The 7 Best Hard Drive MP3 Players of 2019

Take your music with you without draining your smartphone battery

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: AGPtEK M20S Mini MP3 Player

AGPtEK M20S Mini MP3 Player
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The AGPtEk M20S Mini weighs three pounds, so it's the heaviest hard drive MP3 player on the list, but for good reason. The device’s body measures 3 x .3 x 1.2 inches and it's encased in a metal body, making it sturdy enough for small impacts.

Besides its strong build, it features lossless sound quality, allowing for high quality and crystal clear sound with one of its many supported audio file types (MP3, WMA, OGG, APE, FLAC, WAV, AAC-LC, and ACELP.) The device has six touch buttons, plus with five metal buttons for a full feeling and ease of navigation. It holds 8GB of hard drive memory storage and allows up to 14 hours of audio playback on a two-hour charge. Though its memory can be expanded up to 64 GB, it relies on compatibility with one of its dedicated AGPTek Memory Cards.

Best Budget: AGPTEK G02 MP3 Player

Want one of the tiniest and most portable MP3 players on the market? AGPtEk has you covered with its G02 MP3 Player. It measures only .63 x 1.42 x 1.97 inches, weighs .49 ounces and includes a clip you can stick with you just about anywhere. Though slightly wider than an Apple iPod Shuffle 2GB, the G02 makes up for it with its 8GB memory storage and strong frame.

The G02 MP3 player has no display screen, but features small intuitive buttons that conform to your thumb. It’s compatible with your car via an auxiliary port and features a built in rechargeable battery with up to nine hours of playback.

Best Mid-Range: Sony NWE395/B Walkman MP3 Player

“Walkman” might sound like a tribute to the past, but the Sony NWE395/B Walkman MP3 Player is nothing if not part of the present, offering decent-quality features and audio for a price your wallet will thank you for. While you won’t get any additional frills, the MP3 player offers 4, 8, or 16 GB of memory, a 1.77-inch color LCD, and photo and video support. The built-in lithium-ion battery can last up to 35 hours, and the device includes alarm and sleep timer functions to help you manage your time. Customize your listening experience by using the built-in FM radio, transfer music, photos, or videos to your media player, or create playlists on your PC that easily transfer to the MP3 player. To adjust for volume differences between songs, the dynamic normalizer balances sound and volume while listening to shuffle mode. Earbud-style headphones and USB cable are included, and the device is available in either black or red.

Best iOS Player: Apple iPod Touch (7th Generation)

There was a time when Apple’s iPod was the device to rule them all in the portable music player world. In fact, MP3 player and iPod were once synonymous, and both were common in everyday vernacular. Of course, with the advent of multi-purpose smartphones housing massive power and storage, Apple’s venerable iPod family has become a shadow of its former self. All of the traditional iPod models (nano, shuffle, etc.) are long gone, leaving only the iPod touch, which Apple updates every few years, mostly to provide an iOS device for those who can’t or won’t own an iPhone. 

Despite its global decline in popularity, however, the iPod touch remains one of the best dedicated portable music players available — it’s a solid digital audio player that lives up to the iPod legacy. Although the newest model is pretty much just a CPU refresh of the previous version, it still checks all of the right boxes. It comes with plenty of storage, for instance with 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB models available, so there’s lots of room for your music. Plus, lossless music fans can now enjoy FLAC support for the first time ever on an iPod. It’s also one of the few portable music players that embraces streaming services. Onboard Wi-Fi and App Store support net you access to one of the largest collections of apps in existence. You get Apple Music built-in, and can easily choose from a lot of others like Spotify or Pandora.

The new iPod touch has also kept the exact same physical design since 2012, but you know what they say, if it ain’t broke.... The sleek aluminum back is available in six colors and a high-res 4-inch screen is on the front. But more importantly, you’ll have seven years worth of compatible cases, armbands, and other accessories to choose from. If all you need is a player to load up your own music tracks and simply listen to them, there’s a good chance that the iPod touch is going to be overkill, as it does so much more than that, but if you’re looking to supplement your music collection with a streaming service like Spotify, the iPod touch is the best digital audio player you can get for your money, and will be worth the splurge.

Best Waterproof: Diver DB-10 Waterproof MP3 Player

Diver DB-10 Waterproof MP3 Player
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The 1.4-ounce Diver DB-10 is a 4GB waterproof MP3 player and includes waterproof headphones. It can stay underwater for more than 24 hours without sustaining any damage and measures 2.6 x 0.6 x 1.6 inches. The device is both compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, and allows for an easy drag and drop file upload. Other additional features to note? The player comes in blue and pink, as well as with a 12-month warranty.

Best for Exercise: Pyle Waterproof MP3 Headset

If you’re dedicated to working out, whether at the gym, on the track, or in the pool, there’s room in your life for a quality waterproof MP3 player. For runners and cyclists, it can be inconvenient to bring along a heavy — and breakable — smartphone. For swimmers and gym-goers, the risk of damage to your very expensive devices is even higher. That’s where the Pyle Waterproof Sports MP3 headset comes in. This wireless headset has a built-in MP3 player with 8GB of storage for music and offers 10 hours of battery life, so you can use it for several training sessions before needing to recharge. The unit is submersible in water up to two meters deep, along with being dustproof and sweat-proof, so it can hold up under all different kinds of workout conditions. With good sound quality for the price, this player is a definite perk for fitness fans who want to leave their phones at home.

Best for Video: ACEE DEAL 16GB MP3 Player

When building a portable MP3 player, most manufacturers typically decide to create a slim, portrait-oriented device. But there’s one drawback there: the screens are usually not designed for viewing beautiful, cinema-quality video. That’s where this ACEE device comes in. It gives you an ultra slim 16GB MP3 player (your pocket will thank you), but it maintains a widescreen orientation. That screen looks pretty crisp and beautiful, and it supports MP4 or AMV video playback on top of the usual sound file suspects (including FLAC). In addition to that, it can do voice memos, photo viewing and it’s even compatible with eBooks.

There are 7 on-device EQ settings for whatever application you’re going for, from rock vibes to smooth jazz. The set comes with a USB charging cable and headphones, and the player body is a mere 3.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches (and weighs just 2.9 ounces).