Kids MP3 Player
An MP3 Player for Kids: Fill their world with music
Adults enjoy music, kids love it. Music brings a smile to a baby and comforts them at bedtime, pre-schoolers love to dance, and school age kids enjoy their favorite tunes and sharing them with friends. A kid's MP3 player is a perfect gift for these reasons.
On this page learn a bit about selecting a good MP3 player for a kid of any age and learn what risks the may present and how to counteract them
Graphic illustration by: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³
Picking Out an MP3 Player for Kids
For many people, when shopping for a kid's MP3 player, affordability is key because prior to their teenage years, many kids aren't as careful with their belongings as we would like them to be. For this reason, lifespan can be limited. While durability is needed, affordability also helps to reduce our risk. You'll see recommendations below for some features to consider when buying a player for kids of various ages, but at all levels we make suggestions for devices that are affordable.
If you're looking for an MP3 player for an infant, you probably just want to entertain them with music. Clearly, you wouldn't want earphones for such a device, you would probably want something that would rest on a table nearby or hang on their crib. Bright colors and even lights would help attract attention. Pre-recorded music or stories are good things to have, but the ability to record your own voice or perhaps some favorite tunes is nice as well.
For toddlers, the big buttons, large handles and so forth are good to allow little hands to operate the device safely. No small parts, as these can present a choking hazard. Non toxic materials can also be important and overall durability is a key feature. Again, earphones really aren't recommended. Some devices give parents control over volume since kids often aren't a good judge about safe listening levels at this age. Some devices also offer animations that preschool age kids love.
Young kids obviously want to begin controlling their environment. So kids MP3 players that offer easy controls over more than start and stop are good to use when possible.
Shake control is one example of this. Even most 2 and half to three year olds can shake a device to advance through songs.
For kids four and up, durability is still imporant but the device can be a bit smaller and more complex. The ability to record a variety of music can be important so you want enough memory to store several hours of songs. If you opt for headphones, the over-the-ear type are safer than the in-ear type. Of course, if there is a volume control that limits loudness, this can also provide adequate hearing protection too. Once the child is old enough to read, then a screen that displays song title, artist, and so forth becomes meaningful.
Once kids can be trusted with handling a smaller device safely and can operate more complex controls, you can opt for a standard MP3 player. Many of these can be purchased well under $100 and some even less that $40. Older versions of standard players are often a good bargain. These device have more memory, more controls, smaller size, and compatibility with more file types. Some include a radio or voice recorder.
MP3 Player for Kids: Just a Few Words About Risk
With the youngest children, the first risk to consider is parts that present a choking hazard. Ideally however, the device you choose for a child under age 3 would not have any small parts.
The second significant risk is hearing loss. Listening to loud sounds obviously can damage hearing. But even at levels that seem loud but reasonable, prolonged exposure can damage hearing as well. Earphones move sound closer to the ear, and in-the-ear type headphones are of particular concern. Learn a bit about the risk of hearing loss here. To reduce the risk, parents should consider:Have kids listen through speakers Have kids use over-the-ear type headphones versus in-the-ear headphones when speakers aren't used Limit listening volume when headphones are used Limit continuous listening time to no more than 1 hour Avoid listening in an already noisy environment so that music volume isn't increased to block it out
Kids MP3 Players for the Youngest
This player is designed specifically for babies. A simplified devices with large colorful buttons and handles so that babies can grasp it, it plays 7 classical melodies and a display of colorful lights to grab and hold their attention. It's designed to promote auditory skills and music appreciation. This is not a full featured MP3 player but a very affordable option for those want to expose babies to music.
The SweetPea3 is designed for kids age 6 and under. (It's available in Violet and Blue) It operates on a single AA battery and has a 50 hour battery life. It has a soft, rubberized feel which is both durable and safe/lead free.
This kids MP3 player has an integrated speaker, a large LCD for viewing the song number being played, a hidden voume control for parents, a programmable auto on/off timer, headphone jack, and an AC adapter.
It comes with preloaded songs and stories, but parents can download content form their computer using the USB cable. It accepts MP3, WMA, AAC, and AA files. It can store up to 700 songs with the 2GB flash memory and allows parents to store tunes in 3 playlists.
This Spongebob media player is available in silver and white.
It supports MP3 and WMA files and features a 2.2" color QVGA screen. It hosts 1 GB of flash memory and can hold up to 500 songs. It's powered by a rechargeable lithium polymer battery which keeps it going for up to 15 hours per charge.
This SanDisk Sansa Shaker is available in blue, red, and pink. It's a sturdy and easy to operate kids MP3 player. It's compatible with MP3 files and comes with convenient built in speakers for listening without the headphones as well as 2 headphone jacks. This makes sharing music with friends easy. It has an SD memory card slot that will expand memory. Shake control let's kids easily skip to the next song and they can merely twist it to adjust the volume. It's powered by a single AAA battery that provides 10 hours of listening per charge. Unit comes with pre-loaded songs, headphones, and lanyard.
The Disney Mix Stick is another kids MP3 player for the younger set. It supports WMA and MP3 files and has 512MB of internal memory (enough for 8 hours of music or or 240 songs). This device has a 1.3" color LCD screen and 3.5mm headphone jack.
See description above. This player is even more affordable with 1 GB of storage on board.
Another kids MP3 player for those who are a bit older, this Sansa M230 is very affordable and offers an integrated digital FM radio with 20 presets, and built-in voice recorder as well. It's compatible with MP3, Audible, and both protected and unprotected WMA files. It has 512MB of internal memory giving kids 8 hours of MP3 play or 16 hours of WMA file play. The backlit LCD displays song, title, artist, and album. Kids can sort songs by artist, album, song title, or playlists that they design. It has 5 equalizer types and includes Microsoft PlaysforSure to assure compatibility with internet music subscription services. It operates on a single AAA battery which provides 19 hours of playing time. It also features USB 2.0 connectivity and allows easy transfer of music with a drag and drop action. Also available in black and silver.
This 2nd generation iPod Shuffle comes in a variety of colors (also available in pink, silver and green) and clips to a kid's clothes. It supports playlists and can hold 240 songs with it 1GB of storage. It operates with a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery that provides 12 hours of playback per charge. It supports AAC, protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple lossless, AIFF, and WAV files. It has a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack.