Am I kidding myself? a.k.a. realistic portable CD player options

deb42

Active member
Apr 5, 2021
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Hi everyone, I'm new here and hope this is the right place to post this question. I have a ton of CDs and have been neglecting them for far too long; within the next 3 or 4 years, I'm hoping to put together a good home system for playing CDs as well as vinyl. But for now, let's say the next two years, I'm looking for a player I can put on the desk (or wall) in my home office to play my CDs, preferably compatible with Bluetooth headphones. I thought this would be an easy thing to select, but I've spent the past few hours trying to find trustworthy reviews online and haven't come up with much. Now I know that most portable players being sold today (e.g., for $150 or less) are low quality, and I fully understand that I'm not going to get anywhere NEAR the quality of the types of players that are reviewed on this site. Believe me, I'd much prefer to spend more $$ now to get something decent as I am very much in the camp of high quality audio, but I simply can't afford it at this time. So my question is, is there a portable CD player out there that you'd recommend? Or, am I just kidding myself that there's an option worth spending money on (honestly, right now about $100 is as much as I can so) until such time as I can afford the quality system I want? (When that time DOES come, I'll definitely be coming back here for advice, that's for sure.) Thank you very much for any help!
 
Hi everyone, I'm new here and hope this is the right place to post this question. I have a ton of CDs and have been neglecting them for far too long; within the next 3 or 4 years, I'm hoping to put together a good home system for playing CDs as well as vinyl. But for now, let's say the next two years, I'm looking for a player I can put on the desk (or wall) in my home office to play my CDs, preferably compatible with Bluetooth headphones. I thought this would be an easy thing to select, but I've spent the past few hours trying to find trustworthy reviews online and haven't come up with much. Now I know that most portable players being sold today (e.g., for $150 or less) are low quality, and I fully understand that I'm not going to get anywhere NEAR the quality of the types of players that are reviewed on this site. Believe me, I'd much prefer to spend more $$ now to get something decent as I am very much in the camp of high quality audio, but I simply can't afford it at this time. So my question is, is there a portable CD player out there that you'd recommend? Or, am I just kidding myself that there's an option worth spending money on (honestly, right now about $100 is as much as I can so) until such time as I can afford the quality system I want? (When that time DOES come, I'll definitely be coming back here for advice, that's for sure.) Thank you very much for any help!
Unfortunately CDs and especially portable players are things of yesterday and asking for compatibility with Bluetooth headphones is a tad like looking for unicorns. You would be better off ripping your CDs and getting a decent digital music player.
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
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Back in the day Sony made the very good Discman. Obviously portable but no bluetooth output. You could have a look a second hand options. There should be tons of old ones around.
Whenever I see new portable CD players they look like plastic rubbish.

Another option could be to have a look at portable DVD players. They will also play CDs.

If you have a computer with a DVD drive could always rip your CDs and transfer the files to a smartphone or a portable player.
 
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iMark

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May 16, 2008
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It's not such a weird idea. I listen to my iPhone with bluetooth earphones. I can just put the phone somewhere while doing something like gardening. It would be handy to put the Discman somewhere while moving around.
 
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nads

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Nov 29, 2007
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i would rip the CDs and then play back via your laptop or PC. Cost zero or what is needed for adding a Bluetooth dongle thingy. Rip them with EAC to FLAC then look at a quality streamer in the future.
 
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manicm

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May 1, 2008
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Hi everyone, I'm new here and hope this is the right place to post this question. I have a ton of CDs and have been neglecting them for far too long; within the next 3 or 4 years, I'm hoping to put together a good home system for playing CDs as well as vinyl. But for now, let's say the next two years, I'm looking for a player I can put on the desk (or wall) in my home office to play my CDs, preferably compatible with Bluetooth headphones. I thought this would be an easy thing to select, but I've spent the past few hours trying to find trustworthy reviews online and haven't come up with much. Now I know that most portable players being sold today (e.g., for $150 or less) are low quality, and I fully understand that I'm not going to get anywhere NEAR the quality of the types of players that are reviewed on this site. Believe me, I'd much prefer to spend more $$ now to get something decent as I am very much in the camp of high quality audio, but I simply can't afford it at this time. So my question is, is there a portable CD player out there that you'd recommend? Or, am I just kidding myself that there's an option worth spending money on (honestly, right now about $100 is as much as I can so) until such time as I can afford the quality system I want? (When that time DOES come, I'll definitely be coming back here for advice, that's for sure.) Thank you very much for any help!
You have a home office, do you have a laptop or PC?
 

deb42

Active member
Apr 5, 2021
12
2
25
Back in the day Sony made the very good Discman. Obviously portable but no bluetooth output. You could have a look a second hand options. There should be tons of old ones around.
Whenever I see new portable CD players they look like plastic rubbish.

Another option could be to have a look at portable DVD players. They will also play CDs.

If you have a computer with a DVD drive could always rip your CDs and transfer the files to a smartphone or a portable player.
I hadn't thought about the dvd players. Might look into that, thanks. And I agree with you about the plastic rubbish.

As for ripping the CDs, yeah I know, but I really want to play the CDs themselves. Sorry, it's the music purist in me.
 

nads

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Nov 29, 2007
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As for ripping the CDs, yeah I know, but I really want to play the CDs themselves. Sorry, it's the music purist in me.
but why? You will not hear any difference. Much more convenient. Easier to access. You might even listen to more music as it is just easier.

and then you can take a great mix with you on your phone when out exercising.
 
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iMark

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May 16, 2008
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I have ripped our whole CD collection and it's incredibly convenient. I don't miss putting a disc in a player at all.

From a technical and purist perspective there is much to be said for ripping CDs (with error correction) to pristine and bit perfect files. For playback you already have error corrected files so the player doesn't have to do any error correction like a CD player does. With a simple optical drive connected to a computer you will get excellent results.

If you already have a computer in the room where you're going to listen to your CDs I would recommend using the computer as the CD player. You could simply add an optical drive to the computer with a USB cable. The computer will have software for CD playback.
 

James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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Sure fire way to make sure someone doesn't come back here.
Also sure fire way to turn things boring.

Deb42 made it quite clear they wanted a portable CD player, then made it quite clear they did not want to rip all the CDs and play via digital formats.
The reasoning is more than sensible as well.
Yet we have people here questioning that reasoning and actually, the tone of at least one reply, made the OP sound like a silly fool. Certainly, as somebody else that has no desire to go round ripping my whole collection, that's how it came across to me.
People prefer different things. Crikey, plenty here play LPs, but nobody dares tell them to buy digital formats for the convenience.

The last thing I could imagine doing right now is the tedious job of ripping all my CDs, plus the purist in me wants to keep playing them as well.
I'm with Deb42 100%.
Unfortunately the need for a decent portable CD player could be a long shot in this day and age. Especially a decent one. Hence I doubt I will be much help. But I won't be telling the OP to do something they don't want to do.

Now, as for the reply that stated ripping the CDs provides you with a perfect recording.
Years ago I ripped a handful of CDs, as I went through the dodgy phase of having an iPod.
The disc drive on the computer jumped whilst ripping one particular song. The digital copy I have of that song, is thus, far from perfect.
However, I've never had a proper CD player cause problems on that song.
So whilst a lot of the time you may be right, I actually find a decent CD player is better at reading a CD than a computer is.
If I was wanting to make sure I had decent digital copies of my CDs, I'd be looking at buying say a Uniti Star and Uniti Atom.
Unfortunately the cost just to make digital copies is a little off putting.
 
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iMark

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We have come up with many alternatives. Ripping CDs is just one of them. The fact that you had a bad experience with ripping a CD is not what computer audiophiles report. It's perfectly possible to rip bit perfect copies from CDs. But you do need to rip with error correction on.

My suggestion is to turn the computer system into an audio system by adding an optical drive (and maybe some decent speakers) to the computer. If the computer doesn't have an optical drive already. The computer will most likely have bluetooth so it will also be possible to transmit music to bluetooth earphones.
 

James83

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Now, I'm not sure if this is portable enough, and I don't know how good it is.
Plus I'm not 100% sure if the Bluetooth capability extends to connecting headphones (I assume so, but I could be wrong).
Also, I accept it is more expensive than your budget.

 

James83

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Apr 2, 2015
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We have come up with many alternatives. Ripping CDs is just one of them. The fact that you had a bad experience with ripping a CD is not what computer audiophiles report. It's perfectly possible to rip bit perfect copies from CDs. But you do need to rip with error correction on.

My suggestion is to turn the computer system into an audio system by adding an optical drive (and maybe some decent speakers) to the computer. If the computer doesn't have an optical drive already. The computer will most likely have bluetooth so it will also be possible to transmit music to bluetooth earphones.
I was just highlighting it isn't always perfect. That's all.

Anyway, that wasn't the gist of my post.
It's the fact the OP has been made to sound like a silly fool, by at least one response.
All because they don't want to rip all their CDs and play them back digitally.
 
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Now, I'm not sure if this is portable enough, and I don't know how good it is.
Plus I'm not 100% sure if the Bluetooth capability extends to connecting headphones (I assume so, but I could be wrong).
Also, I accept it is more expensive than your budget.

A good call even though the Bluetooth is likely to be a receiver not a transmitter
 
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deb42

Active member
Apr 5, 2021
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Sure fire way to make sure someone doesn't come back here.
Also sure fire way to turn things boring.
[SNIP]
Thank you for your awesome reply :) I love your point about LPs as well. In truth, I read a bunch of posts before posting myself, and I was expecting (hoping - ?) to get replies other than "why don't you just rip them?" (Especially after making it clear that I have no interest in doing that at this time.) I was hoping that some others out there who appreciate the nuances of stellar audio like I do might have some suggestions. Even if it's to simply tell me that it's just not possible in my budget to get less-than-stellar audio, lol. So I really appreciate your reply.
 

iMark

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May 16, 2008
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@deb42
It's unfortunate that sometimes things are misunderstood in topics. I don't think anyone tried to make fun of you. People tend to recommend what works for them.

@Al ears
This one's even cheaper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08P5HK7V3/ref=syn_sd_onsite_desktop_66?psc=1&uh_it=99428b9570d87547e4dae51b56c4c3a3_CT&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFENjdVRllCSk1NNzEmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA4ODc0MjUxOFpCWE9XUDc1TkZHJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA5NjkxMTcxTU1DMUtNR0RESFhOJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c2Rfb25zaXRlX2Rlc2t0b3AmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl

@James83
If you buy an LP you almost always get a voucher to download digital files. The record companies obviously understand that people like to take their music with them.
 
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deb42

Active member
Apr 5, 2021
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but why? You will not hear any difference. Much more convenient. Easier to access. You might even listen to more music as it is just easier.

and then you can take a great mix with you on your phone when out exercising.
Why? Because I will hear a difference. I know you'll disagree. I've had many people tell me similar things over the years when I try to explain to them why a certain piece of music isn't exactly the same as another copy. I have no other way to explain it other than I've been listening to music my entire life, from LPs to cassettes to CDs to mp3s, and I can hear a difference. I've ripped many tracks in my time, and sure, maybe I didn't have the absolute best quality equipment when doing it. Maybe if I do look into the latest that's out there now, and I rip the CDs, I'd be satisfied. I will probably, eventually, do that. But not now. Right now, I'm not interested in convenience or ease. Right now, I just want to play the CDs and remind myself how it was when I first started playing them way back when and I could hear that incredible difference. That's all. :)
 

deb42

Active member
Apr 5, 2021
12
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25
Wow. We were searching the same thing; you owe me a beer lol. I was looking online again last night, and this model is the one I settled on temporarily until I had a chance to see if anyone had any replies here. I very much appreciate it, thank you.
 

deb42

Active member
Apr 5, 2021
12
2
25
It's unfortunate that sometimes things are misunderstood in topics. I don't think anyone tried to make fun of you. People tend to recommend what works for them.
Oh I agree! No worries. I do understand why the other poster said that, as I could, if I wanted to, hear a bit of that tone at first in that one post. But it's cool. No harm, no foul. :cool:
 
Wow. We were searching the same thing; you owe me a beer lol. I was looking online again last night, and this model is the one I settled on temporarily until I had a chance to see if anyone had any replies here. I very much appreciate it, thank you.
We aim to please..... :)
Surely you owe me that beer.....
 
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