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Best CD players for 2021

How to choose the right compact disc player for your home system

In this article: We'll look at the features that make up a good CD player, and then I'll recommend a few that stand out from the crowd, to help you get started shopping:

  1. Best budget CD player — Cambridge Audio AXC35
  2. Best audiophile player — Denon Anniversary Edition DCD-A110
  3. Best transport-only player — McIntosh MCT500
  4. Best value for the money — Rotel CD14
  5. Best CD player shelf system — Denon D-M41
  6. Best CD player/streamer — Marantz SACD 30n

For a couple of decades, I bought music almost exclusively on compact discs. And I’m not about to throw those carefully curated favorites away just because I can stream the songs on my phone now. The discs offer superior sound quality, and a more immersive listening experience.

Many of us still want a high-quality CD player in our cabinet. And there are plenty being made. I’ll explain some of the key parts of a good player, then make some recommendations for specific use cases, so you can make an informed choice when you start shopping.

Key CD player parts

A CD player is a relatively simple machine. Let's examine the key parts of a player so we know what to look for when comparing two models.

Digital-to-analog converter (DAC)

Your speakers can only play an analog signal, so somewhere along the line, the digital information on a compact disc must be converted. Most CD players have a good DAC built in, but audiophiles often prefer to take the pure digital output of the CD player and use a more sophisticated outboard DAC, which we'll talk about more in the next section.

DAC Illo

A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) turns digital information into analog sound your speakers can play.


A CD transport loads and spins your CD, and uses a laser to read the information on the disc. Some CD players are transport-only — there's no DAC built in. An outboard DAC can read digital information with extreme accuracy, which results in a more spacious sound with better imaging.


A CD player's transport is the tray you put the CD into and the mechanism that spins it and reads the information on the disc.


Some players will offer one set of RCA connections that passes the output of the built-in DAC, plus a digital coaxial or optical output if you want to use an external DAC. High-end players will also offer balanced XLR outputs for connecting to audiophile gear.

Back view

This CD player has plenty of digital outputs, plus balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.


Vibration is the enemy of great sound, so pay attention to the way a player's chassis build quality is described. There are a number of ways to reinforce a player's casing, and CD player manufacturers love to talk about the engineering that goes into creating a solid foundation for your music.

Power supply

A solid power supply is important for any electronic component. Rugged toroidal transformers are valued in the electronics industry for providing high-current, low-noise power. But there are some excellent high-end variants like McIntosh's "linear power supply with special R-Core power transformer," too.

Toroidal transformer

A look at the powerful, efficient toroidal transformer power supply inside a Cambridge Audio CD player.

Media types

Any player can handle mass-produced standard CDs. If you have home-recorded CDs filled with WAV, FLAC, or similar files, it's worth checking to make sure you're buying a player that's compatible. Same goes for SACDs (Super Audio CDs), which *can* be played on a regular CD player, but require an SACD-compatible player to bring out the additional channels of high-res information they're known for.

A note on CD changers

As of May 2021, global supply-chain disruptions have severely impacted the availability of CD changers, to the point where we have none currently in stock. We're expecting more from our friends at Integra and Onkyo soon, but in the meantime we couldn't just... pretend CD changers don't exist. We’ll update this article after our next shipment arrives. Thanks for your patience!

Our best CD player picks

If there were just one "best" CD player, that's all we'd sell. I think it's more useful and accurate to pick the best player for a specific use case or budget. There are plenty of great players out there, but I'll explain what criteria I used to make each of the following picks so you can see if they make sense for your situation.

Cambridge Audio AXC35 CD player with AXA35 amplifier

Best budget CD player — Cambridge Audio AXC35

There are a number of strong contenders that cost under $400, but my pick is the Cambridge Audio AXC35. I trust Cambridge to make a high-quality product at any price point.

The AXC35 can play your CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs. And the built-in high-performance Wolfson digital to analog converter is a real difference-maker at this price point. The 2-year warranty gives me a little added peace of mind, too.

denon anniversary addition receiver

Best audiophile player — Denon Anniversary Edition DCD-A110

I’m limiting this category to players with SACD (Super Audio CD) capability. The SACD format offers more audio channels (e.g. surround sound), a higher bit rate, and longer playing time than conventional CDs. There are some truly excellent players in this category, but I chose Denon's Anniversary Edition DCD-A110.

The player is built around an impressive 32-bit/384 kHz DAC that features four separate Burr Brown chips working together to reveal an immersive soundstage. Denon's patented drive mechanism makes sure each disc loads quickly and spins precisely. The player has a solid, vibration-resistant chassis that reduces noise.

Pure Direct mode switches off the display and digital output to ensure clean audio playback, and the Ultra AL32 Processing algorithm smooths out digital audio signals for a more accurate and detailed listening experience.

Plus, the anniversary edition underwent a rigorous re-tuning process intended to enhance musical fidelity. And the whole thing is backed by an impressive 5-year warranty.


Best transport-only player — McIntosh MCT500

Most CD players have very good built-in DACs, but some listeners prefer the precise control they can achieve with an outboard component hi-fi DAC. In this case, a transport-only CD player’s job is just to spin the disc accurately and silently.

The McIntosh MCT500 features a high-precision disc mechanism with sturdy die-cast aluminum disc tray. Audio data on the disc is read at twice the normal speed for better error correction and tracking. It can read just about any type of disc you have, including SACDs, hybrid SACDs, audio CDs, CD-Rs & CD-RWs, plus MP3 and WMA CDs. And it offers balanced, unbalanced, and proprietary McIntosh connections.

Cambridge Audio AXC35 CD player with AXA35 amplifier

Best value for the money — Rotel CD14

For me, a value pick is not necessarily the cheapest option — that's the budget pick above — it's the one that best balances impressive performance with a reasonable price point. And for me, that's the Rotel CD14. Rotel won't compromise great sound quality by choosing cheap parts, but they also won't inflate the cost with unnecessary flourishes. That's an ideal value-conscious design philosophy.

There's a rugged, efficient power supply inside that delivers ripple-free voltage and current to the player's digital and analog circuits. And a high-performance, CD-specific Wolfson 24-bit/192kHz DAC lets your discs be heard as the artists and sound engineers intended. As a bonus, I really like the sleek and simple front panel.

Cambridge Audio AXC35 CD player with AXA35 amplifier

Best CD player shelf system — Denon D-M41

You may have limited space, or you may simply like the convenience of having your entire system ready to go straight out of the box. The Denon D-M41 can play CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, plus MP3 and WMA CDs. It has an AM/FM tuner, and Bluetooth built-in so you can stream from your favorite music service. It can even serve as your alarm clock.

A pair of nice Denon bookshelf speakers come with it, and there's a subwoofer output on the back if you want to add more bass. You can connect a compatible TV to the optical input on the back panel and improve movie and TV time, too. It's basically an all-in-one sound system for a bedroom, dorm room, or home gym.

Cambridge Audio AXC35 CD player with AXA35 amplifier

Best CD player/streamer — Marantz SACD 30n

I love the way the Marantz SACD 30n looks, and it's loaded with features. It features Marantz' proprietary transport mechanism and Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Modules that offer exquisite detail and dynamic range while reducing noise. Its premium DAC makes digital files sound their best, whether they're being played from a disc, or being streamed from a top-notch music streaming platform.

You can make a wired connection to your home network via the Ethernet port on the back, or use the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for general streaming. But there's more. Apple AirPlay 2 is built-in, and the player is Roon compatible. The player is also HEOS compatible, which allows it to stream from a host of popular cloud-based music services, and lets you build a whole-home wireless speaker system with compatible components.

Record your own CDs

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that musicians and hobbyists can still record their own CDs for demos or home listening. The Tascam CD-RW900MKII is designed for professional use, but it’s reasonably priced and versatile enough to handle multiple types of CD-Rs. You can even fade tracks in and out if you’re making a mix.

We can help you choose

Have questions about how to choose the right CD player? Our expert Advisors know home stereo gear inside and out. Contact us for quick answers to all your shopping questions. Don't forget: free lifetime tech support is included with your Crutchfield purchase.

Last updated 5/25/2021
  • MJ from Columbus

    Posted on 9/17/2021

    Dear Eric, I'm a one-time audiophile (as in, awesome used Audio Research pre-amp) who "temporarily" downgraded to a (very good) JVC boom-box ages ago. That broke. I'm primarily a CD listener. I'd like a quality CD system - not in the $3500 best of show category, but as good as possible. Not sure if I want separate transport (how significant is that, sonically?) Then, probably just an amp (no radio) and maybe updated speakers (I think a local company had me sold on some small Paradigms) What do you suggest for the CD player or components and amp - maybe a couple price points for the total. First one - $1500. Second - $3000. (Or should I give up on high-ish-end audio for these meager price points?) Thanks so much.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 9/20/2021

    MJ - I definitely know of some good components you can get at those price points. The Cambridge Audio Azur 851C is a slam-dunk for the $1,500 price point (in my opinion) and the $3,000 price point is pretty loaded. I have personal experience with the Marantz SACD 30n, which offers loads of streaming capability on top of a high-quality DAC. If you look at that page, you'll see some of my direct observations of how that one works. Long story short, we can definitely find you a beautiful-sounding disc player at either of those price points.
  • Naveena Bereny

    Posted on 9/11/2021

    I have a NAD C660 - dual deck purchased to record CDs from 10 years ago. Don't use that recording feature anymore, but the CDs are skipping a lot (has been repaired a few times) and now the CD tray won't open. It is currently hooked up to an amplified/receiver (I think?). What would be a good replacement with high quality sound that will be easy to hook up and go?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 9/13/2021

    Naveena - Right now, the challenge is to find a player that's in stock, as global shortages have made CD players sort of rare. Fortunately, one of our customer favorites, the Cambridge Audio AXC35, is available. I highly recommend that one!
  • Chris Charles from San Francisco

    Posted on 8/31/2021

    Have an Onkyo 6-disc player for many years, because one of my favorite things is "shuffle" or "random" mode. Any recommendations for when it finally quits.

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    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 9/1/2021

    Chris - I get it, that's my favorite way to listen to music, too. I want it to be unpredictable. The electronics industry is experiencing some global supply shortages these days, so we get stuff in as soon as we can, but right now we're completely out of 6-disc changers. I'd recommend going to the page for the Onkyo DX-C390 and right below the price is a box that says "email me when in stock". That way you can be the first to know when we get our next shipment. Thanks for asking!
  • Tim Hrimnak from Riverbank

    Posted on 8/4/2021

    How does the Marantz 6007 rate ?

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    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 8/5/2021

    Tim - That's an excellent player. They have this technology they call HDAM — it stands for Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module — and I've felt like they make an audible difference when I've listened to Marantz players, including this one. Hope that helps!
  • Chris from Houston

    Posted on 7/7/2021

    Eric, question ... Have NAD516 feeding an Arcam SA20 in LR. When it quits, a replacement needs a coax out. 5+ year old NAD546 transport failed feeding an NAD C372 in study w/RCA input only. For study CD need player with good analog output, why I leaned to Marantz CD6007 or Denon DCD 800NE (requested notice on Marantz). Reviews are either are better than the Cambridge 35 (Denon 600NE optical out only so couldn't use in LR - cable box is getting optical input). Is the Marantz or Denon worth the extra dollars in analog output sound? The study has B&W PM1's, LR 705's, both excellent performers for types of music I listen to ... hence need a good CD player (have 2 NAD DAC 2's with music from computer but not always convenient nor best for whole albums. Thank you.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 7/8/2021

    Chris - When I compare these two models, the Denon appears to have the edge in pure performance, but the Marantz has a headphone jack and a better warranty. Given your criteria, that makes me think you'd prefer the Denon. Customer reviews for both are outstanding, so it comes down to the tiny details. Thanks for the thought-provoking question!
  • Gralen from laurel

    Posted on 6/11/2021

    I have a 20 year old Yamaha CD changer. It is about to die. It plays fine but getting it to open and closing requires a push. I saw a Sony CD changer at a best buy . Do you think that it is good enough to replace the Yamaha. By the way. That turntable you sold me 17 years ago is still ticking. Thinking about a upgrade

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 6/15/2021

    Gralen - given that we can't get any CD changers in right now, I feel like we're in a "beggars can't be choosers" situation. That said, Sony is a highly reputable company, so if you feel comfortable with it as at least a temporary replacement, why not?
  • Charles from Milwaukee

    Posted on 5/26/2021

    I am wondering what CD player you would recommend to play jazz and classical CDs on a NAIM Muso 2? Are there any suggestions or stand out pairings you'd suggest? Thanks!

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    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 5/27/2021

    Charles - This isn't an answer to what you asked me, but I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention that the Naim Uniti Star has a CD player built in. But it sounds like you want to stick with the Muso 2 and add a component. You'll need one with optical output, and on that list, my eye goes immediately to the Cambridge Audio Azur 851C, because Cambridge are wizards with digital audio, and because many of the others will be duplicating the networking features you already have in the Muso. The Azur is a superb player with a long track record. That's my pick!
  • John Wolfe from Roanoke, Virginia

    Posted on 5/6/2021

    I own an Onkyo C-7030 single disc player I bought online new around 7 years ago. That CD player is the best one I've ever owned, by far. "Audiophile" build quality and possibly in sound quality for a single CD player that costs under 200 bucks. I've owned a few 6-Disc changers in the past 20 some years but they all failed in mechanism issues so I decided to get a dedicated single disc player 7 years ago. Glad I did..

  • John Wolfe from Roanoke, Virginia

    Posted on 5/6/2021

    I own an Onkyo C-7030 single disc player I bought online new around 7 years ago. That CD player is the best one I've ever owned, by far. "Audiophile" build quality and possibly in sound quality for a single CD player that costs under 200 bucks. I've owned a few 6-Disc changers in the past 20 some years but they all failed in mechanism issues so I decided to get a dedicated single disc player 7 years ago. Glad I did..

  • John Fitzpatrick from Norwalk, CT

    Posted on 5/5/2021

    I was fortunate to get a late-model Oppo that combined superb CD/SACD playback with Blu-Ray. Can't understand why this valuable niche has been neglected by other manufacturers. Who wouldn't prefer to have all your playback in one unit?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 5/6/2021

    John - We definitely miss Oppo around here. We'll keep our eyes open for anything that offers that kind of high-quality versatility in the future.
  • Greg W from Baton Rouge

    Posted on 5/4/2021

    According to the catalog the Yamaha CD-C600 has been discontinued. Do you know if a replacement is planned?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 5/5/2021

    Greg - Keeping CD players in stock has been a real challenge this year for retailers worldwide. I know we'll find a good replacement for that unit ASAP, but right now, I don't know what it will be or when. Sorry I don't have better news!
  • Michael DeJong from saint joseph

    Posted on 5/3/2021

    Thorough, excellent reviee

  • Larry S from Glenview

    Posted on 5/1/2021

    The Yamaha changer has been a reliable workhorse for years. It sounds great with my Rotel and B&W gear. Highly recommended.

  • Mark Sprague from Grand island

    Posted on 4/26/2021


    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 4/27/2021

    Mr. Sprague - I'm sorry you've been experiencing difficulties. If you're comfortable ordering online, here are the single-disc players that are currently in stock. The only cassette deck we assort is the Tascam 202 MkVII, which is currently out of stock. If you need assistance from an Advisor or Customer Support agent, please give us a call at 1-800-555-9369 and we'll be more than happy to assist.
  • eric from danville

    Posted on 4/17/2021

    you have a yamaha pictured as the cambridge. Which of us is blind?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 4/19/2021

    Eric - Good eye, thanks for pointing that out. I had to make a running change to a discontinued/out of stock item and failed to update *everything* that needed to change. I'll get it fixed!
  • Tom from Baltimore

    Posted on 4/16/2021

    Do you have any cd players that can decode mqa-cd's ?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 4/19/2021

    Tom - The only player we have in stock right now that plays them is the Technics SL-G700. I'm sure it will become a more prevalent feature in the future. Hope this helps!
  • Remegio Llamas from Thousand Oaks

    Posted on 4/14/2021

    Among these lists. Which one has program feature?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 4/15/2021

    Remegio - Each of these offers track programming. The McIntosh can store up to 10, the Yamaha does 24 tracks, and the Denon and Cambridge players each do 20.
  • Kent Rudelis from Hollister,Mo 65672

    Posted on 4/13/2021

    I have a Yamaha CDC-575 and the play and skip/search button never works the first or second time press. I lost the remote years ago moving and this has never worked right since. I don't think I can trust Yamaha again. I would like to have a decent disc changer that will work like it should.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 4/14/2021

    Kent - I must say Yamaha generally makes very sound and reliable components, which certainly does not diminish the annoyance of having one that's malfunctioning right now. Currently, the only multi-disc player we carry is a Yamaha, and even that one is out of stock due to a rough year of supply-chain disruptions worldwide. When we get another option, we'll update the site and this article as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience!
  • Dan

    Posted on 3/27/2021

    Any other recommendations in the under $300 range since the Yamaha CD-S300 is now discontinued? Thanks!

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 3/29/2021

    Dan - Unfortunately, right now we're falling victim to global supply issues. I don't see *any* CD players under $300 in stock right now. As soon as the consumer electronics pipeline gets unstuck, I'll overhaul this article with new information. Thanks for checking!
  • Roman

    Posted on 3/24/2021

    Hello ! I have bought recently Klipsch speakers (The Five), and I'm using the Bluetooth mode to use them. But I have a lot of CDs and so I want to invest in a good player, here are my questions : - Are there good CD players with Bluetooth input, and if so, would it be better than the one from the Klipsch ? - Do I need à CD player with good DAC built in since the Klispch also have a DAC system ? - If I want to rip my CDs into à USB stick, are there players that do that ? Finally, if you have a player recommandation for my situation, I'd be grateful ! Many thanks !

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 3/25/2021

    Roman - I believe there may be some stand-alone CD players with Bluetooth built-in, but the ones we carry use it specifically for music streaming from a computer or phone, not directly from the CD itself. As for the DAC question, the one built into the Klipsch speakers is pretty good - you can definitely find a better one in a higher-end CD player, but it's going to impact the wired analog outputs on the player, which would be more important if you were using a receiver or integrated amplifier. Finally, we have a handful of products that support CD ripping, but I'm not sure we have any single item that will do everything you want to do.
  • dennis Mosby from Naples

    Posted on 3/16/2021

    I have an Arcam Solo CD player that is an all-in-one and only needs speakers to play music. It still plays beautiful music, but has run into some display problems during the years and does not show what is being played anymore. A trip to the repair shop did not fix this. I can't find a new Solo. I want to upgrade. Do you carry any updated all-in-one CD players?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 3/17/2021

    Dennis - These don't come along very often for us, but we do have the Naim Uniti Star in stock right now. You could also consider choosing a standalone CD player and a pair of powered speakers for a similarly compact, but more wallet-friendly alternative.
  • David from Mequon, WI

    Posted on 3/9/2021

    I'm looking for a CD player that has balanced outputs and also supports gapless playback. Any recommendations?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 3/10/2021

    David - Here are all of the CD players with balanced outputs. To my surprise, not a one of them specifically calls out gapless playback in their manual. Additional research indicates that most if not all high-end players (which any with balanced outputs would be in my opinion) should read a CD as it was recorded, with or without intended gaps. I hope this helps!
  • Claudette Crowley from Lowell

    Posted on 3/9/2021

    I am very hard of hearing and I would like to know IF there is a CD player that you could recommend for me?What would be my first choice?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 3/10/2021

    Claudette - I honestly can't think of any features specific to a CD player that would make a difference for audibility, except these with built-in headphone outputs. But I'd honestly say that picking a headphone amplifier to use with any source would offer more control over volume. I hope this helps!
  • Ken Fink from Clifton

    Posted on 1/7/2021

    They have to play DVDs as well and you didn't say one word about that.

  • Darren L Hoefler from San Pedro

    Posted on 1/2/2021

    Whats the best route to take when you have a stereo from the past on the higher end and price is not a deal breaker when purchasing a CD player should I go Old or New I want it to play all types of CDs and sound great...

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 1/4/2021

    Darren - The new CD players certainly make use of advances in DAC technology to sound superb. The new Denon Anniversary Edition DCD-A110 has an excellent 32-bit/384 kHz quad DAC, and can play all types of discs, and definitely caught my eye. Thanks for the question.
  • Tony from NY, NY

    Posted on 12/27/2020

    Who makes a new CD player that has HDCD decoding capability? I own many HDCD CDs that sound spectacular with a machine that can recognize HDCD and decode them.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 12/28/2020

    Tony - I'm afraid none of the vendors we carry support the format. From what I've read, it doesn't sound like it's going to be supported for new devices in the future, either. Sorry!
  • Davin from none

    Posted on 12/14/2020

    Hi, From all the components you left out the most important one, that is the laser-head. Maybe you take into account the transport, but those are seperate parts; It would be nice to know if in 2-4 years the laser heads are avail and or easy to replace. Other components, expensive, cheap or otherwise will last longer, or should be of less interest in the purchase quest, if the laser-head has a high MTBF; the decks should then be valued differently. Gr

  • Victor from Brooklyn

    Posted on 12/6/2020

    A follow up to the question below... I have also been using an old DVD player to play CDs. I bought a Onkyo TX-NR686 receiver and KEF Q350 speakers from Crutchfield a little over a year ago and am now ready to upgrade my CD player. Would money be better spent by buying a separate DAC and keeping the DVD player as a transport, or just buying a new CD player with DAC built-in? Any advice?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 12/7/2020

    Victor - That's an interesting question. I've never tried an outboard DAC with a DVD player, but it seems the benefit of that setup would be that you can still play DVDs (if that's something you want to do.) If you don't care about the video functions, I think you'd get a lot more utility out of a CD player that lets you play more types of discs and has programmable functions. Thanks for the question!
  • Mike VanBuskirk from Hayward

    Posted on 11/29/2020

    I am listening to CDs through an older Sony DVD player and wondered if upgrading to a dedicated CD player would improve the sound that much? I don't have an audiophile system, its just an old Pioneer VSX-9300 receiver driving a pair of Polk S15s that I just bought from Crutchfield. Thanks

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 11/30/2020

    Mike - I would expect the DAC in a dedicated CD player to be better, though that would depend on which one you choose. If you're not upgrading the whole system, something resonably priced like the Yamaha CD-S300 could be a meaningful investment in improved sound.
  • Jose Lino from Aracaju

    Posted on 11/29/2020

    gostaria de poder ter um cd player de qualidade mas o custo e muito auto para meu orçamento gostaria de saber como poder ter um aparelho como esses citados em minha estante para ouvir meus cds de uma forma bem aprimorada forte abraço

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 11/30/2020

    Jose - Tive que usar o Google Translate, então espero que faça sentido. Não sei o que você tem agora, mas o Yamaha CD-S300 é um receptor bom e econômico. Eu espero que isso ajude!
  • Candida Canfield from Port Chester

    Posted on 11/10/2020

    Hi, I am looking for a CD player with speakers. I too had old cd changers which i got rid of and old speakers. I bought a few years ago CMT BT 60. It just stopped working. I was not a fan anyway way to slow to do anything. I would like to get something that plays my CD collection and is not a problem. I don't want to spend a lot of money.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 11/11/2020

    Candida - We don't stock any systems that integrate speakers into a CD player - they're not the best option for sound quality, I'm afraid. You could try a CD player plugged into a set of powered speakers for a relatively low-cost and space-saving system that would sound very good and give you tons of versatility for streaming. Thanks for the question!
  • Srdja from Podgorica

    Posted on 11/2/2020

    I'm thinking between professional cd player (rackmount) and standard hifi player. I really like pro cd players. I have a lot cd-rs. Couple of questions: do pro cd players read cd-rs better than hifi? What about sound quality? Reliability? If it's approx the same I would choose pro cd players. Please advise. Thank you.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 11/3/2020

    Srdja - I suspect you'd be just as happy with a pro CD player in this case. As you mention, they can be rack-mounted, which seems to work for you. And they're rugged - designed to be moved around. They may lack some of the aesthetic niceties, and it may be worth comparing the DAC to a top-line consumer model to see if one is better than the other, but it sounds like a pro CD player would work for you.
  • S. Davison from La Salle

    Posted on 8/30/2020

    Until now, I've always listened to music all day and into the night, so I own considerably more than 5 cd's. What are the advantages of owning a 1-to-5 cd changer? I can't imagine anyone enjoying changing them out over and over and over and over . . . etc. Obviously, there's some magnificent benefit that eludes me. Please explain.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 8/31/2020

    Mr. Davison - There are always a number of factors going into any customer's decision of which product to buy. I'm sure cost is a factor for some listeners, for instance. As far as single players go, they're very popular with audiophiles because they prefer to have as few internal moving parts as possible, and they often have superior digital to analog converters and other circuitry inside. But it sounds like you're happy with the player you use, and that's all that matters!
  • Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/24/2020

    Elliot - I checked in with our merchandising team and found out this is kind of a double-whammy. Several electronics manufacturers, including Integra, have supply chain disruption due to the pandemic, and this product is affected by that. On top of that, Onkyo/Integra have been purchased by Klipsch, which will no doubt lead to a little reshuffling of the lineup in the future. Our marketing group is on the lookout for a replacement changer, so I'll update this article as soon as we have a new one. Thanks for your patience!

  • Elliot Diringer from Bethesda

    Posted on 8/21/2020

    Hi, I see Crutchfield has discontinued the Integra CDC-3.4. Any reason? Any other recommendations for a CD changer? Thanks.

  • Heidi from Hongkong

    Posted on 8/10/2020

    Glad to know I may be helped. I just bought a new HQ CD but can't play with my azur740C Cambridge Audio

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 8/11/2020

    Heidi - Glancing at the manual for the 740C, I don't see HQCDs specifically mentioned as a compatible format, but I also notice you're located in Hong Kong, so my knowledge of the American product may not reflect what you're experiencing. It's probably a good idea to contact Cambridge tech support directly. Thanks for the question!
  • Dan from Hemet

    Posted on 5/8/2020

    I have an old RCA, I got back in the 80's. It is a 5 disc carousel. I can change all of the disc, while the other is playing. Maybe you could tell me a little about this player. I get compliments from friends when they hear it. It was purchased at Radio Shack. I would really appreciate any info about this. Thanks

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 5/11/2020

    Dan - For something vintage like that, I'm not sure I have any more information than you could find online. Let us know if you ever need to replace it, though, and we'll be happy to help!
  • Rodney Schuler from Rawlins

    Posted on 4/18/2020

    What receiver/s recommendation would you suggest works best with theses cd player's? My home receiver is a Yamaha RX-V683? In my man cave I have a Older Sony STR-DE185 paired up w/Sony CD player CDP-CE500. Always looking for the best possible sound , on a above average budget. I know speakers play into this also.

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    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 4/20/2020

    Rodney - I like that you've used Yamaha in the past, because that's often where I turn for these kinds of systems. The Yamaha R-N602 would be a nice upgrade. It'll make your CDs sound excellent and give you options for music streaming, too. If you want to talk speakers, I highly recommend calling one of our Advisors at 888-955-6000. Thanks for the question!
  • Dennis K. Gross from Batavia NY

    Posted on 4/3/2020

    I prefer my Denon DCM-390. Plays all my CD's and sounds fantastic. I should add my speakers are sony SS-850's

  • Tyrone Teal from Orlando

    Posted on 3/17/2020

    The Tascam cdrw900mkii, can you record from one disc to another with this unit?

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    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 3/18/2020

    Tyrone - The Tascam has digital and analog inputs, and the unit's manual mentions CDs as a possible source, so you should be able to connect a CD player to it and record to your heart's desire.
  • Terry Mcdonald from Frankfort

    Posted on 3/15/2020

    Thank you , I been looking for a great sounding budget cd player that plays sacds also mostly for 2ch , I am a new age utube audio reviewer . Would love to reciew the Cambridge audio cd player , Been a huge crutchfield fan since late 80s , I use to get so excited to get the cruthfield magazine's back then ! What does crutchfield think about the Yamaha advantage 1060 bluray player ? Looks like it would be great for music as well and is highley influenced in this player . Maybe in the future i can REVIEW audio for crutchfield that would be awesome ! Thanks again Bill Crutchfield and Eric for your cd player buying guide !

  • Dan from Hemet

    Posted on 3/13/2020

    I have an old RCA 5 disc I bought in 2000, at Radio Shack. And you can open the tray while a disc is playing. Still works great after all these years.

  • lucas millington from banstead

    Posted on 12/28/2019

    for just burning music to my pc does it matter if i just use a regular portable dvd drive or not, are my files gonna sounds any better if i upgrade to something different

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    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 12/30/2019

    Lucas - the most important thing to look at is the sampling rate, the higher the better. CD quality is 44.1 kHz, but some devices can go higher.
  • decatur 4810 rd from hodges 679 pkwy

    Posted on 10/2/2019

    david 3187 way

  • david campbell from Chicago

    Posted on 4/4/2018

    I am looking for a CD player that will play all my various formats. DVD audio, SACD, BlueRay Audio. With about 1500 cds i seem to have collected multiple formats. Especially, with the trend to box sets. Please help. What do you suggest?

  • Susan Lauscher from Fort Collins

    Posted on 12/28/2017

    I have a Bose sound bar and a universal remote. I want to play CDs through the sound bar as my speaker. Is there a CD player that doesn't have to connect to a receiver but connect wirelessly to the sound bar?


    Posted on 9/22/2017

    I am of the old school. (93 years old, in fact) All I want is a small disc player that will only play one disc. I want to go to sleep with one of my favorite discs playing with an automatic shut off when the disc ends. I want it to be small enuf to sit on my beds night stand along with my book, lamp and telephone so the whole thing still looks good and not like a pile of junk.

  • Steinar Schrøder from Kenansville, N.C.

    Posted on 7/25/2017

    I`d like to buy a bluetooth cd player with speed- and pitch control together with a bluetooth/wireless headset. Ane recommendations? Can I go out from the cd player straight to the headset, or do I need to go through an amplifier/receiver?

  • Steinar Schrøder from Kenansville, N.C.

    Posted on 7/25/2017

    I`d like to buy a bluetooth cd player with speed- and pitch control together with a bluetooth/wireless headset. Ane recommendations? Can I go out from the cd player straight to the headset, or do I need to go through an amplifier/receiver?

  • Christopher Mcmurray from CHARLESTON

    Posted on 12/29/2016

    Can you recommend some multi CD changers that would be compatible with the Harmonkardon AVR 3700. I'm looking for quality and our willing to spend up to 500 dollars. Could you give me some recommendations. Saw the yamaha C-600 is this compatible with my AVR ? Thanks Chris

  • Mariko Cruse from Gainesville FL

    Posted on 10/11/2016

    I would like to know how to choose a proper speaker for a given CD player. Although Dave Bar's comments on today's CD players are very helpful, but I am not sure how to select a speaker after I get a good CD player. I am a classical music lover, and using a Bose medium size speaker with Panasonic DVD player at the moment.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/16/2016

    Hi Hans, I have to assume your active speakers don't have their own volume control (although even if they did, which should work, that still doesn't give you remote control capability). Other that running the signal from the CD player through a remote control preamp, I'm afraid I don't have an answer for you.

  • Hans from Brussels

    Posted on 5/12/2016

    Hi, Dave, I want to buy the Yamaha CD NT 670D, which is a CD-player with streaming and internet radio capabilities, and combine it with my active loudspeakers. However, the Yamaha has no volume control, as it is apparently foreseen to be linked to the Yamaha amplifier. is there any electronical devise that I could put between the Yamaha and my boxes and which would serve as a volume control (ideally with a remote)? Thanks for your reply! Hans

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/5/2016

    John, you are correct. The ability to switch off video circuitry can help improve audio quality. To answer your second question, I would say that the difference in price/performance between entry-,mid-, and upper-level universal players is somewhat more subjective. If you're not an audiophile/videophile, then it's probably not worth spending big bucks. Simply buy the features you need and you're done. On the other hand, I find that the picture and sound quality from high-end players (like my Oppo BDP-105, for instance) easily trounce the mid-level competition. For me, the difference is significant and well worth it.

  • John Fitzpatrick from Norwalk, CT

    Posted on 5/4/2016

    I've long assumed the benefits of a universal player for SACD and BluRay as well as CD. My Oppo player (BDP-83), like other universal players, has a "pure audio" switch to remove video processing from the circuit. Should that not solve the interference problem you mention? In any event this player has given me an immense upgrade in audio quality as well as the benefit of multichannel SACD sound. Its flaw is the lack of a track-programming capability. More recent universal players have this feature. I'm struck by the huge price gap between standard universal players from reputable brands like Yamaha and Denon (c. $400) and hugely more expensive units with the same capabilities. Is there really a *significant* audible difference?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/24/2016

    Hi Mike, With so many options, I can understand your confusion. As a rule, I have found that the fewer functions a component is asked to perform, the better it performs them. A specialist, in other words. That said, there is one component that seems to pretty much crush every category, and that's the Oppo BDP-105D. No it's not cheap, but it is a game changer. It won't support an iPod directly, but it's easy to put a bunch of music files on a thumb drive, and plug it into the front USB port. If the price of the Oppo makes you blanch, there are some nice CD players from Yamaha and Marantz that have USB input for iPod, and sound amazingly good. You may want to give our advisors a shout for some recommendations. Best of luck.

  • Mike Sackmary from Austin, TX

    Posted on 3/24/2016

    Hi Dave, Excellent article. I am a complete novice at choosing stereo/video components. I just know that I bought my speakers because they sound excellent. I need help selecting the right component for playing CDs. My receiver is an Integra DTR5.4 (made by Onkyo I think) and Definitive Technology BP2002 speakers. My Samsung blu-ray player gives excellent video quality to my tv, but sound is just ok. Let's not mention trying to play actual CDs on this particular player. What I want to get is something that produces excellent sound off CDs. If it can also play music off my ipod and make it sound great, that's a definite plus. If I understood your article it seems that I should get a separate CD player with DAC and toroidal transformer? (Not sure what I'm talking about here). I am not at all opposed to scrapping my curren blu-ray player either. Is it better to get a separate CD player and blu-ray player or is there one that does everything well? Sorry for the length of this question. Please help.

  • Commenter image

    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/3/2016

    Hi Jo-ann. These are very interesting questions that will definitely require some additional information to answer properly. I've forwarded your inquiry to our advisors for further assistance. They'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can reach them via phone or chat.

  • Jo-ann menchetti from Chupadero, New Mexic

    Posted on 3/3/2016

    yes, my husband is a avid music man, but we are both techno-peasants and still enjoy the tactile pleasure of the CD. What would you recommend for a CD player, mother ship (tuner I guess), and wireless speakers? We will be in the high desert of Northern New Mexico, where there is service, but spotty at times, would we also need what I think is called some sort of a booster?

  • Commenter image

    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/15/2016

    Erin, I sent your question to our sales team for the best answer. They'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Erin

    Posted on 2/13/2016

    Hi I'm trying to find a multidisc cd player that can just be hooked up to speakers and doesn't require anything else to work. Is there one? thanks.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/19/2016

    Hi, Bill. I can't help but feel that I'm missing a piece or two of the puzzle from your question as you state it here. Assuming you have a standard CD transport (with optical or coaxial digital output) and audio CD-Rs recorded with .wav files (which I believe weigh in at the CD standard of 16-bit/44.1 kHz), any modern DAC with corresponding optical or coax digital inputs will decode your discs. I like both the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 and Peachtree Audio DAC iTx. Both can also decode hi-res music files. If your transport has optical digital output, the outstanding Audioengine D1 is the most affordable DAC that I have with optical in.

    My apologies if I have totally misinterpreted your question. If that is the case, please give us a call and speak with one of our advisors to help them find what you need.

  • Bill from Chicago

    Posted on 1/18/2016

    Hi Dave, What's the most affordable 24 bit DAC 192khz option that supports .wav cd-r's? Best, Bill

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/4/2016

    Henry, I don't believe either of these machines allow track programming. They are, otherwise, extremely fine players and worthy of consideration.

  • Henry from Atwater

    Posted on 1/2/2016

    I see from one of your responses above that you have the Oppo 105. I'm considering the Oppo 103 or possibly the Cambridge Azur 752BD given the recent price drop. None of the manuals mention the ability to program tracks for playback; do you know if any of these have that capability? I primarily listen to CD's but have HDCD's and a growing collection of SACD's, and DVD and Bluray audio discs, so playback of these is a must. Thank you.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/27/2015

    Wing, Virtually any CD player would be a match for your system. Of course, an Onkyo player would be compatible with your receiver's remote. Their C-7030 would make a good choice.

  • Wing Thye Loh from Singapore

    Posted on 12/26/2015

    I have a ONKYO TX-SR606 receiver and a pair of Klipsch 8ohms 100 watts speakers. Currently I play music using a low end Blue ray player. I intend to get a CD player. Would you recommend one that is able to match the AV receiver and speakers. Thanks

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/30/2015

    Hi Peter, Having a DAC built into your integrated amp doesn't necessarily or automatically render the DAC inside the CD player useless, it simply gives you another option for connecting it (and other components with digital audio outputs, as well).

    If you use your CD player's optical or coaxial digital audio output to connect to the amp, then you will be bypassing your CD player's DAC and using the one in the amplifier instead. If you choose to use your CD player's RCA analog audio outputs, then you will be utilizing the player's DAC instead of the amp's.

    How does one choose? In may cases, one of the DACs will be superior and sound noticeably better (frequently, the newer one). For example: I use the analog outputs of my Oppo BDP-105 Blue-ray player because its DACs sound quite a bit better than the ones my ancient Onkyo HT receiver. I tried it both ways just to see, and there's absolutely no doubt.

  • peter from Weston

    Posted on 11/30/2015

    I just spoke to Maverick about buying a new integrated amplifier, he recommended one with DAC. if I buy the one recommended, does that render the CD players built in DAC useless, what does the playback default to?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/10/2015

    Paul, According to Cambridge Audio's website, "The ONE and Topaz CD5 (and CD10) do not support gapless CD playback. There will be a momentary pause in-between tracks when playing CDs, as is normal when changing from track to track. This does not affect playback of normal albums, but please note that 'gapless' albums will have a small pause between tracks."

    This leads me to believe that this pause, or gap, is indeed audible, and to suggest a different player to anyone who listens to a large percentage of classical music, prog rock, or other "abnormal" albums. ;-)

    Thanks for pointing this out to me. I will add a note to Crutchfield's CD10 webpage to let people know that this player does not support gapless playback.

  • Paul Althaus from Verona, VA

    Posted on 11/6/2015

    A number of critics of the Cambridge Audio Topaz CD10 player have complained of the 5ms pause the player inserts between tracks. Would these gaps be audible for one who listens to classical music where the tracks often should be played seamlessly?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/15/2015

    Don, The correct answer is always, as much as you can afford. But seriously, a high-resolution playback system such as yours deserves a pretty serious player since it will tend to expose the sonic flaws of lesser machines. I always try to match the relative quality (and price?) level of each component in a system. That way, you're neither over- nor under-spending for each one. You wouldn't put re-tread tires on your Ferrari or $6000 worth of racing wheels on your Pinto, right? Maybe something in the $500+ range would be appropriate. I'm partial to the Marantz CD players, but I own an Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player that is awesome in every regard, and provides quite a bit more utility than a CD player.

  • Don Asch from New York

    Posted on 10/14/2015

    I have a Macintosh MA6300 amp and B&W 804S speakers. What's the right price point for a CD player to match up with these components and what would you recommend?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/10/2015

    Piece of cake, Duane. Just pick up the Sony STR-DH130 stereo receiver, and you're good to go. I realize it is capable of delivering more power than your speakers are rated for, but if you can resist the urge to turn it all the way up, you'll be fine. (Actually having more power is an advantage since you'll only ever need to play the receiver at a small fraction of its potential, where distortion is at its lowest and the sound is cleaner.)

  • Duane Knudson from Raleigh, NC

    Posted on 9/9/2015

    I am obviously a casual listener. I simply want to know what I need, for example if I buy a Sony CDP-CE500 multi CD changer/player, to make sound come out of my existing 8 ohm/60 watt Optimus speakers? I should have also specified how cheaply can I do this? Thanks.

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/10/2015

    Absolutely, Fred. Just be certain the DAC and player have at least one digital audio input/output in common (usually Toslink optical or RCA coaxial), and you're all set. This is also a great way to upgrade an older CD player, since outboard DACs frequently deliver better sound quality than the ones built into many (most?) players.

  • Fred from worcester

    Posted on 8/9/2015

    Is it an option to buyer a cheaper CD player (say the Sony CDP-CE500) and run it through an independent DAC into a receiver?

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/7/2015

    Leonard, we sent your question to our sales team for the best answer. They'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Leonard Haddox from Longmont co

    Posted on 8/6/2015

    Need a CD player I can use to learn songs on. Would need a back up feature. Something portable perhaps

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/27/2015

    Nicoleen, It might do more than you need (record, that is), but the TEAC CD-RW900MkII is excellent for Pro and Studio applications.

  • Nicoleen Hartman from Sevenoaks , Kent, UK

    Posted on 7/26/2015

    Hi there I am looking for advice please. Can you recommend a CD player i can use with my 12 channel sound mixer? I am looking for CD player with headphone sockets or rca connectors? Thankyou

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/14/2015

    Cool receiver, Lynn. I would think any quality CD player would be a fine match. Here are three good ones to look at...Cambridge Audio Topaz CD10, Marantz CD5005, and NAD C 546BEE.

  • Lynn from Milwaukee, wI

    Posted on 7/13/2015

    I am looking for a new CD player to hook up with my McIntosh 1700, what would you recommend

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    Dave Bar from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/26/2015

    Carlos, the chassis of the model pictured is the Marantz SA8004. This model has been replaced by the Marantz SA8005.

    Roy, check out the Marantz SA8005. Not only is this a killer disc spinner, it's also a great DAC.

  • Roy from los angeles

    Posted on 5/23/2015

    I am looking for a cd player that I can also use as a dac for the two music servers I have. It would need coax and optical inputs to plug in the music servers.

  • Carlos from COLOMBIA

    Posted on 5/22/2015

    What is the model showed in Chassis chapter?