Ten... sub-£50 budget MP3 players
Samsung’s movement-controlled gadget is probably the cutest player I’ve seen. With just one button and multiple functions dependent on turning the device one way or another, the TicToc takes some getting used to and can be rather sensitive. If you adjust volume - press the button while upright - and promptly turn it to the side, the device gets confused and annoyingly switches tracks. But when you're familiar with its sensitivity, it’s easy to fall in love with it.
Shake once for vocally transmitted track information. Shake three times to jump between modes – which include the options to play fast or slow songs only – depending on your mood. When first turned on, the TicToc reads out aloud the remaining battery life, and then starts playing. For such a gimmicky device it offers tremendous sound quality and a loud output. Distortion is noticeable when levels are at their highest, but you’ll be able to listen to the TicToc on the London underground, even the rambunctious Jubilee line, without distraction.
Its 12-hour battery life and multiple format support are pluses, but it’s the unique controls and funky design – accompanied by good-quality matching headphones and a nifty charging cradle – that make the TicToc stand out. Despite the girly look, I’d be chuffed to get one for Christmas.
Reg Rating 85%
Price £40 (4GB)
Format Support MP3, WMA, Ogg, Flac
More Info Samsung
SanDisk Sansa Clip+
SanDisk’s little beast, the Sansa Clip, has everything and more that I want from an MP3 player. Modify the settings to permit exceeding a certain decibel level and the Sansa Clip satisfies the craving for a louder output. Although distortion is present at full volume, the device never needs to hit such heights.
It’s easy to use and has an array of features that include radio and voice recorder. The Clip comes with huge built-in memory already, but also has a Micro SD slot so it can hold up to 24GB of music. The screen is bright and easy to read, and the buttons are unchallenging. The supplied headphones could be better, and it would be nice if the input wasn’t on the side, but battery life is superb and format support only limited by the absence of AAC.
Reg Rating 90%
Price £30 (4GB) £40 (8GB)
Format Support MP3, WMA, Ogg, Flac, Audiobooks and Podcasts
More Info SanDisk