MP3 Player Suggestions

My search here only shows results from a couple of years ago. I'm after an MP3 player for a young teen. I'm not for an iPod touch because of price, large screen easy to break, battery life and a tad bulky. Don't want a phone either.

Having bluetooth (to couple to a speaker or wireless headphones) would be an advantage.

I'm wary of the stuff on eBay unless someone has positive first hand experience.

Can anyone offer any suggestions please.


  • +4 votes

    Don't want a phone either.

    Phone without sim card…

    What's so bad about that for a teen?

    There's a reason why dedicated MP3 players can now only be found on AliExpress for cheap cheap… People use phones for their media. Or smart watches.


    price range?


      Prefer cheaper, but for a really nice device would blow a couple hundred.


        Really enjoy my XDuoo X3. Have several. Take two 128 GB cards.

        More recent model is the NANO D3. 256 GB card.

        UI not so good. Have to manually work through. Doesn't bother me.

        Sound is fantastic :) FLAC'd almost all my music collection.

        $130.90 and $110.84 plus Hardly Normal tax on eBay.

        Both also have line out for use with full size HiFi set up.

  • +5 votes

    I remember the Sansa Clips series were kinda the rage maybe around 5-6 years ago.

    They are no longer being produced but you can still buy them from Amazon for about $50, but they will be shipped from USA (you'll need Prime to get free shipping)

    I have tried cheap mp3 players from Aliexpress / eBay for under $10 AUD they always seem to suffer from the same issue — very poor sound quality (they seem to use the same type of audio processing hardware which are probably ancient relics dug up from Egyptian ruins) or they have lithium batteries that don't hold a charge.


      These SanDisk ones only offer shuffle play if I'm not mistaken? That's a deal-breaker.

      Yeah, eBay offers lots of perfect fits but I'm pretty sceptical about their quality.

      • +2 votes

        I believe they are supposed to support playlists, you need to create .m3u files and place them in the same directory of the music. Been ages since I've owned one but here's the help page:

        Still in terms of usability you can't beat a budget Android phone loaded with PowerAmp, can play just about all types of media formats, playlist creation on the go and you have access to Wifi for file transfers / Spotify and BT for streaming.


        I think you are mistaken. I never had any issue playing in order by album or artist or whatever like you'd expect. They definitely aren't shuffle only. You may be thinking of the ipod shuffle, which was the same size but much crappier and limited in the way you are thinking.
        Those playlist instructions are if you wanna really customise the play order in other ways


      At the end of production I feel standards slipped a long way, had 3 "new" Clips a couple of years ago. All failed fairly quickly.

      ………and what do you expect for under $10 anyway! Be a bit realistic at least - and I have no informed suggestions - I too heard that mobiles have killed mid range MP3 player manufacturers.

      Perhaps look at Fiio players?

    • +1 vote

      I have been using a Sansa clip for years and it is perfect for me. Very small, light, battery lasts forever, good sound. I mainly use it for running and cycling, clip it to my waistband and don't notice it is there.

      First one lasted about 5 years (the current one has been going for about the same) I listen to albums so just browse to the folder and it plays all the songs in order. IT also has shuffle play and an option called "playlists" but I have never used it

      No bluetooth or fancy screen (the interface is very basic) may be a deal breaker for some, but don't bother me.


        Same here. I even bought a spare for when the first one dies (it hasn't).


          I didn't realise they weren't made anymore, may do that as well!

          I have tried a few of the cheap China ones and they were rubbish


            @slow: Pretty sure the two I got were refurbs from Amazon, got the first one around 10 years ago at a guess and the second one maybe 3-4 years back.


      They have bluetooth now for $90 shipped.

      awesome little things

  • +1 vote

    Sony Walkman? They still make them as digital audio players and pretty sure you could pick one up at JB Hi-Fi in store for the lower priced models if you really wanted to

    • +1 vote

      Some expensive options there. I saw the two lower priced models on JB's website last night. No Bluetooth is an issue, but shortlisted. TY.

  • +1 vote

    Sony still make their Walkman range, if as you say, you're happy to blow decent cash on something

    If you have the time to wait, they come up periodically on their refurb ebay site I've bought a bunch of stuff from there, and all of it has been new stock as far as I could tell.


    Used iPod shuffle from Gumtree.


    A good place to start would be this forum: & this one:

    Btw, FIIO players mostly get a bad wrap for poor software.

  • +1 vote

    I still use an iPod Classic, does everything I want/need from a music player. Doesn't have bluetooth though but I don't care about that.

  • +1 vote

    If my son wanted an MP# player I would simply give him an old unused phone like a Xiaomi Red Note 3.

    Almost everyone else has an old phone or back up phone lying around so why not let him use it?

    And it can do more than play music…


      Yes, this is true. But I feel like a cheapskate doing this for their birthday, and would not mind them having a life without a phone.

      • +1 vote

        Buy him something else with the $100 or whatever…the MP# player is free already


          Yeah I did think about this option.

          Would be great if I could load a music player on a phone and inhibit other apps / features. I wonder if that's possible?

          • +1 vote

            @thevofa: Just install LineageOS on the device but don't install Google Apps package. It'll be a phone still (can call, SMS, all the usual stuff), but completely devoid of anything Google (meaning: no account syncing and no Play store). It'll just be a blank phone with minimal apps.

            You can still sideload APK's from elsewhere though if you want to install apps on it.

          • +1 vote

            @thevofa: If they're under 16, yes very possible with Android, just did it for my kids.

            When you setup their account, it piggybacks off your account so you can get notified of everything. They can't install an app without your password!

            Can also remove stock Android apps like phone, messaging, contacts etc, lock it right down!

            Stock standard Android done just a couple of weeks ago on tablets I was stoked when I saw it!


            Auto installed this app on both devices, parent and kid


    Note: you will need a micro SD card to go with it. Something cheap ($10) from officeworks should do the trick.


    This recorder showed up on my aliexpress recommendations. Has the playback functionality, and is probably the price you are looking for.
    Being from aliexpress, always read the reviews and look at the pictures in reviews before making a purchase.

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