The 10 best radio CD players for every price point
Finding the best CD DAB radio player may seem like a challenge at first. Many modern radios overlook CD players, replacing CD access with Bluetooth or USB sockets. So, how do you find a DAB CD player to make the most of your disc collection?
CDs might not be quite as popular today as they used to be – but that doesn’t mean that you’re ready to give up your collection of must-have albums just yet. There’s something wonderful about seeing those piles of CDs that you purchased throughout your youth stacked high in your living room. After all—they’re more than just music—they’re an insight into your personal history.
The good news?
Even in a world of DAB radio, digital streaming, and solar-powered sets, you can still get your hands on a radio CD player. DAB radio CD players are available in all shapes and sizes, intended to suit your listening preferences and your home.
To help you make the right choice for your next investment, we’ve considered dozens of DAB radio CD player to bring you this definitive top 10 list.
Read on for the ultimate guide to buying a DAB radio and CD player…
1. Ruark Audio R4 MK 3 audio system
While the Ruark Audio R5 is available now, it’s new enough that it still hasn’t gained much traction in the marketplace. With that in mind, we’d still recommend the Ruark Audio Mk 3 for a solution that’s tried, tested, and proven to deliver exceptional audio.
The Ruark R4 MK 3 is also a little cheaper than it’s R5 counterpart, so you might find that it’s more affordable if you’re shopping for an all-in-one DAB radio CD player on a budget. With a price tag of around £700, you are going to be paying more for this device than you would for most DAB radios. However, in return, you get features like:
3D enhanced stereo sound quality
Bluetooth streaming at CD quality
A multi-format CD player
Digital optical input
A headphone jack for private listening
DAB, DAB+ and FM connectivity
The R4 MK 3 is an excellent choice for audiophiles who won’t accept anything less than the best when they’re listening to their favourite tunes or stations. This DAB CD player delivers some of the best sound quality that we’ve ever encountered, along with an easy-to-use interface and a genuinely amazing eye-catching design. If you want style, performance, and excellent output in one, then the Ruark is the choice for you. Just keep in mind that there’s no Wi-Fi with this model, and the remote control doesn’t have any numbers to let you choose the track you want from your CDs.
Majority DAB radio and CD players might not have the same retro or premium appeal as a Roberts Revival, for instance, but they do come with their own unique brand of charm. For instance, the walnut, and oak versions of the Majority Oakington are brimming with sophistication, making them an excellent addition to any living room or bedroom. At the same time, the Oakington also comes with a remote control, Hi-Fi stereo speaker system, and USB charging — so it’s more than just a pretty face.
The Oakington is a DAB radio and CD player, but it’s also a speaker for your USB, and Bluetooth connected content. The device can also connect to your television, too, if you want to expand your surround sound strategy. Other features include:
Bluetooth, aux and USB input
Music and TV connection
DAB, DAB+ and digital radio
Outstanding sound quality with 30-watt speaker
Full 36-month warranty
For a little less than £100, the Majority Oakington gives you everything you could want from a DAB radio CD player, and then some extra features too. This device provides excellent value for money, exceptional performance, and a great appearance — making it a good alternative to devices from Roberts and Ruark if you’re on a budget.
Compared to the elegant-looking Radio CD players that we’ve looked at so far, the Pure Chronos CD Series 2 offers a very different aesthetic impact. This unique digital radio and alarm clock is very modern in style, with a black or white finish, depending on your style. Like other devices from Pure, you can expect a good quality of sound from the Chronos Series 2, whether you’re listening to DAB and FM radio, or CDs.
The Chronos comes with access to an aux stereo input, so you can connect your smartphone or tablet to play music, as well as using the radio frequencies or CD player. What’s more, there’s a host of useful features included, such as an alarm clock, USB mobile charging, sleep and snooze timers, and more. For just under £110, you’ll get:
3 years of warranty
Headphone output and mobile phone charging
Aux stereo input, CD player, and FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
Although the Pure Chronos isn’t the most attractive DAB radio and CD player that we’ve ever seen, it’s unique design will help it to fit easily into the corner of just about any room. What’s more, the compact size of the Chronos also makes it an excellent choice for homes without a lot of space for big all-in-one sound systems.
The Roberts Blutune 200 is one of our favourite DAB radio CD players here at Radio Fidelity. We gave the product the full review treatment here — so click through if you want to learn more about it. The thing that makes this all-in-one DAB radio CD player stand out is that it looks like a high-end radio, but it’s available for a relatively affordable price.
While around £270 might not seem like a “cheap” price to some people, it’s great when you consider that you would be paying more than double that for something similar from Ruark. The Roberts Blutune 200 comes with the option to record music, set alarms, and even use a USB socket for your smartphone charging too. Features include:
Clock and multi-functional alarm
CD player that also plays MP3 files
Bluetooth connectivity for streaming
Multiple radio connections: FM, DAB, and DAB+
Adjustable audio equaliser
The Roberts Blutune 200 isn’t the cheapest DAB radio with CD player out there, but it is one of the most attractive and compelling options on the market for its price tag. The sound quality is very good, and you can easily fill an entire room with the volume.
If you’re looking for amazing Roberts audio quality, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on design, then you might prefer the Roberts Radio Zoombox 3. The Zoombox is very similar in style to the Roberts Skylark, which came out in 2006. The main difference is that you also get a few extra features like Bluetooth connectivity with the Zoombox.
Unlike the Skylark, the Zoombox also has no option for playing tapes, but it does offer portable FM, DAB, and DAB+ connectivity, as well as a USB input for music, streamed straight from your phone or other mobile devices. Features include:
DAB, DAB+ and FM wavebands
40 preset station options
MP3/WMA playback from CD
Deep bass boost feature
Portable and lightweight design
For a little less than £70, the Roberts Radio Zoombox is far from the most impressive Radio CD player on the market — but it gives you everything you need for a great price. If you’re looking for a reliable system that delivers fantastic, portable audio, this could be the tool for you.
Pure is another radio brand that we have a soft spot for here at Radio Fidelity. The company is one of the best known in the radio world, thanks to its excellent attention to detail and quality designs. The Siesta home is part of the robust Siesta range, which includes options like the Siesta Rise – the alarm clock / radio that we’ve reviewed here before.
The Siesta Home, however, has a few more extra features to offer compared to the Rise, including a built-in CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, and a sound space EQ that allows you to design your audio to suit the room you’re in. For a little under £200, you’ll get features like:
DAB+, DAB, and FM connectivity
CD player and Bluetooth
Perfect sound space intelligence
Digital tick approval
Auto-dim display for when you’re using the device as an alarm clock
Bold sound and excellent design
Although the Pure Siesta Home doesn’t have the same vintage appeal as some of the other DAB radio with CD player options we’ve mentioned so far, it’s still a great choice. This stylish and sleek device will fit well into any room of the house, with a powerful sound profile that fills the space. The clear display that dims at night is also very easy to use.
The Willingham is yet another sensational all-in-one DAB radio CD player from Majority that’s available for an incredible price. Offered in a range of colours to suit your interior design, the Willingham delivers everything from exceptional CD playback to Bluetooth streaming, aux and USB input, and even DAB, DAB+ and FM radio.
More than just a DAB radio and CD player, the Willingham comes with multiple alarm features so you can use it to manage your schedule and a remote control for browsing through content. For less than £75, you get:
Attractive wooden design
CD player, Bluetooth, aux and USB playback
Digital, DAB+, DAB and FM radio
Dual alarm features
Full colour display
Like many of the products available from Majority today, the Willingham offers exceptional quality for a surprisingly low price. What’s more, you’ll find that the system is very easy to set up and use, whether you’re playing CDs or streaming music directly from your phone.
AZATOM might not be the best-known brand in the British radio market – but it has a lot of exceptional value to offer, particularly if you’re looking for a DAB radio with CD player. This AZATOM Clockwood model comes with a robust stereo speaker system, a CD player, and remote control so you can manage your music however you like.
The DAB and DAB+ connectivity is great, and there’s also Bluetooth available if you want to stream directly from your phone. The device comes with an aux-in and headphone out too, for private listening, or direct connections to your phone or laptop. For less than £70, you get:
A reliable CD player that plays all kinds of HD sound
DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
Bluetooth connectivity and aux-in
The AZATOM Clockwood is an all-in-one DAB radio CD player that looks good and delivers excellent performance for a low price tag. It looks very similar to many of the other devices on this list, although it’s considerably cheaper than some of them. However, you might have a hard time understanding the manual when you’re setting it up.
If you’re looking for something sleek and stylish that isn’t going to take up too much space in your home, then you could always consider the Panasonic SC-HC302. This compelling DAB radio and CD player takes an alternative approach to make of the retro or vintage-style radios that we’ve looked at so far. Thin and modern, the Panasonic can either rest on your bedside table, or be mounted on a wall anywhere in your home.
Alongside a streamlined design and excellent sound quality, this Panasonic DAB radio CD player also comes with the option to stream content via a USB connection or Bluetooth. For just over £120, you get:
A wall-mountable design
20W power output
Clear and dynamic sound
Elegant and slim appearance
Excellent remote control management
The Panasonic is probably the best CD DAB radio player for anyone who’s looking for simplicity and performance, in a neat package. The Panasonic comes with Bluetooth connectivity; it’s own streaming app, and the option to listen to DAB radio too.
Finally, we come to one last DAB radio with CD player from the Majority brand. The Homerton Digital takes a more modern approach to style than some of the other devices that we’ve seen from Majority so far. Its sleek blocky appearance makes it an excellent addition to any room, regardless of what your interior design preferences might be.
For slightly less than £100, the Homerton has a huge selection of features to offer, including a built-in CD player, DAB connectivity, and the option to stream music via USB, aux-in, or Bluetooth. There’s also the option to control your music using the remote control that’s supplied with the device, or connect the AirMusic app. One of the more high-tech options on our list for the best CD DAB radio player, the Homerton offers a true all-in-one experience, with features like:
Remote control and dedicated app
Full colour display
Dual alarm settings
DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
CD player and Bluetooth streaming
AUX-in and USB connectivity
The Homerton is easy to set up and use, with a robust range of capabilities that are sure to transform how you listen to your CDs, and the radio. If you’re looking for excellent functionality paired with plenty of volume, then this is a great choice. Just remember that this isn’t exactly a portable device, and the sound quality might have a little echo at louder volumes. As far as radio CD players go, however, this unit is worthy of consideration.
As you can see from our DAB radio CD player reviews above, there are a lot of different options available on the market today for customers who want to get their hands on the perfect audio device. With so many brands and companies vying for your attention, it can be difficult to decide what you really need from your new investment.
To help you make the right choice for your home, we recommend paying close attention to the following questions:
What kind of radio do you want?
The whole point of Radio CD players is that you can listen to the radio as well as the music you own. Ask yourself whether you want just a DAB model or something that can play FM radio too. The more options you have, the better off you’ll be when you’re struggling to find content to listen to.
Do you need other streaming options?
Aside from a CD player and a DAB, DAB+ and FM reception, do you want other ways to play music? For instance, maybe you need Bluetooth or an aux-in socket so you can stream material from your phone or laptop? If that’s the case, make sure you look for truly all-in-one DAB radio CD players.
Where are you going to use it?
Is this DAB radio with CD player going to spend its whole life in your home, or do you want to take it with you on the go? The Zoombox from Roberts is far more portable than something like the Majority Homerton. You may need to keep portability in mind when you’re making your choice. Remember to think about whether you’re going to need the option to power your radio with batteries instead of a mains connection too.
What kind of style are you looking for?
If your new radio is going to be a staple of your home environment, then you need to make sure that it goes with your personal sense of style. Are you going to be looking for something sleek and simple, like the Panasonic that we mentioned above, or something a lot more elegant and vintage in design, like a Roberts DAB CD player? Radio CD players in many guises, so the choice is totally up to you.
How will you control your music?
Most DAB radios with built-in CD players come with buttons that allow you to control your music from the device itself. However, you’re probably going to want a way to manage your listening experience remotely too. Sometimes, a dedicated app can be more function-rich than traditional remote controls. Either way, make sure that the control system is intuitive and reliable.
Extra radio CD player features to look for
Aside from the questions above, the more you spend time browsing through the available DAB radio CD players online, the more you’ll learn about other features and functions that might appeal to you. For instance, many of the radios that we’ve reviewed today come with a warranty included with their purchase. Having a couple of years of warranty can give you some much-needed peace of mind when you’re spending hard-earned cash on a new DAB radio CD player.
At the same time, you might decide that you want other “extras” built into your Radio CD player. For instance, do you want the option to use it as a bedside alarm clock? If so, then you’re going to need alarm functionality, as well as the ability to dim the screen or display when you’re going to sleep. You might also want things like USB charging, so you can plug your phone directly into your radio when you’re going to sleep, instead of having to find enough space for another outlet next to your bed.
Other extra features to consider include:
A digital display where you can flip through the content that you have available to listen to and choose the music that you’re most interested in.
A headphone port so you can listen to your music and radio shows in private if you don’t want to disturb other people in your household.
Audio control so you can adjust the bass, treble, and equaliser settings for the perfect listening experience.
Voice control through tools like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, or the option to connect your radio to your television.
Dual alarms so you can set different notifications for certain days of the week.
Presets that allow you to save stations that you want to visit, so you don’t have to spend forever searching for your favourite shows.
Choosing the best CD DAB radio player
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to select the best CD DAB radio player. For some, the ultimate DAB CD player will be an attractive, retro product from Roberts Radio. For others, the best Radio CD players will be high-performance budget options, like those from Majority.
The Pure Siesta Home is our personal favourite from this list, offering a mid-range price for an excellent piece of audio technology. If you’re looking for style and sophistication, and you don’t want to take out a small loan to get it, the Siesta Home could be the ideal pick for you too.
For more help choosing the right radio CD player, check out our other reviews here at Radio Fidelity, and remember to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Which are your favourite DAB radio CD players, and which devices should we review next?
Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.
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