Which home audio CD player is best?
In today’s fast-moving streaming-first world, it can be hard to comprehend still using physical music media. What many people don’t realize is that you pay in audio quality in order to stream anything you want. That’s why some people prefer to use CDs and even record players, at least in the comfort of their own home.
The best home audio CD player is the Yamaha CD-S1000BL Natural Sound Super Audio CD Player. It separates the power supply for each function to limit feedback in your music.
What to know before you buy a home audio CD player
Home audio CD player types
There are a few types of home audio CD player.
- Single players hold one CD at a time. They have the fewest components, meaning they’re less prone to mechanical failure and have more subtle internal vibrations. They offer the best possible sound quality as a result.
- Changer players hold multiple CDs and can freely swap among them. They usually hold at least five or six discs, but the largest can hold hundreds. With all of the extra parts required to have this functionality, they’re more likely to need repairs and have more internal vibrations. They have lesser sound quality as a result.
- Universal players play multiple types of disc-based media. The most common are DVD and Blu-ray players that can play CDs. Most video game consoles with disk drives also can play CDs. These players emphasize video quality over sound and so have the worst audio-only quality.
The “CD” in home audio CD players says that it plays compact discs, but compact discs store different formats of audio that not all CD players can read. Every CD player can play standard CDs with most also playing CD-R/RW discs (CDs you record on to make mixtapes). Premium players can also play high-definition and super audio CDs.
Some CD players can also play MP3 and Windows media player files off your phone or a thumb drive.
What to look for in a quality home audio CD player
Basic home audio CD players have a play, pause, skip and stop function. Better single players can automatically repeat a song or the whole CD. Better changer players can shuffle song selection or let you choose your song order from all of your CDs.
Some home audio CD players come with remotes so you can control them without getting out of bed or off the couch.
Some home audio CD players have headphone jacks so you can listen to your music without disturbing anyone. Keep in mind that the highest quality speakers will always outperform the highest quality headphones.
The best home audio CD players have anti-skipping measures to prevent any disruption in your playback caused by sudden strong vibrations. Look for these if you like to throw dance parties or live near a fault line.
How much you can expect to spend on a home audio CD player
Anything less than $100 is considered a budget player, with some costing as little as $20. The average player costs $150-$500. The best players typically start around $500 and can easily cost more than $1,000.
Home audio CD player FAQ
Do I need a speaker to use a home audio CD player?
A. You might, depending on what CD player you get. The more expensive the CD player, the more likely you are to need a speaker. This is because built-in speakers cause high vibration in the CD player, which adversely affects the quality of the sound. Low-cost players almost always have a built-in speaker to be as good a deal as possible.
Do I need an amplifier with my home audio CD player?
A. Not necessarily. An amplifier does what the name suggests and boosts the signal — it doesn’t improve its quality. You only need one if the signal’s destination — let’s say a set of speakers — isn’t getting a powerful enough signal from your CD player to output your music.
What’s the best home audio CD player to buy?
Top home audio CD player
What you need to know: It’s hard to find a more premium player than this.
What you’ll love: It can play standard and super audio CDs and uses a differential digital-to-analog converter for precision and high dynamic range. The tray uses Yamaha’s Silent Loader system to eliminate all sound and increase durability. Its feet are height-adjustable and solid steel to dampen vibrations.
What you should consider: A few consumers disliked the small display. Others reported it to run hot, especially if used for long stretches. It only holds one CD.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top home audio CD player for the money
What you need to know: You don’t have to spend thousands to have high-quality sound.
What you’ll love: It can play CD, CD-R/RW, MP3 and Windows media files and it uses insulators and dampeners to prevent as much vibration and interference as possible. It uses a special processing system that can restore some of the information lost during digital recording.
What you should consider: It works best when paired with Denon’s audio amplifier. There’s no headphone jack and the remote can’t eject the CD.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is perfect for those who stream first but have a handful of CDs.
What you’ll love: You can connect any Bluetooth-capable device or use the 3.5-millimeter auxiliary cable jack or USB port to use its speaker for your digital music collection. It can also pick up FM radio signals. It can play CD and CD-R/RW formats.
What you should consider: A few purchasers had issues with the player turning itself on. Others had issues with the remote failing to be read.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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