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NAD C 546BEE

CD player

64 Reviews | 8 questions - 52 answers

Overview

Our take on the NAD C 546BEE

Just when you thought CD sound couldn't get any better, NAD pushes the sonic boundaries again. They took the excitement and toe-tapping performance of their much-loved C 545BEE player and raised the bar even further to create the C 546BEE. This new CD player sports a freshened, more refined look than its predecessor. But even more importantly, its new circuit layout and updated components, including metal film resistors and polypropylene capacitors in key areas, help squeeze even more goodness from your CD library. You'll experience even greater bass extension and slam, while enjoying enhanced image depth and scale. NAD even gave it a front-panel USB port so you can play MP3s from a portable thumb drive through your home audio system with ease.

A classic gets even better

Just when you thought CD sound couldn't get any better, NAD pushes the sonic boundaries again. They took the excitement and toe-tapping performance of their much-loved C 545BEE player and raised the bar even further to create the C 546BEE. This new CD player sports a freshened, more refined look than its predecessor. But even more importantly, its new circuit layout and updated components, including metal film resistors and polypropylene capacitors in key areas, help squeeze even more goodness from your CD library. You'll experience even greater bass extension and slam, while enjoying enhanced image depth and scale. NAD even gave it a front-panel USB port so you can play MP3s from a portable thumb drive through your home audio system with ease.

A versatile performer

You'll enjoy playback from a variety of discs, ranging from regular CDs to home-burned CD-Rs filled with MP3 and WMA files. If your CD library includes albums with CD Text, the C 545BEE can show information such as song titles directly on its front-panel display. The full-function remote gives you command of the basics like "play" and "stop," plus access to repeat, random, and program modes from the comfort of your favorite chair.

If you want a clean sound that is perfect balanced with excellent separation, get this one. At this price, it cannot be beat.

Ted, Honolulu, HI

What's in the Box:

  • Single-Disc CD player
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • Wireless remote (CD9)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 3' RCA stereo patch cord
  • Owner's manual CD-ROM
  • Warranty information
  • Safety Instructions

Product Highlights:

  • plays CDs, CD-Rs & CD-RWs, and MP3 & WMA CDs
  • supports CD Text with compatible discs
  • USB input supports external memory and audio rates up to 320kbps
  • repeat, random, and program play
  • forward and reverse skip and search functions
  • display dimmer
  • optical and coaxial digital outputs
  • stereo RCA outputs
  • IR input for remote repeater systems
  • 12-volt trigger input
  • wireless remote
  • detachable power cord
  • frequency response: 5 - 20,000 Hz (±0.5 dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 118 dB
  • dynamic range: 95 dB
  • toroidal power supply with separate power regulators for analog and digital sections
  • Wolfson Microelectronics 24bit/192KHz digital-to-analog converter
  • 17-1/8"W x 3-3/8"H x 13-5/8"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

NAD C 546BEE Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(64 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

Disc Compatibility: The NAD 546BEE supports a wide range of program material; including CD, CD-R, CD-RW. Unlike older CD players, it will easily play discs encoded with MP3 & WMA audio files. The NAD C 546BEE also supports CD-Text information such as artist name and track titles. The CDs used must contain CD-Text information for this feature to work.

USB Device Playback: The C 546BEE can play back MP3/WMA files stored on external USB mass storage class device. The following are the C 546BEE's capabilities with respect to USB device playability.

USB version supported 1.1
File Format FAT 16/32
Music File Type MP3, WMA
Maximum bit rate supported VBR, 320 kHz
Maximum number of folders supported 128
Maximum files in one folder 511
Maximum files in device 65,408
Maximum number of sub-directories 8
Maximum number of bytes supported for Folder/File name 64
Maximum number of bytes supported for ID3 Title/Artist/Album 60

Wolfson DAC: The C 546BEE uses carefully selected components, including a high-quality 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution Wolfson digital-to-analog converter chip for excellent low-level linearity and detail retrieving capabilities.

High Quality Construction: NAD isolated the analog and digital audio sections electrically by using separate power regulators to reduce interaction. NAD also carefully laid out the PCB tracks around the digital-to-analog converter to help optimize the audio performance. Metal film resistors and polypropylene capacitors are used in key areas to ensure a highly accurate frequency response. High quality 5532 op-amps are used instead of the much lower grade and type used in lesser players. Apart from the single film type output capacitor, no other capacitors are used in the signal path. The output impedance is very low at 300 ohms, making the C 546BEE less sensitive to cables or the ancillary equipment it is partnered with.

Digital Filter: There are two digital filters to choose from, offering the ability to tune the player by ear. The digital filter is applied only to the analog outputs.

Controls

Playback Controls: NAD has included a number of additional playback features to make your listening more enjoyable.

  • "Random" gives the listener a random selection of all tracks on the disc in play.
  • "Repeat" allows repeat playing of either the entire disc or individual tracks.
  • "Skip" (previous/next) lets you access individual tracks quickly.
  • "Scan" (previous/next) lets your reach specific sections of an individual track.
  • "Program" lets you store up to 40 tracks in a preferred order.

Wireless Remote Control: In addition the unit's from panel controls, the player includes a dedicated full-feature IR wireless remote control for easy operation.

Display Dimmer: The Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) has two brightness settings, or it can be turned off.

Connections

USB Port: The C 546BEE features a USB (type-A) input that supports external USB mass storage class devices with MP3/WMA audio files (audio rates up to 320 kbps).

Digital Outputs: Two digital outputs, one optical (Toslink) and one coaxial (RCA), are provided for sending signal to the digital input terminals of a receiver, outboard D/A converter, or CD recorder. The coaxial output is buffered and isolated by a 75 ohm matching transformer thus isolating the converter to ensure perfect matching. This reduces jitter that could otherwise distort the digital data stream.

Analog Output: The CD player also features RCA stereo outputs for analog connection, utilizing the high quality Wolfson DAC.

12 Volt Trigger In: This unit can be turned on/off by another device; the +12 volt trigger input is a 3.5mm mini-jack. When a cable is plugged into this jack the front panel and remote power commands are disabled.

IR In: This 3.5mm mini-jack input is used to control this unit using an optional infrared repeater or the IR output of another component.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I've had NADs for years. Very clean sound. Tremendous deal. [ Theodore  Jun 05, 2017 ]
I was looking for a simple and great sounding cd player in this price range and with all the great reviews I've seen on it, the NAD C 546BEE seemed to be the right choice. [ JOEY  Jun 01, 2017 ]
Advise of knowledgeable sales consultant. He thought it would be a good match for my higher end very revealing sound system. Will find out soon enough. [ ARTHUR S  May 20, 2017 ]
Price and reviews. [ Wayne  May 19, 2017 ]
A friend recommended this model [ Chad  Apr 22, 2017 ]
It seems like a great component for the price and a good replacement for a twenty four year old Nakamichi mb-2 player that no longer works. [ Thomas  Apr 13, 2017 ]
Reputation of manufacturer and quality of preowned NAD products. [ Steve  Mar 03, 2017 ]
Seemed to be a good value/price ratio [ Joseph  Feb 10, 2017 ]
Good reviews and good price range. [ R. Jackson  Dec 20, 2016 ]
nad reputation for quality, craftsmanship. [ Thomas  Dec 11, 2016 ]
Need a NAD cd player to go with my NAD amp. [ al  Dec 09, 2016 ]
NAD name brand. I have had NAD equipment for 30 years. [ Rob  Oct 20, 2016 ]
I have a NAD Intergraded amplifier. It's good for the amount of money paid. [ MICHAEL B.  Aug 21, 2016 ]
yes [ jinle  Aug 19, 2016 ]
I just purchased a NAD amp and tuner, but the real reason was the customer support from the sales staff. [ Chris  Jul 29, 2016 ]
Building an NAD stereo stack, must-have item. [ Rufus  Jul 14, 2016 ]
NAD has a great reputation for value and performance. I also have all the other gear in this series, so it was also aesthetics. [ Heagan  Jun 27, 2016 ]
Because it seemed to offer some higher end features at a sort of midrange price. [ SEAN  Jun 21, 2016 ]
I've been a believer in NAD for almost thirty years now. [ timothy  May 23, 2016 ]
Great reviews by customers and professionals. [ William  May 20, 2016 ]
Needed a good audiophile cd player to use with my headphones. Been buying CDs since I was a kid and didn't want to let the collection go to waste (and wanted to continue to listen to the music I loved enough to spend my money on when I didn't have any as opposed to flavor of the month streaming music). [ Etienne  Apr 24, 2016 ]
Tried Marantz and Onkyo players and didn't care for their sound. Hoping Nad will be more mellow sounding. If not, I can return it per advisor Rocky [ Peter  Apr 07, 2016 ]
NAD C545BEE no longer available. Had those for years. [ Robert  Mar 15, 2016 ]
good reviews and reputation for NAD and Crutchfield [ charles  Jan 10, 2016 ]
Love high value of NAD products [ Jeffrey  Dec 23, 2015 ]
I read good reviews on home theater website. [ Martin  Dec 15, 2015 ]
A lot of positive from user reviews. [ KHUONG  Dec 09, 2015 ]

8 questions already asked

This a quote from the owner manual: "NOTE: THE C 546BEE IS NOT AN AUTO VOLTAGE CD PLAYER. CONNECT ONLY TO THE PRESCRIBED AC OUTLET, I.E., 120V 60HZ OR 230V 50HZ." My model is made for use in the USA, and therefore operates on 120V 60HZ. I suspect that there is also a model available that runs on European specs, i.e. 230 V 50 HZ. If you ordering address is in the USA, you should receive the proper unit. [ LEWIS  Jun 05, 2017 ]
i've always used mine on 110. I can't say if it might be switchable depending where in the world you are using it or a specific market area. I'd contact NAD to be safe and sure. [ Gary  Jun 04, 2017 ]
Yes. I have mine plugged into the courtesy outlet in the back of my amplifier, which must be 110 volts. It works fine. [ LAURENCE D  Jun 04, 2017 ]
Yes. Most definitely works on 110v. [ Jeffrey  Jun 04, 2017 ]
I use it in America, so I think it works 110. [ Michael  Jun 04, 2017 ]
I have had this player nearly two years and have had no problems with it. William [ WILLIAM LARR  Jan 10, 2017 ]
Many thanks to all who answered. Very helpful, and appreciate the feedback! [ David  Jan 10, 2017 ]
I've had no problem with mine..But with all the music resources for available today, it has had limited use. [ DON  Jan 10, 2017 ]
I haven't encountered this problem. Mine is played a couple of hours at a time five days a week without any problems. [ Michael  Jan 09, 2017 ]
Actually, the first one I got did fail, and it was replaced under warranty by Crutchfield. The second one has been working fine since then (fingers crossed). [ LAURENCE D  Jan 09, 2017 ]
I can only say that I have used a 546 BEE since mid 2015 without issue. Lasers definitely fail in a lot of CD players (I replaced one myself in a C542). Interestingly the Lasers are made by only a handful of companies (like Sony and Phillips, for example). I don't see any irate Failing Laser comments in the 546BEE reviews here or anywhere else. This great sounding player has been around long enough that you almost certainly would if there were any problems. Mine probably averages several hours of use every day. [ RICHARD C  Jan 09, 2017 ]
Hi, David. Well, I've only used my NAD C546 BEE for 100-200 hours so far, but it hasn't failed yet. So far I'm very satisfied with it. Don't know if that helps you, though. Bob [ Robert  Jan 09, 2017 ]
Hopefully you can get the problem resolved w/ eiither Crutchfield or NAD because it a nice sounding player. [ Steven  Jan 09, 2017 ]
I've had mine for nearly two years and haven't had any problems, but I only run it maybe once or twice a week. Hopefully [ Steven  Jan 09, 2017 ]
I have not had that issue with my unit so far. [ Gary  Jan 09, 2017 ]
I was not familiar with the C 545 laser issues, however, my C 546 has been trouble free since I purchased it, with a lot of use for the past year or so. Hope this helps. Bill L. [ William  Jan 09, 2017 ]
Yes, the NAD C 546BEE features two digital outputs; one optical (Toslink) and one coaxial (RCA) for connecting the CD player to a receiver or amplifier with digital audio inputs. I hope that helps! My bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=159 [ Larry  Sep 19, 2016 ]  Staff
Yes, from the remote hit the DIM button twice. [ James  Jun 01, 2016 ]
Do not know if it can be turned off. Mine turns from blue to orange and remains illuminated in orange when the unit is off. It does seem a little odd that it remains illuminated; I have a NAD 372 amplifier and the light above the power button does go off when the unit is turned off. Sorry I can't provide more info, but I do love both the NAD products. [ James  Jun 01, 2016 ]
I've not tried it, but pages 10 and 13 of the owner's manual show that the remote control has a button labeled DIM which can be used to "reduce, turn off or restore VFD brightness." (VFD = Vacuum Fluorescent Display which I assume is the same as your reference to the LED display.) Hope this works for you. [ Joel  Jun 01, 2016 ]
The LED display screen should go off automatically when the player is shut off (indicator light amber). [ KERRY  Jun 01, 2016 ]
The information display turns completely off when the unit is turned off.The on/off button,however has a small light dot above it;it is lighted amber when off and turns blue when the unit is on.A light shows all the time. [ Arthur  Jun 01, 2016 ]
I don't know, I have never tried. Sorry. [ THOMAS  Mar 14, 2015 ]
Hi Marshall. I am not sure how timely this response is. First of all, I am not all that tech savvy. But one of the reasons I bought this player is because I thought I would run MP3 player through this unit. It is a really good player, but when I tried to run my IPod thru it, it seemed complicated and I could not figure it out. I called Crutchfield, who are usually really good, and they seemed stumped. I do not use the player this way as a result. I use my streaming music through a Sonos unit. I am very happy with that. I hope this is helpful. [ MARK D  Mar 14, 2015 ]
Yes you can. [ SANDRA  Mar 13, 2015 ]
MP3 will definitely play. I use a flash drive since the NAD is not close enough for a USB cable but I would think that a USB from the computer would work. I have not used Tidal Hifi so I have no knowledge. [ RICHARD  Mar 13, 2015 ]
Dont know never tried. Just use it as cd player. Check with NAD for tech info. Sorry [ Robert  Mar 13, 2015 ]
Hi Marshall. I can burn cd's in a mp3 format and play them or connect via cable. What's also very nice is I bought a NAD Digital media tuner which you can stream music directly off of the internet or stream off your pc using your home WI-FI [ THOMAS K  Mar 13, 2015 ]
I am afraid I never tried either. Sorry. [ Peter  Mar 13, 2015 ]
Sorry, but have never tried. Only play cds through vintage Marantz and Sansui receivers. Nice unit though for me! [ DAVID  Mar 13, 2015 ]
I don't know. [ Sergio  Mar 13, 2015 ]
MP3 files yes. Not sure about streaming Internet . [ Matt  Mar 13, 2015 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy  Feb 16, 2015 ]  Staff
This player only reads mp3 files from a usb drive only. The usb files may be higher quality than 44.1 hz, however. I have had success with 48 hz files, for instance. [ James  Jun 01, 2016 ]
Sorry don't even know about Flac files. [ Robert  Oct 25, 2014 ]
According to the owner's manual, FLAC files are not supported. Visit http://bit.ly/1teKb9w if you want to see the entire manual. The relevant portion (p.12) says, "The C 546BEE can play back MP3/WMA files stored in external USB (Universal Serial Bus) devices." [ JONATHAN M  Oct 23, 2014 ]
Nad c 546 does not play flac files [ EDSON  Oct 23, 2014 ]
I've only used MP3 and I-tunes files through the USB (flashdrive). I record albums (vinyl) to my computer and buy very few downloads. [ Robert  Oct 23, 2014 ]
If you have a good receiver and speakers it will make a difference. I really could hear more detail in the music. But lets face It, if the signal goes through a sub par receiver or speakers ... the cd player will be limited. But for me I bought the NAD 546BEEE and I think it is well worth the money. [ DAVID  Sep 04, 2014 ]
I personally think this CD player is a little over priced, with other formats being more popular to some these days prices should come down on players, but it is nice, well built and solid. As far as sound I have not any to compared to, but I am happy with the sound when played through my NAD amp and Klipsch Lascala speakers and sub woofer. I am able to pick out things that I never heard in tunes before, so yes it is clean, and separates well. [ Gregory  Aug 31, 2014 ]
I am not an audiophile, but enjoy music tremendously. I replaced a roughly 15 year old, entry-level NAD (can't remember the model number) with the 546BEE. The 546BEE has performed beautifully-the sound is of a very high quality and it has a better set of controls and connections for additional components than the earlier model. I am quite happy with the decision to buy the 546BEE. To answer the specific questions, yes, I can tell a difference, and yes, it is worth the price. Peter [ Peter  Aug 29, 2014 ]
Yes. Totally happy with NAD C 546BEE, and a fine step up from the older NAD it replaced. It works well with non-commercially-mastered CDs too. Would recommend it. [ Lani  Aug 29, 2014 ]
The NAD C546BEE is worth buying. The bass response and the clarity of the sound from my speakers is greatly improved. You noticeably see the difference. ( Of course you need to have a good amplifier to drive your system). I have the NAD375 amplifier together with NAD546BEE will give you a potent sound together with a good speaker. I have the Klipsch RF7-11 to me paired with NAD546BEE truly enhance the sound of your system. I recommend NAD546BEE for those who loved music at the highest level. [ TONY  Aug 29, 2014 ]
I can tell a remarkable difference from my ancient Magnavox CDB650. While it was a great player for its day, that's not unexpected. I've haven't done an A to B comparison to any other player. I'm happy I bought it. Nothing in the time since I did the original review has changed my positive evaluation of it. I believe the additional money I spent on this player vs. the less expensive NAD player was worth it. These are the only two players I considered. NAD is still engineering beautiful, well laid out electronics with pleasant, accurate, transparent sound, IMHO. [ Alan  Aug 28, 2014 ]
I'll try again. The answer is yes. This player replaces a Sony ES series 300 disc player that had some years on it. With the NAD player there is better detail and I'll use the word fullness than the older Sony did. I've been quite happy with this player. Richard [ RICHARD  Aug 28, 2014 ]
Actually, I recently upgraded to an $1,800.00 Cambridge CD player and to be honest, I really can't tell much difference. I've always been a big fan of NAD products. I still use their receivers to drive several systems I have. The biggest change you can make to CD sound quality is to buy remastered CDs. It also helps to have a great CD player and the NAD is certainly that. Cass [ CASS  Aug 28, 2014 ]
I have been very pleased with it. It replaced a very old JVC unit that had gone south and I immediately noticed a drastic improvement over the JVC, even when it was at its best. Instrument placement is almost holographic, giving an illusion of 3D to the stereo effect. I can't say if this unit sounds better than less expensive or more expensive ones, but I can say that I am satisfied. The controls are intuitive and user-friendly as well. [ JONATHAN M  Aug 28, 2014 ]
Yes it is better I was surprised by the sound difference compared to a Sony I had before. I have high end speakers and power amp so could hear the quality change if your whole system is not of this quality then probably not going to notice much change. [ CURTIS  Aug 28, 2014 ]
Yes it is worth the price - sound is great and the mechanics is also great... [ GREG  Aug 28, 2014 ]
Steve, I do like this player. It is the best CD player I ever had (Also the most expensive) My Receiver does not have an Optical in that I can use so I guess I never truly have heard it's potential. However, I can say that when listening to some CD's that I've heard countless times over the years on various players, you can definitely hear parts of the recording that I never knew existed. When listening to SACD Hybrid discs, it does well, but it's iffy if they sound better than the playback of my Blue Ray player. Remember, however what I said about the connection. It is also worth mentioning that the USB port only supports a 2.0 version, and I couldn't try it out. Somewhat of a minor disappointment. Overall, I am very happy with it. The unit seems to be very well built and it has played everything I put in it. I hope this was helpful. [ ROBERT  Aug 28, 2014 ]
Definitely worth the price compared to several others I auditioned. It replaced a 1982 Denon 1800R which was superb for its time. I mostly listen to classical music especially opera. The Denon was able to give a spatial sense. The remaining system is a Carver Receiver no longer producted plus B @ W speakers. It is of course improved over the Denon as far as connectivity and about as good. Hope this helps [ Robert  Aug 28, 2014 ]
I originally ordered teh NAD but when I got it I realized it did NOT have a usb port for Ipod connectivity, so i returned it and ordered the marantz 6004. I am happppy with teh Marantz but the NAD has a nice, simple and refined look to it. Also, I have a NAD amplifier and tuner so it would ahve been nice to have the NAD cd player. But both players offer very good sound. The eweaknesses lie in the quality of the cds adn the speakers [ SETH  Aug 28, 2014 ]
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