Gear

Best MP3 Players for Running

May 11, 2019

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Best MP3 Players for Running

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One of the best motivators to help you keep your rhythm and energy while working out is listening to music. It keeps you going, keeps you upbeat, and makes working out a lot more enjoyable.

Sure, you can use your smartphone to play music while you run, but this tends to be bulky and distracting. It can also use a large percentage of your battery before your day even gets started, and downloading it can take up a lot of space on your phone.

That’s why many people who love to workout prefer to have a dedicated MP3 player with them. 

At a Glance: Quick Look at Our Top Picks for Best MP3 Players for Running

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
  • App works very well
  • Water resistant
  • Super Lightweight at 0.7 ounces
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  • Good fit and feels secure
  • Buttons are easy to use even while running
  • Great sound quality
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  • Great interface
  • Full color screen
  • Comes with a running strap
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  • Affordable
  • 60-hour playtime
  • Huge storage capacity
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  • Cheaper than other brands
  • Built in with MicroSD card slot
  • Can be used as an FM radio
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  • Waterproof
  • Great sound quality
  • Super Lightweight
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  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Great price
  • Form factor of a smart watch
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Best Rated MP3 Players for Running Reviewed

There are many MP3 players to choose from and while that means there are a lot of good options, it makes deciding which is best for you, with running and exercising in mind difficult.

That’s why we’ve rounded up the best MP3 players for running and made it easy for you to decide based on your needs and budget. Without further ado, these are the best MP3s for running!

Mighty Vibe Spotify and Amazon Music Player
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • App works very well
  • Very lightweight at 0.7 ounces
  • Water resistant
  • Physical buttons
Cons
  • 2 times as thick as the shuffle
  • Made of plastic
  • Looks a lot less sleek
Pros
  • App works very well
  • Very lightweight at 0.7 ounces
  • Water resistant
  • Physical buttons
Cons
  • 2 times as thick as the shuffle
  • Made of plastic
  • Looks a lot less sleek
Design
Battery Life
Price
Compatibility
Customer Reviews

This player is very similar to the shuffle; it has almost the same form factor and concept; a small clip-on device that you will not notice while running. However, this device is ten years ahead in technology

The Mighty Vibe has its own app that allows you to wirelessly sync playlists and podcasts, and then listen to them offline with no internet connection.

 It syncs your playlists at night so that they are up to date in time for your morning run. It also supports all of your bluetooth devices meaning you can use your wireless headphones, and if you happen to not have a pair, they have a wired connection too. This device holds more than 5 hours of playback . The Mighty Vibe has an interesting proposition, at a very affordable price and for this reason takes the third slot in our comparison.

Sony Walkman 4GB Headphone-Integrated Sports MP3 Player
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Good fit and feels secure
  • Buttons are easy to use even while running
  • Great sound quality
Cons
  • Some users complain about its size and weight
  • The battery life is short compared to other MP3s
  • Shorter lifespan than other MP3s
Pros
  • Good fit and feels secure
  • Buttons are easy to use even while running
  • Great sound quality
Cons
  • Some users complain about its size and weight
  • The battery life is short compared to other MP3s
  • Shorter lifespan than other MP3s
Design
Battery Life
Price
Compatibility
Customer Reviews

This is an MP3 that is built into the earphones! It has all of the features that you need in a music player. It stays in place while running, has good sound quality, and is lightweight. It has 4Gb of storage, double that of the iPod shuffle, and offers up to 12 hours of playback.

A key feature is that it has an ambient noise function, meaning you will be able to hear and be aware of your surroundings as you run. This is especially important if you live in a city.

The earphones/mp3 are also waterproof, so you can use them rain or shine, or in the pool. It is easy to download music into the device, and they come in a variety of colors to choose from.

Victure MP3 Player Clip
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Affordable
  • 30-hour playtime
  • Full Color Screen
  • Can be used as an FM radio and digital clock.
Cons
  • Materials are not as sturdy
  • Some song formats cannot be recognized
  • Less sound quality than others
Pros
  • Affordable
  • 30-hour playtime
  • Full Color Screen
  • Can be used as an FM radio and digital clock.
Cons
  • Materials are not as sturdy
  • Some song formats cannot be recognized
  • Less sound quality than others
Design
Battery Life
Price
Compatibility
Customer Reviews

This player is an awesome compromise between the Evida and the Shuffle or Vibe. It has a full color screen and a much smaller form factor than the EVIDA.  It has a clip on design and solid, basic buttons to control the device. 8 GB of storage comes standard but is expandable to 128 GB. 30 hours of play time on a charge means there’s no need to charge it every day, and when you do need to it only takes one an hour and a half.

Bluetooth comes standard, although not 5.0. To top it off, this device has a pedometer function allowing you to keep track of the steps, distance, and time of your run. This player is by far the least expensive of the bunch, and should be your choice if you are on a tight budget.

Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Great sound quality
  • Super Lightweight
Cons
  • Pricier than the other MP3s
  • No bluetooth connectivity
  • Out of production
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Great sound quality
  • Super Lightweight
Cons
  • Pricier than the other MP3s
  • No bluetooth connectivity
  • Out of production
Design
Battery Life
Price
Compatibility
Customer Reviews

This mp3 player makes our list because it has all the features that you could wish for in a good MP3. It is sleek, lightweight, and waterproof. This little MP3 has a battery life of up to 15 hours and 2Gb of storage, enough to hold 800 songs.

This iPod Shuffle by Apple also has the best voice over feature. This feature will allow you to go through your playlist or choose songs without pushing buttons, having to stop your routine, or even take your eyes off the trail.

It also comes with a strong built-in clip that you can attach to your clothes as you run. This iPod is also waterproof, so no matter how much you sweat this MP3 will still live to play more music the next day. Running in the rain will be no problem, and you can even venture into swimming workouts in the summers when it gets too hot to run.

JOLIKE M5-16GB
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Very small
  • Full color touch screen
  • 12 month warranty
  • Great price
Cons
  • No way to mount it
  • Takes a while to load the next song if you skip
  • Cannot scrub (drag the playbar)
Pros
  • Very small
  • Full color touch screen
  • 12 month warranty
  • Great price
Cons
  • No way to mount it
  • Takes a while to load the next song if you skip
  • Cannot scrub (drag the playbar)
Design
Battery Life
Price
Compatibility
Customer Reviews

This MP3 player from JOLIKE is tiny! It is about the same size as the shuffle, but has a full color touch screen instead of the physical buttons. This allows you to scroll through songs, see your playlists and album covers. This device has all of the latest technology: HiFi sound, Bluetooth 5.0, and includes a built in FM radio, a pedometer, and even records audio.

It has 16 GB of storage, and the battery allows for up to 21 hours with the wired earphones or 5.5 hours with bluetooth. It also comes with a pair of earphones and a silicon case. At this price point, it packs a lot of features that makes it perfect for a runner with a small budget.

EVIDA Portable Music Player
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Great interface
  • Comes with a running strap
  • Full color screen
Cons
  • Larger device
  • Not as comfortable to run with
  • Touch buttons are not the best for running
Pros
  • Great interface
  • Comes with a running strap
  • Full color screen
Cons
  • Larger device
  • Not as comfortable to run with
  • Touch buttons are not the best for running
Design
Battery Life
Price
Compatibility
Customer Reviews

This latest device from Evida has just been released. It is sleek, uses the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology, has a touch screen, and more than enough space for your songs. It comes with 32 GB of storage, and offers up to 60 hours of play time on a single charge. Another unique feature is the FM radio that is built into the device. It also comes in premium packaging that makes it feel more expensive than it is.

It even comes with an arm band, ready for you to take on your runs. This player is a solid choice and gets a thumbs up from us.

Sandisk 8GB Clip Jam MP3 Player
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Cheaper than other brands
  • Built in with MicroSD card slot
  • Can be used as an FM radio
Cons
  • Low sound quality
  • Some customers complain that the MP3 freezes
Pros
  • Cheaper than other brands
  • Built in with MicroSD card slot
  • Can be used as an FM radio
Cons
  • Low sound quality
  • Some customers complain that the MP3 freezes
Design
Accuracy
Price
Compatibility
Customer Reviews

This MP3 player from Sandisk has very similar features as the Victure. It has a built-in MicroSD card, can double as an FM radio, and is priced very reasonably for someone with a smaller budget. It comes with a built-in clip that makes it easy to attach to your shorts or your shirt.  This device does come from a more well known company though, and that brings with it a 2 yr limited warranty. The screen is a 0.96” black and white LCD that allows you to see menus and the songs that you are playing.

Its 8Gb storage allows you to transfer up to 2000 songs and add more to it by inserting a MicroSD card. A negative of this device is that it does not support bluetooth devices, but it does come with a set of earphones. It is a very study device, and some have reported to have used it for more than 4 years.

What to Consider When Looking for an MP3 for Running

  • Size – For running, it is ideal to choose an MP3 player that is small and lightweight. The less you feel the device while you run, the better. Although you can resort to a larger MP3 that you can strap around your arm, a smaller MP3 that doesn’t bounce around or force you to wear a strap that you have to constantly pull up will provide a much more comfortable running experience.
  • Buttons – MP3s with physical buttons are sometimes better for running or exercising. This is because touchscreens can be difficult to operate while you are jogging. You might have to stop to change the song on a touch screen device, which is not the case with physical buttons. Not only will it require you to look at the screen to make it work, but it also does not work well with sweaty hands or gloves.
  • Storage Capacity – MP3 players may be small, but all the ones listed here have plenty of storage. Even a 2Gb MP3 player can hold a good 14 hours of music.
  • Battery Life – The usual battery life of an MP3 player lasts for over 5 hours, meaning you will be able to get a couple of workouts in on one charge. It is up to you to decide how important it is for you to be able to go up to a week without charging, which some of these devices offer.
  • User Interface – MP3 players with a good user interface make it easier to connect, store, and transfer music that you want. There are MP3 players in the market that could be ideal for running, but have an unpleasant user interface that makes them difficult to operate. This is a reason the iPod was a success; their user interface is intuitive and was a lot better than the other MP3 players available on the market.
  • Waterproof – Waterproof MP3 players can be pricey, but this feature keeps your worries at bay. You can run with music rain or shine if your MP3 player is waterproof. A waterproof MP3 player also allows you to play music while doing laps in the pool.
  • Sound quality – The sound quality of the MP3 player makes relatively little difference compared with the sound quality of the headphones. I have some recommended Headphones for Running that have far better sound quality than the standard earbuds.
  • Bluetooth – The idea of not having wires to get in the way while you are running might sound amazing, but wireless headphones have their downside. A bluetooth connection drains your MP3 player’s battery about 3 times faster than using a wired connection.
  • Durability – A well-built device minimizes the chances of damage if you drop it while you are exercising. Also, the lighter the device, the less damage it tends to receive in a drop. Keep in mind the materials and whether it will require a case.

Final Thoughts

When you are looking for an MP3 player for running, it is important to consider the size of the device, its durability, the accessibility to it while you run, how you will attach it to yourself (a clip or strap), button placement, and battery life. Deciding on a good balance of these factors, and determining which are most important for you and your runs, will go a long way in helping you choose the right one.

Music is a great way to kick-start your workout routine and keeps you pumped as you go through it.  Hopefully, we have been able to help you in your journey of choosing an MP3 that is perfect for you and hope you have awesome bumpin’ runs in your future!

 

Karla holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats,Karla enjoys writing about health, running and wellness trends. When she's not writing or jogging she enjoys slacking off on the couch with a bowl of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream
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