An mp3 player is a convenient tool for listening to music while running or participating in other athletic events, but not all models are suitable for your needs as a runner. An mp3 for running will be small, compact, and lightweight while still providing good sound quality and an easy-to-use interface that will allow you to change songs while you run. Some models of mp3 for running can fit in an arm belt that will secure the player to your arm so it stays within reach and out of your way.
The best mp3 for running will feature plenty of storage space for a variety of songs, and it will interface with your home computer so you can arrange specific playlists. This means you will be able to pick and choose which songs will be in a specific playlist, and which playlist you want to listen to while on your run. Most mp3 players will allow this to some degree, but you should ensure the computer program used to create and manage playlists is easy to use.
Be sure to look carefully at the screen of the mp3 player for running. While some screens may be large and easy to read while you are examining them at the store, they may cast a significant amount of glare when you use the unit in broad daylight. Sometimes the player will feature an anti-glare screen, or a screen with adjustable light levels to ensure you can read the display in all conditions. The body of the mp3 for running should also be strong and lightweight. Sometimes the player will be waterproof or water resistant, which is exceptionally important if you plan to run in inclement weather. If the player is not water resistant or waterproof, you will need to invest in a waterproof cover that will prevent damage to the unit.
The headphones you use in conjunction with the mp3 player will have an impact on the usability and sound quality of the unit. Most mp3 players come with headphones, though the stock headphones may not always be the best choice. Try to find a pair that will fit snugly in or around the ears, as vibrations that occur during running may work the units loose, leading to discomfort and poor sound quality. Some headphones are noise-canceling units, which means outside sound is eliminated or greatly reduced using rubber gaskets that fit snugly in the ear. These are best for sound quality, though they may not always be the best choice for comfort.