The 9 Best CD Players and CD Changers to Buy in 2017

You can still play those CDs!

About thirty-five years ago the CD came to the market as the "ultimate" means of music reproduction. The CD displaced the Vinyl record and the Audio Cassette as the dominant form of listening to recorded music, but now the CD is being overtaken by internet streaming and listening to music on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.

However, there are still hundreds of millions of CDs out there that need to be played, and even though almost all DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players also play CDs, many prefer a decided CD-only player for dedicated music listening from a disc.

The number of dedicated CD players is dwindling, but good choices are still available.

If you are looking for a CD player designed for connection to a stereo or home theater receiver that provides a listening experience that is a definite cut above a cheap CD boombox or mini-system, check out my current favorite affordable picks for CD players and changers.

If you are looking for a CD Changer that can provide several hours of music listening without have to change discs every hour or so, then check out the Onkyo DX-C390.

While most CD carousel changers are of the five-disc variety, Onkyo employs a 6-disc carousel, giving you an extra hour of music without interruption. However, there is more. The front panel features a large status panel, as well as all needed controls (in case you misplace the remote).

Also, weighing in at 15lbs, the transport is substantial and stable. Add a 1-bit D/A converter, 8x oversampling, and analog/digital audio outputs, you just might want to put this CD changer one on your shopping list, as long as it is available.

The Yamaha CD-C600 is more expensive than most CD-only changers on the market but is still a good value.

This changer uses a 5-Disc carousel design and supports CD, CD-R, and CD-RW playback. Several practical features includes Yamaha's PlayXChange, which allows you to swap out CDs while your current CD is still playing, a USB input for playback of MP3 and WMA audio files from flash drives or iPods, both analog and digital optical audio outputs, wireless remote control, and both RS232 and wired remote output options for custom installations.

If you are looking for a CD-only changer that has a lot of flexibility and can be integrated into a custom installation, check out the Yamaha CD-C600.

While dedicated CD-only players have given way to DVD and Blu-ray Disc players that also play CDs, Marantz still makes an impressive line of CD-Only Players. The CD6006 a signal tray CD player, with the ability to CD-R/RW(CD/MP3/WMA/AAC) discs, as well as the ability play MP3/WMA/WAV/AAC audio files from flash and iPod/iPhone/iPads via its front, mounted USB port.

While most CD players have 16-Bit Digital to Analog audio converters, the CD6006 has a Cirrus Logic CS4398 192kHz/24-Bit converter (Note: Although this DAC can work with SACD playback, the Marantz CD6006 does not offer that feature).

However, the sound from standard CDs has more depth than from a standard CD player using standard DACs. The CD6006 also provides several connectivity options.

In addition to standard 2-channel analog outputs, the player includes both digital optical and digital coaxial output options, as well as a standard 1/4-inch headphone output with an independent volume control. If you want a higher-end CD for a moderate price, this unit is worth the listen.

If you are looking for a quality CD-only player for a reasonable price, you might check out the TEAC CD-P650-B. This player is a signal tray design and is with standard audio CDs, as well as CD-R/RW and MP3-CDs.

On the connection front, the TEAC CD-P650-B provides analog and digital optical audio outputs. Headphone listening is also accommodated via a front-mounted headphone jack.

One interesting added feature is the ability to not only play MP3 files from both MP3/CDs and via a flash drive connected to its provided front panel USB port, but it also allows users to burn CDs to a connect USB flash drive. This is definitely a CD Player to check out.

If you are a discriminating music lover but can't afford a high-end audiophile CD player, Onkyo may have just the solution. The C-7030 is a single tray CD player that is compatible with standard audio CDs, as well as CD-R/RW and MP3 CDs. On the connection front, the C-7000R provides analog, digital optical, and digital coaxial options for connection to an external stereo or home theater system, as well as a built-in headphone jack for private listening. To optimize what you hear, the C-7030 also includes Onkyo's VLSC noise-reduction circuitry, and for physical sturdiness, the player has a solid aluminum front panel and oversized power transformer.

Sony's CDP-CE500 is an affordable 5-Disc CD changer that does the job. Featuring CD, CD-R CD-RW, and MP3-CD playback utilizing 1-bit DA converters, the sound quality is great for a budget player.

This unit also includes both analog and digital optical outputs, USB port, and can be controlled directly or from the provided remote control. The USB port provides the added flexibility to either play back music files (AAC, MP3, WMA) stored on a USB or other compatible USB storage device.

One additional added perk is that the included USB port can also be used to copy the music from your Music CDs to a USB flash drive.

If you enjoy playing CDs, but don't like the large size of most CD players, then the DCD-50 might be for you. The DCD-50 is only 8-inches wide, 3.5-inches high and 9.5 inches deep, making it a real space save on your rack. An additional saving feature is that the DCD-50 can be placed horizontally or vertically.

The front panel features a minimalist design with necessary transport controls, and OLED small OLED powered status display. The OLED display orients itself depending on whether the player is in a vertical or horizontal decision. A remote control is also included for additional control option.

Carrying over its minimalist design to the rear panel, the DCD-50 provides a set of analog stereo outputs and a digital coaxial audio output, but there is no digital optical output option.

The DCD-50 is compatible with CDs, CD-R/RW and MP3 and WAV encoded CDs.

Although the DCD-50 can be connected to any stereo or home theater receiver, Denon also offers up a matching compact two-channel integrated amplifier, the PMA-50, which requires an optional purchase.

If enjoy listening to CDs, check out the Denon DCD-50.

Some CD players can hold 5 or 6-discs, and some are single tray units. Also, some CD players may also include playback from USB flash drives. However, if you looking for a no-frills player that delivers great CD playback quality, and doesn't break the bank, then consider the Pioneer-10AE.

The core of the PD-10AE is its solid construction, with a rigid, torsion-resistant steel chassis, which minimizes unwanted vibration, as well as the inclusion of a beefed-up power supply. For audio support, the PD-10AE incorporates AKM DAC's (digital-to-analog audio converters) that you might find on higher-end players.

The PD-10AE is compatible with CD, CD-R/RW, and MP3 CDs.

On the connectivity side, the PD-10AE provides a set of analog stereo outputs (there is no digital optical/coaxial output connection option). There is no Headphone output.

Although not offering some of the extras you might find on many CD players, if you are interested in a player that provides quality CD playback quality at reasonable price, consider the Pioneer PD-10AE.

The CD-S300BL has been in Yamaha's product line for a few years, but is still in demand.

Inside its slim, black exterior, the CD-S300BL features a solid chassis and durable center-placed single tray CD drive which supports CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, and WMA disc playback. Additional features include a front-mounted USB port for playback of compatible music files stored on flash drives, or from iPods (if you still have one!).

Additional connectivity includes a set of analog RCA-style audio, digital optical, and digital coaxial outputs, which can connect to any available stereo or home theater receiver.

The CD-S300 also incorporates a Pure Direct mode, which disables the digital audio outputs and front panel display. This prevents any unwanted interference that might affect the quality of the analog audio output signals.

For ease of use, a wireless remote control is included, supported by a large front panel status display, which, can display traditional running time and track info, but is also compatible with CD text (artist names, track titles).

The Yamaha provides everything you need in a traditional CD player, including solid cabinet/chassis construction, and great sound quality.


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