The 8 Best Workout Music Players to Buy in 2018

Exercise with these great workout music players

Listening to some music while exercising is one of the best motivators to help you power through your workout. Sure, your smartphone probably plays music, but it can be clunky and cumbersome to use during physical activity. So we’ve rounded up the best music players to get you through swimming laps, pumping iron and running trails.

From the Waterfi iPod Shuffle that comes with the longest warranty on the list to the budget-friendly SanDisk Clip Jam, these workout music players will have you singing a different tune. Oh, and while you work out, keep track of your progress with the iOS/Android apps.

Best Overall: Waterfi iPod Shuffle

The Waterfi iPod Shuffle has 2GB (stores about 500 songs), a battery life of 15 hours and is waterproof up to 210 feet underwater. Though it may be a little more expensive than others on the market, the Waterfi iPod Shuffle is well worth the price and includes waterproof short cord headphones, Apple earphones and an iPod Shuffle USB Charging Cable. An added bonus: The Waterfi iPod Shuffle has a clip on the back so you can attach it to the strap of your goggles. It's a great option for avid swimmers, surfers, kiteboarders and triathlon trainers, but can also be used for for exercise activities that don't involve water (running, biking, etc.).

I’ve owned this music player for three years, and I’m usually not one to pledge allegiance to a company, but Waterfi has made me a loyal customer. I regularly used the Waterfi iPod Shuffle, swimming with it an average of 15 hours per week, and a year later it broke. The company's customer service is so prompt about their two-year warranty that they sent over a replacement within a day, no questions asked.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: AGPTEK A26

The AGPTEK A26 is an affordable Bluetooth MP3 player that’s sweat-proof, includes a back clip for easy accessibility and has 8GB (2,000 songs) of internal memory. The silicone-cased music player can support up to 64GB with its Micro SD card slot and supports various file formats, including WMA and FLAC. Though small (2.1 x 1.3 x 0.5 inches), this tiny MP3 player includes Bluetooth 4.0 technology, allowing you to connect wireless to your Bluetooth headphones and speakers.

The AGPTEK A26 has a built in 240mAh battery that charges in 1.5 hours with a 30-hour playtime (about eight hours in Bluetooth mode). It doubles as a FM radio, digital clock and can display LRC format lyrics on its digital interface for the songs you play.

Best for Running: Sony NWZWS613BLK 4 GB Bluetooth Sports MP3 Player

When you’re looking for a dedicated modern music player for running, there are a few things that must be checked off to even be considered. The device needs to be comfortable and be able to play high-quality music both from the device itself or streaming from your phone via Bluetooth. The Sony NWZWS613BLK checks those boxes off and more. While it looks like you’re wearing a pair of headphones, the NWZWS613BLK has 4GB of storage on board for music or audiobooks, as well as a connection to Bluetooth for streaming music or taking calls. For controlling what’s playing, the NWZWS613BLK includes a small remote control that allows you to skip tracks or change volume to your heart’s content. For charging, the device only takes three minutes to get 60 minutes of playback and the battery lasts up to eight hours if you charge it fully. Both the headset and remote are also waterproof up to two meters, so you can even use them for swimming.

Best Budget: SanDisk 8G Clip Jam

Nothing makes a workout more fun than great music to get you going. For less than $30, you can pick up the popular SanDisk Clip Jam player, a lightweight clip-on MP3 player that comes with 8 GB of storage. That equals up to 2,000 of your favorite songs or audiobooks so you’ll always have another motivating song available while you sweat.

With a built-in microSD card slot, you can add even more storage if you need it, and the long-lasting battery life gives you up to 18 hours of great sound (marathon training, anyone?). Better yet, the SanDisk Clip Jam player supports most popular audio formats including MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and Audible files so you don’t have to deal with converting your favorite songs. It even has an FM radio tuner so you can pick up local news and sports coverage. With an easy-to-read screen and large navigation buttons, it’s a snap to switch songs or even create custom playlists right on your device.

Most Compact Player: AGPTEK E02

The charming AGPTEK E02 comes with 8GB of memory, weighs .67 ounces and measures 2.75 x 1.02 x .63 inches – roughly the size of a pack of gum.

With a clip on its back made for active exercisers, the AGPTEK features an FM Radio, voice recorder and up to 10 hours of MP3 audio playback. The tiny MP3 player has one button that acclimates to the user’s thumb, making it easy to navigate through songs, as well as pause and play. The E02 supports up to 32GB of memory with its Micro SD card and plays MP3 and WMA file formats. It comes with a one-year warranty.

Best 2-in-1: TomTom Spark Cardio

If you're looking to leave your smartphone behind while you hit the trails but still want a compact music player that also does double duty as a smartwatch and fitness tracker, your best bet is the TomTom Spark Cardio device. Capable of storing 500 songs (56 hours of listening), the TomTom Spark Cardio is worn around your wrist and comes with cordless Bluetooth headphones, so you don't have to worry about wires inhibiting your stride.

Even better, the built in fitness tracker function allows you to monitor your progress 24/7. At the touch of a button, you can see how many minutes you've been active, steps you've taken, calories you've burned, as well as measure your heart rate, thanks to the smartwatch's eight different modes. For example, enter cycling mode and you'll be able to see the duration, distance, speed and pace for your entire ride, while the swimming mode will tell you your stroke rate and number of laps. And to help you stay on track of your progress and goals, the device syncs with the following apps: NikePlus, Runkeeper, UP by Jawbone, Strava, MapMyFitness and Endomondo.

Best Splurge: Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise available, but water and electronics generally don’t mix. However, if you’re in the mood to treat yourself and you love working out in, under, or around the water, you can get a specially waterproofed iPod Shuffle from Underwater Audio.

This sleek, lightweight MP3 player includes all the features of a genuine Apple iPod Shuffle including a 15-hour battery life and 2G of storage – enough to hold hundreds of songs, audio workouts, or audiobooks. A strong built-in clip is added to attach to your swim cap or goggles strap too so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the device in the pool. The Voice Over feature allows you to move through your playlist or switch songs without having to stop to push buttons or even take your eyes off your workout – ideal for lap swimmers or triathlon competitors. This cool workout music player even comes with a free download of a 30-minute audio swim workout by Rebecca Soni, a 2008 National Champion swimmer and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, to get you inspired while you swim.

Best Accessory: Tribe AB37 Premium Water Resistant Sports Armband

Can't fathom leaving your smartphone at home during a workout? Then the Tribe AB37 Premium Water Resistant Sports Armband is the essential accessory product. It's made of neoprene, comes with a free screen protector and the velcro fit strap will fit any arm up to 16 inches in circumference. The armband also has a reflective strip (which is great for outdoor fitness activities when there's low lighting), as well as a built-in hidden key holder. It's compatible with the iPhone 6, 6S, 5, 5S, 5C, all iPods and the Galaxy S3/S4.

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