The 10 Best Bluetooth MP3 Players
This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in August of 2018. While you could always just use your smartphone to listen to music, a good collection can take up quite a bit of space, and phones today are larger and more expensive than ever. These Bluetooth MP3 players, however, provide high-fidelity sound while still offering portability and wireless convenience, and they come at a variety of price points to suit almost every budget. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 18, 2020:
If you're looking for convenient wireless performance, one of these can help greatly. They're not the high-end amplifiers needed for ultra-premium headphones, but they are generally great when paired with a good set of everyday wireless headphones.
There are a few ways you can go when choosing the right one for you. Options like the Mibao M500 and Oakcastle MP100 are pretty obscure, but awfully hard to beat when it comes to value. Alternatively, the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus comes from a well-known manufacturer, and its line has a reputation for serving faithfully for years. With any of these budget-oriented choices, you won't get great sound quality, but if you're engaging in physical activity such as exercise, you likely won't notice.
The mid-range area has quite a few worthwhile models to choose from. For starters, we really wanted to include some of Fiio's more affordable releases, but an alarming number of long-term reviews raised concern with durability and technical issues. While Fiio's offerings are pretty full featured, we advise exercising caution if you decide to pull the trigger.
For a couple great and reasonably priced options, consider the Hidizs AP80 and Shanling Q1. For just a little more, you can upgrade to the Astell & Kern AK Junior, which boasts possibly better wired performance than anything at its price point. The Sony Walkman NW-A55 earned the top spot this time around due to its feature set, reliability, hardware quality, and ease of use.
You can also go expensive with something like the FiiO M11 if you're especially interested in wired performance, or the Apple iPod Touch 7th Generation if convenience and ease of use are of prime importance to you. If you're only using it for Bluetooth listening, though, it might not be worth it to splurge on that kind of hardware, as the Qualcomm aptX codec that marks the peak of most people's hearing is pretty much standard on all mid-range options or better.
July 12, 2019:
MP3 players may have seemed like they were going out of fashion for a while due to the explosion of smartphones, but there has recently been resurgence in their popularity for a variety of reasons. Anyone who cares about how their music sounds knows that phones just don't cut it. They can't match the high-fidelity sound of models like the FiiO X7II, Sony NW-A45/B Walkman, FiiO M11, Astell & Kern Super Junior, and Pioneer XDP-30R. This shouldn't come as a surprise though, as smartphones are designed to be a jack of all trades, but master of none. Conversely, MP3 players are optimized to do one thing, and do it well — play music.
Though we feel the sound quality of the previously-mentioned models outperforms the Apple iPod Touch 7th Generation, it landed our number one spot for a multitude of reasons. As one expects from Apple products, everything from its physical make up to its user interface seems well thought out and designed for intuitive use. It is also available in configurations with up to 256GB of storage space, so you don't have to worry about buying and keeping track of memory cards. Plus, it makes the ideal choice for a child who isn't quite ready for a phone, but wants to be able to listen to music and play games on a handheld device.
MP3 players can also be better for exercise than a phone. For example, the Berennis A30 and SanDisk Clip Sport Plus are both very small and lightweight. The latter can be clipped onto clothing or a belt, too, and features a water-resistant design. The Sony NWWS623/B, which comes in the form of headphones, is completely waterproof, so you can swim laps while still enjoying your favorite tunes.
Cayin N3 Pro If you're concerned with more than just Bluetooth performance, this model from Linsoul is worth a look. It does support Sony's LDAC codec as well as the relatively new UAT standard, but it really shines in its dual AK4493 DACs that promise some of the clearest sound you can get on portable wired headphones. linsoul.com