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CD players and recorders rated

In-depth reviews from TechRadar's team of experts. To find out how we review products and calculate our scores, check out our reviews guarantee.

98 products

  1. YBA YC201 review

    YBA YC201 review

    6  

    This budget CD player's performance is something of a mixed bag

    Last reviewed

    Creek Destiny review

    Creek Destiny review

    10  

    Creek's flagship CD player is a star performer

    Last reviewed

    Micromega CD-10 review

    Micromega CD-10 review

    10  

    Micromega is back again with a brand spanking new CD player

    Last reviewed

    EMM Labs XDS1 review

    EMM Labs XDS1 review

    10  

    EMM Labs' tremendous track record for CD/SACD players comes to the fore in the XDS1

    Last reviewed

    Cyrus CD 8 SE CD player review

    Cyrus CD 8 SE CD player review

    10  

    For over twenty years now, we’ve been reviewing CD players ‘made by’ specialist manufacturers – a proportion of which are manufactured by a very small number of companies (originally Philips or Sony, these days just as likely to be an unpronounceable Chinese outfit), who produce CD transport mechanisms as complete assemblies. Take one of these, add a D-A converter, an output stage, a display and a power supply and you’ve ‘made’ a CD player... of sorts.

    Last reviewed

    Arcam FMJ CD37 CD/SACD player review

    Arcam FMJ CD37 CD/SACD player review

    10  

    Arcam has recently revamped its entire flagship FMJ range (see HFC 308 for full details). First seen at Munich’s High End show, the line-up has something for everyone in terms of both specification and price. At the very top of the CD player range, is the subject of this review; the FMJ CD37, an SACD-compatible disc spinner that reflects all of Arcam’s CD player know-how in one box.

    Last reviewed

    Brennan JB7 Music Server review

    Brennan JB7 Music Server review

    8  

    Hot on the heels of the Arcam Solo Mini comes this sub-miniature system, about the size of longish hardback novel. It doesn’t include a radio, but amazingly the tiny steel case contains a CD player, a 20-watt power amp and a 40GB hard disk, which can be upgraded to 80GB for £20 more.

    Last reviewed

    Ayon CD-1 CD player review

    Ayon CD-1 CD player review

    8  

    You can’t fail to be impressed by the appearance of the Ayon CD-1 CD player, which is exactly what its Swiss designers clearly intended. But before we get hung up on the aesthetics of the design, let’s consider the mechanical and electrical make-up of this distinctive player.

    Last reviewed

    Arcam Solo Mini review

    Arcam Solo Mini review

    10  

    Flushed, no doubt, by the success of the original ‘Solo’, Arcam has now progressed to a three-band, half-width, receiver with built-in CD player – and that’s usually the territory of Aiwa, Matsui and other faceless brands that no one has ever heard of.

    Last reviewed

    Moon CD5.3 RS and i5.3 RS review

    Moon CD5.3 RS and i5.3 RS review

    10  

    Moon Audio is one of those less well-known brands that quietly goes about the business of making top-notch audio electronics at its base in Boucherville, Quebec. The CD 5.3 RS player and i5.3 RS integrated amplifier featured here form part of Moon’s Classic series range – a group of products that also includes two further CD players that are more affordable and a similar helping of integrated amps.

    Last reviewed

    Leema Pulse/Stream review

    Leema Pulse/Stream review

    8  

    Last year we got rather excited about the multi-DAC Leema Antila, a CD player – from a loudspeaker specialist – with an odd name that really delivered the 'sonic' goods. So when we saw the new Stream CD player at less than half the price, being demonstrated at the Heathrow show last September, we made the request for first dibs.

    Last reviewed

    Arcam MS250 review

    Arcam MS250 review

    8  

    After some four years in development, Arcam has added the MS250 to its ‘FMJ’ range of hi-fi separates. By no means the cheapest act available, it nevertheless promises audiophile sound quality based on Arcam’s CD player expertise and offers a handy capacity of 400GB – equivalent to well over 500 hours of uncompressed audio.

    Last reviewed

    Consonance Reference 2.2 LINEAR review

    Consonance Reference 2.2 LINEAR review

    8  

    Plenty of manufacturers use the word ‘Reference’ in relation to their product names. But what about ‘Linear’? Well, it turns out that this appellation is Consonance’s way of indicating that the player uses no oversampling or upsampling. In other words, there’s no digital filtering of any kind and not much in the way of analogue filtering either.

    Last reviewed

    Cyrus CD-8X review

    Cyrus CD-8X review

    8  

    The CD-8X is built into the usual Cyrus die-cast case, it is quite a shoe-horn job with two circuit boards carefully mounted above and below the rear extension of the CD transport and two toroidal transformers squeezed in too.

    Last reviewed

    Shanling CD-T1000SE review

    Shanling CD-T1000SE review

    10  

    We thought we’d seen this one before, but as it turns out that was the 100, not the 1000, which is a new model though evidently sharing a few mechanical components.

    Last reviewed

    Edgar CD-1 review

    Edgar CD-1 review

    8  

    For sure, the most striking aspect of this player is its solid wood front, polished to a very fine finish. This CD player uses valves, five of them including one valve rectifier. The audio output board combines valves and op-amps, while digital-to-analogue conversion is performed right beside the transport.

    Last reviewed

    Lyngdorf CD-1 review

    Lyngdorf CD-1 review

    8  

    Lyngdorf is best known for its range of digital amplifiers and the room correction built into them, but a digital source is a natural enough extension for such a company. It doesn't do anything but play CDs.

    Last reviewed

    Cairn Tornado review

    Cairn Tornado review

    8  

    Earlier in the year, we took a closer look at Cairn's obscurely named Fog 3 CD player. Manufactured in France, it had its fair share of Gallic charm and provided more thrills than we've encountered in digital audio for some time. Now we have the first sample of its new stablemate, the Tornado - a similarly designed player that manages to bring the price down quite dramatically by cutting back on luxuries.

    Last reviewed

    Marantz DV9600 review

    Marantz DV9600 review

    10  

    Despite claims to the contrary, the profile of many brands best fits either a hi-fi scenario or a home cinema one. Marantz is one of the very few companies with feet successfully planted in both camps

    Last reviewed

    Unison Research Unico CD review

    Unison Research Unico CD review

    10  

    The Unico CD's wood-mounted logo, graphical display, button layout and thick finished front panel look fantastic. The remote's a pretty piece of gadgetry too, just slightly let down by two very ornery screws holding it together from the front.

    Last reviewed

    Marantz Premium SA-11S2; SC-11S1; SM-11S1 review

    Marantz Premium SA-11S2; SC-11S1; SM-11S1 review

    10  

    The SA-11 series was first launched in S1 guise as the ultimate expression of Marantz's art and craft, but since then has been superseded in this role by the 'Legendary' (sic) series. But there is more than a coincidental degree of commonality in the two ranges.

    Last reviewed

    Advance Acoustic MCD 403/MDA 503 review

    Advance Acoustic MCD 403/MDA 503 review

    6  

    Advance Acoustic (AA) is clearly committed to driving down the price of heavyweight hi-fi. With its first transport and DAC combo it has delivered a near-20kg CD player for little over a grand. If sound were measured by mass, this would represent a milestone.

    Last reviewed

    EMM Labs CDSA review

    EMM Labs CDSA review

    9  

    EMM Labs is not a big name in the UK, but it does have a strong reputation in its native Canada and across North America for its domestic and professional SACD players

    Last reviewed

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