Insignia NS-D160A14 DVD Player

Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
July 2016 Issue

Today i will be reviewing the Insignia NS-D160A14 DVD Player. This particular dvd player sells for $24.99 from retailer Best Buy. The Insignia is a small and lightweight player that measures 11 inches wide, 8 inches deep and 1.75 inches high. Weighing in at only just over 2 pounds, it is not going to muster much confidence from the seasoned audiophile.
My obvious concern about this dvd player was going to be the reduction in dynamics that comes from small and lightweight power supplies. However, this is a dvd player and it was meant to be used in a home theater system with a subwoofer. Crazy man that i am, i decided to see if it could give me reasonable dynamics in a 2 channel system with small bookshelf speakers sans subwoofer.  If you try this, you are going to need to use specialty cables that have beefy sounding highs and lows. In my case i used Virtue Audio interconnects and speaker cables. I thought  it would also be a good match with my Sonic Impact Super-T Amp, which has very good bass and meaty highs. I also decided to tweek the Insignia dvd player a little. I installed noisestopper RCA caps on the unused jacks and mounted the player on my Jefferson Memorial T-Amp stand. Go ahead, audiophiles, be brave and try the same thing!

Fit and finish of the Insignia DVD player is very good. It has a sleek and tidy appearance with 3 buttons on the front panel. Eject button, forward/pause button and power button. A small red led light appears when the unit is powered on. The unit comes with a remote, but i found that some of the buttons were a little too small and closely spaced together. I am going to be listening to a few recently purchased cd's that will test the dvd players dynamics, as well as give you an idea of the surprising slight organic qualities. 

Shirley Horn, Embers And Ashes + Where Are You Going. Track #19, "LA Breakdown".
V.S.O.P The Quintet, Track #8, "Byrdlike".
Sonny Rollins, Way Out West, Track #8, "Way Out West".

The Shirley Horn song, "LA Breakdown" is an excellent track for showing you the dynamics of your stereo system. In my system it did not disappoint. There was very good bass slam and the highs were fairly strong and crisp sounding. I also noticed good resolution of small details. You can distinctly hear a creaking sound in the background.

While listening to the song, "Byrdlike" from the V.S.O.P album i noticed very good musicality and neutrality. The drum solos were fairly dynamic and tight sounding. The pace of the music was quick with a fairly lively presentation. Drums had a slight "woodiness" to the sound. I also liked the nice tone of the piano. 

I was also surprised that the Insignia dvd player had a slight organic quality to the sound. I noticed this while listening to the title track of the Sonny Rollins album. I thought that the upright bass and drum work was pretty natural sounding.

When used in a bassy sounding system with meaty  highs, the little Insignia dvd player is capable of a fairly dynamic performance. It is a neutral and musical player that serves the music up straight with a slight organic character. I couldn't ask for anything more from a player priced under $25. 
Reference Equipment

Sonic Impact Super-T amp with stock power supply and baby anaconda power cord
Jefferson Memorial T-Amp stand 
noisestopper rca caps
Teac LS-H265 speakers
Virtue Audio interconnects and speaker cables 
Energy speaker stands