CDs? What? In today’s society? Haven’t they long since become obsolete? Far from it. Online streaming and direct purchase of MP3s have peaked, but there is still a market for these CDs.
Nostalgia, audiophiles, whatever the reason, there is undoubtedly still a market for them, and so there is still a market for CD players. So today we take a look at the best CD players you can get for your hard earned money.
Table of Contents
10 Best CD Players for Your Home
That’s why we’ve divided our reviews according to certain factors that are important to you, the end buyer. So, pull up a chair, grab your snacks, and get reading.
1. Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
- 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
We’ll start with one of the heavyweights on our list, the Wave SoundTouch CD player from Bose. The name is quite a mouthful, but so are the features it comes with. It’s one of the highest rated CD players on our list, which we’ll take a closer look at.
It’s pretty rare that we come across a CD player that can do it all. Internet streaming? Check. Bluetooth and USB? Check. AM & FM? Double checked. Merging old and new is by no means new, but it’s rather rare to see this concept done right. The Bose Wave SoundTouch is one such rarity.
Grab some old CDs and we can start our nostalgia stream in no time. Tired and want to play something new? Use the built-in WIFI connection and start streaming from Spotify or Pandora. That’s not the highlight, though. The highlight is the ease with which you can switch between the old and the new.
Use voice assistants? Great! You can integrate all the functions and features and control them with Alexa. And you can change music tracks and relevant settings, all with just your voice.
The included IR control unit is also very useful. With it, you can access settings and make changes that you can’t make with just your voice. And you don’t have to get up and make changes to the CD player yourself.
Let’s talk a little bit about the sound. The speakers are very rich and dynamic, offering crisp highs and full mids. And the LCD screen displays all the important information while you dance to the music.
This device supports all relevant audio formats and extensions like WMA, MP3 and AAC. That’s all well and good. What really excites us is that it also supports the high-resolution formats like FLAC and Apple Lossless. This helps the device score further with us audio enthusiasts.
2. Onkyo DXC390 6-disc
- You can use 5 discs at a time
- PlayXchange feature
- Integrated FAC
- Audiophile-grade performance
Want something sober that meets your audiophile needs? You need a powerful DAC, but can do without things like WLAN and voice assistants? Then Onkyo DXC390 is for you. With its high-quality DAC and support for lossless formats, it has all the essential features for audiophiles like us.
Design-wise, it’s very sleek and modern. For an old school player CD it should fit right in with your modern decor. The disk loader is on the front, above a sleek looking LCD display. The unit is pretty heavy, though, so you won’t want to move it around too often. But the weight adds even more to the premium feel.
As the name suggests, this CD player can play up to six disks simultaneously, guaranteeing hours of music enjoyment. You can also play all lossless formats, as the device is designed for Hi-Res music. What’s more, it’s not just limited to CDs.
The device supports both CD R and CD RW. As for audio formats, it supports both MP3 and WMA. You can also connect your cell phone or iPod to the device and play your favorite playlist directly.
And you can change disks without interrupting playback. The bold display LCD shows all the important information, such as the title of the track, the name of the artist, etc. In addition, the device can be operated via the supplied remote control.
Now let’s talk a bit about the sound quality. It’s fantastic. If you load a lossless format, the detail is simply outstanding. The integrated DAC is very powerful and provides low noise and low distortion. The player has a frequency response of 10 Hz to 20 kHz, so it offers top-notch quality.
3. KEiiD CD Player
- Impressive build quality
- Accepts input from multiple sources
- Comes with a sleep timer
- Works with several types of speakers
Want to take your car’s excellent audio or radio into the house? We’ve got that for you. The next item on our test list is a CD player from KEiiD. It sounds a little strange, but the unit comes with a CD player and a radio from Volkswagen. So you know you’re not only investing in audio quality, but also years of reliability.
So what do we get for our money? Well, for starters, this CD Player for home is quality built. The casing is hand crafted wooden housing and we think it’s pretty sturdy. With proper use, it should last for years.
Second, we get the same if not better surround sound system than we have in our cars. The sound itself is hi-fi and the unit is high definition, which means absolutely stunning quality. Also, the device is very compact, so it’s suitable for a wide range of use cases, and not just for your home.
As for the ports, everything essential is covered. You can also plug in a SD card. It offers wireless connectivity via Bluetooth, and it’s also a HD radio with 12 presets. This is achieved through the magnetic antenna that is included (a whopping 3 meters long).
Our only criticism? We wish the 3.5mm connector was in the front. But that can easily be solved by relocating the cable or simply spending more money on a longer AUX. All in all, a very solid device for what we pay.
4. Pioneer CD Player Home
- Elegant, old school design
- Feels premium to the touch
- Exemplary audio quality
- Features a DAC from Burr-Brown
- Best option on a budget
This list would be incomplete without an inexpensive device. Let’s familiarize ourselves with Pioneer CD Player Home. We recommend this device to anyone who is looking for a CD player that can do everything and isn’t too expensive. The design is a bit old-fashioned, but still very elegant.
The dimensions are well proportioned and pleasing to the eyes. The materials don’t feel cheap either. This device is for those who are looking for something that plays MP3s from the beginning, because let’s face it, nowadays everyone buys MP3s directly online.
Or maybe you plan to use it with CDs. The disk tray moves briskly. Also, there’s no mechanical noise whatsoever when the unit is in use. The motor is exceptionally quiet, and the response time is immediate. And that’s where the real magic begins.
Crisp highs, bright midrange, overall great tonality. Of course, it’s a shame that the device doesn’t support lossless formats, but you can’t have everything when you’re already this good.
Included with the player is a IR control unit. We wish it had Bluetooth as well, though. What it does have, however, is a high-quality Burr-Brown DAC that delivers faithful audio reproduction and beautiful timbre.
All in all, CD is a clean-sounding player that doesn’t sacrifice any of the important features of its more expensive counterparts, so you can’t go wrong with this unit.
5. Marantz CD6007
- 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
So we took a look at a device that was absolutely fine for its money. Now let’s take a look at something that will meet the needs of those looking for something more upscale. Let’s take a look at the CD6007 from Marantz.
This is one of those players that basically works with all Apple devices, whether it’s an iPhone, iPod or iPad. It has a built-in amplifier for headphones, so we don’t have to worry about impedance. It should be able to drive almost all devices.
The HDAM SAR circuit allows for a three-stage gain setting from low to high. This means you can even drive studio quality headphones directly through the CD player. This gives it quite a few “wow” points with us audiophiles.
We don’t usually go into much detail with these CD players, but we felt the need to with this one, as it’s in a price range all its own. The base plate is double layered. Combined with the high quality feet, this makes for a pretty sturdy form factor.
You’ll hear everything through the headphones, and the difference in quality between this and any other CD player is impossible to ignore. So if you have a bunch of old CDs lying around and want to play them at full sound potential, there’s nothing better than this player. You can take our word for that.
6. Tascam CD-RW900MKII
- The best unit on our list for recording your old vinyls or CDs
- Great sound quality
- Full support for recording
- Great build quality
Want to invest in a CD player that doubles as a professional recorder? We’ve reported on something like that as well. Let’s take a look at the CD -RW900MKII from Tascam. With the AKM AK4528VM chipset for crystal clear AD /DA conversions, this device becomes a tool for professional sound recording.
Now let’s take a closer look at the device. As we mentioned earlier, the device contains an AKM AK4528VM chipset. This is just one point in the recording process. The device also has several track separation features that are essential for professional sound recording.
There is a mute function to insert spaces within or between tracks. The unit uses TEAC tray loading support, which means it can be installed in a larger home or even in a professional music facility.
Back to the features of the CD player: a rich sound with passable highs and a slight emphasis on the lower frequencies. Certainly not bass-heavy, but the notes are spacious and have a sufficiently large dynamic range.
The feature that caught our attention the most is that we can listen to the source by pressing the record button without having to insert a CD.
The disk tray, buttons and knobs are well made. They’re easy to use and the overall build quality of the unit is excellent. The LED display is a charming reminiscence of the 90s and works well, even if it’s a bit quirky.
7. Como Audio: Duetto
- 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
As Hodinkee described the Seiko SNKL23, the watch looks like a million dollars without the millionaire price tag. That’s the example that comes to mind when we look at Como Audio’s Duetto. It looks beautiful. Yes, beautiful, with its wooden and angular finish it looks like a very expensive monitor speaker.
Nostalgia definitely played a role in the design of this unit. It looks modern and old-fashioned at the same time, a mix of an old cassette player and a modern monitor speaker, and we absolutely love it. The player is available in 4 different wood finishes: gloss black, gloss white, hickory and walnut.
The unit also has all the modern (wireless) connectivity features like Bluetooth and WIFI. It also provides access to online streaming services such as SoundCloud, Spotify, Deezer and Napster, as well as Internet radio. It also supports One Touch Streaming.
While it only has one slot for CD disks, it has a variety of other ports and the wireless connectivity options described above. So you can enjoy music from a variety of sources. Music can be controlled with an app for your phone or with the included infrared remote.
Traditional inputs are also available. You can load a flash drive or other mass storage device, plug it into this CD player, and jam out to your favorite playlist. It supports all the popular audio formats and also lossless formats like ALAC and FLAC. You really get a lot for your money with this device.
The device also doubles as a soundbar and connects to your TV via a high-resolution optical input. It also has two additional high-resolution 3.5mm inputs that support 24bit/192KHz.
8. Onkyo DXC390
- Awesome sound quality
- Supports up to 6 CDs at once
- Integration Multi-bit DAC
- 128x oversampling as standard
- Supports USB as a source
You want audiophile performance but don’t have an audiophile budget? Let’s get acquainted with the Onkyo DXC390. It has a classic look and a more or less modern design. We recommend this device to those who are just starting with these CD players.
Let’s talk a little about the design; it’s HUGE. No, really, it’s quite big. It needs a separate stand, because the gigantic footprint won’t fit on just any stand. So in terms of size, it’s a bit of a disappointment.
But it makes up for its enormous size with its great sound quality. It has a built-in multi-bit D/A converter. Together with the 128x oversampling, it provides a highly accurate and detailed sound experience.
Plus, we can switch up to five of the six disks without interrupting the disk currently playing. No pauses and keep jamming. The unit features the unique VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) function, which helps smooth the audio signal and reduce overall noise.
It can also accept inputs via USB, supports all popular audio formats and extensions, and has a frequency response between 5 Hz and 20 kHz. The unit also has a variety of output connectors, including coaxial digital, optical, and analog.
9. Sharp XL-BH250
- 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
Okay, the next device on our list isn’t exactly a CD player, but rather a mini stereo. It has a built-in CD player, and it’s pretty good. That’s why it’s included in our list. Next, let’s talk about the XL-BH250 from Sharp.
It’s not just a CD player, but a complete package. It’s equipped with high-quality speakers, so you can be sure that you’ll hear what you’re supposed to hear. We recommend this device to anyone who wants to enter the world of all-in-one devices. The device features Bluetooth connectivity, USB playback, and of course, a digital AM/FM tuner.
And the tuner has more than 30 presets. The CD player itself supports both CD and CDRW. This is the only player on our list that has NFC connectivity. Just place your NFC device on it and you’re ready to go in no time. The connection is instant and seamless.
This home system consists of a receiver and 2 x 4″ speakers that can produce up to 25W RMS. Although the XL-BH250 only has a power rating of 25W, it can produce music loud and bassy enough to fill small to medium sized rooms.
The bass is clean and deep. It’s also balanced in the mids and highs. You’ll have a great movie session with this stereo.
Besides, you can easily place it at TV or any other place as it doesn’t take much space. It comes with a IR control unit that allows you to control the speakers from any corner of the room.
10. Tascam CD-200BT
- 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
So we have another unit from TASCAM on our list, the CD -200BT. The CD -200BT is the same basic unit as the CD -200 with added Bluetooth connectivity. Let’s take a closer look at it.
Like other affordable and traditional disk spinners, the CD -200BT uses a traditional drawer loading mechanism to play CDs. The mechanism itself is derived from an older model, but has been improved in terms of noise. The machine no longer rattles and the noise during loading and unloading is now almost insignificant.
The unit comes with a new transport, the CD -5020A, developed by TASCAM’s parent company TEAC and aimed at audio use. As for wired connections, the CD -200BT has analog connections (unbalanced), optical digital outputs and, of course, RCA connectors.
The CD -200BT also features lower jitter and much smoother sound and signals, which is due to the improvement of the internal clock. In terms of dimensions, the CD -200BT is a rack unit (2RU) like the CD -200. It weighs approximately 9.3 pounds. The rackmount ears are pre-installed from the factory.
There is also a ¼” headphone jack on the front, a rotary volume control, and a variable pitch control that is activated with a push button. Once the button is pressed, a yellow warning appears. Folder navigation options are also located on the front.
As a transport device, it sounds great. And it can play all the popular audio formats. The unit also comes with a remote, so you can control it from a distance. For the price it charges, there probably aren’t many CD players that will fit in a 2RU rack.
Okay, we’ve discussed all the features that the CD -200 offers. Now let’s move on to what makes the CD -200BT stand out: Bluetooth connectivity. The device allows you to connect to about 8 different devices. This connection is further enhanced by the use of aptX for much more stable connections and HQ transmission.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most frequently asked questions about the best CD players:
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.
CD players cannot play DVDs on the flip end of the spectrum. This is primarily because the lasers in CD players are not made to read the data on DVDs.
Are CD players still made?
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 have 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 you go around cleaning the CD player 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 CDs 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 certainly not the hottest sellers these days. Nevertheless, they’re important for those of us who like to fall back on the nostalgic old-school CDs from time to time.
Our nomination for best portable CD player goes to the SoundTouch Music System IV from Bose. Just pick it up and get going. Following closely behind is the Yamaha CD-C600BL, the best CD player for the audiophiles among us. We hope you enjoyed reading our article. Have fun with your search!