The Best CD Players to Buy in 2024

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best cd players to buy in 2024

In 2023, CDs had garnered more attention than they had in decades. A recent Discogs article offered up a report on trends that suggested CDs were making a comeback, which included both the number of CDs being added to the database as well as the number of CDs being listed for sale, and more importantly, that the number of CDs being sold comprises up to one-fifth of the total items sold. Those statistics might be indicative of green shoots rather than a full bloom, but the trends seem to indicate that the long out-of-fashion format is making a comeback.

In the 2000s, CD sales were on the decline because of the rise of downloadable music, and they further took a slide in the 2010s because of streaming, which has since become the dominant method of consumption for most listeners. Yet where vinyl made a sizable comeback in the past decade, CDs have remained on the marketplace without making big waves. That’s been changing of late, in part because it’s less expensive to buy CDs now than vinyl, and in part because CDs have long been the format with the best, least distorted sound. And it’s very much still easy to find CDs, but there comes a slightly larger challenge of where to find a good CD player. So we’re stepping in to offer our recommendations for the best options on the marketplace right now: The Best CD Players to buy in 2024.

All CD players featured here were evaluated on a number of factors, including sound quality, value, ease of use, convenience, versatility and additional features. We’ve also broken them down into three different categories: Portable CD players reminiscent of the classic Discman, component CD players to connect to a stereo (and in some cases a DAC, or digital to analog converter), and boomboxes or all-in-one players. Each serves a different purpose for potentially a different audience, and we wanted to offer a comprehensive look at some of the best options available right now.

For more audio guides, check out our lists of the Best Record Players, the Best Headphones, and the Best Speakers.

Note: When you buy something through our affiliate links, Treble receives a commission. All items included are independently chosen and evaluated by our editors.

Best Portable CD Players

best cd players to buy in 2024 - Lukasa

Lukasa Portable Bluetooth Player ($55)

One of the benefits of buying a CD player in 2024 is that there have been some improvements in the years since their peak years. For instance: Bluetooth. The Lukasa portable player offers the convenience of several different playing options. It features a built in speaker for basic playback, as well as headphone jacks, in addition to Bluetooth connectivity to wireless speakers. The player itself supports a number of different formats, including CD, MP3 and WAV, and its compact size makes it an attractive alternative to those looking for a comparable player to the classic Discman. It’s a surprisingly versatile player for being relatively simple, and for playing discs on the go, it’s hard to beat.

Gueray Portable CD Player ($45)

For a straightforward portable CD player that’s friendly on the wallet, Gueray offers an attractive option that functions a lot like a classic Discman. It’s a simple player, but it comes with a number of appealing features beyond the basics: anti-shock protection to prevents skips on the go, features five different sound EQ modes, can connect to a car stereo via aux cable and likewise features Bluetooth connectivity for wireless or car speakers. Unlike classic portable players, it can play MP3 and CD-RW discs in addition to CDs, and features up to 12 hours of playing time when its battery is fully recharged.

best cd players to buy in 2023 - HOTT

HOTT CD711T ($63)

Offering excellent sound quality at a low price, CD players made by HOTT have been a reliable and convenient option for those seeking a simple portable in the past few years. The CD711T is a step up from some of their entry-level models, due to a few key features, one of the most notable being its Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, which isn’t available in every model. Its rechargeable battery can go for 10 hours without a recharge, and the player can read a number of different formats, including MP3 and CD-RW. Most importantly, it offers some of the best sound in a portable player, offering hifi surround sound, with up to 45 seconds of anti-skip protection.

Best Component CD Players

Denon DCD-600NE ($429)

When upgrading to a mid-range component CD player from a Discman-style player or portable alternative, Denon provides an option that offers excellent sound without a huge leap in price. The DCD-600NE is a relatively simple player, offering mostly basic fuctionality, but its 32-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter and proprietary AL32 processing make it optimized for prime sonic clarity and accuracy of sound. Its metal chassis reduces unwelcome vibrations, and its Pure Direct mode sends the signal directly to the amplifier with no loss in sound. For a component system with external speakers, you can’t go wrong with a player like this.

Courtesy of Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio CXC ($599)

The first thing you’ll likely notice about Cambridge Audio’s CXC CD player is the sleek, streamlined look of it, featuring a machined metal chassis. It’s a CD player that looks contemporary as well as providing hifi digital audio. Its S3 Servo is designed to spin CDs at the optimum speed to retrieve data, and plays audio with optimum precision and accuracy. Take note that it doesn’t feature a built-in digital-to-audio converter, so it’ll require an external DAC or compatible amplifier, like the Cambridge Audio CX81. But the investment is worthwhile for those seeking top-tier audio at a mid-range price.

best cd players to buy in 2023
Courtesy of Audiolab

Audiolab 6000CDT ($599)

A component CD player that looks as great as it sounds, Audiolab’s 6000CDT has a sleek, metallic finish that makes it instantly recognizable. But the other distinguishing characteristic of the 6000CDT is that it’s a straightforward CD transport, made to do one thing and do it as well as it can: Play CDs. That means no Bluetooth and so on, but in simplifying its features and focusing on its basic function, and as such its sound quality doesn’t suffer due to additional signal contamination. So while it requires an external DAC and might not have the versatility of a lot of modern players, it more than makes up for that by being among the best in its class for sound. Those looking for the best possible audio experience from a component will find what they’re looking for in this player. After all, when you’re focused on the act of listening, what else do you need?

Best Boomboxes/All-in-One CD Players

best cd players to buy in 2024 - Sony boombox

Sony Portable Bluetooth Boombox ($190)

There’s a good chance a lot of those reading this feature had a Sony boombox at some point in their lives, and there’s every reason to follow that instinct when seeking out a new one. In many respects, Sony’s newer boombox model is pretty similar to what’s made them great all along: durability, ease of use, versatility and high quality sound. Of course, there have been a few updates along the way, most notably the addition of Bluetooth, for the sake of playing from portable devices, as well as USB audio transfer, and up to 26 hours of playback when fully charged. It’s compact, but it’s mighty, offering an impressive, modern update to the classic boombox.

Magnavox MD6972 ($48)

One of the identifying features of Magnavox’s MD6972 is its color-changing light display, which is neat, but that’s not necessarily why it’s included in this roundup. (Though hey, added bonus.) The reason it’s here is because it provides pretty much everything a classic boombox should provide: a durable CD player with great sound and programmability, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth connectivity and aux out port. It’s a fairly simple design, save for the light display of course, and with its size and light weight, you can take it pretty much anywhere. Not to mention that price is pretty hard to beat.

Victrola Empire 6-in-1 ($130)

Technically speaking, Victrola’s Empire 6-in-1 isn’t a boombox, though much like a traditional boombox, it supports more than one format: CD, cassette, vinyl, FM radio and streaming from a bluetooth-enabled device, as well as external components. Also like a boombox, the Empire features built-in speakers, which offers the convenience of portability. But with its mid-century modern design, it brings more aesthetic appeal to any room it’s in, whether in your own home or if you choose to bring it with you on a road trip (every long weekend needs a great soundtrack, right?). The biggest addition here is the record player, which certainly doesn’t come standard on most boomboxes, putting the Empire in a category of its own. It’s an affordable option for those looking for an all-in-one option, and though the sound quality doesn’t necessarily match those of higher end options, it does feature an RCA out to connect to external speakers.

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