproof models that will produce some high-quality sound. In comparison to smartphones, MP3 players are far more affordable devices. This means that you will stress less about accidentally damaging your phone during the run.

Top Picks for 2021

If you are currently looking to invest your money and time in some prime quality mp3s, continue reading as we will provide you with the best and hottest portable music gadgets in 2021.

1. Pioneer Hi-Res Digital Audio Player

Pioneer Hi-Res Digital Audio Player

Pioneer is one of the top-quality brands that manufactures Hi-Res Digital Audio Player. This audio player not only looks great, but the quality of its sound is also quite good.

The device comes with a 2.4″ screen display with a rather intuitive touch interface. The Hi-Res Digital will fit perfectly in your hand. You can customize your home screen, create and edit playlists. You can find controls such as Play/Pause/Hold and Skip/Scan on the side.

If you ever feel the need, the mp3 player will connect to streaming services via WIFI. This way, you can access the audiobooks library or Spotify whenever you want. Bluetooth comes with the player, so you can sync it with your PC and easily transfer files.

The Hi-Res Digital Audio Player‘s battery will last you up to 15 hours. It comes with 16 GB of memory, which can be extended using micro SD cards. The player is available in pink, blue and white color.


2. Sony NW-A55/B Walkman

Sony NW-A55/B Walkman

Sony, as a brand, needs no introduction. They create top-quality devices and gadgets. There it is no surprise that no only one but two of its models is on our list.

The Walkman has a full-color touch screen. Controls are quite simple as the display is interactive. By tapping your screen, you can switch between different songs or playlists. The sound quality is uncompromised with the implemented High-Resolution Technology. The storage capacity of the device is 16 GB but can be extended via an SD-micro card.

You can listen to your favorite music with wireless earphones. The product comes with Bluetooth technology.

The battery life of the Sony NW-A55/B Walkman is up to 45 hours, which is incredible! The mp3 player is available in two colors- Grayish Black and Moonlit Blue.

Check out this video to learn more about Sony Walkman’s pros and cons:

3. Mighty Vibe Music Player

Mighty Vibe Spotify and Amazon Music Player

The Mighty Vibe Music Player is a perfect mp3 device for people in motion. It was designed for everyone who wants some time away from the screen- PCs, smartphones, and any other kind of display.

It is small and compact, as well as light. It weighs only 19 grams! On the rear side of the player, you can find a clip. This accessory is very practical when you go running or exercising. You can clip it on any cloth garment and you are ready to go. Both wireless and wired ear- and headphones are easily paired with the device.

You can connect the Mighty player to your smartphone or PC and transfer the songs you want. The device can store up to 1000 songs. You can also play your Spotify and Amazon music playlists offline, wherever you are. The Mighty Vibe Music Player is available in three colors- Gully Blue, Mooshu Red or Zazzy Black.

4. Sony NWE394/B Walkman MP3 Player

Sony NWE394/B 8GB Walkman MP3 Player

The Sony NWE394/B Walkman MP3 Player is a more affordable option of Sony mp3 players on this list. The NWE394/B Walkman is compact and light. This particular model a storage space of 8 GB. However, both smaller 4 GB and larger 16 GB models are available.

The mp3 player is small that it can easily fit in your hand. The display is small in size, but it is still big enough for easy selection of your favorite songs. There is no Bluetooth, however, you can easily connect the device to your PC via USB cable. This also means that you will need wired earphones for this particular model.

The battery life will last up to 35 hours for the audio files or up to 4h for the video playback. The Walkman is available in black and red color.

5. Clip Sport Go MP3 Player

SanDisk 32GB Clip Sport Go MP3 Player, Red - LED Screen and FM Radio

The Clip Sport Go MP3 Player by the bran SanDisk is designed for users who work out. It is lightweight and compact, which makes it so easy to use when you are on the run. It comes with a clip so you can move without distractions. Simply clip it to your work-out clothes or sports gear and you are ready to go.

The player comes with a built-in FM radio and can support iTunes as well as other audio content. The model is available with 16 GB and 32 GB of storage. The models with bigger storage can hold up to 8000 songs! High-performance dynamic audio quality will provide you with a rich acoustic experience.

Once fully charged, the battery will last up to 18 hours before you need to charge it again. The Clip Sport Go is available in three design options.

Find more about this model in the following video:

Are you interested in buying a new MP3 player? If yes, we have prepared a brief buyer’s guide to help find a perfect device for your running sessions. The guide will present you with all the necessary information and details to pay attention to when deciding on a portable music player.

Buyer’s Guide

how to choose the best mp3 player

Sound Quality

In 2021 even the more affordable mp3 devices usually offer quite a decent sound quality. However, some models take it to the next level with additional and advanced features that will allow you settings customization.

Of course, it is highly recommendable to look for an mp3 player that will offer you prime sound quality. Nonetheless, bear in mind that it is usually the quality of your earphones that will actually have an impact on the overall sound quality.

Size and Weight

The compactness, smaller size, and lighter weight of the mp3 players are the advantages of the mp3 players. This is why runners and other users in motion decide to invest in a portable player in the first place.

Try to look for the models that will not restrict your movements. Therefore avoid bulky and heavy models. Sometimes mp3 players come with an accessory that will enable attaching to your clothes. If this is not the case, you can always buy an armband and tuck it safely there.

Storage Capacity

MP3 players come with various storage space these days. They only hold audio files, therefore there is no real necessity of having gigabytes and gigabytes of storage capacity. In other words, you can store about 1000 songs on a typical 4GB mp3 player.

For runners who use the same specific playlists to motivate them when running, a model with a lower storage capacity is suitable enough. Still, if you, as a runner, enjoy the greater musical selection, then search for a gadget with greater storage space.

Battery Life

mp3 battery life


Each device has a different battery life. The manufacturers usually indicate how long the battery will take a full charge last. Of course, your habits and how you use the device, as well as its function, will impact longevity.

Even players with a shorter battery life will play music for at least a couple of hours. This means that you will be able to complete your exercises between charges. Try to track your running routine and see what your needs are in terms of battery life. You can also go for models that will run on basic audio functions and can work for days without charging.


Running is an intense cardio exercise. It is quite likely that you will accidentally drop your mp3, or sit on it at some point in time. Models that have sturdier metal-made or reinforced cases and smaller screens are better in “surviving” these types of accidents.

Water Resistance

Waterproof mp3 players are available on the market. The truth is that you probably won’t get yourself in a situation to need a specialized water-resistant device. However, some basic form of water resistance is more than welcome, for the days you caught yourself in the rain while running.


A great number of mp3 devices come with Bluetooth technology. You can easily sync the player with your PC or other devices Via Bluetooth. The feature is great as it allows the users to connect accessories such as wireless headphones. The advantage of Bluetooth is crucial for running without obstacles or stressing about tangled earphones.

However, once connected, Bluetooth starts draining the mp3’s battery. Sometimes the wireless headphones won’t connect instantly, so you will have to delay your run for a couple of minutes.


Price is a really important factor to consider when purchasing an mp3 player. Luckily enough, there are models for every wallet. The majority of the devices cost under $100. This means that you don’t have to spend a fortune when investing in a running accessory such as an mp3 player.

Set your budget and search within that price range.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many songs can you put on an mp3 player?

The greater the storage space, the bigger is the number of songs you can store on your portable music player. For instance, the mp3 player with a storage of 4GB can store up to 1000 songs.

Are mp3 players better than phones?

When it comes to listening to music while running mp3 is much more practical. First of all, they are smaller in size and much lighter than a smartphone. Portability is the key feature of mp3s, as well as battery life. They are great for situations where you don’t want to carry your smartphone, but still want to enjoy your favorite song playlist. You can switch between songs just with a click.

Can you listen to mp3 player without earphones?

Although it may upset and annoy other people around you, you can listen to your mp3 player without headphones or earphones. How? You might be asking yourself. If your mp3 player comes with Bluetooth, you can wirelessly connect it to an individual speaker. Now you can enjoy running on a treadmill or outdoors without actually having to wear your earphones.

Wrap Up

Although they may not be as popular as they were at the beginning of the 21st century, mp3 players are quite useful devices that you can use while running or exercising. They are lighter, smaller, and therefore more portable than smartphones.

When paired with wireless earphones, mp3 players especially are much less likely to disturb your motion. The longer battery life and storage space reserved only for the audio files are additional pron. No internet connection or service whatsoever is necessary for them to play music, which means you can enjoy your music even in the most remote areas.

All these features make mp3 players a great running accessory.

If our top 5 picks weren’t enough for you, take a look at these great models available on Amazon:


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