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Don't Buy MP3 players

by Tom Morgan

Don't Buy MP3 players ruin your favourite songs with unclear sound and a lack of bass. Our testing shows you should avoid these MP3 players.

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Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Dealing with a complicated, poor-sounding MP3 player every time you're on the move will leave you with a headache. Thankfully, our expert MP3 player reviews will help you sort the nightmare devices from those recommended as Best Buy MP3 players.

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What makes a Don't Buy MP3 player?

You may be tempted by a cheap MP3 player, but our testing shows that bargain models aren't always the best. Don't Buy MP3 players are a pain to set up for the first time. Once you do get them up and running, you'll be listening to tunes with no detail, hardly any bass and poor quality overall. The worst models to pass through our test lab run out of charge within five hours - hardly ideal if you want an MP3 player for long journeys.

Thankfully, you don't need to spend big to end up with a device that's perfect for you. Unlike Don't Buy models, Best Buy MP3 players are a treat for your ears. They provide detailed sound and are easy to get to grips with, and adding new albums is a breeze. The best MP3 players on the market last over 50 hours between charges, so you'll have lots of time to listen before looking around for a plug socket.

Unique MP3 player testing by Which?

We rigorously test MP3 players from big-name brands including Apple (with its iPod Touch, Shuffle and Nano) and Sony - creators of the iconic Walkman range. As we've seen in the past, not every MP3 player that looks the part has done enough to earn Best Buy status, and our range of MP3 player reviews will help you choose wisely.

  • Our panel of audio experts study sound across a range of genres.
  • We test portability to see if a device is as comfortable on the train as it is on the treadmill.
  • Every MP3 player we review has its battery charged and discharged several times to see how long it lasts.

All of our expert reviews are totally impartial. If we decide that an MP3 player deserves the dreaded Don't Buy label, you should stay away from it at all costs and pick a different model. Which? members have full access to our range of reviews.

Find out which MP3 players are Don't Buys and which are Best Buys by joining Which? now.