The 9 Best Portable CD Players of 2020

The value of these devices is more than sentimental

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Insignia NS-P4112 at Best Buy

"Ready to play CD, CD-R, and CD-RW discs with 60 seconds of skip protection to ensure uninterrupted audio."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: HOTT CD611 at Amazon

"If you’re after a good combination of sound, design and overall quality, this CD player is a good choice."

Best Budget: HamiltonBuhl HACX-114 at Amazon

"Designed with extended use in mind, this is an economical choice to listen to CDs while on the go."

Best AA Battery Life: GPX PC332B at Amazon

"This model uses two AA batteries and gives you up to six hours of use on a single set."

Best Accessories: Naviskauto CD Player at Amazon

"Has five preset audio optimizations, including bass boost, pop, jazz, rock, and classic."

Best Rechargeable: Gueray CD Discman at Amazon

"The Gueray CD Discman offers the best balance of power and function."

Best Design: Studebaker SB37PB at Amazon

"Features a black and pink design with chrome-look accents for an eye-catching retro look."

Best Radio: Supersonic SC-253FM at Amazon

"MP3/CD-R/CD-RW compatible, meaning you can make your own mix CDs without worrying about whether or not they will play."

Best for MP3s: GPX PC807BMP3U at Amazon

"Features a rubberized coating, making it easy to hold on to while going on a walk or doing chores around the house."

Best Overall: Insignia NS-P4112

Insignia™ - Portable CD Player - Black/Charcoal
Courtesy of Best Buy
What We Like
  • Extensive battery life

  • External power adapter

  • Included headphones

What We Don't Like
  • below average skip protection

Ready to play CD, CD-R, and CD-RW discs, the Insignia NS-P4112 portable CD player is a truly great way to playback your entire CD catalog from start to finish. With 60 seconds of skip protection to ensure uninterrupted audio, the NS-P4112 works to make sure there’s no gap in music playback because of a few bumps. The included behind-the-head headphones are a rarity these days as most portable music players include standard sized earbuds that do not provide as solid an audio experience or the same amount of comfort as the Insignia headphones. It’s a win-win for NS-P4112 buyers. Powered by two AA batteries, the Insignia can provide around two hours of music playback or about the time it takes to go through two full-length compact discs. It also includes an external power adapter for endless audio listening.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: HOTT CD611

What We Like
  • Anti-shock protection

  • MP3 playback

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of DOA units


If you’re after a good combination of sound, design and overall quality, the HOTT CD611 is a good choice. Designed to play CDs as well as CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, and, the HOTT CD611 also adds MP3 disc playback and WMA formatting. The included stereo earbuds plug directly into the headphone jack while the CD611 itself is powered by two AA batteries or an external power adapter. On the front of the player is the main selection of buttons and LCD display that includes a forward and back option, play and pause as well as a mode button to activate one of five sound effects or four different playback modes. In addition, the CD611 adds electronic skip and anti-shock protection to keep the music playing even if you walk or drive over a bump.

Best Budget: HamiltonBuhl HACX-114

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Included earbuds

  • External power adapter

Designed with extended use in mind, the HamiltonBuhl HACX-114 portable CD player is an economical choice to listen to CDs while on the go. Featuring 60-second skip protection and digital volume control, the HACX-114 can play both CD and CD-R discs for a full audio experience. The 3.5mm headphone jack allows the included earbuds to be used or buyers can provide their own for improved audio. The small LCD display provides information on the current track number making it easy to skip around and find a favorite song thanks to the available play and pause, stop and off as well as skip buttons. Powered by two AA batteries, the HACX-114 offers two hours of listening to CDs on repeat or it can be utilized with its included power supply for longer playback.

Best AA Battery Life: GPX PC332B

What We Like
  • 60 second anti-skip

  • 20 programmable tracks

  • up to 6 hours of battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of DOA units

  • Reports of bad LCD screens

  • Earbuds may be uncomfortable for some users

The GPX PC322B portable CD player is a great choice when you're looking for something to keep kids occupied on a long road trip or to listen to music while at the gym or just around the house. This model uses two AA batteries and gives you up to six hours of use on a single set. You can also purchase an AC wall adapter or 12V car adapter for more power options. It features 60-second anti-skip protection against occasional jostling or bumps.

Along with CDs, you can also listen to your favorite radio station with the built-in FM tuner. You can program up to 20 different tracks to quickly find a variety of stations so you never run out of music to listen to. The LCD screen displays your song track or radio station along with a shuffle, repeat one, or repeat all setting. It also has a low battery indicator so you never have to worry about the CD player dying in the middle of a song. The CD player includes a pair of stereo earbuds for convenient listening.

Best Accessories: Naviskauto CD Player

What We Like
  • Includes headphones/AUX cord/USB charging cable

  • Up to 12 hours of battery life

  • Last memory function

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of failing headphones

  • Reports of DOA units

  • Some cars may not recognize the CD player

If you're in the market for a portable CD player, but don't want to have to worry about buying a bunch of separate cords and accessories to make it work, look no further than the Naviskauto. This portable CD player comes with everything you need to use it right out of the package: stereo headphones, a 4.9-foot AUX cable, and a USB charging cable.

This model features a rechargeable battery that gives you up to 12 hours of use on a single charge, meaning you won't have to worry about keeping your house stocked with AAs. The LED display is backlit to make it easy to read in dim environments. It has five preset audio optimizations, including: bass boost, pop, jazz, rock, and classic. It also has five different playback modes: play in order, repeat one, repeat all, shuffle, and play the first 10 seconds of each track. The Naviskauto has a "last memory" function, meaning it resumes your CD where it left off before powering down, making it perfect for listening to audiobooks.

Best Rechargeable: Gueray CD Discman

What We Like
  • Up to 12 hours of use

  • Full charge in as little as four hours

  • 12 month warranty/90 day return or exchange window

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of failing batteries

  • Reports of bad control buttons

  • Reports of DOA units

The Gueray CD Discman offers the best balance of power and function. The rechargeable lithium ion battery gives you up to 12 hours of use on a single charge, and it can reach a full charge in as little as four hours. This means that not only do you not have to worry about constantly buying AA batteries, but you also spend less time waiting for it to charge.

It features a 100 second anti-skip protection, making it great for jogging, going to the gym, or using during long car rides. Like the Naviskauto, the Gueray has five optimization presets: bass boost, pop, jazz, rock, and classical. It also has four different playback options: repeat one, repeat all, shuffle, and play the first 10 seconds of each song. The sleek and compact design makes it perfect for slipping into a backpack, bag, or pocket when travelling. Gueray offers a 12 month warranty to cover DOA units and manufacturing defects as well as a 90-day return and exchange window.

Best Design: Studebaker SB37PB

What We Like
  • 24 track memory

  • 45 second anti-skip

  • CD-R/RW compatible

What We Don't Like
  • Short battery life

  • Reports of DOA units

  • Reports of bad reading lasers

If you're looking for something different than a run-of-the-mill black or grey portable CD player, check out the Studebaker SB37PB. This model features a black and pink design with chrome-look accents for an eye-catching retro look reminiscent of 1950s hot rods. The CD player is CD-R and CD-RW compatible, so you can make your own music mixes to take on road trips and to the gym. It also features a built-in radio with 24 programmable tracks to quickly find your favorite stations.

The LCD display is easy to read and shows station and CD track numbers. The CD player features a 45 second anti-skip protection to prevent interruptions from mild bumps and jolts. It also has a bass boost switch for a richer listening experience. The Studebaker SB37PB uses two AA batteries for power, and you can also purchase a DC adapter for different power options.

Best Radio: Supersonic SC-253FM

What We Like
  • 40 second anti-skip

  • MP3/CD-R/RW compatible

  • Headphones included

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of failing read lasers

  • Reports of bad closing latches

  • LCD screen doesn't show radio station

A lot of portable CD players offer AM/FM radio functions, but the Supersonic SC-253FM model is the best of the bunch. This model is MP3/CD-R/CD-RW compatible, meaning you can make your own mix CDs without worrying about whether or not they will play. It has a 40 second anti-skip program when playing regular music CDs and a 120 second anti-skip for MP3 format CDs.

The FM radio function has easy to use buttons for intuitive controls when choosing a station. The Supersonic features a shuffle songs function as well as a repeat option, making it great to take with you to the gym or on a walk. The LCD screen is easy to read and clearly displays your track number and if any special functions are active. Supersonic has included a pair of stereo headphones with this portable CD player, so you don't have to worry about buying a pair separately.

Best for MP3s: GPX PC807BMP3U

What We Like
  • 90 day warranty

  • Up to 200 second anti-skip

  • Earbuds included

What We Don't Like
  • No "last memory" function

  • No radio function

  • Reports of DOA units

If you make a lot of your own mix CDs in MP3 format, the GPX PC807BMP3U portable CD player is the right choice for you. This unit can also play CD-R and RW format discs so you can listen to your favorite songs in almost any format. The player has a 120 second anti-skip for CD-R/RW and commercially manufactured discs and a 200 second anti-skip for MP3 format disks; this makes it perfect for taking with you on a light jog or to the gym. 

The outside of the CD player features a rubberized coating, making it easy to hold on to while going on a walk or doing chores around the house. The LCD display clearly shows your current track as well as a low battery indicator and the shuffle, repeat, and programmable functions. You can either use two AA batteries, a micro USB cable, or a 12V car adapter for power. GPX has included a pair of stereo headphones with this CD player, and they also offer a 90-day warranty to cover any manufacturing defects or dead units.