The Best Radio CD Players for 2023

Written by RPennington / Fact checked by R. Combs

Are you a music lover? Then you can probably relate to those who can’t seem to get enough of music by just playing it on their mobile phones. Don’t get me wrong! Most love their mobile phones and use these devices to play music. However, if you are a true music lover then you may want a device that is solely for that purpose.

In such a case, you may want to get a hold of the best radio CD player today. Being a true audiophile, you are fully aware that there are several instances when your smartphone can’t provide you the kind of sound quality delivered by a reliable CD player.

A good portable radio CD player can improve your entire experience when listening to music. Fortunately, you can now access numerous choices for radio/CD player. Here are some of our top picks and recommendations for the best CD radio player:

Best Overall Portability Sound Quality
Preview JENSEN CD-490



Sony MAIN-87930






Dimensions 12.5 x 9 x 5.9 inches 5.5 x 15.2 x 2.7 inches 9.73 x 10.21 x 16.86 inches
Weight 3.66 pounds 5.56 pounds 2.62 pounds
Speaker Stereo Stereo Woofer
Power Corded, Battery Corded, Battery Corded, Battery

Best Radio CD Player Reviews

1. JENSEN CD-490 Stereo CD Player


Do you want to start using the best radio with a CD player known for its portability and quality? Then you might want to give the CD-490 Stereo CD player from JENSEN a try. This short JENSEN radio CD player review will tackle several of the satisfying and amazing qualities of this device.

One thing I love about this radio and CD player is its portable and compact structure. The portability of this unit combined with its compact size is a big help in making it as handy and as comfortable to use as possible. Moving it from one spot to another and storing it will never be a hassle-free experience, too.

I like the stylish look of this unit, too. It has an AM/FM radio receiver, which gives you the opportunity of enjoying the stations you love. I am also impressed with the inclusion of an auxiliary input jack as it lets you connect the unit to digital audio players, like an iPod or MP3.

The foldable carrying handle integrated into this appliance is also a big advantage as it folds up, thereby saving space when storing it. The handle also promotes ease of mobility once you open it up. If you want to listen to your favorite music in private then you can use its stereo headphone jack.

Furthermore, expect this CD player with radio from JENSEN to have the ability to stream radio shows and songs clearly with the help of its telescopic antenna. One complaint I have, though, is that some of its markings are not that easy to read.
  • Boasts of a compact and portable structure
  • Saves space and promotes mobility, thanks to its foldable carrying handle
  • Great audio or sound quality guaranteed
  • Features a stereo headphone jack, which you can use for private listening
  • Can be connected to digital audio players
  • Slightly difficult to read markings
Overall, you won’t regret getting your hands over this radio with CD player from JENSEN because apart from its great and affordable price, you will also love its stylish look, compact and portable design, and amazing sound quality.

2. Sony Bluetooth Digital Turner AM/FM CD Player


The next option for the best AM/FM radio with a CD player that I intend to recommend is this Bluetooth Digital Turner AM/FM CD player offered by Sony. I love several things from this AM/FM CD player – one of which is its ability to stream music from various audio devices that are compatible with it.

This music streaming capability is made possible with the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology and the Bluetooth interface. I am glad that this unit has a top-loading design as it promotes ease in playing back disc media. I would also like to emphasize the mega bass boost sound improvement featured by this unit.

With this specific feature integrated into this Sony portable radio and CD player, tuning your preferred treble and bass is possible. As its name suggests, it acts as an AM/FM radio, which means you can use it to listen to your favorite stations in both AM and FM. I am also sure you will love the LCD that shows the present track you are playing.

It can also further improve your music listening experience with its thirty memory presets. Another incredible feature I would like to highlight is the Boombox. I find it beneficial and useful because it is proven to have a long life that can reach a max of 26 hours, giving you the chance to listen to entertaining music for a long period.

This is especially helpful for parties and events you are planning to host at home. The Bluetooth range is also good enough at over thirty feet. This is usually enough to let you connect through a PC or phone easily. However, I noticed that the back panel designed to cover the battery compartment is slightly hard to remove.
  • Streams music from different audio devices, provided they are compatible with the unit
  • Takes pride in its huge Bluetooth range
  • Fantastic music listening experience guaranteed
  • Features around thirty memory presets
  • Can play music for a long period, up to 26 hours, to be more specific
  • Slightly hard to remove back panel
With the reasonably priced yet feature-filled Sony Bluetooth Digital Turner AM/FM CD Player, I am sure that this device can bring a smile to your face, especially once you start using it for your favorite hobby, which is streaming and listening to music and other radio stations.

3. Sylvania SRCD243 CD Player


Another of the most popular portable and compact radio CD players today is the Sylvania SRCD243 CD Player with AM/FM Radio. It can be categorized as a top-loading boombox, the name of CD players with speakers together with a handle in one unit. The fact that this radio with CD player comes with a handle promotes ease of mobility.

This makes it suitable for those who would like to carry this appliance just like before. I am so delighted with the aux-in jack that forms part of this appliance, too. It is because I discovered the role it plays in letting you play music from all audio devices, especially those that are not compatible with Bluetooth.

I am sure you will also enjoy the different color choices provided by this device. With the many options for colors, you can pick the one that you truly want and perfectly suits your style. This AM/FM radio CD player for home also features an AC wall adapter, promoting ease in connecting it into a source of power.

I am greatly satisfied with this device’s LED display as it contributes a lot in boosting its performance and look. This display shows the backward, forward, pause, stop, repeat and play buttons. It also has a search/skip function as well as repeat function, making the device as user-friendly as possible.

The bass sound it produces is of top-notch quality, too. However, I am not so fond of the position of the volume control because it is on the side, which makes it quite difficult to see.
  • Guarantees ease of mobility, thanks to its built-in handle
  • Can play music from all audio devices even those not compatible with Bluetooth
  • Several choices for colors provided
  • Features a LED display showing all the needed buttons
  • Equipped with a search/skip function
  • Slightly difficult to find and access volume control on the side
To conclude, this is one of those small radio CD players that continue to wow the public with the kind of amazing music and sounds they can deliver.

4. Jensen CD-555 CD Bluetooth Boombox Music System


Jensen also continues to impress the public with the tabletop radio CD players and other portable and compact music players that it offers – one of which is the CD-555 CD Bluetooth Boombox Music System with CD Player. There are so many remarkable and impressive features that people love from this Jensen music system.

I like the compact and portable design of this cuboid CD player. The price is so affordable while ensuring that all the required features are present and properly positioned. It is also available in different trendy colors. It has a top-loading CD player, which is also known for being CD-/RW compatible.

The diverse functionality of this appliance proves its complete versatility. It has an auxiliary input, for instance, which allows you to connect it directly to MP3 players and iPods. I am impressed with the CD player’s Bluetooth connectivity, too. Furthermore, it is an FM radio, which further increases your options for playing music.

Another reason why I love this unit is that it takes pride in its bass-boosting function, which offers an assurance that it will constantly play great audio and sounds even if you play it at loud volumes. This makes it suitable for outdoor use. It also takes pride in its skip-and-search function.

However, one fault I found out upon regularly using this radio CD player combo is that it is less durable compared to other similar appliances. It is also vulnerable to breaking faster than usual.
  • Compact and portable design
  • Available in various trendy colors
  • Multifunctional and versatile as it can play music from various sources
  • Boasts of its bass-boosting function
  • The skip-and-search feature provided
  • Not as durable as other radio and CD players
With the many functions that this small CD player radio can do and the multiple features it holds, this can truly offer superb value for your money, especially if you check the premium quality of each of its components.

5. Sony CFDS70-BLK CD/MP3 Boombox Radio


Another great offering of Sony in the stereo radio CD player category is the CFDS70-BLK CD/MP3 Boombox Radio. It is a powerful and multifunctional CD/cassette player, which is famous for being well-crafted and letting you enjoy high-quality and fully functional stereo sounds, CD-R/RW, playback CDs, and MP3s.

It maximizes the level of convenience it offers through its cassette tape deck, which also comes integrated with a recording function. I find this radio easy to operate because of its shuffle and program features. I am impressed with its dual-power supply, too. It is because this allows users to power it via six C-dry batteries or an AC power cord.

The MEGA BASS boost circuitry that is part of the radio’s construction is also a big help in boosting its bass performance at low frequency. You can do that in just one simple touch of a button. This appliance also features an AM/FM tuner, which has around 30-station presets.

Combine that with the radio’s digital tuning function and it can surely give you the ultimate source of entertainment as far as music is concerned. I also like the rugged and strong design of this radio. It is because of the strong materials used in constructing it, allowing it to handle rough handling, frequent movements, and harsh elements.

However, one fault I encountered in this boombox radio is that it does not give you the option to skip songs.
  • Equipped with a cassette tape deck that has a recording function
  • Easy to operate due to its shuffle and program feature
  • Boasts of a dual-power supply, making it a bit versatile
  • Rugged and strong construction
  • Features an AM/FM tuner combined with a digital tuning function
  • Does not allow skipping of songs
Even with that minor issue, the Sony CFDS70-BLK CD/MP3 Boombox Radio is still one of the frontrunners in the radio CD player industry with the many features and functionalities that this unit possesses as well as its reasonable price.

6. Jaras JJ-Box89 Sport Portable Stereo CD Player


I am also delighted to include the Jaras JJ-Box89 Sport Portable Stereo CD Player in this article because of the superior quality it guarantees. It is portable and compact, which is one reason why many consider it the ultimate solution for bringing your music anywhere.

With its battery-operated construction, I am sure you will never complain about the level of its portability. It is also built in a way that lets you have fun while you listen to your favorite music and radio talk shows through the full-function speakers with great stereo sounds it delivers.

I am glad of the analog AM/FM tuner that forms a huge part of this radio player as it lets you pick from various music programs, talk shows, and radio stations. Another strength of this product is its 16/19 programmable memory. It comes with a soft-eject cover for the CD, which further promotes ease when it comes to wearing it.

Another benefit I like on this radio CD player is the dual-way power it has. This means it provides two options in terms of the source of power – AC power and DC battery power. It also contains all the functions you need including the skip/search, play/pause, and repeat.

Furthermore, it has a headphone jack, which you can use in plugging in your headphones to enjoy music privately. However, one fault I discovered in this unit is the volume dial is not that visible based on where it is presently located.
  • Portable and compact, allowing you to carry music everywhere
  • Battery-operated construction, offering more convenience to users
  • High-quality and full-function sounds guaranteed
  • Features two sources of power
  • Comes with a headphone jack for private listening
  • The volume dial is not that visible.
For its price, this portable stereo CD player from Jaras has all the features and functions needed to make it deliver a performance that exceeds expectations.

7. Crosley CR3501A-WA Fleetwood FM Radio


The next highly impressive radio and CD player in one that I wish to recommend is the Crosley CR3501A-WA Fleetwood. Among the things I find remarkable in this appliance is the way it is constructed using high-quality and sturdy materials, namely brushed aluminum and rich wood grain.

The combination of the mentioned materials makes the unit look great regardless of where you put it – in your room, office, or any other part of your home. I am happy that this radio features a Bluetooth receiver because I find it useful in streaming my digital playlist through the built-in stereo speakers known for their quality and full range.

It also has a digital tuner, which is useful in finding the specific FM radio stations you prefer listening to. Since it is also a CD player, you can just conveniently pop in any of your CD collection. Another impressive benefit in this radio CD player is the equalizer. You can use this in making some changes to the sound based on your preference.

It also comes equipped with RCA inputs that you can use in expanding the stereo system. All you have to do is to use these inputs to connect other audio devices, including a compact turntable. I am also glad of the programmable channels and the digital clock integrated into the device.

However, one issue I found out is that the controls are quite too small, especially for users who are already in their senior years.
  • Stylish and elegant, thanks to the combined wood grain and brushed aluminum materials
  • Equipped with a Bluetooth receiver for digital playlist streaming
  • High-quality sounds delivered by the stereo speakers
  • Features an equalizer that you can use to adjust or change the sound
  • Allows connection with other audio devices
  • Quite small controls
Overall, I am satisfied with everything that the Crosley CR3501A-WA Fleetwood FM Radio and CD Player offer as it does not only look great but also sound and perform excellently.

8. GPX, Inc. Top-Loading CD Boombox AM/FM Radio


If you are in search of a top-loading or tabletop CD player then I am sure that this top-loading CD Boombox AM/FM Radio offered by GPX will make you feel satisfied. This is one of the most stylish radio and CD players you can find today. It has a somewhat sporty look that tends to make it even more entertaining to use.

Through this device, you have the chance to hear your favorite AM/FM stations and CDs anywhere and anytime you want. It is portable and lightweight, so carrying it is very convenient. It is equipped with a top-loading CD player with programmable memory that can store up to twenty tracks.

I also love the versatility of this unit, allowing it to play sounds from various sources, including CD-R/RW discs and CDs. The LCD of this radio CD player also features a white backlight, which contributes a lot in ensuring that you can see the specific track number that it is presently playing.

Apart from the telescoping FM antenna, this AM/FM radio also features an AM antenna, which makes it the ideal radio for those who are on the go. You can also use this device in playing your favorite music directly from your MP3 players. All it takes is to use the 3.5-mm audio line input integrated into this unit.

However, it seems to pale in comparison to other radio CD players in the market today in terms of durability.
  • Stylish and sporty look
  • Features a programmable memory capable of storing up to twenty tracks
  • Versatile as it can play sounds from several sources
  • Features an LCD with a white backlight
  • Portable, lightweight, and compact
  • Not as durable as other radio and CD players
Overall, I am satisfied with the performance of GPX, Inc. Top-Loading CD Boombox AM/FM Radio because it seems to score high in terms of quality, affordability, design, performance, and reliability – all of which are crucial for a radio and CD player in one.

9. Jensen CD-550SMP3 Top-Loading Boombox AM FM Radio


Jensen also continues to amaze music lovers out there with its constant release of high-quality products in the music player industry – one of which is the CD-550SMP3 Top-Loading Boombox Black Series AM/FM Radio Cassette Player. Through this AM/FM radio cassette player, you can always bring your favorite sounds with you.

This CD player is equipped with plenty of cool features, including the AM/FM stereo radio and the cassette recorder. I am happy that the CD player has a top-loading design. Combine that with its LED track display in green and I am sure you will never run out of reasons to love this unit.

I am happy to say that this appliance also offers versatile playback choices for both custom-made and store-bought CD’s. It is because it works compatibly with CD-RW and CD-R discs. Transporting or moving it around is also comfortable and easy, thanks to the foldable handle built into its construction.

In terms of recording, expect to be able to do that with ease because it only involves a single-touch function. You may also want to make use of its telescopic antenna so you can get a clear reception for various AM/FM stations.

Furthermore, you can anticipate the high level of functionality of this radio CD player because it has an auxiliary input jack and a stereo headphone jack that you can use to connect all your digital audio players – among which are your MP3 players and iPod. However, some controls are a little difficult to see if you do not pick up or turn the unit.
  • Boasts of a top-loading design
  • Features a LED track display
  • Highly versatile as it lets you play custom-made and store-bought CDs
  • Comfortable and easy to transport, thanks to its foldable handle
  • Allows you to connect most of your digital audio players
  • Some of its controls are harder to see than expected.
If you are looking for a versatile and affordable radio CD player then this specific model offered by Jensen will surely wow you, especially once you realize how functional and user-friendly it is.

10. Victrola VS-120-MPL Microsystem Radio


The next product I wish to recommend is the VS-120-MPL Microsystem with CD Player and FM Radio from Victrola. What I love about this unit is that it is multifunctional. It can even let users enjoy up to five fantastic functions, including the FM radio, CD player, Bluetooth, 3.5-mm aux-in, and USB player.

I am specifically impressed with the 30-watt stereo that forms a huge part of this unit because I noticed how powerful its sounds are. It is also built in such a way that you will enjoy pure entertainment through its full-functioning remote control combined with EQ settings that you can easily adjust.

Among the settings that you can adjust are rock, classical, jazz, flat, and pop. I am also very satisfied with its LED clock display. What I found even more impressive about this display is that its brightness level is something that you can adjust.

Aside from the brightness that you can adjust to three different levels, the numbers in the display are also easy to read. It is a small and portable unit, which lets you bring it anywhere. This unit is also easy to set up and use plus it does not seem to disappoint in terms of the quality of sounds it delivers.

In terms of downsides, the only thing I found out is that it has somewhat difficult to follow instructions in its manual.
  • Multifunctional as it has five different functions
  • The small and portable unit
  • Easy to set up and delivers great sounds
  • Features a LED clock display and adjustable brightness levels
  • Equipped with a full-functioning remote control
  • Somewhat difficult to follow and understand instructions in the manual
Considering all the things that this Victrola CD player and FM radio can do, I can honestly say that it is worth the purchase, especially for those who can’t seem to live without music.

11. Magnavox MD6972 CD Boombox Digital AM/FM Radio


Another amazing product worth checking out is the MD6972 CD Boombox Digital AM/FM Radio from Magnavox. I think this is one of the most powerful AM/FM radios with a CD player that you can find in the market at present because it provides the ultimate solution for durability and performance.

I am so happy with its ultra-grade and durable construction as well as its cool finish. The versatility of this unit is also instantly noticeable, especially once you realize how you can effortlessly connect it with various devices – among which are your laptop, phone, and tablet.

I would like to highlight this unit’s digital display, which promotes ease when it comes to navigating settings. It also takes pride in its AM/FM tuner, which makes it possible for you to conveniently tune in to your favorite stations. Another unique feature of this AM/FM radio is the beautiful colored changing light.

This light ends to pulsate depending on the beat, thereby ensuring that the specific spot where you put the radio will have the right ambiance for your preferred mood. I am also happy to say that this device is CD-R/CD-RW compatible. This unit’s Bluetooth connectivity and aux-in port also add a modern twist to it.

However, one issue I have with this digital AM/FM radio is that unlike other similar devices, this one is not equipped with a sleep timer or auto-shutoff function.
  • Ultra-grade and highly durable construction
  • Easy to connect with various devices
  • Compatible with CD-R/CD-RW
  • Allows Bluetooth connectivity
  • Features pulsating lights based on the beat
  • Lacks a sleep timer
Even with such an issue, no one can deny that Magnavox MD6972 CD Boombox Digital AM/FM Radio delivers an incredible performance in the industry, which is the reason why it continues to grab the interest of most music lovers and audiophiles out there.

12. SAUDIO Portable CD Boombox Radio


The last but surely not the weakest out of the CD player and AM/FM radios we have discussed so far is the SAUDIO Portable CD Boombox CD Player AM/FM Radio. One thing I immediately noticed in this unit is the ease of its operations. I find its structure hassle-free and convenient to use and operate.

I am also fond of the compact and unique trendy design of this unit. It is unique as it features a piano-black color that makes it distinguishable compared to the others. It has a full stereo, which lets you enjoy listening not only to your favorite AM/FM radio stations but also to CDs.

This unit even gives you the chance to program the tracks you intend to play depending on your preferred order. I am glad that this radio features a universal line-in jack as I find it useful in connecting to digital music playing devices with headphone jacks. With this, the radio can surely provide full access to your music playlist.

The LCD integrated into this unit is also clear. It even comes with a backlight, which further enhances the clarity of the specific functions it shows. Furthermore, the buttons, handle, and knobs are positioned properly, promoting extreme convenience every time you use them.

One thing I dislike about this unit, though, is its weight as I noticed it is a bit heavier when I compare it to other somewhat similar choices.
  • Hassle-free, easy to operate, and straightforward structure
  • Boasts of its unique and trendy design
  • Full stereo for fantastic sound quality
  • Allows the programming of tracks based on your preferred order
  • LCD with a backlight, promoting clarity of all functions and buttons
  • Somewhat heavier than other radios
In its entirety, I can’t find any major fault in this CD player and AM/FM radio from SAUDIO as I am truly impressed with its fantastic functionality, sound, and affordable price.

What to Look for When Buying a Radio CD Player


If you have a large collection of CD albums from the 90s, it just does not feel the same if you play them using your computer’s optical disk drive. There is something about using an actual CD player and radio to play your music that makes them more enjoyable.

If you are thinking of getting a CD player and radio, here are some of the things that you have to look for and consider:

Sound Quality – You would not want to own and use a radio and CD player if the sound coming from its speakers seem like the entire thing is made of tin cans. If you don’t enjoy the sound coming from the radio CD player then you need to search elsewhere.

Ideally, if you listen carefully to your favorite audio discs, you can distinguish each instrument used. If you cannot stand the horrible sound quality then you should not waste your money on it. Before you purchase a CD radio player, test it by playing your favorite song of all time.

If you feel like all the notes are hitting the right spots and the bass is low enough that you feel it in your chest, then you have the right radio CD player in your hands.

Multi-disc Format Compatibility – Even the basic CD players nowadays could at least handle regular audio CDs, CD-R-RWs, and CDs with MP3 files. Some advanced models can also read formats such as SACD. Other universal players can handle all kinds of discs, including UHD (4K) and Blu-ray 3D discs.

Some players even come with auxiliary inputs for portable music players and USB inputs for flash drives. It would be best to have all these in a single unit to ensure that it is compatible with various formats.

Portability – If you want to take your music wherever you want, then you should get a portable CD player and radio. There are ones like the Sony Discman that you can clip on your belt, or you can even fit in your pocket if it is big enough. Then there are the battery-powered radios, the next generation of boom boxes.

These are powered by a lot of alkaline batteries and are very notorious for their short battery lives. You can also find those that come with rechargeable batteries that have longer operational hours.

Can Connect to Bluetooth Devices – If you want to listen using wireless devices because you do not like getting tangled in wires when you are relaxing at home or even while you are jogging or running around the neighborhood then you should get Bluetooth compatible earphones or headphones.

This is especially useful when you want to listen to music while you are at home, but you don’t want to bother your neighbors. It is also perfect if you want to move around the house without getting limited by your earphone wires.

Random and Repeat Play – If you want to keep your listening experience somewhat fresh every time, you want to have a random and repeat mode on your CD player. This will allow the player to select random songs to play and repeat the whole album until you turn it off.

While these functions are not as important compared to the others, they can still add to your listening pleasure.

Ease of Use – There was a time in the late 80s and the early 90s when appliances had so many knobs and switches that it almost requires a rocket scientist to operate them. Now, ease-of-use is the name of the game.

You should be able to use them even without looking at the instructions. For instance, in a CD player, you should be able to figure out how to switch modes from radio to CD player almost instantly.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is a Radio Cd Player?

A radio CD player is just a CD player with built-in AM/FM radio receivers. This can be a desktop, portable, or compact handheld. These audio appliances first became popular in the 90s just when the use of audio CDs first became popular.

These days, with the audio CDs getting phased out by mainstream digital music, CD players and radios have become a rarity with most manufacturers seldom making new models anymore.

If you are looking for one now, you might find those made by the major brands that were made around ten or so years ago. The brand new ones that you will find these days are usually from obscure Chinese companies.

Who is this for?

Even though the audio CD is slowly getting phased out, there are still a lot of fans of this storage media. For instance, there are collectors. These are the kinds of people who like to have physical ownership of their media.

It is convenient to have your entire music library in your computer, or a cloud storage website, but what will happen to them if the websites suddenly go under? If you have your CDs, they will stay with you virtually forever as long as you take good care of them.

That is why some people still like having old-school CD players hanging around. These are usually the same people who also hang onto their vintage turntables so they have something to use for their classic vinyl.

Then there are the audiophiles. They still believe that the audio CD is the pinnacle of sound recording and they have pretty valid reasons. Audio CDs, as the medium for a recording, are completely uncompressed and unadulterated. You will be getting a bit-for-bit accurate recording every time you use the right recording equipment.

If you get an album that does not sound quite just right, it is not the fault of the recording medium. It is with the recording equipment and those who operated it.

How Does it Work?

How do radio CD players work? Let’s start with the radio. These electronic devices have a small radio receiver integrated into them. There is a switch on the player that allows you to choose modes between AM radio, FM radio, and CD player.

When you choose any of the two radio modes, you will turn on the radio receiver, thus gaining access to the AM or FM frequencies. You just need to turn on the radio, pull out the antenna then use the tuning knob (some radios have digital tuners) to “tune into” your favorite radio stations.

The CD player is a bit more complicated. Let’s first discuss how the audio CD works. In a CD, the music (or any other form of information for that matter) is stored digitally, meaning they are stored as a long string of ones and zeroes. After the music is recorded, through the process of sampling, the information is turned into numbers.

Sampling turns a music recording that lasts a couple of minutes into a string consisting of millions of ones and zeroes and it is this information that is stored in the CD. On the surface of the audio CD are millions upon millions of tiny bumps (called pits) and the spaces between them (called lands).

That is the binary code laser-etched on the surface of the CD. Every pit is a one and every land is a zero. Now let’s learn how the CD player “reads” the audio CDs. If you take a peek inside your CD player, you will find a small laser beam and an equally small photoelectric cell.

When you load a CD on the tray and you press on the play button, an electric motor spins the disc at high speeds of up to 500 revolutions per minute. The laser will then turn on and start scanning along a track from the center of the disc outwards.

A red light from the laser will flash on the shiny underside of the CD, which will reflect straight back up when it hits a “land” and will scatter when it hits a “pit”. Every time the light gets bounced back, it will be picked up by the photocell. It will then send a burst of electricity to the processor signifying a “1” in binary code.

If the light does not reflect, the photocell will generate the number “0”. This scanning process accurately recreates the binary code in the CD. Another circuit in the CD player called a Digital to Analog Converter takes these binary numbers and turns them back to an ever-changing pattern of electric currents.

Also, a loudspeaker turns these electric currents into audible sounds.

What are the Different Types of Radio CD Players?

You can access several types. The first ones are the stereo component systems. These came into style during the 90s and these are composed of the radio deck, CD player deck, and sometimes, a cassette tape player and recorder, and a 2.1 speaker system. These appliances usually take up a lot of floor space.

Then there is the more compact radio CD player. These are the successors of the boomboxes of the 80s. These are more compact, almost half the size of boom boxes, and they run on D-cell batteries. To save on space, most of these radio CD players nowadays no longer have tape decks.

These radio CD players are still kind of popular these days as they are not as large and hulking as the stereo components but still sound as great.

There are also radio CD players for cars. Even the newer models of cars nowadays still have CD players just in case the driver still has a binder full of their favorite audio CDs they want to listen to while driving. However, this is no longer the case with the higher-end models.

Instead of your standard radio CD player, the more expensive cars have satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair your phone with your car. Then there are portable players. If you want to listen to your music on the go, these are the ones that you need.

These players do not have external speakers but they do have 3.5mm headphone jacks. These portable players run on AA batteries, usually three or four of them. You can expect them to work great in case you want to listen to music while on the go, even when you are out jogging.

Some portable players have an anti-shock feature. This means something will prevent the disc from “skipping” when the CD player gets shaken up and down like when you are going for a jog.

Why Do You Need a Radio CD Player?

Although it is very convenient to have all of your music libraries in your smartphone, there is still nothing like the feeling of owning physical media, i.e. the music album itself. Furthermore, if the recording was done right, there is nothing that compares to the superior audio quality that you can get from a CD.

This is especially true when played through a good radio CD player. Speaking of the radio, there is also the bonus of being able to access FM and AM radio stations. Sure, you can listen to FM radio on your phone but can it access AM stations? No, it could not.

Even though many people are saying that radio is dead, it is not that true though. You can still find plenty of entertainment and information when you listen to the radio, which is something most people have forgotten, thanks to the internet and mobile phones.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the most trusted radio CD player brands?

The great abundance of various radio CD players today instantly means that you are spoilt for choices if you are shopping for one. Despite your numerous choices, it is still advisable to research the most trusted brands of this product.

Among those that win the hearts of many due to their satisfying, high-quality, and feature-filled radio CD players are JENSEN, Sony, Sylvania, Jaras, Crosley, GPX, Victrola, Magnavox, and SAUDIO.

How to set up and use the best radio CD player?

Most radio CD players are so simple to use that you do not even need the instruction manual, except for the additional features maybe. First, make sure that the radio CD player is plugged in and turned on. If you want to listen to the radio then there is a switch that lets you toggle between operating modes.

If you want to listen to AM radio, move the switch over to where it is marked “AM”. In case you want to listen to the FM band, move the switch to “FM”. Then use the tuner to pick a radio station. If you cannot seem to pick anything but static, please pull out and extend the antenna of the radio.

Some radio CD players have a knob that you have to twist left or right to tune in on radio stations. Others are equipped with a digital LCD and “+” and “-” buttons to tune into radio stations. Some radios have an option to save preset stations, so you just need to press a button to go to a particular radio station.

To play an audio CD, first, slide the mode switch to “CD” and then open up the CD tray. Some require you to press a button to release the cover while others push out a tray where you will need to place the CD. When loading the CD, make sure that it is facing the shiny side down as the optical laser is always pointing upward.

Close the cover or push the tray back inside. Wait for a couple of seconds and the disc will automatically play. You can then use the buttons to fast forward through the track, pause, or stop the playback.

Some players have the option to loop through the tracks and/or play random tracks out of order. To find out if your radio player has these features, consult the owner’s manual for detailed instruction.

How to care and maintain the radio CD player?

Regarding the audio CDs, you should always place them back into their protective case to prevent damage and dust from collecting. Also, store your CDs in a dark, cool corner of your home, somewhere where the sun will not directly hit them.

To clean your CDs, just use a microfiber towel and gently wipe away all of the accumulated dust on the surface of the CDs. You do not need to dampen the microfiber towel with water unless there is a thick layer of dirt on the CDs.

To clean the CD player, you will need to buy one of those CD player cleaning kits, especially if you don’t have access to the optical reader. However, if you can see the optical reader in your radio CD player, you can clean it using a cotton swab moistened with a bit of rubbing alcohol.

Just rub the lens of the laser with the cotton swab gently using circular motions until it is clean. To clean the outside of the radio CD player, you just need a damp microfiber towel. Unplug the radio from the wall outlet then gently wipe away all of the dust and dirt that you can find on the surface of the radio.

Make sure that the microfiber towel is just damp, and not dripping wet, as you might accidentally get water inside the radio, causing a short circuit the next time you turn it on.

What is the warranty?

The usual warranties that come with typical radio CD players are one to three years. Yes, if you bought one from a reliable manufacturer, these players can potentially last many years. When you find a player that does provide a 3-year warranty, you should go for it.

Now, if you are thinking of buying a secondhand unit, you won’t get anything much better than a week seller’s guarantee. However, you should not worry too much. If ever your CD player conks out on you, several repair shops are out there to help you whatever issues your player may have.

Where to buy the best radio CD player?

You can still find lots of radio CD players in most malls, department stores, and electronics shops. However, if you are looking for a particular brand or model, your best bet is to go shopping for them online. Websites like Amazon or Alibaba will provide you with hundreds, maybe even thousands of choices.

You can even try the manufacturers’ website if they are still selling a particular make and model of a CD player that you want. If you are particular or looking for something very specific, it is suggested that you try eBay.

The particular brand or model of CD player you are looking for might no longer exist today, so looking for a secondhand one that is well taken care of is your next best choice.


Although audio CDs are now considered relics from the past, it is still undeniable that the quality of music that you can get from them is top-notch. Even if you are fond of the portability and overall convenience brought by listening to music streaming and MP3s in smartphones, there is still a certain charm in loading up an audio CD in a radio CD player and pressing the play button.

If you are thinking of buying yourself a new (or slightly used) one, follow the tips mentioned above so you can get the best radio CD player available.

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