Sony CDP-XE500 CD Players

CDP-XE500

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
timrhube   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 21, 2003]
Strength:

Reliability, ease of use.

Weakness:

None at price.

I've owned this player for a few years now and decided to put my two cents in. It performs flawlessly with a quick and quiet transport, easy to use controls -- jog control is great -- and a nice remote with volume control. The sound is just fine for a budget player that will probably outlast the CD medium. What do you expect at this price point. One of these days I'm going to break down and get an outboard DAC to see if it improves things.

Similar Products Used: Denon DCM-560, Marantz CC-65SE.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Kevin Nicoll   Audiophile [Jun 16, 2000]
Strength:

Smooth midrange. Non fatiguing.

Weakness:

No fl dimmer. No remote power off or eject.

When my Marantz cd63 player bit the dust after 6 years of heavy use, I hit the AudioReview site to find the best bang for the buck. After considering the Sony and JVC XL-Z232BK, I decided that the XE-500 was a better risk. Since it was also touted as an excellent transport, I figured that if I didn't like the internal DACs, I could use my Denon's DACs. I was very happy with it right out of the box. I listen to a lot of classical music, and the Sony gets the string tone and piano just right. The midrange on this player is smooth sounding. Soundstage could be a tad wider and deeper, but at this price the Sony is a real bargain. Purchased through HiFi.com Equipment used is a Denon AVR3300, Vandersteen 2ce speakers, and Transparent Sonata interconnects.

Similar Products Used: Marantz cd63
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gregory Czarnecki   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 18, 2000]
Strength:

smooth, detailed sound

Weakness:

limited function remote, no power on/off

For the $125-150 this player costs, it will deliver very high quality sound when mated with good equipment. It is a very good value.

Similar Products Used: cd players of various brands
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 15, 1999]
Strength:

Good built quality, good looking, the only game in town for single disc player

Weakness:

no remote power on/off

If you believe all CD player sound the same, wrong!
I got fool by $ensible sound and got the RCA. After upgrade the receiver from a Kenwood 106VR to a Pioneer VSX-D3S, I can tell small improvement mainly on the bass side. But after I got the Sony CD player, the whole sound is much different. More detail and better, cleaner bass. Sound stage also improved. Now I can hear a lot of things I've never heard before from the same CD collection. I also listened to the Sony ES line, but I can not tell a difference at all. So, I am happy with my $120 Sony XE500 and have extra cash to spend on CDs. BTW, this is the only single-disc player currently on market for less than $200, all others are discontinued.

Similar Products Used: RCA 5-disc changer
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David Grunberger   an Audio Enthusiast [May 01, 1998]

This is avery well-crafted cd player, with a superb, smooth midrange. Very userfriendly, and nice digital output. The good news ends there. The bass performance is strictly average, the loading mechanism is the flimsiest I've seen, and the worst part is that the highs absolutely SUCk. The treble is steely, bright, and VERY irritaing. For $150-what do you expect? But still, can't we do little better than this? A 2.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Blackie   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 1998]

I needed an inexpensive CD player to get me through until the audio DVD players and CD recorders have been in the market for a while and the Sony CDP-XE500 seemed like a reasonable choice (especially for $150). Two other players I was looking at were the NAD 522 and the Marantz CD-48, which are $100 more. The NAD has no digital out for recording or for an external D/A converter and has a cheapo transport. The Marantz didn't strike me as worth the extra money considering both of these players have a delay in the track access which really annoys me. All three players displayed similar sonic characteristics. The Sony instantly accesses the tracks via a jog dial or the remote, has a digital out, line out volume control and has a peak search function. The sound is smooth and belies it's low price. The construction and asthetics are great although the CD tray feels a little cheap. Overall I feel I could not have made a better choice for my needs and would have still purchaed this player even if it was $100 more. As a CD player in general I'd give it four stars but because of it's great value, I have to give it a five.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Anthony Cummins   an Audio Enthusiast [Jan 03, 1999]

What a bargain! I wanted a cheapish CD player to use as a transport so my requirements were: good transport mechanism (ie definitely NOT a multi-disc player); digital out connector, remote control; $200 or under.
I visited Circuit City and couldn't find a single-disc player at all. One of the assistants told me that single players were now restricted to the "high end". Then I tried Tweeter, but all the single players were over $200, probably because of their excellent DACs, filters and analogue output stages (their transports didn't seem particularly excellent). Lo and behold, Cambridge Soundworks had the nice little Sony CDP-XE500 with a TOSLink optical digital output for a mere $145!!

Yesterday I connected the Sony via the TOSlink to my Harman Kardon AVR55 optical input and was extremely impressed. Auditioning the HDCD music tracks on Stereophile's Test Disc 3 COMPLETELY vindicated this purchase. Turning to some of my other CDs revealed Stygian bass, wonderful depth and breadth and a beautiful delicacy in the treble. But a word of caution here: the player's own DACs and filtering - whilst good - are sonically inferior to the Harman's (astonishingly good) DACs. Compared with the Harman, the Sony's "shut in" the soundstage, introduce some blurring of detail, and remove a bit of air and space around intruments, especially at the top end (cymbals show up this trait straightaway). Bass slam and impact is also slighty impaired.

These criticisms should not be taken too seriously however - you would probably need to do an A-B comparison to hear the differences I have described. I, for one, would not feel completely confident about correctly identifying the Sony against the Harman DACs in a blind test where no instantaneous A-B were possible. The Sony is a fine sounding player in stand-alone mode. And whilst I know there are better sounding players, diminishing returns in relation to more expensive players are made the more apparent by this little Sony. As a transport alone it's worth every cent and more.

On the basis of price/sound quality and the optical output, I have no doubt at all about awarding FIVE stars. The additional facilities/remote are a bonus!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ramiro   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 11, 1998]

You know sometimes when I read reviews I am amazed at the detail about midrange, highs, lows etc. on a unit. Most CD players playing at 95dB's and higher are very hard to differentiate unless you are playing them through a Emerson system and using the CD players own D/A converter. I bought this Sony at a close out store for $100! What a deal considering my first player in 1986 was around $500 and didn't even have half the features of the XE-500. The XE-500 has many of the usual basic controls that most single players do, but the optical out at this price range is a fantastic deal! I am running the unit through the optical out on my Denon 3200 and using my receivers own D/A to give me clean sharp sound. Using my Polk Audio speaker system with a powered subwoofer, I'm getting exceptional sound. This is a great value and I highly recommend this unit for anyone that wants a very good player and has a limited budget. The only drawback I have is the remote does not have a power off/on.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Chris Wynn   an Audiophile [Jan 06, 1999]

I use this inexpensive CD player in combination with speakers that can sound bright and sharp in the treble. I bought it mainly because "Hi-Fi Choice" magazine had given it a Best Buy rating describing its sound as "mature" and "free from digital nasties."
All is as "Hi-Fi Choice" claimed. The Sony is a very neutral sounding player whose primary audible characteristic is to take the sting and peak out of the treble. It is not rolled off in the treble, displaying fine extension, but treble peaks, sibilance, and nastiness are subtly reduced. The treble is not perfect, however. It displays a bit of "grain" but is still unusually well behaved for a CD player in the price range.

The rest of the frequency range sounds neutral. Bass does not have the padding of higher-end CD, nor does the Sony CDP XE-500 display the hype and extra sense of dynamics and volume that characterize the sound of "audiophile'' type players. Moreover, the mid-range does not display any of the warming of tube based players. The mid-range instead has a crisp quality. In short, this player posseses a slightly more sophisticated version of the characteristic sound of CD players in its class, displaying neutrality, crisp treble and mid-range, and good extension into the bass and treble.

The Sony CDP XE-500 weighs about five pounds. It is slickly styled. It is quite smooth in its operation and comes with an optical digital output.

Soud Quality ****

Build ****

Ease of track access ****

Value *****

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Carlos Esteban Sanchez   a Casual Listener [Jun 11, 1999]

La lectora de CD Sony CDP-XE500 no es ni remotamente tan buena como la Yamaha CDX-393 la cual tiene un sonido mas fluido y calido y un precio similar.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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