Nowadays it’s easier than ever to listen to your favorite tunes regardless of location. We have iPods, music on our smartphones, YouTube, and lots of streaming services like Pandora or Spotify. Still, in order to be easily accessible, these services must compress audio files in order to make them as small as possible.
However, if you want real Hi-Fi audio quality, you need to go old school and start a hunt for the best CD players out there. Now we know younger generations don’t really understand CDs and the devices that play them, so we put together a comprehensive buying guide to lead you to the best option for your budget.
We also reviewed some of the best products on the market, so make sure to read until the end!
How to Choose the Best CD Player
In this buying guide, you can read about some of the most important features in a CD player.
Supported Audio Formats
We’ve all heard about MP3, WAV, or AAC. These are all audio formats and that can be found on a CD, but there are many others. Now, in order to play them properly, a CD player must be equipped with the right tools to decode them.
So, before you go looking for the best CD player, first make sure you know the type of audio files you own. Once you have this information, it will be easier to look for the right unit for your needs.
You don’t buy a CD player for old times’ sake. You buy it to get the best possible audio quality out of your collection of CDs.
As such, the selected unit must be capable of delivering rich and detailed sound quality, supported by high-quality circuitry and good materials. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank for a unit that is capable of delivering audiophile-grade quality.
Some buyers want a CD player that also accepts USB, Bluetooth and WiFi. Some devices also have several analog RCA outputs so you can connect them to an amplifier or speakers.
While they are unusually large and bulky for this day and age, CD players must be like this to drone out vibrations. As such, you should always look for a solid built with high-end materials and a healthy overall weight.
Of course, you should also consider an elegant design that can be easily integrated in any interior setting.
Best CD Players Reviewed
Enjoy Your CD Collection without Interruptions
The Yamaha Five-Disc CD changer allows users to enjoy hours of high-fidelity audio without interrupting their activities. Furthermore, due to PlayXchange technology, users can load new discs into the tray without having to stop the music!
Moreover, the device accepts both CD R and CD RW discs and plays MP3 and WMA audio formats. And, it’s not just for CDs as there is a USB port on the front panel to connect your iPod and other devices.
On the outside, the Yamaha CD-C600 features an elegant and smooth design, with a modern LCD screen that displays the CD title, artist name and track title, so you’ll know what is playing. The CD player comes with a remote control but it also has controls on the front panel.
Lastly, the CD player supports a frequency response between 10 Hz and 20 kHz and is equipped with a high-performance DAC for high conversion precision with low noise.
- Works with five CDs at a time
- You can change CDs while the music is playing
- It is equipped with a USB portable
- Equipped with a high-performance DAC
- Compatible with MP3 and WMA
- Sound quality is audiophile-worthy
- Not very portable
- The interface is not user-friendly
Cambridge Audio DacMagic AXC35
Affordable and Versatile CD Player With Built-in DAC
The Cambridge Audio DacMagic AXC35 is more than a high-quality single CD-player, as it comes loaded with an audiophile-grade standalone Wolfson DAC, to make the most out of your digital (MP3, FLAC, whatever) music. So, basically, this is a “two for the price of one” kind of a deal at an affordable price.
To make it simple for our readers, the Cambridge Audio AXC35 is the perfect solution for music lovers, making for a no-frills slimline and highly capable CD player hiding a high quality WM8524 DAC inside its shiny innards.
Keep in mind that the AXC35 was specially designed for CDs, but will deliver superb quality sound from both CDs and other media files, like WMA and MP3, thanks to the two-pole Butterworth filter, which makes your music sound mor precise and clearer than ever before.
What we really liked about the AXC35 was the all-metal minimalist design, which not only looks great, but also assures consistent performance while minimizing vibration that can mess with your sound. Okay, the remote control supplied looks very “generic” (read ugly), but other than that, this fantastic CD player should rank high on your shopping list.
- Looks great
- Sounds glorious
- Good value for money
- Superior sound EQ
- Solid build quality
- None we can think of
Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
A Modern and Portable CD player
The Bose Wave SoundTouch is more than a simple CD player! It is a modern and portable entertainment system that supports anything from online music services (Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora), Internet radio, music from storage devices, CDs, and AM/FM radio. Moreover, it can pair up with Alexa so it’s easy to control it via voice commands.
Designed with an LCD screen that displays the track being played and two side speakers, the SoundTouch device delivers room-filling sound with clear and crisp notes. Also, since it supports a wide range of formats (MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless) and it works with both WiFi and Bluetooth, this portable CD player is extremely useful in anyone’s home!
Lastly, it comes with a remote control so, if you don’t use Alexa, you still don’t have to be near the device to control it.
- Wireless connectivity via WiFi and Bluetooth
- High-performance sound quality
- Modern design with an LCD screen that displays time and track details
- Companion app for your phone or table
- Can be paired with other SoundTouch systems for a multi-room experience
- Can be paired with Alexa for voice commands
- Infrared remote control
- The software can be buggy
- It doesn’t stream music from the CD player to wireless speakers
Excellent Mid-Range CD Player for Music Lovers
Our next pick is the Denon DCD-600NE, a mid-range compact CD player with awesome sound quality, built with a vibrant-resistant chassis and featuring the company’s proprietary Pure-Direct mode for getting the most out of your CD collection.
The DCD-600NE is not necessarily an audiophile-grade machine, but it comes with all the essential bells and whistles you can find in higher-end models, stuff like AL32 processing technology, or power transformers fit next to insulators, to prevent unwanted vibrations.
Moreover, the proprietary Direct Mechanical Ground Construction offers high-quality sound and almost zero interferences. Basically, if you’re looking for pristine sound at an affordable price, the Denon DCD-600NE is easy to recommend, as it offers great value for money, attention to detail in design, lots of features for an old-school CD player, and superb sound, with airy treble and deep soundstage, which is very impressive at its price-point.
- Looks and feels premium
- Impressive sound quality
- Amazing value for money
- Pure Direct Mode
- None really at this price
The Best CD Player for the Money
Most CD players in this price range don’t manage to provide that many interesting features, but the TEAC CD-P650-B is the exception that makes the rule. This CD-player charms the eye with an elegant and well-built design that speaks of quality materials.
Once you get it going, the P650-B will continue its magic by offering a wonderful and rich audio experience whether you store your music on CDs or USB devices. Moreover, you can connect your iPod and you can record MP3 files from a CD to the USB device.
Lastly, the device can be controlled from a distance using the included remote control.
- Elegant design
- Solid build
- Impressive audio quality
- Supports both CDs and MP3 files from a USB memory device
- Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
- Great value for the money
- It is rather big and heavy
- It only handles one CD at a time
Como Audio: Musica
The Ideal Wireless Music System
First, you get an aesthetically-pleasing design that sort of reminds you of old radios and high-quality monitor speakers. The system is available in four different wood finishes (walnut, hickory, piano gloss black and white) which provides an elegant look.
Second, you get several technologies in one unit: this is a CD Player, it has Internet Radio, Spotify Connect, supports Wi-Fi, FM, Bluetooth and One Touch Streaming. While it only has one slot for the CD player, the other ports and connectivity options let you enjoy a wide variety of sources.
Moreover, the system can be controlled remotely using either the provided remote control or the control app that goes on your phone. Finally, you can turn this gorgeous music system into a stereo soundbar by using the optical input to connect it with your TV.
- Elegant design
- Accepts a wide array of music sources
- Can be turned into a stereo soundbar
- Can be controlled from a distance
- It is capable of delivering Hi-Fi sound quality
- A bit pricey
- The FM reception is a bit patchy
KEiiD CD Player KD-VD01
Refitted with VW Original Car CD Radio Unit
If you ever wanted to take your car’s radio unit in the house, now you can! This device is actually refitted with an original VW CD player and radio unit which speaks volumes in terms of stability and reliability. Also, you’ll get to enjoy the same surround system you have in the car!
The sound quality is Hi-Fi and the device is compact, which makes it great for all sorts of scenarios. Even more, you don’t have to limit yourself to CDs – the unit is also a USB/SD MP3 player, it supports Bluetooth 4.2, and it has an HD FM radio tuner with 12 presets (a 3 meters car-type FM magnetic aerial antenna). There’s also a 3.5 mm line-in port that lets you connect an iPod in AUX mode.
Finally, due to the built-in 4-way amplifier output users can connect this unit with two or four passive speakers and use it as a 2.0 stereo system.
- Powerful sound and impressive clarity
- A wide array of sources
- A one-hour sleep timer function
- Works with several different types of speakers
- Comes with a remote control
- The remote is rather limited in functionality
- The Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t always work
The Best CD Player Under $500
The CD6006 is a sleek player that works with CDs and iDevices (iPod, iPhone, and iPad). Moreover, due to the headphone amplifier, and HDAM SAR circuit with three gain settings (Low/Mid/High) the player supports all sorts of headphones (even the most demanding ones).
The unit is designed with a double-layered bottom plate and sturdy feet for increased stability and improved sound reproduction. As a result, the CD6006 delivers exceptional audio clarity on a wide dynamic range.
Besides the standard functions of a CD player, the unit also features a high-class DAC. Also, due to high-power circuitry, the sound-quality has an elevated transparency and enriched fidelity. Not to mention that, you can control everything from a distance using the included remote control.
- Hi-Fi sound quality
- Supports USB sources with a wide range of formats (MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV)
- Sturdy feet and double-layered plate
- Can be combined with other Marantz units in the series
- Gorgeous design
- The labels on controls are difficult to see
- The remote control’s interface is a bit confusing
- A bit pricey
A Professional CD Recorder & Player
This unit can be used as a CD player and a recorder, and due to the AKM AK4528VM chipset (for clean and clear sound quality on AD/DA conversion), it is a great tool for creating professional records.
Moreover, due to the TEAC tray-loading transport, the device can be installed in a larger musical installation. The unit is equipped with a variety of track division functions and there’s even a rec-mute function to add space between tracks.
Now, when used as a CD player, the unit delivers rich sound quality and clear notes with a wide dynamic range.
- Great device for recording CDs
- Good sound quality
- Lots of interesting functions for creating records
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
- It doesn’t finalize every brand of CDs
- No dual CD player/recorder
- A bit pricey
The Ultimate Audiophile-Grade CD Player
Designed with a high-precision, multi-bit D/A converter and 128 x oversampling, the DXC390 CD player delivers a rich and detailed audio experience.
Moreover, to make sure your experience is smooth and worry-free, the unit can hold up to 6 discs at a time, it has 6 repeat modes and 40 track programming. And you can change five out of the six discs without interrupting the last one playing.
The unit features VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) for a smoother sounding audio signal, supports MP3 files, and a frequency response between 5 Hz and 20 kHz. Lastly, the CD-player is equipped with analog, optical and coaxial digital audio outputs.
- Great sound quality
- Supports 6 CDs at once
- Multi-bit D/A converter
- 128-times oversampling
- Comes with an RI compatible remote control
- Supports MP3 files
- Rather bulky and big in size
- The instructions manual is a bit confusing
- Standby light can be annoying
CD players may not be the hottest devices on the market, but they still have their niche in people who enjoy a high-quality audio experience. As you can see, there is plenty of variety and some of the products we reviewed are veritable entertainment systems. This means that everyone, regardless of budget and preferences, may find a CD player that suits their needs.