Best portable CD player

Rick Robinson

Standard Member
Hi everyone,

I’d like to buy a portable CD player with the best possible sound so that I can enjoy my collection of CDs on headphones whilst reading in the lounge, away from my main hi-fi setup.

I’m bewildered by the vast array of often very expensive old Sony models on e-Bay, and am struggling to find credible reviews about the sound quality of newer players.

I would appreciate any recommendations, either on specific brands or players; or on whether in general the currently manufactured brands stand comparison to the old Sony models; or even just pointers to decent review articles that are informative.

Thankyou!

Rick
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you are close to your main system, then maybe the best option would be to look at using a headphone amp plugged into your system then use the headphones connected into it

I suspect one of the reasons your struggling to find one which fits the bill is that mobile phones together with DAC's have done such a good job of recreating music that it has almost rendered portable CD player obsolete like portable cameras.

I would say that if you have a smart phone which has some memory on it (or is able to take extra storage) is to try that option with your headphones

I know a number of people enjoy these types of products (DragonFly). Other options of portable media players are for people who don't want the hassle of using a phone but wish to achieve some of the best sounds they can. These products do require you to load your music on to them, which you should be able to do via a laptop/pc and once you've done it a couple of times, it should become very simple for you to use

Sound wise, so long as you transfer the same resolution of music to any of these portable media players should in theory deliver an identical if not better sound as they have less moving parts, plus you don't have to worry about swapping the disc as they tend to hold quite a few CD's in the storage bank

Hope this gives you another avenue you maybe hadn't thought of :)
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
yeah just buy a MP3 player, rip to flac, convert to vorbis for mobile use.

Or use a phone with digital out LOD or something like that into headphone amp and play using UPNP player from your local stored flac music.

Can't see point of personal CD players, batteries won't last long, have to carry CD's, they skip and jump etc.
 

Daniel 70

Active Member
yeah just buy a MP3 player, rip to flac, convert to vorbis for mobile use.

Or use a phone with digital out LOD or something like that into headphone amp and play using UPNP player from your local stored flac music.

Can't see point of personal CD players, batteries won't last long, have to carry CD's, they skip and jump etc.
This is correct... The portable CD player is obsolete. Whatever argument might be made for audiophile standard rack mounted or sideboard sittings players no longer exists for portables ..and I have probably 3 in my attic.
Now you have realistically two sets of options . A quality Marantz CD player ,,mains operated with a built in head phone amplifier sitting by you favourite chair and a good set of head phones .. Gibbsey no doubt will advise.
Or bite the bullet and join the 21st century. Get a high quality Music Player . I would recommend the Sony NWA series but there are Filos and AsternKerns which are at least as good. Then using your computer rip your favourite CDs with any of thousands of ripping software packages into the FLAC format and put them on a memory card. These will be fully bit perfect ,error detected and corrected etc etc . You can put entire libraries of a thousand CDs onto a single card with as much fidelity as the CD can deliver. Again the same quality will be available from good headphones.
But of course this is now 2021, and we have even more options. Did you know that those Bluetooth headsets will work across maybe 10 metres indoors?. So your quality system could feed headphones in the other room.
 

Rick Robinson

Standard Member
Hi everyone,

Thankyou - lots of useful replies there, and things I hadn’t thought of.

I’ve got a decent full-size CD player in my music room, but it’s just out of range for where I want to listen on headphones. I might have a look and see if there are decent extenders out there. That’s probably my first preference - part of this is the nostalgia of working my way through the 1000 odd CDs I chose to buy over the years (hence looking for a legacy-like option).

I’ll also look at those DACs as well, though - that looks like another good option, thanks for the insight,

Rick
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Ripping CD to digital files is only a good solution if the user wants to spend the time to do so (or purchase an auto ripper) and build their system around non physical music files. Time well spent for some and not for others 😎

Depending on the distance, many home headphones come with detachable 3 metre cables (or buy aftermarket longer lengths)

Or look into Bluetooth headphones as they might sound "good enough"

Portable CD players - I do not see skipping as an issue when the usage case is a stationary listening seat at home. Amazon, Argos and Curry's all carry stock for no more than £30. Would suggest buying new online as at least can return within 14 days with your money back, rather than second hand
 

Rick Robinson

Standard Member
Thanks Steven,

I may well try one of those portables - I don’t mind ripping CDs, but I have about 1000 so probably too many! And part of this is about enjoying the physical media as you say. I’m just out of Bluetooth range and would need about a 10m cable, so choices are limited.

I think it’s down to whether there’s a Bluetooth range extender, otherwise one of those portables.

thanks,

Rick
 

Daniel 70

Active Member
Thanks Steven,

I may well try one of those portables - I don’t mind ripping CDs, but I have about 1000 so probably too many! And part of this is about enjoying the physical media as you say. I’m just out of Bluetooth range and would need about a 10m cable, so choices are limited.

I think it’s down to whether there’s a Bluetooth range extender, otherwise one of those portables.

thanks,

Rick
Rick.. the ripping is not as big a deal as you fear .. however having done it once, I would be very reluctant to have to do it again. And yes I have that number of CDs. Basically with a clean CD an and an internet connected PC , a Disc takes about 1.5 minutes . ..So doing 40 in an hour is achievable but soul destroying. A 7 hour session per day would have the job done in a week. But life is to short fir that unless one is watching cricket.
My policy was just to have the PC sitting there and everytime I passed to pop one in . Then I did whatever I was doing. When it finished it opens the CD tray , so I knew . The software will do all the stuff about getting titles and artworks off the internet and collating the music into folders . Again I decided to use a dedicated USB drive ,with nothing else on it, as the music store. Once done, I then made a copy of it ..
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Rick.. the ripping is not as big a deal as you fear .. however having done it once, I would be very reluctant to have to do it again. And yes I have that number of CDs. Basically with a clean CD an and an internet connected PC , a Disc takes about 1.5 minutes . ..So doing 40 in an hour is achievable but soul destroying. A 7 hour session per day would have the job done in a week. But life is to short fir that unless one is watching cricket.
My policy was just to have the PC sitting there and everytime I passed to pop one in . Then I did whatever I was doing. When it finished it opens the CD tray , so I knew . The software will do all the stuff about getting titles and artworks off the internet and collating the music into folders . Again I decided to use a dedicated USB drive ,with nothing else on it, as the music store. Once done, I then made a copy of it ..
Please tell me which software you used and is it compatible with a mac. Thanks
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Please tell me which software you used and is it compatible with a mac. Thanks
Software ... I am a Windows Baby not a Maca donian . But basically any of the ripping softwares will work. I use a Sony NWA Music Player , so I started with their Sony MEDIAGO and their MUSICCENTER programme. What astonished me initially is that the Media Go was able to pick up everything I had in my then iTunes library and incorporate it along with the other newer stuff. An advantage of the Sony was that it allows FLAC , which is lossless.
Sony have made the MEDIAGO obsolete, and replaced it with the less friendly Music Centrer, but the older one can be easily got by searching the Web. The fact is there are loads and loads of ripping programmes including iTunes itself. And what any of the better ones do, is collate the music into directories etc.
Now having made my music onto a USB hard drive, it is accessible throughout the home network , including playing on Smart TVs and android phones . When played on the TV, it will also have the artworks sent over the network to the tv
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Last edited:

Steven

Senior Moderator
I’m just out of Bluetooth range and would need about a 10m cable, so choices are limited.

Look into wireless RF headphones that have longer range than Bluetooth. Sennheiser sells them. A further option
 

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