Do people still buy CD-players these days? Is that not even more passé than buying a record player? Depends. As Loriot (German humorist, Vicco von Bülow) didn’t say: “CD-players also have their good qualities.”
Presumably you would be lying if you said that the CD still has a really bright future. It is linked in particular to the fact that digital memory devices are becoming cheaper and cheaper and universal availability of the Internet is spreading more and more. On the other hand: there’s life in the old dog yet (c.f. vinyl)!
So if you like listening to CDs and enjoy the focus that a certain album provides without constantly feeling you in danger of being seriously distracted by a computer or an app, then just do it: go ahead and buy a CD-player. And take pleasure in the fact that decent CD-players are available at around 300 Euros (340 US dollars) – and you can shell out 40,000 Euros (44,800 US dollars) for audiophile, belt-driven, CD-player/DAC combinations, if you like. And that they sound absolutely sensational!
Our tip: If you really want to use the “circular disk” medium, then buy a CD-player that can also read SACDs. Soundwise they add the kind of value that can pass any with-blindfold listening test with honors. Even if the launch of the SACD was a commercial flop: there are some excellent classical music recordings with superb sound around.
And one more thing is advisable: when buying, bear digital connectivity in mind. It’s great if your CD-player has a digital output port, meaning that by adding an external DAC you can get an even better sound out of your equipment. Or put the other way around: Some premium CD-players also make their internal DACs available for external sources.
So don’t just look at whether the front looks aesthetically appealing. The rear of a CD-player can be seriously interesting too…