MP3 player accessories buying guide

This MP3 player accessories guide includes cases, cars accessories, ipod docking stations, headphones, alarm docks, as well as a shopping checklist, jargon buster and FAQs.

Shopping checklist: MP3 player accessories

Protection The most important factor when choosing any MP3 player or iPod case. Basic silicone cases do a reasonable job, but leather cases, hard shell plastic or metal cases may provide better peace of mind while also giving your MP3 player or iPod a distinct look and feel. Some cases may offer a lifetime warranty.

Slip resistant You should look for material that is slip resistant when purchasing an MP3 player or iPod case. A silicone case is ideal, but many metal or hard plastic cases can also provide good grip.

Comfort Aside from sound quality, the most important factor when considering headphones is how comfortable they are to wear, especially if you listen to music for long periods. Choose a pair of headphones that sits comfortably on, over, or in your ear.

Noise cancellation A factor to consider when purchasing headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones are designed for use in places with significant ambient noise (such as aeroplanes). If you regularly fly, or use your headphones in areas with excessive ambient noise, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is ideal.

Size and weight Important factors to consider when purchasing a portable speaker dock you wish to use for travelling. Look for systems that can close or fold up in order to be easily transported, and also ensure that they don’t add too much weight to your bag.

Sound quality A key factor to keep front of mind when purchasing a speaker dock system. Keep in mind the environment you are listening in: it is likely a retailer will have the unit in a large room. It may sound fine in a retail environment, but consider the size of the room that you will be using the system in and select accordingly. Also check for distortion at higher volume levels.

Additional speaker features Many speaker dock systems offer the ability to act as an alarm clock, with some even allowing you to wake to your tunes, rather than a standard alarm tone. Some may even offer software features, such as extra menus in your MP3 player to adjust further sound settings.

Music in your car A basic solution for playing MP3 or iPod tracks in your car is an FM transmitter. These small devices allow you to wirelessly stream music from your iPod or MP3 player to your car stereo via FM transmission. Sound quality isn't the best, but these units are usually cheap.

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