Simple CD player for elderly mother
March 17, 2014 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for a very easy to use boombox-type CD player for my elderly mother.

She doesn't do much with it besides listen to audio books and other spoken word recordings (like a Catholic rosary reading), so nothing too fancy is needed. The main thing it needs very few buttons and no frills. No need to AM/FM radio or cassette. No recommendations for MP3 or ipod docks, please, they just add complexity. Just a very dependable, very senior-friendly CD player. Cost is not really an object, but I can't imagine a basic player costing more than $100. I'm in Los Angeles, CA, so I've got lots of retail options, but online retailers are preferred.
posted by soundslikeobiwan to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here's a thought, how about a CD Player made for kids?

Here are some from Toys R Us.

You know they're going to be uncomplicated and tough.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:03 PM on March 17, 2014

I think ruthless bunny was on the right track, and started googling around for simple to use low button count CD players i'd seen around.

I think a critical thing is to try it out in person first. A lot of the ones i see on that toys r us page are just normal models that walmart or best buy would carry.

I can't recommend a specific model just from pictures online, and i think any model that anyone recommends i at least wouldn't buy without being able to try it out in person.

For instance, my mom once bought a CD player boombox that looked extremly simple, was well rated, and had large buttons... but required awkward double button presses that weren't even consistent depending on it's current state. Like a cold start required two presses of play, but if it was already ready to go that would just start playing and then pause. That kind of dumbassery. The entire thing obviously had its UI developed by neckbeard engineers who had no idea what would make sense to a normal person.

Bring a CD and make sure you can try it out in person, basically.
posted by emptythought at 5:12 PM on March 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Might be worth looking at some reviews of boomboxes from adaptive technology folks (often not cheap) or just blogs like this one. They suggest this model which you can get at Walmart (not available but third party resellers have it at Amazon might want to check out the "see also"models). Has a radio but basically easy to operate and you just put a CD in for it to start playing which is nice.
posted by jessamyn at 5:32 PM on March 17, 2014

I use the Coby player jessamyn linked to above with seniors for my work. It's pretty simple, and the extra buttons can be easily covered with electrical tape if it's too confusing for her.
posted by assenav at 6:38 PM on March 17, 2014

Amazon did not help me with this task. Wal-Mart was the place to go, and the one CD-only model they had was easy to use.
posted by wnissen at 8:01 PM on March 17, 2014

The cheaper the better, most likely. How about this? You might have to teach her to wait for the CD to spin up, but I have a similarly cheap one that lives at work and it's perfectly sufficient for books on tape and the like. Has she had trouble with technology in the past? If not, I think you're overthinking it.
posted by maryr at 11:18 AM on March 18, 2014

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