The Do's and Don'ts of Buying a CD Player

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The Do's and Don'ts of Buying a CD Player

Despite the surge in popularity of digital music, most people still possess a collection of CDs and therefore will require a CD player to listen to them. There are many different types of players available which can be of varying quality and price, so it can be a confusing choice when deciding to buy a new CD player. Giving some careful thought to how the CD player will be used and what it needs to do before deciding which model to purchase can ensure that the right decision is made.

Disc Formats

Do consider what types of disc format will need to be played on the CD player. All CD players will play standard pre-recorded CDs. If the intention is to use the CD player to play CDs that have been burnt on a computer, then the player will need to be able to recognise the specific format of the CD. The majority of CD players will be able to play CD-R and CD-RW discs. There are very few CD players that will be able to play CD+R or CD+RW discs apart from ones which are defined as universal players. A CD player which has HDCD compatibility will be able to play discs which have a high resolution and offer superior sound quality so this can be a useful feature to possess.


The most important attribute to consider when choosing a new CD player is the quality of the sound that it can produce. Do try to listen to the player if at all possible as this will be the only way to judge it properly. It may be worth using a personal CD to try out the player as this will be familiar music, and it may therefore be easier to judge the quality of the CD player's sound performance. A good CD player will produce a crisp and clear sound with no distortion. The CD player should also have controls to enable the user to adjust different aspects of the sound such as the bass.


Do not view a prospective new CD player as an isolated purchase. It is important to consider how the CD player will fit in with the rest of the sound system. The most important factor is that the connectivity needs to be the same for the CD player and the amplifier as they will need to be connected. A CD player could have either a coaxial output or an optical digital output, and some models may have both types. It is important to check the output type as it determines the cable that will be used to connect the CD player to the amplifier. A digital output is generally believed to produce a higher quality of sound.


It is possible to buy a CD player which can also make recordings. This could be useful and is worth considering although it may increase the price of the player. When deciding to buy a CD player which can also make recordings, then it is important to select a CD player which had a digital sound output or it will not be able to make digital recordings.

Useful Features

The different features of a CD player may vary depending on the model and the price. A more expensive top of the range CD player will normally have a greater range of additional features which may not be essential. However, there are several general features which are very useful to have and which will be present on many models, and it is worth checking that a CD player has them before deciding to buy it.

CD Text

This can be a useful tool for selecting which track to play. The CD player will list on a display the artist name, the album title, and the names of individual tracks. This removes the need to check the CD cover to see the track order.


It is possible to buy either a single play CD player which takes one disc at a time or a multi disc player where a number of CDs can be loaded at the same time and played. It is possible to buy some CD players that have the capacity to take 50 discs at a time. This can be very useful if it is intended to use the CD player for parties or any scenario where the music needs to be played continuously for a longer period of time.

Random Play

This is the equivalent of the shuffle feature on an iPod and means that the CD player will play tracks in a random order regardless of their order on the disc. For a CD player which can load more than one CD, the random play will take part across all of the CDs which are currently loaded into the player.

Headphone Jack

It is worth checking that the CD player has the output to enable a set of headphones to be used with it.

Additional Features

Don't be too influenced by any unusual additional features. It is important to take some time to consider how the CD player will be used. There is no point in paying extra money for extra features if they will be rarely used. The same applies to the style of the CD player. It needs to fit in with the rest of the sound system, but a fancy appearance should not be the priority. The colour of the CD player may be of more importance as it needs to match the other parts of the system but it is usually possible to find CD players in a wide variety of colours, so colour matching should not be a major problem.

To Find a CD Player on eBay

It is easy to find CD players that are for sale on eBay. The home page of eBay has a link to Shop By Category, which can be clicked to allow the user to See all categories. The category for CD players is Sound & Vision and clicking on this link will display a list of sub categories which includes Home Audio & HiFi separates, which should also be clicked on. The next list of sub categories includes CD Players & Recorders, and clicking on this will fetch a list of all of the CD players that are currently available on eBay. The search for CD players can be refined even further if required by clicking on the various sub menus for different features that are displayed on the left of the screen. The search bar which is at the top of eBay pages can also be used to search for CD players. Typing in keywords such as "used CD player" will find a list of all CD players in that category that are for sale.


There is a wide choice of CD players available to buy which can vary greatly in price. Different models and brands of CD players may also have a varying number of features and formats. Although some additional features may be very useful to have, the overriding factor in deciding which CD player to buy should always be the sound performance. After all the function of a CD player is to play CDs, so it needs to do this as well as possible and any other features are just an added bonus. It is important to try a CD player before buying and listen to it so that the sound quality can be assessed, and most retailers will be happy to allow this.

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