Getting CD sound in a non-CD car?

New 2019 Honda CRV has no CD player. I have a large CD collection which I lke to use on long trips. Is there any way to play them? I have a “walkman” and a wire which goes from the speaker port to a USB. However, putting it in the USB input and turning on the USB input, it does not recognize the input. Is there any workaround?

Your new Honda is equipped with a radio having a usb port on it right? If so the best way to do what you want is to transfer your CD collection to a USB thumb drive device. To do that you “rip” the CD to mp3 tracks using a desktop computer, then copy the mp3 files to the usb thumb drive. To play the songs you just plug the thumb drive into the radio’s usb port. It’s all digital in other words, no moving parts. The “ripping” part may require you to get some help from a teenager who’s computer savy, but it is easily done once you know how. Common sense says to try this idea for one CD in your collection first, make sure it works on a dozen songs, before ripping the rest of your CD’s.


No, I don’t want to spend days transferring hundreds of CDs

Just start calling auto sound shops near you .

What you want to do may not be possible with your car’s radio configuration. You need a radio or sound system with an aux-input, and not all radios have that function. No harm asking here though, maybe somebody knows how to do it.

Does your Honda have Bluetooth? Something like this might work:


You can rip hundreds of CDs in a few hours. It’s not like the old days of transferring a vinyl record to tape, which had to be done in real time.


After glancing through your owners manual, unless you have your music on your phone, iPod, or USB flash drive, looks like you’re out of luck.

If you don’t have an aux input, then a Bluetooth transmitter like the one suggested by texases should work. That’s what they’re for. You should be able to power it from your USB port, since you’re not using it for anything else. Keep in mind that the audio quality will be a bit lower than if you ripped the CDs, but in this noisy environment most people wouldn’t care.

I’m a little confused about the cable you tried, though. Can you give more details on that? By “speaker port”, do you mean “headphone jack”? I’m hoping you didn’t damage your USB port by making this hookup.

I’ll third what @texases said - that’s your solution if you don’t want to rip mp3’s.

For future CD purchases, you should be aware that many CDs sold by Amazon come with a free digital download of them, so you don’t have to rip them. They’ll just show up on your phone if you have the Amazon music app, and be playable in the car.

But you also should be aware that your car will only talk to one bluetooth transmitter at a time for music, so if you have your CD player going through that adapter, the music on your phone won’t play until you switch over.

Honestly, the best solution is to spend a couple hours on the weekend ripping your CD’s and transferring them to your phone. You only have to do it once and then the music will work no matter where you are.


This brings up a related point. I’m not sure if the OP’s car can connect to separate devices for phone calls and audio at the same time, so that’s a point to investigate. (I know that my wife’s car can do that, but I don’t know about any other cars offhand, even my own.)

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I have a contact at Honda. Let me see if that person has an answer. My understanding is that this vehicle can use a USB input to accept music. I think that because I was in a Honda product recently that highlighted this. On a separate topic, I’m pretty sure that compressed MP3 files are not CD quality. Check back in a couple of days.

I typically get music in FLAC , better quality than even high bitrate MP3, bigger file size though, but you can get a 64 or 128GB flash drive for around $10-$30 these days so storage space is basically a moot point.


I see two real things here that need to be addressed. First, can uncompressed music be played (by any means). If the answer is yes, the second issue, is how to obtain uncompressed CD-quality music. I am expanding the topic a bit. It looks like the answer was already provided by Texases. Let’s see what we can learn. This is a great post.

When you rip a CD you can choose the level of compression, so, like @FoDaddy says, you can create uncompressed files that will play.

The bad reputation that MP3 recording have is from folks over-compressing them.

MP3 files can be compressed to different levels, some of which sound very good. Also, many players can handle lossless formats such as FLAC, whose quality is identical to CDs.

And in a car I bet 99% of folks could not tell the difference between a CD and a lightly-compressed MP3 file. I know I couldn’t.

Same here. Sadly, my hearing is shot from concerts and clubs, but I think there is a pretty large group of audiophiles who may be interested in knowing if this can be done.

@GorehamJ Thanks. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. My 99% comment applies to everybody. A car is a terrible place for critical listening, given the background noise and sound quality of even good car sound systems. Double blind testing shows that most folks can’t tell the difference, for mild levels of compression.