Nowadays, inexpensive CD players, which were so popular earlier, have practically migrated to the vintage category – a limited number of manufacturers continue to release budget models.
Nevertheless, it is quite possible to find a CD player that you can afford, especially since many models today combine the functions of a USB player. In our ranking, we have collected the most interesting CD players this summer.
Price – $399
The only dedicated CD player in the range of a Japanese company. The model is equipped with a DAC based on a Burr-Brown chip and can not only play traditional Red Book CDs, but also play files with a resolution of up to 24 bit/96 kHz when an external USB drive is connected.
The transport in the model is fixed on a floating chassis, and the Intelligent Digital Servo system is responsible for the accuracy of the engine – it allows you to adjust the rotation speed in case of a physical anomaly of the optical disk. The kit includes an aluminum remote control, the model weighs 3.5 kilograms.
Price – $499
The new model from Denon features the latest generation of the proprietary Advanced AL32 Processing Plus algorithm to improve the sound quality of CDs. The player can also play Hi-Res files from an external USB drive – PCM 24bit/192kHz and DSD 2.8/5.6MHz.
The digital-to-analog converter in the player is based on the ES9018K2M chip from ESS Saber. When Pure Direct mode is activated, the player turns off the display and digital outputs so that the circuits that feed them do not interfere with the audio signal. Transport is installed exactly in the center of mass of the device, this solution is called Direct Mechanical Ground. The player is available in two colors and weighs 4.9 kilograms.
Rotel CD11 Tribute
Price – $549
The model, tuned and refined by Ken Ishiwata, has a classic design – a traditional loader with a pull-out tray, a linear power supply on a small transformer, and a DAC unit based on Burr-Brown chips. Changes made to the base CD11 model affected the output stage after the digital-to-analog converter – eight capacitors and one resistor were replaced in it, as well as the power supply, in which nine capacitors were replaced.
Special damping material was glued to the top cover of the case to reduce vibration levels, in addition, the electrical grounding and mechanical decoupling of the transport was improved. The component rests on four anti-vibration feet, the weight of the player is 5.8 kilograms.
Atoll CD80 Signature
Price – $900
The serious player, also made in France, features a TEAC drive optimized for CD playback. The power supply has five stabilized voltage lines, the output stage in class A is made on discrete elements. The total capacitance of the filter capacitors is 12,892 microfarads. The DAC block uses Burr Brown PCM1793 chips in differential switching.
In addition to the analog output on RCA connectors, there are traditional optical and coaxial digital outputs on the rear wall. The model weighs 5 kilograms.
Pro-Ject CD Box S3
Price – 700 euros
The new player from the Austrian manufacturer has compact dimensions – only 206 x 55 x 153 mm and weighs 1.33 kilograms. It receives power from an external network adapter. On the front panel, there is only a slot loader for discs with a smooth drive, a 1.54-inch display and keys to start / stop playback, pause, rewind and eject the disc, as well as a power button.
The rear panel has a fixed analog output on RCA connectors and a coaxial digital output. The digital-to-analog converter in the model is built on a PCM5102 chip from Burr Brown, capable of working with a stream of 32 bits / 384 kHz, but the player’s capabilities are limited by the Red Book CD-DA format.
Price – 899 euros
A fresh model, featuring an original front panel design, as well as the use of the latest generation of proprietary HDAM + HDAM-SA2 assemblies in the output stage. They are also used in the headphone amplifier. The power supply contains Schottky diodes and high-capacity filter capacitors, and the audio circuit board is designed to provide the shortest signal path.
The model is also equipped with a USB input for playing PCM files up to 24-bit/192 kHz and DSD 2.8/5.6 MHz. The player weighs 7.5 kilograms.
Rega Apollo CDP
Price – 990 euros
Time-tested and beloved by many, the device is still relevant – aluminum chassis, top disk loading, recognizable design with a glowing company logo on the front panel. The digital-to-analog converter uses the Wolfson WM8742 chip, the output stage is built on discrete elements, the digital and analog circuits, as well as the transport, are powered from separate stabilized voltage lines.
The player is equipped with a small remote control, player dimensions – 220 x 90 x 342 mm, weight – 5.8 kilograms.