Roksan Caspian M2 CD review

Best CD player £1500+, Awards 2014. In our opinion the finest CD player available at anywhere near this price Tested at £1650

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best CD player £1500+, Awards 2014. In our opinion the finest CD player available at anywhere near this price


  • +

    Combines refinement, bite and rhythmic ability better than anything else we’ve heard at this price level

  • +

    sonic composure

  • +

    excellent build


  • -

    Some may not like the revised looks

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

In the world of hi-fi, more money doesn't always buy more features. This three-time winner doesn’t feature the rather useful digital inputs of the Audiolab 8200CD nor will it stream music from an iDevice like the Marantz CD6004.

What it does do, however, is play CDs better than any similarly priced player we’ve heard. That’s reason enough for us to give it an Award at this price level for the second year running.

MORE: Awards 2014 - Best CD players

You’d expect any product costing this much to be well made, and sure enough, this Roksan has an immensely solid, well-damped feel that suggests it’ll be working for years to come.

An unusual touch is the softly suspended CD transport, which minimises the amount of vibration fed into and out of the mechanism to the benefit of performance – after all, the less hard the servo mechanisms of the laser have to work, the better the results will be.

And the results really are great. The Caspian delivers a sound that just a couple of years ago would have cost proper high-end money.

A smooth, full-bodied balance

This is a player that majors on character. In some players that could be a criticism, but not here. The M2 deviates from total neutrality by producing a slightly smoother and full-bodied balance than we would normally call ideal.

Luckily for Roksan, however, the deviation is slight, and gives this player 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’ll 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 certainly won’t hide the flaws in the recording – the M2 is far too transparent for that – but it won’t make a meal of things, and at this price level that’s a rare treat.

Give it a great recording, say The Dark Knight OST, and this Roksan will deliver a combination of detail, dynamics and authority nothing else at this price level can match.

Factor in the Caspian M2’s brilliantly surefooted timing and wonderfully layered and subtle midrange, and you have a top-class player capable of fronting some pretty exotic systems.

That’s why 2014 sees this terrific CD player keeping a firm hold of its Best Buy award for another year.

MORE: Awards 2014 - all the winners

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test