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Yamaha CD-S303

Single-disc CD player with front-panel USB input

Item # 022CDS303

This rock-solid single-disc player is equipped with a USB port for playing high-res digital files from a thumb drive.

This rock-solid single-disc player is equipped with a USB port for playing high-res digital files from a thumb drive.

Item # 022CDS303

In stock

$379.95 Sale: -$50.00 off


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About the Yamaha CD-S303

Eric A.

A well-made CD player with USB input

The Yamaha CD-S303 would be a great value if it only played compact discs, but you can also plug in a thumb drive full of high-res music files for added versatility. The player's high-quality digital-to-analog converter reveals plenty of musical detail, and you can engage Pure Direct mode to ensure very low distortion.

A well-made CD player with USB input

The Yamaha CD-S303 would be a great value if it only played compact discs, but you can also plug in a thumb drive full of high-res music files for added versatility. The player's high-quality digital-to-analog converter reveals plenty of musical detail, and you can engage Pure Direct mode to ensure very low distortion.

The laser pickup is isolated on a floating mechanism to reduce interference from vibration, and an intelligent digital servo mechanism reduces tracking and focus errors, so you get pristine disc playback with minimal interference.


Product highlights:

  • Featured in our article: Best CD players for 2023
  • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs
  • 24-bit/192KHz digital-to-analog converter
  • Pure Direct mode for very low distortion
  • laser pickup is isolated on a floating mechanism to reduce interference from vibration
  • intelligent digital servo mechanism reduces tracking and focus errors
  • 3-mode CD Text display shows CD title, artist's name, and track name
  • program play lets you choose what order tracks play in
  • additional playback features: random, repeat, and resume last track
  • dimmable display
  • frequency response: 2-20,000 Hz (THD 0.003%)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 105 dB
  • front-panel Type-A USB port for connecting a thumb drive
    • compatible with MP3, WMA, LPCM, AAC and FLAC files
    • supports files up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • optical and coaxial digital outputs
  • stereo RCA output
Dimensions and warranty:

What's in the box:

  • Single-disc CD player
  • 58" AC power cord
  • Remote control (VES5910)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 40" Stereo RCA cable
  • Owner's manual
  • Warranty Information
  • Online product registration information
  • "Worldwide Representative Offices" sheet

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Crutchfield response

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More details on the Yamaha CD-S303

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Disc Capacity 1
CD Transport Only No
Disc Exchange N/A
Track Programming 24
Random Play Yes
Direct Track Access Remote
Direct Disc Access N/A
Networking Features
Network Music Streaming No
Ethernet Port No
Wi-Fi No
Remote Included
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
CD-R Playback Yes
CD-RW Playback Yes
Stereo SACD Playback N
CD Frequency Response 2-20,000 Hz
Signal to Noise Ratio 105 dB
SACD Frequency Response Not Compatible
SACD Dynamic Range Not Given
SACD THD Not Given
Digital Optical Input No
Digital Coaxial Input No
USB Type-A Input Yes
USB Type-B Input No
Analog RCA Output Yes
Analog XLR Output No
Digital Optical Output Yes
Digital Coaxial Output Yes
Headphone Output No

Product Research


Sophisticated Circuitry & Design: Yamaha technicians devoted a great deal of time and effort to designing the overall interior layout of parts and circuit boards, a factor that significantly affects sound quality.

  • Isolated Layout: The power supplies for the motor drive, display and USB sections, as well as the digital, and analog sections are individually isolated, eliminating electromagnetic interference among them. To achieve ideal weight balance for stable performance, the drive mechanism is located in the center of the unit.
  • Short Signal Paths: The highly logical and symmetrical internal layout of parts and circuit boards are designed to keep the signal paths on each board as short as possible. This purposeful design also keeps the paths between sections straight and short, minimizing the chance of signal loss or interference.

High Quality Parts: Yamaha puts a great deal of effort into the selection and matching of parts and materials. A high-grade acoustic capacitor, a new low noise/high-gain bandwidth op amp, and the use of damping material under the transformer and around the signal cables are just a few examples of Yamaha's commitment to great sound quality.

  • Laser Pickup Floating Mechanism: The laser pickup is isolated on a floating mechanism so its delicate operation cannot be affected by vibration.
  • Intelligent Digital Servo System: This type of system uses a microcomputer to monitor the signal, adjusting pickup tracking and focus, as well as spindle motor speed, to compensate for any problems.
  • Burr Brown 24-bit/192kHz DAC: The Yamaha CD-S303 CD player employs a Burr Brown 24-bit/192kHz DAC ensuring excellent conversion precision, S/N ratio, and dynamic range.

Disc Compatibility: The Yamaha CD-S303 CD player will play CD-Audio, CD-Text, CD-R, and CD-RW discs (12cm or 8cm). The CD-S303 supports playback of compressed MP3, WMA , AAC, WAV, and FLAC music files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 format. The unit also supports disc title, artist name, and track name from a MP3/WMA/AAC compressed music file or CD Text disc. The unit will recognize up to 512 folders and a total of 65,535 total music files on one CD-R or CD-RW disc.

Compatible Music Files Sampling Frequency Bit Rate or Bit Depth
MP3 32/44.1/48 kHz 32-320 kbps
WMA 32/44.1/48 kHz 48-192 kbps
AAC 32/44.1/48 kHz 8-320 kbps
WAV 32/44.1/48/64/88.2/96 kHz 16-/24-bit
FLAC 32/44.1/48/64/88.2/96 kHz 16-/24-bit

Pure Direct: The CD-S303 offers Pure Direct, which is the same popular feature included in Yamaha amplifiers and receivers. By pressing the button on the front panel or on the remote control, it shuts down the digital audio output and turns off the display. This achieves the lowest possible noise interference and, therefore, the highest sound quality of the analog audio output.

Analog & Digital Outputs: The Yamaha CD-S303 CD player is outfitted with both analog and digital audio outputs. There is one set of analog stereo RCA output jacks, plus one optical (toslink) digital output and one coaxial (RCA) digital output.

USB-A Port: The USB-A port on the front-panel allows you to play MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC and PCM music files from a USB MSC (mass storage class) device; such as a USB thumbdrive or HDD (hard disk drive). The USB MSC device must be formated in FAT16 or FAT32. Some HDDs will require an external AC power supply. The unit will recognize up to 512 folders and a total of 65,535 total music files on one USB MSC device. The unit also supports playback control and song/artist/album information for USB playback

Compatible Music Files Sampling Frequency Bit Rate or Bit Depth
MP3 32/44.1/48 kHz 32-320 kbps
WMA 32/44.1/48 kHz 48-192 kbps
AAC 32/44.1/48 kHz 8-320 kbps
PCM 32/44.1/48/64/88.2/96 kHz 16-/24-bit
FLAC 32/44.1/48/64/88.2/96 kHz 16-/24-bit
Note: The USB-A port does not support media playback from an Apple iOS or Android OS device.

LCD Display: The Yamaha CD player features a front-panel LCD display that shows the current status of the unit. You can select from elapsed time of the current track, remaining time of the current track, or the remaining time of the disc. You can also temporarily display the filename of your digital audio music files up to 28 characters. The front-panel display offers 4 brightness settings.

Remote Control: The Yamaha CD-S303 single disc CD player comes with a full-function IR remote control for wireless operation of the unit. The remote has a range up to 20' with an angle of 30-degrees to the left and right of the unit's front-panel IR eye.

Playback Modes: The CD-S303 offers the following playback modes.

  • Program: You can customize the playback order of up to 24 tracks stored on an Audio CD. This operation is not available for MP3/WMA/AAC/FLAC playback.
  • Random: You can play back tracks in random sequence from and Audio CD, CD-R/RW, or USB device.
  • Repeat: You can play back a single track or all tracks repeatedly from a Audio CD, CD-R/RW, or USB device.
  • Repeat A-B: You can repeat a specified section of a track on an audio CD. This operation is not available for MP3/WMA/AAC/FLAC playback.
  • Ready Mode: Pauses playback after each track, allowing you to start the next track at any desired time.
Note: This unit retains the current Repeat & Random playback mode after turning off the power.

Search Functions: The CD-S303 offers the following search functions.

  • Direct Search: You can enter the desired track number for an Audio CD using the numeric keypad (0-9) on the remote control. This operation is not available for MP3/WMA/AAC/FLAC playback.
  • Skip: You can skip to the beginning of the current, next, or previous track of an audio CD, CD-R/RW, or USB device. 
  • Fast Forward/Reverse: You can rapidly advance or reverse through a track on an Audio CD, CD-R/RW, or USB device. Each time you press the search key, the search speed increases by 2 levels.

Auto Playback & Standby: You can set the CD player to automatically start playback when the power to the unit is turned on or when you switch to Disc or USB mode. You can also set the CD player to automatically turn off if there is not audio playback or operation for approximately 20 minutes.

Detachable AC Power Cord: The Yamaha CD-S303 comes with a 58" detachable AC power cord (C7) that will need to be plugged into the back of the CD player and into an AC wall outlet or surge protector (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).

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Customer Q&A

23 questions already asked

will this cd player work on a Denon receiver?
[ DENNIS JOE  Mar 08, 2023 ]
1 answer
The CD-S303 may be used with any receiver that offers RCA analog, coaxial digital, or optical digital inputs.
[ ZACHARY  Mar 09, 2023 ]  Staff
The owner's manual says that this unit supports WMA files with bit rates of 48-192 kbps. Does that mean that lossless WMA files (which typically have much higher bit rates than this range) will not play?
[ Lisa  Feb 28, 2023 ]
1 answer
That is exactly correct, Lisa. This unit has support those files but it will max out at 192K. This unit is one of my personal favorites because it has the USB front port that you can even seek through files with the remote! I hope this helps.
[ Bo  Feb 28, 2023 ]  Staff
I have a Yamaha R-S202 receiver with a remote that is supposed to work with Yamaha CD Players. Will the R-S202 remote work with the CD-S303?
[ Allan  Feb 19, 2023 ]
1 answer
Greetings Allan, and thank you for your question. As long as the CD player is a Yamaha that uses IR like the CD-S303 you can use the remote from the RS 202 to control the CD player.
[ Thomas  Feb 19, 2023 ]  Staff
can I plug my iPhone into usb port and listen to Sirius or pandora ?
[ RALPH  Feb 05, 2023 ]
1 answer
Greetings Ralph, and thank you for your question. The USB input on the Yamaha CD S303 does not support playback of audio from an Apple, or Android device. Mainly a USB thumb drive, or a portable hard drive.
[ Thomas  Feb 06, 2023 ]  Staff
Will this CD player allow Apple products to play through the USB ?
[ Kirk  Jan 15, 2023 ]
1 answer
Greetings Kirk, and thank you for your question. The Yamaha CD-S303 does not support Apple products thru the USB input. Wish I had better news for you there.
[ Thomas  Jan 16, 2023 ]  Staff
Gapless playback question: Does this unit support gapless audio playback from the USB port?
[ Lindsay  Nov 12, 2022 ]
1 answer
Greetings Lindsay, and thank you for your question. It does not offer Gapless Playback even with CDs. As a matter of fact, I did check other CD players with the USB input, there was no mention of Gapless on any of them.
[ Thomas  Nov 12, 2022 ]  Staff
Does the USB MP3 thumb drive have the ability to scan through songs by way of rewind and forwarding using the remote?
[ Tracy  Oct 03, 2022 ]
1 answer
It does Tracy! You will have the ability to scan through and seek past songs, and you also have the ability to move up and down inside folders on the USB drive. This is all from the remote, pretty cool!
[ Bo  Oct 04, 2022 ]  Staff
can i connect sound out on my tv to the usb port ?
[ BRAD  Sep 23, 2022 ]
1 answer
No. The USB port on this product is designed for audio playback from USB mass storage devices such as thumbdrives and HDD. It will not allow the connection of a TV.
[ ZACHARY  Sep 23, 2022 ]  Staff
What is the main goal of each of the three output options? Which should be used if your integrated has a better DAC unit? Technically one should be able to utilize the analog and a digital output into the integrated and receive a different quality of sound when switching between both, right?
[ G  Aug 06, 2022 ]
1 answer
The analog outputs would utilize the internal DAC built inside of the cd player whereas the the digital coax and optical outputs would allow you to use an external, and potentially better DAC, for higher resolution and audio quality.
[ ARIELLE H  Aug 06, 2022 ]  Staff
Can you record CD music played on the S303 to a thumb drive?
[ CHARLES  Jul 19, 2022 ]
1 answer
Unfortunately you cannot CD record music played on that Yamaha to a thumb drive.
[ ARIELLE H  Jul 20, 2022 ]  Staff
What are the differences between the CD-S303 and the previous model CD-S300?
[ David  Jun 28, 2022 ]
1 answer
The CD-S303 drops iPhone/iPod compatibility via USB, but allows for reading more USB files from a mass storage device. In terms of CD playback quality and functionality, the two are nearly identical.
[ ZACHARY  Jun 29, 2022 ]  Staff
Can the order of the songs be programmed manually and without having to use the remote?
[ NORMAN J.  May 05, 2022 ]
2 answers
I cannot answer as to programming without the remote because I have only used the remote. You can program with the remote. Although, I typically do not program because I am 74 and most of my music is older when the artist would sometimes build their order of songs to present a theme.
[ WALLY  May 05, 2022 ]
Yes you can, up to 24 tracks. Download the CD-S303 manual and go to page 14 for instructions.
[ Michael  May 05, 2022 ]
does this CD player and Thumb drive have a shuffle function for playing files?
[ JIM  May 03, 2022 ]
4 answers
Yes, there is a "Random" function, accessible on the remote (and not on the unit's front panel).
[ PAUL  May 06, 2022 ]
I have not tried that.
[ RUSSELL  May 04, 2022 ]
No shuffle function.
[ PAUL  May 03, 2022 ]
I have not tried.
[ William  May 03, 2022 ]
Does this cd player decode the HDCD encoded cds?
[ JAMES A  Apr 21, 2022 ]
1 answer
An HDCD decoder is not included in this model.
[ Jenny  Apr 29, 2022 ]  Staff
What brand of DAC is in this player? Is it a Wolfson?
[ Ivan  Apr 06, 2022 ]
2 answers
I believe it is a Burr-Brown DAC.
[ THOMAS  Apr 06, 2022 ]
I belive a burr brown
[ WILLIAM  Apr 06, 2022 ]
Is the Yamaha CDS303 available in silver?
[ WILLIAM  Feb 14, 2022 ]
5 answers
Yes..i got black
[ WILLIAM  Apr 06, 2022 ]
[ RONALD  Feb 17, 2022 ]
Hello William, The only thing I can say is that Crutchfield only offers it in black maybe if you contact Yamaha direct they might offer it in silver. The CD player performs excellent and the sound is supperve. Al
[ Alfredo  Feb 15, 2022 ]
I don't think so! My system is Black, so I didn't look for color Silver!
[ RICHARD  Feb 15, 2022 ]
I have never seen it at any retail dealer in the U.S. in silver. Black is somewhat of the "default" finish here for most all components.
[ GLENN E  Feb 15, 2022 ]
I have a pair of Kanto Tuk powered speakers. They're connected to my turntable (AUX), and I connect my laptop and other devices through bluetooth. Can this CD player connect to the Tuks via the available OPT input? I have an older Bose soundwave that would appear to connect to the Tuks but only through AUX, which would result in me having to swtich out the RCA cables every time I want to switch from vinyl to CD and vice versa. Would the Yamaha 303 solve this? Or, what are my options?
[ Casey  Jan 16, 2022 ]
3 answers
Hi Caseman, I recently purchased a CDS303 and have sure enjoyed toying with it. I (temporarily) connected the optical output through a portable optical-analog converter I had laying around and piped the feed into the (RCA) CD input on my ADCOM 565 Pre-amp and it worked fine although I switched back to a direct connect via RCA cable because the generic optical converter I have seemed to compromise dynamic range a bit. Seeing that you have a TOSLINK port on your speakers, I don't see any reason why connecting from the optical output of the S303 wouldn't work for you. Toslink cables are affordable enough - if it doesn't work out for you, you can always return it.
[ ERIK  Jan 20, 2022 ]
Yes Yamaha cd has multiple input ports and sound is amazing or you could maybe use a aux Y cable splitter
[ RANDY  Jan 19, 2022 ]
Rca plugs or coaxical cable
[ WILLIAM  Jan 18, 2022 ]
Will it play FLAC files burned to CD-R?
[ Joseph  Jan 07, 2022 ]
6 answers
Hi Joseph, My assumption is that it can. (A least the documentation says so.) I have been using it strictly with store bought CDs and it works great. Sorry I can't be more help. Dan
[ DAN  Jan 26, 2022 ]
I have not tried this particular combination. However, my Yamaha manual says it will play files in the FLAC format, and that it will play CD-R discs. It says "For CD_R and CR-RW discs, the unit plays only the finalized discs" and "This unit might not play some CR-R/CD-RW discs or discs that were improperly recorded." I hope that helps.
[ RICHARD S.  Jan 09, 2022 ]
I have an Onkyo Receiver that works with my Yamaha 303 CD Player. The sound is fine but only one speaker box works. What is the problem?
[ MILTON  Jan 09, 2022 ]
Yes I have just tried it. It works. Sorry for the delay. I was late in setting up
[ MILTON  Jan 09, 2022 ]
Yes it will, and this was a requirement for me buying this expensive player as old cheap ones always struggled, but FLAC files played from the USB port are indistiguishable to me. I noticed the sound quality of the DAC on this is incredible, so I have also purchased a Scarlett Solo for $110, and now the sound quality of the FLAC and WAV files playing directly from the computer is 95% as good as this CD player. Same details and range as far as my ears will go, but the Yamaha spaces the sounds out very slightly more. So I'm considering returning it, but my god the build quality and ease of use are faultless, brushed metal faceplate, soft paint on the body, detachable power cord, gold plated connectors, I will miss it if I do. Although I wish I could fast forward faster.
[ IAN  Jan 09, 2022 ]
I've only tried FLAC files through the usb input and they played with no issues. Sorry, I've haven't tried these files on a disc other than regular cd-r burns of commercial CDs which play excellently.
[ LUCAS  Jan 08, 2022 ]
Does the Yamaha CD-S303 play gaplessly, meaning not adding silence between tracks when there shouldn't be, like live concert CDs, prog rock (think Dark Side of the Moon), classical pieces, etc.?
[ ROSS  Jan 02, 2022 ]
5 answers
A few things it does a bit annoying ...any smufge or minute scratch may cause a skip..ive had cd players that would play scratched .smudged no problems..just have a clean pure colle tion your fine..i should have looked a little more but not many cd players single play under 500...cds were dead...well theere back ...i always liked them..ive got a nakamixhi that doesnt even have a digital out flawlefssly after 20 years
[ WILLIAM  Apr 06, 2022 ]
The Yamaha definitely does NOT play gaplessly. In Beethoven's 5th Symphony the third movement is supposed to go right into the fourth without a pause, even though the movements are separately tracked. The Yamaha inserts a very annoying pause where there is not supposed to be one. I don't think there's any way to change it, and I didn't discover this until the 60 days were up. So I guess I'm stuck.
[ THOMAS  Mar 18, 2022 ]
Yes, it does. I had to dig out the two live CDs I have to check this, but I can confirm that a short gap of less than 1s is added between tracks, creating an annoying gap in the applause.
[ PERRY  Jan 06, 2022 ]
[ FAYE  Jan 05, 2022 ]
I haven't noticed any playback issues between CD tracks so I played Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon as suggested and the player tracked accurately. There were not any "silent gaps" inserted between sound tracks when the original recording continuously played from one track to the next.
[ JOHN  Jan 04, 2022 ]
Would it be safe to place directly on top of my Yamaha RN303 receiver? Would it cause the receiver to get too hot?
[ RICK  Dec 25, 2021 ]
4 answers
I would read the receiver manual to see what space they recommend. I have mine stacked but I put a 1 inch spacer under the cd player
[ JOHN  Dec 27, 2021 ]
yes, I would not! I try and get as much air circulation around my amp as possible!
[ RICHARD  Dec 27, 2021 ]
The answer is no Rick, your receiver needs air flow to keep it cool, Do not place nothing on top of your receiver that will block the air vents and leave several inches of space on its sides for air flow if you have it in a stereo cabinet.
[ Alfredo  Dec 26, 2021 ]
It's never a good idea to place anything on top of a receiver or amplifier. Yes, it could cause problems.
[ GLENN E  Dec 25, 2021 ]
Q about the thumb drive feature. I would be hooking up this CD player to a stereo receiver only--no TV or other screen would be involved. If I put a thumb drive with music into the USB port on the CD player, how does the music play? Thanks!
[ mekme  Dec 15, 2021 ]
3 answers
No TV is needed! Switch your receiver input to "CD". Then just plug the thumb drive into the front panel, push the CD/USB switch to USB, and the player will search for audio files. The folder and track number will appear on the player's readout as will any title information from the audio file. Change folders and tracks using the arrow buttons on the remote. Navigating can be somewhat confusing, so some trial-and-error will be involved. The sound quality of the audio, even on MP3's, is very good.
[ JEFFREY  Dec 15, 2021 ]
I have been playing cds but I just put in a thumb drive in to answer you question. Just plug in the drive and hit the usb button on the remote and it loads and you are ready to go. It will show the title of the song on the player. I have all my cds on one thumb drive which probably is 700. I haven't figured out how to change from one artist to the next yet since I just now used the drive. So far this player is great, sounds great and easy to use.
[ NEIL A.  Dec 15, 2021 ]
Like any MP3 player once plugged in to sub port you can access the files on the drive either by folder or by file
[ JOSEPH  Dec 15, 2021 ]
what does one need to connect between CD-s303 and R-N 303?
[ Gaither  Nov 22, 2021 ]
1 answer
There are a couple different types of cables that can be used to connect them as long as the inputs are not already being used on the R-N303 receiver. I recommend contacting an advisor by calling 1-800-324-9695 to get a personal recommendation on a cable to connect them
[ JASON  Nov 24, 2021 ]  Staff

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