Which iPod to buy? The ultimate iPod buyers guide!


Are you looking to buy an iPod but have no idea which model in particular would be more suitable for your needs? Well look no further as we present you the ultimate iPod buyers guide!

This guide will be constantly kept up to date taking into consideration any new iPods Apple may decide to launch in the near future.

There are many needs for various people, and Apple have a lot of options to choose from to suit. So lets begin!

Which iPod best suits my budget?+

Apple have made various lines of iPods that can suit everyone’s budget. Of course the more you pay the more bells and whistles your iPod will have.

The cheapest – iPod Shuffle Range (£20-£40)

If your budget is really tight, we would recommend targeting the iPod Shuffle range. Do keep in mind this is the most basic iPod available and has no visual feedback (no screen). It does however play music and is the easiest iPod to use. You can pick the latest iPod Shuffle up from the stores for £40.00 or less if you spot a good deal.

If you are willing to have a go at the second hand market, you can find iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation models on ebay for around the £20.00 mark. We wouldn’t recommend the first generation model as it is likely that the battery would need replacing soon and they cost slightly more than the 2nd generation as people tend to collect the older iPods.

The Orthodox – iPod Mini Range

We do not recommend these iPods as there are better options out there for similar price. These iPods are only available in the second hand market and honestly are only aimed at collectors or nostalgia lovers!

There are two variants both similarly priced:

  • iPod Mini 1st Generation – £15-£30
  • iPod Mini 2nd Generation – £20-£40

The fairly priced – iPod Nano Range (£20-£129)

The next step up from the iPod Shuffle range would be the iPod Nano. The latest model (8th Generation) comes with a lot of bells such as a touch screen and is Bluetooth enabled. You can pick this up in stores for £129.00. Again we would urge you to hunt around in stores as it is very likely you could pick these up for even cheaper. You may even pick these up on Ebay or the similar 7th generation model for at around £80.00!

The Nano range does not stop there! If you are willing to buy second hand you have much more options to choose from. Again the first generation model is not something we would recommend if your budget is tight as these tend to sell for quite a lot more. Therefore we would recommend the 2nd generation and above. See our guidelines below:

  • iPod Nano 2nd Generation – £20-£40
  • iPod Nano 3rd Generation – £30-£50
  • iPod Nano 4th Generation – £40-£70
  • iPod Nano 5th Generation – £50-£80
  • iPod Nano 6th Generation – £60-£100

The modest – iPod Touch Range (£30-£329)

The iPod Touch offers the most complete experience in terms of functionality however does also come with a price tag to match. If you are after the latest iPod Touch then you would be able to pick these up from the stores for £159 if you are after the 16GB variant. The larger models are priced at (32GB – £199), (64GB – £249) and (128GB – £329). Again if you do hunt around you would be able to pick these up for cheaper.

We would warn you to ensure you are picking up the latest model if you are going to pay the prices stated as there are still a few 5th generation variants being sold at retail price to unsuspecting consumers (which lack the upgraded camera and CPU).

If you are looking for something cheaper you can always have a go on eBay and pick up the following:

  • iPod Touch 1st Generation – £30-£45
  • iPod Touch 2nd Generation – £34-£45
  • iPod Touch 3rd Generation – £40-£70
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation – £55-£85
  • iPod Touch 5th Generation – £110-£150

Now we must warn you if you are looking for the full iPod Touch experience – being able to install all the apps from the app store and more. We would recommend a 5th generation model as a minimum!

The classy – iPod Classic Range (£50-£180)

The iPod Classic is sadly no longer available in stores and is only available in the second hand markets. This range is simple to use and comes with large storage space aimed at hardcore music fans.

For this range we would recommend a 3rd generation model and above – due to the 1st and 2nd generations being scarce to find and pricey when you do!

  • iPod Classic 3rd Generation – £50-£80
  • iPod Classic 4th Generation – £50-£80
  • iPod Classic 5th Generation – £50-£100
  • iPod Classic 6th Generation – £80-£140
  • iPod Classic 7th Generation – £150-£180

Which iPod is best for running/joggers?+

If you are looking to listen to music on the run there are quite a few options available! First and foremost we would always recommend the iPod Shuffle range (2nd generation and above). Not only are these affordable but can also clip on to your clothing. Pair these together with some wired headphones (preferably with a remote) and enjoy your run! From the shuffle range we would always recommend the latest generation model – seeing they are easily found in stores and again aren’t too expensive1

If you are in the market for an iPod that can possibly be used on an every day basis as well as jogging/running, then the Nano range would be the next best option. There are quite a lot of third party accessories available for this range aimed for runners such as various iPod arm straps and more. Out of the Nano range we would recommend the 6th generation model (looks extremely similar to a shuffle although it has a touch screen) or the 7th or 8th generation model (bluetooth enabled so you can use wireless headphones!).

So all in all, we would recommend the iPod Shuffle as well as the iPod Nano range depending on your needs and budget.

How much memory do I really need for my iPod?+

iPods are made available in a range of memory sizes. We have listed the various options of memory sizes available for iPods below as well as a rough idea of how many songs you can fit on each memory size. Please do note that the amount of songs are a rough estimate and truly depends on the length and quality of the song.

Below we list how much songs on average you can put on various memory sizes!

512MB – around 120 songs
1GB – around 240 songs
2GB – around 480 songs
4GB – around 960 songs
8GB – around 1920 songs
10GB – around 2400 songs
15GB – around 3600 songs
16GB – around 3840 songs
20GB – around 4800 songs
30GB – around 7200 songs
32GB – around 7680 songs
40GB – around 9600 songs
60GB – around 14400 songs
64GB – around 15360 songs
80GB – around 19200 songs
120GB – around 28800 songs
128GB – around 30720 songs
160GB – around 30720 songs

As you can see there is indeed a large difference on the amount of songs you can store on the lowest memory size available in comparison to the largest. However bigger doesn’t always mean better as you are expected to pay a big premium for the extra space. So our best advice would be to look at your music library and judge accordingly!

Which size iPod is more suitable?+

iPods are aimed at numerous target markets hence the different ranges available. They can be small or large, thin and thick depending on the features and technology incorporated.

iPod Shuffle dimensions

The smallest iPods available are the iPod Shuffle range. These are designed to be lightweight as well as small. For example the latest iPod Shuffle currently available 4th generation has the following dimensions: Height: 1.14 inches (29.0 mm) Width: 1.24 inches (31.6 mm) Depth: 0.34 inch (8.7 mm) including clip. It also weighs only 0.44 ounce (12.5 grams).

iPod Nano dimensions

The next range up in terms of size would be the iPod Nano range. Again these are designed to be small and lightweight similar to the iPod Shuffle range. However these iPods pack a little bit more of a punch and incorporate visual feedback such as a screen and more.

The sizes on the Nano range do vary quite a lot due to a lot of design changes over the past. However again using the latest iPod Nano (8th generation) as an example. It has the following dimensions: Height: 3.01 inches (76.5 mm) Width: 1.56 inches (39.6 mm) Depth: 0.21 inch (5.4 mm). Again this range is also lightweight with this example weighing 1.1 ounces (31 grams).

iPod Mini dimensions

Although obsolete in terms of size we would say that the iPod Mini is the next biggest iPod available. As these are no longer sold in stores and only available through other means such as eBay and other second hand markets. We wouldn’t necessary recommend this model as the battery would be pretty much need replacing sooner or later. However if this does not bother you then the iPod mini has the following dimensions: 3.6 x 2.0 x .54 inches (9.1 x 5.1 x 1.3 cm) and with the weight of 3.6 ounces (102 grams).

iPod Touch dimensions

The iPod Touch is the next biggest iPod available. Again this comes in various sizes however generations 1 to 4 have pretty similar dimensions and the 5th and 6th generations although larger are also similar.

If you are looking for an iPod which is more compact then we would recommend the 4th generation model (however it should be noted this is not compatible with iOS7) however if you prefer something with a bigger screen then either 5th or 6th generation models are suitable.

The more compact 4th generation model being used as an example has the following dimensions: Height: 4.4 inches (111.0 mm) Width: 2.32 inches (58.9 mm) Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm) with a weight of 3.56 ounces (101 grams).

The slightly larger 6th generation model has the following dimensions: Height: 4.86 inches (123.4 mm) Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm) Depth: 0.24 inch (6.1 mm) and a weight of 3.10 ounces (88 grams).

You may notice that although the 4th generation model is smaller than the 6th. The larger iPod does weigh less. We believe this is due to the lack of the rear chrome backing which was available on the 4th generation model.

iPod Classic dimensions

These iPods are no longer available in stores. However are still sought after through the second hand markets such as eBay due to their simple yet classy functionality. A great music device for the hardcore music fans as the hard drive packs a lot of space! Which is one of the reasons we believe this iPod is the largest due to its thickness and weight.

The latest 7th generation model used as an example has the following dimensions: Height: 4.1 inches (103.5 mm) Width: 2.4 inches (61.8 mm) Depth: 0.41 inch (10.5 mm) and the heaviest out of the lot at 4.9 ounces (140 grams).

Which iPod offers the best sound quality?+

It may be odd but the latest and pricier iPods do not mean you are getting the best sound quality. From our experience and research we have to give the best sound quality award to the iPod Classic 5th generation – to be more specific the 5.5th generation variant with the original 5th generation trailing at 2nd place (they look exactly the same). To tell the difference between both models if you scroll to the music section on the menu and scroll to the bottom and find ‘Search’ then you have the best iPod, otherwise not to worry as the original does not trail too far back!

The next greatest iPod in terms of sound would be the iPod Classic 4th Generation model with or without the colour display. These are pretty hard to get hold of in working order. As most of these iPods do require a new battery.

Last but not least we would also recommend the iPod Nano 1st Generation model. This also has amazing sound quality but is now extremely hard to get hold of.

The reason these iPods have the best sound quality is because they all use Wolfson audio chips in comparison to the Cirrus Logic Audio Codec Chip used in other models. It has been made clear by research and tests that the Wolfson audio chips do perform better than others producing better sound.

Which iPod is compatible with my wireless Bluetooth headphones?+

The iPods listed below are Bluetooth enabled and should be able to wirelessly play music to your headphones or even Bluetooth enabled speaker:

  • iPod Touch 2nd Generation
  • iPod Touch 3rd Generation
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation
  • iPod Touch 5th Generation
  • iPod Touch 6th Generation
  • iPod Nano 7th Generation
  • iPod Nano 8th Generation

Now if the iPod you are after is not listed here. Do not fear as it may still be possible to get it working with your Bluetooth headphone/speaker. There are some 3rd party adapters that plug into the bottom of your iPod enabling Bluetooth connectivity. However compatibility can be an issue so be sure to check carefully!

Which iPod can I browse the internet on?+

The iPod Touch range is the only iPod you can use to connect to WIFI and browse the internet. This includes all models:

  • iPod Touch 1st Generation
  • iPod Touch 2nd Generation
  • iPod Touch 3rd Generation
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation
  • iPod Touch 5th Generation
  • iPod Touch 6th Generation

Which iPod allows me to install apps from the app store?+

The iPod Touch range again is the only iPod which can install applications from the App store. However as these iPods get older the apps available are becoming extinct for certain models.

So we would recommend at least a 4th generation if you are looking to use certain apps (such as playing Angry birds for example) however as this iPod does not go higher than iOS6 we would recommend at least a 5th generation if you don’t want any compatibility issues whatsoever!

Again all iPod Touch models are able to install apps but most applications have a minimum iOS requirement. However it has been also said that if you jailbreak your iPod, you may be able to install the older compatible versions of certain apps through a 3rd party app store. Again this is not something we recommend but may be an option for some.

Which iPods are touch screen enabled?+

All iPod Touch models are touch screen enabled (obviously?) and if it isn’t then well the screen is most likely faulty. All jokes aside there are also a few iPod Nano models which come complete with a touch screen being the 6th generation model and 7th generation model.

To summarise touch screen enabled models are listed below:

  • iPod Touch 1st Generation
  • iPod Touch 2nd Generation
  • iPod Touch 3rd Generation
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation
  • iPod Touch 5th Generation
  • iPod Touch 6th Generation
  • iPod Nano 6th Generation
  • iPod Nano 7th Generation
  • iPod Nano 8th Generation

Which iPod uses the original Apple dock connector?+

The majority of iPods use the original Apple dock connector with only a few iPods currently available using the newer Lightning connector or otherwise (3.5mm jack).

The iPods listed have the Apple dock connector and you should not have any issues with your USB cable, dock connector sound system etc.

iPod Classic

iPod Mini

iPod Nano

iPod Touch

Which iPod uses the new lightning dock connector?+

The majority of iPods currently use a dock connector. However the iPods newly being released by Apple are incorporating the new lightning dock connector. This may also change in the future seeing Apple are slowly moving to USB C connectors.

The iPods using this connector are as follows:

If these iPods are out of your budget yet you have a lightning dock connector requirement. It may be possible to use Apple’s Lightning cable adapter which converts your 30 pin connector to a lightning connector.

Which accessibility options are available on each iPod?+

Accessibility options are only available on iPods which are touch screen enabled. This means the iPod Nano range (from the 6th generation and above) as well as the iPod Touch range (from the 2nd generation and above) might be best suited.

The iPod Nano 6th generation and iPod Nano 7th Generation offer the following accessibility options:

  • Invert Colours
  • Use Mono Audio
  • VoiceOver

The iPod Touch 2nd Generation comes with the following accessibility options (your iOS may need updating to achieve this):

  • VoiceOver
  • Zoom
  • White on Black
  • Mono Audio
  • Speak Auto-text
  • Triple-Click Home

The iPod Touch 3rd Generation comes equipped with a broader range of accessibility options (your iOS may need updating to achieve this):

  • VoiceOver
  • Zoom
  • Large Text
  • White on Black
  • Speak Selection
  • Speak Auto-Text
  • Hearing Aid Mode
  • Mono Audio
  • Balance Controls
  • AssistiveTouch
  • Triple-Click Home

The iPod Touch 4th Generation has yet another update to the accessibility features in comparison to its predecessor (your iOS may need updating to achieve this):

  • Guided Access
  • VoiceOver (Improved)
  • Zoom
  • Large Text
  • White on Black
  • Speak Selection
  • Speak Auto-Text
  • Hearing Aid Mode
  • Mono Audio
  • Balance Controls
  • AssistiveTouch (Improved)
  • Home-click Speed
  • Triple-Click Home

Both the iPod Touch 5th Generation and 6th generation models are currently compatible with the latest iOS 9.2 so should currently offer the best accessibility options such as:

  • VoiceOver
  • Zoom
  • Invert Colours
  • Grayscale
  • Speech
  • Larger Text
  • Bold Text
  • Button Shapes
  • Increase Contrast
  • Reduce Motion
  • On/Off Labels
  • Switch Control
  • AssistiveTouch
  • Touch Accommodations
  • Keyboard
  • Shake To Undo
  • Call Audio Routing
  • Home Button
  • Mono Audio
  • Adjust the Audio Volume Balance Between Left and Right Channels
  • Subtitles and Captioning
  • Video Descriptions
  • Guided Access
  • Home Click Speed
  • Reachability
  • Accessibility Shortcut
  • LED Flash for Alerts

You may also visit Apple’s iOS accessibility page to get an in-depth analysis on how each feature may be beneficial to yourself.