Thanks to the digital era, you can find your favorite tunes at the touch of a button and download them in a few seconds. However, if you spent your teenage years collecting CDs, rest assured that your compact discs are not extinct. Read on to discover the best audiophile CD player reviews of the top HiFi and high end CD players and enjoy the cleanest playback of your tunes.
In a hurry? The best audiophile CD player in 2021 is the Yamaha CD-S1000 Super Audio CD Player. This audio player produces the finest audio quality you can find. The second place belongs to the Marantz ND8006. However, if you’re on a lower budget, we recommend the Onkyo DXC390 6 Disc CD Changer. It offers the best value for money.
Best HiFi CD Players: Quick Comparison
Yamaha CD-S1000 Super Audio CD Player||Check Price|
|BEST UNDER 2000||
Marantz ND8006 4-in-1 Digital Media Player||Check Price|
|BEST UNDER 1000||
Denon DCD-800 NE Single Disk CD Player||Check Price|
Onkyo DXC390 6 Disc CD Changer||Check Price|
Cambridge Audio AXC35 Single-Disc CD Player ||Check Price|
Audiophile CD Player 2021: Reviews
1. Yamaha CD-S1000 Super Audio CD Player
Best Sounding CD Player Ever (Under 2000)
When paired with a high-performance amplifier, you’ll experience some of the finest audio quality ever.
The Yamaha CD-S1000 includes high-grade differential DACs to give high conversion precision, incredible signal-to-noise ratio, and dynamic range.
It also features Yamaha’s renowned proprietary silent loader, built with highly durable Synchro Mesh for silent tray movement.
The brushless spindle motor and diecast aluminum tray give zero vibration playback. Meanwhile, the symmetrical, rigid construction and height-adjustable, solid steel feet prevent any external vibration.
The player is compatible with Super Audio CDs, standard CDs, and CD-RW discs.
The CD-S1000 has analog and digital outputs but features Yamaha’s unique pure direct circuit, separating the analog and digital sections.
Therefore, when connecting to an amp or receiver through the analog output, the digital output shuts off to produce the highest quality analog sound output.
This CD player has a frequency response of 2Hz–20kHz for standard CDs, 113dB signal-to-noise ratio, and 100dB dynamic range. It weighs a hefty 33 lbs (14kg) and measures 8x8x16 inches.
- High-grade differential DACs
- Proprietary silent loader
- Designed to eliminate vibration
- Digital output shut-off feature
- High-performance professional quality
- Premium price
2. Marantz ND8006 Low-Profile 4-in-1 Digital Media Player
Best Audiophile CD Player Under 2000
In that case, the Marantz ND8006 is a worthy contender. This model is a complete digital media source player, combining a CD player with a music streamer, pre-amplifier, and high-end DAC.
This unique system allows you to connect and listen to any audio source, whether that’s CD, USB, or even locally saved music files on your laptop or smartphone. This is possible thanks to its local USB storage and compatibility with Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth.
The Marantz ND8006 features built-in HEOS technology for wireless streaming from online services such as Spotify and internet radio.
It also has a headphone amplifier with HDAM-SA2 and gain control. Plus, you can use it as a pre-amplifier via its variable level output, connecting it to your speakers.
As well as its impressive features, this is the best quality CD player because of the unique Marantz digital filtering (MMDF), audiophile-grade DAC, and HDAM. Together, they ensure high accuracy in handling every digital signal to produce the most refined high-resolution playback possible.
This music CD player weighs 17.64 pounds (8kg) and measures 14.53 x 17.32 x 4.17 inches. It has a frequency response of 2 Hz-20 kHz, 110 dB signal-to-noise ratio, and 192 kHz / 24-bit sample rate.
- A complete digital media source player
- Ideal for professionals
- HEOS technology for wireless streaming
- High-tech MMDF filter
- Compatible with Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth
- Cheaper than Yamaha but not the most budget friendly option
3. Denon DCD-800 NE Single Disk CD Player with Integrated USB Port
Best Audiophile CD Player Under 1000 Bucks
It utilizes Denon’s advanced AL32 processing plus technology, as well as an ultra-precision DAC with an innovative circuit design, which reproduces sound as close to the original recording as possible.
This results in a crisp and clear audio output with no vibrations or noise disturbances.
This versatile player is compatible with CDs and most media files, including MP3, WAV/FLAC, WMA, and DSD. It also has an integrated USB port that supports hi-res playback up to PCM 192/24 and DSD 2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz. It can also recognize up to 255 folders per drive.
This single-disc music CD player features an analog RCA output and two digital outputs (optical and coaxial). Therefore, you can connect a pre-amplifier, stereo receiver, or any other audiophile equipment. Moreover, the sturdy construction results in total vibration-resistance
The DCD-800NE weighs 9.48 pounds (4.3kg) and measures 10.5 x 17.12 x 4.5 inches. It comes with a remote control, stereo RCA cable, and 2 AAA batteries.
- Advanced AL32 processing plus technology
- DAC circuit design gives jitter-free audio reproduction
- Circuitry with minimized signal paths for highly accurate reproduction
- Supports many media files
- Integrated USB port
- Gapless playback could be better
4. Onkyo DXC390 6 Disc CD Changer
Best Value Audiophile CD Player 2021
This model can hold 6 CDs at once, and you can remove and change 5 of them as one plays. It supports standard CDs, MP3-Encoded CDs, and CD-R/RWs.
The VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) provides a smooth and crystal clear audio output. Additionally, the direct digital path that consists of a heavily shielded cable protects the delicate audio signal from any noise emitted by the surrounding circuits.
The sturdy chassis housing and the brushed aluminum front panel also play a role in the high-grade uninterrupted playback.
All of this, combined with additional functions like 40-track programming and six repeat modes, make the Onkyo DXC390 the best price audiophile cd player for many music lovers.
The 192 kHz/24bit D/A converters boast a dynamic range of 120 dB and 128 x oversampling. The CD player weighs 13.23 pounds (6kg) and measures 17.01 x 17.13 x 5.16 inches.
- 6-disc capability
- High-grade vector linear shaping circuitry
- MP3 playback
- Multi-bit D/A Converter
- 128-times Oversampling
- Could be easier to program
5. Cambridge Audio AXC35 Single-Disc CD Player with DAC
Best Cheap Audiophile CD Player
It uses the high-performance Wolfson WM8524 DAC to deliver pristine sound quality regardless of whether you’re playing regular CDs and homemade discs.
In addition, it supports MP3 and WMA media files from CD-R, CD-RW, and CD-ROM discs.
But it’s not the high-end DAC alone that results in one of the best sounding CD players. The AXC35 also has a two-pole Butterworth filter for further precision and gapless playback.
Furthermore, the single-disc CD player is built with a highly durable all-metal chassis, providing consistent performance and preventing vibration and sound distortion.
This Cambridge Audio AXC35 has a coaxial digital output that allows you to record from a CD to a digital format. What’s more, you can connect to an external DAC using the analog RCA outputs to improve the sound quality even further.
Other helpful specs you might want to know are the 1KHZ -10DBFS 93dB THB rate, 1KHZ crosstalk rate, and 50 ohms output impedance.
It weighs 4.3kg (8.3lbs), so it is much lighter than others on this list and measures 3.0 x 16.9 x 12.2 inches. This CD player comes with remote control, power cable, and 2 AAA batteries.
- High-performance built-in DAC
- Two-pole Butterworth filter
- All metal chassis
- Analog and digital outputs
- Supports MP3 and WMA media files
- Incredible value for money
- It does not deliver professional-level audio quality
How To Choose A Top High End CD Player
DAC Bit Rate
Many high-end CD players will have a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This converts a CD’s digital data to an analog audio signal, enabling it to transmit through your external speakers or headphones.
The quality of the DAC can vary, which can impact the sound quality. This is measured in bits and is known as the bit rate. The higher the bits, the quicker the CD player reads the disc, reducing the amount of lost data during the conversion between the digital and audio signals. We find that the best sounding cd players have a 24-bit DAC.
Some low-cost CD players only have analog outputs; however, we recommend opting for one that has both analog and digital outputs. Firstly, this is essential if you want to connect an external DAC.
Secondly, analog outputs can create distortions affecting the sound quality, whereas digital outputs reduce this interference. Therefore, you’ll find the best quality cd players will have analog and digital outputs.
Another thing to note is that some CD players will have one digital output, and others will have two, optical and coaxial. However, these are both equal in quality. What’s more, some of the best high end cd players will also offer balanced XLR outputs, allowing you to connect other audiophile gear.
While any CD player can play commercial CDs, only the best audio CD players can handle homemade discs with file types like WAV, MP3, and FLAC. Therefore, if you spent many hours of your youth curating playlists onto compact discs, ensure your CD player is compatible with all media files.
Final Thoughts About Best CD Players For Audiophile
There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the high-quality audio of your CD collection. From our reviews of the top Hifi and high end CD players, we found the best Audiophile CD Player in 2021 is the Yamaha CD-S1000 Super Audio CD Player.
If you’re on a budget, Onkyo DXC390 6 Disc CD Changer is superb.