- Written by Brian Alvarez
- Published on 30 May 2011
Conclusions about the Audiolab 8200CDQ CD Player
I spent nearly three months living with this player, listening to hundreds of hours of music. Never once did I regret purchasing this player/DAC. From day one, cold, no break-in this player just astonishes. It's musical, detailed, fun and engaging to listen to. The flexibility of having analog inputs, home theater bypass, multiple digital inputs, a fantastic sounding USB input and a built in transport put it in a league of one at this price. It dethroned my beloved Benchmark DAC1 HDR. It even betters my previous CD reference, the amazing California Audio Labs CL-10.
For those looking to streamline, pair the Audiolab with a set of good active speakers and be prepared to get lost in music. Compact, simple to use, and with a price to performance ratio unheard of before. Even when paired to speakers as modest as the JBL LSR2325p the resulting music is so engaging and entertaining. Moving up the chain to something like a Focal CMS50 or 65 will yield even more amazing results.
It can also be used in a normal manner and also would be ideal with passive speakers and amp, minus the traditional pre-amp.
Live with this player for a few days and you'll fall in love. An audition is a must if you're considering a DAC or a CD player anywhere between 800-2000 dollars. Don't short change yourself. Take all the functionality into account, a very reasonable price, and I am willing to make the bold statement that this could very well be THE digital product of the moment. It's that good!