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best cd players

The Best CD Players in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Coby Portable Compact Anti-Skip CD Player

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GPX, Inc. Portable Top-Loading CD Boombox with AM/FM Radio

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GPX BCA209B Portable Am/FM Boombox with CD and Cassette Player

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Crosley CR3501A-NA Fleetwood Bluetooth FM Clock Radio and CD Player

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GPX PC332B Portable CD Player with Anti-Skip Protection

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Gueray Portable CD Player Bluetooth Rechargeable CD Walkman 1400mAh

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Bluetooth Portable CD Player with Wired Earbuds and 3.5mm Audio Cable

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MAGNAVOX MD6924 Portable Top Loading CD Boombox

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CD Player Portable, MONODEAL Rechargeable Portable CD Player

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Sylvania SRCD243 Portable CD Player with AM/FM Radio

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Frequently Asked Questions: CD Players

What is a CD Player?

Surely everyone knows a CD player. However, only very few know how such a device actually works and what types there are. In this test and comparison of CD players, the objective test experts would therefore like to provide you with a good and detailed overview of this technically mature device. CD is an abbreviation and means Comapct Disk.

With a CD player from the test, you can play diverse audio files. Today’s modern devices can play various audio formats. Among the most common are the conventional audio data on a music CD and also MP3 formats. Even self-burned or rewritable CDs can be used with these devices.

However, before we get to the detailed test and comparison results, you should briefly look at the different models or types of a CD player. As the test shows, the following types are available:

  • Single CD Player
  • CD player in a compact system
  • portable CD player – made especially for children

A CD player like from the comparison, is relatively simple and easy to use and operate. A great training for the first start-up should not be necessary, according to the experts. Music fans will have a lot of fun with a CD player like the one in this review, and can certainly celebrate one or the other boisterous party, in addition to having some background music.

CD players are not only available in many different versions, the prices are also very different. Thus, a single CD player is certainly cheaper than a compact system with an integrated CD player.

For which variant or form you decide, you must know yourself. What is certain is that a CD player opens up many musical possibilities. In this test, the experts in the round have looked very closely at the single CD players and also the compact systems. Therefore, the following test reports apply to both designs in most cases.

How does a CD Player work?

As we all know, CDs are an integral part of our everyday lives. However, very many users do not know how data is stored and read on a CD? In order for a CD to be read, it begins to rotate. A very fine laser beam is used to read the CD for data. The laser beam is reflected on the underside of the CD. The reflected light, in turn, is received by very sensitive sensors. The data on a CD is stored on a layer of aluminum.

In this layer on a CD, in turn, there are indentations. When the data is read by the aforementioned laser beam, these indentations alternate with the normal layer. For this reason, the signal also changes. For a CD player to work, two motors are needed. One is responsible for the rotation of the CD and the other motor is responsible for the movement of the laser unit. So inside a CD player there is a high quality technology.

This explanation is of course only a very rough overview of how a CD player works from the test. If the results from this comparison are not enough for you, you will find many more interesting articles on this topic on the World Wide Web. The principle of how a CD player works has not changed in recent years.

However, there have been many innovations in recent years. In our fast-moving and modern times, technical devices play an increasingly important role. Especially when it comes to the various audio files, there have been some changes in the past. The playback formats have changed in part very much and with the arrival of the smartphone in our everyday lives, the functionality of a CD player has also changed a little.

The requirements for a CD player are very versatile nowadays. Today, a CD player from the test must not only be able to play the well-known CDs, it should ideally also be able to be connected to some external devices, such as a smartphone. Many of us have a large music collection on our smartphone.

Depending on the model, Bluetooth can be used to connect the smartphone to the CD player, in this case mostly to a compact stereo. Thus, the music from the smartphone can also be played via the CD player. In this test and comparison, many factors and criteria were taken into account to provide an objective test result in the end.

Advantages of CD Players

A CD player can already be found in many households. Compared to a few years ago, a CD player is already available very cheaply today. A few decades ago, users had to spend a lot of money for it. Today, a single CD player is available for as little as US$30. However, this is not a very powerful CD player.

If you value good sound, you should opt for a compact system. Such a compact system naturally has one or two advantages over a single CD player. With a compact system from the test not only CDs can be played. The CD player is only one component of the system. Records were the forerunner of CDs and are now making an impressive comeback in the music business. Many compact systems therefore also have a record player again.

In addition to CDs and records, a compact system can also receive a wide variety of radio stations. The system also offers several connection options for external devices. With a USB port, various storage media can be effortlessly connected to a compact system and the data retrieved. 

If you are only looking for a device to play a CD and don’t particularly value a rich bass, then a single CD player from the test is a good choice. So you can see that there is an appealing CD player for every application.

The following areas of application arise with the use of a CD player from the test:

  • play all CDs
  • several formats can be played
  • connection of external devices possible
  • compact systems provide a good sound
  • perfect for background music or for an atmospheric party

So, before buying a CD player, you should consider for which application you will use the player? With the results from this test, you should not run into any difficulties when shopping. However, the wide range of these technical devices can already cause confusion.

If you have determined in advance for what use a CD player is needed, you can already exclude many devices for the purchase. If the budget is a little higher, you should definitely choose a compact system. Such systems offer a very flexible field of application and you can expand if necessary. With a compact system, you may even be able to set up a home theater.

Types of CD Players

As mentioned, you will really get all the important facts about CD players in this test and comparison. In this point, we will clarify which types of CD players there are.

In general, there are three different types:

  • Single CD player
  • compact systems
  • portable CD players (Discman)

Nowadays, single CD players and compact systems are very widespread. The portable devices have been moving into the background for quite some time. This circumstance can be attributed to the many functions and features of a smartphone. However, the portable versions are very often popular with children.

A single player only offers the function that CDs can be played. However, some devices also have an integrated radio. These devices are very often used in kitchens, offices or workshops. If you don’t want to miss out on music at work, a single player is a good choice.

The compact systems are clearly in the majority in the trade. Not surprisingly, because as also mentioned above, the prices of these devices are falling sharply in recent years. If you have a budget of over US$100, you can already get a solid compact system from the test. However, you should not expect a sound miracle here, because the inexpensive versions are nevertheless limited to the essentials.

There are also some differences in the compact systems. The devices do not only differ in price, because many differences could also be found out in the test and comparison in terms of equipment and design. In terms of construction, there are some differences that are worth mentioning. Most of the devices in the test have a drawer in which the desired CD can be inserted. However, due to a different construction method, the CD can also be fed directly at the top of the device. Of course, no drawer is installed here.

Another big difference in compact systems can be found in the speakers. Some of the models in the test had integrated speakers, while other CD players in the comparison allowed the speakers to be positioned freely in the room. In the test, it was positively noted that the length of the speaker cables was sufficient. The so-called 2-way speakers were mostly found in the test. Here you get a solid bass and midrange speaker. In the test, a performance between 10 watts and also over 500 watts could be documented.

A compact system naturally also offers an integrated radio. The FM radio is of course particularly useful. If you’ve had enough of CDs, you can simply switch to your favorite radio station. In addition, however, there were also differences in the connection options in the test. Pay attention to the connections when buying a compact system in any case. You will be annoyed later when you may not have the option to connect a USB stick to the system.

In the test, portable devices were also tested. As mentioned, these are very often found in children’s rooms. Of course, not only CDs for children can be played with these portable devices. Nevertheless, due to the advance of smartphones, this product has somewhat disappeared from the screen.

In the comparison and also test, everything was clearly established that all CDs can be played with all three types.

How are CD Players tested?

Of course, a test and comparison is only good when the criteria and attributes for the test devices are strict. That’s why the testers didn’t really know any mercy in this comparison and the individual devices were really put to a very hard and strict test. Before the actual test, a few different categories were determined, which were gradually worked through. Whether quality or sound, nothing was forgotten in the criteria and attributes of this test.

First Impression

Shortly after unpacking, it is usually clear what value the manufacturer placed on the design or quality.

However, it was also a concern for the experts that the packaging was stable and that the CD player was delivered safely and without damage. As you can already imagine, all devices for the test were ordered online or requested from the individual manufacturers for the comparison.


After the CD player was unpacked and connected, the experts first paid attention to the build quality. The impressions of the knobs and buttons as well as the operation were tested and checked very carefully.

Ease of use is particularly important for daily use, and if a CD player is used frequently, the quality must also be right. The buttons and knobs were subjected to an endurance test and only devices that still functioned perfectly after the thousandth touch made it to the next round of testing.


The functionality was also judged very strictly in this test. Whether the selection of a random track or the forward and backward play, all these points were tested. Another important point was also that personal settings are not lost after switching on and off.


Compact systems have an integrated FM radio in addition to a CD compartment. This was also reviewed in the comparison and test by the objective experts. Some devices had some challenges to overcome when it came to operation.

Storing stations is not always that easy and a look at the user manual was necessary even for the professionals with some devices. The connection options and various editing points in the test

A CD player or more precisely a compact system should be able to offer as many connection options as possible. Here, the more the better. A USB port is an absolute must for a compact system in the comparison.

Sound Quality

A CD player or even a compact system must not only be able to play CDs, they should also offer the best possible sound quality. The sound was tested several times and the comparison and product winners in the different price categories meet the highest requirements in terms of sound quality. A clear and also balanced sound image were very important in this test.

What should I look for when buying a CD player?

If you are interested in buying a CD player, you should also pay attention to a few things before buying. The selection is almost limitless and there is a variety of devices in every price range. In the following point, the experts from the test would like to inform you about the most important purchase factors.

The CD player test has looked at several devices and offers you with the determined test and comparison table good clues for a purchase. If the comparison or test winner does not convince you, you should consider some points that are crucial for the purchase.

In any case, make a short checklist. With this list, you will find a good and solid device. Which functions should the CD player have and which features can you do without? The more features a CD player offers, the more expensive it usually is to buy.

The following points should be considered before buying:

  • Is a digital radio additionally required for a compact system?
  • Which types should the CD player be able to play?
  • Is music also heard through the headphones?
  • Is a remote control needed?
  • Does the use of a timer make sense?
  • Will WAV or FLAC files also be listened to?
  • Is a connection for the TV necessary?

Of course, you should also pay attention to the workmanship and quality of a CD player. With a quick glance, you will immediately see whether the respective manufacturer meets your requirements with the product. Should you decide to buy via the Internet, a short comparison research can be helpful and useful.

As probably the last point, you should of course also consider the price. As stated in the test, you will of course have to spend a bit more money for a brand device than for a device from an unknown manufacturer. In the comparison, however, the brand devices could convince in most cases with a good sound and all necessary connections.

Especially in the case of compact systems, it is worthwhile to fall back on a product from a well-known manufacturer. If you actually only need a single CD player, you can certainly opt for an unknown product. According to the professionals, there are no serious differences in these models. Nevertheless, a price and product comparison can help you get a similar product much cheaper.

Common Disadvantages & Weaknesses

Of course, not only the numerous positive features should be highlighted in this test. If you want to buy a CD player, you will always be confronted with many negative reviews on the Internet and in the various forums. Of course, not only the good reviews should be questioned, even the many negative customer reviews do not always have to be completely truthful.

So that you can be sure that the respective product has no weak points or shortcomings, the most common disadvantages that were mentioned by customers were examined by the independent professionals.

These shortcomings were frequently mentioned

  • not good workmanship
  • no modern design
  • buttons too unstable
  • no remote control
  • adjustment possibilities are limited
  • no good price-performance ratio
  • too few connection possibilities
  • poor sound quality
  • personal settings are always lost
  • connection to a TV set is not possible

The list of shortcomings and weak points could definitely be even longer. However, according to an evaluation, these points were very common.

When it comes to workmanship and quality, you shouldn’t really have to compromise on a CD player. A CD player, like one from the test and comparison, is of course an everyday object and thus in use for a longer period of time. It is therefore annoying if the workmanship and quality are not sufficient. There are also always problems with the operation of such devices. If the keys no longer work after repeated use, a CD player is actually no longer suitable for use.

If there is no remote control included in the delivery, there is usually no problem at the beginning. In the course of time, however, many customers will miss a remote control. You then have to get up from the couch every time to turn it on and off. A condition that is, of course, very annoying sooner or later.

The requirements are different and some attach importance to a lot of bass and others prefer it more classical. If no individual settings can be made on the CD player, you should rather keep your hands off this product. Such models were also found in the CD player test.

The topic of connection options is a tricky one. External devices are not always connected to a CD player, nor do they have to be. Those who use a compact system would be very flexible in the areas of application. Whether for use as a home theater system or simply to connect a USB stick, if the connections are not available, it can come to difficulties to use the device otherwise.

A point that is absolutely not okay if the CD player or the compact system does not provide a good sound. These negative points do not apply to the devices from the test, or more precisely to the models that made it to the list of winners, of course. So you can choose one of the winners and you will enjoy a good sound and your personal settings will not be lost.

So you can do a lot wrong with a purchase. If after a few days the CD player doesn’t work as it should, you can still return it to the seller and get your money back.

CD Player Accessories

One of the most useful accessories is definitely the remote control. In most cases, a remote control is included in the scope of delivery. If there is none, a universal remote control can also be used.

Which accessories are still useful for a CD player or a compact system, you can of course read online as usual. With various accessories, the CD player can be used even more conveniently and easily.

4.9/5 - (8 votes)

Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate