Just because CD isn't the force it used to be doesn't mean you can't buy a high-quality player...

Compact DIsc is a mature technology now, well into its fourth decade of providing digital convenience - and these days, pressure from music streamers and streaming services means CDs are more affordable than ever before. There are still substantial CD collections in homes up and down the country - so why not make the most of them with one of this brace of fine-sounding items? They're the best pound-for-pound players you can buy.

Under £1000

Marantz is no stranger to producing fine-sounding CD players, and this new CD6006 UK Edition (above) is yet another.

It’s based on last year’s Award-winning CD6006, but features numerous internal upgrades - headlined by improvements to the power supply for the digital-to-analogue circuitry and upgraded ELNA capacitors in sound-critical places. Externally it’s unchanged, bar a small badge on the front panel. Build quality remains class-leading, and this machine has a slickness in use that typically costs hundreds more to get. 

Sound quality? It’s detailed, refined and dynamic, with enough in the way of refinement and natural warmth to make system-matching a breeze. We can’t think of a sub-thousand pound player we prefer, which is really saying something when the CD6006 UK Edition weighs in at just £450.

More after the break

£1000+

Move up in price and Cyrus’s CDi comes into reach. This shoebox of a player is a long-running favourite of ours - it takes our premium CD Player Award for the fourth year in a row. This year it was up against some tough new competition, but won through in the end.

Cyrus CD players hardly seem to change over the years - the last big revision was almost a decade ago, with the introduction of the Servo-Evolution slot-loading transport. The idea is to read as much of the data off the disc as accurately as possible, so minimising the use of error correction (which can degrade the sound). The CDi continues to be a brilliantly informative machine, delivering agility and dynamic subtleties with a skill no rival can match. It’s upgradable too, with the addition of a PSX-R2 outboard power supply.

Both the Cyrus and Marantz are brilliant players, able to compete with far more expensive machines. Which one will win our coveted Product Of The Year title? All will be revealed soon.

MORE: Awards 2017: CD players

MORE: What Hi-Fi? Awards 2017 winners