BBC Music Magazine

CD PLAYERS: THE ESSENTIALS

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What is in a CD player? Your CD player is made up of a transport – the mechanism that holds, spins and reads the disc – and a DAC (digital-to-analogue converter) that turns digital data to an analogue audio signal. The DAC holds the key to great sound quality and typically the more you pay the better this will be. Highly regarded DAC brands include Wolfson, Burr-brown and Cirrus Logic.

Build quality With CD players, a little chunkiness can go a long way. Your player needs to be solidly built with rigid components to hold everything snugly into place – vibrations that can distort the audio signal need to be minimised.

Outputs Not all CD players only play CDS. Many modern players now come with optical, coaxial and digital outputs such as USB to enable you to plug in smartphone­s or laptops and make the most of the onboard DAC.

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