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Which Apple iPod should you buy?

By Oliver Trebilcock

Apple's iPod remains the most popular brand of MP3 player, but which model is the best? We'll help you pick the perfect iPod for you.

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Although Apple iPod sales are now eclipsed by the iPhone and iPad, they remain immensely popular among those looking for a simple and stylish portable music player. Apple's iPod range consists of three models – the Touch, the Nano and the now-discontinued Shuffle – each coming in a variety of colours with varying amounts of internal storage.

Apple's digital music store, iTunes, is a key part of the iPod experience. iTunes is essentially an online version of the traditional record store, selling albums and individual tracks on a gigantic scale – it currently offers more than 26 million digital songs, all just a couple of clicks away.

Want to choose the best iPod for you? Take a look at our MP3 player Best Buys to discover the models we recommend.

Best Apple iPods

Apple iPod Nano (7th generation) 16GB

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The iPod Nano could be worth considering if you're after a mini MP3 player, but are there better options out there? See how this iPod performed in our test lab by logging in.

Apple iPod Touch (6th generation)

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Apple's iPod Touch is one of the most advanced MP3 players around, but does it offer brilliant sound? See how this iPod performed in our test lab by logging in.

Apple iPod Shuffle (4th generation)

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The iPod Shuffle is the smallest member of the iPod family. It's lightweight, but doesn't feature a screen. See how this iPod performed in our test lab by logging in.

iPod Nano

The iPod Nano is a small, lightweight MP3 player that features a bright and responsive 1.5-inch touchscreen. It lacks the wi-fi capabilities of the iPod Touch, which means it can't be used with streaming services. Even so, at around £150, this colourful little music player is noticeably cheaper and even more portable.

Despite its limitations when it comes to streaming, the iPod Nano still has a good range of functionality, featuring Bluetooth and FM radio with live pause and rewind, plus the ability to tag songs you like so you can buy them from iTunes. The iPod Nano also has Apple's VoiceOver function built in, which tells you the name of a song being played and the artist.

Pros: The iPod Nano offers minimalist Apple design and a nice touchscreen display, without scrimping on portability.

Cons: This Apple iPod is only available with 16GB of memory, enough for around 4,000 songs. Installing apps on the device will see space fill up quick, and memory can't be expanded.

Take a look at our full iPod Nano review to see if this MP3 player does enough to impress our audio experts. If you're having trouble with your current iPod, see our iPod problems solved advice guide.

iPod Touch

The iPod Touch, Apple’s largest and most advanced MP3 player, is a sleek touchscreen-equipped device that could also be described as a pocket-sized tablet. While it plays music with ease, it can also record and play videos and browse the web. The iPod Touch is available with 16, 32, 64 or 128GB of memory – the largest capacity of all the iPods – but comes at a premium, with prices ranging from £180 to £380. For buyers with a bulging music collection, a spacious model is recommended.

You can use wi-fi on the iPod Touch to use music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, but that's not the case if you own an iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle. Consider how you store and listen to your music collection before buying a new iPod. It's also worth noting that the iPod Touch was recently updated to support iOS 10, the latest version of Apple's firmware.

Pros: The iPod Touch is more than just an MP3 player. It can be used for gaming, watching films and web browsing - making it the most feature-rich MP3 player on the market.

Cons: Many smartphone users will find that the long list of extra features offered by the iPod Touch are obsolete.

Take a look at our iPod Touch review to see how this device performed in our test lab. For more on MP3 players, take a look at our MP3 player reviews page.

iPod Shuffle

The iPod Shuffle was discontinued by Apple in 2017, but is still available to buy second hand. Weighing in at just 12.5g, the iPod Shuffle is the smallest member of the iPod family. The 2GB device has enough memory for around 500 songs and used to cost around around £50, which means it's also Apple's cheapest. The iPod Shuffle is ultra-portable and features a clip to attach to your clothes, making it a great option for fitness fanatics and runners. This MP3 player is available in an array of colours.

Naturally, there's a reason why the iPod Shuffle is priced as it is. This Apple device has no display, so you can't select which song you want to listen to. Instead, this iPod shuffles through your library - hence the name. In place of the display, the iPod Shuffle is equipped with VoiceOver, which announces the track, artist and playlist names.

Pros: The iPod Shuffle could be a great choice for fitness fans. It arrives with a handy clothes clip that makes it perfect for a workout, without the need for any accessories.

Cons: As there's no display and songs are shuffled, finding your favourite track could require a lot of clicking and a little bit of luck.

Is this compact iPod worth your money? Our full iPod Shuffle review reveals all. To see how Apple's MP3 player range compares to Sony's, see our Apple iPod vs Sony Walkman guide.

For full reviews of every model we've tested, visit our MP3 player reviews page.


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