Sometimes I want to listen to music and not think about the internet, which is harder than it sounds in 2024. My music is on my phone and if I pick up my phone I will see notifications, which I’m incapable of ignoring. It’s a weakness, I’ll admit, but I am certain I’m not alone. Because of this, I can’t really listen to music in the backyard and read a book—I will inevitably end up distracted.

The Mighty 3 aims to solve this problem. It’s a music player than can sync playlists from either Spotify Premium or Amazon Music. It is inevitable, at first glance, to compare this to Apple’s iPod Shuffle, and if you liked that device you will probably enjoy the Mighty. It offers a similar screen-free way to listen to music that is updated for the streaming age. It also supports Bluetooth headphones, which is something no (non-Touch) iPod ever offered.

At $125, the Mighty 3 offers streaming music users a way to listen to music without any screens—and aside from a few disappointing design quirks, it delivers.

A great, almost nostalgic listening experience

Left: The Mighty 3. Right: the 4th generation iPod Shuffle.
Credit: Justin Pot

Let’s start with the listening experience, which is probably the most important thing. This is a very small music player—at least, it’s smaller than your phone. The face is a 1.5 inch square and the product is just over half an inch thick—not huge but bigger than the fourth generation iPod Shuffle. The Mighty 3 weighs 0.7 ounces, which was small enough to clip to my clothes and forget about. I could snap it to my shirt, connect my headphones, and hit play.

A dedicated button in the top right allows for jumping between all the playlists I synced over. Navigation is assisted by a computerized voice that announces the current playlist. This all works really well—I was able to browse the 10 or so playlists I synced and find the one I wanted very quickly. The Mighty remembered where I was in each playlist, meaning I could jump between them and pick up right where I left off.

On the Mighty, you’ll adjust the volume and change the track using physical buttons, which I didn’t realize I longed for until I started testing this device. This is particularly handy while driving—I could switch between playlists without ever looking down, which is extremely not possible while using your phone. I also really enjoyed this during runs and workouts, though the nature of clipping a device to my clothes meant it was occasionally difficult to remember which buttons do what mid-run. I ended up re-starting a track I was trying to quit more than once, though I’m sure I’ll get better at this with practice.

Yeah, I dug out my old iPod headphones for this one. Wouldn’t you?
Credit: Justin Pot

If I have one criticism of using the device it’s how the button placement affects my ability to use the clip. It is hard to open the clip without pressing a button, meaning I often ended up accidentally raising the volume or switching the playlist while attempting to clip it to my shirt. It’s an unfortunate design flaw, though not a dealbreaker.

Syncing works well, but the reliance on streaming services has some drawbacks

Syncing music over to the Mighty is a bit more convoluted than I’d like but ultimately manageable. A smartphone app is required for managing the device, meaning if you were hoping to sync using a computer, you’re out of luck. The application is straightforward and was good about guiding me through setup. After installing the application, I was able to connect to the device and hook it up to my streaming service of choice.

After that, I could select which of the playlists in my library I wanted to sync over. The Mighty must be plugged into a power source to sync with a phone, and it needs to stay connected until the sync is complete. There were occasional glitches, which meant I’d need to restart a sync cycle that only partially completed. I can’t help but think this would all be more reliable from a computer, but alas.

There is no dedicated way to sync over podcasts, meaning I needed to either build or find playlists on my streaming service in order to sync over episodes. There’s also no way to sync albums, meaning I had to the same thing there, too. I made it a habit to search for discography playlists for the artists I love most—I almost always found one.

I also needed to use my phone to connect Bluetooth headphones and speakers to the Mighty. Connecting for the first time took the standard amount of Bluetooth wrangling but usage was easy after that. I wish the range of the Bluetooth was a little better—putting the Mighty in my pants pocket is apparently just a little too far for audio to work consistently. A shirt pocket, sleeve, or collar are all great, though.

One disappointment: there’s no way to sync over my own MP3s. Most songs, at this point, are available on streaming services, but not everything. Not offering an MP3 fallback means there is no possible way to listen to such music, or any audiobooks you might have.

These are all minor points, though. If you want access to your Spotify or Amazon Music playlists without access to your phone, the Mighty 3 is a great device. I loved grabbing this before going for a run or drive—I have a way to listen to music that doesn’t chain me to the internet. If that’s appealing to you—and you don’t mind paying $125—the Mighty works well.