Posted on 24th January, 2019


Exposure Electronics launched the ‘XM' series of hi-fi components in 2017, cleverly packing an impressive complement of high-end features and performance into an astonishingly compact and affordable design. Since then, the series has grown to include a phonostage, an integrated amplifier, a preamplifier, mono power amps and a headphone amp. Now the company has added a CD player to the award-winning range.

Despite various pronouncements of the death of the CD, the format lives on, taking its rightful place alongside vinyl, digital and tape in the modern music lover's abundant collection. Still, the launch of a brand new CD player is a relatively rare event these days, so it also makes it one to celebrate.

As always, the Exposure design is informed by what customers want, rather than by the latest fad. First, it has the flexibility of operating as a standalone CD player, while also being designed as a CD transport to connect with the brand's XM5 integrated amplifier or XM7 preamp. Secondly, customers didn't want a slot loader, and a drawer loader wouldn't work in a compact half-width design.

Exposure XM CD Player

Exposure has therefore crafted something very satisfying indeed: a rather smart top-loading mechanism that sports a sliding lid and comes with a magnetic clamp. Suddenly, loading a CD feels almost as pleasing as cueing up a vinyl record.

Exposure XM CD Player

Exposure has worked hard to cleverly pack a full quota of high-quality features and performance into a compact, half-width design in its XM series because the company is passionate about ‘real world' hi-fi at ‘real world' prices. The XM series offers an appealing alternative for music lovers who crave superior audio performance but aren't necessarily in the market for a hi-fi system that risks emptying their bank account and taking over their home.

Exposure's chief designer Tony Brady tells StereoNET:

Music lover versus audiophile, analogue versus digital, this format versus that. I'm all for embracing the whole, and for using the differences to inspire products that offer the best of all worlds. People want soul-stirring sound quality and convenience and flexibility and value for money. For a designer that's an exciting challenge.

Under the hood, the Exposure XM CD player boasts a PCM 1716 24-bit DAC and optimised audio output circuitry with multiple stages of supply regulation. The large toroidal power transformer has separate windings for CD transport mechanism and audio stages; also the high-stability crystal clock reference and dedicated power supply regulator for the transport and audio stages ensure low jitter performance.

Exposure XM CD Player

Finally, there are high-quality double-sided PCBs for optimum layout and screening. Rounding things off is the all-aluminium casework and extruded front panel that controls unwanted resonance and electromagnetic fields.

Price and availability

The Exposure XM CD player is available now, with a choice black or titanium finish and a 3-year warranty. Price £1,200 (incl. VAT).

Exposure XM CD Tech Specs

  • Digital outputs SP/DIF, coaxial and Toslink optical
  • Output level 2V RMS
  • Frequency response 20Hz - 20KHz ± 0.25dB
  • Total harmonic distortion <0.008%, 20Hz - 20KHz, 0dBFs Signal to noise ratio >100dB, A weighted
  • Mains supply 110/120V or 220/240V, 50/60Hz (factory set)
  • Power consumption <15W
  • Dimensions 94mm (h) x 218mm (w) x 348mm (d)
  • Weight (unpacked) 4kg

For more information, go to Exposure.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: exposure