Best CD Player Reviews — Home CD Player Systems and Tabletop CD Players for Any Budget

There are many types of CD players on the market, with different specs and functions… so there’s no need to spend money on one that won’t stand the test of time. We decided to research different CD player brands, and our research team came up with five top brands that met our quality and performance standards. This review looks critically at a CD player model from each of these five brands. We invite you to also check out other product models from the featured brands, as they have more great CD player options available.

While most of the products we reviewed are designed to go with your home music and entertainment systems, we realize many of you are shopping for more budget-friendly portable and tabletop CD players. To make things easier for you, we did a bit of extra research. So, before we get to our featured products, here’s our top picks for those!

We also have a separate review for boomboxes, many of which have CD players built right in.


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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Connectivity
Size/Weight
Audio Formats
Disk Capacity
Extras
Our Top Choice
Onkyo 6 Disc Compact Disc Player
For over 80 years, Onkyo has revolutionized the music sound system, bringing high-performance audio and home theater electronics to music lovers at relatively low costs.
High-quality, low-cost CD player with superior playback options, a high-precision clock that eliminates noise, and a flat chassis base that reduces vibration.
Some reports that it sometimes skips tracks.
Digital-analog converter
17 x 4 x 12 inches/15.9 lbs
MP3 CDs, CD-R/CD-RWs
Up to 6 discs
Remote control, headphone jack
Best Value
Yamaha 5 Disk CD Changer
Established in 1897, Yamaha Corporation in Japan is one of the world’s largest and foremost electronic companies.
Its built-in PlayXchanger changes up to 5 discs without interruption, it has a USB port for external connectivity, and high-performance DAC for clear sound production.
It’s not Bluetooth or Wi-Fi-compatible.
USB, iPod connectivity
17.1 x 4.6 x 16 inches/13.7 lbs
CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, WMA
Five-disc CD changer
Laser pickup floating mechanism
Bose Wave SoundTouch CD Player Music System
Bose Corporation has been in the electronics industry for decades. Its products are very trendy and in tune with the modern wireless age.
High-tech wireless compatibility. Great sound quality. Built-In FM/AM radio tuner. Has a large visual display and a free app that turns your phone into a remote control.
Signals on the radio tuner aren’t strong.
USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
14.6 x 5.6 x 8.7 inches/9.9 lbs
MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless
Single with track programming
(IR) Remote control
Marantz Home CD Player System
Established in the 1950’s by Saul Marantz, the Marantz brand has been consistent in broadening the sensory horizons of even the most demanding music lovers.
Versatile and clear sound output player with numerous playback options, HDAM – SA2 circuits technology for high-quality sound, and a full discrete headphone amplifier with gain control.
On the downside, it sometimes skips CDs.
Digital-analog converter, USB
17.3 x 4.1 x 13.5 inches/14.3 lbs
CD, CD-R/RW, WMA, MP3, AAC
Single with track programming
Headphone buffer
Teac CD-P650 Compact Disc Player
TEAC is a global player in the sound and music industry. Its recording tools are second to none and seen everywhere from the high-end audio pro in a studio to the novice at home..
It has a high-quality sound output, its CD drive is centrally mounted to reduce vibration and resonance, and it’s capable of recording MP3 from CD to a USB memory device.
It doesn’t have multiple CD loading options.
USB, iPod connectivity
17.1 x 3.3 x 11.3 inches/8 lbs
CD, CD-R/RW, WMA , MP3
Single with track programming
(IR) Remote control

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What Is the Best CD Player for the Money?

When shopping for a CD player, there are a few factors to consider. Check the Digital-to-Analog Converter, or DAC. High-quality DAC ensures accurate playback and minimizes jitters. Look at CD players that have large power transformers to generate the proper power for high-performance playback. You may also want to see if the player has a USB port, for playing music from external devices, wireless connectivity, and live streaming capacity.

Related: Can You Still Buy a VCR Player. Where Can I Find a VHS Player
Our Top Choice
Do you need a high-quality CD player that comes with a high-precision clock that reduces interference and produces fantastic sound? Then you’ll love the Onkyo CD Player. It offers these features and comes at an attractive low price. Need speakers too? Check out the Onkyo CS-265 Home Audio System CD Hi-Fi Mini Stereo with Bluetooth compatibility.

Onkyo Home CD Player System – 6 Disc CD Changer, 40-Track Programming, 6 Repeat Modes


Features

Established in 1946, Onkyo has revolutionized the music sound space, bringing high-performance audio and home theatre electronics to music lovers at relatively low costs. It’s been credited with quite a number of pioneer products like the first receiver with Surround EX, the first modular receiver, and the first THX-Certified 5.1-Chanel receiver. Having one of the best lines of sound systems and technology in the world, it is ranked way up the ladder with other well-known names in the electronics industry.

The Onkyo Compact Disc Player (Selling for $169.95 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a sturdily built CD player with 1.6mm-thick flat chassis base which helps reduce interfering vibrations, and a sleek aluminium front paneled finishing. It’s easy to use and set up, and is very affordable. Its functional features include:

  • Massive custom-built transformer supplying clean and stable power to the machine
  • Superior playback experience from decades of Onkyo audio technical know-how and high-quality components
  • A new high-precision clock that drastically reduces timing error and gives out clean audio signal free of interference
  • Onkyo original VLSC that reduces pulse noise
Best Value
The Yamaha 5-Disc Changer comes with a PlayXchanger which changes 5 discs from the tray without interrupting the currently playing disc, and a USB port. Need a small desktop or tabletop CD player with speakers? The Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System is a CD player and AM/ FM radio and has bluetooth connectivity.

Yamaha Home CD Player System – 5 Disk CD Changer, Front Panel USB Port


Features

Established in 1897, Yamaha Corporation in Japan is one of the world’s largest and foremost electronic companies. Its commitment to improving the lives of people all over the world is unparalleled and can be seen in the high-quality products and services it offers, showcasing superior technology, acoustics, craftsmanship, and design. Its wide range of products and services command huge respect among its counterparts in the industry and end-users, as it meets their needs. Its customer-oriented management, provision of excellent products and services, in-depth research and development, top-notch after-sales services, and positive growth through diversification are the bedrock of the corporation.

The Yamaha 5 Disc Changer (Selling for $369.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is sleekly designed to provide you with the best sound system possible. With its built-in PlayXchanger which changes 5 loaded CDs, you’re set to enjoy your music uninterrupted. It’s also compatible with MP3 and WMA file types. Its other features include:

  • High-performance DAC, laser pickup floating mechanism, sophisticated circuitry and layout, short signal paths, and intelligent digital servo, all working together to give a distinct, unrivalled, high-quality sound output
  • Fully opening disc tray for loading 5 CDs simultaneously
  • USB port in front panel which allows playback from external devices like iPod, memory sticks, and USB players
  • CD-R/RW disc playback compatibility
  • Numerous and convenient playback options for more flexibility
  • Rack ear attachment so you can screw neatly onto a rack or shelf
Do you want a CD player that makes it possible for you to experience an amazing room-filling sound with high-tech wireless compatibility? Then the Bose SoundTouch Music System is one critical component that you can’t afford to miss. Want to take your audio to the next level? Check out the Bose line of high performance indoor and outdoor speakers.

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV – Tabletop CD Player with AM/FM Tuner, Available in 2 Colors


Features

Bose Corporation has been in the electronics industry for decades. Its well-designed products are built with the highest level of scientific and technological research. Their aim is to discover novel concepts to create very trendy and modern products for the utmost delight and satisfaction of its customers. Its values center around integrity, excellence, innovation, passion, and respect and its products, workers, practices, and leadership are all expected to reflect them. Its sound systems are crafted by the best engineers, developers, and researchers from around the globe.

The Bose wave SoundTouch Music System (Selling for $599.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a high-end, high-tech sound system that lets you experience an amazing room-filling sound with the convenience of wireless accessories. This system has a very sleek design and allows you to stream millions of songs from music services online, or from smartphones, tablets, or computers. Its other features include:

  • An FM/AM radio tuner so you have more options of listening to whatever you like
  • Wireless compatibility enables you to connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices
  • Waveguide speaker technology that delivers deep, high-performance sound
  • Free downloadable app that turns your phone into a remote control
  • Elegant and easy to set up with a slim IR remote control that lets you operate all options from anywhere in the room
  • Auxiliary input to connect to an alternative audio source like an MP3 or DVD player
  • Large visual display with adjustable brightness and nighttime dimming
The Marantz Home CD Player is designed to give you the best performance at an affordable price with its excellent sound quality and music fidelity. Want a REALLY high end audio system and CD player? Take a look at the Marantz SA10S1 SA-10 Super Audio CD Player.

Marantz CD6006 Home CD Player System – Premium Audio Sound, Plays Music Through CD Player and iDevices


Features

For over 60 years, Marantz has been synonymous with quality in home entertainment. Driven by the need to stand out from the crowd, it was established by Saul Marantz to broaden the sensory horizons of even the meanest music aficionados. Its technical excellence means creation of components with the capacity to unlock the very essence of music embedded in the scale, timbre, pitch, and dynamics of the recording, thereby giving its consumers the best, purest, and most realistic music in the home. Its vast range of products is designed to complement the lifestyle of the listener.

The Marantz Home CD Player (Selling for $499.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is beautifully designed for the music lover who’s looking for the best performance at a reasonable price. It’s built with rigid feet that eliminate unwanted vibrations and has an IR remote control that also controls the M6006 amp. Following are some of its other functional features:

  • Excellent sound quality and music fidelity
  • Marantz proprietary HDAM – SA2 circuits technology for high-quality sound
  • Full discrete headphone amplifier with HDAM-SA2 and gain control
  • Front USB port certified for iPhone/iPod and other external devices
  • CD, CD-R/RW playback-compatible
  • Numerous playback options including iDevice direct connectivity
Are you in the market for a CD player that can record MP3s to USB memory devices? Then the TEAC CD-P650 Compact Disc Player is a great choice. It has a centrally-mounted CD drive that eliminates vibrations. For a multiple CD changer from TEAC, the PD-D2610 is your best bet, having a 5-CD tray changer, music calendar, fluorescent display, and CD, CD-R/RW, and MP3 playback.

TEAC CD-P650 Home Audio CD Player with USB and iPod Digital Interface - Single Disc Player


Features

For the past 30 years, TEAC has been a global player in the sound and music industry. Its recording tools are second to none and are seen everywhere from the high-end audio pro in a studio to the novice at home. It has pioneered several products in the professional recording arena including the first ¼-inch 4-track cassette recorder, first 8-track reel-to-reel/mixer combo, and the first R-DAT recorder. Its products, while offering high quality and durability, are also as affordable as it gets. It is committed to promoting the use of conflict-free minerals in the manufacture of its products.

The TEAC CD-P650 Compact Disc Player (Selling for $129.95 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a remote-controlled machine that combines CD player, USB, and iPod playback options. It has gold-plated analog audio output jacks for reliable connections. Its other features include:

  • Centrally-mounted CD drive that balances the machine’s weight and minimizes vibrations and resonance when in use
  • Dot-matrix front panel display for clarity
  • Capacity to record MP3 from CD to USB memory device
  • High-quality sound output utilizing Burr Brown 1791ADBR, 24-bit/192kHz Sampling, Advanced Segment, Audio Stereo Digital-to-Analogue Converter

Best CD Player Buying Guide — Budget Home CD Player vs High Performance CD Player

 

Video: Are CD Players Still Relevant

Is there any reason to own a CD player? | PS Audio

 

CD players are used for several purposes, including playing audio CDs, recording, and storing files. The upsurge in acceptance of advanced technology has introduced devices like Mp3 players and iPods, which has caused a dwindle in the sales and purchase of CD players. However, you will not allow your amazing collection of CDs go to waste, and that’s why you need to buy a good CD player.

Let us start by looking at the types of CD players in the market based on configuration:

Single-disc players:

      Play one CD at a time. They generally get high ratings for good sound quality, due to the power of focus.



CD changers:

      Hold multiple discs at a time and play them interchangeably, allowing you to enjoy your music for a stretch of time without interruption. They can even shuffle the music from any of the discs in the player. They typically cost less than most single-disc players, and they don't usually give the same sound quality. They are larger, and their added functional parts make them prone to break more easily.



Universal players:

      All-in-one machines that play different types of discs, such as CD-R, DVD, CD, and Blu-Ray, and advanced discs such as SACD. In fact, they play music in most file formats. They cost much more than the basic player, but you are paying for good sound and visual quality.



Standard DVD or Blu-Ray players:

    These are players made to play DVDs or Blu-Ray discs, but they can also play CDs.

Other types based on functionality are:

Portable CD players:

      These are the smallest CD players you will find. They are just a little bigger than the CD itself, and usually have headphones with which you listen to the music. They are usually powered with AA batteries or AAA batteries.



Boom box:

      These are like small stereos. They are powered either by electricity or with batteries. They come as CD players between two speakers.



Car CD players:

      There is hardly any car today that does not have a CD player on its dashboard. It is not a complicated device; you just slide in your CD in a slot and the music fills the air. It is powered by the car battery.



Computer disc drive:

    Desktop computers and laptops come furnished with a disk drive that plays CDs. A CD is placed on the disc tray and loaded, and it plays the music either through your monitor speakers or through the CPU speakers. These players also have the ability to convert the analog file of the music to a digital file on the system.

We trust that you now have a better understanding of the functions and types of CD players, and that you are already thinking of what your CD player should be able to do. If you want to gather more knowledge about the features of your CD player and what to look for, come along with us as we point out the required features of a good CD player.

Price

For a CD player, it is very likely that the higher the price, the higher the quality and value you will get from it. However, there are other factors, such as type and features or accessories, that can affect the price of your CD player. For instance, a universal player that plays both audio and video will cost more than a single player with better audio quality, because you are paying for two functions. The price does not actually determine the audio quality.

During research, we saw CD players that cost as high as $25,000, but we think that's a very expensive buy. Most reviews on these products showed they didn’t produce audio quality that was commensurate with the price. We decided that between the very cheap CD layers and the very expensive ones, there should be affordable players with most of the features of the most expensive players. That is why we came up with five products that are feature-laden and budget-friendly. You’ll get high-quality CD players between $150 and $600, and that’s the range we’ve focused on in this review.

Features

What's the point of a CD player if it cannot produce good sound? You could call up any five-year-old to sing you a song instead, right? Sound quality should be a top feature to look for when purchasing a CD player. However, there are other features that aid the functionality of your CD player. For instance, you need a CD player with controls that are easy to use, and can handle shuffling, repeats of individual tracks or full albums, or playing the disc straight through. Your CD player should be built to last. A warranty is a good backing for it.

Choosing the best CD player poses a problem to a lot of music lovers, because they are faced with deciding on options that will meet all their music needs. You have to decide what configuration you need, whether multi-player or single CD player. As you already know, the different types of CD players have different features. The list below will help you see the features that are peculiar to some CD players:

  • Anti-skipping – Important in portable CD players
  • Bass boost – For lovers of high-energy music, this will be an important factor
  • Additional features – Radio with presets, recording options, programmability
  • Ability to read common disc files – CD-R/RW, Mp3 CDs, SACD, HDCD, etc.
  • Easy-to-use controls – Remote controls and buttons on the player
  • Power supply – Electricity or batteries
  • Portability – The size determines the functions
  • Digital to Analog converter – Ability to convert digital signal to analog playback
  • Disc transport – Vibration-free disc transport gives out better audio quality
  • Warranty: Details of the warranty
Construction and Design

Imagine that you are listening to a very beautiful selection of songs on your portable CD player, and it just keeps skipping as you move! When choosing a portable CD player, look for one with anti-skipping features. It should have an anti-shock technology to support the laser that reads the music. This helps it to not miss a beat, even while you are in motion. A memory buffer is also of importance because it reads the music ahead of time. It does not play straight from the CD, but from memory.

Some CD players come with additional features that give them an advantage over other players. Some have radio with presets, so that when you want a change, you just switch and listen to the radio. Some others have recording options so you can record something playing on the radio. If you love a bit of randomness in your life, you may want to change how your music plays. You may want to arrange the songs in a disc in another sequence so that it doesn’t follow the original sequence, maybe in the order of your favorites, and some CD players allow you do that. You can set them to repeat or shuffle.

Consider your CD player's ease of use. You don't want to have to check the owner’s manual anytime you want to operate the player. A remote control can be a vital accessory. You can just sit back and do your selection without having to move close to the player. The buttons on the body of the player should be easy to use too.

Of course, it is obvious that a portable CD player should be “portable.” If your player will be moved around, either in the house or elsewhere, go for a player that can be moved easily.

Your disc transport is what picks your CD and plays it: the disc drive. Drives that minimize vibration are usually sturdier and produce purer audio signals.

A trusted CD player should have a warranty backing it. This shows that the manufacturers trust their products and are ready to put this trust to test. Most times, products with warranty are better trusted than products without warranty.

Performance and Ease of Use

Video: How to Connect a CD player to a Soundbar

Watch us hook-up a CD player to a Soundbar. | Courtesy of All About Home Electronics.com

 

Listening to rock music without bass is one of the most annoying things that can happen with a CD player. If you are a high-energy song lover, it is advisable to get a CD player with good bass boost.

Your CD player should be able to read common disc formats: CD, CD-R/RW and MP3 CDs. If your player cannot play these formats, it is not a good player. There are other formats that advanced CD players read, such as SACD and HDCD. If you have music in these formats, you may need to purchase a more advanced CD player. Most CD players have USB ports that let them access music from MP3 players and other USB-compatible devices.

The basic thing a CD player does is to convert digital files in CDs to analog files that play in our ears. Some high-end CD players convert digital signals at higher sampling rates; this is known as “upsampling.” This means that the song is converted and played at a higher frequency than it comes in on. Most of these conversions are done with the Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), which brings out every tiny detail from the disc, and minimizes sound degrading effects like jitters to produce a cleaner and more vibrant sound. Some players come with single DACs, while others come with double DACs. Obviously, the double DACs will produce cleaner sounds. The good news is that you can purchase a DAC independently and connect it to your CD player.

Do you know that the way your CD player converts power can affect the playback? Clean power is essential for great sound quality. That is why the best CD players use toroidal power transformers for generating the power needed for great playback. Your power source will also add to the overall cost of the CD player, so consider the power source that best suits you and your music needs.


Get the Best CD Player of 2020!

Now that you have taken the time to read our buying guide, we feel confident that you now know what makes for a great CD player. Join us now as we delve into a detailed review of each of the five CD players we picked out for you.

Our Top Choice
Onkyo 6 Disc Compact Disc Player
Best Value
Yamaha 5 Disk CD Changer
Bose Wave SoundTouch CD Player Music System
Marantz Home CD Player System
Teac CD-P650 Compact Disc Player

CD Player FAQs

What is the best CD player?
The best CD player is one that can play your music, producing the highest quality of sound. That includes the base boost feature, which gives energy to your music. Even so, the CD player should be straightforward to use. It should have features such as the ability to repeat tracks or entire albums when you need that from them. Another essential feature of a CD player is durability. It should be strongly built and capable of lasting for a long time. Check out our buying guide for more information.
Who makes the best CD player?
Several manufacturers make the best CD players. An example of such a manufacturer is TEAC, which makes the R-DAT series of music players. Other are Marantz, Bose Wave, Yamaha, Onkyo, and so on. Each one of these manufacturers has different strains of CD players with features. Thus, every music lover can find a device that meets their precise needs.
What formats play best on the standard CD player?
A standard CD player can play different formats of music, including MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, and WMA. That removes any limits as to the type of audio formats you can play on a CD player. And it is a good thing for all music lovers.