Does anyone still make a decent portable CD player?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Joint Attention, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Joint Attention

    Joint Attention Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Gig Harbor, WA
    My current portable CD player is one that I got for free with a pair of Bose headphones several years ago. It's still working fine, but I'm sure it will eventually give out. I have been looking to buy a replacement while they are still on the market.

    I bought a Memorex model for about $35 and the sound is horrible. I didn't know CD could be so noisy. I have seen Jensen, GPX, and Coby players that seem to be the same model with a different logo, so I assume that they are all crap.

    Toshiba still seems to have a player in the Japanese market, and I think it would work fine on AA batteries, though I would probably have to buy an aftermarket transformer to run it on AC:

    It looks like Philips still makes a player, but the reviews are not very good:

    Best Buy still sells a store brand player, but who knows for how long given that they are no longer selling CDs:

    Any expericene with any of these, or any suggestions for a different high quality portable CDP that is still being made?
  2. Trashman

    Trashman Forum Resident

    There are plenty of Sony Discman players on eBay, advertised as working, in the $15-$30 price range. I would prefer to take my chances with a reputable brand (even if in used condition) than buying a cheaply-made new player that may or may not work (or sound decent) out of the box. The Sony players will probably outlive the new ones, anyway. Just buy from a seller with a good return policy. Maybe buy a couple, so you have a spare.

    Since cars these days often don't come with CD players, those of us who enjoy playing CDs in our cars will be looking for portable players again.
  3. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Chicago, IL USA
    I haven't had good luck with portable CD players of any brand. My current best (most reliable) one is, gasp!, one labeled Bose. It's never failed to play a disc, my number one criteria. I have a number of high-end CD players, but other than their lustrous appearance, they skip, won't play and/or V8 regular gas users via their battery appetite.

    Wish I had better experiences to report, but in portable use, I've had better luck with Sandisk portables. No moving parts!
  4. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    The Toshiba is quite feature packed. Interesting. Given that it's a new player (from a major Japanese brand), the price is not that bad.

    I'd recommend checking out some Aiwa portable CD player. They are generally priced lower than those from Sony or Panasonic, but offer comparable quality (Panasonic portable CD player were made in Japan up 'til the end). I still have an Aiwa portable that I wrote away years ago on

    Pleasantly surprised....Aiwa EX-EV501R PCDP

    The Aiwa still plays fine after all these years.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  5. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    I keep getting older used players because they sound better, but they don't seem to last very long for me. My current Technics player has stopped working recently.

    I would have written off the Best Buy Insignia as cheap junk, but it seems to actually have some good reviews out there. Seems comparable to Sony, which would be my first choice for a new player but I don't think they are readily available any more. For the price, the Insignia might be worth a try.
    Joint Attention likes this.
  6. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    Not to mention easily returnable if not satisfied.
    mmars982 likes this.
  7. snowman872

    snowman872 Forum Resident

    Wilcox, AZ
    Good quality ones sell at thrifts stores for $5 or less. Bring some batteries, headphones and a CD to test it out before buying.
  8. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    FYI I picked up the Insignia from Best Buy and am very happy with it. It feels cheap (it was only $20 bucks after all), but sounds decent. And one thing I didn't know it had before I got it is a line out. Since I use this with a little headphone amp, that's a big plus in my book.

    They only had one in stock, and I had to ask someone working there to help me find it. As you said, they may not bother carrying these much longer, so I'd say it's worth picking up while they still do.
    Joint Attention likes this.
  9. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    you can also check local pawn & thrift shops...they're still out there.
  10. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    I just ordered 1 each of the 2 Insignia players that Best Buy carries. I wanted something to use while walking my dogs.
    Is yours still holding up? I did buy the geek squad 2 year replacement warranties with them.
    Also, I'm interested to know about your headphone amp. Battery powered? Difference in sound compared to just plugging phones into Insignia?
  11. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yes, mine is still holding up and I use it pretty regularly.

    My headphone amp is a Total Bithead HeadRoom Total BitHead Review – The Gadgeteer
    Battery powered. I think it sounds better than the headphone jack, but not by so much that I don't just use the headphone jack sometimes. Just since I have it I like to use the line out.
  12. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Fonthill, Ontario
    My two old Sonys still work fine and sound great :edthumbs::cheers:
    longdist01 and jay.dee like this.
  13. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    I wanted to get back here and answer my own question, and give my recommendation between these two cd players best buy sells.
    For comparison using line outs on the cd players into a Schiitt Jottunheim feeding Sennheiser HD6XX.. Note- when feeding line out on these players bass boost is defeated, which IMO is a good thing. I sampled 3 CDs Bruce- Ghost of Tom Joad/Led Zep I/Supergrass- in it for the money.

    Insignia Model:
    NS-P5113---bassy and muffled, just plain subpar-this model does have radio, the other doesn't/I don't care
    Insignia Model: NS-P4112---much better IMO, much more midrange

    For my hearing, neither is really adequate in volume plugging headphones straight into players. I consider an added amp a requirement, YMMV. For my dog walking purposes I have a rechargeable $30 Prossier amp that I use with old school $7 Maxell walkman type headphones. I like these better than the ones that came with the players (sound and comfort). This gets the job done.

    Note: for home use I'll mostly use my Onkyo 7030 CD player, but the Insignia Model: NS-P4112 is IMO worthy. I do have a Schiitt Loki EQ on order as of today, which will be very useful and make things even better.
  14. Michael Chavez

    Michael Chavez Forum Resident

    the Japan made Panasonics from the 90s with the audio out jack, not just one for headphones
    they show up for sale all the time, new old stock
    can get a little pricey but they're new
    used isn't bad either if it looks OK (pay attention to the lettering)
    a good one and one they sold millions of is the SL-231C
    it's a winner and has a wall wart jack
    good luck! : - )
  15. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Sony Discman : there was a few models. When did they stop making them ?
  16. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    A couple of years ago, when I noticed the dropping availability of good portable CD players, I decided to pick up a number of what-appeared-to-be-still-good portable CD/MP3 players (that use standard AA batteries) before they were gone. In addition to my current Sony Walkman CD/MP3 player, I have a number of good Philips portable CD/MP3 players. While the Philips players are good, they do have the quirk that when they power off, everything (such as volume and play mode) resets to the default.
  17. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    I did some checking on Wikipedia, and it seems that Sony stopped making the Discman players (which had been re-designated as CD Walkman) in the 2000s but I could find a specific date. I think what happened is that they were superseded by Walkman Digital Audio Players, which Sony still makes (I have a number of them including the current NW-A45). However, Sony did recently release a Walkman Digital Audio Player for the 40th Anniversary of the Walkman that looks like the original Compact Cassette Walkman (including a screen-saver that looks like its playing a compact cassette).

    longdist01 and alexpop like this.
  18. ffracer

    ffracer Custom Title

    Old stock Panasonic or Sony. The Aiwa mentioned by Soundboy is also good, but is also a Sony.

    I have two Panasonics that still work and are 20 years old and sound great. Use a good quality line out cable if playing into an amp or portable speakers.
    longdist01 likes this.
  19. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Rather have a full on retro new model cassette player.
  20. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    You can still buy new old stock (NOS) portable cassette players off of eBay, such as the below Aiwa I purchased for about $80.00. I choose Aiwa because it's not considered a major brand like Sony and Panasonic, and therefore cheaper in price. However, I have nothing but great experiences with its portable audio products.

    alexpop likes this.
  21. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Does the job I guess.But ..the Sony Walkman was ever so stylish.
  22. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    I still want one of those twin transport Sony Walkman cassette player....

    longdist01 and alexpop like this.
  23. petertakov

    petertakov Forum Resident

    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Just out of curiosity - WHY?? Is there any single benefit to carrying a CD player around in 2019?
  24. jay.dee

    jay.dee Forum Resident

    Barcelona, Spain
    Well, there are two major benefits providing that you like to listen to your discs in full:
    • the sound quality from a solid CD player blows smartphones (and most digital players) out of water
    • you do not need to rip anything to be able to listen to any CD while heading for a walk (or walking back from a CD store with fresh catch)
    longdist01 and alexpop like this.
  25. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Bring back Tower Records while we’re at it.
    Daedalus and jay.dee like this.

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