The 8 Best Workout Music Players to Buy in 2018

Exercise with these great workout music players

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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.

Our Top Picks

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 wirelessly 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 an FM radio, digital clock and can display LRC format lyrics on its digital interface for the songs you play.

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.

Take a peek at some of the other best budget MP3 players you can buy.

Best for Swimming: H2O Audio Waterproof MP3 Bluetooth Music Player

With 10 hours of straight play time, 8GB of memory (2,000 songs-worth) and an IPX8 waterproof rating (the highest you can get), this ergonomic MP3 player is an ideal fit for all types of swimmers. The device supports a variety of files, including MP3s, WMAs, FLACs and more. You can also pair the player with your smartphone — be it an iPhone, Samsung, Android, etc. — to connect wirelessly to your Spotify and Pandora accounts. 

Lap swimmers will appreciate the H2O Audio Waterproof MP3 Bluetooth Music Player's superior underwater performance. Sound engineered with bass amplified sound, you'll hear your music the same as you would on dry land. With a 360 snap-clip, the player easily connects to goggles, shorts and swimsuit straps. 

Best for Running: Sony Walkman NW-WS623

At first glance, the Sony Walkman NW-WS623 looks like a pair of wireless headphones. But with options for either 4GB or 16GB of internal storage, the NW-WS623 is a great standalone music player for runners who don’t want to worry about bringing along a separate MP3 player.

The NW-WS623 is waterproof and sweatproof, making it ideal for exercise. It can even withstand being submerged in salt water, so you can take it swimming or surfing in the ocean. With an ergonomic in-ear design, the NW-WS623 should stay securely on your head, even while running. The internal storage can hold hours of music, podcasts and audiobooks that you can play for up to 12 hours per charge. The device also has a quick-charge option where you can get up to 60 minutes of charge in three minutes.

Since you can upload audio files directly to the NW-WS623, you can use it without connecting your phone. That may be ideal for some runners, but if you prefer to take your phone with you during a workout, you can pair it to these headphones and stream music or even answer phone calls via Bluetooth.

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

TomTom Spark Cardio
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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

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

Tribe AB37 Premium Water Resistant Sports Armband
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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.