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CDs may seem like a thing of the past, but much like your vinyl collection, they just might have a bright future ahead.
It’s true that CDs have had their day as the mainstream source of listening to music, and have since gotten knocked out of the top spot by digital downloads and streaming. So with the whole world going digital, what’s the benefit of a CD player?
CDs are becoming a niche market, and not just for audiophiles. As a sound format, streaming is still in its infancy – even with a solid sampling rate. With CDs’ high-quality depth of sound, there’s something different about putting on your favorite disc that transcends beyond just the obvious audible sound quality. A CD locks you in for the full ride of an album, start to finish. But unlike vinyl, a CD allows you to more easily skip over the unwanted tracks.
Not only are CDs and CD players not dead, but they’re even still improving. But through the decades, the main function stays the same: CD players are specifically engineered to securely pull the data off the disc, decode it, and keep the quality intact as much as possible through the connecting inner cables and wiring. An expensive and sleek system will, of course, get the most out of your discs. But for adding a CD soundtrack to indoors, outdoors or activities on the go, these modern retro systems will keep the music going ’til the last track.
Here are the best CD players with speakers, along with the best CD boomboxes, to consider.
1. Philips Bluetooth Boombox Speaker
Phillips’ Boombox Bluetooth Speaker handles playing CDs, both regular and rewritable, and also AUX, USB and Bluetooth to hook up to smartphones and tablets.
And it absolutely delivers on sound. The 50-watt sound quality here is clear, clean, undistorted, and it includes a bass boost button if you want even more low-end. There’s equalizer settings for various genres, and the front-and-side firing speakers will fill up a room instantly.
It’s also relatively lightweight, at about 8 pounds, ideal for indoors or out, for a night grilling on your patio or hanging by a pool. If you’re looking for something smaller, we also like this Philips CD Cassette player boombox that can also play tapes and connect via USB.
2. GPO Brooklyn 1980S-Style Portable Boombox
This modern-retro machine can get loud – it has two 40-watt speakers with bass and treble control, as well as the option to add even more external speakers. Flashing LED meters let you see your levels, just like the old systems.
Beyond the top-loading CD player, this also plays tapes, includes a radio, and can handle USB sticks, AUX and Bluetooth as well. A full battery charge lasts about three hours, and while it’s technically portable, it also weighs 18 pounds, which can be limiting.
3. Toshiba Wireless Bluetooth Boombox
With this compact unit, streaming is easy from phones, tablets or any other Bluetooth-enabled device, along with USB and an FM radio, plus the option for listening from SD cards, too.
The remote control is a nice touch, as it was pretty rare in our search for boomboxes, and has more commands than you might expect, including controlling the LED “disco lights.”
Four EQ modes let you choose your preferred sound setting, but it doesn’t get very loud, making it better suited for a small bedroom than a large gathering.
4. Sony Stereo CD/Cassette Boombox
This fully portable, 5-pound unit is a great option for moving from room to room indoors, or taking outside, with a battery life of up to 19 hours.
CDs are just the beginning, though – this also plays cassettes (with a record function), an AM/FM radio, and it includes an AUX input to connect up digital music players. It’s also able to play rewritable and MP3 CDs, so we can all start making mixtapes for each other again.
The player also includes a built-in Mega-Bass button, as well as a handle that makes it easy to carry with you.