We can all agree that streaming music is incredibly convenient. It has changed the way we access and discover music as well as the way we listen to it. Although streaming provided a gateway to an unimaginable catalog of music for anyone and everyone, there are still some facets that streaming music has yet to cover.
Take supporting your favorite musical artists for example. Unless you’re Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish or an artist with that type of fame, musicians don’t make much from streaming. One of the best ways to support your favorite musical artists is to go to shows, buy their merch and purchase their music instead of streaming it. The problem with the last part is most people don’t have CD players anymore. New computers (really any computer since the mid-2010s) rarely have disk drives, and thanks to Bluetooth, CD players are becoming rarer.
The other place where streaming leaves a void is recordings of live shows. Back in the days of Napster and Lime-Wire (until those services were shut down), people were able to share some incredible live and bootleg performances from their favorite bands and you could burn them onto CDs. Those incredible shows won’t be found on streaming services.
CD players, although retro in the technology world now, still have their place. If you are looking for a new CD player, you’ll want to consider a number of factors:
Portable vs Stationary
Are you looking for something to listen to inside of your house or do you want something portable like a Discman? The way you plan to use your CD player will shape your decision. Some CD players are super compact and are elegantly designed so you can place them on your table, play music and have the CD player blend in with your décor, but often need to be plugged into a wall outlet. On the other hand, some are meant to be carried around, either in your pocket or with a handle, and operate using battery power.
There are a handful of CD player options that also double as DVD players. In this case, you can connect them to your computer or your TV and enjoy a flick when you want to switch it up from playing music. Oftentimes, these CD players are more or less disc drives and few sport a built-in speaker.
Figuring out what you’re looking for, whether it’s the best CD player with speakers, the best vintage-style CD player, or one that can play music and movies, is key in deciding what CD player is right for you. Here are our recommendations to help you cover your music-playing needs.
1. Bose Wave Music System IV
The Bose Wave 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 WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity mean 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 those who are less tech-savvy.
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 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 prevent unwanted skipping during use. Ideal for users who aren’t listening with wireless earbuds.
Cons: Connectivity is limited to physical connections.
3. Magnavox MD6924
The handheld and portable design of the Magnavox CD player is ideal for taking it with you from room to room or outside for a pool or beach day. It’s battery-powered for when you’re outdoors, but also has an AC/DC adapter for nonstop indoor use. Although you can obviously use it to play CDs, it also has an aux port to connect other devices like a laptop or phone to play music. An FM/AM radio tuner is available as well to stay up on your local news or your favorite local radio shows.
Pros: It’s portable and can connect to multiple devices with a 3.5mm aux cable.
Cons: Replacing the six C-batteries becomes costly, but does provide portability.
4. Super Mini CD DVD Player
This CD player is incredibly compact and doubles as a DVD player for when you want to switch from music to entertainment. As a CD player, it sports a built-in speaker so you don’t need to worry about connecting to speakers when you’re out and about. The device is charged via USB, so no need to worry about replacing batteries, although the included remote does require them. As a DVD player, you can connect to a TV or computer via USB or AV cables. And only weighing 0.7 pounds, it is about as lightweight and portable as CD/DVD players come.
Pros: Doubles as a DVD player.
Cons: The speaker is great for listening to music when outside, but sounds better coming through an external speaker source.
5. Rioddas External CD Drive
When you want to listen to that live concert you have on CD, but your laptop or computer doesn’t have a CD drive, the Rioddas can come through in the clutch. Not only does it allow you to listen to CDs through your computer, but it also has the ability to write/burn CDs as well, if you feel like taking it back to 1999. And if you don’t feel like listening to music, but would rather watch a DVD, it can do that, too.
Pros: It can read and write CDs and doubles as a DVD player.
Cons: It needs to be connected to a device to listen to music since it doesn’t have built-in speakers.
6. 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 that 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.
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 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.
8. Marantz Professional PA System
When you need a more professional CD player setup, whether for your business, studio or even your home entertainment center, the Marantz CD fits the bill. It plays CDs as well as media on USB thumb drives and even has a 3.5mm input to play music from devices like smartphones and laptops. You can keep music playing on repeat, or you can use the remote to wirelessly control the music. And if you really want to get the party started, there are XLR outputs on the back for PA use.
Pros: Tons of features including USB thumb drive support and XLR outputs.
Cons: It is expensive for a CD player.