NAD C545BEE CD Player Reviewed

NAD C545BEE CD Player Reviewed

Priced at $499, and situated one slot below the NAD Classic line, the C545BEE uses the latest Burr Brown 24-bit DACs, accepts CD-R/W and will play MP3 and WMA files. Called a "gateway drug to the high end," this player gives you a taste of what great sound is all about.

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For those who have a pile of compact discs and think the idea of listening to MP3 files is somehow high-definition, NAD has made the highly affordable C545BEE disc player.

The $499 NAD C545BEE occupies a slot one notch below the top of the NAD Classic line. In typical NAD form, the player is filled with reference-level hardware and features which belie its modest price tag. Its hardware includes a large toroidal power supply with separate regulators for the digital and analog circuitry, as well as the latest Burr Brown 24-bit high-resolution DACs. The NAD player also accepts CD-R/W discs, even if they are filled with songs burned in MP3 or WMA compression algorithms.

Additional Resources
Learn more about NAD components here from the HomeTheaterReview.com resource page.
Read a review of the NAD T 577 Blu-ray player by Adrienne Maxwell.
Check out more audiophile CD players, USB DACs and other audiophile digital goodies at AudiophileReview.com.

Internal flash memory allows you to program and store up to 40 of your favorite songs from your discs on the player for immediate playback. The programming features are useful, user-friendly and laid out logically. Programming is able to be controlled entirely by the included remote. The remote has a solid feel and all buttons seem well placed for easy access.

Listening to the player, it is obvious that the NAD philosophy of Music First is alive and well. The C545BEE creates music that is smooth, relaxed and detailed. The bass performance is exceedingly good. This is the type of player that is the equivalent of a gateway drug to the world of high-end. It is so affordable that just about anyone can own one, but it gives the user a big taste of just how good digital music can be.

Read more about the high points and low points of the C545BEE on Page 2.

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High Points
- The C545BEE is an absolute bargain at $499. Compact disc players costing four times the money can't keep up.
- The ability to play MP3 and WMA discs gives this player wide appeal to the download/iPod generation. MP3s are nice, but compact disc-quality audio is something completely different.
- The onboard flash memory that allows you to create a favorites playlist on the fly from your existing discs makes the C545BEE the perfect party companion.

Low Points
- The new NAD styling is a little bland compared to its previous offerings, as this player is not audiophile jewelry.
- The display is simply too small to be legible from more than a few feet away. I wish the display were larger.

Competition and Comparison
To compare the NAD C545BEE CD player against its competition read our reviews of the Cary Audio CD 303T and NAD's own C565BEE. There are more CD player reviews available in our Source Component section.  To learn more about the company, visit our NAD brand page.

Conclusion
The C545BEE really impressed me with its build quality and sonics. In the under-$500 category where it resides, it really has little competition. It's a solid investment that can hold its own against players costing twice the price, and offers much more cachet than the usual suspects at this price point.


Additional Resources
• Learn more about NAD components here from the HomeTheaterReview.com resource page.
• Read a review of the NAD T 577 Blu-ray player by Adrienne Maxwell.
• Check out more audiophile CD players, USB DACs and other audiophile digital goodies at AudiophileReview.com.

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