CD + AirPlay system


New member
May 23, 2012
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Hi all,

I'm in the process of building my first hifi system, with the following counstraints:

- seperate but affordable components (around 200-300€ each)

- sources : CD + AirPlay

I've already chosen Marantz PM6003 + Audio Monitor BX2 as they seem to have excellent reviews for the price.

But I wonder which options I have for the sources?

* Can I find a good / affordable CD player with Optical In to plug an Apple TV and use the CD player's DAC?

=> Does it exist?
(Marantz CD5003 for example doesn't have Optical In, which makes little sense to me as the DAC is kind of "locked-in")

* Or should I choose an external DAC with 2 Optical Ins:

- one to plug an Apple TV

- one to plug the cheapest CD player with Optical Out i'll find (in my undestanding, as I'll just use the unmodified digital signal, quality is not an issue?)
=> I am right about the CD Player's quality "non-issue"?

=> Which DAC / cheap CD Player would you recommend?

Thanks you very much for your help



Well-known member
There aren't many budget CD players which offer digital inputs unfortunately. There are machines from Audiolab, Harman Kardon and one or two others but these are £500+.

As richardw42 suggests the Onkyo TX-8050 may be a good solution, and it has just received a largely positive review in Hi-Fi Choice too. The only real draw-backs are the lack of gapless playback for streamed files, and the fact that there is no USB input. I have owned one and the in-built DAC works well and the overall sound is nicely detailed.

Another option would be to consider something like the Marantz M-CR603 or the Denon RCD-N7 (CeOL) which include CD playback and support for Airplay. Both sound very good indeed and offer great flexibility although, again, neither offers gapless playback of streamed files.

The other alternative would be to look at TEAC's interesting new Reference 01 range. The A-H01 amp combines B&O ICEpower amplification with a well specified digital pre-amp section as well as analogue inputs. The asynchronous USB support is a huge bonus. Alternatively there is the D-H01 DAC.


New member
Feb 17, 2008
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Sorry to butt in here however the tx8050 does have a USB input if one uses the Ethernet common the rear to hard wire to router.

I useusb for iPhone and 500gb hard drive full of FLAC tracks. This unit is fabtastic value and delivers a great sound with my lowly bx2s.