Think the MP3 player is a gadget from the past? You are wrong. Yes, their popularity has declined over time, but with the rise in popularity of music streaming services, portable music players have found their second youth. Here are the best MP3 players of 2021 according to PhoneBechDou, more advanced than most people think.
The modern music player has many features and benefits when the choice of models is huge today more than ever. No, it is not limited to the MP3 iPods alone (although there is a new iPod Touch in our ranking).
Why do you need an audio player when you have a smartphone?
For example, if you want to take a break from your phone and constant notifications. Or you want to save battery power and precious traffic.
The best MP3 players allow you to store huge music libraries at much higher bit rates in high-quality formats that the old iPod or its counterparts couldn’t do. With the best wireless headphones, you can enjoy quality music wherever and whenever you want.
The design of good MP3 players has changed dramatically over the past decade. The devices have become more reliable and stylish. Thanks to new technologies, the sound quality is also constantly improving, support has appearedHi-Res and built-in DACs (digital-to-analog converters).
Rating of the best MP3 players of 2021 – TOP 5
If you are looking for a new MP3 or Hi-Fi player, our selection should help you. Here are the best models of the first half of 2021 according to PhoneBechDou.
Astell & Kern KANN ALPHA
Astell & Kern players are renowned for their high quality audio and premium design. We can safely say that Astell & Kern KANN ALPHA is the best Hi-Fi player for today.
Moreover, the model is able to compete with much more expensive competitors. First of all, the stylish glass-metal design of KANN ALPHA, with beveled corners, catches the eye. Yes, this model costs about 100 thousand rubles, which is quite normal for devices from Astell & Kern.
For this price, you get 64GB of internal storage expandable via microSD cards (up to 1TB). The sampling rate reaches 384 kHz, all major audio formats are supported: MP3, WMA, OGG, AAC, FLAC, APE, Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF, DFF, DSF.
The interface of this Hi-Res player is quite simple, with a bright 5-inch color touch screen you can quickly select a melody, album or artist. The battery life is around 15 hours, which is a good indicator.
However, the main advantage of Astell & Kern KANN ALPHA is its music, which is moderately dynamic, powerful and clear. With the right headphones, the soundstage is huge. Any genre will sound exactly as the author intended.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Onkyo is a fairly well-known and respected brand among audio enthusiasts. While the Onkyo DP-X1A is not the smallest HI-Res player, it is one of the best available today.
The DP-X1A looks a bit like a smartphone, however, it offers a lot of customization, a clean interface and fantastic sound quality. There are two ports here: a headphone jack and a balanced output for those looking for a cleaner, better sound.
An easy-to-use volume wheel and physical playback control buttons make interaction easy. And two slots for microSD memory cards will delight users with a huge music collection.
The player runs on a full version of Android 5.1 OS with features like Wi-Fi and Google Play. In fact, the DP-X1A is an analogue of the iPod Touch, only on Android. However, unlike Apple’s player, Onkyo has created a device for listening to music in the highest possible quality.
Sound is the main advantage of the DP-X1A. The gadget supports almost all modern formats: FLAC, OOG, WAV, MP3, ALAC and others. As for the components, there are two chipsets: one for powering the device, the other for the DAC and amplifier. Thanks to this solution, the output sound is very clear.
The Onkyo DP-X1A performs admirably with any headphone in a wide range of price points. Sound quality is always amazing – a monster among MP3 players.
Two microSD card slots
Incredible sound quality
Convenient interface on Android
A bit bulky.
Astell & Kern A & norma SR25
The Astell & Kern A & norma SR25 is an impressive Bluetooth MP3 player that excels at high-res audio quality.
All thanks to a new mode of increased performance, the presence of a balanced connector and support for the Bluetooth LDAC wireless codec. The SR25 also has a unique design with a slightly rotated screen, inherent in Astell & Kern, and an aluminum casing.
The touch display is bright, colorful and easy to use. Inside the audio player is a dual Hi-Fi DAC Dual Cirrus Logic CS43198. The native playback support of the DSD256 is more than enough to satisfy even the most demanding audiophile.
Wi-Fi connectivity gives you access to any streaming service including Deezer and Tidal. Support for the aptX Bluetooth audio codec ensures that good wireless headphones sound as good as wired ones.
Bluetooth LDAC support
21 hours of battery life
Apple iPod Touch 7
The Cupertino-based company delighted many when it announced the imminent release of the iPod Touch 7. This is the first update to Apple’s MP3 player since 2015.
The new Apple iPod Touch 7 player is largely focused on games, even its release took place along with the release of the Apple Arcade game service. Music lovers will appreciate support for the FLAC codec for Hi-Res, as well as Apple Lossless. There are also a lot of different options here.
The iPod Touch 7 has a built-in speaker on the underside, which sounds surprisingly good. This device is unlikely to be suitable for audiophiles, but it can be considered as the best MP3 player for audiobooks on the go or mobile games.
Support for mobile games
A huge number of applications
Looking for the best MP3 player for running and sports? Then take a look at the lightweight and compact 2-in-1 device, protected from water and sweat – the Sony NW-WS620.
The NW-WS620 doesn’t have to have a huge amount of internal memory or the highest quality sound. You get a 2-in-1 gadget combining an audio player (up to 16GB storage) and headphones. Perhaps, there could have been more memory, however, given that an average MP3 file takes 5-10 MB, this is thousands of tracks. Despite the training orientation, the following formats are supported: MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV and WMA and Bluetooth, A2DP, NFC connectivity.
For sports audio players, in addition to security, an important aspect is autonomy. One charge Sony NW-WS620 – up to 12 hours of continuous use, taking into account the weight (32 g), and an incredibly comfortable design for active workouts. You don’t have to carry around additional devices and get tangled up in wires.
The controls in the NW-WS620 are simple – navigation is done by physical buttons, they are also used to control playback. Speaking of sound quality, you shouldn’t expect an outstanding experience here. The sound is clear, pleasant, and you will hardly notice minor problems with the reproduction of individual frequencies while running or lifting the bar.
Easy to use
The sound quality is inferior to competitors.
How to choose an MP3 player?
Which is the best MP3 player to listen to music? Before diving into the search, you should pay attention to the most important features of the choice – price, power and audio codecs that.
Apple Music users probably use the proprietary AAC codec, which is supported by most modern audio players. But, if you consider yourself an audiophile, lossless codecs are in the prerogative: FLAC, WAV, ALAC, etc. They do not use “hard” compression like in AAC or MP3.
It is also necessary to take into account the size of the music collection – the volume of the internal memory of the future audio device depends on it. This is especially important in the case of codecs like FLAC, which take up a lot of memory space. Most modern MP3 players have a microSD card slot, although this is also limited – usually 512-1024 GB.