About thirty years ago the CD came to the market as the "ultimate" means of music reproduction. The CD displaced the Vinyl record and the Audio Cassette as the dominant form of listening to recorded music, but now the CD is being overtaken by the iPod and internet streaming. However, there are still hundreds of millions of CDs out there that need to be played. If you are looking for a CD player, check out my current favorite picks for moderately-priced CD players and changers.
1. Onkyo DX-C390 CD ChangerWhile most CD carousel changers are of the five disc variety, Onkyo employs a 6-disc carousel, giving you an extra hour of music without interruption. However, there is more. Weighing in at 15lbs, the transport is substantial and stable. Add a 1-bit D/A converter, 8x oversampling, and analog/digital audio outputs, you just might want to put this CD changer one on your shopping list.
2. Denon DCM-390 5-Disc CD Changer
While dedicated CD-only players has given way to DVD/CD players, Denon still makes an impressive line of CD-Only Players. The DCM-390 a full-featured 5 disc CD carousel-style changer. While most CD players have 16-Bit Digital to Analog audio converters, the Denon has twin 20-Bit converters; This means is that the sound from standard CDs has more depth than from a standard CD player. Also, the DCM-390 has the ability to decode the full 20-bit audio resolution signal from HDCD format CDs. You can also play MP3-encoded CDs as well. If you want a high-end CD changer for a moderate price, this unit is worth the listen.
Also, if the DCM-390 is not in your budget, check out the Denon DCM-290 as a more affordable alternate choice: Manufacturer's Site.
3. Sony CDP-CE500 5-Disc CD ChangerSony's CDP-CE500 is an affordable 5-Disc CD changer that does the job. Featuring CD, CD-R CD-RW, and MP3-CD playback utilizing 1-bit DA converters, the sound quality is great for a budget player. This unit also includes both analog and optical digital outputs, USB port, and can be control directly or from the provided remote control. The USB port provides the added flexibility to either play back music files (AAC, MP3, WMA) stored on a USB or other compatible USB storage device. You can also use the USB port to burn your Music CDs to a USB flash drive. Check out the user guide before you buy.
4. Yamaha CD-C600 5-Disc CD Changer
The Yamaha CD-C600 is more expensive than most CD-only changers on the market, but is still a good value. This changer uses a 5-Disk carousel design and supports CD, CD-R, and CD-RW playback. Several practical features include a USB input for playback of MP3 and WMA audio files from flash drives or iPods, both analog and digital optical audio outputs, wireless remote control, and both RS232 and wired remote output options for custom installations. If you are looking for a CD-only changer that has a lot of flexibility, and can be integrated into a custom installation, check out the Yamaha CD-C600.
Also available, the single tray Yamaha CD-S300 CD Player, featuring USB inputs and both digital and optical audio output options in addition to analog, but eliminates the RS-232 and wired remote connection options.
5. Pioneer PD-M426 CD ChangerPioneer is very well known for their "magazine" style car CD changers and has incorporated this design into the PD-M426 home 6-disc home CD changer. In fact, you can purchase additional CD "magazine" cartridges to organize your CD library to play both in a Pioneer Car CD changer or the M426 without taking the discs out of the magazine. This convenience alone may be worth consideration.
Official Product Page
6. Onkyo C-S5VL Audiophile CD PlayerIf you are looking for a higher-end CD-only player, you might check out the Onkyo C-S5VL. This unit does indeed carry a higher price, but it not only plays standard audio CDs, but it is also compatible with SACDs. On the connection front, the C-S5VL provides analog, and both digital optical and digital coaxial audio outputs. Headphone listening is also accommodated via a front-mounted headphone jack. Also, let's not leave out the fact that this player incorporates Wolfson Digital-to-analog converters and Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry for optimum sound reproduction. However, one thing to keep in mind is that this player only loads one disc at a time.
Official Product Page