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Looking for a way to keep listening to your favorite tunes or your favorite radio station while doing kitchen chores, cooking, or eating? Buying under cabinet radio CD player is probably one of the most convenient ways to do so. Shure, this is not the only way – you can always play the music from your phone or you can use a portable Bluetooth speaker and stream music from your phone. It’s just a matter of your preference. Our article is here to give you all the necessary info about under cabinet radio CD players, tell you what to look for when buying one, and present to you our selection of 5 best under cabinet radio CD players in 2021.
Before we start with the reviews, here’s a list of things to pay attention to when looking for under cabinet radio CD players:
Dimensions – This is a very important thing when it comes to under cabinet radios. It’s much more important than for other types of radio CD players. This specific device is supposed to fit under your cabinet so it has to match the available space. That’s why you have to measure the available space correctly and check the dimensions of the product. If the device is too wide, too deep, or not slim enough, it won’t fit.
Features – All of these radio CD players have at least FM tuner and CD playback capabilities. However, more advanced and pricier models also have built-in AM tuners, and some players also feature Bluetooth connectivity. Most radio CD players have LCD displays with clocks. Some even have cooking timers. Most of them also come with a remote.
Sound quality – Don’t raise your expectations too high. These are all fairly slim devices with relatively small drivers. That means you can’t expect rumbling bass, enveloping sound, and perfectly flat frequency response. Radio CD players are not meant to be audiophile devices – they are just handy gadgets. What you can expect is nicely balanced sound with dynamic mids, clear vocals, and consistent highs. Some of the players may add a little bit of punch but they won’t blow you away.
Table of Contents
- Best Under Cabinet Radio CD Players – Comparison Table
- 5 Best Under Cabinet Radio CD Players in 2021
- 1. Best Overall – Sony ICFCDK50
- 2. Best Price/Quality Ratio – iLive IKBC384SMP3U
- 3. Best Budget – Sylvania SKCR2713
- 4. Best Multi-Disc Under Cabinet Radio CD Player – Sony ICF-CDK70
- 5. Best Under Cabinet TV/DVD Combo – Venturer KLV3915
- Q: What is the best under cabinet radio CD player in 2021?
- Q: How do you mount under cabinet radio CD player?
- Q: What to look for when buying under cabinet radio CD player?
- Q: Do I need an under-cabinet radio CD player with Bluetooth?
- Q: Are expensive under cabinet radio CD players worth it?
- Q: What is the best under cabinet radio CD player with AM reception?
Best Under Cabinet Radio CD Players – Comparison Table
|Under Cabinet Radio CD Players||Rating||Price||Review|
|Sony ICFCDK50||4.2||Check Amazon|
|iLive IKBC384SMP3U||4.1||Check Amazon||Read Review|
|Sylvania SKCR2713||3.8||Check Amazon|
|Sony ICF-CDK70||4.0||Check Amazon||Read Review|
|Venturer KLV3915||3.9||Check Amazon|
We’ve tested numerous popular radio CD players, went through their specs, compared their features and, finally, made a selection of 5 best under cabinet radio CD players in 2021. The following units are our top picks.
5 Best Under Cabinet Radio CD Players in 2021
1. Best Overall – Sony ICFCDK50
Sony is probably the most reputable name in the under-cabinet radio CD player market and Sony’s ICFCDK50 is our top choice. It’s very reliable, it has a built AM and FM digital tuners, CD player, and it has a built-in AUX cable for attaching audio sources like phones, tablets, etc. The lack of Bluetooth connectivity is disappointing, especially at this price point.
Things we like
ICFCDK50 radio CD player comes with all the necessary mounting equipment (M5 screws, drilling template, spacers for height adjustments). It also comes with a remote and a detachable holder for digital music players.
The player features a very stylish and slim design, perfect for under-cabinet installation. The unit is 13.7in wide, 12.2in deep, and only 3.4in tall. The weight is 6.4lbs.
All the controls are on the front panel of the unit. On the left end, there’s the mega bass button, clock/date button, and five preset buttons. In the middle, there’s a backlit LCD display and a CD tray. On the right end, you have the playback and tuning controls, as well as the volume wheel. Instead of pressing the buttons on the unit, you can use the included remote and control all the features. The remote has a magnetic backing, which allows you to attach it to your fridge.
The player is fairly versatile. You have built-in AM and FM tuners, CD playback capabilities, and AUX cable.
FM reception is very good while the AM reception is only mediocre. You can save up to 10 FM presets and up to 5 AM presets. The CD player section supports CD-R and CD-RW discs. If you want to connect your phone or a digital player with AUX output, you can use the included AUX cable.
The player also has a built-in clock. The time is set automatically (you just have to select the time zone). The unit also features a cooking timer.
Sony ICFCDK50 houses two tiny 2.6in full-range drivers. The RMS power output is 2Wx2. As you would assume, these two drivers can’t really deliver any bass. Even with the mega bass feature turned on, the bass is weak and unimpressive. The mids and, especially the vocals, are very clear and dynamic. The highs are consistent.
Things we don’t like
Sony ICFCDK50 is very expensive, probably because the product was discontinued. At this price point, it’s only natural to expect a few more features and not just basic ones. The player, for example, doesn’t feature Bluetooth connectivity and can’t play mp3 CDs.
2. Best Price/Quality Ratio – iLive IKBC384SMP3U
If you don’t want to invest more than $100 or even more than $50, iLive IKBC384SMP3U is a perfect choice. This unit is incredibly versatile, it’s super-easy to install, and it sounds pretty good for the price.
Things we like
This radio CD player comes with all the necessary mounting hardware (template, screws, spacers). The box also contains the remote, batteries, power adapter, manual, and a warranty card.
The player has a sleek and visually appealing design. It’s available in silver/black color only. The unit is one of the slimmest and smallest on the market – it’s 11.4in wide, 11.5in deep, and 2.8in tall.
The installation is fairly easy – you have all the mounting equipment included and you just need to drill the holes.
All the controls are located on the front. On the left end, there’s the power button, preset buttons (for FM stations), timer and clock buttons, and source selector. In the middle, you have a CD tray (at the top) and a backlit LCD display below the CD tray. On the right end, there’s a series of playback control buttons, the Bluetooth pairing button (also used to answer calls), volume buttons, and the EJECT button. On the left panel of the player, there are AUX and USB inputs, as well as DC power input. The included remote looks a little bit cheap but it’s perfectly usable.
When it comes to playback options, you can choose between FM radio, CD playback, USB playback, AUX input, and Bluetooth. It’s an amazing number of playback options for such a cheap device.
FM reception is more than satisfying. You can save up to 20 favorite stations. The CD player supports CD-R, CD-RW, and mp3 CDs. The USB port supports mp3 file playback. You can also connect any audio source with an AUX output.
The most attractive feature is the Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth version is a bit outdated (v 2.0) but it delivers good performance with a decent range (30ft unobstructed) and fairly reliable connection.
The player also has a built-in clock and cooking timer.
The sound quality is definitely not the best thing about iLive IKBC384SMP3U but it’s good for the price. There’s no bass at all and the max volume is not very loud, but the mids and vocals are perfectly clear and the highs are consistent.
Things we don’t like
iLive IKBC384SMP3U lacks AM tuner. If you like listening to radio talk shows and traffic reports, this device is not the best choice for you.
3. Best Budget – Sylvania SKCR2713
Sylvania makes all kinds of cheap devices including speakers, radios, CD players, etc. Their products are usually quite affordable and offer very good performance for that price. Sylvania SKCR2713 is a perfect example – it’s maybe not the best-looking or the most capable device but it’s feature-rich and it sounds pretty good.
Things we like
Sylvania SKCR2713 is a bit chunkier than average but still very slim and easy to install. It’s 14in wide, 12.5in deep, and 4in tall.
All the controls and inputs are located on the front. In the middle, you have a CD tray and a backlit LCD display showing the clock and FM frequency. On the right end, you have all the playback controls, Bluetooth pairing button, and function button. On the right end, there’s the EJECT button, two volume buttons, alarm button, tuning wheel, and AUX input. The DC power input is on the right panel. The included remote allows you to control everything, just like the buttons on the unit. It looks cheap but it’s responsive and perfectly functional.
Aside from the standard FM tuner and CD playback capabilities, this under cabinet radio CD player features Bluetooth 3.0 and supports wired connection through AUX input. The reception is pretty good in FM mode, even though there’s no external antenna. In CD mode, you can play CD-R and CD-RW. Everything works fine in Bluetooth mode if you stay within the 20ft range.
The player has only two tiny 1.2W drivers. The bass is practically nonexistent. The mids and highs are clear, well-balanced, and dynamic.
Things we don’t like
The player doesn’t have a built-in AM tuner. If you like listening to AM radio shows and traffic reports, this radio CD player is not the best choice.
The player doesn’t support FM presets. Also, you can’t play mp3 CDs in CD mode.
4. Best Multi-Disc Under Cabinet Radio CD Player – Sony ICF-CDK70
Sony ICF-CDK70 is an upgraded version of the previously reviewed ICF-CDK50. The only difference, in terms of features, is the three-disc tray instead of a one-disc tray. There are also some cosmetic differences when it comes to design and button layout.
Things we like
The player comes with all the necessary mounting equipment (screws, template, spacers, cord clamp). The packaging also includes the power adapter, remote, detachable audio cable, and a music player holder.
Sony ICD-CDK70 features a sleek and compact design. It’s a bit chunkier than average but still fairly easy to install. The player is 14.3in wide, 12.6in deep, and 4.2in tall.
The largest part of the front panel is occupied by the multi-disc tray. ON the left end, there’s a backlit LCD display (it shows the clock, FM frequency, and CD info). On the left end of the front panel, you have some basic playback controls, AM/FM band selector, and EJECT button. On the right side of the player, there’s the volume wheel, AUX input, and mega bass switch. On the left side, you have the timer wheel, clock button, and mode button.
The biggest selling point of this player is the multi-disc support. You can insert three discs at once and select the disc you want to play by pressing the buttons located above the disc tray.
The player also has built-in AM and FM tuners. AM reception is pretty good, while the FM reception is excellent. Both antennas are internal. You can save 20 radio presets in total – 10AM and 10FM presets.
ICF-CDK70 features the same 2.6in full-range drivers as the previously reviewed CDK50. The bass reproduction is pretty weak, even when the mega bass feature is engaged. The mids and highs are well-balanced, consistent, and fairly detailed. Considering the size of the drivers, the player can get quite loud,
Things we don’t like
Sony ICF-CDK70 is a very expensive player (because it’s been discontinued). At this price point, we have expected more features and better sonic performance. Unlike much cheaper radio CD players, this one can’t play mp3 CDs and it doesn’t support Bluetooth connectivity.
5. Best Under Cabinet TV/DVD Combo – Venturer KLV3915
Looking for something more advanced with more features? Maybe something with a screen and with DVD playback capabilities? Venturer KLV3915 is an under-cabinet radio CD player but it’s also an under-cabinet TV and under-cabinet DVD player.
Things we like
Venturer KLV3915 comes with all the necessary installation equipment, including screws, mounting template, spacers, etc. You will also get a remote and AM loop antenna.
At first glance, Venturer KLV3915 looks like all the other under cabinet radio CD players but it’s actually quite different. Unlike all the previously reviewed products, this one also has a flip-up screen and it’s also an LCD TV/DVD combo device. Considering all the features, the device is surprisingly compact and slim. Still, it’s larger than previous devices and you should really do the measuring carefully and see if there’s enough space for the screen. When the screen is flipped-up the player is 16.75in wide, 14.5in deep, and 5.75in tall. When you flip the screen down, you will need an additional 8in of free space. So, the distance between the bottom of the cabinet and your kitchen countertop should be at least 13.75in.
The unit has a simple control button layout. All the buttons are located on the right end of the front panel. You have just some basic buttons for playback and volume control, source selection, clock and timer adjustments, and TV menu. For all the advanced settings, you have to use the included remote. Right next to the control buttons, there’s a tiny LCD display. On the left end of the front panel, there’s a CD/DVD tray. On the back of the unit, there’s an antenna input, video output, AM antenna input, and power cable.
You have quite a few playback options. The player has built-in AM and FM tuners. FM antenna is built-inside while the AM antenna is external. You can also connect your TV antenna to it and use the unit as a TV. Or you can play DVDs and audio CDs. Both AM and FM receptions are pretty good. The TV works as expected but the picture quality won’t blow you away.
The sound is far from premium, but it’s loud enough for a medium-sized kitchen.
Things we don’t like
Switching between channels and switching between different functions is pretty slow. You have to wait for 2 seconds after you press the button for the unit to respond.
The player can’t play mp3 CDs and doesn’t support Bluetooth connectivity.
This was our list of 5 best under cabinet radio CD players in 2021. Hopefully, it helped you discover the world of radio CD players and find the perfect radio CD player for your needs. If you have additional questions, we recommend you to go through our FAQ section. If you want to share an opinion or your experience with under cabinet radio CD players, feel free to leave a comment.
Q: What is the best under cabinet radio CD player in 2021?
A: If you have enough money, our advice is to stick with trusted brands. In this case, the most trusted brand is Sony. Sony’s radio CD players deliver more reliable performance than others, they have better build quality, and usually have both AM and FM tuners. If you don’t have enough money, there’s a large number of cheap radio CD players under $100 and under $50. Some of our favorite cheap brands are Sylvania and iLive.
Q: How do you mount under cabinet radio CD player?
A: Mounting the unit is actually quite easy if you have all the tools. First, you have to select the right spot. That spot has to be close to the power outlet and it has to be large enough for the unit. Most radio CD players come with a template so you don’t have to measure anything – just lay it in your cabinet, mark the spots and drill the holes (usually 3 or 4 holes). After that, you just have to use the bolts (usually included in the package) to tighten up the unit to your cabinet. That’s pretty much it. The job should be done in less than 10mins.
Q: What to look for when buying under cabinet radio CD player?
A: As explained in the introduction, there are basically three things to pay attention to – size (dimensions), features, and sound quality. An under-cabinet radio has to be fairly small and slim to fit under the cabinet. It’s crucial to measure the available space correctly and avoid buying something that’s too large for your kitchen. Also, you should be looking for a set of features that meets your needs. If you like listening to traffic reports in the morning, you will need a radio CD player with an AM tuner. If you also want to stream music from your phone, it’s important to look for a device with Bluetooth connectivity.
One more thing we all have to think about before buying any gadget and any piece of audio equipment is the budget. Some of the available radio CD players are actually quite expensive, especially Sony’s players. There’s a great disparity, in terms of prices, between Sony’s radio CD players and other players. Most of the other players are priced under $100 while Sony’s players are much pricier (usually $400+).
Q: Do I need an under-cabinet radio CD player with Bluetooth?
A: It all depends on your preferences. If you like streaming music over Bluetooth, then yes. If you’re an old-school guy/girl, then you don’t really need it – you already have a CD player and a radio.
Q: Are expensive under cabinet radio CD players worth it?
A: The only really expensive brand when it comes to under cabinet radio CD players is Sony. Sony’s players definitely offer better and more reliable performance than other players but they are also much more expensive. The price disparity is really big and we don’t think it should be that big. If you don’t really want to spend a lot of money on this kind of device, it’s probably smarter to stick to cheap brands like Sylvania or iLive. If you don’t have to worry about the money and/or don’t trust generic brands, then go for Sony.
Q: What is the best under cabinet radio CD player with AM reception?
A: We can’t give you a single answer to that question. If you’re looking for the best possible AM reception, Sony is your best choice. If you need a cheap but useful and functional gadget that you can install quickly, go for some of the cheaper brands. Our selection of 5 best under cabinet radio CD players in 2021 offers something for everyone – you just have to go through the list and find something that meets your budget and your requirements.
Hello, my name is James Longman.
I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.
Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.
I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.