Whether you’re a bit old school and can’t part with your CD collection or you’re just into listening high-quality music and other audio files, you’re going to need a CD player.
Now, some of you may still have boomboxes with a CD player around the house, but if you want portability, you’ll need a personal player. These are round and slim devices that only take one CD at a time and use headphones or speakers to deliver the sound (no built-in speakers).
Now, choosing the best portable CD player can be confusing, especially for young listeners. As such, we created a buying guide and reviewed some of the best products on the market. So, before you make any purchasing decisions, make sure to read our reviews and browse the guidelines below.
How to Choose the Best Portable CD Player
Here are the features we considered when we decided which products to review:
Since these are portable devices, you want to make sure they can resist being moved from one place to another. Now, most low-cost CD players will not feature a very solid build, but you should look for products that feel good in your hands.
Also, it’s better to select a design with the control at the top or on the edge of the device. This way, they are easy to reach and don’t require any special finger movements to activate.
Of course, the quality of the sound a CD player can produce is important. However, since they don’t have built-in speakers, the type of headphones or speakers you are going to use with them is also important.
Overall, it’s best to select a device that reproduces high-quality sounds and supports a bit of bass.
Most portable CD players use AA batteries (some are rechargeable and some not). However, the more modern devices use Lithium rechargeable batteries, which is the best choice since you no longer have to carry AA batteries wherever you go.
Supported Audio Formats
Most devices support CD-R (CD-Recordable) and CD-RW (CD-ReWritable) discs. Still, if you own other types of CDs, you should consider getting a product that also supports MP3 disks. This way you don’t have to worry that half of your collection will lie around collecting dust.
This feature is important for portable devices as it protects your audio experience from the vibrations that sometimes affect the disc. It does this by reading the MP3 or CD content a few dozen seconds ahead and storing it in the anti-skip memory.
As you can notice from our reviews, some products have a different memory capacity for CDs and MP3 files (more about this here).
In most cases, this is a 3.5mm port that allows users to connect headphones, speakers, and even the audio system of a vehicle. Since CD players don’t have speakers, this port is crucial for the quality of your audio experience.
7 Best Portable CD Players
Gueray Portable CD Player
Perfect for Listening to your Favorite Tunes
The Gueray CD player is probably the best sounding portable CD player with its support for various formats (MP3, CD, CD-R, CD-RW) and the multitude of sound effects (such as BBS, Pop, Jazz, Rock, Classic).
It also features a modern-looking design, a durable case, and several easy-to-use functions on the cover. For instance, you’ll find the four built-in play modes (Repeat a track, Repeat ALL, Play first 10s of a file, Play in random order) and the 3.5mm port that lets you connect the player to headphones, speakers, or the AUX port of a vehicle.
There’s also an LCD screen that displays important information as you play your favorite disc.
To make it travel-friendly, the producer added an anti-shock system in MP3 mode and ASP (prevents sound interruption in case of vibrations) that can’t be switched off.
Lastly, the large capacity rechargeable lithium battery (1400 mAh) offers up to 12h of playtime. Also, the player has a Hold option that prevents the other keys from accidentally being activated when you put the player in your pocket. To charge it, you can just use the provided USB cable, which makes things easier when it comes to transportation or listening on the go.
- Great size and build for traveling
- You can use it with headphones or speakers
- It can be connected to the AUX port of a vehicle
- Great sound quality
- Lots of options and functions
- Amazing value for the money
- Large rechargeable battery
- The supplied headphones are not of a high quality
- The 3.5mm jack is a bit sensitive to movement
Sony DEJ017CK Walkman
The Best Portable Radio CD Player
From the company that made the Walkman brand famous, this player comes with several interesting features. First, it features Digital Mega Bass sound quality, which means you’ll get to enjoy a really interesting audio experience.
Second, the player has 8 playback modes, skip-free G-protection technology, and an AM/FM radio with 30 stations presets (10 AM and 20 FM). It supports both CD-R and CD-RW playback and it’s quite easy to set up due to the digital volume control and other functions.
Lastly, the device is highly portable and can offer up to 16h of wire freedom, due to the two AA batteries (purchased separately).
Moreover, the device is delivered with headphones and a car kit that lets you enjoy your favorite music in the car.
- High-quality materials and solid build
- It has 30 radio stations preset
- It comes with headphones and a car kit
- It can play music for up to 16h
- Buttons are rather small and difficult to find in the dark
- The car kit keeps the volume on low levels
HOTT CD711 Portable CD Player
Perfect for Enjoying Music on the Go
The HOTT CD711 CD player is truly portable due to the large capacity built-in lithium rechargeable battery that provides around 10h of playtime. So, there’s no need to stock on AA batteries or worry about carrying the charger around!
The player is perfect for listening to music, audio-books, and other bits of audio resources. Moreover, since it works with CD, MP3 disc, CD-R, CD-DA, CD-RW and CD WMA formats, it is compatible with a wide range of files and sources. If you want it, the player can be delivered with a 3.5mm audio cable that can be used to connect it to your vehicle’s speakers or other speakers in the house.
It’s important to know that it doesn’t have built-in speakers – this means you’ll have to use it with either headphones or a speaker to hear your music. There’s also the anti-skip and anti-shock protection which offer up to 45 seconds anti-skip protection for CDs and 120 seconds anti-skip protection for MP3 CDs. Also, in the case of vibrations, your CDs are safe inside this player.
Lastly, the device has several interesting functions, such as resume – remembers where you left off when you turned the player off, volume control, sound effect modes (POP, JAZZ, ROCK, CLASSIC and BBS), repeat with various options.
- Compact design
- Supports a wide range of formats
- It has five built-in sound effects
- Resume & repeat functions
- Large-capacity lithium battery
- 3.5mm audio port and cable
- No built-in speakers
- It doesn’t open too far
Insignia NS-P4112 Portable CD Player
Affordable & Versatile
With up to 60 seconds of skip protection, this CD player is perfect for life on the go since your audio experience won’t be interrupted by vibrations produced while walking or running. Furthermore, it comes with a pair of behind-the-ear headphones that provide a better fit regardless of your movements.
The player supports CD, CD-R and CD-RW discs, which allows for an extended collection of music and delivers crystal-clear sound quality. Of course, there are no built-in speakers, so you’ll have to use it with headphones or connect it to a speaker.
The player is powered by two AA batteries and the cover is equipped with an LCD screen and buttons that allow control over tracks and other functions.
- 60 seconds skip protection
- Accepts CD R/RW formats
- Powered by two AA batteries
- Impressive sound quality
- Comes with behind-the-ear headphones
- Not compatible with MP3 files
- No bass boost
- No built-in speakers
Soulcker Portable CD Player
A Player for an Immersive Musical Experience
It supports a wide range of formats (such as CD R/RW, MP3, and WMA) and can be used in your vehicle (connection with the AUX port) or at home if you hook it up with a pair of headphones or some speakers.
The player features a compact and slim design, with an integrated LCD screen and several controls that allow for volume increase/decrease, track control, electronic skip protection, and more. Users can select between five sound effects (bbs, pop, jazz, rock, or classic) and there are four playback modes. Furthermore, there is a key-lock function (or HOLD switch) that deactivates the controls so you won’t accidentally engage them while the player is in your pocket or bag.
To keep it as portable as possible, Soulcker equipped the player with anti-skip shockproof protection (45 seconds anti-skip protection for CDs, 120 seconds anti-skip protection for MP3 CDs). However, it is not recommended to use it while running, since a strong bump could destabilize the player.
Overall, this player is perfect for people who want to enjoy the true sound quality offered by CDs and MP3 CDs.
- Impressive sound quality
- Elegant design
- Can be connected to a vehicle’s AUX port
- ASP for CD (45s) and MP3 disks (120s)
- Five sound effects and four playback modes
- An LCD screen and easy to use controls
- It doesn’t open to the full extent
- No built-in speakers
- The screen is difficult to read at an angle
GPX PC807B Portable MP3/CD Player
Cute, Lightweight, and Affordable
If you’re looking for a low-cost portable CD player that you can take wherever you go, the GPX PC807B can be a fantastic option. It supports CD, CD-R / RW, and MP3 CD audio formats, it has anti-skip protection (the 40s for CDs and 100s for MP3 disks), and it even has an LCD display and low battery indicator.
On the edge of the cover, you’ll find several digital controls that let you skip ahead or stop/play/pause. There’s also an analogue volume control and the player comes with a pair of stereo earbuds.
Lastly, the device supports several playback modes, such as random, repeat, intro, program.
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to use and understand
- Easy to reach controls
- Analog volume controls
- It burns through batteries pretty fast
- Feels flimsy and plasticky
Jensen Portable CD/MP3 Player
A Player for a Great Audio Experience
Designed with an LCD screen and a wide range of controls on the cover, the Jensen CD player is quite nice to have around. Also, the AM/FM radio is a feature most people enjoy and the programmable memory does come in handy. There’s also a bass boost function and controls that let you skip and search for your favorite track.
Lastly, to preserve battery life, the player is equipped with an auto power-off function.
- Slim and compact design
- Programmable memory
- Sport stereo earbuds included
- Bass boost and auto power off
- Good sound quality
- An LCD screen and easy to reach controls
- Great value for the money
- It consumes batteries too quickly
- The build is not of the best quality
If you’re a bit old school but don’t want to go back to cassette players, or you simply like to hear your tunes in CD-quality, a portable CD player makes a lot of sense. As you can see, there are lots of cool products on the market and some of them provide high quality at really affordable prices.