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iRiver B20

The iRiver B20 is a superb player with a great set of well implemented features. Sound quality is extremely good, it's easy to use and DAB radio works really well. It's just so expensive for what it is -- you're paying a massive premium for the DAB functionality and iRiver's far cheaper Clix 2 offers a virtually identical feature set. If you want DAB and don't mind the premium, you'll fall in love

Archos 105

A distinctly affordable player but very average performance and feature set reflects this. If you're eager to have video alongside your music and are on a tight budget, you'll probably be happy. If you're not fussed about video, or can stretch to a few more pounds, there are many superior alternatives

Samsung YP-P2

The Samsung YP-P2 is a well-designed player and distinctly affordable for what it does. The only problem is that what it does just isn't as impressive as it could be. It sounds great and it's easy to use, but the lack of support for audio and video formats seriously hinders just how attractive an alternative this is to players from Cowon and Apple

Philips SA9345

Certainly an attractive player and it pumps good-sounding audio. There just aren't enough features. It doesn't feel like any great lengths have been gone to in order to provide a rich enough experience to justify its price

Creative Zen

The Creative Zen looks great, sounds great and produces great video. It's a full-featured player with plenty of options for customisation. Although the SD card slot is a huge bonus, its contents are not included in the player's main menu, limiting its usefulness

Sony Walkman NWZ-A815

A well-priced, high-performing and stylish audio player. Its simple operation and management will appeal to most people but a couple of key features are missing. Overall, this is an excellent contender from Sony

Apple iPod touch

For better or worse, the iPod touch is clearly the iPhone's baby brother. Like most products that roll out of Apple, the touch shows the love of committed designers, hardware engineers and usability experts. While it may not be the slam dunk we were hoping for, it is an unquestionably cool product that continues Apple's legacy of sleek, innovative design

Apple iPod classic

Apple has not only exceeded our expectations, it's exceeded ones we didn't even have. The iPod classic is a superb audio player with a huge wealth of well-integrated features and intuitive navigation. Our only real concern is that menus can be laggy. Apart from that, outstanding

iRiver Clix 2 Red Line 8GB

Quite simply the finest flash-based MP3 player you can buy at the moment -- the second-generation Clix is feature-packed, easy to use and boasts stunning aesthetics, though it comes at a hefty price. If you can afford an iPod nano killer, look no further

Archos 405

The Archos 405 is an attractive and affordable portable media player for those on a budget. It offers good sound quality and supports high-quality video, but the screen isn't anywhere near as good as it could be. If you can't afford the Archos 605, this may be what you're looking for

Apple iPod Nano third generation

The shape may have changed, but Apple's relentless attention to detail remains. The third generation of the iPod Nano provides loads of entertainment for a down-to-earth price.

Cowon iAudio D2 DMB DAB

This upgraded version of the iAudio D2 is a fantastic player with the most sophisticated feature set we've ever seen in an MP3 player, and amazing sound quality to boot. Beginners to portable tech may struggle with the complex menu system though

iRiver T60

The iRiver T60 terrific-sounding player, and many people will find the use of AAA batteries handy. But the very low-resolution screen doesn't impress and navigating the thing can be tricky at times

Archos 605 WiFi

A terrific media player and a delight to use. The optional plugins should be included as standard, though. That aside, full video support, a fully functioning Web browser and the sharpest screen we've seen makes this an absolute killer gadget and a media hoarder's dream

Cowon iAudio F2

Cowon's iAudio F2 is rammed with features, but sadly it's encased in an awkward exterior. Fortunately, it managed to redeem itself with great sound quality and easy management within Windows

Cowon iAudio 7

Cowon's iAudio 7 is an excellent MP3 player. Sound quality and the support for loads of file formats is a big plus. With 60 hours of battery life this is going to keep pumping music for longer than you'll be able to listen at one stretch. The one disappointment is the screen, but as a music player it rocks

TrekStor vibez

An excellent MP3 player with loads of features and great sound quality. The rubber wheel is a bit weird to use, but with lossless format support, many people will be prepared to get used to it


Quite simply the most horrible MP3 player we've ever seen. It sounds abysmal and looks grotesque. Although it technically does work as a card reader, it should be considered an absolute emergency backup at best. Give your £15 to a charity and leave the Squircle on the shelf