41 min read — jaleesa bustamante — Sep 18, 2019

Best CD Player for Kids

After 75+ hours of research, we’ve chosen the Hamilton Buhl KIDS-CD30 Portable CD Player as our best CD player for kids. It displays all of the qualities we want in a child’s CD player. That includes ease of use, kid-friendly colors, a ton of compatibility features, and unmatched durability for younger kids.

Let’s get started going over what else we found for the best kids’ CD players.

Sylvania SRCD243 Portable CD Player Jensen CD-490 Portable Stereo CD Player Jensen CD-555 CD Bluetooth Boombox Airena Kids Portable In-Wall CD Player
Sylvania SRCD243 Portable CD Player

Sylvania SRCD243 Portable CD Player

3/10
  • PROS:
  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to use and move around
  • Built-in AUX input cord
  • Cons:
  • Seems cheaply made
  • May not work for very long

Our Review

The Sylvania SRCD243 is a budget-friendly boombox, but it does come with some concerns. Some customers have reported that the CD player stops working after just a few months of use or won’t play CDs at all when it arrives. Still, some do last quite a while, so this seems to be a quality control issue from the manufacturer.

Jensen CD-490 Portable Stereo CD Player

Jensen CD-490 Portable Stereo CD Player

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Great design
  • Includes AUX input and Bluetooth support
  • Cons:
  • Bluetooth has some connectivity issues
  • Doesn’t have a shuffle mode for CDs
  • Style Portable
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Red & Black (also comes in Blue, Pink, Green, & White & Red but prices vary)
  • Dimensions 12.5 x 9 x 5.9 in
  • Weight 3.4 lbs
  • Warranty 3 Months

Our Review

Jensen’s CD-490 gives you great sound for the price while it works. It’s not an expensive machine by any means, but the quality is lacking for the price that you pay. Some users report that it hasn’t worked for more than 5 or 6 months and that sometimes it refuses to read CDs right out of the box.

Jensen CD-555 CD Bluetooth Boombox

Jensen CD-555 CD Bluetooth Boombox

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Great design
  • Includes AUX input and Bluetooth support
  • Cons:
  • Bluetooth has some connectivity issues
  • Doesn’t have a shuffle mode for CDs
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Red (also comes in Blue, Black, Pink, & White but prices vary)
  • Dimensions 9.9 x 7.2 x 6.2 in
  • Weight 2.55 lbs
  • Warranty 3 Months

Our Review

The addition of Bluetooth to this Jensen CD-555 is a great novelty feature that we don’t see on CD players very often. When it works with your device, it can work perfectly. It also includes AUX input if you don’t want to use the Bluetooth. It’s easy to use and packs in a lot of features for the price.

Airena Kids Portable In-Wall CD Player

Airena Kids Portable In-Wall CD Player

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Looks great in any room
  • Versatile mounting
  • Cons:
  • Speakers aren’t very loud
  • No lid
  • Style Portable
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme White
  • Dimensions 11.8 x 8.1 x 2 in
  • Weight 1.88 lbs
  • Warranty 18 Months

Our Review

The Airena Kids CD Player is extremely versatile. You can hang it in your toddler’s room, stand it up on a desk or table, or take it with you. It can use Bluetooth or read from a USB drive, and it comes with a remote! However, the CD player itself doesn’t have a lid, so we recommend using the wall-mount option for smaller children.

Frozen FR-430.EX CD Player with Mic

Frozen FR-430.EX CD Player with Mic

7/10
  • PROS:
  • The microphone can be removed
  • Feels sturdy
  • Cons:
  • The microphone has no volume adjustment
  • Small buttons
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible No
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Blue & Purple with Frozen characters
  • Dimensions 8.5 x 8 x 4.2 in
  • Weight 2.65 lbs
  • Warranty 1 Year

Our Review

The microphone on this Frozen CD Player can be unplugged. When you aren’t using it, you’re going to want to disconnect it. Customers have reported that the microphone picks up radio signals while plugged in, so sometimes it can still play local stations while the unit is off. On the other hand, this player is well-built and looks great.

IQ Toys Portable Sing-Along CD/USB/SD Player

IQ Toys Portable Sing-Along CD/USB/SD Player

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Includes 2 microphones
  • Great for younger children
  • Durable
  • Cons:
  • CD skips easily while carrying
  • Memory card sticks out
  • Style Portable, Sing-along
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapater
  • Anti-Skip Protection Yes
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible No
  • FM Radio No
  • Color/Theme Blue, Red, & Yellow
  • Dimensions 11 x 9 x 4.4 in
  • Weight 2.29 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

The IQ Toys Portable Player works well for younger kids. It can even play music from a USB drive or SD card, though the card doesn’t nest into the player. This might cause the card to get broken. The microphone cord is short, but it’s the perfect size for your toddler. It’s easy to carry the unit around with the handle.

Little Pretender Kids Karaoke Machine

Little Pretender Kids Karaoke Machine

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Microphones can be switched on or off
  • Microphone volume-controlled separately
  • Includes USB port
  • Cons:
  • Microphone quality isn’t ideal
  • Not very durable
  • Style Sing-along
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection Yes
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio No
  • Color/Theme White & Purple
  • Dimensions 10.9 x 10 x 4.5 in
  • Weight 2.49 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

Little Pretender’s Kids Karaoke machine has a unique LCD display that shows the track currently playing. It’s better for younger children because there is no way to display lyrics. It may not be durable, but it can be great for toddlers.

Hello Kitty Portable Stereo CD Boombox

Hello Kitty Portable Stereo CD Boombox

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Great sound quality
  • Small enough for nursery use
  • LED Light show can be turned on and off
  • Cons:
  • CD cover is hard to open
  • Speakers hum
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Pink/Hello Kitty
  • Dimensions 8.5 x 9.5 x 5 in
  • Weight 2.65 lbs
  • Warranty 3 Months

Our Review

This Hello Kitty Portable Boombox is compact and cute. It comes with a unique LED light show in the speakers and around the buttons that make listening to music fun for your kids (and can be turned off for bedtime). Some customers report a problem with the CD player itself, but not every player has the issue.

Best Quality

Sakar Nickelodeon 57065-tru CD Boombox

Sakar Nickelodeon 57065-tru CD Boombox

8/10
  • PROS:
  • Big buttons
  • Easy to use
  • Loud volume
  • Cons:
  • Bass isn’t great
  • Poor speaker quality
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack No
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Green/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Dimensions 11 x 9.5 x 6.3 in
  • Weight 3.5 lbs
  • Warranty 1 Year

Our Review

For younger fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this is a great boombox. It doesn’t have the greatest sound quality, but the carrying handle and larger components make it great for smaller hands. It even has an AUX output, which these themed CD players sometimes lack.

For the perfect blend of quality and price, we can’t recommend Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CD Player enough. It has a fair price for the quality that you get and even includes an AUX port. Some of these themed CD players sometimes lack that feature.

We were considering the Airea Portable In-Wall CD Player, but in the end, the less-expensive Sakar Nickelodeon 57065-tru CD Boombox won our vote.

The Singing Machine Vertical Load CDG Player

The Singing Machine Vertical Load CDG Player

7/10
  • PROS:
  • Comes with a high-quality microphone
  • Includes LED display
  • Large buttons
  • AUX input for other devices
  • Cons:
  • Complicated to use
  • The CD player can stop working
  • Style Portable
  • Power Source RVC Cables
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible No
  • Headphone Jack No
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio No
  • Color/Theme Pink
  • Dimensions 9 x 10.7 x 14.8 in
  • Weight 5.1 lbs
  • Warranty 1 Month

Our Review

This disco-effect CDG player by The Singing Machine comes with RCA cables so you can connect it to your TV and get scrolling lyrics for all of your favorite music. There are a ton of voice effects you can use to make this CD player into a fun karaoke machine.

Disney's Descendants CD Boombox Radio

Disney's Descendants CD Boombox Radio

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Uncommon design theme
  • AUX-in cord included
  • Cons:
  • CD lid is flimsy
  • Some variation in theme
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack No
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Purple/Disney Descendants
  • Dimensions 8.5 x 8 x 4.2 in
  • Weight 2.65 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

The Disney’s Descendants Boombox is sometimes pictured with a microphone, but this version doesn’t include one. It also doesn’t include a headphone jack. However, the adjustable antenna and portable handle make it easy to carry around.

Best Overall

Hamilton Buhl KIDS-CD30 Portable CD Player

Hamilton Buhl KIDS-CD30 Portable CD Player

9/10
  • PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • AUX in port
  • Dynamic, high-quality microphone included
  • Cons:
  • Burns through batteries quickly
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible No
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Yellow, Blue, & Red
  • Dimensions 11.5 x 8.5 x 5.5 in
  • Weight 3.21 lbs
  • Warranty 1 Year

Our Review

This Hamilton Buhl Portable CD Player is a boombox that doubles as a karaoke machine. All of the included components are high-quality electronics, and the colors and buttons are great for preschoolers and younger children.

The Hamilton Buhl KIDS-CD30 Portable CD Player is our best overall choice. We chose this player because of the high-quality components. Though this CD player looks like a toy, it performs like a much more professional boombox. The speakers, AUX in port, and even the universal 3.5mm microphone jack (complete with professional microphone) really made us recommend this CD player above all others.

We also considered the Lauson CP556 Boombox with CD Player and the HOTT CD511 Personal CD Player, but the quality of the Hamilton Buhl Player won out over the competition.

Lauson CP556 Boombox with CD Player

Lauson CP556 Boombox with CD Player

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Disco Light effect when playing music
  • LCD screen for radio and CD tracks
  • Cons:
  • Lights don’t turn off
  • Radio transmission can be static-y
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme White (also comes in Black at the same price)
  • Dimensions 9.6 x 9.3 x 6 in
  • Weight 2.65 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

The Lauson CP556 light effect would work well for a nightlight in a nursery. You can use a USB drive to play music on this CD player as well. The radio has an auto-find feature which is great for younger kids, and the LCD screen is backlit.

LEXiBOOK Paw Patrol CD Player with Microphones

LEXiBOOK Paw Patrol CD Player with Microphones

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Two sing-along microphones
  • Includes a repeat button
  • Built-in handle for portability
  • Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Poor quality
  • Style Sing-along
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible No
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Blue and Red with Paw Patrol characters
  • Dimensions 10.3 x 3.9 x 8.2 in
  • Weight 1.83 lbs
  • Warranty 2 Years

Our Review

The LEXiBOOK Paw Patrol CD Player is cute, but it suffers from the same issues that many of these types of sing-along machines do. The microphones are flimsy and the cords are extremely short. Still, it’s easy to move this CD player around and it’s great for toddlers and younger preschoolers.

HOTT CD511 Personal CD Player

HOTT CD511 Personal CD Player

8/10
  • PROS:
  • Excellent build quality
  • Large buttons
  • Great for personal listening
  • Cons:
  • Extremely expensive
  • Discharges batteries quickly
  • Style Portable
  • Power Source Yes
  • Anti-Skip Protection Yes
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio No
  • Color/Theme White
  • Dimensions 7.8 x 6.6 x 1.8 in
  • Weight 11.2 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

The HOTT CD511 is a great personal player that would be perfect for school-aged children. It’s easy to use, and the CD Player even comes with a set of earbuds so you don’t have to buy extra accessories to get started.

Ematic EBB9224 CD Boombox

Ematic EBB9224 CD Boombox

7/10
  • PROS:
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Carrying handle for easy portability
  • Multiple color options
  • Cons:
  • The radio tuner is difficult to use
  • Sound quality isn’t great
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Pink
  • Dimensions 9.4 x 5.8 x 9 in
  • Weight 3.16 lbs
  • Warranty 3 Months

Our Review

The Ematic EBB9224 is packed full of unique features, including a built-in microphone that allows you to take calls. Connecting your devices via Bluetooth is easy, and the range is about 30 feet. It sometimes stops working after a few months, though.

Riptunes Portable CD Player

Riptunes Portable CD Player

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Easy to use for younger kids
  • Vibrant colors
  • Cons:
  • Poor audio quality
  • The radio tuner is difficult to use
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Pink (also comes in Black, Blue, Green, & White at the same price)
  • Dimensions 10.3 x 9.3 x 5.4
  • Weight 3 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

For a young child, the Riptunes Portable CD Player would be a great option. It has large buttons and easy controls, though the speakers sound tinny and sometimes it refuses to play certain CDs.

Best Value

Coby Portable Compact CD Player

Coby Portable Compact CD Player

7/10
  • PROS:
  • Big buttons
  • Sturdy design
  • Comes with stereo earbuds for older children
  • Cons:
  • Symbols on the buttons can be hard to see
  • Can stop working suddenly
  • Style Portable
  • Power Source Batteries
  • Anti-Skip Protection Yes
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio No
  • Color/Theme Black
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 1 x 5 in
  • Weight 8.8 ounces
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

Coby’s Portable Compact CD Player has surprisingly great audio quality. The bass boost allows your child to hear all of their favorite music. Though the buttons are larger, the complexity of this CD Player makes it best for school-aged children.

Tyler Portable Neon Pink Stereo CD Player

Tyler Portable Neon Pink Stereo CD Player

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Tons of CD functions
  • AUX port for our devices
  • Cons:
  • Sound quality isn’t great
  • Some units ship defective
  • Style Portable
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio
  • Color/Theme Pink
  • Dimensions 9.6 x 5.9 x 9.2 in
  • Weight 3 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

Tyler’s Neon Pink Stereo CD Player comes in a variety of color options, and it works well – when it works. About 50% of customer reviews complain that it is defective right out of the box. When it does work, it has a nice LCD screen and a host of different features.

Minions MS-430.EX CD Player

Minions MS-430.EX CD Player

6/10
  • PROS:
  • The microphone has an on-off switch
  • Works great on battery power
  • Great sound quality
  • Cons:
  • CD lid can be flimsy
  • The power cord is sometimes loose
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Yellow and Blue
  • Dimensions 8.5 x 8 x 4.2 in
  • Weight 2.65 lbs
  • Warranty 1 Year

Our Review

This Minion-themed CD Player is cute, but some people have had issues with the volume control not working. It always seems to be set at a loud volume, and if the dial doesn’t work, it can be difficult to let your child use it. When this isn’t an issue, however, the unit works great and is durable enough for younger school-aged children to use.

Naxa NPB-251RD Portable CD Player

Naxa NPB-251RD Portable CD Player

6/10
  • PROS:
  • High-performance speakers
  • AUX port for all of your devices
  • Cons:
  • Not very portable
  • No symbols on function buttons
  • Style Portable
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack No
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Black, Red and Blue
  • Dimensions 9 x 8.1 x 5.4 in
  • Weight 2.54 lbs
  • Warranty 3 Months

Our Review

The Naxa NPB-251RD is not quite like any other CD player on the market. The option to plug it into your car is unique. The track display is LED, so you can see it in the dark (unlike LCD screens). It has programmable memory, too. Unfortunately, it sometimes only lasts a few months.

Little Virtuoso CD Player Hot Pink Limited Edition

Little Virtuoso CD Player Hot Pink Limited Edition

8/10
  • PROS:
  • Great for younger kids
  • Includes LCD display
  • Cons:
  • Doesn’t include the power cord
  • Extremely expensive
  • Style Sing-along
  • Power Source Batteries
  • Anti-Skip Protection Yes
  • MP3 Compatible No
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible Yes
  • FM Radio No
  • Color/Theme Pink
  • Dimensions 11.5 x 4.8 x 10.7 in
  • Weight 1.75 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

Little Virtuoso’s CD Player places the main volume control in a hidden location so you can keep your child’s music at a reasonable level. The two microphones work great, and it’s easy to use for small children. It has a great build quality and can stand up to toddlers.

The Little Virtuoso CD Player won in the toddler category because the build quality is far superior to any other toddler-focused CD player on our list. It doesn’t have a character theme, but the buttons are easy for toddlers to use and the microphones are high-quality. The parental volume control in the battery compartment also put this CD Player at the top of our list.

We were considering choosing the Trolls Dreamworks Hug Sing Dance CD Player, but the Little Virtuoso won out with the parental controls.

Unfortunately, this CD Player is one of the most expensive on our list. If you’re looking for something a little more reasonable, we would recommend choosing the IQ Toys Portable Sing-Along CD/USB/SD Player.

Trolls Dreamworks Hug Sing Dance CD Player

Trolls Dreamworks Hug Sing Dance CD Player

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Includes AUX port for your devices
  • Cons:
  • Sound quality isn’t great
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries & AC Adapter
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible Yes
  • Headphone Jack Yes
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible No
  • FM Radio Yes
  • Color/Theme Pink
  • Dimensions 8.5 x 8 x 4.2 in
  • Weight 3 lbs
  • Warranty 1 Year

Our Review

The Trolls Dreamworks Hug Sing Dance CD Player is durable enough to stand up to toddlers, and it’s lightweight and portable for them. The only complaint seems to be that the speakers aren’t the best, making the sound quality sub-par.

KIDdesigns CD Vroom Box

KIDdesigns CD Vroom Box

3/10
  • PROS:
  • Good sound quality
  • Cons:
  • Burns through batteries quickly
  • CD lid breaks easily
  • Style Boombox
  • Power Source Batteries
  • Anti-Skip Protection No
  • MP3 Compatible No
  • Headphone Jack No
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatible No
  • FM Radio No
  • Color/Theme Lightning McQueen from Cars
  • Dimensions 14 x 6 x 4.8 in
  • Weight 3.09 lbs
  • Warranty N/A

Our Review

This Disney Cars themed boombox is a great concept, in theory. The speakers are the car’s wheels, which is a unique design that we haven’t seen on any other CD player. However, the CD Player doesn’t come with a power cord, despite the fact that it can use one. This is the main source of frustration with this model. In addition, it’s not durable at all, so we wouldn’t recommend it for toddlers.

How we choose

Do You Even Need a CD Player for Kids?

Kids love music. CD players have been a great way for kids to listen to what they want, but they are definitely on their way out. With the rise of digital music, MP3 players, and smartphones, CDs are becoming rarer and more cumbersome than they used to be.

So do your kids really need a CD player? Honestly, unless you have a lot of music or audiobooks CDs already, it might be a better idea to spring for a kid-friendly MP3 player. They perform the same function and allow your child to listen to music, but digital media is easier to obtain.

If you’re looking for a way for your child to listen to music for years to come, a CD player isn’t the best choice. The technology becomes more outdated every year, and MP3 or digital music players are probably a better investment.

Quick Tips

In a hurry? Here are the most important things to consider when choosing a CD player for your kids. Stay tuned for more details later on.

  • For home use, choose a sing-along karaoke CD player or a boombox style CD player.
    • Some of the best features to look for are the ability to play MP3s, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs.
    • Look for a theme or color that your child enjoys.
  • On the go, choose a portable CD player with anti-skip protection.
  • For smaller children, choose durable CD players with big buttons.
  • $20-$40 should be your price target, though CD players with more features might be up to $60.

Kids’ CD Player Features & Options

The variety of Kids’ CD Players available means there are a lot of features and options to choose from. Here are some of the basic features that we’ve hand-picked to help you with your choices.

Style

What type of CD Player are you looking for, ultimately? Do you want a boombox-type player to sit on a shelf in your child’s room, or do you want a smaller disc player that they can easily take with them?

  • Boombox Style: These CD players are great for home use. They can sit just about anywhere, and most have the option to use an AC Adaptor or batteries for power. While you can take these CD players with you, they tend to be larger and aren’t ideal for long trips due to restricted battery life.
  • Portable: In most cases, fully portable CD players aren’t much bigger than a CD disc. They include all the basic functions (play, pause, skip, stop) and run only on batteries. The benefit of this type of CD player is that it’s easy for your child to take with them. It’s great for listening to audiobooks in the car or privately enjoying their favorite music.
  • Sing-Along: Sing-along CD players are our most diverse category. Large karaoke CD players are great to use at home, but there are also some sing-along machines that you can take on the go. Sing-along CD players will have one or more microphones attached to allow your child to sing with their favorite songs.

Power Source

The way the CD player receives power should be important to you because it can change how your child will use it.

  • AC Adapter: If your child’s CD player only works when it’s plugged into the wall, it’s not going to be very portable. You can move it to other locations in your home, but that’s about it.
  • Batteries: CD players that only rely on battery power are extremely portable. Your child can take them on trips, when they go outside to play, and just about anywhere else. The only drawback to battery-powered CD players is that the batteries might run out quickly depending on how much your child uses it. Battery-only CD players usually don’t have speakers either, so your child will have to listen with headphones.
  • Both: Fortunately, most of the time you don’t have to choose. Most boombox and sing-along style CD players have an option to plug in an AC adaptor or use batteries on the go. Look for CD players with both if your child might like to have their options open.

Anti-Skip Protection

Anti-skip protection is the technology that allows CDs to keep playing even when the player is being moved around. Sometimes, movement can cause discs to skip and can even cause the CD player to be unable to read the disc temporarily.

For portable CD players especially, this is an important feature. You want your child to be able to play and move around (maybe even dance!) while listening to music. Choosing a CD player with anti-skip protection will allow them to move all they want while the music keeps playing.

MP3 Compatible

While CDs are convenient ways to take your music with you, they are on the way out. MP3s, or digital music, is slowly taking over the space that CDs have occupied for so long. So while getting your child a CD player is a great idea, you might want to choose one that also features MP3 compatibility or has an AUX jack that you can use to connect an MP3-compatible device.

Some CD players have an SD card slot. If you load your MP3 music onto an SD card, you can slide the card into the slot and the CD player will be able to play those songs. On the other hand, an AUX jack allows you to attach your iPhone or another smart device directly to the CD player. This way, you can play your music through the CD player’s speakers.

This compatibility will allow your child to take the CD player you choose with them in the coming years. Especially as we are on the verge of switching entirely from CDs to MP3s, this is an important feature to look for.

Note that if you download audiobooks for your children, they are most likely in MP3 format. This means that you can use the SD card slot or AUX jack with your child’s favorite audiobooks as well!

Headphone Jack

If your child likes to privately enjoy music (or you like having a quiet house), you might want to choose a CD player that comes with a headphone jack. Not all of them do, as surprising as that might be. While all portable CD players come with a headphone jack, some boombox CD players and most sing-along versions don’t.

It’s always nice to have the option to listen to music privately, even if you rarely use it. We would recommend making sure that your CD player comes equipped with a headphone jack before you make your purchase unless you are absolutely sure that you won’t be using it.

CD-R/CD-RW Compatible

Some tech-savvy parents like to record their own CDs for their children. This way, they can control what their child is listening to and pick out the content that doesn’t seem appropriate or sends a message that they don’t like.

They do this by recording digital music from their computer onto a CD-R (blank CD) or a CD-RW (a blank CD you can record over multiple times). While most CD players will read any type of CD, some actually list the CD types they will play.

If you want your child to be able to listen to these recordable CDs, choose a CD player that explicitly states that it is compatible with CD-R and CD-RW formats.

FM Radio

Listening to the radio might be going out of style, but it’s still a great option to have. Some CD players double as an AM/FM radio, though child-specific ones might only have access to the FM radio. If your child enjoys listening along to the radio sometimes, it’s not a bad idea to look for a CD player that can be tuned to the radio as well.

Color/Theme

The colors that the CD player comes in can make a huge difference for kids. Of course, they’re going to want their favorite colors and characters on their new CD Player. Alongside various color options, some players even have a theme (i.e. Frozen or Hello Kitty). Choosing the one your child will like the best is sure to make them happy.

Dimensions

How big is the CD player? Size can vary wildly from one player to the next, but why is it important? The dimensions of the CD player you choose can affect how easy it is to take with you, as well as how easy it is for your child to use.

For smaller children (toddlers and preschoolers), it’s ideal to choose a bigger CD player. Buttons on larger players are usually larger as well, which is important for smaller fingers with limited motor skills. Older children can successfully operate CD players with smaller buttons most of the time.

Consider your portability needs. If your child is always taking the CD player with them, you can’t go wrong with a compact player.

Weight

Weight also plays a large role in how portable a CD player is. No one, especially a preschooler, wants to haul a heavy CD player around on trips. If you know your child is going to want to take their CD player everywhere, choose one that’s a little lighter.

Warranty

It would be heartbreaking for your child to receive a CD player that doesn’t work. A warranty makes sure that you can return the product and get a replacement if it stops working during normal use.

However, we all know that children can be rough with their belongings. Keep in mind that a warranty might not apply to all of the problems your CD player develops. If your player stops working or becomes damaged because of something your child does to it, the warranty will certainly not apply.

How Old Is Your Child?

One of the most important things to take into account when choosing the best CD player for your kids is their age. Each age group has its own needs and abilities. Before you make your final decision, you should determine if the CD player is age-appropriate.

Your toddlers (0-3 years) are a unique case when it comes to age groups. We can even split this category into smaller sub-categories to make it easier to determine which type of CD player you need.

  1. Is the toddler operating the CD player him/herself? If they are, consider choosing a player with the following features.
    • Large buttons. Toddlers have small hands, and most children under the age of 3 are still developing basic motor skills. Choose a CD player with buttons they can easily push.
    • Easy to use. Your toddler might have trouble with a CD player that boasts a lot of buttons or dials. You might want to steer clear of CD players that require more than two steps to begin playing the CD. When your child can operate the player on their own, it can help them gain confidence.
    • Durability. Toddlers may not have a lot of strength, but any parent with a toddler knows that they can still be destructive. Any CD player that the toddler is going to be handling should be sturdy enough to keep working after being dropped, stepped on, or having things spilled on it.
  2. Are you going to operate the CD player for your toddler? If you are going to be operating the CD player for your toddler, choose one that can be mounted on the wall or safely placed out of your child’s reach.

By the time your toddler is a preschooler (3-5 years), they have developed better motor skills and probably don’t need as much supervision while operating their CD player. That said, there are still a few things that make a CD player better for a preschooler.

  • Theme. By this time, your child knows the characters and colors they want. Allowing them to choose the theme for their CD player can make them feel more attached to it.
  • MP3 Compatibility. We’ve already talked about CDs being on their way out. Choosing a CD player that can play MP3s can help you introduce your child to audiobooks, read-along books, and other learning materials that might not be available on a CD.
  • CD-R/CD-RW Compatibility. Choosing a CD player that can play recordable CDs can allow you to make special CDs for your child, full of their favorite songs, rhymes, and learning media. If that’s something you are interested in, look for this ability.

School-aged children (5-12 years) are generally more careful with their things and can operate more complex items. While five-year-olds and twelve-year-olds have different needs, they no longer need the special types of CD players that toddlers and preschoolers do.

At this age, you can be the judge for which CD players are age-appropriate, as you know your child best. However, most CD players are going to be perfect for children in this age range.

How Much Should You Spend?

There are a number of factors and features that determine how expensive a CD player is going to be. Some character-licensed players are more expensive because they include certain characters. Some color and style variations can also affect the price.

It’s important to remember that your toddler or preschooler could damage the CD player you purchase, and you’ll have to buy another one. For these younger children, it’s probably not a great idea to spend more than $30-$40 on a CD player.

For older children, the price can only go up. You can find inexpensive portable CD players or large boombox-style players, so the choice is yours. Still, $40 seems to be a wise upper limit, especially since the technology is being phased out.