Budget MP3 Players: Top Portables for Playing Digital Music

A selection of cheap MP3 players for under 90 dollars

You may be surprised to learn that even MP3 players that are well under 90 dollars can still pack a nifty set of features. These super-budget portables may not typically come with screens for displaying photos and video (media players), but are great if you just want to listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, and other audio. Here's a rundown of top-notch MP3 players (in no particular order) that you can purchase.

SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip

Sansa Clip Zip
Sansa Clip Zip. Image © SanDisk Corporation

The SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip is a super-small MP3 player with attitude. It comes with a handy clip that can be used to safely attach the unit almost anywhere. The most impressive feature of the Sansa Clip is its big sound; the audio quality is surprisingly clear with plenty of bass.

It also beats the iPod Shuffle on both price and features, too. It comes with features such as a recordable FM radio, voice recorder, and 8GB of storage. Buy from Amazon »

Apple iPod Shuffle (4th Generation)

iPod Shuffle - 4th Generation
iPod Shuffle - 4th Generation. Courtesy of Apple

The 4th generation Apple iPod Shuffle is an incredibly small MP3 player which comes in a range of vibrant colors with a storage capacity of 2GB. Apple's iPod Shuffle also features VoiceOver technology which enables the unit to talk to you -- song names for example are spoken.

The sound quality is very impressive and with seamless integration with the iTunes Store, it makes the perfect partner if you intend on using it with Apple's digital music service. Buy from Amazon »

SanDisk Sansa Clip+

Sansa Clip+ and slotRadio Card. Image © SanDisk Corporation

Even though the Sansa Clip+ MP3 player is the predecessor to the new Sansa Clip Zip, it's still got a lot going for it and can be picked up even cheaper now too. It sports either 2Gb, 4Gb, or 8Gb of storage, a built-in radio, and voice recorder. It also sports a microSDHC slot that also is compatible with SanDisk's slotRadio cards that come with approximately 1,000 songs pre-loaded onto them. There are several slotRadio cards currently available that cover various genres and when purchased with the Sansa Clip+ makes for an ideal gift combo. Buy from Amazon »

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