Can you play CDs on a DVD player?

Although we are in the age of streaming content via the internet, CDs still play a significant part in our lives.

For instance, musicians still store music in this optical storage media and sell them to fans who want something tangible. Additionally, these discs are affordable to produce, and they are a preferred storage option for software and video game developers.

One question that we get asked a lot is, “Can you play CDs on a DVD player?” It’s not surprising that most people don’t know about this.

Therefore, today, our article focuses on providing in-depth answers on whether or not this is possible. Be sure to read until the end because we have a lot in store for you.

So, can you play a music CD on a DVD player?

The answer is a resounding yes. Most DVD players in the market today can play most optical storage devices, especially those that conform to the CD standard. Once you insert the CD into the player, it will read the audio data and send it to the speaker.

More details about this in a short while.

What is a CD and what is a DVD?

Compact Disks (or CDs) are portable media that fall into the optical disc storage devices category. Primarily, they offer storage space between 650 to 700 MBs.

You can store, record, and playback different data types, including audio, images, software, games, movies, etc. These circular discs come in different variations; in essence,

  • CD-ROM (ROM for Read-Only-Memory)
  • CD-RW (RW for ReWritable)
  • CD-R (R for Recordable)
  • Photo CD
  • VCD (Video Compact Disk)

On the other hand, DVDs (short form for Digital Versatile Discs or Digital Video Discs) are the second generation of CDs and can store large amounts of data of up to 17.08GB. Hence, the discs are ideal for storing high-quality images, videos, and audio.

What happens if you put a CD in a DVD player?

CD and DVD players use the same concept to function. Both use laser beams to read data from the disc’s track. However, the laser used in a DVD player is narrower than that of the CD player, making decoding data and information from a CD easy.

Hence, when you insert the CD into the DVD player, the motor will rotate the disc at high speeds upon hitting the play button. The narrow laser beam will read the bump patterns on the disc and decode the audio and video data stored in them.

The player will then send the audio signal output to the speakers, and you can view the tracks you are playing via your TV screen.

What is the difference between a CD player and a DVD player?

The table below summarizes some of the differences between these two types of players.

CD playerDVD player
Can only play CD formats, and not DVD formatsMost can play both DVD and CD formats
They only produce an audio outputProduce video and audio outputs
Cannot read multiple layers of data in a discThey can read multiple layers of data
They are affordable and buyExpensive to produce and buy, compared to CD players

Are DVD Players Better Than CD Players for music?

Many audiophiles agree that playing music with either of the two players doesn’t make much difference in the audio quality.

However, if you want to listen to high-resolution music, recording the tracks on a DVD would be an ideal option since they offer more storage capacity than CDs. In this case, using the DVD player would better suit your needs.

Which is a better medium for music CD or DVD?

If you want to produce high-definition audio and video for your music, using a DVD is the way to go since they offer more storage space than CDs.

On the other hand, CDs offer an affordable way of producing audio, which is why musicians on a budget would prefer them to DVDs.

Which music formats can be burned onto a CD

The most common music file formats are:

  • MP3
  • CDA
  •  AIFF
  • WAV

WIll Blue-ray players play a CD?

Blu-Ray players are an upgrade of DVD players and can deliver up to 1080p resolution. They support most types of optical media. Hence, you can use them to play different kinds of CDs.


Thanks again for reading our article until the end. If you wanted to dispose of your CD collection because you didn’t know that your DVD player would do the job, you don’t have to do all that now. You can now use the DVD player to listen to your favorite music.

A good tip though is to ensure that you store your CDs well, because scratches on the track can destroy the CD and make it difficult for the player to read the data stored in the CDs.