I love to practice exercises, but when going out for a run, I never take any electronic devices (by electronic devices, I mean any devices that may distract me.) in order to stay focus.

But I wish I could still listen to music, how can I achieve that without taking any phone or smartphone with me ?

Also I don't want to be annoyed by cables that could possibly dangle.

  • What counts as electronic for you? Walkman? Discman? Dedicated mp3 player? Radio receiver? I'd call all those electronic (not to mention the headphones), but if you just want something jog-proof and/or network-less, one of those would probably work. Otherwise limit your running to outdoor music festivals or hire fit chamber musicians :D – Luke Sawczak Apr 28 '19 at 12:45
  • Some people have 'music playing in their mind' without listening to actual music. If you feel you have that, you can enhance that by really listening or 'singing along in your mind'. How much use it is depends on your natural abilities and personality. – Willeke Apr 28 '19 at 13:02
  • @LukeSawczak by electronic devices, I mean any devices that may distract me for anything else than intended music. I admit this may be unclear I'll update it. – Ced Apr 28 '19 at 13:17
  • @Ced OK. To my amazement, such things as dedicated mp3 players still exist in the smartphone era. This is a device that only plays music. Would that fulfill your criteria? If so I'll write an answer. – Luke Sawczak Apr 28 '19 at 14:10
  • @Willeke Thanks for your feedback, that's interesting I haven't thought about that – Ced Apr 28 '19 at 16:25

It seems to me that your best bet that will combine portability and modernity is an mp3 player. Despite the rise of the smartphone and its effects on dedicated mp3 players — the iPod peaked around 2005/6 and steadily declined till 2014 when sales numbers were last available — similar devices continue to exist under a plethora of brand names.

Many are marketed with your use case in mind. For example, this one (picked after a very cursory read of a couple reviews) is lighter than most phones and claims to be safe for sports through shock absorption. It also resolves the cable issue through Bluetooth connectivity for earbuds.

A further step in that direction is the clip form factor for mp3 players, e.g. this one. This has no base unit — the earbuds with their wraparound band are themselves an mp3 player. What a time to be alive.

I can't think of a better way to get portable music without bringing a serious device. That said, I also like Willeke's suggestion. As someone who plays and writes for piano, I do find that my attention can sometimes be fully occupied by mentally playing or coming up with music. Can't hurt to try before buying a device.


I'd recommend cordless earphones with a radio antenna. If you want your own music then you would have to get cordless earphones with some storage.


I've bought "Mighty" player for my daughter a couple of months ago. It is quite small and claims to repel water. But this is meant to be used with Spotify so not sure if it fits your purpose. It has bluetooth so wireless headphones could be used with it although I have not tried this feature yet as use earbuds from older iPhones with normal audio jack.

On the negative side I think it is too pricy for such a device you have to constantly sync with Spotify and apply updates via their app. It is cumbersome at times and sometimes you leave it at home just because there is no time to sync it before going out.

  • Thank you a lot for your reply, I appreciate. Do you have an idea of any equivalent available in Europe ? – Ced May 9 '19 at 13:55
  • Living in Europe myself thus not sure what exactly you mean by this question? Nonetheless I would not be aware of European manufacturers making similar devices – Aivaras May 9 '19 at 15:19

What I do is, keep my phone on air plane mode so I can listen to songs saved. It is as good as keeping your phone at home(no notifications).

Or if you need to connect to internet for Spotify, you can choose do not disturb mode if that helps.

Last option is as mostly suggested with a dedicated MP3 player / ipod

  • 1
    You can often also use a mobile phone without a sim card for stored information. No data connection but you should be able to use Wifi to download music at home. – Willeke May 4 '19 at 9:01
  • The main problem with mobile phone (in air plane mode or not) is that they are nowadays quite big because of the screen size, and also heavy, plus the fact that if you put it in your pocket, you have the long cable of the hearphone that's annoying while going to run. All the reasons above make it a bad companion – Ced May 9 '19 at 13:53
  • There are many smaller phones and blue tooth (so wireless) earplugs. – Willeke May 19 '19 at 11:23

There are headphones that include a small memory. It's only a simple cable that goes behind your neck. You can download some music there and won't be bothered with lots of cables or having to carry multiple devices:


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    This is the kind of device mentioned at the end of my answer. – Luke Sawczak May 7 '19 at 19:58

So currently there is a lot of runner watches that can store and play music using bluetooth headhphones.

I know at least two such watches. Garmin Vivoactive Music and TomTom Runner Cardio+Music.

These running watches are designed to be much less distractive than mobile phones or smartwatches. The additional advantage of such watches is that you can easily keep track of your pace without connection to your phone so you don't have to take phone with you.

Of course you will have to choose a good bluetooth headphones but currently there is plenty of them designed for runners.

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