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MP3 Player and headphone RecommedationsMP3 Player and headphone Recommedations

MP3 Players

MP3 Player and headphone RecommedationsMP3 Player and headphone Recommedations

 
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Portable Listening Devices

With all of the music reviews we done over the years we thought we'd put a few recommendations of equipment, especially portable listening devices. 

A few things that we find important with MP3 players are the following:
*Good construction
*Radio
*Small speakers
*Upgraded headphones
*Built-in Clip or ease of use

Below we've highlighted a few top recommendations of MP3 players that match our criteria. We put Coby if you are seeking a low-budget player with FM, but we tend to favor the other brands. The high-end is Creative Zen and Apple iPod. Though, the best value is SanDisK Sansa Clip +

It is surprising how long it took for top portable listening devices to include a radio. Unfortunately, AM radio is nearly always excluded in these players. We did note two players with AM radios, CC Witness and Degen. Both have small capacity. The CC Witness allows for expansion.  

Of the featured MP3 player recommendations, Creative Zen offers the best headphones, especially if you get a higher end model such as Creative Zen X-Fi 16 GB or 32 GB.

Technology changes quickly so do click on the links for the most up-to-date information. You'll easily be able to see if there are additional size capacities, color, and even newer models 

Creative Zen SanDisK Sansa Clip Coby
ipod Classic - 160GB Apple iPod CC Witness
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Headphones

On the topic of headphones, this section will focus mostly on the ear-buds since they compliment MP3 players best. Though, my main headphones for my computer are high end around-ear Sennheiser's, an older model, they sound great.

I've own both Creative Zen and Bose ear-buds that I can personally highly recommend, linked below. Through my research other brands that get high marks.
Hi-end - Shure
Mid-end - Klipsch
Low-end - V-MODA

Creative Aurvana Bose Sennheiser
 
Shure Klipsch V-MODA
 
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MP3 and related portable listening devices

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SanDisk Clip Plus 8 GB 4 GB

Amazon.com Product Description
Product Features
*Store up to 2000 songs, 4800 photos or 24 hours of video
*Memory card slot for pre-loaded cards
*Digital FM tuner with 40 presets
*Rechargeable battery lasts up to 15 hours
*Built-in clip for easy carrying
Technical Details
Model: SDMX18R-008GK-A57
*Battery Average Life: 15 Hours
*Hardware Platform: PC, Mac
*Width: 1.4 inches
*Depth: 0.6 inches
*Weight: 0.8 Ounces
*Radio Bands Supported: FM

The SanDisk Plus has expansion slots for your own collection or slotMusic or slotRadio cards. The small size and built in clip make this a great portable MP3 player. 
SanDisk 8GB microSDHC Card CLASS 2 16 GB Accessories
 
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Apple iPod Nano 5th Generation 8 GB 16 GB

Amazon.com Product Description
iPod nano now has a built-in video camera that lets you spontaneously shoot video wherever you are. And that's just the beginning. It has a dramatic, polished anodized aluminum finish and a larger screen. The new Genius Mixes feature acts as your personal DJ, automatically searching your iTunes library, then making mixes you'll love. Take iPod nano anywhere and the new Pedometer counts your steps. Also making its debut: a built-in FM radio with two amazing features--iTunes Tagging and Live Pause. So the world's most popular music player now has more to play with.

If you don't need the latest edition: iPod Nano 4th edition.
8 GB 16 GB Accessories
 

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Creative Zen X-Fi  
Of the featured MP3 player recommendations, Creative Zen offers the best headphones, especially if you get a higher end model such as Creative Zen X-Fi 16 or 32 GB.
Creative Labs Zen X-Fi 2
32 GB
Creative Labs Zen X-Fi 2
16 GB
Creative Labs Zen X-Fi 2
8 GB
 

Creative Labs Zen X-Fi MP3 and Video Player with Touchscreen and Built-In Speaker

32 GB 16 GB 8 GB
 
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Speakers

If you have an iPod, there are untold docking stations you can purchase. These are basically small stereos with chargers. If you don't have an iPod brand, you can hook your MP3 player up to a number of devices.
1. Powered Speakers
2. Table radios like the Bose Music System or a competitor
3. A stereo.

Powered Speakers
If you want a high quality budget approach, you can buy high quality powered speakers. I picked up a pair of M-Audio AV40 powered speakers. I hooked them up to a television and they serve as the receiver and speaker. So you basically have a compact solution like the Bose 321, but with only two pieces. It may not sound quite as good and you'd need to already have a DVD player hooked up to your television. Also, these are two way, not surround sound. But if you are looking for a low cost compact way to get good sound, this is it.
Powered speakers can be used for:
* Hook it up directly to a TV and get dramatically improved sound and enjoy the music from your cable and DVD player (Many have streaming music and FM stations, plus all of music videos, on Demand)
* Plug an MP3 player directly into them. 
* Hook it up to a computer. 

There are some other brands besides M-Audio, I posted a few, other names to search for include Creative Labs and Logitech. If you have the space for the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40, they are a good sounding flexible product.

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers
AV20
Creative GigaWorks BoseŽ CompanionŽ 2 Multimedia Speaker System
Wave Music System
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