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iPod alternatives?

SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
So, since Apple's done with ipods I'm going to need to find something when my current one dies. It's the only device I have in Apple's ecosystem and I'd just as soon keep it that way. What are some brands or models I should keep in mind?


  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Quite a few companies still manufacture digital audio players ("MP3 players", though it's not like they're limited to that format)--the most obvious name being Sony. In that same vein, most of these come from companies specializing in hi-fi or other high end audio equipment and command a premium.

    The only company that's an American brand still in the market, and that manufactures them more generically and at a lower price point...would be SanDisk (owned by Western Digital now). The rest for the low to medium-grade options are Chinese and Korean, and not necessarily easily obtainable in the US market or for US customer support (if that actually matters, it might not). You could also get new old stock from Creative, that would be technically competent, but that might defeat the whole point of you wanting to get out of iPod with that finally being killed off for real. In general, what's left are the higher-end manufactures, like Astell & Kern and Onkyo; they're expensive, but at least you're getting more for your money then with the final generation of iPods, even if you're really breaking down the nuances of audio quality and more obscure file format/feature support. These are generally boutique audio products in a way iPods aren't and maybe never were; if that doesn't matter with you, get the economy option from SanDisk.

  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    Dankpods has been raving about Fiio's DAC and music playback devices, to the point where they started sending him some for free. They are pricey, but they seem to be extremely high quality and aimed at audiophiles.

    That's not even the most insane model... this is:

    but there are other options if you want to use your phone as a music player.. or any bluetooth device in the case of the latter item, in this case.

    I've almost pulled the trigger on these for a while. But I haven't, so keep in mind I'm only going off of the excitement in those videos.

  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited May 13
    I have a FiiO M7 portable music player to replace my ipod about 2 years ago.

    It's perfectly fine, but looks like they don't make that exact model anymore.

    It was only $110, unlike the ones in the videos above

    Burtletoy on
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    I may not have looked at the prices before reposting those videos. :D

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Am iPhone 8 used right now is $140, Xs I think were more in the 300+ range. iTouch was basically a iPhone 7, so anything better than that would be an upgrade.

    That would be the easiest transition certainly.

  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    You can always look into picking up an iPod Classic used on ebay, and then mod it yourself with a flash reader so you can have a lot more space. I actually recently bought a 5th generation ipod with the plans to mod it and give it to my wife as a birthday present. I modded my own 7th gen iPod Classic about 3 years ago, although opening it was a pain in the ass. I've heard the 5th generations are a lot easier to open. You can also replace the battery.

    You have to really look into the models, though. Some models can only use up to 128 GB of space, no matter how big of an SD card you put in it. I've heard you can solve this using third party firmware called Rockbox, though. Part of why I bought an ipod off ebay was because my wife's current ipod would run into that 128 GB limitation.

    Anyway, that's just an alternative solution! It's probably, in the end, not much cheaper than a modern solution.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I think if I were doing an offline, music only device I'd go with the stuff Sony makes as it seems they have micro SD slots to help with storage. The other option is always a cheap phone meant for prepaid cellular, just don't active the actual service and just use it on WiFi. I know a bunch of emulation fans go that route to have something with a decent processor cheap.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    If you want to keep your wired earphones (for audiophile or convenience or economy reasons), your options for a phone become a lot more limited (especially if you're unwilling to pass over how terrible 99% of USB-C to 3.5mm DAC dongles are). I went from late generation Zune to a Windows Phone, to an Android phone for my portable media player needs. My Zune HD still works brilliantly, especially for its UI, but is limited to MP3 and WMA file formats; no AAC or FLAC, for example.

    Unlike the last several generations of iPhone, my LG G8 has a audiophile-quality Quad DAC that will rival some of these very expensive dedicated audio players (and, well, a headphone jack to go with it). Actually, typing that out I'm pretty sure no iPhone had that quality of onboard DAC even before Apple declared war on headphone jacks and other things they couldn't profitably license.

    If you're using wireless headphones, that becomes a nonissue. Really, the "risk" comes from using particularly large cans that need power-abundant drivers, and generally most of the high end devices I mentioned earlier will be more than capable of doing that, so it's resolved. But OP was asking for an iPod replacement (i.e. portal media player) specifically, rather than "What's a good phone to listen to music on."

  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    I prefer wired, and I'm not going to bother with a second phone.

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    I have a brown zune

    Xbox - Local H Jay
    PS - Local_H_Jay
    Sub me on Youtube
    And Twitch
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