Best CD Players for Sound, Home Theater, and DJs 2023

Best CD Players for Sound, Home Theater, and DJs 2023

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If you’re of a certain age or younger, it’s likely that you’ve never held a CD (Compact Disc, to the youngsters) in your hands, and probably even more likely that you don't have a CD player in your home.

Does that mean that the CD format is dead? After all, the buzz is much more about the resurgence of vinyl and the latest high-resolution online music streaming services. Should we just forget audio CDs? 

Not on your life. LP’s have made a huge comeback and in 2021 finally regained the lead on sales against the Compact Disc for the first time in 30 years.  This doesn’t change the fact that music fans continue to buy CDs to the tune of nearly 50 million units per year (46.6 million, to be exact). If you were a music-buying consumer when CDs were introduced, you recall well the tremendous impact that new format had. The convenience and ease of handling was a huge timesaver. Stereo equipment manufacturers rushed their designs for CD players to the marketplace. You could buy CD players for a song in the grocery store. Everyone had a multi-CD player in their car. CDs were everywhere. 

Yet there was definitely a tradeoff in audio quality from LPs to CDs. The lack of warmth and the brittleness of the sound was obvious if you compared the same album in the two formats. Convenience carried the day, but sound quality took a hit. The rub was that over time the LP would degrade in quality if not handled properly, and the cassette?  Well, the cassette was still the cassette, degrading in quality with every single play.  The CD could and will conceivably last forever.

Did the establishment of the so-called CD-quality digital audio specification of 16 bits and 44.1 kilohertz have something to do with the reduction in quality? Audiophiles would say yes, and they have a point. 

But the bigger culprits in the besmirching of the CD’s reputation were those you couldn’t see: Low quality digital audio converters (DACs) with underpowered chipsets, mass-produced connectors in the signal path, and chassis made from cheap materials. And quite possibly a flaw in the physical manufacturing process of CDs themselves. All these poorly made components added an imprecision into the CD player laser’s ability to read data accurately and an inability to restore the audio to its full purity. In short, this confluence of less than desirable conditions introduced jitter and noise into the audio signal, which our ears interpret as brittleness, coldness, and lack of depth. 

This is fantastic news for you as a CD collector. Why? While the recording and encoding process of digital audio for the CD format has largely remained unchanged for the past 40 years, the R&D into the components for CD players themselves has resulted in vastly improved audio quality, thanks to build quality that helps to minimize vibration and noise. Just as the technology for home theater has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, so has the quality and power of the DACs, direct digital audio output, signal path connectors, power supplies, and chassis that you’ll find in the CD players in this guide. 

Among the CD players below you will find a wide variety of formats: 

  • Some that are chassis only, requiring a separate amplifier 
  • Top-loading, so you don’t have to bend over to put a CD in its tray 
  • Front-loading, so you can stack other gear on top of the CD player 
  • Portable players 
  • CD Players with USB inputs for hi(er)-res audio
  • CD Players that also act as CD rippers to store your music on a hard drive to be accessible by other equipment in your home

One thing that these CD players all share: An ability to render the audio in your CD collection at the level of quality the producers of the original recording intended. We stand behind every one of these fantastic devices, and we can help you find the perfect player that will integrate into your existing system or will become the core of a whole new home stereo system.

How We Chose These CDs 

The CD Player was invented and released to the public in 1979.

World Wide Stereo was invented and released into the public in 1979 (that's us).

Trust us. We’ve got 40+ years of experience with these things and we’re here to point you in the right direction

We have hand-picked a selection of the best CD Players that our industry has to offer and then narrowed it down even more to the very best pieces of equipment you can get your hands on. These range from entry-level rock-solid players to the cream of the crop best player you can drop by our showroom, pick it up, plug it in, and rock and roll to into the wee hours of the morning (or until the neighbors invite themselves over or call the police… whichever comes first.)

First off, we made sure that the performance was up to snuff. We thought about you. Are you exclusively looking for a high-quality CD player and nothing more? We’ve got something for you. Are you looking to rip your existing CDs and store them on a hard drive for use with a streaming system? We've got that covered. Are you looking to pop in a USB stick and play some hi-res audio? We can make that happen. Once we considered your needs, we made it even more personal!

We took your Media Room into account, and what would look best installed next to your amplifier and speakers. We consulted the head of the house to make sure we had your design and decorating palette on our minds. When we thought we were finished is when we started thinking about the bells and whistles, the icing on the cake, the mustard on the hot dog, the feather in the cap, etc. What I’m getting at here is that we thought about everything from the rubber on the bottom of the feet of the CD player, the screen printing on the back of the device showing you the “ins and outs” all the way down to the chassis screws holding the beast together. All of it.

2023 CD Player Deals

We’ve made it easy to find the best deals on CD Players from brands like Cambridge Audio, Yamaha, Victrola, and more. Our deals update daily so you don’t miss a beat, and we’ve got your back through with our price match guarantee, 60-day returns, easy financing, and free shipping. Don’t see what you want on sale? Give us at 1.866.961.7781 or chat with an expert.

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1. The Best Overall CD Player:

McIntosh MCD350 2-Channel SACD/CD Player


We chose the McIntosh MCD350 as our best overall CD player as a direct step up to the MCT80.  While the MCT80 is a great CD player at an even greater price, the MCD350 is made for folks who are serious about their CD collection and audio system.  It’s a standard component sized CD player with an internal DAC that can handle up to 192kHz/32-bit! Much like the MCT80 it utilizes a 2x disc read speed that places CD/Data information in a buffer memory for spectacular tracking and error correction. The twin-laser optical drive featuring a single objective lens that captures information with extreme precision. The separate laser parts are dedicated to both SACD and CD playback.

The MCD350 is an award winning SACD player first and an award-winning CD player to boot. If you’ve got a large collection of SACDs or even plan to start one, look no further than this player. But don’t let that dissuade you from picking this up as your main CD player as it does a spectacular job in that regard as well.

The finest upgrade from the MCT80 is on the back panel of the MCD350.  Balanced outputs are featured on the MCD350.  The benefit to a balanced connection is that each phase has an equal impedance relative to the ground, which is where the “balanced” title comes from. The result will also typically add an additional +3db to the amplifier from the source.

Cosmetically it’s just such a captivating piece of equipment, and this is by far the heaviest CD player in the gear guide weighing in at a staggering 28lbs. Let’s not forget the green McIntosh glow, which is worth the price of admission alone.

Pros: SACD Support. 192kHz/32-bit DAC. Classic McIntosh look and feel. Quality component with a quality build.

Cons: No selectable filters for PCM and DSD in the DAC.

MCD350 2-Channel SACD/CD Player

MCD350 2-Channel SACD/CD Player

  • Inputs: N/A 
  • Outputs: Balanced (Fixed) / RCA (Fixed) / Optical / Coaxial /   
  • Disc Capacity: Single (Tray Loading)  
  • Supported Formats: CD / SACD / MP3 / WMA 
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2. The Best Sounding CD Player:

Rega Saturn MK3 CD-DAC Player


We chose the Rega Saturn MK3 CD-DAC Player as the best sounding CD player because it’s essentially two products in one. First off, it’s a CD Player and a heckuva CD player at that.  Second, it’s a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) with an independent DAC circuit.  Both of these parts are controlled by the Solaris remote control. With a built-in DAC of this magnitude, you can bet on sonic precision.

On the back of the Saturn MK3 you will find about as many plug ‘ems and unplug ‘ems as you can stand as well as support for 192kHz / 24-bit. Two optical inputs, two coaxial inputs, a fully asynchronous USB and an added “direct” digital output from the CD playback section. The Saturn MK3 can walk into any home audio system and immediately make fast friends with the rest of the components.

The CD Player itself features a pair of Wolfson WM8742 D/A converter ICs. The Saturn MK3 utilizes Rega’s CD Power Supply which is a result of countless hours of trial, research, and development on their flagship CD player along with various improvements along the way. Tons of other important steps were taken to ensure the signal path of the CD section (when in CD mode) is kept to its absolute minimum. The result is high quality audio and a direct representation of the audio stored on the Audio CD.

Let’s talk about the asynchronous USB input. The DAC USB in the Saturn MK3 has been improved at sample rates of 44.1 – 192 kHz with a bit rate of up to 24-bit. The USB input utilizes the exact same isolation as the Rega DAC-R. The USB uses specific drivers in the computer eliminating signal degradation caused by generic drivers often used by operating systems.

When looking at the remote control it’s initially a little bit daunting. But, upon further investigation you’ll find that it couldn’t be any simpler to operate. The top section of the remote control is all dedicated to the DAC functions of the Saturn MK3. There is a button on the remote control labeled “CD/DAC” and that is used to toggle between the Saturn MK3 acting as a DAC or acting as CD Player.

The Saturn MK3 would pair best with Rega’s Elicit MK5 Stereo Integrated Amplifier.  Adding this would also open you up to be able to connect a turntable into the mix to truly have the best of all music worlds at your fingertips.

Pros: Ultra-modern appearance. Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. 2-in-1 Component. 

Cons: It’s a top loading player which means it’s hard to navigate inside a cabinet or piece of furniture. 

Saturn MK3 CD-DAC Player

Saturn MK3 CD-DAC Player

  • Inputs: USB (192kHz – 24bits asynchronous) / (2) Optical / (2) Coaxial 
  • Outputs: DAC/CD RCA (Fixed) / DAC Optical / DAC Coaxial / CD Optical / CD Coaxial  
  • Disc Capacity: Single (Top Loading) 
  • Supported Formats: CD / CD-R-RW 
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3. The Best Single-Disc CD Player:

Marantz CD6007 Single-Disc CD Player


We hand-picked the Marantz CD6007 as the best single-disc CD player and it might just be the best CD Player in the whole bunch. Out of the box it features a reference class AK4490 192kHz/24-bit D/A converter along with an update HDAM-SA2 (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) to deliver a clean and pure sonic performance. The update on the HDAM module is by way of using a more stable power supply and the idling current stability is less influenced by power transistor temperatures to maintain a stable sonic performance at its highest-level output.

The D/A converter in the CD6007 is a reference class AK4490 which allows the user to select between two filter options and delivers 192kHz/24-bit and DSD 5.6MHz resolution for pristine musical fidelity with tighter bass, immaculate mid-range and smooth high frequency audio in both the CD and Hi-Res formats from a front-loaded USB stick. The two selectable filter options are Filter 1 (a slow roll-off preset to improve deep stereo imaging) or Filter 2 (a sharper roll-off filter for more accurate imaging).

The CD6007 has an improved and redesigned headphone amplifier section utilizing the HDAM-SA2 circuit with 3 different gain settings of Low, Mid and High. If you’re looking to clean up the audio from the CD6007 without the use of the built-in headphone amplifier, you can disable this feature to minimize interference or any additional unwanted noise.

Marantz brings over 65 years of experience and Hi-Fi expertise to the table, and it shows in this master class of a CD Player. Using that experience they were able to upgrade the power supply in the CD6007 from previous generations of the player by using Shottky Barrier Diodes and higher value current storage capacitors. The total increase of the power supply 120% compared to previous models which has increased stability and lessened the AC noise during listening sessions.

The Marantz CD6007 is a great CD player to introduce into your system as a new owner of Marantz products. It’s also a killer upgrade if you’ve got a previous model Marantz CD player as you can take advantage of the updated power supply and updated HDAM module. You won’t want to hide this beauty in a cabinet or behind closed doors. This should sit atop a credenza or other furniture as a focal point to your system. 

Pros: Upgraded HDAM module for more accurate listening sessions. Built-in headphone amplifier that’s able to be turned on and off as needed.

Cons: None. This is a great piece of equipment.

CD6007 Single-disc CD player with USB port

CD6007 Single-disc CD player with USB port

  • Inputs: USB (Front / Rear)  
  • Outputs: RCA (Fixed) / Optical / Coaxial / Headphone (Variable with Volume Control) 
  • Disc Capacity: Single (Tray) 
  • Supported Formats: CD / CD-R/RW / WMA / MP3 
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4. The Best CD Player For Home Theaters:

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport


$699.00 – $699.99

Save: $149.01 (21%)

If you’re familiar with Audiolab you will know that they are rapidly running out of space at their headquarters because they just can’t stop winning awards.

Audiolab’s 6000CDT is a dedicated transport utilizing the exact same slot-loading mechanism as their Flagship CD Player the 8300CD. The 6000CDT has an on-board digital read ahead buffer which will work to figure out what’s under those surface marks and scratches on the discs in your collection. You’ll think twice about throwing away a CD that looks like it will skip and maybe even not play… the 6000CDT has got you covered!

The 6000CDT is triggerable using a 12-volt connection so when you turned on your amplifier you could also trigger the CD player to turn on at the same time. There’s also a hard power switch on the back of the unit.

The 6000CDT has two outputs, both Optical and Digital Coaxial are available on this device.  There is no analog output to be found on the back of the chassis because there is no D/A converter in the build.

An excellent pairing for the 6000CDT to achieve a D/A converter would be the 6000A Integrated amplifier.  Having these two beasts paired up would get you a stereo speaker output, 4 digital inputs, 5 RCA inputs and one RCA pre-out.

Pros: This is a simple and straight to the point CD Player with a classic looking sleek design.  The slot loading disc mechanism means there are no depth concerns with having this in a cabinet with makes it a great pairing to a larger system where you may want to hide away the components.

Cons: Doesn’t have an on-board DAC which in turn means there are no analog outputs, which might limit some potential buyers.

6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport with Remote

6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport with Remote

  • Inputs: N/A
  • Outputs: Optical / Coaxial 
  • Disc Capacity: Single (Slot Loading) 
  • Supported Formats: CD 
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5. The Best All-In-One CD Player

Yamaha CD-S303 CD Player


Regular Price: $379.95

Save: $50.00 (13%)

Savings include $50 instant rebate. Offer ends 4/16/2023.

We included the Yamaha CD-S303 CD Player on our best CD players of 2023 guide on account of it’s stylish appearance, simplicity of operation and the fact that after more than 40 years of producing consumer electronics, Yamaha is a trusted name with trusted equipment.

The CD-S303 brings studio quality sound to music lovers with a CD collection and caters to the new generation of file streaming with their front panel USB slot. Yamaha has taken on the endeavor of sending high quality audio through the CD-S303 by way of shortening their signal path which lessens the chance for any signal loss or external interference, and this was no easy task!

Another feature of the CD-S303 that any fan of Yamaha’s amplifiers and receivers will notice is a Pure Direct button on the front of the player. The Pure Direct button turns off the display and the digital circuitry inside the CD-S303 to remove the chance of interference and only sends out the top-quality analog sound from the player. Yamaha used nothing but the highest quality parts and is constantly working to provide the best materials in the game. The level of attention to detail in the assembly of this CD player is so meticulous that it’s price of $379.95 is akin to highway robbery. A great value for a top notch CD player 

Additionally, built into the CD-S303 is a high performance 192kHz/24-bit DAC. This DAC is designed to promise a down-right perfect conversion precision, signal to noise ratio and dynamic range.

If you’re looking to take advantage of Yamaha’s unrivaled craftsmanship for your amplification as well, look no further than the A-S301 Integrated Amplifier.  At under $799 total for both components, you’ll also come away with additional digital connections and a moving magnet input to add a turntable. This is great place to begin for a nice 2-channel listening room, and it sets you up for future compatibility and expansion when the time is right. 

Pros: 3-Mode CD Text Display will give you information about the disc currently playing.  Digital servo will make quick work of those scratched or scuffed discs that won’t play in other CD Players.

Cons: Buttons on face of the unit are not back-lit and can be difficult to see in low-light rooms.

CD-S303 CD Player with MP3/WMA/LPCM/FLAC/USB Compatibility

CD-S303 CD Player with MP3/WMA/LPCM/FLAC/USB Compatibility

  • Inputs: Front Panel USB (MP3 / WMA / FLAC / LPCM) 
  • Outputs: RCA (Fixed) / Optical / Coaxial 
  • Disc Capacity: Single (Tray Loading) 
  • Supported Formats: CD / CD-R/RW 
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6. The Best DJ CD Player:

Denon DCD-900NE CD Player


We selected Denon’s DCD-900NE as the best DJ CD player based on it’s use of AL32 Processing Plus. But that begs the question from the reader, “What the heck is AL32 Processing Plus?”.  Sit down, and I’ll let you know.

AL32 Processing Plus utilizes data interpolation algorithms, up-sampling and bit-extension for audio playback that is masterfully faithful to the sound as the artist intended.  Would you want to hear music any other way? The answer is no.

Another step Denon took is to thoughtfully separate the different audio and digital boards under the hood of the DCD-900NE. Denon has also used precisely fitted power transformers in their design. These two facts coupled together work to reduce vibration and interference commonly found in other designs.

Denon has been doing this for a long time and are a trusted name in consumer electronics. They’ve recently celebrated their 110th year as a company and are dedicated to manufacturing top shelf audio components.

The DAC included with the DCD-900NE is set up to accurately synchronize the digital circuits. When clock signals are supplied, the DAC Master Clock design treats the DAC as the master. This clock is located right next to the DAC in the player and that proximity reduces jitter and ensures an accurate conversation in the D/A.

The DCD-900NE has a USB port on the front panel of the unit. Insert the stick into the front panel port and you can utilize playback of FLAC up to 192kHz/24-bit or DSD 2.8MHz/5.6MHz. The outputs on the back of the device are Digital Coaxial, Optical and Gold-Plated RCA outputs. The DCD-900NE will handle Audio CD’s or Data CD’s and will play MP3 / WMA / AAC files from the Data CDs.

The DCD-900NE also features Pure Direct Mode.  This mode turns off the digital outputs to minimize interference that could otherwise corrupt the audio signal.  The result of Pure Direct Mode being engaged is you only hear clean, accurate sound as the artist intended. 

In closing, this is a well-made, well thought out pristine looking piece of equipment that checks off several of the boxes someone is looking for in a CD player. Quality DAC? Check. CD’s? Check. USB? Check. Data CDs? Check. Sleek looking classic Denon form factor? Check.

Pros: Built in DAC and well thought out design make this player a value for the prices tag, Pure Direct Mode.

Cons: Does not support gapless playback on the USB stick side of the player.

DCD-900NE CD Player with Advanced AL32 Processing Plus and USB

DCD-900NE CD Player with Advanced AL32 Processing Plus and USB

  • Inputs – USB-A FLAC @ 192kHz/24bits / DSD @ 2.8 MHz/5.6MHz 
  • Outputs – RCA (Fixed) / Optical / Coaxial 
  • Disc Capacity – Single (Tray Loading) 
  • Supported Formats – CD / CD-R/RW / MP3 / WMA / AAC
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7. The Best Multi-Disc CD Player: 

Onkyo DX-C390 6-Disc Carousel CD Changer


Regular Price: $349.00

Save: $50.00 (14%)

Savings include $50 instant rebate. Offer ends 3/31/2023.

The house is a mess. Company is coming over in 3 hours. Time to load up the 6-disc DX-C390 CD Changer with your meager collection of Rush CD’s and get to cleaning! Before you know it, you’re on disc 4 and the music has never stopped. You look around and you’ve done it. Clean house. Where did the time even go?

That’s the beauty of a CD Changer and why the Onkyo DX-C390 is our pick for the best multi-disc CD player. It’s a lot like a crock pot if you want to think about it that way. Drop your ingredients in (in this case CDs) to the crock pot (CD Changer) and get it started (play button).

The Onkyo DX-C390 is a perfect addition to any home system that demands the excellence of near perfect CD playback utilizing their VLSC (Vector Liner Shaping Circuitry) for a much smoother sounding audio signal. Not to be outdone by the VLSC is the Direct Digital Path which is a shielded top-quality cable that guards the audio signal from noise by the surrounding circuit boards.

The DX-C390 features a Single-Bit DAC, 6 Repeat Modes, a Random Track Memory of 40 tracks, a user-friendly remote control and Onkyo’s classic brushed aluminum front panel. The digital display on the front of the unit will give you the disc number that is being played; the track being played from that disc as well as the play mode the is currently selected. Not to mention that while 1 disc is playing, you can exchange the other 5 discs for new discs without ever interrupting the disc that’s playing. When you’re loading up the fresh CDs, you’ll take notice that there is barely any audible sound from the player when the tray slides in and out.

The DX-C390 will allow the end user to insert up to 6 discs full of MP3 files and play them through the True Random function. The use of True Random will randomly play a file from each disc, or a blend of data discs and traditional audio CDs.

Pros: 6 Disc Carousel keeps the tunes playing. User friendly remote control.

Cons: Takes up more space depth-wise than a traditional single disc CD player.

DX-C390 6-Disc Carousel CD Changer

DX-C390 6-Disc Carousel CD Changer

  • Inputs: N/A
  • Outputs: RCA (Fixed) / Optical / Coaxial 
  • Disc Capacity: Six (Carousel) 
  • Supported Formats: CD / CD-R/RW / MP3 
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8. The Best Value For The Money CD Player:

Marantz CD 60 CD Player


The Marantz CD60 is the best CD player for the money because of it's stylish, classic design and it will fit the needs of any CD aficionado. The CD60 Marantz’s proprietary HDAM circuit which has been updated since it’s inception to place the gear on the audio board in a more symmetrical manner to create a direct signal path for the device. The result of this upgraded design will bring out depth of field and sounds you’ve never heard before on CD’s you’ve listened to hundreds if not thousands of times.

In addition to the HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) circuity, the CD60 comes equipped with a High-Current Power using upgraded Schottky diodes and improved voltage regulation over the previous editions of this player.  Using larger capacitors in the power supply help manage the current and reduce floor noise while you’re listening to your music collection. 

Another excellent selling (and buying) point with the CD60 is the front USB port.  This means you can add your favorite tunes to a USB stick and plug it right in.  We know what you’re thinking, “I have to turn the unit around, or fumble around with trying to get a USB stick inserted into the player blindly?”.  No.  Absolutely not.  The CD60 has a USB port on the face of the unit for easy connections and removal of the USB stick.  Connecting the USB stick will give the listener (you) the ability to us Hi-Res Audio up to 192-kHz/24bit). 

The CD60 is designed to work in concert (both functionally and aesthetically) with a Model 40n Integrated Amplifier.  Adding the Model 40n would also mean an instant connection to your phone or TV for additional audio.  The model 40n has an HDMI input for ARC, a phono stage for connecting a turntable, HEOS built in for streaming and supports Apple Air Play2.  The combination of these two monsters transforms your Music Room into a Media Room as soon as you unbox it and lets you explore not only your CD collection, but any other source you can imagine as well.  

ProsFront USB Panel Support for Hi-Res Playback.  HDAM circuitry for dynamic playback.

Cons: Doesn’t support SA-CD Playback, but don’t worry Marantz SACD30N does!

CD 60 CD Player

CD 60 CD Player

  • Inputs: Front Panel USB (FLAC / WAV / AIFF / ALAC / DSD) 
  • Outputs: RCA (Fixed) / Optical / Coaxial / Headphone 
  • Disc Capacity: Single Disc (Tray Loading) 
  • Supported Formats: CD / CD-R/RW / WMA / MP3 / AAC
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9. The Best CD Player Under $500:

Integra CDC-3.4 Premium 6-Disc Carousel Changer


The Integra CDC-3.4 is the best CD player under $500 for its superior performance and build quality. 

However, we also chose it because sometimes being able to put one CD into the player and start the music just isn’t good enough. The food is out, the drinks are served, and the guests are just starting to arrive and -*crickets*- THE MUSIC STOPS. 

Integra has a solution for you! The CDC-3.4 6-Disc Carousel Changer is the player for just such a party. Load up 6 of your favorite CD’s and hit play… or if you’re really wanting to party… load up 6 discs into the carousel and hit random!

The CDC-3.4 has a built in 192kHz/24-bit D/A Converter and utilizes VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) for a Noise-Free Signal Path. It also showcases a Direct Digital Path which is a Direct Shielded Cable Connection to the rear panel.

When the tray slides out, you’ll find not only is it illuminated, but it’s also virtually inaudible and glides as smooth as warm butter on warm toast. The disc formats that are supported by the CDC-3.4 are both traditional CDs as well as CD-R/RW and MP3 playback. There are several playback options including entire disc, all discs, random tracks, and True Random play which will also randomize MP3’s.

The CDC-3.4 has a perfectly designed back panel featuring 2 Digital Outputs (1 Optical and 1 Coaxial), and high-quality gold-plated RCA output terminals for perfection when it comes to signal transmission. 

The remote control for the CDC-3.4 is designed with the end user in mind. It’s a very basic remote control that within 15 seconds of picking up it’s plainly obvious what we need to do with it. The remote control isn’t cluttered up with a bunch of buttons that serve little to no function.  It just makes sense, plain and simple.

Pros: 6 Disc Carousel is perfect for a “set it an forget it” approach to listening to CDs. The price point for this player considering the brands reputation and build quality is a no-brainer.

Cons: Takes up more room than a conventional single-disc player based on depth of carousel.

CDC-3.4 Premium 6-Disc Carousel Changer

CDC-3.4 Premium 6-Disc Carousel Changer

  • Inputs: N/A
  • Outputs: RCA (Fixed) / Optical / Coaxial 
  • Disc Capacity: Six (Carousel) 
  • Supported Formats: CD / CD-R/RW 
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10. The Best CD Player Without a DAC:

Cambridge Audio CXC Dedicated CD Compact Disc Transport


Regular Price: $699.00

Save: $100.00 (14%)

The Cambridge Audio CXC v2 is the best CD player without a DAC because it was built for one purpose only: to read the information on your CDs and do it really, really well. As in: playback the audio beautifully and accurately. The CXC v2 was intended to be part of a system, and to work with DACs, like the DacMagic 200 and compatible amps like the CXA81. Yes, most CD players come with a DAC onboard, but this piece was built to maximize data retrieval and minimize jitter and distortion. Cambridge's proprietary S3 Custom CD Servo drive mechanism provides perfect speed, sonic precision, and error free playback. An acoustically dampened metal chassis ensures external forces don't interfere with the digital signal. 

Other features we like include a choice of S/PDIF digital outputs - one coax, the other optical, so you can pick the one that best fits your DAC, whether it's a standalone or one integrated into an amplifier. Gapless playback is perfect for classical pieces and DJ mixes. This unit plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, comes with a remote control, and is housed within Cambridge Audio's signature and timeless aluminum and steel body. it's classic and looks beautiful on any surface. 

Pros: Clean, timeless design, with top-of-the-line playback capabilities.

Cons: Doesn't come with a built-in DAC. To some, this is a draw, to others, it's one more element to add to their system. This piece is made for someone looking for a performance-grade system made up of selected components.

CXC Dedicated CD Compact Disc Transport (Gray)

CXC Dedicated CD Compact Disc Transport (Gray)

  • Inputs: N/A
  • Outputs: S/PDIF coaxial and TOSLINK optical 
  • Disc Capacity: Single (Tray Loading)
  • Supported Formats: CD / CD-R/RW
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Considerations when Buying CD Players

What is your budget?  This guide offers everything from the entry level CD player to the peak of the mountain best CD players on earth.  Think about your budget and then act accordingly.  You might only have 30-40 CDs in which case a simple player might be all you need.  But if you’re like me and have boxes and boxes of hundreds of CDs aiming a little higher with your budget will result in a better, clearer more accurate audio experience as the artist intended. 

What are your needs for inputs and outputs?  It’s important to note that not all CD players are going to have the correct output for your systems needs.  Take a look-see behind your receiver or integrated amp, are you out of coaxial inputs?  Do you have any optical inputs left?  These are important things to consider when selecting the right player for you and your home system.

Where will the CD Player be installed? Take notice of the location that you’ll be installing the CD Player.  Will it be inside a cabinet?  If so, a top loading player might not be the best for you unless you want to rearrange the system so the CD player can sit on a cabinet. 

Do you have a folder on your computer jam-packed with files that you would want to play through your home system?  If so, consider buying a CD player with a built in USB port so you can utilize those audio files in your home system. 

Do you want to be able to play multiple discs and utilize a “random” feature on a disc player?  Consider one of the two 6 Disc Carousel players.  But keep in mind that the depth of these players may not work in all situations and environments.  Measure twice, cut once. 

Note from the author:

I’ve been in the industry for almost half of my life, and I like to believe I know what I’m talking about. With that being said, I would lean toward the Rega Saturn MK3. It’s a top loading player, which works perfect for my system at home. It’s multi-functional, so not only would I get a CD player, but I’d also get a top of the line Digital to Analog Converter. It’s multiple inputs and outputs make it the most flexible device in the Gear Guide, hands down.

Still not sure? We got this.

If you’re still not sure which CD Player is best for you, give us a call or send us an email. Tell us a little about how you will use it, what kind of music you like, what’s your budget, and/or anything else you think we should know. Just think of us as your own personal audio gear shopping concierge, on-call to help you pick the perfect CD Player for you.

One more thing...

In the early days of the CD format, it was easy to decide where to buy your CD player: In a brick-and-mortar store, since the Internet wasn't the e-commerce juggernaut it is now. But then as now, the best way to approach your purchase of home theater gear was to buy it from a trusted dealer. And the more experience and longer the track record, the better. Even more so today than 40 years ago, a good and trusted authorized dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens.  

Speaking of trusted dealers…

World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do, and love talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet diehard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. We’re brutally honest when it comes to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised? Even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us or stop by one of our showrooms — we’ll give it to you straight. We love what we do, and we love sharing that love. 

With us, you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns (aka 60-day home trial), and support even years after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy." Ever. 

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