Question Kitchen CD player failures - solutions?

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
SWIMBO likes to listen to her CDs when she is in the kitchen or chilling out in our open plan downstairs. We had a small one box Pure CD/radio and we found disks started to skip after some years. We replaced that with a Roberts Cube CD radio, and that started skipping after about a year. She's put up with using just the radio but would like to find a way to enjoy CDs. I suspect it might be the change of atmosphere in the kitchen when cooking etc. Our disks play on other players.

Disappointingly, we looked at a different type of Pure Radio in a shop today, and the CD couldn't read any disks that worked fine in other units on demonstration. Doesn't inspire any confidence!!!

Unfortunately the OH can't get how to operate the AVR and BD player. So looking ideally for a simple solution. Could you answer some questions please? I was interested in Sonos until they announced ending support for some of their recent hardware.

1. Would it be simple as getting a CD laser cleaning disk to fix the Roberts?

2. Buy a Harmony 950 and set up a "Play CD" activity that powers on the AVR, BD, player and opens the tray?

3. She could stream music from her iPad. If using a bluetooth speaker located in the kitchen, what sort of range would work (so the iPad is kept out of the kitchen)?

I looked at the Naim Muso but its a big box and rather pricy, same goes for a Atom or older burner/player combinations. The Naim app looked OK though. There is another possibility by burning her CD collection eg DBPoweramp or other software. I looked at the Brennan B2 but wasn't keen on the interface. I would need to get a CD writer so these could go on a portable hard drive. I'd go for FLAC. I don't really want to have a Synology or similar running 24/7 (environment and all that). A simple interface using her phone/ipad would be the best, but I don't know what.

4. There is so much around that streams - what suggestions would you make for the streaming option? I'd prefer not to use iTunes as I understand that doesn't support FLAC.

Would really appreciate your insights and suggestions/advice please.

Thank you.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Denon DM41 is worth a look. Solid build quality, ability to drive proper speakers, inbuilt wifi for internet radio and streaming.
 

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
Thanks for the replies. We have limited work surface in the kitchen limiting the box size that will fit. It opens into the dinning area where a bigger box could go. The only surface there is a sideboard and she’s a bit loath to put something there. Can’t win really. Small CD radio options are mostly what we have used. May have to try another one of the same.
Thx
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
What about a Bluetooth speaker? I got CA Minx 100 recently which has 2*4" drivers in. It fills the kitchen/diner which is 45sqm. Has a 100m Bluetooth range according to the blurb.
 

drummerman

Banned
When frying, microscopic oil droplets in the air get everywhere, no matter how good your ventilation is.

Not the best environment for someting that has a transport and relies on a lens.

I'd certainly use a streamer or Radio of some sort.
 

jamieu

Active Member
As others have said a 'Smart' or Bluetooth speaker or a Sonos Play:1 sounds like the sensible option for the kitchen and maybe move to a streaming services like Spotify (even the free version) over CD's.

Nothing wrong with Sonos speakers, despite the recent announcements, they've simply said that ~10 year old kit is coming to end-of-life and won't get the same software updates that the newer speakers get. Streaming devices and smart speakers are software products at heart, so like phones and computers they do eventually become out of date as new formats and services come along and the old hardware is too old to run the newer software. In fact Sonos have been rather unusual in continuing to support ~10 year old products, most manufactures just stop releasing updates and let the products or phone apps die without any real announcement.

The nice thing about Sonos is that you don't have to have your phone connected when playing music, you can use the app (or optional your voice on some models) to select an album, radio station or playlist and then turn your phone off or take a phone call without interrupting the music playback. The speaker itself streams whatever you have selected from the internet and not your phone itself.

Sonos is service agnostic, whereas Google and Amazon speakers tend to work better with Google/Amazon services and possibly harvest your personal usage data to offset the cost of the product, but if that's not an issue for you they're both sensible options. Sonos supports all the major music services and radio stations you are likely to need. You can also connect to them directly with your iPhone via AirPlay if needed and use the Spotify app directly if you want as well.

You can also upload your ripped CD's to Google Music for free and then stream them from there (for free) with a Sonos or other smart speaker that support Google Music (which most do).

Might also be worth checking your router, as some newer models will let you share an external USB drive with your music on as a network share — that Sonos can then access.

The 'voice assistants' like 'Alexa' built into most smart speakers can actually be quite useful in the kitchen when you might have messy hands and don't want to have to get your phone out to select a different radio station or album.

It's not the cheapest route, but you could get a Sonos Port or Sonos Amp for your main setup and plug a CD player into that, it could then be shared by any other Sonos speaker (ie. a Play:1 in the kitchen) all via the Sonos app. But to be honest that that sounds like a very convoluted and expensive route when I expect 95% of your CD's are available to stream on Spotify etc. anyway and smart speakers are relatively cheap.

As for FLAC vs MP3 / 44.1kHz vs 192kHz / 24bit vs 16bit etc We're talking about a small kitchen speaker here :) As long as your not playing back an ultra low-res MP3 that was ripped in the late 90's by someone who didn't know what they were doing, you won't be able to hear any difference. All streaming services — other than the free version of Spotify — stream at CD (or near enough you won't notice) quality nowadays.

But if you are going to rip them yourself then do go the FLAC / Lossless route. There's no point going above 44.1Khz/16bit as that is all the CD will have been mastered to. dbPoweramp is probably the easiest option, although EAC and XLD are free, but be prepared to read the docs with those two.
 
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Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Lots of food for thought there and from other posts. Will do more research on the Sonos and other streaming options.
Have a great weekend😊
 

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