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CD Players: Not Just a Blast from the Past

Just as vinyl has made its comeback, CDs may not be far behind. These shiny discs popular in the ‘90s put digital recordings on the map – saving listeners from rewinding cassette tapes and flipping records. Nowadays, swiping and tapping through playlists has become the norm. But that doesn’t mean we should forget about that once-prized CD collection. With a CD player at home, you can dust off your collection and bask in the glory of your favourite tunes from the past and present.

Should I Buy a CD Player?

Whether or not you’re an audiophile, you probably have a bunch of CDs lurking somewhere in your home. And that’s reason good enough to buy a CD player. If your music collection once lived on CDs – but has now gone digital – that doesn’t mean you should toss those stacks of music. A CD player can connect to your home theatre system to blast high-quality sound from compact discs, including ones burned from a computer.

What Features Should I Consider When Buying a CD Player?

Not sure what to look for when shopping for a CD player for your home? Consider these features.

Disc Capacity

Some CD players can hold one disc at a time. Others feature a multi-disc CD changer. Generally, high-end CD players have a single-disc capacity for optimal sound quality. But, multi-disc CD players are convenient for uninterrupted playback of multiple albums.

Disc Compatibility

There are two main types of players available for high-quality CD playback: CD-only players and universal players. CD players that only play back compact discs are great for audiophiles who want top-quality sound from their music collection. Universal players can also play back video formats such as DVDs and Blu-rays. Their audio playback quality is generally better than what you’d get from a Blu-ray or DVD player, making them ideal for multimedia enthusiasts.

Audio Formats

When shopping for a CD player, look for one that can decode multiple audio formats. This ensures you’ll be able to play back everything from store-bought CDs to MP3 CDs made on your computer. Popular audio formats to look out for include CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 CD, and WMA CD.

Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs)

CD players are equipped with a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the component that transforms digital data to an analog audio signal. A high-end CD player will have a comparable DAC for smooth, dreamy audio that you won’t get from a smartphone or laptop. For even more precise audio, look for a CD player with left and right DACs.


A CD player’s construction can affect its audio output. A solid build with sturdy, anti-vibration panels can keep music clean and free of distortion. Large feet can offer support for the CD player.

How Do I Clean a CD Player?

If you need to clean your CD player, make sure you’re gentle in your approach. Wipe the exterior with a soft, dry cloth, and use a delicate dust blower or lens cleaner disc to remove dirt and dust from the CD slot and tray. If your CD player requires more elaborate cleaning beyond this, consult the instruction manual or a professional.