Who needs playlists? If you have a huge collection of CDs and want to listen to them on the road, the best CD player 2021 is an excellent alternative to MP3 players. Nowadays, streaming music has virtually surpassed physical media in terms of popularity. However, there is still a certain thrill in loading up a CD and listening to high-quality audio. Just like the best buy radio CD player, you can now enjoy the music with its sound quality. When you choose a specific album from your collection, you put more effort into it than if you were just listening to a playlist on your preferred streaming service.
The majority of CD players are compact clamshell boxes with a simple yet effective design approach. Even the smallest and least feature-rich portable CD players have added features like a radio receiver or free accessories like headphones.
Many of us still desire a high-resolution CD player in our entertainment center. There are a lot of them being made right now. We’ve listed the best budget CD player through their paces to help you choose the one that’s right for you.
Marantz CD6007 – Overall Best CD Player
- Class-leading insight
- More dramatic presentation
- Excellent build and finish
This Marantz model has been around for a long time and continues to be the best option at this pricing. Despite the usual high build quality, it’s the insides of Marantz’s CD players where the improvements are most noticeable.
It features a quieter power supply and upgraded HDAM amplifier modules, as well as a smattering of higher-quality internal components. However, the most notable of which is the switch to an AKM 4490 DAC chip. The CD6007 can process high-resolution files through USB-A on the front socket, with PCM music up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD128 supported.
What does it all mean? This enhances the quality of your music. It has a lot of energy and rhythm. It is also precise, clear, and delivers excellent dynamics over the entire frequency range. There are even a few digital filters to modify the sound to your preferences. Stereo imaging is sharp and spacious, and there are even a few digital filters to tweak the sound to your tastes.
The CD6007 is unquestionably the best option for first-time consumers at this price point.
Best CD Player: Features
The AKM 4490 DAC chip is the big news here, allowing the CD6007 to process high-resolution files. Since there are no additional digital inputs, you’ll have to use the front panel USB Type-A connector to get the files into the player. You may listen to high-resolution PCM and DSD128 music. The older version unit could only handle 48kHz files and not DSD.
A quieter power supply and enhanced HDAM amplifier modules, helped by a sprinkling of higher-quality internal components, are among the other engineering differences between the two generations of players. When not in use, the headphone circuit now turns off. This is to help reduce the amount of power consumed from the supply. Also, it helps remove the possibility of additional noise.
The build quality is outstanding. It has a robust feel to it and performs with a slickness that befits a much greater price tag. Our sample’s disc mechanism is quiet and responsive, and all of the controls function smoothly. There isn’t a CD player on the market that feels as refined in usage as this one. The remote is a whole system design that looks and functions very the same as before, with the exception of a few buttons that perform slightly different functions. It’s a good handset, easy to use, and comfortable to hold.
Apart from the USB port on the front panel, there are single-ended RCAs for analog output, as well as optical and coax for digital. When the digital outputs aren’t in use, Marantz allows you to switch them off. This is worthwhile because it adds a bit of clarity to the sound, but you’ll need a system that’s quite transparent to notice it. The same is true when it comes to turning off the display.
Marantz now provides two digital filter options. Filter 1 has a longer roll-off and is said to provide a more detailed stereo image, whilst Filter 2 has a sharper roll-off and is intended to provide a more direct and brighter presentation.
We listen to a CD that provides a more vivid and dramatic rendering of the song. The scale of sound is noticeably larger, and notes are delineated with a little precision, particularly at low frequencies. This new machine performs better in terms of crispness and openness.
The new Marantz is able to generate a more broad and focused sound stage, which benefits stereo imaging. When the song becomes more demanding, instruments become simpler to detect and stay locked in position.
This is true when we use the USB input to play a range of music files. Both players perform admirably well in this situation, albeit using the front panel display to navigate the music is a bit clumsy. Of course, the old CD6006 UK couldn’t play hi-res files, whereas the new one can handle hi-res PCM and DSD with ease.
We tested the headphone output and can confidently say that it is excellent.
Cyrus CD i – Best CD Player for Sound Quality
- Dynamic expression
- Rhythmic ability
- Entertaining listen
Cyrus hasn’t made a mistake with its CD players. It’s safe to say that its track record is exceptional. It’s no surprise, then, that the Cyrus CD I is yet another shining illustration of the company’s commitment to quality.
The long, narrow aluminum chassis isn’t exactly eye-catching, but beneath it is one of the best-sounding CD players we’ve heard for the money. The fuss-free design, easy-to-read display, and high-quality remote appeal to us. When loading a disc, the slot-loading CD transport is a little noisy, but it’s as quiet as you’d like during playing.
The sound quality is actually exceptional for the money, with plenty of detail and rhythmic precision. With articulation and vigor, the pace and momentum are well-maintained. You’ll have to pay a lot more money to have a better sound.
Best CD Player: Features
This implies a faster disc loader, a more stable clock, and the most recent version of its Servo Evolution disc reading engine, which focuses on reading data correctly the first time rather than relying on error correction to fill in the gaps.
However, the new transport is a touch noisy when loading a disc, but it’s as quiet as you’d like throughout playing. Two pairs of analog outputs, as well as typical digital optical and coaxial outputs, are located at the back of the system.
Upgrades can also be made by connecting to Cyrus’ PSX-R external power supply, which provides inherently greater power, clarity, and detail. However, we’re confident you’ll be content with the CDi on its own for a long time.
Build and design
We haven’t heard of a Cyrus Classic Series player with quite this quality of sound before. However, we are familiar with the blueprint design of its machines.
Critics like its strong build, fuss-free design, and straightforward, easy-to-read black-on-green display – albeit the latter appears to be out of date in today’s market and could use a rethink. We regarded the cheap-looking plastic remote on previous SE models to be a major flaw, so we’re glad the new one is more in line with competitor players’ handsets, with a plush and well-organized set of backlit buttons.
This was the best-sounding CD player it had ever had. However, the fantastic flagship CDi-XR, which sits above the CDi, has since been released. Despite this, the CDi sets the standard at a lower, but still significant, price. We are convinced of the magnitude of Cyrus’ performance here.
Cyrus’ dynamic mobility and neutral balance captivated us in a way that is uncommon at this pricing. The sound is substantially heavier than any of the company’s prior models, despite being rapid and fluid.
Quad Artera Play+ – Best CD Player for Impressive Features
- Insightful and fluid sound
- Agile and articulate presentation
- Impressive range of features
- Excellent build and finish
To refer to Quad’s Artera Play+ as a CD player is an understatement of its full capabilities. Consider this not only a disc player but also a hub for your system. This is a component with a lot of versatility, as it has analog, digital, and aptX Bluetooth inputs. To complete the system, simply add a power amplifier and speakers.
It’s a classy and well-made device with a smart look. Inside is the ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC, which is well recognized. This chip enables the machine to handle virtually any file format, ranging from 32-bit/384kHz PCM to DSD 256. The sound is precise and energetic, but it comes across as natural and refined.
If all you want is a CD player, you’d be better off going with something further up the list that puts all its eggs in the audio basket. However, if you need versatility and want to broadcast your services through Bluetooth as well, then why not? You’ll find nothing else around that comes close.
Best CD Player: Features
Quad has taken advantage of the situation to boost his performance. The post-DAC analog filter circuit has been improved, including the use of better op-amps.
A bigger toroidal transformer and independent low noise power feed to musically essential areas of the circuitry. These have also been added to the Play+’s power supply to increase sound quality and reduce undesired interaction.
The analog circuitry between the DAC and the balanced XLR output has also been tweaked for the same reasons.
With two pairs of RCA analog inputs, two optical, two coax, and a USB port, connectivity is good. There’s aptX Bluetooth, as well as single-ended and balanced analog outputs.
The only difference between the Play and the Play+ is the addition of a 6.3mm headphone output on the front lower lip and a small Bluetooth aerial.
It’s still a beautifully constructed item that feels solid and elegant. While the 32 by 32cm footprint evokes memories of old Quad classics, this is a cutting-edge unit that comes in black or silver finishes. The glass top panel is one of our favorites. It offers a level of refinement that most competitors lack.
The front panel has rudimentary controls, but the necessities are present, and the remote handset is comfortable to grip and operate.
The Artera Play+ appears to be a winner. It appeared to be just as promising, and it sounded sophisticated and precise, but it lacked excitement.
It’s a precise and consistent performer who performs music in a natural and elegant manner. The way this new model varies from the original is in how well it communicates the music’s vitality and glitter.
Despite this, the Quad manages to provide a great deal of entertainment. It’s nuanced and perceptive, and it manages to maintain track of the song’s many musical threads without seeming befuddled. Most significantly, it’s enjoyable to listen to, which the original lacked.
This Quad has a good sense of scale and may produce strong dynamic swings. Every part of the sound is properly proportioned, giving it a sense of balance. There’s a lot of finesse and a lack of sharp edges that appeals to me, as well as the ability to paint instrumental soundscapes in a subtle yet effective way.
Bluetooth, on the other hand, performs admirably. Because it all sounds so pleasant and intriguing, there’s the expected great quality. There’s all the neat presentation we’ve come to expect from a Quad product. However, this time it’s accompanied by a level of emotion and involvement that we haven’t seen before.
Musical Fidelity M2sCD – Best CD Player for Agile and Refined Sounding
- Clear, elegant vocals
- Layered and expansive soundscape
- Refined and musical across frequencies
The M2sCD, which sits between the M3 and M6 models, is the company’s most cheap CD player. Although the player costs a little bit pricey, several stores are now selling it for cheaper, putting it in a good position to compete with the Marantz on one hand and the Cyrus CDi and Quad on the other.
There are no features that are complicated. It has a simple, uncomplicated architecture with RCA and coax outputs and no digital inputs to consider. It’s just a player with a built-in 24-bit Delta-Sigma dual differential DAC.
Conversely, your money supports a sophisticated and entertaining musical performance. It’s a wonderful prospect for those who prefer a smooth, musical, elegant, and highly listenable sound — easily outperforming less expensive versions in terms of both width and clarity.
Best CD Player: Features
Along with its more hi-tech digital stream noise filter, the M2sCD has a mains choke filter. Whereas the former is probably less fashionable, this Musical Fidelity has been using it for some time to help clean up the power supply and improve sound quality.
There’s a 24-bit Delta-Sigma dual differential DAC onboard, as well as coaxial and optical digital outs and analog RCA inputs. Additionally, there are no digital inputs: this is a stylish CD player with an inbuilt DAC.
Musical Fidelity has gone for a simple, uncomplicated design, with only a little silver M2sCD branding plate as a cosmetic flourish. It reminds us of the opening mechanism of a nice black briefcase, albeit in brushed aluminum rather than leather when combined with the player’s proportions.
Six little silver circular control buttons are situated below the digital screen in a line. A centrally located IR receiver divides this row. It’s smack in the middle of things, so it gets in the way a little, but the buttons are accurate and enjoyable to press.
Although the panel is a vivid blue, the viewing angles may be improved. The magnolia digital track information text fades away into the abyss unless you’re virtually precisely in front of it. It may be turned off completely, according to Musical Fidelity, which will also assist reduce noise.
When compared to players like the Marantz CD6006 UK, this is a more balanced performance. All of the music is played as it should be heard: rhythmic, clear across all frequencies, and musical, with each melodic strand and vocal lick properly held in check while still being given room to riff. The whole effect is spectacular.
The M2sCD is a sophisticated and enjoyable listen. It’s a wonderful prospect for those who prefer a smooth, musical, elegant, and highly listenable sound. This is easily outperforming less expensive versions in terms of both width and clarity.
The player is carefully located between excellent budget performers and more premium options. There isn’t much competition at this pricing point, which makes it a good option if your budget allows it.
Cyrus CDi-XR – Best CD Player for Performance
- Excellent clarity and detail resolution
- Powerful and articulate lows
The arrival of the CDi-XR had already dominated this list and its latest disc-spinner just adds to the brand’s success in this category over the years. In the great scheme of Cyrus products, the XR version is superior to the CDI. The half-width enclosure gives it a similar appearance, but the LCD display is new, and it also has new control buttons.
There’s a second-generation 32-bit QXR DAC platform under the hood, as well as a new power supply arrangement and other adjustments aimed at improving sonic performance. Two pairs of RCA stereo analog outputs, coax and optical digital outputs, and MC-Bus connections allow an all-Cyrus system to synchronize things like power on/off are all included in the connectivity. A plug for Cyrus’ latest outboard power supply unit can also be found.
This CDi-XR excels in terms of detail, dynamics, and powerful bass. The sound has a wonderful level of clarity, and it exposes low-level information in a way that competitors can’t duplicate. This has a lot of rhythmic drive and can easily transmit the music’s energy and movement. It is without a doubt the class leader at its pricing point, in our opinion.
The CDi-XR appears to be a little too familiar for a supposedly all-new device, owing to the fact that it is packaged in the same half-width shell that the company has used for decades. There’s nothing wrong with the half-width enclosure. It provides a stable, low-resonance basis for the electronics and gives Cyrus’ goods a distinct look that sets them apart from the competitors.
This is the most recent version of Cyrus’ digital-to-analog circuitry, which is said to provide considerable technical and sound improvements over the previous version. Engineers at the company have also worked hard to improve the power supply system, making the feed stiffer and quieter.
These new touch controls appear to be more intelligent than the older player’s more traditional press buttons. However, even after a few days of acclimatization, we find them to be erratic in responsiveness. Most owners will choose the full-featured remote control instead, and everything will work fine.
This power source is said to be significantly more advanced and capable than the others, with the ability to power up to 256 distinct circuits at varying power levels. We didn’t have one on hand for this test, but previous experience with Cyrus’s outboard power supply shows that this is likely to be a smart choice when the upgrade itch strikes.
To have any chance of shining, a source at this level requires a talented system. The normal CDi has also been warmed up and is ready for comparison. It’s also impossible to deny that the CDi-XR is the superior product. The sound is even better in every manner than the previous disc spinner, with more detail, stronger dynamics, and significantly more powerful bass performance.
It paints low-level information with higher confidence and portrays sounds with greater precision. The sound has a lot more punch, especially at low frequencies, where the CDi-XR has a lot more authority and weight. Despite the increase in low-frequency heaviness, the bass remains as taut and nimble as it should be.
The CDi-XR also handles the piece’s larger-scale dynamic shifts admirably, delivering crescendos with the energy they deserve. There’s a lot of polish here, and there’s no sense that the player is having trouble when things get hectic. All in all, the CDi-XR delivers an outstanding performance that places it in the front row of CD-playing sound quality at this price point.
Marantz CD6006 UK Edition – Best CD Player for an Excellent Player
- Detail, dynamics, and clarity
- Surefooted rhythmic drive
- Fine build and finish
The Marantz CD6006 UK Edition, or at least it did until the CD6007 arrived, dominates the entry-level end of the market. The production is demo-like, with a wealth of detail as well as a tight, strong punch. Its robust design, accurate controls, and a high-quality finish make this CD player seem. Lastly, the sound is considerably more expensive than it is.
The UK Edition is a revised version of the CD6006 designed specifically for this country, and it replaces the original in the UK. A comparable upgrade is available for the companion PM6006 amplifier from Marantz.
It’s not for nothing that it’s won several What Hi-Fi Awards. To summarize, we believe this is a fantastic player with the added benefit of a USB port for connecting Apple goods and USB memory devices. In order to gain a significant improvement in sonic performance, we recommend upgrading to Cyrus’ CDi or Naim’s CD5si.
Best CD Player: Features
The feature set is roughly in line with what we’d expect from a player of this caliber. Along with the normal RCA analog input, there are optical and coax digital outputs. You’ll notice a crisp display and a straightforward button structure. A USB port is also included, allowing Apple goods and USB memory devices to be connected. MP3, WMA, WAV, and AAC files are all supported.
The company’s strong reputation is built in part on its ability to fine-tune its products by enhancing component quality. This player is no exception, with carefully selected ELNA capacitors employed in sound-critical areas. The goal was to improve dynamics and, in particular, sound staging.
They have a depth of expertise and experience in the field that is difficult to match, let alone surpass.
The UK Edition is a customized version of the CD6006 that takes the place of the original in the UK. A PM6006 UK Edition amplifier is also available, as well as a basic PM6006.
Those who are familiar with the standard CD6006 may question if anything has changed with this player. If you remove the UK Edition badge from the new one, they appear to be identical.
That’s not a terrible thing; we’ve long admired the player’s sturdy build and deft execution. The controls are precise, and the transportation is admirably quiet. There are machines that cost hundreds of dollars more than this one that doesn’t feel as good to use.
It doesn’t take long for us to realize they’ve done an excellent job once we start listening. The new player produces a sound that is sharper, clearer, and more strong than the original.
For serious listening, turn off the digital output and display, just like the normal version. In this manner, the player sounds cleaner and more exact. It has a little more brightness at the top end, which adds a little more bite. However, it is not enough to make bad or aggressive recordings tire you down.
Technics SL-G700 – Best CD Player for a High-Quality Digital Source
- Excellent sound with disc and streaming
- Impressive connectivity
- Lovely build and finish
This is a player for the twenty-first century, with CDs, SACDs, Bluetooth, and music streamed via a network. It’s Chromecast and AirPlay compatible for convenient connectivity, and MQA compatibility ensures high-quality wireless streaming.
You can’t argue with it from an ergonomic standpoint. Even though it’s a little squashed up to one side for aesthetics, the precision controls and silky smooth disc drawer seem top grade. Similarly, the software for controlling the streaming isn’t the finest we’ve seen, but it gets the job done.
Luckily, whether playing from a CD or over the air, the functioning is flawless, and the sound is outstanding. It’s sophisticated enough to convey the full emotional effect of voices and strings, while yet providing enough bottom weight to keep your tunes feeling large.
The Technics SL-G700 is a good alternative if you’re looking for a high-quality digital source that covers all bases.
Best CD Player: Features
It’s not as easy as it could be to get things up and running. The SL-G700 must first be set up on your network using the Google Home app. After that, you’ll need to go to the official Technics Audio Centre streaming app to manage your streaming.
It’s a good piece of software. However, it doesn’t control all of the operations. If you wish to use this machine’s disc-playing features, you’ll need to use the classic remote handset that came with it. Switching between the app and the physical handset can be inconvenient if you switch sources frequently.
It doesn’t help that the player isn’t the most responsive out there. This will need a few seconds to consider things before acting on them, especially when moving between streaming chores. Your SL-G700 simply does not have the same level of polish as the top streamers on the market. The Technics’ saving grace is that it does a lot more than they do.
It has the appearance of a simple disc player. We enjoy the subtle graphics, but the build is fantastic. This is a high-end product with a high-end feel to it. The Technics SL-G700 is a big machine, weighing more than 12kg. That substance is supported up by sturdy, well-damped casework and a level of polish that few competitors can match. The controls are well-oiled, however, the majority of the buttons on the right side look overly cluttered, with a strangely shaped display for company. Apart from the headphone, USB, and power buttons on the other side of that amazingly silky smooth CD drawer, this design leaves much of the front panel blank.
There are balanced and single-ended analog outputs on the back panel. Also, there’s a USB port, two wi-fi aerials, optical and coaxial digital connectors, and an ethernet port. Though wi-fi works fine in our test environment, we always advocate using a wired network wherever possible for superior long-term stability and durability.
We can certainly appreciate how well it performs in terms of music. However, you won’t get the same sense over Bluetooth. When utilizing this connection, the sound is a touch flat, but it’s still clear and informative.
The bass has a lot of weight and punch, but it’s also light and tuneful. Every instrument and sound in the Technics blend together smoothly to provide an interesting and thrilling presentation.
The player’s tone is well balanced, delivering adequate weight and warmth without compromising top-end bite. This is a sophisticated performer, but it never loses sight of the thrill of the music being performed. That’s a difficult balancing act that only a few people master. The sound is full-bodied, flowing, and organic, making us wish that the SACD format had made a bigger splash than it did.
Important Things to Look For in the Best CD Player
CD players have been here for a long time, and as we all know, technology moves at a breakneck pace. The Best CD Player has taken a backseat in their category due to the surge in popularity of mp3 players and iPods. We’ve written this shopping guide to help you choose a CD player that will work for you if you still have a large CD collection or simply understand and enjoy optimal audio quality. With a high-performing CD player, you can enjoy crisp, clear audio in your house or car, which, contrary to popular perception, is still quite relevant.
Specification tables for hi-fi equipment can soon become a tangle of numbers, abbreviations, lists, symbols, and terms. To make you feel easier, we’ve gathered the most common CD player features just for you. So you can figure out what is important and what to look for when you’re purchasing the best CD Player.
CD players frequently include a variety of peripherals, the most common of which are earbuds. These are useful if you don’t have a good set of headphones or if you forget your earphones at home when traveling and need to use the CD player. They are, however, almost never of a great grade. Perhaps more handy is the inclusion of an AUX cable, which allows the CD player to be connected to a car radio or other speaker system.
Best CD Player: Extra Features
Most CD players are capable of doing more than just playing CDs, and they frequently incorporate features that enhance your CD-playing experience. Anti-skip technology buffers audio and protects against listening disruptions caused by player movement, and an inbuilt FM radio will keep you engaged when your CD collection runs out.
Customers appear to have problems with their portable CD players right out of the box, presumably due to a quality control issue. Since it’s such a common problem, some manufacturers prominently advertise their DOA warranty coverage. When buying a CD player, it’s important to look for one with a decent guarantee.