The Best CD Recorders and CD Recording Systems of 2020

CD and digital audio recording systems to preserve your music

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Best Overall: TEAC CDRW890 Mk. II CD-Recorder

TEAC CDRW890mkII CD-Recorder
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TEAC has been a leader in audio recorders since the reel-to-reel tape days and continues this tradition in both its professional and consumer line of CD recorders. The CDRW890 is an affordable option in a high-quality CD recorder. This recorder features both analog and digital audio inputs, as well as analog output capability. With its very straightforward operation, the CDRW890 (currently in its mkII generation) definitely deserves consideration for those copying from CD, Cassette, or vinyl record source material. You can also make live CD recordings by connecting a microphone to an audio mixer and then connecting the audio mixer to the CD recorder.

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Best Controls: Tascam CD-RW900 Mk. II Professional CD Recorder

Tascam CD-RW900MKII Professional CD Recorder
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If you are really serious about listening to your music on CD or make your own original CD recordings, the Tascam CD-RW900MKII CD Recorder is an option to consider.

Made by TEAC, TASCAM products are targeted for the professional market, but that doesn't mean that consumers can't take advantage of them.

The CD-RW900MKII has analog and both digital optical and coaxial audio inputs and outputs.

For recording, the CD-RW900MKII features independent level controls for both the left and right channel inputs, pitch control, as well as a jog control to facilitate more precise editing.

In addition, a front panel P/S2 keyboard input is provided (you need to buy the keyboard separately) that allows additional control capability.

For playback, there is a 4-second memory buffer - so if the unit is bumped, or there is an intermittent glitch, smooth CD playback is more reliable.

If you are looking for a CD recorder that provides more precise control, especially for home-produced recordings, check out the Tascam CD-RW900MKII.

Microphone(s) must be connected to an external audio mixer.

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Best for Transfers: Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB

Audio-Technica AT-LP60
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The Audio Technica AT-LP60-USB LP-to-Digital Recording System is a package that includes an audio turntable (with cartridge) with a USB output that can connect to a PC or Laptop. Also included is all the software you need to transfer old LP Vinyl records to CD or MP3 for continued listening pleasure on a home audio system or portable digital music player. An added bonus is that the turntable has a built-in preamp that allows it to be connected to standard CD or AUX audio inputs on home theater receivers that may not have a dedicated turntable input.

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Best User Friendly: TEAC LPR550-USB

Teac LPR550-USB CD Recorder with Cassette and Turntable
Images provided TEAC

With today's popularity of CDs and MP3s, there is a definite need to be able to transfer all those old vinyl records and cassette tapes so that you can listen to them in a more convenient manner. With the TEAC LP And Cassette To CD/Digital Converter, just put on your record, put in your audio cassette and then also slide in your blank CD and you are set to go. Also, after installing the provided Audacity software when connected to a PC (or Mac), the converter can transfer your cassettes and vinyl records to your PC as MP3 files for playback directly from your PC or transfer to a portable MP3 player.

However, that isn't all, the TEAC LP And Cassette To CD/Digital Converter also incorporates a built-in stereo amplifier and speakers for a great listening experience for a variety of room settings.

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Best Built-in Speakers: ION Audio Archive LP

Ion Audio Archive LP
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Here is a vinyl record-to-MP3 recorder with a twist. Not only does this turntable convert your vinyl records to MP3 (which you can then copy onto USB flash drives or CDs), it also has a built-in stereo speaker system for listening to your records "live".

A USB cable and conversion software are provided for connection to a compatible PC or MAC, as well as standard RCA line outputs for connection to an external audio system. Since the Archive LP has a built-in phono preamp, you can connect it to any audio input on your stereo or home theater receiver that you would normally connect a CD player or audio cassette deck. On the other hand, unlike "legacy turntables" do not connect the Archive LP to a stereo or home theater receiver's phono inputs.

Its "wood-like" finish gives the turntable a stylish look. Also, a 100-hour life needle is provided, and replacements are also offered.