While streaming music through your smartphone or tablet may be the most popular and widespread way to enjoy music nowadays, we’ll always have a soft spot for ye olde CD players. In a time when the word “streaming” didn’t even exist in the average person’s lexicon, listening to music at will meant buying a compact disc, or CD, and physically inserting it into your CD player. While this process has largely been replaced by more advanced online options, CDs certainly haven’t been removed from the table altogether. They remain an integral part of the music industry, and not just for their retro appeal.
For anyone who still has a CD case crammed full of their favorite music or seeks out new artists via on-the-spot purchases, you’re going to want a machine to play those discs.
The best CD players for you will depend on a number of factors:
This is a big question. Are you looking for the best CD player or are you looking for the best portable CD player? If you want a CD player you can take with you on your daily commute or take outside when the weather’s looking fine, you should consider a Walkman-style device. If, however, you’re looking for an indoor stationary machine, this opens you up to grander CD players capable of higher quality sound and bigger noise, too.
This is another big question. Audiophiles want top sound quality and can tell the difference. This means searching out devices capable of delivering said level. These devices are usually found at the higher end of the budget scale. However, for those who think all music sounds the same, no matter whether it’s from a one-buck set of headphones or the finest speaker system, this should definitely be less of a concern.
This is especially important if you’re adding a CD player to your home decor. CD players are available in a range of styles, including all-in-one hi-fi-style options that have the speakers and amplifiers built into the unit. Alternatively, you can buy speakers as separate devices altogether. The latter allows for a more customizable setup and is more popular with users who are looking for an advanced audio setup around the home.
When you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, whether it’s the best CD player with speakers, the best vintage-style CD player or possibly, one of the best CD players of all time, check out the seven options below and find the right one for your music-playing needs.
1. Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
The Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV is a modern way to listen to CDs, FM/AM radio and online content. This attractive device comes in either espresso black or platinum silver and delivers room-filling sound, even though it’s a single, all-in-one unit. It, of course, can be connected to other speakers in the SoundTouch family for a more immersive or multi-room experience. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity means you don’t need wires running all over your home and also lets you connect your smartphone, tablet or computer to your device with the SoundTouch app. Finally, said app is easy to use even for less tech-savvy customers.
Pros: The Alexa compatibility lets you control your music with just the sound of your voice. Easy to connect with other devices and your home WiFi.
Cons: As a single unit and speaker, surround sound is limited without additional speakers.
2. MONODEAL Portable CD Player
For CD music on the go, you need the MONODEAL Portable CD Player in your life. It’s ideal for the gym, running, commuting or other on-the-go occasions and includes both skip-proof and shock-proof technology to prevent that user-unfriendly experience so many people will remember from the 90s. The features work as promised, although they aren’t 100% foolproof. The player includes a built-in rechargeable battery that offers up to 15 hours of playtime from a full, four-hour charge. You’ll also find a large LCD display that shows the track number and time during use. Furthermore, the standard headphone jack provides a range of listening opportunities using the headphones and aux cable, which are both included along with a handy carrying case. if you’re looking for the best CD players for working out, this is our top pick.
Pros: The skip-proof and shock-proof technology prevents unwanted skipping during use. Ideal for users who aren’t listening with wireless earbuds.
Cons: Connectivity is limited to physical connections.
3. Mansso Portable CD Player
The Mansso Portable CD Player is another compact CD player which can be used at home or on the go. The stylish yet minimalist design means it fits in your bag or car without taking up too much room, while the included desk stand and wall-mounting kit offer a range of options when it comes to home display. It’s also supplied with a remote control and boasts Bluetooth connectivity for further playback choices. The built-in speaker delivers impressive room-wide sound quality. Additionally, there’s an LED display on the front and a pull-cord on/off function for an all-around more user-friendly experience.
Pros: The range of mounting options makes this a versatile device for use at home and away.
Cons: A speaker this size will definitely have its limitations.
4. Denon DCD-600NE Compact CD Player
The Denon DCD-600NE Compact CD Player is the best CD player for audiophiles with a collection of albums gathering dust. It offers accurate CD playback you won’t find in many all-in-one options. This single unit CD player deck, which requires additional external amplifiers and speaker units, uses award-winning processing technology to deliver crisp, clear and immersive audio from old CDs without sacrificing any of the original sound. You’ll also find a comprehensive remote to keep you in control of your listening experience and a classy black exterior which allows this device to fit in almost any home or office environment.
Pros: The device is built to get the best sound quality out of your CDs.
Cons: At the very least, you will need to buy external speakers to hear the music, as these aren’t included.
5. Tascam CD Recorder/Player
Another option for music lovers looking for a top-of-the-line way to play their CDs is the Tascam CD-RW900MKII Professional Rackmount CD Recorder/Player. This impressive device boasts a range of enhanced features which make it capable of fulfilling even professional-standard needs. Inside, you’ll find a AK4528VM AD/DA chipset for finer AD/DA conversion, resulting in truly crystal clear sound. Additionally, it includes a tray-loading design which minimizes errors during writing and boasts independent trim controls for optimizing recordings.
Pros: The included brackets make it easy to add this professional-standard player to an existing stack.
Cons: The complexity and wide range of features make this a bad choice for users who want a straightforward CD player.
6. Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System
If you’re looking for a sleek system which includes everything you need to play CDs, looks great out on display and delivers high-quality sound, check out the Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System. This all-in-one device is made up of two speakers and a central unit which allows for some freedom when arranging your audio system. As well as the CD player, you’ll find an FM/AM radio, an auxiliary input and Bluetooth connectivity. Furthermore, the built-in USB port lets you charge devices as you listen, so you don’t need to worry about battery life.
Pros: The system is user friendly and looks great to boot.
Cons: The device’s relatively small size compromises its quality when playing at the highest levels.
7. Sony Portable Stereo Sound System
If you’re looking for portability and want something a bit more powerful than the average walkman or smartphone, it’s time to turn to the Sony Portable Bluetooth Digital Stereo Sound System. Like the best CD players, this impressive device packs a punch for its compact size and includes a built-in handle for carrying ease when you’re on the move. In terms of connectivity, the device includes Bluetooth audio streaming, a USB port, an aux socket and a headphone jack. You’ll also find an AM/FM tuner with 30 memory presets alongside an LCD display which makes it easier to stay in control of your tunes.
Pros: This portable device delivers up to 26 hours of loud and high-quality music. Tons of connection options, from retro to modern.
Cons: While more than capable, this device’s appearance is less well suited to stationary mounting in your home.