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Maurice Cacho

Professional MP3 Expert

Best MP3 Player & Best Cheap MP3 Players

It’s a tough call between these five models. Each has a big screen, innovative design, and intuitive navigation controls. Honestly, putting your money down on one of these will come down to personal preference.

With the best MP3 player choices, you can get the perfect big screen with innovative design and navigation controls. Always the best price, these cheap MP3 players keep you jamming wherever you go.

Best MP3 Players by Maurice Cacho

The Best You Can Get

  • Apple iPod Touch (16 GB)

    Maurice says: The iPod Touch adds handy new features to the company’s line of personal music players, edging the device away from its audio-only roots and towards the role of being a PDA.

    This time around, Apple’s slapped on WiFi connectivity and they’ve done it right. You can hop on the ‘net from any location and the Safari browser handles practically all public access point login pages. If you plan to watch lots of video – and you should, given its large screen – only grab the 16 GB model. The main beef with the Touch is the lack of a customizable equalizer. A calendar and address book helps you stay organized.

    • Internet connectivity and Safari
    • Large 3.5-inch touch-sensitive screen
    • Average battery life
  • Microsoft Zune (80 GB)

    Maurice says: In its second incarnation, this MP3 player returns with vengeance. The large-capacity model is available with either 30 or 80 GB of storage space, which means there’ll be enough room for all your favorite videos which you can enjoy on the large 3.2-inch screen. Cleverly, you can share content with other Zune users through the player’s ad-hoc WiFi capabilities.

    You can also sync your Zune with your PC over a WiFi connection, but it would be faster to do it hard-wired. Also, this player doesn’t feature an equalizer. Putting those annoyances aside, above-average headphones and a straight-forward interface give me good reason to recommend this model.

    • Big capacity, big 3.2-inch screen
    • Noise-sealing headphones in the box
    • Wireless sync
  • Creative Zen Vision W (60 GB)

    Maurice says: The Zen Vision W is one of the biggest kids in the MP3 player playground. But that extra girth means it comes with one of the biggest screens for watching video. You also shouldn’t have a major problem squeezing video onto this device with its hefty 60 GB capacity and the Vision W’s ability to play everything from WMV to DivX and XviD files. What’s more is that it’s compatible with TiVo To Go.

    This device’s CF card slot makes for a handy traveling companion. Photo enthusiasts can dump their pictures onto the device. A removable rechargeable battery alleviates the player’s lousy battery life, but there’s no way to solve another problem. No WiFi.

    • 4.5-inch color screen
    • Big and bulky
    • Removable rechargeable battery
    • Memory card slot
  • Archos 605 WiFi (80 GB)

    Maurice says: If you’ll primarily be watching video on-the-go, look no further than this gem. The high-resolution 800x480 pixel 4.2-inch screen is practically the size of the device and is designed to appear vivid in a variety of lighting conditions. You can also browse and download movies directly to the player using a WiFi connection.

    To get the most out of the 605, you’ll need to visit the Archos website and buy software plug-ins for the web browser and for H.264, DVD-quality MPEG-2 video, AAC and AC3 audio support, which is like having to buy spark plugs for your new car.

    • WiFi connectivity
    • Plug-ins required for web browsing, podcasts
    • Large 4.2-inch screen
  • iRiver Clix (8GB)

    Maurice says: The storage space pales in comparison to the other models on this list and it won’t have the same brand name recognition as a player from Creative, Apple, or even SanDisk. But the iRiver brings a lot to the plate in a tight package. For starters, its D-Click touch-sensitive interface was designed from the start to make using a digital music player easier than ever. Pair that up with above-average battery life and the Clix is kicking serious butt.

    It will also sound great too, thanks to on-board SRS sound enhancement and the ability to select from seven equalizer presets (you can also set your own). Did we mention it has support for OGG files?

    • Long battery life
    • SRS audio enhancement
    • Relatively small storage space

You will be happy with any of these

  • Apple iPod Nano (8 GB)

    Maurice says: The first-generation of the Nano was good, but this one is even better. It’s simple and straight forward system remains the same, although some might find the tiny navigation wheel a little hard to use. Video playback is a new feature on this version, but it’s not the biggest screen to watch your favorite TV show or podcast on.

    • Now plays videos
    • More durable body
    • Long battery life
  • Microsoft Zune (8 GB) (2nd Gen)

    Maurice says: Basically like its larger-capacity brother, the 8 GB Zune is ideal for those who either don’t want to bring their large music collection with them on the road and/or they want to take it to the gym. The touch pad has been designed for intuitive navigation and the video player can handle a variety of formats through the Zune software. You can share music wirelessly with nearby users through a WiFi connection.

    • No equalizer
    • Wireless sync
  • Samsung T10 (8 GB)

    Maurice says: This is a good pick if you want to watch the occasional video but still want a relatively small device. Bluetooth connectivity means you can use wireless headphones. Another cool feature is that you can make and answer your cell phone’s calls from the T10. Ten equalizer presets plus a customizable equalizer should let you tune the T10 for perfect sound.

    • Bluetooth connectivity means hands-free calls, wireless workouts
    • Long battery life
    • Video playback
  • Creative Zen V Plus (4 GB)

    Maurice says: Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it has to look – or work – like crap. The Zen V Plus lands on the list thanks to intuitive controls and a good group of features, including an FM tuner, line-in input, equalizer presents, an address book, and scheduler.

    The Zen V Plus is ideal for the gym. Veer away from this if you’ve got large or clumsy fingers - the controls are small.

    • Voice, FM radio, and line-in recording
    • Navigation buttons are a little small
    • Built-in personal organizer can be synced with Outlook
  • SanDisk Sansa Clip (2 GB)

    Maurice says: One of the smallest MP3 players on the market, the Sansa Clip is a good pick if you have a very active lifestyle, or if you want something that’s really small and easy to carry around (or loose – depends how you look at it). The navigation wheel is designed to be simple to work and as its name suggests, you can clip it onto your gym attire straight out of the box. It doesn’t feel that secure though, so you might want to grab an optional armband for extra peace of mind. The screen is on the small and basic side, but you’re not getting this to watch videos.

    • FM tuner
    • Relatively well-sized navigation wheel
    • Customizable EQ

Related Articles

Keep jamming with the best MP3 player that easily stores all your favorite tunes and then some. These cheap MP3 players include the Xune, iRiver Clix and even the Apple iPod. Always the best price, our best touch screen MP3 players suggestions are essential for your workout or rocking out while working.