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Which iPod to buy

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Which iPod to buy: On the subway, in the gym, while you study: you never miss the opportunity to listen to some music with your iPhone, but unfortunately this habit of yours makes itself felt – and also a lot – on the autonomy of the phone. So you were thinking of taking an external player, an iPod to be precise, and listening to music with that. But you are tremendously undecided on the model to buy.

Which iPod to buy ? The ultra-compact one without a screen or the one with a touch-screen that allows you to watch videos too? Is the 16GB variant or the 32GB variant better? What if in the end it was still worth buying the good old iPod Classic? In fact, there are many variables involved and making a decision is not easy at all. What do you say, then, if we try to clarify the ideas together?

Let’s try to analyze the technical features, prices and features of all the iPod models currently on the market and try to find the one that best suits your needs. I assure you that it will not be difficult, also because the differences between the various iPod models are really marked. At the end of the reading, you will surely be able to find out which player, among those produced by Apple, adapts more to your listening habits and your habits of multimedia use.

How to choose an iPod

Which iPod to buy

As already mentioned, there are many variables involved and many features that must be taken into consideration before buying an iPod: let’s see together which are the most important ones.

Dimensions and weight

One of the first assessments you need to do is that relating to the  size and  weight of the iPod you intend to buy. IPods are all very light and compact, but they can have different form factors that affect their comfort in certain situations. For example, there are iPod Touches that are almost like 4 ″ iPhones and therefore are quite bulky during sports activities. Problem that does not exist with iPod Shuffles which, on the other hand, not having any type of display, are very small and therefore ideal for use during sports activities.

Storage capacity

As you may already know, Apple iPods do not offer the possibility of expanding the internal memory . This means that their storage capacity for songs (and other multimedia files) is limited to the amount of memory they include inside them. Keep this in mind if you want to avoid the risk of buying an iPod not large enough for your needs.


In addition to listening to music, would you like to use your iPod to view photos and videos? In this case you need an iPod model with a  display . If, on the other hand, you need a “pure” music player, you may find yourself moving towards the screenless iPod models that are more compact and cheaper.


Each iPod model has a battery that ensures a different degree of  autonomy : ranging from a minimum of 15 hours to a maximum of 40 hours. Be careful, however, in models with displays the autonomy varies greatly based on the type of use of the device: if you use very heavy apps or play videos, the battery life is shortened.

Which iPod to buy

Operating system and app

IPods also differ based on  the operating system they are equipped with and the  apps they support. The iPod Shuffle and iPod Classic using a dedicated operating system that, in addition to the functions for managing and playing media files, offers very little. The  iPod Nano use a “light” version of iOS that includes a limited number of apps, including those for sport (Nike +), listening to the radio, playing music and videos and manage podcasts. Finally there are the  iPod Touch that are equipped with iOS and therefore are compatible with all the iPhone apps (also Spotify and other music streaming services for example).


If you intend to use your iPod with Bluetooth headphones, you must purchase a model compatible with this technology, such as iPod Nano or iPod Touch . iPod Shuffle and iPod Classic do not allow you to connect Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

As for Internet connectivity, the only iPod that can connect to the Wi-Fi network (but not 3G / 4G, attention) is the iPod Touch.

Control system

Depending on their form factor, iPods offer different control systems for music playback. IPod Classic and iPod Shuffle use the click wheel icon , i.e. the wheel with buttons to control multimedia playback and adjust the volume, while  iPod Nano and iPod Touch operate via touch-screen just like iPhones.

Supported file formats

All iPods support songs in MP3AAC (also protected with iTunes Store DRM), Audible , Apple Lossless , AIFF and WAV formats , but there are file formats that are supported only by certain models of the Apple player.

For example, songs in HE-AAC format , photos  (JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PSD and PNG) and video files are only supported by iPods with displays, such as iPod Touch and iPod Nano.

Which iPod to buy

Earphones supplied

Depending on the model of iPod purchased, the type of earphones that is supplied with the player may also change . Going into more detail, the old Apple earphone model is supplied with the iPod Classic and the iPod Shuffle, while the new Apple earphone model (EarPods) is supplied with the iPod Touch and iPod Nano which should ensure greater ergonomics and stability in the ear.

Which iPod to choose

At this point I would say that we can get to the heart of the matter. So take five minutes of free time and find out  which iPod to buy based on what your needs are.

iPod Touch (6th generation)

Which iPod to buy

The iPod Touch is the iPod to buyfor those who want the best, without compromise (also because it is the only model still officially sold by Apple). We can safely define it as an iPhone without the telephone part, in fact it is equipped with a large 4 ″ multi-touch Retina display that does not compromise its handling (size 123.4 × 58.6 × 6.1 mm for 88 grams of weight ). It is animated by the iOS operating system, this means that it is able to run all the main apps available for iPhone (including those for music streaming) and has an internal memory of 32 or 128 GB that is not expandable. It also has a pair of HD cameras, plays music, photos, videos and supports Internet connection via Wi-Fi. Its battery ensures 40 hours of music playback and recharges in 4 hours. In the sales package there are the Apple EarPods earphones and the Lightning / USB cable. It is available in various colors.

iPod Shuffle (4th generation)

Which iPod to buy

If you are looking for an essential player, which is primarily compact and inexpensive, you can only choose the iPod Shuffle which measures just 29.0 x 31.6 x 8.7 mm for 12.5 grams of weight and has no display. It only serves to hear music. It includes a convenient attachment clip to carry it always with you without risking losing it and is controlled by the buttons of the click wheel. The only real drawback – if we want to call it that – is the little storage space available for music: just 2GB (not expandable). its battery has an autonomy of 15 hours of music playback and fully recharges in 3 hours. The USB cable and traditional Apple earphones are also included in the sales package.

iPod Nano (7th generation)

Which iPod to buy

If the iPod Shuffle seems too essential or in any case 2GB of storage is tight you can opt for the iPod Nanowhich is the perfect middle ground between the cheapest and top-of-the-range Apple players. It has a 16GB memory (not expandable), measures 76.5 x 39.6 x 5.4 mm for 31 grams of weight and has a comfortable 2.5 ″ multi-touch display through which to control music playback. It supports all major audio file formats but also photos and videos, it also includes the functions of FM radio, Walk + Run workouts and supports the Nike + system. It mounts a battery that ensures 30 hours of music playback and fully recharges in 3 hours, while the sales package includes the Lightning / USB cable to connect the player to the computer and the latest generation Apple EarPods earphones.

iPod Classic

Which iPod to buy

If you are a nostalgic or, much more pragmatically, you want to buy an iPod that has a lot of space for storing music, you can turn to the good old iPod Classic which is no longer officially present in the shops but can still be found in the used market , although often at collector prices. It measures 103.5 × 61.8 × 10.5 mm for 140 grams of weight, has a 160GB internal memory and a 2.5 ″ non touch color display. Its battery guarantees up to 36 hours of autonomy. It also plays photos and videos.

Other MP3 players

Does none of the iPods currently on the market seem to meet your expectations? Well, but iPods are not the only MP3 or MP4 players on the market: there are many other products in this category that are worth considering, I told you about it in my purchase guide dedicated to MP3 players .