Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gifts for Valentine's Day - 5 MP3 players for less than $100

1. Creative Zen Stone Plus - TIE

OK, so we couldn't manage to narrow it down to just 10 choices, which means you get a bonus pick in the form of the Creative Zen Stone Plus, an ultracheap player with a cute, compact design.
Rating: 7.0
Lowest price: $49.95
Bottom line: For those who want a super small and cute MP3 player that offers more than just simple music playback, the Creative Zen Stone Plus fits the bill nicely.

2. Sony NWZ-B105F

There will always be a place in the world for a small, affordable, durable, intuitive MP3 player with great sound quality--witness Sony's gym-worthy NWZ-B100F series.
Rating: 7.0
Lowest price: $59.95
Bottom line: If you're looking for an affordable, utilitarian MP3 player to take on the road or to the gym, the Sony NWZ-B100F is a solid solution with awesome audio quality.

3. Meizu Mini Player

The Meizu Mini Player is the classic underdog story: a relative unknown from China that won praise from industry experts and users alike.
Rating: 7.3
Lowest price: $79.95
Bottom line: The Meizu Mini Player is a quality MP3 player with a sleek design, good sound, and useful features, but fans of DRM-hawking music stores should steer clear.

4. SanDisk Sansa Clip

Thanks to its position as a memory chip manufacturer, SanDisk is a master at cost competing in the portable audio space. The Sansa Clip is the perfect example of this mastery.
Rating: 7.5
Lowest price: $54.04
Bottom line: The SanDisk Sansa Clip is an incredible value that's set to edge out the competition with a user-friendly interface, gym-worthy design, and great sound quality..

5. Sony NWZ-S616F

Sony's come a long way in digital audio, and the road hasn't always been smooth. The NWZ-S610 series marked the beginning of the great Walkman comeback, thanks to its competitive pricing, excellent performance, sleek design, and the fact that Sony finally got rid of SonicStage and ATRAC3.
Rating: 7.7
Lowest price: $93.46
Bottome line: The Sony NWZ-S610 series Walkman doesn't bring anything striking or new to the table, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a quality MP3 player with nice extras and a killer battery life. Plus, Sony got rid of SonicStage--the best news ever.

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