Cheapest MP3 players with bluetooth
May 5, 2015 2:38 PM   Subscribe

What are the cheapest bluetooth MP3 players? Note: I would actually pay more for one that didn't have a screen (a la ipod shuffle), but somehow I doubt that exists.

Here's the deal: I want to be able to run with as little encumbrance as possible from music devices. So I'm buying some highly regarded bluetooth headphones to get rid of the cord.

I'd like a tiny, expendable device that can clip on the top of my shorts, not some mini-television in a ridiculous armband. My favorite MP3 player of all time was a free Ipod shuffle knockoff with 100MB of storage space. I lost it and I would replace it in a heartbeat if I didn't also want to get rid of the headphone cord.

Unfortunately bluetooth MP3 players are generally larger and more expensive. Perhaps I'm dreaming here. What can you y'all tell me?
posted by dgaicun to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Creative Zen is a small device that serves this role. The SanDisk Clip is smaller still, but a little persnickety.
posted by megatherium at 2:59 PM on May 5, 2015

It is hard to find a small bluetooth mp3 player these days, so eBay -- for example this item -- might be your best bet. Alternately you might consider a dongle and a used iPod shuffle -- dongles are generally cheap and effective and lightweight -- or bluetooth mp3 headphones onto which you can load your music directly.
posted by bearwife at 3:15 PM on May 5, 2015

Throwing it out there as sort of an option: the latest iPod Nano is pretty small and supports Bluetooth. The generation before was smaller still (barely bigger than the Shuffles; they have a clip and people wore them as watches) and can be paired with a BT dongle for around $20, though that'll make it bigger. The plusses are that they're easy to find and include FM radio and a fitness tracker (pedometer at least, Nike+ receiver if you've got stuff that has that, though you probably already have something you're already using). Minuses: no clip (unless you add a case), not exactly cheap ($150 new, probably not much less than that used). (FWIW the item linked above has no storage space, so it's more of a Bluetooth headset than an actual MP3 player.. some of the cheaper sellers will put MP3 on anything that handles sound, even if it doesn't necessarily handle actual MP3 files.)
posted by mrg at 3:36 PM on May 5, 2015

If you already have a favorite player, you can add bluetooth transmitter to it for about $20. Maybe that's a simpler option? Just velcro / bind the two together.
posted by kschang at 4:02 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Creative Zen is a small device that serves this role. The SanDisk Clip is smaller still, but a little persnickety.
Creative no longer makes the Zen line, and only some of the line supported bluetooth, so you'd have to go used here. I'm not having much luck finding any of the bluetooth-enabled players (aside from the bigger Android-based Touch 2) myself.

SanDisk doesn't make any MP3 player that supports bluetooth.
posted by Aleyn at 4:23 PM on May 5, 2015

mrg is right, that bluetooth clip I linked from ebay doesn't have storage. Here are some better options.
posted by bearwife at 5:16 PM on May 5, 2015

Also, Amazon has used little clip on Shuffles (I love mine, still works great for running) for around $25.
posted by bearwife at 5:19 PM on May 5, 2015

You'll hate me for suggesting this, but the apple watch can do this, and has 8 GB internal storage. If you have an iPhone 5 or above, you have that as an option at the high end.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:17 PM on May 5, 2015

Another option is a feature phone that takes a memory card and has Bluetooth. They won't necessarily have the most featureful MP3 player, but something like a Nokia 6230 is very light, rather small, and can be found used on eBay for peanuts and will play MP3s and let you set up a playlist just fine. The Nokias, at least, will work without a SIM card.

Heck, you may know a geeky friend who has something appropriate gathering dust in a drawer that you can have for free.
posted by wierdo at 8:03 PM on May 5, 2015

Response by poster: You'll hate me for suggesting this, but the apple watch can do this

No, I didn't know about apple watch, so this is a decent suggestion. It's small, bluetoothed, and it's a natural accessory, unlike the armband with a telephone.

Still, I wish I could escape that ubiquitous display screen. It's way more than I want. Every device has to be every device on principle anymore. My toaster doesn't need a Twitter app gawdamet.

I'm trapped in a conspiracy of excess.
posted by dgaicun at 5:56 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

This device appears to be a Shenzhen special that does exactly what you want. Weighs 30g or so, battery life appears to be enormous.

Another option would be a Sandisk mp3 player with an audio -> bluetooth transmitter plugged in to it.

Much cheaper than the Apple watch, but same capacity is this thing. £50 is more than I would spend on something without Amazon reviews, but it might do the job?
posted by pharm at 5:59 AM on May 6, 2015

I can't say enough good things about my apple watch as a fitness device (accurate, inobtrusive) and it does fine streaming via bluetooth. And you can turn off notifications and not include apps on it. But . . . you really have to have an iPhone, and to use the GPS function at least initially, you need to bring the iPhone on runs/walks.

The good news is that the watch learns your pace fast. I took mine out for a run with my phone and it now is pretty damn accurate at tracking my indoor treadmill runs.
posted by bearwife at 12:50 PM on May 6, 2015

Response by poster: Well according to the Apple website, the iwatch (or whatever) apparently does all the things an iphone already does ... including being a phone. So--inquiring minds--why buy the phone? You can just talk into your watch like James Bond n' shit.
posted by dgaicun at 10:38 AM on May 7, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers er'body. Since I can't have my perfect solution, I think I'll just buy a 75 cent shuffle knockoff and tolerate the headphone cord.
posted by dgaicun at 10:47 AM on May 7, 2015

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