Product Type: Sony CD Players
Newest Review: ... is very basic but is in analogue format which in my opinion, for sound, is of purer quality. The CD player comes with no remote nor a h... more
best budget CD player
Sony CDP-XE 220
Sony CDP-XE 220
Date: 15/05/01, updated on 01/06/01 (4610 review reads)
Advantages: excellent sound quality despite it being an analogue format
Disadvantages: none really
It might be at the bottom of the pile when it comes to Sony's range of CD players but this deck delivers excellent sound quality, even through the supplied interconnects which, according to Richer Sounds, only serve to make the unit functional. Well, if that is the case, "proper" cables might not make this fantastic little number sound much better as it already does an excellent job.
There is very little in the line of features on this deck. Whilst I am not an expert, I often feel that the more circuitry there is in a deck, the more sound degradation there will be. Although I have not got one nor have I seen one for many years, the DAC (digital to analogue converter) would make the so-called perfect set up, using the digital output from the CD deck to the converter, bypassing all the circuitry of the CD player. Also, the less features, the less there is to go wrong. It does have a digital output, which is optical and although considered inferior to a coaxial one, most of us wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. Basic navigation and display controls are fitted, such as peak search for copying a CD onto whatever format is desired and whether you want to see how much time is left on a track or entire disc. Of course, the expected program mode is there, too.
The CD drive mechanism is very smooth and quiet in comparison to a more expensive "better" Philips machine I have on loan (whilst another deck is being serviced).
What is missing from this unit is a headphone socket and a remote control. No heaphone socket might be considered an inconvenience to some but it is no great deal to me. The lack of a remote control isn't as bad as it seems. If you have other remote controls for Sony gear, it will power this unit - remember only the bare minimum is needed for this and if you have a minidisc or amp from Sony, it will power this CD deck without problem. You might want to consider this if gettin
g a few pieces of kit as it will save you at least a tenner and is one less remote control to add to the ever-growing pile of them in the living room.
There is a model available which does come with the headphone socket and remote, the Sony CDPXE 330. It is essentially the same machine but with a slightly different front panel and is about 3/4" taller to make it look more "expensive". This is pointless really as the Sony CDPXE 220 outshines most others anyway. Another benefit of the 220 is that if you have a special hifi cabinet that houses so many decks, the slimmer 220 will offset the oversized receivers and some amplifiers so that you won't have a gap of nothing in your equipment stack.