10 Best Portable CD Players You Can Buy Today

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While streaming has been the dominant medium of music consumption for years now, there's no replacing the experience of having a physical piece of media that you can add to your shelf when you're not listening to it. Vinyl has experienced a big revival in recent times, but the size and fragility of vinyl discs mean that they are always going to be limited in their portability. Anyone looking to take their music with them wherever they go without having to resort to streaming or mp3 files will need a top-notch portable CD player, and there are plenty of them on the market to choose from.

CDs offer superior sound quality to streaming platforms, and although they no longer sell in quite the same numbers that they once did, CD players have continued evolving, gaining new features that promise to solve many of the historical issues with the medium. Whether you're shopping for a personal CD player you can take with you on your commute, or a boombox-style portable stereo, these ten portable CD players are among the best out there right now.

Monodeal CW705 Personal CD Player

Most CD players small enough to fit in your backpack or handbag will require wired headphones to listen to, but the Monodeal CW705 also includes a small, dual set of built-in speakers. Those speakers have a reasonable power output of 3W, which is plenty to provide a background soundtrack to office work or studying, or to listen to an audiobook. There are also two 3.5mm jacks for dual headphone output, and Monodeal also throws in a male-to-male 3.5mm aux cable to connect the CD player to your car's speaker system.

The CW705's rechargeable battery can last up to 15 hours between charges, and there's an anti-skip function so you won't need to worry about choppy audio if the CD player bumps around in your bag. It's worth noting that there's no Bluetooth connectivity, so newer models of cars might not be able to connect without additional equipment like an intermediary FM transmitter. Other than that though, there's not much to dislike about the CW705. Retailing for $82.99, it's one of the most feature-packed portable CD players in its price bracket right now.

Sony ZSRS60BT Portable Stereo

Sony has been a leader in the portable audio equipment space for decades now, and although it no longer produces the Walkman personal CD player, it never turned its back on its portable stereo range. The ZSRS60BT is a great option for anyone looking for a portable CD player that's also streaming compatible since it features Bluetooth connectivity with NFC one-touch pairing for your smartphone. Sony's 'Mega Bass' tech promises to fill a room with a rich, booming sound, but there's also a 3.5mm headphone jack if you prefer listening solo.

There's also a built-in FM/AM radio tuner, and a USB recording feature that allows you to record CDs onto a USB drive to listen to digitally. The stereo is powered by six size C batteries, with a playtime of up to 26 hours between swaps. Unfortunately, there's no rechargeable option, but if you're running low on battery power then you can also plug the stereo straight into the mains with the adapter that's included. It currently retails for $134.95.

Monodeal MD-102 Personal CD Player

One of the perennial issues with portable CD players has been their bulky size relative to digital streaming devices, but Monodeal's MD-102 personal CD player is about as compact as you can get. It's only 5.6 inches in diameter, a mere 0.9 inches wider than an actual CD. It also weighs just 0.5 lb, making it light enough that you'll barely know it's there. With a built-in rechargeable battery that promises up to 15 hours of playback time, the $54.99 MD-102 can handle a whole day's listening and then some.

There's a simple LED display with buttons for all the main functions, meaning even the most tech-averse members of your family should have no trouble operating it. Unfortunately, it's missing Bluetooth connectivity, so there's no way of connecting to newer car speaker systems or using wireless headphones. Apart from that one minor annoyance though, there's little to dislike. As an ultra-compact way to take your CDs with you on your commute or on a walk, it's a great option.

Toshiba TY-CRS9 Portable Stereo

The Toshiba TY-CRS9 'boombox' stereo is a great budget option for anyone who can't justify spending $100+ on a stereo system but still wants to be able to listen to all their favorite CDs without headphones. The dual speakers are rated at 1.2W each, which is better than many rival systems at this price point. It's not enough for truly room-filling sound, but plenty for quieter households or background listening. An FM/AM radio tuner is also included.

The design of the TY-CRS9 is deliberately retro, with a top-loading CD player and that rounded look that folks of a certain age will remember from their childhood. Equally retro is the LCD display, with a handful of buttons surrounding it that control all the main functions of the stereo. The system is powered by six size C batteries, and there's also an AC adapter if they run out of juice. At just $39.99, it won't match the sound quality of Sony's best portable stereos, but it's a great piece of accessible audio nostalgia nonetheless.

QDZ Hott Personal CD Player with FM Transmitter

If connectivity is your main concern, then the QDZ Hott personal CD player is about as versatile as they come. It includes a 3.5mm jack for headphones, and also helpfully bundles a pair of earbuds in with the CD player. Not only that, but a 3.5mm aux cable is also included to connect to older car speaker systems or standalone hi-fi systems.

If you're a fan of wireless headphones, the Hott also has you covered, with Bluetooth connectivity. That also means it can connect to the majority of modern car speaker systems, but as a backup, there's also a built-in FM transmitter as a fourth means of connection. The CD player is powered by a 1800mAh rechargeable battery for all-day playback, and there's anti-skip protection so bumps in the road won't be an issue. The Hott's wide variety of connectivity options do come at a relatively steep cost: at a retail price of $129.99, there are plenty of cheaper personal CD players out there. The good news is that the system can often be found on sale, and at the time of writing, is available on Amazon for $71.83.

Magnavox MD6924 Portable Stereo

If you're looking to take your portable stereo on frequent trips outdoors, then there's a good chance that it might get beaten up a little. In that case, there's no point in buying an expensive system, so it's worth considering the ultra-budget Magnavox MD6924. With a retail price of $29.95, it's about as cheap as portable stereos get, yet it comes with all the basic features you'll want from such a system. Alongside the top-loading CD player, there's also an FM/AM radio tuner and an aux input for playing songs from an external device like a smartphone.

It comes with a power adapter for home use, but runs on six size C batteries when it's not plugged in. Magnavox claims it's tough enough to survive fishing or camping trips, but it'll do just fine when you're back at home too. It's a long way from the best when it comes to sound quality or features, but on price alone, it's hard to beat.

Oakcastle CD100 Personal CD Player

If Bluetooth connectivity is a must-have requirement and you're not too keen on spending over $100 on a personal CD player, then the Oakcastle CD100 is definitely worth considering. It comes with a pair of wired earbuds as standard, but it can also use Bluetooth to connect to your wireless headphones or car speaker system. A 3.5mm cable is also included for older in-car stereos.

It's powered by a rechargeable battery with up to 12 hours of playback time, and it can also run on mains power via the micro-USB slot. It does feature anti-skip protection, although it's not as foolproof as some of the more expensive CD players of its type. There's no FM transmitter nor are there dual headphone ports, but hopefully, neither of those omissions are deal breakers. At a retail price of $49.95, it's on the cheaper end of personal CD players, yet it doesn't compromise on most of the features that buyers will want.

Studebaker SB3703PB Personal CD Player

With streaming being both the most accessible and the most convenient way to listen to music on the go, personal CD players will always feel a bit retro to use. Why not fully lean into that retro feel by opting for a CD player that takes design inspiration from the classic cars of mid-20th Century America? The Studebaker SB3703PB sports a two-tone pastel pink and black design, with a small LCD screen and chrome-look buttons.

With 60 seconds of anti-skip protection, the Studebaker will be able to withstand the movement from a jog or a light workout, and it'll also work well in the car. There's a built-in FM radio if you get tired of the CD you're listening to, and a Bass Boost function to give tracks an extra level of depth. One thing to note is that there's only one headphone jack, and no 3.5mm aux cable included, so you'll have to buy one separately if you want to plug the player into your car or external speakers. There's also no Bluetooth connectivity, making this system feel a bit retro in more ways than just its design. Even so, it's difficult to find a more unique-looking personal CD player, and it's good value for money too. It retails for a list price of $59.99, but at the time of writing, is on sale on Amazon for $38.88.

Sony CFD-S70 Portable Stereo and Cassette Player

Before the CD rose to dominance, cassettes were the medium of choice for music lovers. While they're now a niche product, if you're still a fan of tape-based audio then the Sony CFD-S70 might be just the ticket. Retailing for $98.47, the portable stereo system can play both CDs and cassettes and can record cassettes too, with an option to convert tracks from CDs. There's also an FM/AM radio tuner thrown in for good measure.

An aux input is available to play music from digital devices like smartphones, and Sony's 'Mega Bass' is offered for better bass performance, which can be enabled via one of the many buttons that sit in a row across the top of the system. There's up to 19 hours of battery life available, and an AC adapter to run off AC power too. A built-in sleep timer allows you to set a time for the system to turn itself off, helping to prevent unnecessary battery usage.

Deluxe Products Personal CD Player

If you're looking for a personal CD player and budget is your primary concern, then it doesn't get much cheaper than Deluxe Products' rather unimaginatively named "CD Player." Retailing for $20.10, you might imagine that the player is devoid of desirable features altogether, but that's not the case. In fact, it offers a very respectable 60 seconds of anti-skip protection, making it more than capable of withstanding the movement of a brisk walk or a jog.

A 3.5mm aux cable is also included to connect the player to your car or external speakers. Two AA batteries provide the system with power, meaning it won't be able to compete with the best in class in terms of playback time. It's also not able to read MP3 CDs, which is unusual for a contemporary CD player, but all other formats of CD are supported. It's far from the most feature-packed of systems and it's not without its flaws, but on sheer value for money alone, the Deluxe Products CD Player is tricky to beat.