Best 5 MP3 Players below £50
Sony have been manufacturing MP3 players in various styles for several years now so know what they are doing. Their B Series have been designed with portability clearly in mind thanks to the lightweight body and handy rear clip. The idea here appears to be clip on, plug in and enjoy and who could really ask for more?
The Sony NWZ-B162 is also packed with a few handy features to get the most out of your music and the player itself. The most helpful of these features, without a doubt, is the quick charge system which they have implemented where a three minute charge over USB will give you 90 minutes of music playback. There is also a handy bass boost for when your music needs just a little bit more of a punch. Moreover, there is the Zappin Music System whereby when skipping tracks the player will play the chorus of the next track so you can easily identify your tracks and select the one you want.
Finally the Sony NWZ-B162 doesn’t require any software to copy music on to the memory of the player. Since the USB port is built in to the player itself you can plug it in to nearly any computer and transfer audio directly.
What makes the Sony NWZ-B162 2GB Clip MP3 Player great?
• Sony’s unique ‘quick-charge’ system provides you with around 90 minutes of music playback from only a three minute USB charge.
• The handy clip on the back of the player allows you to attach the device to clothing to keep it out of the way and secure. This also makes the Sony NWZ-B162 ideal for gym use.
• The Zappin Music System lets users hear the chorus of sons while skipping through tracks to help make music immediately recognisable.
What isn’t so good?
• Since the Sony NWZ-B162 features a basic LCD screen you won’t be able to view videos and photographs on the player.
• The battery life of the player, coming in at around 18 hours, isn’t quite as long as some others on the market so you may need to use the quick charge feature every now and again when the battery is getting low.
• The player does not offer any form of memory expansion which would have been a nice little feature to bulk up the 2GB memory.
Check out the Sony NWZ-B162 2GB Clip MP3 Player (Priced at £26.99 19/10/2011)
The predecessor to the Sansa Clip Zip, the Sansa Clip+, was a firm favourite among staff members and customers alike due to the ease of use and strong sound quality. The Sansa Clip Zip picks up where the Sansa Clip+ left off.
The Sansa Clip Zip features a handy rear clip so you can easily attach the player to your clothes and leave your pockets free. This clip also makes the player an obvious choice for gym use and exercise as it’s safely out of the way. In keeping with the exercise theme the Sansa Clip Zip also features a stopwatch for timing your runs which could come in handy.
The main difference with the Sansa Clip Zip compared to the old Sansa Clip+ is that Sandisk have upgraded the screen so that it displays album art, photos and videos. The screen may be slightly too small to enjoy a video on but on the whole the images appear clear and coupled with the user friendly interface you’ll be able to whip around the player with ease.
However, Sandisk do not stop there and have included a memory expansion slot for MicroSDHC cards so you can bulk up the on-board storage and you can even copy over non-DRM Apple AAC files from iTunes; which is pretty nifty indeed.
What makes the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip 4GB MP3 Player great?
• The SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip 4GB MP3 Player is small and very lightweight so can easily be attached to clothing to free up your pockets and make it ideal for sports use.
• There is a memory expansion slot which can come in very handy as it allows you to pop a card in to the player and bulk up the storage space rather than having to delete some of the tracks which you’ve already copied over.
• Since the player is Apple AAC compatible (provided the files are DRM-free) you can download music from iTunes and copy them across to the player without any file conversion being required.
What isn’t so good?
• Compared to some other players on the market at the moment the sound quality may not be considered ‘premium’. This may make the player unsuitable for audio enthusiasts.
• While the user interface is simple to use the small physical buttons might cause some slight annoyance if you don’t have dainty hands.
• The inclusion of bluetooth would have been fantastic, especially given the player leaning towards sports use, to allow for wireless music playback.
Check out the models (4GB version priced at £39.99, 8GB version priced at £46.72 19/10/2011)
This latest offering from Creative uses is well worth a look if you are interested in a player which is not only small but also easy to use. The Creative ZEN Style M100 Touch 8GB MP3 Player features touch responsive navigation where the different corners of the player provide easy track and menu navigation. Due to the small size of the screen this is a great idea as it is a simple and straight-forward way of controlling the player without buttons or a touch screen.
Like many players nowadays Creative have included a MicroSDHC card slot allowing you to bulk up the on-board storage as you see fit. Moreover, with the Creative ZEN Style M100 Touch 8GB MP3 Player supporting cards up to 32GB in size you can squeeze a substantial amount in to a very small package.
You also won’t have to worry about needing to install any software with the player either as it works simply through dragging and dropping the files directly to the player.
What makes the Creative ZEN Style M100 Touch 8GB MP3 Player great?
• The Creative ZEN Style M100 Touch 8GB MP3 Player features and easy to navigate interface and touch responsive buttons so browsing your music and controlling tracks is a breeze.
• Nowadays the inclusion of a memory expansion slot is commonplace, with a few manufactures still lagging behind, and Creative clearly see the benefit of this sort of feature. The Creative ZEN Style M100 Touch 8GB MP3 Player supports MicroSDHC cards up to 32GB in size so you won’t have to decide what tracks to remove from the memory any time soon.
• Design-wise the player is well thought out and stylish. This coupled with the small physical size make it ideal if you don’t want to carry a paperweight in your pocket.
What isn’t so good?
• While the touch responsive buttons are a good idea, and including a touch-screen on such a small device would be mad, the lack of physical buttons may not be suitable for everyone.
• There is no bluetooth functionality with the Creative ZEN Style M100 Touch 8GB MP3 Player so those of you looking for a player with wireless playback may be disappointed.
• The equaliser settings are slightly limited and while you can tweak the sound somewhat this feature could be stronger.
Check out the Creative ZEN Style M100 Touch 8GB MP3 Player (Priced at £46.04 19/10/2011)
The ARCHOS 18 Vision 4GB with FM MP3 Player is a simple little player and provides features which most people would find appealing. They may be better known for the large screen media players and internet tablets but that’s not to say that they can’t produce a nice little music player too.
Other than listening to music the ARCHOS 18 Vision offers and FM radio for those times when you want some variety from your own music library and you can save presets so you don’t have to re-tune every time you select the radio from the menu. Moreover, there is a voice memo feature which turns the player in to a dictaphone and can prove handy to have.
The screen, while not being superb quality, is suitable for watching videos and viewing pictures. This might be a fairly standard feature nowadays but it’s always nice to be able to back-up your memories and browse through the pictures as when you want.
What makes the ARCHOS 18 Vision 4GB with FM MP3 Player great?
• There is a built-in FM Radio for those times when you might want to take a break from your own music.
• A photo and video viewer is provided with the Archos 18 meaning you can copy over photos and video to enjoy on the move.
• The ARCHOS 18 Vision 4GB with FM MP3 Player features physical buttons making it ideal for people who want to avoid using a touch-screen.
What isn’t so good?
• Despite being able to view photographs and videos on the player there is no support for album art; which is a feature many people like to see on players nowadays.
• There is no memory expansion so you only have the built-in 4GB memory to use. Once you’ve filled this up you’ll need to make the tricky decision as to what music you want to remove to free up space.
• The ARCHOS 18 Vision 4GB with FM MP3 Player will survive a little bit of rough treatment but it’s not quite as robust as some other players out there.
Check out the ARCHOS 18 vision 4GB with FM MP3 Player (Price at £27.99 19/10/2011)
You will most likely already know who Sandisk are since they’re one of the largest manufacturers of memory cards going. Their Sansa range of players, much like their memory cards, are designed to be great quality but without a huge price tag.
The Sandisk Sansa Fuze+ FM 4GB MP3 Player provides features which most people have come to expect from modern day players so as well as playing back music you can copy over videos and pictures to enjoy on the move.
If you ever get fed up of your own music you can use the built-in FM Radio to enjoy chart topping hits or any other station which you can pick up. Furthermore, the radio will also allow you to record programmes so you can enjoy them again later.
Perhaps the most helpful feature is the memory expansion slot, again a feature which is largely becoming common place. This means that should you fill up the built in memory you can load up a MicroSDHC card with music and pop it in.
What makes the Sandisk Sansa Fuze+ FM 4GB MP3 Player great?
• The Sandisk Sansa Fuze+ is currently the only player we stock in the sub-£50 category which is compatible with Audible.co.uk.
• With the inclusion of a MicroSDHC slot you’ll never again have to worry about what happens when you fill up the on-board storage.
• Considering that the player is by no means bulky the screen picture is sharp making viewing photos and videos a pleasant experience.
What isn’t so good?
• The touch-pad navigation method can be a bit tricky to use at times so you might end up selecting tracks or menu items which you didn’t mean to.
• There are a fair few other players which are better for those on a tighter budget which don’t differ too greatly from this one.
• The Sansa Fuze+ isn’t quite as sleek as some other players in the under £50 category.
Check out the Sandisk Sansa Fuze+ FM 4GB MP3 Player (Priced at £49.99 19/10/2011)