Portable CD Players Product Guide

Portable CD Players

It used to be that any small movement while carrying a portable CD player annoyingly broke up the music. New buffering technology now makes it possible to listen to the CDs you want while doing whatever it is you like, without the bothersome glitches.

Listen to uninterrupted music while walking, exercising or driving. Today, you can get a decent portable CD player for well under $100. Spending some extra money can get you a neat feature-packed portable player. How do you choose which player to get? Let's help you. Take a look.


Many of us call portable cassette players Walkmans, others term portable CD players as Discman. The word "Discman" is a Sony brand name for their line of portable CD players, as "Walkman" is Sony's name for a portable cassette player. No other vendor can use these terms to describe their products. The Discman is a Sony portable or personal CD player that comes with headphones. (Other brands have similar functions.) Some Sony portable CD players are called a CD Walkman. Other vendors just call them portable or personal CD players.

Skip Protection

While walking, exercising or in a car, you want a CD player that will play your music continuously, without annoying interruptions or skips. Many portable CD players have some kind of anti-shock system that protects music from skipping when moved or jostled. The technology involved requires the player to have memory. With this memory, the CD player actually stores up to 80 seconds of music before it is played, so you'll never have to hear a skip. Some CD players come with 20, 40, 48 and up to 80 seconds of shock protection. Sony dubs this function G-Protection or Steadysound, Panasonic calls it Anti-Shock Memory (II or 4.0), Aiwa calls it E.A.S.S., and other vendors have various anti-shock protection terms. If you get 40 seconds of anti-shock protection, you should be okay.



Some players run on conventional AA, AAA or rechargeable batteries, giving you anywhere between 10 to 28 hours of continuous play. Other models use special batteries or have dual power capability (using both an internal and external battery) allowing you to play up to 82 hours of constant music. If your portable CD comes with a special lithium battery or some other kind, it's a good idea to see how long each lasts and if replacing them may be too costly.

AC/DC Adapters

Some portable CD players are capable of operating on both batteries and an AC/DC adapter. Most players come with an AC/DC adapter. So if you're at home and want to use your player, you'll be able to plug it into a socket, and save the battery life for when you're on the move.

Car Adapters

Most portable CD players give you the option of using it inside your car with a cigarette lighter adapter. Check to see if these adapters are included with the sale of your portable CD player, if not then you may always purchase one separately. Rare models include another type of adapter that allows your CD player to operate from your vehicle's cassette player.

Play Modes

Different CD players come with various playback modes. One of the more common modes is Repeat Play, which allows you to play a song or an entire CD over and over until you tell it to stop. Random Play is also very common and it's a mode that enables your player to randomly select and play tracks from your CD. For all those times you were listening to a CD and stopped it, not remembering where you left off, the Resume mode comes to the rescue. The Intro Scan mode helps when you don't have a list of songs to refer to your music. Intro Scan fast forwards while letting you hear the first few seconds of every track. Many other cool modes exist on other CD Players. Not all players have all modes. Familiarize yourself with the modes of your own CD player by referring to your player's instruction manual.


AVLS or Automatic Volume Limiter System is a term coined by Sony. It refers to a volume control feature on portable CDs and stereos. AVLS manages the audio signal and automatically brings it down if it rises above normal, or brings it back up to level if audio becomes too low.

Track Programming

The track-programming feature on any CD player allows you to become your own disc jockey. Create your own play list, and your CD player will play tracks in the order you requested. A good player will allow for 24-track programming. More expensive players have up to 64-track programming capabilities.

Integrated Units

They weren't too popular when they first came out, but portable CD players and radios in one, are becoming customary.

LCD Display

All portable CD players come with some kind of LCD display where you may see which track is playing and other information regarding playback modes. Most displays are found on the top cover, some in the middle and others in a corner. Specific models come with a special illuminated LCD display for those night trips.

Sporty CD Players

Portable CD players are becoming more and more durable. If you're active, then the first thing you need to do is make sure you get at least 40 seconds of anti-shock protection. This will eliminate glitches in music while you jog, walk or even bike. For those long trips, you want to make sure you have enough battery life capability. You might want to also look for slim lightweight players so they are easier to carry. Many players come heat-resistant for your trips and workouts in the sun, and water-resistant as well. The heat-resistant polycarbonate top also comes in very handy in vehicles, where heat tends to fry equipment. A lot of vendors have their own line of sporty CD players that are made to be shock and water resistant. Check out Sony's Sports Discman, Panasonic's Shockwave, or the Aiwa Cross Trainer among other brands and models.

Remote Controls

Some rare model players do come with either a remote wired to the headset, or a separate remote control much like one you would use with a television or home stereo system. Most models do not include remote controls.


Headphones are often included with your purchase of a portable CD player. It is very rare that headphones are not included. If you're a music enthusiast, you may want to consider investing in another set of headphones besides the ones included with your purchase. Check out our large collection of top-quality headphones.

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