My kids love listening to music, but I don’t always love listening to their music. Rather than having the latest tween favorites blasting through our house, we decided to get our younger kids their own MP3 players. They love having control over what they listen to, and I love that they are happy and I don’t have to hear “Baby Shark” 10 times in a row.
I’m not quite ready for my youngest kids to have a cell phone quite yet, so an MP3 player was the logical choice. We have tried several different players with our multiple children. Listed below are some of our favorite top MP3 players for children with pros and cons for each.
What To Look For In A Kids’ MP3 Music Player
- Ease of use. You want a device that is easy for your child to use without help. A younger child will do better with a basic unit that has easy to push buttons without all the frills. An older child will be able to maneuver a more complicated player.
- Durability. No one wants to waste money on a child’s item that will break right away. Look for a device that will hold up to your child, especially if your kiddo is prone to rough play.
- Sound quality. Even kids don’t like listening to music if the quality is poor. Make sure the MP3 player you choose has good sound quality.
- Price. Obviously, price is a consideration for most people. Nearly all of the options on this list are very budget friendly.
- Features. What features does your kid want in an MP3 player? Does he just want to listen to music or is there something more he wants to do? Some MP3 players have photo or Bluetooth capability. Maybe you want a pedometer, games, or Wi-Fi.
Top Budget MP3 Players For Kids
|MP3 Players for Kids||Key Features||Formats|
|Apple iPhone SE|
|Sony Walkman Player|
|AGPTEK MP3 Player|
|HIFI WALKER H2|
|Berennis Loseless Sound|
|Unalace MP3 Player|
|Evida MP3 Player|
|TIMMKOO MP3 Player|
|Hotechs MP3 Player/B|
|Alworth MP3/MP4 Player|
There are a lot of options when it comes to music players for kids. Here are the ones we have found work best and are most user-friendly for kids of various ages.
1. Apple iPhone SE 64GB
Ok, ok. I know this doesn’t exactly fit into the “budget” category. However, to make a fair comparison I wanted to include the renewed Apple iPhone SE 64GB. It is considered to be one of the very best MP3 players for kids, though it is one of the most costly. I know this isn’t technically an MP3 player, but an old Iphone makes one of the best MP3 players.
This player has all the bells and whistles that older kids love. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities as well as music and games. Kids love that they can use the Apple iPhone SE 64GB to text their friends or video chat through FaceTime. A long battery life means lots of time to listen to music, play games, and connect with friends before recharging again. One of my favorite parts about using a phone like this as an MP3 is the fact that you can choose to use iTunes, Amazon Music, or basically any app that has music options.
Kids can take great photos and videos with this device. You can choose between 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB models.
This is a great MP3 player for kids that should last several years. However, it is considerably more expensive than any of the other options on this list. We recommend the Apple iPhone SE 64GB for older kids, as it is too complicated for younger children to use without help.
- Connects with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Texting and FaceTime capabilities
- Good amount of memory
- Best player for apple music
- Much more expensive than other players
- Better for older children
2. Sony Walkman
If you’d prefer a more conventional MP3 player, Sony still has their Walkman available in red and black colors. They’ve been through a few generations and all of them are pretty similar quality with newer models having more plastic than previous generations.
Overall, the build quality and is good and not great. The Walkman has a battery life of up to 35 hours and includes functions like an alarm and timer. You also get some pretty decent Sony earbuds that come along with it. Storage capacity goes from 4-16GB along with the price which ranges from about $60 to $75.
Getting music onto the Walkman is also fairly simple. Simply drag and drop it from iTunes or your Windows Media Player.
If there’s one complaint I have about it, it’s that the buttons are fairly sensitive. Occasionally you’ll feel them switching off in your pocket. This is a pain when you’re outside mowing the lawn. Trust me!
Overall you get a brand name MP3 player with some decent features for a little bit more than the generic ones. To me, I think the extra price is worth it. This is a good choice for a kid who isn’t quite ready for a cell phone.
- Long battery life
- Good audio quality
- Easy to transfer music
- Available from $55 to $70 (4-16GB)
- Buttons are sensitive
- More expensive than other options
3. SanDisk 16GB Clip Sport SDMX30
The Sandisk MP3 player has been around for a while and given only a few updates. I had one before I carried a phone with me everywhere I went. So, I had a good understanding of exactly how it works. We went with this option for our 10 and 12-year-olds; however, for the most part, I would recommend it for all ages.
The Clip Sport is the most basic version and therefore the one of the cheapest at around $40. It comes in 2 different color options and has a 1-inch LED screen. The battery life lasts around 18 hours and can be quickly charged once it runs out.
If your kid needs more than 8GB, although that’s a ton of music, there’s an optional micro SD card expansion slot so you can add additional space.
So, for $40 you get all of what your kid needs and nothing more than that. I consider this a huge plus. The reason I recommend it for 8 and older is because it’s rather small. As such, it’s easy for young kids to lose. That’s a lesson I’ve already learned more than once (unfortunately).
The main reason is that it’s not that expensive and, unlike many of the generic options, the interface is easy to use. A lot of the cheap MP3 players on the market in the $20 to $30 range simply don’t make sense. There’s simply not enough competition in the space anymore. However, this one works well, sounds good, and gives you a few different options.
Ultimately, the SanDisk is a good option. The software works well, the battery lasts a long time, the product is high quality, and the interface is easy-to-use. Your tween can listen to all the top songs with this player!
- Quality sound
- Durable build
- Clip makes it easy to secure
- Easy-to-use buttons and navigation
- FM Radio
- Reliable brand
- Small and easy to lose
- Hard to play single tracks
4. AGPTEK MP3 Player
For under $40, the AGPTEK is a good music player option. It plays a variety of music files including MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, APE, and FLAC and comes in 5 colors.
The menu is fairly plain with an older style to it. For me, this wasn’t a big deal as I simply wanted to load a bunch of songs on it and then have my kids play them shuffled. To load songs on it, it’s as simple as plugging in the USB to your PC and then dragging and dropping your audio files to it. The user interface was pretty easy to use.
AGPTEK claims that this allows for 48 hours of audio playback. I didn’t verify that number; however, I can confirm that it’s impressive.
It includes some mediocre earbuds that (again) were more than fine for my young kids.
Navigation still feels a bit clunky compared to Sandisk and a few other other options above. However, my kids have really enjoyed using the AGPTEK. Overall, this model seems like a pretty decent deal for the amount you pay. It has a somewhat cheap build quality to it, but the audio sound is better than I thought I’d get with it. My kids really like their AGPTEK and ability to use with Bluetooth headphones.
- 2.4″ curved TFT screen
- 32 GB memory
- Plays MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, APE, and FLAC
- Easy to use menu
- Bluetooth enabled
- Long battery life
- Can play audio books and itunes but cannot use that software
5. HIFI WALKER H2
It’s all about the storage space with this MP3 player. In addition to the included 32GB MicroSD card, it can be used with cards up to 256GB as well as with USB OTG, and the system can support up to 14,999 music files. The high-resolution audio it produces is distortion-free for all popular file formats, including MP3, Flac, WMA, Wav, and Native DSD.
Smaller than a deck of cards, this player fits easily into pockets for on-the-go listening. And no matter where your child wants to listen—or for how long—the device’s two-way Bluetooth 4.2 produces the highest quality wireless audio out there for up to 10 hours. In addition to a data cable included in the package, the HIFI Walker H2 player has headphone and line out ports to allow for listening in the car or via a home audio system.
- Great storage space and storage expansion capabilities
- Comes with 30-day return policy and 1-year replacement service
- High-quality audio
- Bluetooth can be unreliable and spotty
- Doesn’t allow playlists to be made from songs of different folders
- No shuffle capability
6. Berennis Loseless Sound
If you want an inexpensive option that doesn’t skimp on storage space, this is the MP3 player for you. For a much lower price point than many others on this list, you can get a player with 64GB of memory that can also support up to a 128GB TF card. It also has Bluetooth 5.2, which reduces power consumption during use and allows for a better connection with wirelesss headphones.
Other features include voice recording, FM radio, E-book reading, photo browsing, and a single-key screen lock function. Measuring 3.54″ by 1.5″, this device supports MP3, FLAC, APE, WMA, and WAV audio files, and its battery can last for up to 30 hours after just 2 hours of charging.
- Ample storage space
- Very affordable
- Use is not intuitive
- Not a touch screen
7. Unalace Android Music Player
This 32 GB MP3 player is just packed full of features, including the ability to use any music app that you want. This includes: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Tidal, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Youtube Music. The Unalace music player is a very nice looking player with a 4″ 720p screen with a price point under $100 any teen would love to own this music player.
The Unalace music player can play music for almost 30 hours before needing a recharge and will hold 27GB worth of songs. This MP3 player has lossless music sound with a DAC audio decorder chip.
- Can use all music apps
- Great looking touch screen
- Can use Bluetooth and WiFi
- Comes with arm band
- Doesn’t come with earbuds
- A little heavy
- Four core CPU
8. Evida MP3 Player
The Evida MB130 Mp3 player is moderately priced and would make a great gift. It comes with accessories and is a good fit to take on outdoor activities. Some of its features include a speaker option, FM radio, a music alarm, as well as other tools like an E-reader, voice recorder, video play, and calendar. What knocks it out of the park is that you can buy additional SD cards for up to 128 GB of memory.
Bear in mind that while the lower half of the screen that displays the buttons is a touch screen, the upper half that displays the icons is not. You should get 60 hours of battery life after 2 hours of charge, and with the additional memory cards it can hold up to 10,000 songs! It comes with an earbud and a USB cord.
- Fast charge and long battery life
- 5.0 bluetooth
- Slim, portable design
- 32 GB memory
- Screen is difficult to read
- Earbuds have to be plugged in to use the radio
9. RUIZU X02 MP3 Player
With 5 different color combinations including black, blue, red, rose gold, and white, the Ruizu is bound to have a color your child will love. The Ruizu can do everything you need from an MP3 player and works with all of the most popular file formats. The display is vibrant and the buttons of the MP3 player are easy to press.
The Ruizu claims to play music for 80 hours; this is one of the longest of the models we have reviewed. One of the only downside of this model is it can be a little challenging to sort and organize songs. One more added feature is that the Ruizu works as a voice recorder. It can be easily used to take notes, or do a recorded journal.
What the Ruizu lacks in flair it gains in function. This is a solid MP3 choice for a budget friendly purchase.The 8 GB model is not Bluetooth capable but the 16 GB model is.
- Up to 80 hours of playback
- Quickly charges
- Works with MP3, WMA, APE, WAV, FLAC formats
- Good looking with large buttons
- Only comes with 8 GB of memory
- Challenging to make a playlist
10. TIMMKOO MP3 Player
If your child wants more than just a regular MP3 player, check out the TIMMKOO. In addition to playing music, it can record and play back videos. The audio quality is good. Internal storage on this unit is 8GB, but you can purchase a separate SD card and get up to 128GB of storage.
While the manufacturer claims this player has a 30-hour battery life, it is actually closer to 5 or 6 hours. This unit is a good choice for older kids. It is harder to use than some of the other models on this list.
Kids like that the TIMMKOO has a stop watch, calculator, calendar, and FM radio.
- 4-inch touch screen
- Video recording capability
- Good sound quality
- Less user-friendly than other options
- Radio only works when earbuds are plugged in
- Songs listed alphabetically so you have to scroll through to find song
11. Hotechs MP3/MP4 Player
First of all, this is an imported MP3 player and not a name brand. However, I’m featuring this here because some of these are getting pretty good. You may find this exact model under another manufacturer name. That simply means that multiple sellers are trying to sell the same MP3 player from a reseller store like Alibaba to customers on Amazon. So, in that case, go with whatever is cheapest.
In terms of the audio quality, I’d consider this inferior to the SanDisk model above. However, it’s not bad at all and certainly not something that a six or seven-year-old would be concerned with. The main issue I had with this particular MP3 player is that the interface is a little more difficult to use.
That being said I really like the various colors you can get with it (8 in all). And you can regularly find it for just around $20. And once you understand the interface, it’s not that big of a deal.
This MP3 player is technically an MP4 player as well and so it can play some video. That’s certainly not the reason I bought it; however, it might be fun to put some small AVI shows or home videos on it.
Included with this are some cheap earbuds that are pretty good for kids. Considering how many of these my kids have broken, I’ll take all of the pairs I can get.
- Big enough for younger children
- Lots of colors available
- Plenty of storage (32GB)
- Mediocre build and audio quality
- Features don’t always work as expected
Overall, the Hotechs, as well as other similar generic options, are a good option for young children. Over a period of a few years, it’s likely that something like this may break. However, with the price, you’ll be a lot happier that it was this rather than a phone or iPod.
12. Alworth MP3/MP4 Player
This model is very lightweight at only 2.5 ounces. This makes it a nice option if you are a runner and has an armband that can be purchased separately. The sleek design with a metal frame and double sided glass screen give a great look. It has a color screen with a touch button. Lossless sound quality and a price tag around $40 brings makes this a good option.
The Aiworth mp3 player is an updated model with the latest 5.0 Bluetooth that will give you a 40% increase in data transfer speed, with no delay and stable at further distances. It charges quickly and lasts around 60 hours. Features include a voice recorder, E-book reader, video capability, and other tools like a calendar and alarm clock.
- Boasts dynamic sound quality with equalizer settings
- You can record what you play on the radio
- 32GB TF Memory card (more stable)/ up to 5000 songs
- Small and compact
- Great battery life
- Headphones have to be plugged in for it to work, as they double as an antenna
- Radio only works in FM
- Poor user interface
How does an MP3 Player work?
The MP3 player works because music files are stored in a format that only takes about 10% the space as a CD song would take. An Mp3 player typically connects to a computer via USB. Files can then be arranged and downloaded onto the MP3 player from the computer. Although the MP3 player doesn’t have full quality of sound, it still can deliver an enjoyable music experience.
How long does the battery last on an MP3 player?
If you play just songs, most MP3 players claim to last about 30 hours, but actual battery usage is probably more like 20 hours.
How many songs can you store on an MP3 player?
Most MP3 players hold at least 4GB of memory. This equals around 1000 songs, depending on formatting. It is common to find one with 32 GB which can hold 8000 songs.
Overall, our favorite MP3 music players for kids are the Wiwoo for very young kids and the Sony Walkman or SanDisk for older kiddos. Be aware that some of the players on this list do not come with earbuds. The earbuds that are included with others are generally not great quality. We have reviewed our favorite headphones and earbuds for kids.