What does $1.46 get you these days? Not even a stamp for a birthday card to mainland China. And yet, somehow, that’s what it will cost you to buy an MP3 player from Gearbest and get it shipped for free from China. You don't even need to wait until Black Friday.
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This unbranded device comes with a metal clip and is available either in silver or purple. There’s no onboard memory so you will have to get your own microSD card. There’s no earphones as well so bring your own (or use a pair of speakers with a 3.5mm jack). At up to four hours, its battery life isn’t particularly spectacular as well so bear that in mind.
While standalone MP3 players are on their way out thanks to the ubiquitous smartphone, there are still niche use cases where they can be useful. Pair them with a portable battery for days worth of playback and they will be great for ambient sounds: white noise to soothe babies, chill out music or nature sounds for relaxation.
They’re also a great fit for those looking for a disposable music player; at the beach, at a festival or at the gym where the chances of losing or damaging your expensive iPhone is simply too great.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.