With the rise in popularity of online audio streaming, DAPs, and technology. Many people think that CD players are obsolete, but we know that there are still lots of people around the world that use CDs, and we want to help you get the best audio sound possible from your CD collection.
There are few ways to get the best sound from our CD players. This includes getting external devices such as DACs and good-quality speakers. Another option is getting a better quality CD player.
In this article, we will be talking more about CDs and CD players. Why do some people still prefer using them despite the availability of advanced technology? We will also tackle whether there are still manufacturers producing CD players nowadays.
Are CDs Obsolete?
Compared to sales in the past, CDs have seen a significant decline. This is largely due to music streaming apps and other innovations throughout the past two decades. But with that said, physical albums are far from dead.
Almost every modern artist still releases their albums in physical format. Some even release their albums in LP, which was considered to be long dead.
To give you an example, almost all KPOP and JPOP fans are purchasing physical albums. Of course, other factors such as the included photobooks and other memorabilia play a big factor. But again, it proves that CD sales are still viable for record labels.
Additionally, audiophiles and music enthusiasts believe that the best way of getting the highest-quality version of their favorite music is to purchase the physical album and RIP them to a digital format. This still stands true, especially for artists who do not release high-resolution versions of their albums.
Lastly, a lot of consumers still want to own the product that they buy. Lots of people are getting tired of digital goods that they can easily lose due to a number of reasons. This is why physical media has been making a resurgence in recent years.
Do they still make CD players?
Although most artists still sell CDs, there is one problem that collectors think about. This is the availability of CD players on the market. Since the majority of people stream music, CD players are no longer normally stock in stores.
However, there are still CD player manufacturers to this day. Some of these manufacturers are Marantz and Audiolab. These companies still produce CD players for the audiophiles who are fond of collecting CDs, which they believe contain the best audio format.
Additionally, some people are very careful with their things that they were able to keep their old CD players. And most people who have stocks of CDs already have CD players with them. For them, players are no longer a problem unless their equipment gets damaged.
Even most modern laptops and computers no longer feature a CD ROM. Some purchase a separate CD ROM drive for their PCs. However, even external CD/DVD optical drive players are not much seen on markets.
Why Do Some CDs Sound Better Than Others?
Some albums will sound better than others. This is regardless of whether they are in CD format, vinyl, or digital format. This is because some albums are mixed and mastered better than others.
In a nutshell, the final process of recording music is called mixing and mastering. These processes involve putting all the different elements and instruments together to produce the final product. But just like anything in life, some producers are better than others.
Some mixing and mastering engineers are masters of their craft and are able to extract every little detail in the song. Likewise, some may not do the best job, which results in a muddy mix.
Additionally, recording technology has made a quantum leap in the last couple of decades. Music was originally recorded, mixed, and mastered using analog equipment. However, recording studios later transitioned to digital equipment.
This has helped improve clarity and detail. However, it still is not perfect since a lot of digital recordings have lost the charm of vintage analog recordings. But at the end of the day, regardless of what was used in the recording process, it is the mixing and mastering that determines whether or not a CD will sound good.
Do CD Players Sound Better Than DVD Players?
The main difference between these two players is their capability to play Discs. DVD players have the upper hand of being able to play DVDs that have a larger capacity, while CD players are only restricted to CDs.
However, when it comes to audio quality, CD players are better compared to DVD players. General consumers would only buy DVD players to play their CDs regardless of the quality. And therefore, producers are trying to meet a specific price point that most people will be able to afford.
CD players, when it comes to performance, usually are better than DVD players when compared. After all, the primary purpose of CD players is to play audio files. Of course, this is not always the case. There are also higher-end DVD players that can compete with CD players.
Will a DAC Improve My CD Player?
Most devices have DACs inside but are cheaper compared to the ones installed in external DACs. This is because they have to prioritize other components that are more important to make the device work. External DACs, on the other hand, have dedicated DAC chips that are of higher quality.
Audio in our devices always sounds better when connected to an external DAC. And the CD players are not an exemption here.
Manufacturers are more focused on getting the best sound quality for devices like DACs. Additionally, These DACs remove the electrical interferences which usually house our machines. DACs are commonly used on computers where these noises are found.
There are also DACs with headphone amplifiers. They are called the DAC/Amp combo. This device makes the sound better and gives more power to devices with high impedance, like higher-end headphones.
In this case, CD players are typically used with speakers. However, audiophiles and professionals would want to get the best audio quality from their devices. They rather spend more on a better quality device than settling for cheap ones.
Equipment like speakers and DACs are important in this setup. Of course, picking the right accessories is very important. They usually go for more expensive equipment, which is most of the time better than budget ones.
Even with older CD players, the sound will also improve with these DACs. Outboard DACs will convert the digital signals into analog signals better. There will be less distortion, and more details will be heard.
Most CDs have a higher file format compared to streaming apps. This means that they are more recommended to listen to with DACs than on streaming apps. Some DACs do not have support for a higher file format, which may sound a bit off to some.
How to Connect a DAC to a CD Player?
Since most CD players have lower quality DACs, some people tend to use outboard DACs for their players. This is to get a better sound quality from their sources. The digital information inside is converted better using these external devices.
Unlike other devices like our smartphones, laptops, PCs, and DAPs, connecting DACs on cd players is different. Usually, we only need a USB connector to connect a DAC to your device, and you’re good to go.
Most desktop DACs have an RCA output which is used to connect to older devices such as CD players. Even modern CD players being manufactured nowadays still have the RCA connection.
Another way of connecting the CD player with a DAC is by using the optical or coaxial output. This way, you can directly connect your CD player to an external DAC. To get the best sounding, you also have to connect it to a good stereo or speakers for the best experience.