Choosing the Best Cheap CD Player
CD Players Reviewed
So if you have just typed in a search for the best cd player,, I must congratulate you. You have entered the stratospheric air of the audiophiles -- those people who appreciate the rarified qualities of music and insist on pleasuring their ears with only the best sound.
Sound is a personal taste. I have several recommendations for you to look at, but, in the end, it comes down to YOU. What do you love?
Buy from someone that has a solid return policy. That way you can get your money back if the CD player doesn't hold up to your scrutiny.
If the photo to your left looks like "Heaven" to you, than please, by all means, enjoy this review!
Show your snobbery!
Emotiva ERC-2 Reviewed
This thing is Beautiful. Its dark, brushed aluminum front is accented by its brightly lit blue buttons (dimmable, of course) Capped by stainless steel on each end, the Emotiva is a solid CD player. If that isn't enough, it has a milled aluminum remote. Let's just say that nothing feels quite as majestic as holding that remote to command your listening pleasure.
It uses a slot load for accepting the disc. If you'll recall, Apple tried this on its iMacs, and it received mixed reviews. Primarily, because it loads slowly. That said, it is likely more durable than a CD tray.
The ERC-2's amazing point is in its circuitry design. Its circuitry is flawless and has low ground noise to eliminate un-needed hisses that ruin beautiful music. It uses a 24-bit oversampling DAC to do the conversions. Granted, its not the richest DAC out there, but it is high-quality enough to beat out the sound of about anything else in the price range.
The Oppo BDP-93
All Universals Players are rubbish. Except for the Oppo. We make an exception for this incredible player
Ok, so this one isn't quite as beautiful as some. And, granted, it's a little more pricey. But it will hands downbeat out pretty much any other player in -- or out of -- its class in clarity of sound. Additionally , this is probably the only Universal player that sounds this good.
You are getting a blue-ray 3D player in this setup. And it's equipped to play everything from CD's, SACD,DVD-Audio and Blu-ray disks to music you have stored on eSATA and USB drives. It comes pre-equipped for 7.1 surround sound, so you can hook it up into your incredible surround sound.
If you were shopping for a Blu-Ray player, you would probably discredit the Oppo as being too expensive.
If you were shopping for a Cd-Player, you will probably discredit the Oppo as being too distracted.
But for the closet Audiophile who needs to feed their souls cravings with incredible sound AND loves the fact that this one is disguised as a Blu-ray player, well, you can't go wrong.
For even better sound, you can add an external DAC on down the road to improve the sound even further -- if you need too, that its.
I'm a lover of functionality. So the Oppo gets my vote. Its the machine that other companies benchmark their stuff against. And its priced smartly.
Oh, and if this isn't all enough, it will stream content from Netflix you you. Pretty cool for some, I suppose.
A lot of Fun for the price
This Tascam is has some fun features -- like an iPod dock! If that isn't cool enough you can use the remote to navigate your iPod while it is docked. Fun stuff. Not quite as functional as the Oppo when it comes to the file formats it will play, buts its got the major ones like MP3 and WAV covered.
What is great about this player is that it has done a great job with the circuitry at decreasing jitter and background noise.
For an entry-level DAC, this is a great way to go.
Marantz CD 6004
No self-respecting review list would leave it out.
I sort've saved the best for last. Marantz makes an incredible unit, and if you get lucky enough to have more to spend on a CD player I would whole-heartedly recommend getting one of the 8000-series units so that you can play SACD on it.
However, the CD6004 offers more sound than you can imagine.
It too, plays both CD's and iPods and handles most traditional digital music formats.
A lot of effort has been spent on making the circuitry upgradeable, and, when you are ready you can the amplifier for a two-channel system.
As it is, it provides an incredible, neutral sound that represents music in its purity.
This could be last CD player you ever own, and you will still be listening to it long after CD's go out of style, and you'll still be listening when they come back into style (you know they will...)
Terminology You Should Know
To become an audiophile, you must speak the lingo.
Audiophile - "A person with strong interest in high quality sound" (Thanks, Wikipedia)
SACD - Super Audio CD. This is a read-only disc designed by Sony and Phillips as a replacement to the Compact Disc., It is designed to offer more depth and even be able to be played back in surround sound. Having failed to take off in mainstream, it is still enjoyed by Audiophiles.
DAC - Digital to Analog Converter. Since most music files are stored in digital files as Mp3's or on CD's, they must be converted to analog signals in order to be understood by our ears. A lot of the sound quality in a CD player has to do with how accurately it converts the sound.