Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Welcome to our electronic devices shopping guide. It’s a pleasure to put on your headphones, plug in your MP3 player and enjoy your favourite tunes, right?

Which model to choose from among the options on the market? Do higher priced editions represent the best choice? You can find that answer by reading our comprehensive guide to MP3 players.




Summary

  • There are MP3 players that record conversations and record fitness data.
  • A player with more Gb (Gigabytes) has a higher capacity to store MP3 files.
  • Some models are smaller than a finger!

The Best MP3 Player: Our Picks

MP3 Player: Shopping Guide

You plug in your MP3 player and it shuts off in less than an hour, even though the manufacturer says it has a longer battery life? This is a sign that your product lacks quality. To avoid the risk of buying something bad, please inform yourself with the information content in this section:

Uma mulher com fone de ouvido.

Quality headphones enhance the audio of an MP3 player. (Source: BEP / Pixabay)

When did the first MP3 player appear?

The first versions of MP3 digital file player devices appeared in 1997, developed by the company SaeHan Information Systems in South Korea (1). The codification of music signals in digital formats began in 1970 by the company ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network).

Can I listen to the radio on an MP3 player?

When it comes to MP3 players in cars, it is possible to listen to AM or FM radio, because the vehicle’s antenna helps establish the tuning. In cases of mobile MP3 players for personal use, only FM radio is available. This is because the models are digital and AM tuning requires an analogue system or antenna. Although they are not capable of AM tuning, the most modern MP3 players have fitness applications that measure your distance travelled.

Uma pessoa com um reprodutor MP3 na mão escutando música com o fone de ouvido conectado no aparelho.

There are MP3 players with a very informative display. (Source: ebeen / Pixabay)

Is it worth using an MP3 player these days?

Nowadays, it is not difficult to find a quality MP3 player, one of the most practical devices for you to listen to music. There are models that can even perform the reading of different formats of audio files, generating more flexibility to users. Most of the productions have a small, light and easy to carry format to different places.

Did you know that there are MP3 models that are resistant to drops of water? These choices are excellent for those who are in the habit of running in city parks and do not want the device broken because of sudden rainfall

More advanced models have several special features such as recordings, fitness apps, large battery capacity, among others. This table below reveals some pros and cons of the MP3 player:

Advantages
  • Most popular prices
  • Plays different files
  • Works on FM
  • Special features
  • Compact
  • Rechargeable
Disadvantages
  • Does not reproduce videos or image quality
  • There are battery versions
  • Not very resistant to falls

MP3 or MP4 player: Which one should you buy?

This doubt has probably been on your mind at least once in your life: to buy an MP3 or MP4 player? Before making your decision to buy get to know a little bit about each model:

MP3: This standard only plays audio. Besides being compact, the reproducer version costs low prices and is quite successful.

Um reprodutor MP3 com um fone conectado.

Almost always an MP3 player is smaller than the MP4 models. (Source: katie175 / Pixabay)

MP4: Plays audio, images and videos. Care must be taken when buying such models, as some generic products use different video compressions, requiring the use of programs for conversion, compromising the graphical results.

More differences between the two models are shown in the table:

MP3 player MP4 player
Plays video No Yes
Plays photos No playback With high quality resolution, depending on the model
Prices Lower Higher
Storage capacity Smaller Larger
Audio standard With acceptable quality More modern standards
Did you know that scientific studies indicate that prolonged use of MP3s can cause ear problems (3)? It is not recommended to use for more than 2 hours. Listen at low volumes

Purchase criteria: Factors to compare MP3 player models

The trend of using MP3 players with small displays that tell you the complete data of each song and special effects is increasing around the world. You might also like to have this feature on your device, right? To compare offers with the best chance of buying a version that’s right for you, consider the following commandments when making model comparisons:

  • Recording
  • Power
  • Size
  • Capacity
  • Display
  • Fit

More information on each criterion you can read in the sequel:

Recording

Do you want a device that can record? If not, it is worth doing a little more research when buying, as the presence of the “recorder” function can make the product more expensive, especially if it is very dedicated. It is important to understand that the models have different time capacity for each recording, which varies according to storage capacity and active battery time.

Energy

Should you buy a battery-operated or rechargeable MP3 player? The first option costs less (apart from the cost of the batteries). The second model can be recharged easily, but the low priced editions last a short time on charge. Also consider the time it takes for a model to charge, which can be anywhere from a few minutes to up to 4 hours or more depending on the version.

Size

The smaller the model the more compact it really is. Some smaller editions may be lacking in special features. Compare with an eye on dimensions, while keeping quality issues in mind.

Imagem em preto e branco de um reprodutor MP3 com um fone conectado.

There are players of various dimensions. (Source: herbert2512 / Pixabay)

Capacity

4Gb and 8Gb models are popular. Consider that more Gb value also means higher prices and higher capacity to store MP3 files.

Warning: The device gets slow if it has almost the full memory capacity occupied with files.

It is also important to keep an eye on the capacity of the audio standard on the device. The sound can be better when you use an MP3 player connected to the headphones of the same brand.

Display

The player with a brighter display and larger fonts makes it easier for you to see the data of each sound track. In certain editions, this resource can consume excess battery power. If you’re also thinking about being economical, look for editions less dedicated to display technology.

Fit

Do you like to put the racing headset on the MP3 player and stroll for several hours outdoors? In these cases there are more advantages to buying water-resistant models. But, that’s not all! Invest in the purchase of players that have a system of easy fitting in your clothes, so the production is not waving in your pocket with the risk of falling and breaking while you exercise without worries.

(Featured image source: mikefoster / Pixabay)

References (3)

1. Codificação de áudio de alta qualidade. Brandenburg, Karlheinz. 1999. Instituto Fraunhofer de Circuitos Integrados, Erlangen, Alemanha.
Source

2. MP3: Música, Comunicação e Cultura. OLIVEIRA, Rose Marie Santini, CLOVIS, Ricardo. 2005. 1° Edição. E-Papers Serviços Editoriais. Rio de Janeiro. Brasil. 43p.
Source

3. Incidência de zumbido em usuários de estéreos pessoais. FIGUEIREDO, Ricardo Rodrigues; AZEVEDO, Andreia Aparecida; OLIVEIRA, Patrícia Mello; AMORIM, Sandro Pereira Vasconcelos; RIOS, Artur Guedes; BAPTISTA, Vanderlei. Scielo. Brasil.
Source

Estudo científico
Codificação de áudio de alta qualidade. Brandenburg, Karlheinz. 1999. Instituto Fraunhofer de Circuitos Integrados, Erlangen, Alemanha.
Go to source
Livro
MP3: Música, Comunicação e Cultura. OLIVEIRA, Rose Marie Santini, CLOVIS, Ricardo. 2005. 1° Edição. E-Papers Serviços Editoriais. Rio de Janeiro. Brasil. 43p.
Go to source
Estudo científico
Incidência de zumbido em usuários de estéreos pessoais. FIGUEIREDO, Ricardo Rodrigues; AZEVEDO, Andreia Aparecida; OLIVEIRA, Patrícia Mello; AMORIM, Sandro Pereira Vasconcelos; RIOS, Artur Guedes; BAPTISTA, Vanderlei. Scielo. Brasil.
Go to source
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