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Music CDs fading fast as Best Buy may hit 'eject' button

Shoppers enter a Best Buy store in New York City.

The shiny compact disc, once as essential to every living-room music system as a copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller album, is quickly going the way of the eight-track and cassette tape.

The rise of streaming music services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora, as well as the availability of digitally downloadable tracks and albums, are making the CD extinct.

The latest nail in the coffin comes from the nation's largest store-based electronics retailer, Best Buy, which is reportedly planning to quit selling music CDs at its stores by July 1, according to a report in Billboard.

Another retail giant, Target, is also considering a change in how it acquires CDs, which could reduce inventory in its stores and leave fewer choices for music fans, Billboard also reported.

Best Buy declined to comment on the report, but CD sales have fallen at its stores. During the retailer's 2017 fiscal year, which ended Jan. 31, entertainment (gaming, music and movies) accounted for 7% of domestic revenue ($36.2 billion). But entertainment sales were down 13.8% from the previous year, while overall domestic sales revenue dipped only 0.3%.

Target denied news reports that it might quit selling CDs but hinted in a statement that it is exploring a way to make sales more cost-effective.

"We are committed to working closely with our partners to bring the latest movies and music titles, along with exclusive content, to our guests," its statement read. "The changes we’re evaluating to our operating model, which shows a continued investment in our entertainment business, reflect a broader shift in the industry and consumer behavior."

Target has historically had exclusive versions of new CD releases, including Taylor Swift's most recent album Reputation — a savvy sales strategy to increase store traffic. 

The music CD, which first made a dent in the U.S. market in 1983, is admittedly showing its age. More than three decades old, the format eventually was embraced by music lovers for its convenience and quality, amounting to $13.2 billion in sales in 2000 — far outpacing Hollywood's box office of $7.7 billion that year.

But physical sales of CDs has been on the decline since then and currently account for less than one-tenth of sales, making the case for some stores to eventually abandon them altogether, says Neil Saunders, managing director of Global Data Retail.

“While some retailers like Best Buy and Target still stock CDs, trends dictate that over the next five years, this category will deliver diminishing returns," he says. "As such, it makes sense to look at how the space CDs occupy can be put to better and more profitable use.’’

Saunders adds that CDs typically offer retailers a meager profit margin of at most 9 cents on the dollar, “and it’s likely a player like Best Buy may (take) a slight loss when all overheads are accounted for.”

A major retailer jettisoning the music CD business isn't unprecedented. Kmart stopped selling CDs in 2016.

Getting rid of CDs can free up space for laptops, smart phones and tech-related gear that yield stronger profits and a more engaged in-store experience, says Sean Maharaj, a director in the retail practice of consultancy AArete. “This move is long overdue,’’ he says.

Maharaj added that Best Buy’s departure from CD sales might spark similar moves by others. “I believe the likes of Target, Walmart and Guitar Center could follow suit, if they haven’t already," he says. 

Music CD sales fell 20% to $1.2 billion in 2016, the most recent year's sales available from the Recording Industry Association of America.

In comparison, paid music subscriptions nearly doubled to $2.3 billion, RIAA says. Digital downloads of albums fell 20% to $876 million.

Subscriptions to music services "is what is driving the growth in the industry that we have seen recently," said Josh Friedlander, the RIAA's senior vice president for strategic data analysis.

"People have been talking about the decline of the CD for quite a long time now. But CDs are still a billion-dollar business in the U.S.," he said. "It's still a pretty significant business."

Vinyl is a format that, having gone dormant for nearly two decades, has re-emerged and accounted for $430 million in sales in 2016, RIAA says. Sales of vinyl LPs rose 9% to 14.3 million last year, up from 13.1 million in 2016, according to Nielsen Music.

CDs album unit sales in 2017 fell 19% to 85.4 million, Nielsen Music says. At the peak, consumers bought nearly 712 million CD albums in 2001.

What the future holds for the CD is uncertain. Music CD sales are still sold at concerts and many musicians rely on that income. But some artists have begun selling digital codes, too.

Automakers began phasing out CD players several years ago. Since U.S. consumers have purchased more than 14 billion CDs over the years, according to RIAA, most manufacturers still offer CD players on some models.

For supporters of the format, the news that Best Buy may be bailing on it could be a signal that the end is near.

 "Well, it's not good, and probably accelerates the ongoing, double-digit downturn," said Paul Resnikoff, founder and publisher of online site Digital Music News. "But there are still people who will buy CDs, so this just gives them one less place to buy them."

It's not a given that other retailers will follow suit and quit stocking the music discs. “A retailer like Barnes & Noble has some customers who rely on the store to get traditional music in a CD format,’’ Saunders says. “Removing them from the assortment could alienate that customer and mean they stop shopping there for other things, like books as well.’’

Follow USA TODAY reporters Charisse Jones and Mike Snider on Twitter: @charissejones & @MikeSnider.

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Best CD players 2021: CD players for every budget

Best CD players Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best CD players you can buy in 2021.

Who needs playlists? Put on a CD and listen to a great album from start to finish. The best CD players allow you to enjoy that musical journey in a quality of audio that's higher than standard streaming services (unless you pay extra for lossless audio).

What should you consider before making your purchase? It's worth taking into account factors like DAC functionality, ease of use, controls and of course performance when making your choice. Or you can simply pick the player that's most closely-aligned to your budget and aesthetic preferences.

The CD players below are a comprehensive list of those we consider the very best. The nearer the top it is, the more we like it, bases on performance per pound quality. But rest assured that all the models below are fine choices.

1. Marantz CD6007

With detail, dynamics and a beautifully clear sound, this is the best CD player available at anywhere close to this money.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Optical and coaxial digital, RCA

Dimensions: 10.5 x 44 x 34 cm

Weight: 6.5kg

Reasons to buy

+Class-leading insight+More dramatic presentation+Excellent build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Looks like previous models

This Marantz model has been around in various guises for a long time, and remains the best option at this price. 

You'll need to go back a decade and four model cycles to find a CD6000 that looks notably different which is why you might do a double take if you scroll down to the predecessor further down the list. Despite the typically excellent build quality, though, it's the insides where Marantz has made the improvements to their CD players count.

It has a quieter power supply and improved HDAM amplifier modules, helped along by a sprinkling of higher quality internal components, not least of which is the change of DAC chip to an AKM 4490. That chip allows the CD6007 to process high-resolution files through USB-A on front socket, supporting PCM music up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD128.

What does all that mean? It makes your music sound great. It's full of rhythm and drive. It's precise, clean and delivers for dynamics at every inch of the spectrum. Stereo imaging is focused and expansive, and there are even a few digital filters to tweak the sound to your tastes.

Owners of the CD6006UK needn't rush to change their player but the CD6007 is most definitely the right choice for first time buyers at this end of the market.

Read the full review: Marantz CD6007

2. Cyrus CD i

Cyrus's best-sounding CD player to date sets a new standard for sound quality at this price.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Optical digtial, coaxial digital, preout x2

Dimensions: 8.5 x 22 x 39cm

Weight: 5.72kg

Reasons to buy

+Dynamic expression+Rhythmic ability+Entertaining listen

Reasons to avoid

-dated display-Noise loading disc

Cyrus hasn’t put a foot wrong with its CD players for as long as we can remember; it would be fair to say that its track record has been phenomenal. So it’s no surprise that the Cyrus CD i is another gleaming example of the company treading the right path.

The long, narrow aluminium chassis isn’t exactly a bolt from the blue, but underneath lies one of the best-sounding CD players we've heard at the money. We like the fuss-free design, easy to read display and high-quality remote (earlier SE models came with a rather plasticky affair). The slot-loading CD transport is a touch noisy when loading a disc, though as silent as you’d hope it would be during playback.

As for the calibre of sound, it's truly impressive for the money, offering buckets of detail and rhythmic precision. Pace and momentum is exercised with articulation and vibrancy. You'll have to spend significantly more to hear anything better.

Read the full review: Cyrus CD i

3. Cyrus CDi-XR

Another Cyrus CD player that performs to a very high standard.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Twin analogue, optical and coaxial

Dimensions: 7.3 x 21.5 x 3.9cm

Weight: 3.8kg

Reasons to buy

+Excellent clarity and detail resolution+Powerful and articulate lows+Upgradeable

Reasons to avoid

-Front panel control buttons work inconsistently-No digital inputs

Cyrus already dominated this list before the arrival of the CDi-XR, but its latest disc-spinner just reinforces the brand's domination of this category over the years.

The XR version sits above the CD i (see number 2 in this list) in the grand scheme of Cyrus products. It looks quite similar thanks to the half-width casing but the LCD display is new and it's also been fitted with new control buttons.

Under the bonnet there's a second-generation 32-bit QXR DAC platform and a new power supply arrangement plus other tweaks designed to boost sonic performance.

Connectivity includes two pairs of RCA stereo analogue outputs, coax and optical digital outputs, and MC-Bus connections that allow an all-Cyrus system to synchronise things like power on/off. You’ll also find a socket for Cyrus's new outboard power supply unit, the PSU-XR £1995 (around $2770/AU$3740).

Sonically, the CDi-XR delivers detail, dynamics and powerful bass in spades. There's a fantastic level of clarity to the sound and it presents low-level information in a manner that rivals struggle to match. It's bursting with rhythmic drive, and can communicate the energy and momentum of the music effortlessly. There's no doubt in our eyes it's the class-leader at its particular price point.

Read the full review: Cyrus CDi-XR

4. Roksan Caspian M2 CD

This Roksan player boasts excellent timing and dynamics, making it one of our favourites.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Optical digital, coaxial digital, AES/EBU digital, RAC, Balanced XLR

Dimensions: 43.2 x 33 x 8cm

Weight: 10kg

Reasons to buy

+Combines refinement, bite and rhythm+Sonic composure+Excellent build

Reasons to avoid

-Some may not like the revised looks

Five years down the line and counting, the Roksan Caspian M2 CD is still going strong, and it's still the player to beat around £2000 (around $2700, AU$3700). The M2 CD has an immensely solid, well-damped feel that suggests it will be working for years to come. The softly suspended CD transport is an unusual touch, but it minimises the amount of vibration fed in to and out of the mechanism to the benefit of performance.

Speaking of which, the Roksan prefers a slightly smooth and full-bodied balance which helps give one of the friendliest and most likeable presentations we’ve heard at this price. Yes, this Roksan will resolve the tiniest detail. Yes, it will communicate the music’s message beautifully. But what makes it great is that it will make the best of any disc you feed it. Take the most compressed and hard-sounding recording you have, and the Roksan will reveal all that’s good about it.

It lacks digital inputs and there's no streaming capabilities, but what it does do is play CDs better than similarly-priced rivals. A What Hi-Fi? Award-winner back in 2014 (!) and still a terrific buy.

Read the full review: Roksan Caspian M2 CD

5. Marantz CD6006 UK Edition

An excellent player, just a shade short of its list-topping predecessor.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Optical and coaxial digital, RCA

Dimensions: 10.5 x 44 x 34 cm

Weight: 6.5kg

Reasons to buy

+Detail, dynamics and clarity+Surefooted rhythmic drive+Fine build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Looks just like the 'ordinary' version

It's fair to say the Marantz CD6006 UK Edition dominates the entry-level end of the market, or at least it did until the CD6007 cam along. The production is demo-like and not only offers huge detail but also a tight, powerful punch. The solid build, precise controls and quality finish all make this look and sound like a CD player priced far higher than this is. 

The UK Edition is a specially tweaked version of the CD6006 for this country, and it replaces the original in the UK (though the standard CD6006 continues in the rest of Europe). Marantz has a similar upgrade for the partnering PM6006 amplifier. 

Not for nothing has it been a multiple What Hi-Fi Award-winner. To sum up, we think this is a great player with the bonus of a USB input, which allows the connection of Apple products and USB memory devices. In our experience you need to move up to the likes of Cyrus’s CDi or Naim’s CD5si to get a proper jump in sonic performance. A bargain? Without a doubt.

Read the full review: Marantz CD6006 UK Edition

6. Quad Artera Play+

Not just a great CD player, but a hub for your system.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: 2 x balanced XLR, coax, RCA

Inputs: 2 x RCA, 2 x coax, USB, aptX Bluetooth

Dimensions (hwd): 10.5 x 32 x 32cm

Weight: 9kg

Reasons to buy

+Insightful and fluid sound+Agile and articulate presentation+Impressive range of features+Excellent build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing of significance

To call Quad’s Artera Play+ a CD player is to undersell its true capabilities. Think of this not just as a disc source for your system but also its hub. With analogue, digital and aptX Bluetooth inputs also included, this is a component of considerable versatility. Just add a power amplifier and speakers to complete the system.

It's a smart looking unit that's feels classy and superbly-made. Inside, you'll find the highly-rated ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC. This chip allows the unit to handle pretty much any file format out there from 32-bit/384kHz PCM all the way up to DSD 256. Sound is detailed and energetic, yet presented in an unforced and refined manner. 

If all you're after is a CD player, then you might be best to choose something higher up this list that puts all its eggs in the audio basket. But if versatility is required and you want to stream your services over Bluetooth as well - and why not - then you'll find nothing else around that comes close.

Read the full review: Quad Artera Play+

7. Musical Fidelity M2sCD

An agile and refined-sounding CD player


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Coaxial, optical, RCA

Dimensions: 10 x 44 x 37.5cm

Weight: 6.65kg

Reasons to buy

+Clear, elegant vocals+Layered and expansive soundscape+Refined and musical across frequencies

Reasons to avoid

-Plays a little safe

The M2sCD is the firm’s most affordable CD player, sitting below the M3 and M6 models. Although initially launched at £799, some retailers are now offering the player for less and that puts it in a clever spot with the Marantz on one side and the likes of the Cyrus CDi and the Quad on the other.

There are no complicated features. It has a sleek, fuss-free design with RCA and coax outputs and no digital ins to think about. It's a player with a 24-bit Delta-Sigma dual differential DAC built in and nothing more.

Instead, your money goes towards a musical presentation that's refined and enjoyable to listen to. For those who like a smooth, musical, elegant and highly listenable sound, it’s a fine proposition – easily beating less expensive models for both breadth and clarity.

Read the full review:Musical Fidelity M2sCD

8. Technics SL-G700

A high-quality digital source that covers all bases and sings like a bird too.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Coaxial, optical, 6.3mm headphones, RCA, XLR

Inputs: Coaxial, optical, 2x USB-A

Dimensions (hwd): 9.8 x 43 x 40.7cm

Weight: 12.2kg

Reasons to buy

+Excellent sound with disc and streaming+Impressive connectivity+Lovely build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Can be clunky in use-Streaming app could be slicker-Headphone output not as good

CDs, SACDs, Bluetooth and music streamed over a network - this is a player for the 21st century. It's both Chromecast and AirPlay-enabled for easy connectivity and goes high quality on the wireless too thanks to MQA support.

Ergonomically, you can't argue with it. The precision controls and the silky smooth disc drawer feel top notch, even if it's a little squished up to one side for aesthetics. Likewise, the software for the streaming control isn't the best we've seen but it definitely gets the job done.

Fortunately, the functionality is rock solid whether from a disc or over the air and its sound is superb. It's nuanced enough to deliver the full emotional impact of vocals snd strings, and comes with enough weight in the bass to keep your tracks feeling big. 

Punchy and tuneful, feature-packed and fun: if you’re looking to buy a high-quality digital source that covers all bases, the Technics SL-G700 is a brilliant option.

Read the full review: Technics SL-G700

9. Audio Research Reference CD9 SE

Range-topping CD player with a valve-powered output stage.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Balanced XLR, RCA, BNC (coax), AES/EBU

Dimensions: 13.4 x 48 x 39cm

Weight: 15kg

Reasons to buy

+Fluid and expressive presentation+Scale and dynamic subtlety+Digital inputs

Reasons to avoid

-Finish lacks sophistication-No DSD through digital inputs

Is there still a place for a truly high-end CD player this far into the age of streaming? Apparently so. With its top-loading design, valve-powered output stage and hefty price tag, the Reference CD9 SE is quite some statement.

Inputs are limited to 24-bit/192kHz at best and DSD isn’t even on the menu but, for CD sound, this is a hugely accomplished performer that sets sky-high standards for one-box spinners.

You'll of course need a top class system to truly appreciate its talents but stereo imaging is excellent, with enough spatial information to give an appropriate sense of scale to recordings. There’s just so much detail here and a nicely judged tonal balance, both of which help to create a top-class, highly transparent sound. It's a strong choice high-end choice for those who still love the humble compact disc.

Read the full review: Audio Research Reference CD9 SE

10. Marantz SA-10

Not outrageous money by high-end standards, but as accomplished a no-compromise CD player as we've heard.


Type: Transport

Outputs: Digital coaxial and optical

Inputs: Digital coaxial and optical, USB

Dimensions (hwd): 12.7 x 44 x 41.9cm

Weight: 18.4kg

Reasons to buy

+Refined, informative sound+Fluid dynamics+Superb DAC section

Reasons to avoid

-iPhone compatibility is limited

If price isn't an issue and pure sound-quality is your focus, then the Marantz SA-10 could be the CD player for you. This impressive-looking box can handle pretty much anything you care to throw in its direction. That includes SACDs and FLAC, DSD128, ALAC, AIFF and MP3 files fed into the player via USB.

Playback is aided by Marantz's custom-built SACD-M3 transport and a brand new signal path and digital-to-analogue section called Marantz Music Mastering. The result is breathtaking sound quality with amazing attention to detail. We’re struck by the way the Marantz renders the instrumental texture and the subtlety with which it tracks small-scale dynamic changes.

The remote control feels more luxurious than most supplied with high-end players, and we're impressed by this CD player's casework – it’s immensely rigid and well damped. If it's within budget, the Marantz SA-10 is a brilliant choice and one of the finest disc players you'll probably ever come across.

Read the full review: Marantz SA-10

11. Cambridge Audio CXC

If you already own a DAC, you can buy this CD transport instead of a standalone player. Trust us, its sound will impress.


Type: Transport

Outputs: TOSLINK optical and S/PDIF coaxial

Dimensions: 8.5 x 43 x 31.5cm

Weight: 4.7kg

Reasons to buy

+Musicality and muscle+Well-built+Good remote control

Reasons to avoid

-It requires an external DAC-Getting older now-Minimal for some

The Cambridge Audio CXC transport is an affordable way to listen to your CDs with precision quality that takes full advantage of an external digital-to-analogue converter. Yup, you'll need your own DAC, but that's why you get this attractive CD transport, which simply reads the data using its single-speed transport and S3 Servo, for under £500. 

Using this separate bit of kit to do one specific job makes for better sound quality. There’s a real musicality here that can get lost on lesser players, with organic, fluid interplay between instruments. Although the CXC is restricted to doing one thing – it only reads CDs, not SACDs or MP3 CDs – it does that one thing very well.

It's a nicely made bit of kit too, with a machined -metal chassis that feels solid and a design than matches the rest of Cambridge's impressive CX range, including a streamer and integrated stereo amplifier.

If you already own an external DAC, we would not hesitate to recommend the Cambridge CXC over a standalone CD player. You’ll have to spend a good deal more than £300 to match the sound quality it offers.

Read the full review: Cambridge Audio CXC

12. Cyrus CD t

This Cyrus CD transport delivers tremendous bang for your buck.


Type: Transport

Outputs: digital optical, digital coaxial

Dimensions (hwd): 7.3 x 21.5 x 36cm

Weight: 4.7kg

Reasons to buy

+Superb, near-faultless performance+Exquisite detail, rhythm and precision+Backlit remote

Reasons to avoid

-Old-fashioned design and display-Requires external DAC

The Cyrus CD t is one of the best CD transports you can get, regardless of price. It's a CD transport, rather than a CD player, meaning it will simply read the data on the disc. You'll need a standalone DAC to handle all the digital-to-analogue conversion.

Cyrus's Servo Evolution disc-reading software, plucked from its £1750 CD xt Signature (below), combined with enhanced internal circuitry, creates a performance that's difficult to criticise. Sound is nuanced and subtly dynamic while offering deep bass with varied textures and precision throughout. 

The die-cast aluminium chassis design is solid and the backlit remote offers a great way to enjoy everything from a comfy chair. Connectivity is best described as 'minimal', with two digital outputs – optical and coaxial – and the standard MC-BUS control connections. 

Provided you own, or are willing to invest in, a good DAC, the CD t is an exceptionally talented transport for the money. Clarity and insight are unrivalled at this price.

Read the full review: Cyrus CD t

13. Cyrus CD Xt Signature

The Xt Signature transport sounds cleaner, crisper, and more dynamic than anything at the same price.


Type: Transport

Outputs: Digital optical, digital coaxial

Dimensions (hwd): 7.3 x 21.5 x 36cm

Reasons to buy

+Class-leading sound+Superb dynamics+Solid design and build

Reasons to avoid

-Loud loading mechanism-Fussy about disc quality-DAC needed

At this price you get what you'd expect from the Cyrus CD Xt Signature and that's pure, clean and crisp quality audio. Improvements to the power supply, electrical noise levels and servo control software all make this a refined CD transport. Indeed, Cyrus claims its software offers 20 per cent fewer errors in disc-reading when compared with the best OEM alternative.

The design is solid and the design crisply rendered, although it doesn't quite feel as premium as you'd expect for this kind of money. It's also worth noting that it's fussy about disc quality and the slot-loading transport rumbles a bit (though it's silent during playback). 

Neither of those things really matter when you consider the astounding sound quality. The level of detail and razor-sharp precision, where every subtly is revealed, is hugely impressive. The Signature sounds cleaner, crisper and even more dynamic than its predecessor.

Offering the kind of performance we'd expect for double the money, the CD Xt Signature is a class-leader. If you want to hear how good your CDs can sound, and are happy to supply your own DAC, it's a terrific buy .

Read the full review: Cyrus CD Xt Signature

14. Luxman D-10X

This hugely capable SACD/CD player majors in analysis.


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Balanced XLR, RCA, digital coaxial and optical

Dimensions: 15.4 x 44 x 41.8cm

Weight: 22.4kg

Reasons to buy

+Immaculate build and finish+Sonic authority and scale+Digital inputs

Reasons to avoid

-Analytical sonic character may not suit all

This is a 22.4kg, SACD/CD-playing beast. The casework is as rigid as they come, with thick aluminium panels and elaborate internal bracing. It inspires confidence in use and makes it feel like the D-10X is made to pass down between generations of owners.

Take a look inside and you’ll find the latest version of the brand’s in-house disc drive, the LxDTM-i ­­(Luxman original Disc Transport Mechanism – improved). The MUS-IC BD34301EKV digital-to-analogue converter chip is claimed to be a cutting edge design, and the specs certainly back that up with 32-bit/768kHz PCM and DSD 22.4 MHz compatibility. MQA is also on the menu, which is welcome.

Its sonic presentation is characterised by immense stability, a sea of fine detail and breath-taking sonic authority. Stereo imaging is immaculately layered and focused, no matter how complex the track. This is not a product that sweetens recordings to make them sound more pleasant than they are. Give the D-10X an aggressive or forward recording and that’s exactly what you’ll hear.

Read the full review: Luxman D-10X

15. Cambridge Audio AXC35

Slimline, no-frills CD player, a capable contender


Type: Integrated

Outputs: Coaxial, RCA

Dimensions: 7.5 x 43 x 30.5cm

Weight: 4.3kg

Reasons to buy

+Good detail resolution+Fits well within AX series+Minimalist design

Reasons to avoid

-Can be beaten for sound-Functional build-No optical output

With an asking price just shy of £300, the AXC35 CD player is actually the pricier of two compact disc spinners in this affordable Cambridge range. The inclusion of coax is the main difference but there's no optical out and no USB (for the connection of Apple products or USB memory devices).

Nonetheless, the sound is good. It offers plenty of scale, lots of subtlety and a good degree of dynamic fluidity too. The minimal design is slim and stylish, and you get a functional remote with a basic dot matrix display. 

In summary, this fuss-free CD player serves up enough detail and clarity to justify its entry into our rundown of the Best CD Players. However, it's up against the truly brilliant Marantz CD6006 UK Edition, which sounds better across the board and has the added bonus of a USB input. Still, if you prefer the AXC35 CD's slim and stylish form factor, this unit is a very worthy proposition. 

Read the full review: Cambridge Audio AXC35

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Best Buy mini hi-fi systems

Mini hi-fi systems can be expensive and temperamental, but our aim is make sure you don’t end up out of pocket or with a useless product. Unlike other review sites, we go out and buy every single mini hi-fi we review, just as you would, and then we take it to our lab for stringent testing.

In our mini-hi-fi testing, we look at everything from simple, budget models costing less than £100, to pricey, feature-packed devices going for upwards of £500. We test models from the biggest brands on the market, including Panasonic, Sony, Cambridge Audio, Denon and Pioneer, and look at a wide range of models for each so you can decide when it's worth spending your money and when it's not.

Those we judge to be Which? Best Buy mini hi-fis sound fantastic and are easy to use, with no convoluted instruction manuals to wade through or overly-complicated processes to change music source. You can be sure that it is a genuinely excellent device.

Our thorough lab tests look at every aspect of the mini hi-fi, including:

  • How easy it is to set up and use
  • How well it sounds whether you're listening to classical, jazz, rock or pop.
  • What useful features it has, such as a radio, CD player, and music streaming capabilities. We also look at the ability to hook up an external device such as a smartphone or MP3 player and play music through your hi-fi speakers.

We’ve been testing mini hi-fi systems in our labs for more than 20 years so we know what separates the cream from the crop. And we don’t just reveal the best – we also highlight poor scoring Don’t Buy mini hi-fis, so you don’t inadvertently end up with an overpriced dud that you’ll soon want to replace.

Want room-filling sound from a superb mini hi-fi system?Join Which?to access all our in-depth mini hi-fi reviews. Already a member?Log into see our extensive mini hi-fi reviews.

CD Players: Top 5 Best CD Players in 2021 (Buying Guide)

Best Buy is abandoning the humble CD and will no longer sell them in its stores starting on July 1st, 2018, reports Billboard. The move comes as CD sales continue to decline; revenue from digital music downloads eclipsed it back in 2014.

Target, on the other hand, says it will only sell music CDs under a consignment basis, shifting inventory risk back to the labels. That means Target would only pay labels for CDs when customers buy them, rather than buying the CDs in bulk and paying for shipments of unsold CDs back to the label for credit.

In a statement emailed to The Verge, Target said:

“Entertainment has been and continues to be an important part of Target’s brand. We are committed to working closely with our partners to bring the latest movies and music titles, along with exclusive content, to our guests.

“The changes we’re evaluating to our operating model, which shows a continued investment in our Entertainment business, reflect a broader shift in the industry and consumer behavior. We have nothing more to share at this time.”

Despite no longer selling CDs, Best Buy will still sell vinyl for the next two years, which Billboard says is part of a commitment it made to vendors. Sources suggestedthat Best Buy’s music CD arm was only generating $40 million annually.

As we’ve previously reported, during the first half of 2017, streaming services accounted for 62 percent of revenue from the US music market. The decline of CD sales has also sparked Warner Music Group to offer voluntary buyouts to its 130 staff working in physical product, according to Billboard.

It’s not surprising that we’re no longer buying CDs — at least not for new music. The best-selling CD in 2016 was a Mozart boxset, which contained 200 CDsthat were individually counted as a separate sale. Users who don’t buy music prefer to stream it via services like Spotify and Apple Music, and gadget makers aren’t really making CD players anymore.

There’s still hope, though: vinyl has seen a resurgence in recent years, as has the cassette tape. And even though there aren’t a lot of new cassette players on the market, artists are still finding ways to release music through physical mediums (or at least a mix of both). For example, Korean artist G-Dragon released his latest album via USB drive.

We’ve reached out to Best Buy and will update this post if we hear back.


Player bestbuy cd


Best CD Players in 2019 - The Top 5 CD Players For Every Budget


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