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Comparing the iPod Shuffle vs. Its Top Competitors

There aren’t many MP3 players like the iPod Shuffle anymore. These lightweight, ultra-portable MP3 players were common back when the iPod dominated the portable device scene, but now that smartphones have replaced dedicated MP3 players for most people, there are only a few devices like them left.

But ultra-portable MP3 players like the Shuffle still have a definite place. After all, isn’t the idea of exercising with a tiny, lightweight device strapped to your body more appealing than the idea of using a big, bulky smartphone? 

Traditionally these devices have achieved their small size and weight by leaving out a screen and other features, though that’s changed in recent years. Now, it’s common to find features like an FM radio alongside the ability to play MP3s. 

If you’re in the market for a new ultra-portable MP3 player like an iPod Shuffle, this chart makes it easy to compare the features and prices of some of the leading players to help you make an informed buying decision.

iPod Shuffle vs. the Competition

  Apple iPod Shuffle Eclipse Fit Clip Plus SanDisk Clip Jam
Storage Capacity 2GB 8GB 8GB
Songs Held 500 2,000 2,000
Expandable Memory No Yes Yes
Screen Size* None 1.8 0.96
FM Tuner Yes Yes Yes
Audible Support Yes No Yes
Voice Recorder No No No
Clock No No No


Blue Black
Pink Blue
OS Mac and PC Mac and PC Mac and PC
Weight** 0.44 3.2 0.3
Size* 1.14 x 1.24 x 0.34 1.75 x 2 x 0.25 1.6 x 2.6 x 0.63
Battery Life 15 hours 8 hours 18 hours
Price US$49 $29.99 $39
  Buy at Amazon Buy at Amazon Buy at Amazon

Things To Consider When Buying an Ultra-Portable MP3 Player

  • How Do You Want to Control the Music When picking an MP3 player, you need to know how you want to use it. The iPod Shuffle plays music in two ways: by shuffling all the music on it or playing it in order. The other devices on this page let you select your songs. The Shuffle is good for a workout where you want music but don’t want to bother with picking songs. The others work that way, but also work well if you’re choosier.
  • Do You Want to Listen to — If you really like audiobooks and get yours from, consider only the Shuffle and the SanDisk Clip Jam. Both support, while the Eclipse doesn’t (though it can, of course, play audiobooks that are standard MP3s).
  • How Important Is Weight — If squeezing every last ounce of weight savings out of your MP3 player is important to you, the Shuffle and the SanDisk Clip Jam are your best bet — both weigh less than half an ounce. Of course, depending on how you use the device, that may not matter to you.

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