CDs? What? In today’s society? Have they not gone obsolete yet? Far from it actually. Online streaming and buying MP3s straight up are at their highest point, but there is still a market for these CDs.
Nostalgia, audiophiles, whatever the reason may be, there is no doubt still a market for these, and as such, there is still a market for CD players. So today, we are going to take a peek at the best CD players you could get for your hard-earned dough.
Best CD Players Review
So, we divided our reviews according to certain factors, factors that are important to you, the end buyer. So, take a chair, grab your snacks, and have a read.
1. Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
We start off with one of the heavy hitters on our list, Wave SoundTouch CD player from Bose. The name is quite a mouthful, but the features that come with it are numerous too. One of the highest overall rated CD players on our list, let us take a deeper dive.
It is quite rare that we would come across a CD player that will do it all. Internet streaming? Check. Bluetooth and USB? Check. AM & FM? Double-check. Merging the old with the old is not new by any means, rather it is quite rare when we see a proper execution of that concept. The Bose Wave SoundTouch is one such rarity.
Grab some old CDs, and we can get started with our nostalgia stream in no time at all. Tired and want to hit off something new? Use the built-in WIFI connection and start streaming from Spotify or Pandora. Now that is not the highlight. The highlight is the ease with which you can switch between the old and the new.
Use voice assistants? Awesome! You can tie in all the functionalities and features and control them with Alexa. And you can change tunes and relevant settings, all with just your voice.
The included IR control unit is quite useful too. You can use it to access the settings and make changes that you cannot with just your voice. And you do not need to get up and make changes to the CD player yourself.
Let us talk a little about the sound. The speakers are quite rich and dynamic, offering crisp highs and full mid-tones. And the LCD screen conveniently displays all the relevant information as you dance along to the music.
This unit supports all the relevant audio formats and extensions, such as WMA, MP3, and AAC. That is all fine and all. What really gets us excited is that it supports the hi-res formats too, like FLACs and Apples Lossless. This helps the unit further raise points with us audio enthusiasts.
- Offers Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Supports lossless and traditional audio formats
- Sleek and modern design
- LCD displays all the relevant info
- Comes with a companion app
- Alexa integration
- Comes with a remote control
2. Yamaha CD-C600BL 5-disc
Want something no-nonsense that will fill your audiophile cravings? Need a high performing DAC but can forgo things like wifi connectivity and voice assistants? The CD-C600BL from Yamaha is for you. It checks out all the right features for audiophiles like us with its high-quality DAC, and lossless formats support.
Design-wise, it is very sleek and modern. For an old school CD player, it should fit right in if you have modern furnishings. The disc loader is at the front, on top of an elegant looking LCD display. The unit is quite heavy, though, so you would not want to move it around all that much. But the heft adds more to that premium feel.
As stated in the name, this CD player accepts up to five discs at a time, guarantying long hours of audio playtime. You can play all formats of lossless formats, too, as the unit is rated for Hi-res music. Plus, it is not just limited to CDs. It will accept music from flash-drives too, courtesy of the USB port upfront.
Disc-wise, it supports both CD R & CD RW. As for the audio formats, it supports both MP3 and WMA. You can hook your phone or iPod to the unit, too, and enjoy your favorites playlist right there and then.
And you can change discs without pausing your tune, thanks to the PlayXchange feature. The bold LCD display displays all the relevant info, such as the track title, artist name, etc. And the unit can be further operated by the included remote control.
Now, let us talk a bit about the sound quality. It is epic. Load up a lossless format, and the detailing is just sublime. The integrated DAC is a high performing one, resulting in low levels of noise and distortion all around. And the player sports a 10 Hz to 20 kHz response frequency, and thus, the quality is right up there.
- You can use 5 discs at a time
- PlayXchange feature
- Integrated FAC
- Audiophile-grade performance
3. KEiiD CD Player
Fancy taking your car’s excellent audio or radio unit into the house? We have you covered. Next up on our reviews list is a CD player from KEiiD. It sounds a bit odd, but the unit comes with a CD player and radio unit from Volkswagen. Thus, you know that you are not just investing in audio quality but also on years of reliability.
So, what do we get for our money? Well, for starters, this thing is built like a tank. Not kidding. All metal construction, we reckon it will take quite the beating. It should last for years with proper use.
Secondly, we get the same if not better surround sound system we have in our cars. The sound itself will be hi-fi, and the unit is hi-res, and that equates to absolute banging quality. And the unit itself is very compact, so it makes it suitable for a variety of use cases and not just at your home.
Ports-wise, the essentials are all covered. You can slot in an SD card too. It offers wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 4.2. And it doubles as an HD radio too, with 12 presets. It is achieved through the magnetic aerial antenna included right in the box (a whopping 3 meters long).
Our only complaint? We wish the 3.5 mm port was out in the front. But that can easily be solved by rerouting the cable or just spending extra on a longer AUX. All in all, a very solid unit for what we pay.
- Impressive build quality
- Accepts input from multiple sources
- Comes with a sleep timer
- Works with several types of speakers
4. TEAC CD-P650
This list would be incomplete without a competitively priced unit. Let us acquaint ourselves with the CD-P650 from TEAC. We highly recommend this unit for anyone looking for a CD player that does it all but does not break the bank while doing so. The design is somewhat old school but is still quite elegant.
And the dimensions seem well proportioned and easy on the eyes. The materials do not feel cheap to the touch either. This unit is for anyone looking for something that plays MP3s right from the get-go because let us face it, everyone directly purchase MP3s online nowadays.
Or perhaps you still do intend to use it with CDs. The disc drawer moves swiftly. Plus, there is no mechanical noise of any sort while the unit is in operation. The motor is downright quiet, and the response time is immediate. And that is where the real magic starts.
Crisp highs, bright mid-tones, overall great tonality. Sure, it is a bummer that it does not support lossless formats given its already exemplary prowess in tonality, but hey, you cannot have everything.
An IR control unit comes included with the player. We wish it had Bluetooth too, however. What it does have, though, is a quality DAC from Burr-Brown, giving us an audio reproduction that remains faithful to the source and renders that beautiful tonality.
Overall, a clean sounding CD player that does not forego any of the important features of its more expensive counterparts, you would not go wrong with picking up this unit for your home.
- Elegant, old school design
- Feels premium to the touch
- Exemplary audio quality
- Features a DAC from Burr-Brown
- Best option on a budget
5. Marantz CD6006
So we have taken a look at a unit that was absolutely bang-on for the money. Now let us look at something to overcome the needs of those looking for something on the more premium end of the scale. Let us now take a peek at the CD6006 from Marantz.
This is one of those players that is basically rated to work with all your Apple devices, be it your iPhone, iPod, or even your iPad. It has a built-in amplifier for headphones, so the impedance level is not something we ought to be concerned about. This ought to be able to drive almost all of them.
The HDAM SAR circuitry allows a three-step gain setting from low to high. This means you can drive even studio-quality headphones, straight from the CD player. And this gives it a fair number of wow factor points from us audiophiles.
We often do not get into the heavy details when it comes to these CD players, but we felt the need to with this one, since it is in a price bracket of its own. The bottom plate is double layered. Adding that to high-quality feet results in a form factor that is quite sturdy.
You hear it all in the headphones, and the difference in sound, quality-wise between this and any other CD player is not subtle at all. Thus, if you have a bunch of old CDs lying around and you want to play them at the fullest sonic potential, it does not get any better than this. You can trust us on that.
- Delivers Hi-Fi sound
- Supports all the common formats
- Sturdy build quality
- Makes use of the HDAM SAR circuitry
- Rated to work with all your Apple devices
6. Tascam CD-RW900MKII
Want to invest in a CD player that also doubles up as a professional grade recorder? We covered something like that too. Let us take a peek at the CD-RW900MKII from Tascam. Making use of the AKM AK4528VM chipset for crystal clear AD/DA conversions, this unit ends up being a tool for professional sound records.
Now, let us take a deeper dive into the unit. Like we have mentioned above, the unit includes an AKM AK4528VM chipset. That is just one point in the recording process. This unit also makes use of several track division functions, which is an essential tool in any professional sound recording scenario.
There is a mute feature to add in blank spaces within or between tracks. The unit makes use of the TEAC tray-loading support, which means that it can also be installed in a larger home or even a professional-grade music installation.
Back to its CD player functionalities, rich sound with passable highs with a slight emphasis on the lower end. Certainly not bass-heavy, but the notes are spatial and are with a wide enough dynamic range.
The feature that stood out the most to us is that we can monitor the source with just one push of the record button without inserting a CD.
Build quality-wise, the disc drawer, buttons, and knobs are all well made. They are quite easy to use, the build quality on the unit overall is excellent. The LED display feels like a charming throwback to the 90s, and it functions quite well as a display, albeit a bit quirky.
- The best unit on our list for recording your old vinyls or CDs
- Great sound quality
- Full support for recording
- Great build quality
7. Como Audio: Musica
As Hodinkee described the Seiko SNKL23, the watch looks a million bucks without the millionaire price tag. This is the example that comes to mind when we look at the Musica from Como Audio. It looks beautiful. Yes, beautiful with its wooden, and angular finish, it ends up looking like a very expensive monitor speaker unit.
Nostalgia definitely played a card when designing this unit. It looks modern and dated at the same instance, a mix between an old cassette player and a modern monitor speak, and we absolutely adore it. The player is available in 4 different wood finishes: gloss black, gloss white, hickory, and walnut.
This unit also sports all the modern connectivity features (wireless) such as Bluetooth and WIFI. It also gives us access to online streaming services, the likes of SoundCloud, Spotify, Deezer and Napster, and Internet radio. It also supports One Touch Streaming.
It does, however, have only one slot for CD discs, but it comes with a host of other ports and the wireless connectivity options we discussed above. So you can enjoy music from a wide range of sources. The music can be controlled with a companion app for your phone or an included infrared remote.
Traditional inputs are there too. You can load up a flash drive or any other mass storage device, connect to this CD player and jam to your favorite playlist. It supports all basic audio formats and lossless ones, too, like ALAC and FLAC. Really, with this unit, you are getting a whole lot for what you pay.
The unit also doubles as a soundbar, connecting to your TV via a high res optical input. It also sports two other hi-resolution 3.5mm inputs, adding support for 24bit/192KHz.
- Modern, wooden finish; looks very high-end
- Supports input from multiple sources
- Can be used as a brilliant soundbar
- Accepts and projects Hi-res input and playback
8. Onkyo DXC390
Looking to get into the audiophile-grade performance but do not have the audiophile-grade budgeting? Let us acquaint ourselves with the Onkyo DXC390. Classic looks with a more or less contemporary design, this is the unit we recommend to anyone who is just starting out with these CD players.
Let us talk a little about that design; it is HUGE. No, really, it is quite big. It requires a separate rack on its own, the gargantuan footprint is not going to sit well on any random stand. So, size-wise, it is a bit of a letdown.
But it makes up for its massive size with its great sound quality. It has a multi-bit D/A converter built right in. Coupled with the 128x oversampling, it results in high-precision, and highly detailed audio experience.
What is more, we can change up to five of the six discs without interrupting the one we are currently playing. No stops, and keep on jamming. The unit comes with the unique VLSC or the Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry feature, which helps smooth out the audio signal and reduces the overall harshness.
It can take inputs via USB, too, supports all the usual audio formats and extensions, and emanates a frequency response that is between 5 Hz and 20 kHz. The unit also sports a multitude of output ports, including coaxial digital, optical, and analog.
- Awesome sound quality
- Supports up to 6 CDs at once
- Integration Multi-bit DAC
- 128x oversampling as standard
- Supports USB as a source
9. Sharp XL-BH250
Okay, so the next unit on our list, not exactly a CD player, more of a mini stereo system. It has an integrated CD player, and it is quite good. Thus, it is included in our list. Let us talk next about the XL-BH250 from Sharp.
Rather than just a CD player, it is a complete package. It comes equipped with high tier speakers, so you know you are hearing what you are meant to be hearing. We recommend this unit to anyone looking to get into all-in-ones. The unit comes with Bluetooth connectivity, USB playback, and, of course, an AM/FM digital tuner.
And the tuner cFomes with more than 30 presets. The CD player itself supports both CD and CDRW. This is the only player on our list that comes with NFC connectivity. Just place your NFC device on top, and you will be jamming away in no time. The connection is instantaneous and seamless.
This is a home system that includes a receiver and 2 x 4” speakers that are able to produce up to 25W RMS. Although it has a power of 25W only, the XL-BH250 it can produce music loud and bassy enough to fill spaces sizing small to medium.
The bass is clean and is low-ended. There is a decent balance in the mid-range & treble too. You will experience a great movie session with this stereo system.
Also, you can easily fit this unit under your TV or in any place as it doesn't take up much space. It includes an IR control unit that you can use to control the speakers from any corner of the room.
- Comes with an AM/FM tuner boasting over 30 presets
- Plays back CD-RWs, CD-Rs, MP3s, and WMA
- Bluetooth connectivity across a suitably broad range of devices
- Instantaneous connection with NFC connectivity
10. Tascam CD-200BT
So, we have another unit from TASCAM on our list, the CD-200BT. The CD-200BT is the same base unit as the CD-200 with an additional Bluetooth connectivity. Let us take a closer look.
Like other affordable and traditional disc spinners, the CD-200BT makes use of a traditional drawer loading mechanism for playing CDs. The mechanism itself is derived from an older model but sees improvement in the noise department. There is no machine rattle, and the loading-offloading noise is almost insignificant now.
The unit comes with a new transport, the CD-5020A, designed by TASCAM’s parent company TEAC, centered around audio use. In the case of wired ports, the CD-200BT comes with analog ports (unbalanced), optical digital outputs, and of course, RCA.
Also, the CD-200BT sees lower jitter and much smoother sound and signals, courtesy of the improvements done the internal clock. Dimension-wise, the CD-200BT is also a rated rack unit (2RU) like the CD-200. It weighs about 9.3 pounds. The rack-mount ears come pre-installed from the factory.
Moreover, the front panel I/O consists of a ¼” headphone jack, a rotating volume control, a variable pitch control that is enabled with a push button. A yellow warning label shows up once pushed. The folder navigation options are also on the front panel.
It sounds great, as a transport unit. And it can play all the usual audio formats. The unit also comes equipped with a remote control so you can take control of it from a given distance. For the price it commands, we reckon you would not come across too many CD players that are 2RU rack-mounting rated.
Okay, we have discussed all the features that could be had in the CD-200. Let us talk a little about what sets the CD-200BT apart: the Bluetooth connectivity. The unit allows connection to about 8 separate devices. This connection is further improved by the use of aptX for much more stable connections and HQ transfer.
- Connect up to 8 individual devices at once
- Uses aptX for stable connections and high-quality transfers
- Equipped as standard with aptX
- Playback of WAV/MP3/MP2 files
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the best CD players in 2020:
What are the differences between a CD player and a DVD player?
The main difference, or the difference that matters really, is that DVD players can read and play all formats and types of CDs. This means that we can use only one device for all our media needs, both video and audio. And as such, we end up saving some money in the process.
On the flip end of the spectrum, CD players cannot play DVDs. This is primarily because the lasers in CD players are not made to read the data on DVDs.
Are CD players still made?
Truthfully speaking, CD sales are on the decline, especially in the US. However, we can still see sales well in excess of over a hundred million per year. Clearly, there is a demand for CDs, and recording companies are more than happy to cater to that demand.
So, the answer is yes. CD players are still made, be it to cater to the nostalgia factor or as a mainstream platform, despite the mass availability of a whole host of online music streaming services.
Can you listen to a portable CD player without a headphone?
Portable CD players generally come with some speakers built right in. While they may not be groundbreaking in terms of quality, it is the norm to include some. Some portable CD players may also come with Bluetooth functionality, although this varies from model to model. And some may even come with remotes.
But all portable CD players come with an audio jack, the 3.5mm being the standard.
My CD player often skips, Is there any reason?
One word: dirty. It is very likely that your CD is dirty, be it from dirt, fingerprints, or dust. Being dirty can heavily interfere with your CD players’ laser reading capability. This causes what we call “skips” or random glitches in the parts of the CD where it is dirty.
How often should I clean my CD player?
We do not recommend that you go around cleaning the CD player on your own unless you know what you are doing. The CD player is a very sensitive piece of equipment, after all. However, there are no such restrictions on the CD themselves.
Infected or dirty CDs can damage your system. It can cause skipping and random glitches. Thus, we recommend cleaning the disc with isopropyl alcohol or cleaning fluid every now and then.
CD players are definitely not seeing the hottest sales in this day and age. However, they are still important to those among us who like to revert back to the old school, nostalgic CDs every now and then.
Our best portable CD player nomination goes to the SoundTouch Music System IV from Bose. Simply pick it up and get it jamming. This is followed closely by the Yamaha CD-C600BL, the best CD player for the audiophile in us. We hope you had a good time giving our article a read. Happy hunting!