The best portable CD player

Allen Foster

Since newer technology is focusing more and more on streaming, a portable CD player may soon be one of the only ways you can listen to the music in your CD collection.

The CDs that you have purchased over the years have a special meaning to you. They are moments of your life. But just because technology is changing doesn't mean you need to toss all of those memories away. You can still listen to all of your favorite CDs whenever and wherever you want if you have a portable CD player.

The best portable CD player has anti-skip protection, plays multiple formats, and lets you decide which track will play next. You can read about our favorite, Alice Dreams' Portable CD Player, below. This versatile unit has high-quality built-in speakers, and it can work with a remote.

Considerations when choosing portable CD players

Built-in speakers

Portable CD players can be divided into two main categories, those which require earphones and those that feature built-in speakers.


Portable CD players that can only be listened to using earphones are smaller, lighter, and they tend to have a longer battery life. These models are also more affordable, and they are better suited for mobility.

Built-in speakers

Portable CD players that have built-in speakers can be listened to without earphones. They also tend to come with a remote and may function as Bluetooth speakers for other devices as well. Additionally, these models will have a headphone jack so you can still listen privately. In general, CD players with built-in speakers are a little more costly.


There are a number of essential features that you will want your portable CD player to have as well as a few options that will enhance your user experience.

Power: The best portable CD player gives you the option of using either batteries or an adapter to provide power to the unit.

Controls: At the very least, you will want your portable CD player to have a start, stop, skip/search (both forward and reverse), repeat, volume, and shuffle controls.

Anti-skip protection: A portable CD player is going to get jostled at some point. To keep this from interfering with your listening experience, you need a portable CD player with an anti-skip function.

Bass boost: In order to get a richer, more robust bass sound out of your earphones, you may want to consider a portable CD player that has a bass boost feature.

Multiple formats: If you want to listen to CDs that you make yourself, MP3 CDs, or any other CDs besides original source music (the ones you purchase at a store), you will need a player that can read different CD formats.

Warranty: The better the warranty, the more faith the manufacturer has in its product. A portable CD player with a one-year limited warranty is acceptable.


When purchasing a portable CD player that requires headphones, expect to spend between $25 and $60. If you are looking for a portable CD player featuring built-in speakers, those models may cost as much as $100.


Q. Every CD I put in my portable CD player skips. What can I do?

A. When the problem isn't just confined to a specific CD, that means there is something wrong with the CD player. Usually, the problem is just a dirty lens. If that is the case, you just need to open up your portable CD player and use a lint-free microfiber cloth (that won't harm the lens) and clean it off.

Q. Does my portable CD player come with headphones?

A. Probably not. And even if it does, it's likely not the highest quality pair. The best option is to purchase your headphones separately.

Portable CD players we recommend

Best of the best: Alice Dreams Portable CD Player

Our take: A versatile, high-quality CD player that can also function as a wireless Bluetooth speaker.

What we like: If desired, this portable unit can be mounted on a wall and it reads a wide variety of formats. The CD player charges via a USB cable and it has a convenient pull switch for easy on/off operation.

What we dislike: There is no cover on this design, so the CD can be accidentally touched or bumped while playing.

Best bang for your buck: Jensen Portable CD Player

Our take: An affordable portable CD player with a minimum of features that is a good choice for a no-frills unit.

What we like: This budget-priced CD player has an impressive 60-second anti--skip feature and it can search both forwards and backwards. The unit can be powered by either batteries or an adapter.

What we dislike: This model sounds best if you purchase and use higher quality earphones.

Choice 3: GPX Portable CD Player

Our take: An affordably priced portable CD player that also functions as an FM radio.

What we like: This device has all the typical features and controls as other models in its price range, including programmable tracks and a 60-second skip protection. This unit will work with two AA batteries (not included) or you can purchase an adapter.

What we dislike: Does not play a wide variety of formats.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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