Top 5 MP3 players for less than $50

CNET's Donald Bell rounds up the best MP3 players that cost $50 or less.

Photo of the Samsung U5 MP3 player.
Fifty dollars can buy you more MP3 player than you think. CNET

Just eight years ago, a basic MP3 player could easily set you back $300 or more. These days, you can nab a decent player for less than $50--and I mean a legitimately decent MP3 player.

To make my point, I've rounded up my top five MP3 players for $50 or less. These aren't your bargain-basement screenless Shuffle-style players, either. With one exception, all the featured players include screens, FM radio, and voice recording. Each player also includes a little something extra, ranging from a workout tracker to a color screen.

The advent of genuinely useful, cheap, and small MP3 players also opens up the possibility of owning several players for different purposes. There's no reason to risk taking your iPhone on the treadmill when a $40 clip-on player will do the trick. Need some music in the kitchen? Just grab a cheap MP3 player with a built-in speaker.

What are you waiting for? Check out our favorite MP3 players for less than $50.

Read the full CNET Review

Creative Zen Stone Plus (2GB, blue)

The Bottom Line: For those who want a supersmall and cute MP3 player that offers more than just simple music playback, the Creative Zen Stone Plus fits the bill nicely. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

SanDisk Sansa Clip (1GB, sleek black)

The Bottom Line: The SanDisk Sansa Clip is an incredible value that's set to edge out the competition with a user-friendly interface, gym-worthy design, and great sound quality. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

SanDisk slotMusic Player (white)

The Bottom Line: The SanDisk Sansa slotMusic Player is a reasonable option for those who still haven't made the switch from CD to MP3, and there's no computer required, so even technophobes can use it. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Philips GoGear Spark (2GB)

The Bottom Line: In the world of budget MP3 players, the Philips GoGear Spark is a diamond in the rough, offering an attractive balance of features, style, and usability. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Samsung U5

The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a small, practical MP3 player to throw in your gym bag, the Samsung U5 is a great option that won't break the bank. / Read full review

About the author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

 

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