MP3 Players and the Gym: Our Picks
Written by John Rogue Thursday, 01 April 2010 00:00
There is nothing better than working out at the gym to your favorite tunes - in fact, having a music player with you at the gym is almost as popular as a water bottle. Today, there are many options available so we will take a quick look at some of the most popular music players (aka MP3 players) available - that are gym friendly.
Recent studies have even shown that listening to music while working out can help your workout. How you might ask? Well, it appears that listening to music helps to increase your pain threshold thereby allowing you to workout harder, which in turn translates into better gains. We believe the effect to be marginal, but having a MP3 player can really enhance the quality of your workout, especially if your gym or fitness club doesn't play music that you enjoy. Below are some of the better MP3 players for the gym:
1. Apple iPod Nano 16 GB Black (5th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
What can we say about the Nano from Apple? Plenty! The Nano is the Cadillac of MP3 players and offers a mind blowing amount of features, including an unbeatable user interface unmatched by any other player, the ability to play up to 4,000 songs (16gb), 24 hour battery life, the ability to capture video, FM radio, a pedometer, and even an optional Nike+ accessory which contains a sensor in the sneakers to give you all sorts of feedback on your running.
One great feature that we love is called "Genius Mixes", which automatically creates play lists based on a song you love. For example, say you love a song by the Beatles, the Nano will automatically create a play list based on the way that song sounds and group similar songs for you. The Nano is very thin, if you haven't seen one before you'd be surprised that this little player can do so much, and it's has a gorgeous 2.2 inch screen, more than enough for a workout at the gym.
It's no suprise Apple has sold so many. And although it is the pricest, you defintely will receive a feature packed MP3 player with some interesting fitness options - not found with other MP3 players.
Get more information on the iPod Nano and the best price at Amazon.com
2. Sandisk Sansa Clip 4 GB MP3 Player (Black)
Sandisk manufactures a wide array of MP3 players, and the Sansa Clip line focuses on those in fitness scenarios. While the Clip player doesn't offer as many flashy features as the iPod Nano, it does offer a solid choice of features such as a FM radio, voice recorder and a memory card slot (which can increase the amount of storage for songs) - with memory prices cheap, this can be very useful.
While the interface isn't as polished as the iPod , it is enough to get by and will satisfy most. It also offers the ability to play other music formats such as MP3, WMA, Audible, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and audio books. Nano users will have a more difficult time accessing other formats since Apple has historically not made it easy to access formats other than those sold and managed through iTunes.
The Clip is also tiny and lightweight, lighter than the Nano. Perhaps the best feature about the Clip is it's price, with a suggested retail price of $49.99, it's far cheaper than the Nano 8gb Nano, retailing for about $149.99.
Get more information on the Sandisk Clip and the best price at Amazon.com
3. Apple iPod shuffle 4 GB Black (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
For those seeking an even smaller solution - the Shuffle from iPod delivers. It offers no screen, which enables it tiny size and the controls are rather simple which are located on the earphone cord. You can easily transfer play lists from iTunes as in the Nano and the player also supports multiple languages like other MP3 players. A very useful new feature is "VoiceOver" which tells you (as in talking to you) what song is playing, or a name of a play list. This is absent from other MP3 players without screens. Of course, you can turn this off and test your skills in identifying songs too!
Another feature is the shuffle switch which basically controls the way songs are played - randomly or normal order. If you can get past the issue of not having a screen, it is great having a music player that is almost "not there".
The shuffle isn't cheap - it retails for about $59.99 for the 2GB model, and $79.99 for the 8GB model.
Get more information on the Shuffle and the best price at Amazon.com
4. SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)
The Fuze is similar to the Nano in size and looks. Like the Clip+ it offers a good simple interface, although not as intuitive as the iPod Nano. Still, the Fuze is packed with many of the same features found in the clip but includes a screen for navigation and seeing what songs are currently being played.
Like the Clip+ it supports a variety of music formats, includes a FM radio, voice recorder, and the ability to manage and create play lists. Like the Nano it offers 24-hour playback, video playback, and the ability to add more memory and hold more music by adding a MicroSD card - something Apple products do not offer.
The 8GB model retails for $79.99 - a bargain for all the features you receive.
Get more information on the Sansa Fuze and the best price at Amazon.com
5. Armbands and Cases
Along with your MP3 player purchase, make sure you pick up a stylish Armband so that your player is secure and you can run on that treadmill without fear of dropping or stepping on your new purchase. You should also purchase a case, preferably silicone to protect the unit from scratches.
Just promise us that once you get your MP3 player, you don't start singing out loud at the gym!
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