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Best portable CD player

Which portable CD player is best?

In the age of digital streaming, a portable CD player may seem like a relic from a bygone era. However, they remain a popular way for people to enjoy their favorite music without paying for expensive subscription services or data plans. Many people also have CD collections that include songs or albums that are not available on streaming services.

For those who favor physical media, or simply want to enjoy their music commercial-free and streaming interruptions, the GPX Portable Cd Player with Bluetooth provides the best CD player listening experience. It has modern features and a streamlined design.

What to know before you buy a portable CD player

Types of portable CD players

Personal CD players are designed for maximum portability and aren't much larger than a CD itself. While bulkier than their ancestral cassette tape players, their clamshell design makes them small enough to fit into large pockets or bags. Personal CD players, as their name suggests, are meant for solo listening via headphones. However, there are small speaker systems available that you can plug into them.

All-in-one portable CD players have a boombox format. They can be picked up and moved easily but aren’t for travel. Their built-in speakers make them ideal for listening to music with others.


While some personal portable CD players come with headphones, most will not be of very high quality. You will likely want to provide your own pair. Keep in mind that the majority of portable personal CD players do not support wireless earbuds.

What to look for in a quality portable CD player

Skip protection

A problem inherent to CD players is the audio skipping that results from the device being bumped or vibrated. Personal portable CD players, meant to be used while walking or otherwise on the move, will have skip protection technology that prevents interruption even during high activity. Some models have more skip protection than others, so consider what you may be doing while listening to make the best choice for you.

Battery life

Modern portable CD players will efficiently run for at least 6 hours before needing fresh batteries. Some models include rechargeable battery packs, while others require traditional disposable batteries. Using special features such as bass boosts may shorten battery life. If you will be in situations where you feel you may regularly drain your CD player’s batteries, consider having extras or a charger on hand.

Radio tuner

Some portable CD players include an FM radio tuner. This allows you to tune in to any available radio stations and listen to those as well as CDs.

CD formats

All portable CD players will play original CDs without issue. However, you may run into trouble if your collection has copied or “burned” discs. To ensure that you can play these CDs, look for a model that can play CD-R, CD-RW and MP3 CD formats.

How much you can expect to spend on a portable CD player

All-in-one portable CD players cost $20-$100, while personal CD players cost $25-$60. Keep in mind that many personal CD players will also require an additional investment in headphones.

Portable CD player FAQ

Q. How many CDs will a portable CD player hold?

A. Portable CD players will only allow one CD at a time. For easy access to more CDs, consider a CD wallet or binder.

Q. Can I run my portable CD player with an AC adapter?

A. Most portable CD players, especially boombox-style models, can run using an AC adapter. However, these are not typically included with personal CD players, as they are for use on the go.

Q. Do portable CD players require maintenance?

A. CD players read discs using a laser emitted from a delicate lens that will occasionally require cleaning. This requires using a special cleaning disc with small brush attachments that are inserted into your player to remove dust and debris from the unit’s lens.

What’s the best portable CD player to buy?

Top portable CD player

GPX Portable Cd Player with Bluetooth

What you need to know: Bluetooth technology and extreme skip protection bring this portable CD player into the modern age.

What you’ll love: This CD player features Bluetooth wireless technology, meaning that you can pair it with your favorite wireless earbuds or speaker. Up to 100 seconds of skip protection for MP3 CDs make this model an excellent choice for working out.

What you should consider: Bluetooth connectivity may not be compatible across all devices. Included earbuds are low quality.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top portable CD player for the money

Studebaker Joggable Personal CD Player

What you need to know: This personal CD player includes wired earbuds, a retro design and an FM radio tuner.

What you’ll love: Available in three stylish colors, this model’s 60 seconds of skip protection means you will rarely face any interruption in play.

What you should consider: Some users report that this CD player feels a bit cheaper than they would have hoped for the price. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Jensen Portable CD Player

What you need to know: This quality, personal CD player includes a bass boost feature to enhance your music.

What you’ll love: A large, easy-to-read LCD and slick, modern look make this model unique among its peers. This CD player can read multiple disc formats.

What you should consider: Some users have expressed disappointment in the sound quality of this CD player, even while using premium headphones.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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