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Top Five MP3 Players for Running 2017

Updated on February 8, 2017

Best MP3 Players for Running and Sports

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It's easy to get bored and lose motivation while running or working out. Many people find that when they put on earphones or earbuds and turn on the music, everything changes.

I myself faced this problem. When I realized what a difference music would make to my workout, I wanted to buy an MP3 player designed specifically for running. I wanted a device that would not be burdensome while I was running or working out, and that would just play the music so I could enjoy the exercise.

After a lot of research, I found the one I like (the iPod Shuffle 4th Generation). Read on to find the one that’s best for you.

Top Five MP3 Players for Running

iPod Shuffle 4th Generation
NWZ-W273 Walkman
Aerb 4G Waterproof
Sansa Clip Zip
GoGEAR SoundDot
No need to press buttons
Clear bass and stereo
Snug fit
Display screen shows what song you're listening to
Simple to use
Strong clip
Song search feature
Water resistant to three meters
15 hours of battery life
2GB of storage (about 400 songs)
Light as a feather
Compatible with iTunes and Windows
Floats in the water
Memory card availability
Simple design; USB port hidden by clip
Stores hundreds of songs, podcasts, or audio books
Completely waterproof
Adjustable positioning for swimming or running
Best-selling on the market
Very inexpensive
15 hours on a full charge
Quick charge feature
Great quality for the price
Good value for the price

1. iPod Shuffle 4th Generation

Apple targeted a very specific group of users when they released the iPod shuffle in 2010: people who are ready to run or workout and who don't want to worry about holding a device or pressing a lot of buttons. This is the lightest MP3 player I've ever put my hands on. It's really small, has a chic design, and comes with a very strong clip, these features alone put it at the top of my MP3 players list.

If you have heard of a so-called fifth generation iPod shuffle, that is a misnomer. When Apple introduced the iPhone 5 in 2012, they also began offering the iPod shuffle in seven new colors. Otherwise, the device is unchanged.

It comes with a single 2GB module with no memory card available. If you are the type of runner who wants access to big playlists while on the trail, then the iPod shuffle isn't for you. But you still can put hundreds of songs, audio books, and Podcasts on this device. You must have iTunes on your computer in order to sync the device and load your audio files.

Pros: Lightweight, Simple to use, Good quality.

Cons: The clip is too close to the edge and buttons.

Bottom Line: The super lightweight iPod Shuffle does a good job balancing clarity of sound and ease of use to make it a functional MP3 player that’s well worth considering if you’re looking for a compact device.

  • Colors: black, gray, red, blue, green, pink, and purple
  • Battery duration: up to 15 hours on a full charge
  • What comes in the box: iPod shuffle, earphones, USB Cable, Quick Start guide
  • Official price: $49.99

2. NWZ-W273 Walkman

The Sony NWZ-W273 is designed for sporting types who don't like to deal with dangling headphone wires or Bluetooth streaming, this device allows you to be wireless, hands-free, and distraction-free whether you're at the gym, pool, or outdoors. The stereo and bass are clear and strong.

The ZAPPIN search feature allows you to easily navigate through your song collection by playing back main melodies. The device comes with a 4GB capacity storage and you can easily drag and drop songs using iTunes, Windows Media, or your browser.

Sony says that swimmers love this device, It is waterproof and easy to wear under your cap. (At one point, Sony actually packaged these MP3 players submerged in a bottle of water.) A rubber adjustment band comes in the box.

The awesome thing about this Walkman player is that when you are in a rush, a three-five minute charge will give you an hour of non-stop music playback (Sony calls this a "quick charge" feature).

Pros: Quick charge, Waterproof, Comfortable.

Cons: Small buttons, it comes pre-loaded with some terrible songs.

Bottom Line: While it will cost you a hefty $99.99, the Sony NWZ-W273 is an outstanding waterproof MP3 player.

  • Colors: black, white, pink, and blue
  • Battery duration: up to eight hours on a full charge
  • What comes in the box: NWZ-W273 Walkman, earbuds, USB cradle, adjustment band, notes about water resistant specifications, and Quick Start Guide
  • Official price: $99.99

3. Aerb 4G Waterproof MP3 Player

Swimmers will adore this amazing waterproof MP3 player, It is well-made, and with its competitive price offers quality appearance and functionality.

The headphones fit snugly behind ears and ergonomic buttons control Forward/Back, Play/Pause, and Volume Up/Volume Down, the device is easy to use, offers crystal-clear sound, and includes an FM radio.

The Aerb comes with 4GB of memory storage and is 100% water-resistant to three meters, if you drop it in the water, it floats for easy recovery, and a clip makes it possible to attach the player to your goggles, belt, or clothing, the player can rotate in any direction, so it suits joggers and swimmers alike.

Pros: Snug fit, Good quality, Affordable price.

Cons: It plays only MP3 and WMA files, no shuffle mode.

Bottom Line: Aerb 4G is one of the best waterproof MP3 players, designed for swimmers and people who sweat more than usual, it is for sure a versatile device, that’s well worth considering if you’re looking for such qualities.

  • Colors: black, green, pink, and yellow
  • Battery duration: up to 16 hours on a full charge
  • What comes in the box: MD190 Waterproof MP3 Player, waterproof earphones, USB cable, and English language user's guide
  • Price: $49 to $59

4. SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip

For the price, the Sansa Clip Zip packs in a lot of features. A small screen displays information about the song you are playing, an arrow button allows you to return to a previous list, and there is a stopwatch.

This device feels nice in your hand, or can hang from clothing, the best features however are the amazing battery life (around 15 hours) and memory card availability an addition to the stopwatch and FM tuner.

I doubled my device's storage capacity by inserting a Micro SD card with 8GB. This device is also one of the most inexpensive MP3 players on the market.

Pros: Smooth interface, Memory card expansion, FM radio built-in.

Cons: No seal on Micro-SD slot.

Bottom Line: Sansa Clip is a strong performing MP3 player, with multiple useful features that help you concentrate on your workout.

  • Colors: black, grey, orange, red, white, purple, blue, lime, and teal
  • Battery duration: up to 15 hours on a full charge
  • What comes in the box: Sansa Clip Zip MP3 Player, earphones, USB 2.0 transfer cable, Quick Start guide, and starter CD (Sansa Updater and Rhapsody trial offer)
  • Official price: $49.99 (4GB) or $69.99 (8GB)

5. GoGEAR SoundDot

When I first got my GoGear SoundDot player, I wasn't sure it was any good, the low price made me suspicious, I knew I could always use it as a hard drive if it didn't stand up as an MP3 player.

Now I'm glad I have one, the clip hides the USB plug, making it easy to attach anywhere. GoGear SoundDots are just like any other MP3 players out there, with the usual "Play," "Pause," "Volume," etc. buttons.

There is 2GB of memory storage (about 400 songs) and a light at the bottom where you connect your headphones, when the device is on, the display shows the battery charge status (green for full, orange for low), and there's a shuffle mode.

Syncing music is easy, just drag and drop, If you have software problems, reset to the manufacturer's setting (using the small button on the back). If you still have issues or you'd like to get the latest firmware for your device, download free Songbird from the Philips website.

Pros: Reliable, Ease of use, Integrated USB connector, Great value for the price.

Cons: No expandable memory.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an iPod shuffle alternative at a low price range, you’ll find GoGear SoundDot a really amazing simple device to use, with no complicated qualities.

  • Colors: white, pink, and blue
  • Battery duration: up to six hours on a full charge
  • What comes in the box: GoGear SoundDot MP3 player, headphones, and Quick Start guide
  • Price: about $20

Seven Tips to Get the Best Out of Your MP3 Player

  1. When you first buy an MP3 player, test it see if it can can play. Check out all the buttons and leave it charging for 8-12 hours the first day. You will get more out of the battery life.
  2. Don't recharge the MP3 player if it's not in low battery status.
  3. Don't let your MP3 player battery completely die. Recharge it before it shuts down automatically due to the very low battery.
  4. If your MP3 player shuts down due to low battery, it cannot be switched on until after it is plugged in to a power source for a few minutes. Leave it charging for 15-30 minutes and then you will find that it is ready to play.
  5. It is best to charge your player all the way. Most players require between two to three hours to charge, especially the players that give more than six hours of music playback.
  6. As you may know, each battery comes with a limited number of charging cycles. Manufacturers do not reveal how many cycles their products can charge, but typically, between 300 to 500 full charging cycles are available, depending upon the brand and how often the device is recharged.
  7. This tip is very cool: If you go on vacation or plan to not use your player for a while, leave your battery at about 70% charged status and switch off your device. Remove the battery (if the battery can be removed). When you come back and reinstall the battery, the charge will only be slightly lower than you left it.

Vote for Number "1" MP3 Player

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Which MP3 player do you like and why?

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    • profile image

      Appa 17 months ago

      Mp3 of exercise

    • veganfitspiration profile image

      Amy 18 months ago from Colorado Springs

      The waterproof one looks great, I lost an iPod last year in a rainstorm..

    • profile image

      bung vumper 23 months ago

      Wow tip 7 is so cool. Who would have thought that you could preserve battery life by turning off the device and removing the battery? For all these years I thought that if I removed the battery that it would instantly go to 0% charge. Thank goodness I found this article!!!1111

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 24 months ago from Doha, Qatar

      Of course, glad I could help.

    • Hanzamfafa profile image

      Mike Leal 2 years ago from London

      Great Hub. I used to run a lot but have been very busy at work that I feel exhausted all the time. Planning of getting back into shape soon. I found your Hub very helpful because I know I will be needing an MP3 to be my pal while running. Thanks a lot.

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 2 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      Well it looks descent, what they offer, and then there is the factor which says they are a new brand, most people they tend to go with reputation first. I will try to locate it to see how it works.

      Thanks for passing by @Herve

    • profile image

      Herve 2 years ago

      It seems that some newcommers are on the way, as a runner, I like to listen to music while running but wanted also a GPS watch. So searching actively a GPS and MP3 music player, I have found one TheSportGPS that is claiming to be on Kickstarter this summer. Looking at the specifications it seems to be the perfect tool for runner GPS stopwatch, MP3 player and even a Map and tracking history saved compatible with GPX and TCX for sport communities Web like Strava, Runkeeper or Runtastic !!! I can not wait :-)

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 2 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      Well, you are right about the Clip Sport not being able to compete with the Clip Zip, do you mean that it support only 2000 song? I found this link for Sansa Clip Zip on Amazon, because there is not much quantity of this mp3 player, and people who want it are a lot, they have raised the price too much, check with yourself my friend if it deserves that price range, or if you somehow decide to go with no screen and no memory expansion, you know who made that tight with Sansa Clip Zip.

    • profile image

      Stewart Smith 2 years ago

      Unfortunately, the Clip Zip is no longer available and the Clip Sport that replaces it is AWFUL (I'm just returning it to Amazon now, only supports 2000 files, cannot play an album in order)

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 2 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      I respect your call, but this article here is about the best MP3 players suitable for running and working out, easy to fit in this category, and if there is something that is good or the best today, this doesn't mean that it will be forever the best, in other words other brands will try their best to beat that thing that is best now.

      I hope I delivered the message, Thanks again

    • profile image

      vinod 2 years ago

      in complete report==or we can say worst report==as many of the good mp3 player are not included==vinodjain 9823260643

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 2 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @Todd You are right about SoundDot become discontinued from the manufacturer, what is out there to sell is only the ones that remained unsold, but about the compatibility with Windows 8 I highly doubt that, because logically it is impossible; after all all mp3 players are USB drives, if windows can't read the USB driver, it's whether the USB (MP3 player)is not working at all, or the USB port for the computer is not working, or 3rd and last logical option which is; the computer read the USB or detect it as a new device but fails to launch it, what prevents windows from running or launching the USB (MP3 player) is the driver, but in our case with the MP3 player the driver is already installed in the MP3 player maybe it can be damage somehow, but once you reset the device to factory settings all that would change.

      Thanks Todd for stopping by it's been months I had no comments, only hundreds of views daily, I really appreciate it man, by the way if you have any questions, I am here.

    • profile image

      Todd 3 years ago

      From what I've read, the SoundDot is discontinued, and does not work under Windows 8

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 3 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @Brite-Ideas Im glad that your son is a mannered boy.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      a very handy page for sure - my sons had to set me up on an ipod for walking, and I'm good to go now!

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 3 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      you are welcome, im glad you liked it

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I dig the Aerb 4G Waterproof !

    • soniabaad lm profile image

      soniabaad lm 3 years ago

      Informative lens.. I specially love Sony Walkman design.. Its cool..

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      Thanks for the info and tips.

    • profile image

      dfghjjh 3 years ago


    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @tazzytamar: You are welcome Anna, i really liked reading your courageous comment thank you

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from chichester

      What a brilliant idea for a lens - I really needed some guidance with this so thank you!

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      you are welcome, im glad that you liked it

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Thanks for the information on these MP3 players.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good lenses, thank you for sharing this information and it is very interesting!

    • sha-ron profile image

      sha-ron 4 years ago

      Great first lens, Now I have better ideas on which one to choose. thanks

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      I appreciate all the information for these players. Now to pick :)

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @Ikey4088: you are welcome, and thank you for passing by

    • profile image

      Ikey4088 4 years ago

      You are right, listening to music whilst rnning or exercising certainly takes some of the pain out of it. Great first lens, looking forward to seeing more.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I would love to have an iPod Shuffle.

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @norma-holt: Thank you dear for cheering me up :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      While I am not into this type of technology I can appreciate a well done lens. Great work for the first.

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @mel-kav: thank you mel, everybody is motivated when they hear their favorite songs playing

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @dwelburn: thank you very much David

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @Zeross4: thank you, iPod shuffle is definitely cool

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @tonyleather: you are welcome :)

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      iPod - music is definitely a motivator for me. Nice choices here.

    • profile image

      dwelburn 4 years ago

      Comprehensive lens. I don't have one yet but this guide will be useful to help me choose one.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Great list here, I want the Ipod Shuffle :)

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @tonyleather: You are welcome, glad you like it!

    • profile image

      tonyleather 4 years ago

      Thanks for the heads-up!

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 4 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      @takkhisa: Yes Aerb is really good choice i order one from the the store they wont have it till late this month

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I would like to get Aerb 4G Waterproof MP3 player! It sounds very good.