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Arcam CDS50

SACD/CD player with Wi-Fi®

Item # 410CDS50

The CDS50 is Arcam's most advanced player to date.

The CDS50 is Arcam's most advanced player to date.

California customers:
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Item # 410CDS50

Ships free today

In stock

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Since 1974

Years of experience making people happy.

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If you don't love it, send it back.

Hands-on research

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About the Arcam CDS50

Eric A.

Digital dynamo

The CDS50 is Arcam's most advanced player to date. It's built around a superb 32-bit/192kHz ESS Sabre DAC that makes sure your music sounds its absolute best. You'll hear every nuance encoded in an SACD recording, and it plays nicely with CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, too. Connect your computer to give your high-res files the royal treatment, or use the player's built-in Wi-Fi for convenient streaming.

Digital dynamo

The CDS50 is Arcam's most advanced player to date. It's built around a superb 32-bit/192kHz ESS Sabre DAC that makes sure your music sounds its absolute best. You'll hear every nuance encoded in an SACD recording, and it plays nicely with CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, too. Connect your computer to give your high-res files the royal treatment, or use the player's built-in Wi-Fi for convenient streaming.

Convenient connections

The CDS50 has more connections than we're used to seeing on a disc player, because it can do a lot more. There are standard balanced and unbalanced outputs, but there are also digital coaxial and digital optical inputs, because the DAC inside the chassis is so good, you'll want to run your other digital sources through it.

You can also connect a flash drive or hard drive to the USB input, for even more storage and playback options. 


Product highlights:

  • stereo playback for SACDs, CDs, CD-A, CD-R and CD-RW
  • supports FLAC, WAV, AIFF, OGG, MP3, AAC and WMA files
  • built-in ESS9038 32-bit/192kHz DAC
  • Wi-Fi® built in (antenna included)
    • audio streaming through MusicLife app for iOS and Android 5.0 and up (supports Deezer, TIDAL, Qobuz, and more)
  • THD: .0008%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 118dB unbalanced, 122dB balanced
  • remote included
  • Toslink optical and coaxial digital inputs for additional digital sources
  • Toslink optical and coaxial digital outputs for connecting to a separate DAC for CD playback
  • unbalanced stereo RCA output
  • balanced stereo XLR output
  • Type-A USB 2.0 port for connecting a flash or hard drive
  • Ethernet port for connecting to your home network
  • IR remote and 12-volt trigger inputs
  • RS232 input for connecting to a computer or automation system
Dimensions and Warranty:

What's in the box:

  • SACD player/streamer
  • 5' AC power cord
  • Remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • WiFi antenna
  • Handbook Manual
  • "Thank You" Letter

Customer reviews

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Arcam CDS50 reviews

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More details on the Arcam CDS50

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Disc Capacity 1
CD Transport Only No
Disc Exchange N/A
Track Programming No
Random Play Yes
Direct Track Access Yes
Direct Disc Access N/A
Networking Features
Network Music Streaming No
Ethernet Port No
Wi-Fi No
Remote Included
Parts Warranty 5Yrs, 2Yrs disc drive
Labor Warranty 5Yrs, 2Yrs disc drive
CD-R Playback Yes
CD-RW Playback Yes
Stereo SACD Playback Yes
CD Frequency Response 10-20k Hz
Signal to Noise Ratio 118 dB
SACD Frequency Response 10-20k Hz
SACD Dynamic Range ---
SACD THD 0.0008 %
Digital Optical Input Yes
Digital Coaxial Input Yes
USB Type-A Input Yes
USB Type-B Input No
Analog RCA Output Yes
Analog XLR Output Yes
Digital Optical Output Yes
Digital Coaxial Output Yes
Headphone Output No

Product Research


High Performance DACs: High performance state-of-the-art Delta-Sigma DACs (Digital-to-Analogue Converters) provide audiophile sound quality to truly bring your music to life. The CDS50 also accepts inputs from digital sources up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution and decodes them utilizing the high-end ESS SABRE 32-bit DAC (ESS9038) with Arcam precision filters.

Note: For the best stereo sound quality ARCAM recommends connecting the analog outputs of the CD player/streamer to the analog inputs on your receiver or integrated amplifier, allowing the CDS50's audiophile-grade digital-to-analog circuitry be utilized.

Disc Compatibility: The ARCAM CDS50 SACD player/streamer supports playback of SACD, CD-Audio, CD-R, and CD-RW discs. You can setup the CDS50 to automatically start playback when a disc is inserted.

USB-A 2.0 Port: The rear-panel USB (type-A) 2.0 port can be used to connect a USB thumbdrive or external hard drive containing select audio files. An external hard drive will require a separate power supply. The USB port can also be used to charge USB enabled devices (such as your smartphone), as well as perform firmware & software updates.

Note: The USB port does not support media playback or data transfer from a smartphone or tablet (including Apple and Android); nor does it support connection to a laptop or computer (including Windows and Mac).

Wired and Wireless Network Connectivity: The ARCAM CDS50 SACD player/streamer features an Ethernet (RJ45) jack and built-in WiFi (2.4GHz; 802.11 b/g/n) to make a hardwired or wireless connection to your home's network router. Either network connection gives you the ability to control the player from a dedicated ARCAM app using a compatible smartphone or tablet, as well as access to local network audio content and select online music services.

App Control: The ARCAM CDS50 SACD player/streamer offers app control through it wired or wireless network connection.

  • MusicLife App: ARCAM's MusicLife app (for Apple iOS 11.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) gives you complete control of the SACD player/streamer within your WiFi network. From the app, you'll also be able to enjoy music stored directly on your Apple iOS device, Windows PC, Mac computer, and NAD drives through the ARCAM CDS50. In addition, the MusicLife app gives you access to popular online music services, internet radio, and podcasts; including TIDAL, Deezer, Napster, Qobuz, and HIGHRESAUDIO (service subscriptions and fees will apply). *The ARCAM MusicLife app is not compatible with Android devices.
  • ARCAM Control App: The ARCAM Control app (for Apple iOS 9.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) lets you remotely control the ARCAM SACD player/streamer using your compatible Apple iOS or Android device. Connect using your home network, providing feedback from your device and eliminating any line-of-sight issues present with an infrared remote control. The ARCAM Control app does not provide access to online music services or local network content.

Supported Audio Files: The ARCAM CDS50 supports the playback of the following audio file formats over disc, USB, and network.

File Format Bit Length and Sampling Frequency
FLAC up to 24-bit / 192kHz
AAC up to 24-bit / 96kHz
MP3 up to 320kbps / 48kHz
WMA up to 192kbps / 48kHz

Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The ARCAM CDS50 features both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs to make connection to your receiver or integrated amplifier. Balanced XLR connections guard against induced noise and allow long cable runs without compromising sound quality.

Digital Inputs & Outputs: In addition to analog outputs, the ARCAM CDS50 is equipped with an optical (toslink) and a coaxial (RCA digital output for connection to an AV receiver or integrated amplifier. The CDS50 also features an optical (toslink) and a coaxial (RCA) digital input, should you require to use the CD player/streamer as an audio DAC. The digital inputs and outputs support 2ch PCM only (not compatible with Dolby Digital or DTS). The optical digital input/output support 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, and 96kHz sampling frequencies; while the coaxial digital input/ouput support 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, and 192kHz sampling frequencies.

IR Remote Control: The included IR remote control is pre-programmed for use with the CDS50 SACD player/streamer and also with an Arcam integrated amplifier. The IR input (3.5mm) can be used to pass IR commands to the CDS50 using an IR repeater system (sold separately0, if it is installed in a position where the infrared signal cannot be received.

Trigger Input: The 12V Trigger input (3.5mm) can be used to switch the CDS50 into and out of standby. Connecting the trigger output of your Arcam integrated amplifier (or other compatible amplifier), will cause the CDS50 to come out of standby automatically when the amplifier is switched on and return to standby when the amplifier is switched off.

RS-232 Port: The RS-232 port allows for remote control of the SACD player/streamer from a 3rd-party home automation system or computer.

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Customer Q&A

11 questions already asked

Does the display show what is playing for CDs and Internet streams such as album name, song name, artist, etc?
[ Narnian  Jan 13, 2023 ]
1 answer
This player does not show any song name or CD information. When it is playing it will say only say 'cd' and display what what track it is on.
[ ARIELLE H  Jan 13, 2023 ]  Staff
Can I use this unit in conjunction with a pair of powered speakers and a streaming app to stream TIDAL via wifi?
[ Stan  Nov 12, 2022 ]
1 answer
Greetings Stan, and thank you for your question. Answer is yes but you will need to go thru a MusicLife app. Tidal is a supported app using the MusicLife app.
[ Thomas  Nov 12, 2022 ]  Staff
The detailed information for the USB-A 2.0 Port: states that an external drive can be used but requires and external power supply. I have an external WD drive connected to my computer via USB-A 2.0 Port with music and it does not require any additional power supply. The drive does not have any place for and external supply. Could you clarify this for me, and how would it work?
[ WAYNE  Oct 14, 2022 ]
1 answer
Although many external hard drives do require their own dedicated external power supply, some models are designed to work without the need for a power supply. These external drives are usually more efficient and require less power than others. In this case, it could be that your external drive will work with this unit. We cannot guarantee compatibility, but it stands to reason that this should be workable.
[ ZACHARY  Oct 14, 2022 ]  Staff
Do the analog RCA outputs and the balanced XLR outputs work simultaneously? Meaning they both output analog signals at all times. And if not (meaning using one disables the other) can I keep them connected (wired) simultaneously and only use one at a time? Trying to feed two preamps here, though never using both systems at the same time.
[ John  Jan 08, 2022 ]
3 answers
Yes, both outputs work simultaneously. I have the Arcam in a rather elaborate headphone system, with the RCAs going to a Fosgate amp and the XLRs to a Bryston. As I only have two ears I never had both going at the same time, so I do right now and both sets of cans are operating.
[ BOB  Jan 12, 2022 ]
I haven't tried it that way! In theory it should work for both
[ RICK  Jan 11, 2022 ]
I have had no reason to try to find out as I only use one integrated amp in my system. I used the RCA jacks for the first couple of weeks of operation and then switched to XLR for the past 6 months. I have discovered the XLR's operate at a noticeably higher decibel level.
[ JOSEPH  Jan 11, 2022 ]
I would be connecting to a McIntosh tube receiver. Arcam recommends using analogue, so is it better to use quality rca-rca cables or XLR-rca?
[ Harry  Dec 18, 2020 ]
6 answers
No one is actually reading what he wrote. Read the last sentence. He's asking if he should go RCA to RCA, or XLR to RCA, which wouldn't be an actual balanced connection. Maybe if you used a real XLR to RCA convertor it might be. But in the end. You'll still be using an RCA connection. So unless you need to make a long run. Just use RCA to RCA. It's not a big deal either way. In fact you may not notice any difference either way anyway. Good luck with your system. Hope you're enjoying it.
[ Andrew  Apr 28, 2021 ]
XLR is much better choice than RCA since it is a balanced input
[ JOSEPH  Dec 18, 2020 ]
I don't know the answer.
[ Pedro L. San  Dec 18, 2020 ]
I'm using high quality Audioquest rca-rca cables one meter long connected to an Audio Research Integrated Tube amp. Rca-rca is more susceptible to picking up noise, but should be fine as long as your cable run is short. XLR is recommended for long cable runs.
[ ROBERT  Dec 18, 2020 ]
I have only used the XLR cables to connect my hybrid McIntosh (tube pre-amp and solid state amp) to the Arcam CDS50. Sounds awesome! Brad
[ BRADLEY  Dec 18, 2020 ]
I have no specific knowledge bearing on this question. I would go with the manufacturer's recommendation if it were me.
[ CARL  Dec 18, 2020 ]
If it plays AAC files, does that mean it will also play lossless high res ALAC files?
[ Photonic  Apr 13, 2020 ]
2 answers
Yes It will
[ JOSEPH  Dec 18, 2020 ]
Yes I believe it does, it even plays some DSD files.
[ MICHAEL  Apr 14, 2020 ]
Hi there, what is the output voltage per channel? I am seeing if I can get away with a passive pre-amp or none at all. thanks, HG
[ HOWARD  Aug 16, 2019 ]
3 answers
The line output voltage for this unit is 2.2V.
[ Thomas  Aug 25, 2019 ]  Staff
Don't have that info, but you need a decent preamp range, at least going into a solid state power amp, given variances in recordings and sources.
[ RAVI  Aug 24, 2019 ]
I am not sure. Mine is connected to a Marantz SR7013 receiver using the RCA connections. The players DAC is awesome and I like it better than the Marantz SR7013 internal DAC which is also nice. I tried both. I really like the player.
[ JERALD  Aug 24, 2019 ]
Can this fully decode MQA files played through Tidal?
[ Sagar  Jul 16, 2019 ]
5 answers
No - Read Andrew Quint's review in The Absolute Sound (Jan. 10, 2020).
[ JEFFREY  Dec 09, 2021 ]
[ JOSEPH  Dec 18, 2020 ]
I don't have a definitive answer to this question since I don't subscribe to Tidal. But Tidal does appear as one of the options for streaming in MusicLife, the Arcam app for managing digital music files and other streaming sources. I would expect that the unit decodes MQA files, since that format is used by Tidal and the app is set up to handle Tidal as a streaming source. Good luck with getting this issue sorted out. I will say that I find the sound quality of the CDS50 to be exceptionally good, even if the interface for the various sources can be challenging to figure out. Unfortunately the documentation for setting up the unit is quite limited.
[ Kevin  Jul 17, 2019 ]
I won't put a hundred bucks on this, but I don't believe it is compatible with MQA files. In researching its capabilities, I don't recall seeing that listed.
[ CARL  Jul 16, 2019 ]
I do not have a tidal account but it has successfully decoded a dsd file off my server.
[ MICHAEL  Jul 16, 2019 ]
Do you charge stocking fee if I return the CD player and how much the shipping fee?
[ J  Apr 28, 2019 ]
1 answer
This item would incur a $10 return shipping fee to get an authorized return shipping label to use to send it back. There is no set restocking fee as there are many variables that influence this. You can read all this an more about our 60-day return policy here: My Bio:
[ JASON  May 06, 2019 ]  Staff
The Arcam web site shows 2 part numbers for this unit. (ARC-CDS50-EU and ARC-CDS50-US) All the pictures I have found show a 2-prong AC connection. Does the US version have the ground prong in the power cable or is the CDS50 chassis grounded by wire similar to grounding a turntable?
[ Gary  Mar 31, 2019 ]
4 answers
Sorry Danny, I was mistaken, it has 2 prong cord and no available ground screw. This actually prevents ground loops between equipnent.
[ MICHAEL  Apr 05, 2019 ]
2 prong cord and turntable grounding screw.
[ MICHAEL  Apr 04, 2019 ]
No ground prong on US models and no ground lug on the rear grounding is internal to the chassis
[ JEREMIAH P  Apr 01, 2019 ]
Arcam is not the only one that does not have a ground. Yamaha's hire end equipment does not have a ground either. It has something to do with floating and balanced power.
[ JEFF  Mar 31, 2019 ]

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