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19 October 2020

Should you buy an iPod Touch?

Considering buying an iPod? Find out what the options are and whether it’s the right choice for you.
Ipod touch 7th gen main
OT
Oliver Trebilcock

While almost all MP3 player features are now built in to modern smartphones, some still prefer a separate device. Apple’s iPod is by far the most popular MP3 player, so we outline the features below to see if it’s worth buying.

Best headphones – while iPods come with headphones in the box, you can vastly improve the sound quality by switching them for one of our top pairs.

What iPod is available now?

The only iPod Apple now offers is the iPod Touch (7th Gen), which launched in 2019 and is internet-enabled with has a touchscreen. All others were discontinued in 2017, so if you’re looking for a simpler device, you’ll need to buy second-hand or look for alternatives such as a Sony Walkman.

iPod Touch (7th Gen) features

The iPod Touch is effectively a small tablet, with a 4-inch display – you can also consider it as an iPhone without cellular calling functionality. There’s a wide range of colours and three storage sizes to choose from – including 256GB, the highest capacity ever offered on an iPod.

However, extra size comes at a cost – if you plan to use music streaming services such as Apple Music or Spotify and don’t intend to install loads of apps or store lots of photos, you can probably save money with the 32GB or 128GB versions. To find out which is the Which? top rated music streaming service, see our guide to the best music streaming services.

iPod vs iPhone: which should you buy?

The latest iPod Touch is much cheaper than even Apple’s cheapest iPhone you can buy new. However, the iPod Touch still comes at a cost for an MP3 player – some models from other brands including Sony Walkman are offered for considerably less.

As the iPod Touch is essentially an iPhone without the cellular function, almost all the functions of an iPod Touch are present in the latest iPhones (the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphones socket is the key exception). Check below to compare whether an iPod Touch or an iPhone is the best choice for you.

iPod Touch (7th Gen) iPhone 8 iPhone 11
£199-£399

(depending on storage)
£479-£529(depending on storage) £729-£879 (depending on storage)
32GB, 128GB or 256GB 64GB or 128GB 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
4-inch touchscreen 4.7-inch touchscreen 6.1-inch touchscreen
Bluetooth and wi-fi Bluetooth and wi-fi Bluetooth and wi-fi
Earpods with 3.5mm headphone plug included Earpods with Lightning connector included Earpods with Lightning connector included
8Mp rear camera, 1.2Mp front camera 12Mp rear camera, 7Mp front camera 12Mp rear camera, 12Mp front camera
Supports apps from App Store Supports apps from App Store Supports apps from App Store

Table details correct at September 2019.

Where to buy a cheap iPod Touch

If your budget doesn't quite stretch to the cost of the latest iPod Touch you could make savings by buying a used or refurbished model.

You might be able to get a small saving by shopping at Apple’s official refurbished products site (where products are 'certified' refurbished by Apple and come with a warranty) or larger savings and more choice on sites offering refurbished and used products such as Amazon Marketplace, CeX and eBay.

Availability is limited when it comes to secondhand or refurbished models, so they may not always be in stock. It's worth trying a few of the above sites to find the right model at the best price and checking back regularly if you can't find what you're looking for.

Not only are there great previous generation iPod Touch models, but buying used also gets you access to simpler discontinued iPods including the smaller iPod Nano (which was superb for its time) and iPod Shuffle.

The latter, which lacks a screen, can be particularly useful for exercise with its handy clothes clip and lightweight design, but otherwise is very limited in what it can do – it shuffles through your songs at random without you really being able to select them yourself. Both the Nano and Shuffle are set up are set up through iTunes with a music library you’ve saved on your computer. 

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