Editorial Reviews

Editor's Choice Best MP3 Players

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We’ve Pulled Together the Best MP3 Players for Your Dollar.

Why read five different reviews at eight different sites?
What we’ve done is scavenged the web of editors top picks, from CNET to ZDNet and given you a one stop web review experience.

Quick Top Pick:

Editor’s Choice Headphones
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Editor’s Choice Mp3 Player Speakers
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How to Choose an Mp3 Player:

Hard Drive Players Flash Drive Players
Pros – Large storage space for music and videos
Cons – Fragile, heavier, easy to brake
Pros – Lights, great for sports, harder to break.
Cons – Less storge, more expensive per gigabyte

Mp3 Players come in two forms, hard-drive based or flash memory based. The hard-drives version, like the Apple iPod Classic or Microsoft Zune, have larger storage capacity, presently up to 160GB iPods and Archos PMP*. These players are normally heavier and damage easier if dropped. Flash drive players, ranging from 1-32GB storage, are lighter and since there are no moving parts, withstand much more abuse. These are the players you want to take on that mountain bike ride or to the gym.

Most players today have great sound quality if connected to the right set of headphones, so unless you are a real audio junkie, you don’t have to worry much. The latest trend though is to be able to watch the latest action thriller on a screen less then 2.5 inches small. Johnny Depp never looked to so good! When it comes to movies on your Mp3 player, the larger the screen the better. That means you’ll want to look at hard-drive based players if this is a real concern for you. The iPod Touch, 640×480 resolution, and Mircosoft Zune, 320 x 240 resolution, are great products to being your comparison shopping. These players normally have larger screen and more storage space. Though don’t forget to check out less familiar brands such as iRiver and Archos.

Lastly, but not the least important, is the user interface and features of the Mp3 Player. Nobody wants to have to waste time hunting down a track or switching between different EQ settings that never seem to be quite what you are looking for. The best place to find out if a Mp3 Player has a good interface, both on the player itself and the accompanying software, you will want to read user reviews. Experts may all agree on the advantages or shortcomings of any product they review but, at AudioReview.com, we believe that the average consumer can best summarize all the details a product has to offer… So read what users have to says!


Apple Ipod Nano 8GB – Mp3 & Video – $199.99

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Specs:

  • 8GB* internal flash memory stores up to 2,000 songs or up to 25,000 digital photos (iPod nano-viewable photos transferred from iTunes)
    Ultrathin design measures just under 0.3″ thin and weighs only 1.74 ounces
  • Supports MP3 (up to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, AAC (up to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (iTunes Music Store), Audible (formats 2, 3, 4), AIFF, Apple Lossless and WAV audio formats, plus BMP, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG and PSD (Mac only) image formats; podcasting support
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    PCMag says: The iPod’s navigation system is still the best in the business (I guess Creative’s patent on the interface was worth it after all), and menus and scrolling work smoothly. One thing I really like is that you can customize the main menu, though this is neither new nor unique. Apple did add one cool new feature: search.

    CNET Says: The third-generation iPod Nano offers crisp, bright video playback, an exceptionally thin all-metal body, above-average battery life, built-in games, and an advanced user interface.

    SmartRatings Says: It’s the small iPod with one very big idea: video. The world’s most popular music player now lets you enjoy movies, TV shows, and more on a two-inch display that’s 65 percent brighter than before. Browse through your music collection by flipping through album art.

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    Read more details and find out prices here.



    Insignia Pilot 8GB – Mp3 & Video with Bluetooth – $99.99

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    Specs:

  • 8GB* internal flash storage holds MP3 files, photos and videos
  • Built-in Bluetooth wireless audio lets you listen to your music with compatible Bluetooth headphones (not included)
  • Supports MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, WMA DRM, WMA Pro, OGG, WAV, Audible, MPEG4 (30 fps), WMV (30 fps) and JPEG formats
  • 2.4″ high-resolution LCD color display with wide viewing angles
  • Built-in digital FM tuner with 20 presets; RDS
  • Features a Secure Digital card expansion slot for additional memory capacity (media not included)
  • Custom EQ with 4 presets
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 25 hours of playback time
  • PC and Mac compatible
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    CNET says: The Insignia Pilot is an incredible value for a media player, and it’s packed with features: Bluetooth, FM radio, line-in recording, photo and video support, and Rhapsody DNA Integration. It plays back a wide variety of audio formats and is compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs.

    ZDNet Says: Somewhat surprisingly, Best Buy’s own Insignia brand of MP3 players has gained quite a bit of popularity among consumers lately. That’s not to say that the devices aren’t good (quite the opposite, actually), but in this image-conscious market, “cheap” electronics under generic brands usually don’t turn heads. Yet that’s exactly what the Insignia Pilot is doing,

    Anythingbutipod Says: First off the Pilot is more of the PMP of the two, sporting a 2.4” screen with playback of WMA and MPEG4 at 30 frames per second. On the audio side it will support MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, WMA DRM, WMA Pro, OGG, WAV, and Audible. Additionally it will support JPEG Photos. But that’s not all. The player also features, RDS (radio titles), SD slot, Bluetooth, and PC and Mac compatibility.

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    Read more details and find out prices here.



    SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4GB – Mp3 & Video - $99.00

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    Specs:

  • 4GB* internal flash memory stores up to 1,000 songs, up to 12 hours of video or up to 2,000 digital photos**
  • Ultracompact design measures just 0.3″ thin and weighs only 2.1 ounces
  • Supports MP3, WMA, WMA secure, WAV, Audible and Overdrive audio, MPEG-4 video and JPEG photo format playback
  • Bright 1.9″ TFT-LCD display for easy navigation of your media
  • Built-in digital FM tuner; built-in microphone and voice recording function
  • Built-in microSD/microSDHC media card slot lets you add additional content (media not included)
  • 24 hours of audio playback and up to 5 hours of video playback
  • PC compatible
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    PCMag says: SanDisk throws a monkeywrench into that simple process with its new Sansa Express. Although it costs less, SanDisk’s new 1GB player device boasts features that the shuffle can’t match, such as an a OLED screen for menu navigation, a digital FM tuner, FM and voice recording, and upgradable storage capacity via a microSD expansion slot.

    CNET Says: The SanDisk Sansa Fuze is supercheap and nicely compact; it comes in a variety of colors and has an expansion slot that accepts microSDHC cards. The player offers a variety of desirable features such as an FM tuner, Rhapsody DNA integration, photo and video support, and a voice recorder. Plus, the battery life for both music and video is very good.

    PCAdvisor Says: The SanDisk Sansa Fuze is a worthy competitor to the Nano, and an even better choice if you’re looking for a player with expandable memory, an FM tuner and a lower price tag.

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    Read more details and find out prices here.



    Creative Zen Plus 2GB – Mp3 & Video - $69.00

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    Specs:

  • Storage Capacity1: 4GB (1000 songs)
  • Display: 1.5″ OLED Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 hours continuous playtime
  • Playback Format: MP3, WMA, WAV and Audible – avi, other formats via transcoding – JPEG
  • Organizer: Syncs with and views Microsoft Outlook® Contacts, Calendar & Tasks
  • Features: Vibrant 1.5″ OLED Display, FM Radio, Direct CD Recording, Syncs contacts, calendar and tasks, Built in Voice Recorder, Skip free playback
  • Plays music, ZENCast, and audiobooks, Bookmarking
  • 8 EQ settings
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    Laptop Mag says: Creative’s latest entry into the high-capacity flash player field is a uniquely designed device crammed with features. It’s a decent choice for anyone looking for nano-like portability, along with the ability to sync with subscription services like Urge and Yahoo Music Unlimited.

    CNET Says: The Creative Zen V Plus offers a cute, pocket-friendly design without sacrificing screen real estate, and the vivid OLED display is viewable from any angle. The player is packed to the gills with features, including an FM radio, voice and line-in recording, photo and video playback, and compatibility with subscription WMA tracks. It’s the first flash player to be offered with up to 16GB of memory. Oh, and the sound quality and battery life are great too.

    PCAdvisor Says: It may not be the most feature-filled player, but its straightforward, no nonsense, and feels great in your hand.

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    Read more details and find out prices here.



    Microsoft Zune 80GB 2nd Gen - Mp3 & Video – $249.99

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    Specs:

  • Digital storage media capacity 80 GB
  • Digital player supported digital audio standards – MP3, WMA
  • Battery – Lithium ion Rechargeable Player batteryIntegrated
  • Battery Life – 20 hour(s), 5 hour(s), Video playback 5 hour(s)
  • Connector type – 1 x Docking station, 1 x USB, 1 x Headphones
  • Sound output mode – Stereo
  • Recharge Time – 2 hour(s)
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    CNet Mag says: The Zune has blossomed from an ugly duckling into a worthy iPod alternative.

    Inventorspot Says: Overall, I think that Microsoft has really improved upon the original Zune in many different ways. The 80 GB Zune is not a perfect player, but it’s still pretty good for a second generation player. The improvements over the 1st generation Zune have made this player a contender with the Apple iPod and iTouch , and it’s also already got me excited about what the third generation Zune will be capable of.

    Gizmodo Says: Overall, this seems pretty promising. I can’t find any mis-steps or anything where I have to ask “wait, this is dumb, why did you do this?” in both the player and the software. The Zune itself is very sexy, and feels nice to the touch—not too heavy.

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    Read more details and find out prices here.




    Notes:Size Reference Table:

    * Number of songs and hours of video will vary based on player, file format, quality and length. These numbers here are close averages based off of manufacturer data.

    # of Gigs 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB 32GB 80GB 160GB
    # of Songs 240 500 1,000 1,750 3,500 7,000 20,000 40,000
    Hrs of Video . . 2.5 8 30 40 100 200

    *(PMP) Portable Media Player – PMP can play music, video and games.

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    Wordpress Comments:

    • James Smart says:

      I have no the specific idea what best digital mp3 players for you. But in my opinion the best digital mp3 player beside have a good quality but also have complete features to support the necessary of consumers in advance technology nowadays.

    • Digital Mp3 Players Fan says:

      Apple is very popular brand and has good product quality as well. But iam not an apple brand fans due its high price. For my untrained ear, Sansa Fuze has excellent sound quality, no need to buy better earbud. Some mp3 players gurus out here said sandisk product known for its mediocre sound quality, i disagree with them.

    • Blaney says:

      How can you guys back up these players? None of these will last a season when you fall right on them. Where are the solid mp3 players that you dont need to worry about. None of this tip toeing through the tulips fairy stuff

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