Photos: Fitness-friendly MP3 players and headphones
height="46" border="0" alt="Sports tech: Best ways to watch and play" /></a><br />Being active and getting in shape isn't just about looking good--it's also about being healthy. Luckily, you needn't suffer through workouts in silent boredom--some upbeat music can provide the perfect motivation to get moving. We've rounded up the perfect selection of MP3 players and headphones for your next trip to the gym.
The Sony NW-S200 is one of the most workout-worthy players we've ever come across. It comes with sport-style headphones that wrap around the ear for a secure fit and an armband for keeping the player out of the way during activity.
This Sony Walkman uses integrated G-Force technology to add pedometer functionality. Enter your weight, height, and stride, and the player can keep track of how many calories you burn. Unfortunately, Sony doesn't include any software for tracking your fitness progress, but a simple Excel spreadsheet should do the trick.
The RCA Jet includes quite an array of accessories in the package: a wrist band, an armband, and sporty clip-on earphones. Considering the price point--$55 for 1GB and $65 for 2GB--this is quite an impressive collection.
The RCA Jet is splashproof and sweat-resistant, so if you tend to leak a lot while you workout, this is a good choice. It also has some other handy extras to help you with your workout: an FM tuner for tuning into the TVs at the gym, and a stopwatch for timing your activity.
If you prefer to do your sweating out of doors, the Oakley Thump Pro is a highly worthy option. It's an MP3 player with 512MB or 1GB of memory that's built into a pair of sunglasses. The earbuds are adjustable, and they don't completely block out surrounding noise--an important thing to consider when working out among cars and other zippy, wheeled modes of transportation.
The Sansa Clip is simple and inexpensive, and it includes a removable belt clip for attaching the player to your waistband--pretty much everything we look for in a workout-worthy MP3 player right there.
The Logitech Freepulse's wireless capability means you can keep your player stored in your gym bag while thrashing about on gym equipment, the behind-the-neck designs keeps the headphones securely in place, and the lightweight silicone headband prevents them from placing an uncomfortable amount of weight or pressure on the ears. What more can you ask for?
The Toshiba Gigabeat U is the perfect workout-worthy MP3 player for those who find the Creative Zen V Plus too cutesy and the iPod Nano too restrictive. Its sound quality, rugged construction, and well-rounded features make the Gigabeat U a great value.
The MX 75 Sport headphones are a design delight from an ergonomic standpoint. Sennheiser's Twist-to-Fit holding system ensures a snug fit, even when you're jogging. Each earpiece has a rubber stopper above it that pushes against the outer ear and keeps it stable, and the neon green coloring guarantees you'll stand out from the mob of gym rats.
Maybe it's not the reason to buy a Nano, but the useful Nike + iPod Sport Kit and the data-centered Nike + Web site will appeal to runners who already own a Nano. It includes a Bluetooth pedometer, which is placed in the shoe (preferably a Nike + shoe), and a receiver that attaches to the iPod.
Once you've completed a session, you can connect your Nano to a computer and transfer the workout data to the Nike + Web site. The interface is intuitive with nice colors, comparative charts, and rollover data, and you get a sense that this data is really a reflection of you. Once you compile enough data, you can track your progress (or regression) and utilize data, such as how many calories you burned in a week or the maximum distance traveled in a session. You can even set various goals.