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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > TV, Home Theater & Audio > MP3 Player

MP3 Player Cost


How Much Does an MP3 Player Cost?

 
low costLow: Basic Models Run $50-$200average costMedium: Mid-Range Models Run $200-$500high costHigh: High-End Models Run $300-$500+
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The MP3 player market is still dominated by Apple and its range of iPods (see How Much Does an iPod Cost). However, many other manufacturers offer plenty of viable alternatives. The key to deciding on the best MP3 player is to determine how the device will be used.

Typical costs:

  • For an MP3 player that's ideal for commuting via bus, subway or bicycle, look for a compact device with noise-canceling headphones or ear buds to block out all the background noise (for safety reasons only cover one ear when cycling). A flash-based MP3 player has no moving parts and is shockproof, therefore better designed to withstand a bustling commute. Some players also offer FM radio reception. Expect to pay $50 to $200 for this type of MP3 player. The SanDisk Sansa Fuze[1] is a flash-based player with 8GB storage (enough for up to 2,000 songs) and FM tuner for about $80. It also offers a 1.9 inch video screen and microSD/microSDHC slot for expanding the memory.
  • An MP3 player suitable for traveling further than to and from the office shouldn't be bulky yet should offer enough storage capacity for audiobooks and videos as well music. Flash-based MP3 players max out at 32GB of storage, so look for a hard-drive-based player with a video screen of at least 2 inches and a long battery life. Audiobook fans should opt for a player compatible with sites such as Auidble.com[2] . Expect to pay $200 to $500. The Archos 5 250GB media player costs about $300, and offers web surfing and a large 5-inch screen to enjoy DVD quality videos. The Microsoft Zune 120GB[3] costs about $300, and can hold up to 30,000 songs or 25,000 photos or 375 hours of video.
  • An MP3 player used for working out needs to be durable and lightweight, therefore choose a flash-based player. Some units include fitness features such as a pedometer, stopwatch or calorie counter. There are even MP3 players built into sunglasses or designed specifically for swimmers. Expect to pay $30 to $300. The RCA S2501 Jet Stream Series[4] is a 1 GB player that costs about $50 and includes a stopwatch, body mass calculator and an armband.
  • Music enthusiasts or those looking for a MP3 player to replace an existing home stereo setup require a device with maximum storage capacity. Expect to pay $300 to $500 or more for a high-capacity, hard-drive-based MP3 player. The Archos 7 costs about $500, and with 320GB of storage can house an entire music library. It also enables users to surf the web and enjoy HD quality images on its 7-inch screen.
  • Finding an MP3 player that offers in-line recording (enabling you to record directly from a separate audio source such as a computer or home stereo) will appeal to those who have libraries of music on cassette or vinyl. Expect to pay $70 to $200 or more. An example of an MP3 player with in-line recording is the Cowon iAudio 7[5] , which costs about $105.
Related articles: MP3, iPod, iPhone, iPod Speakers

What should be included:
  • MP3 players typically come with a battery and ear buds (or headphones). If special software or drivers are needed to load music onto the player, it should be included.
Additional costs:
  • There are a dazzling number of accessories available for MP3 players, including protective cases, armbands, car adapters, portable chargers and any number of external speakers. Many home theater components now come equipped with MP3 player docking ports. There are also many different speakers especially designed for iPods. See How Much Do iPod Speakers Cost.
  • Noise-canceling headphones or ear buds cost from $20 to $500.
  • Purchasing music costs from 30 cents to $1 per song. See: How Much Does an MP3 Cost.
  • Some flash-memory players have the capacity to add extra memory; a 1 GB memory card that can allow you to add space for about 250 songs costs $20 to $50.
  • Accessories such as protective case and armbands, can run $20 to $50 or more.
  • In-car transmitters for playing an MP3 player over a car's speakers cost $10 to $100 or more.
Discounts:
  • Some manufacturers such as Archos[6] offer refurbished MP3 players at a discount.
Shopping for an mp3 player:
  • Cnet.com[7] offers a buying guide for MP3 Players.
  • Find competitive prices online at sites such as Amazon[8] or J&R Music World[9] . Then look for comparable or discounted prices at local electronics retailers such as Best Buy[10] .
  • New models are released frequently, which can often lead to sharp price drops on older models.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
mp3
Amount: $55.00
Posted by: yousif in aldhaid, AK.Posted: January 7th, 2010 09:01AM
Brand: Model: 2009
Capacity: mediumStore: 12
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Ipod Shuffle 3rd Gen 2gb The Cheapest Ipod
Amount: $58.00
Posted by: Chris Liu in Reston, VA.Posted: January 1st, 2010 07:01AM
Brand: AppleModel: 3rd Generation Shuffle
Capacity: 2gbStore: Target
Regular price with tax included. The headphones don't have any bass or padding so it slips out your ear alot. You need itunes and that takes time to get used to. But for the price you get a nice memory chip sized mp3 player that holds atleast 10 hours of music and podcasts.
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Another Black Friday buy
Amount: $35.00
Posted by: morning shopper in San Jose, CA.Posted: November 26th, 2007 05:11PM
Brand: SansaModel: Clip
Capacity: 2GBStore: Best Buy
I got a black 2GB Sansa Clip at Best Buy for $35 on Black Friday. It seems like a good deal -- most other 2GB players seem to go for more like $50-$80 at the store. But the savings probably weren't worth waiting in the cold for 2 hours Friday morning.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.sandisk.com/products/music-video-players/
  2.  www.audible.com
  3.  www.xbox.com:80/en-US/Live/Partners/Zune
  4.  www.rcaaudiovideo.com/
  5.  www.cowonamerica.com/products/iaudio/7/
  6.  store.archos.com/index.php
  7.  reviews.cnet.com/mp3-player-buying-guide/
  8.  www.amazon.com/MP3-Players-Audio-Video/b?ie=UTF8&node=172630
  9.  www.jr.com/category/audio/mp3
  10.  www.bestbuy.com/site/Audio/iPod-MP3-Players/abcat0201000.c?id=abcat0201000
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