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Best Blu-ray players 2022: 4K, HDR and more

Best Blu-ray Players
(Image credit: Sony)

 The best Blu-ray players give you a level of picture quality that the best TV streaming services (opens in new tab) can only aspire to. If you have to have the absolute best for your movie watching entertainment, then it comes on a shiny disk.

Luckily, the best Blu-ray players have a lot to offer. Not only do you get high bit-rates in both video and audio, so your 4K picture is sharp, your HDR colors are saturated, and your Dolby Atmos soundtrack is suitably seismic, but you can play all your older HD Blu-rays and DVDs on them too. You can even use them as a CD player, a streaming box, or a network movie player.

The image quality is such a jump over even the best DVD players that you’ll suspect you’ve had something wrong with your eyes in the past. Team a Blu-ray player with one of the best TVs (opens in new tab), and you’ll get an image-quality masterclass that only going to the movie theater can beat. If you want the real cinema experience, why not check out one of the best mini projectors (opens in new tab)?

You can expect internet functionality too, so make sure you can feed a wired or wireless connection to your Blu-ray player. You’ll need an HDMI cable (opens in new tab) for connecting to a screen too, and maybe another to take HD audio to a suitable amp or decoder.

Best Blu-ray players 2022

1. Sony UBP-X700: Best Blu-ray players top pick

Sony UBP-X700

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The best Blu-ray player for all-round use

Reasons to buy

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Rich and detailed image quality
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Defined detail pictures
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Decent value

Reasons to avoid

-
Sound could be more powerful

If you need a 4K and HDR Blu-ray player that's not going to break the bank but will still deliver premium quality visual and audio for your big screen TV, the Sony UBP-X700 could be your perfect pick. Picture detail on Blu-ray discs is detailed and well defined with rich colors that remain natural. Audio is powerful and well defined both for movie score and music playback alike. 

You also have a selection of smart apps, accessible via the WiFi connection meaning you can play Netflix right from the shortcut button of your very capable remote. 

Being Sony, this is made to a high standard with quality parts and a build that's metallic and solid. This means there is minimal warping so external vibrations don't affect playback, plus you'll get an internal working that remains intact and at its top-level for far longer than some of the competition.


2. Panasonic DP-UB820EB: Best premium Blu-ray player 

Best Blu-Ray Players: Panasonic DP-UB820EB Blu-ray player

(Image credit: Panasonic)
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If you want a premium 4K player, this is the one to pick

Reasons to buy

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4K compatible
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HDR10 and Dolby Vision
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Voice control enabled

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive

While cheap 4K Blu-ray players are great and work just fine with most 4K TVs, if you’ve splashed out on a high-end 4K TV then you’ll want a premium 4K Blu-ray player like the Panasonic DP-UB820EB to go with it.

The Panasonic DP-UB820EB uses chroma processing to offer stunning picture quality that rivals what you’d see in a cinema. All the trimmings are here too, with support for HDR10, Hi-Res Audio and Dolby Vision. It even has voice control support and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can tie it into your smart home setup.

Your TV and movies should sound as good as they look too, thanks to the 7.1ch Analogue Audio Output which will let you hook up even the most demanding home theater system to help build that cinema level experience. Honestly, the only thing that gives us pause here is the price, but if money is no object and you demand perfection, this is the Blu-ray player for you.


3. Sony UBP-X800M2: Best value 4K Blu-ray player

Best Blu-Ray Players: Sony UBP-X800M2 Blu-ray player

(Image credit: Sony)
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If you want a 4K Blu-ray player, without breaking the bank, this is good

Reasons to buy

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4K and HDR
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Good value

Reasons to avoid

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Lacks advanced features

If you’re looking to keep up with the most modern technology, then you’re going to want a 4K Blu-ray player and the Sony UBP-X700 is our top pick in that regard. Sure, there are more expensive models out there with extra bells and whistles, but the Sony UBP-X700 offers a fantastic true 4K experience from a reliable company, all at a very reasonable price.

While some Blu-ray players can upscale content to 4K, the Sony UBP-X700 can actually play content at a native 4K resolution meaning that 4K Blu-rays come out crystal clear and looking their best. It can still upscale sub 4K content too, to improve the visuals of your older Blu-rays and DVDs. You also get HDR support with the Sony UBP-X800M2, which makes colours more vibrant and realistic on screen.

Your audio experience gets a boost too thanks to high-resolution audio and DSEE HX upscaling, with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X. And of course you get all the streaming apps you’d expect, though if you own a 4K TV you almost certainly already have access to these.


4. Sony BDP-S6700: Best HD Blu-ray player

Best Blu-Ray Players: Sony BDP-S6700 Blu-ray player

(Image credit: Sony)
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A great blu-ray player that is crammed full of apps

Reasons to buy

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Bluetooth compatibility
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More than 300 apps

Reasons to avoid

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No native 4K
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No display

It’s hard to argue with the combination of value and features that the Sony BDP-S6700 offers, which is why we think it’s still the best blu-ray player on the market. While it’s not a true 4K device, it does offer excellent picture quality thanks to 4K upscaling. It’s not quite as good as true 4K, but it also costs three times less than most 4K players.

The Sony BDP-S6700 itself is quite small and lightweight, so you should have no problem fitting it into your home entertainment system alongside your other gadgets. And while it probably won’t win any beauty contests, it looks sleek and unassuming with a smooth black finish. It doesn’t have a display though.

Connectivity is great too, with WiFi and Bluetooth as standard. When connected to the WiFi, you can use the Sony BDP-S6700 to access some of the best TV streaming services (opens in new tab) too, which is useful if you don’t have a smart TV. You can access Netflix, Prime Video, Spotify and Pandora to name but a few apps. 


5. LG BP175: Best cheap Blu-ray player

Best Blu-Ray Players: LG BP175 Blu-ray player

(Image credit: LG )
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A budget-friendly blu-ray player packed with features

Reasons to buy

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Cheap
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Full HD
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Streaming apps

Reasons to avoid

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No 4K or HDR

If you just need a cheap Blu-ray player from a brand name you can trust, we think there’s no finer choice than the LG BP175. This model is a few years old now, sure, but it still does everything you need it to while keeping the cost low. It doesn’t offer much in the way of frills - it doesn’t play 4K, or support HDR, but if you just need a cheap Blu-ray player to go with your HD TV, this is a great budget option.

The LG BP175 offers video playback at full HD resolution (1080p), while also offering external HDD playback so you can plug in a hard drive and play digital files directly. On top of that it also has several TV and music streaming apps available for download including favorites like Netflix, Hulu, and even YouTube.


6. Xbox Series X: Best Xbox with Blu-ray player

Xbox Series X

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An excellent 4K Blu-ray player that happens to be a games console too

Reasons to buy

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4K Blu-ray player
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Affordable
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Comes with free games console

Reasons to avoid

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Traditional remote is extra

Don’t worry, you haven’t accidentally clicked off onto another guide, this is still the best Blu-ray players. But while the Xbox Series X is obviously a video games console (opens in new tab), we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that it also comes with a 4K Blu-ray player built-in. This isn’t some cheap knock off either, it’s the real McCoy. It supports HDR10 and offers video quality on par with most other Blu-ray players in its price range.

You can either buy a Blu-ray player, or buy a Blu-ray player and a games console, which will give you access to a huge library of video games as well as streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus. It may cost you a little more but with those extras it seems well worth it.


7. PlayStation 5: Best PlayStation with Blu-ray player

PlayStation 5

(Image credit: Sony)
For a console and Blu-ray player combination, this is ace

Reasons to buy

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Powerhouse games console
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Controller battery life and features are top-notch
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A strong selection of titles
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Nearly silent

Reasons to avoid

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Divisive appearance
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Rubbish UI

The PlayStation 5 is a superb choice for playing Blu-rays, DVDs and, of course, some amazing next-gen games. that means you get the very best that 4K and HDR graphics can offer no matter what you load into this wonder device.

You've also got a plethora of apps on offer from Netflix and YouTube to Amazon Prime Video to Disney+. A 4K Blu-ray player of this quality isn't cheap so when you factor that into the price, this becomes a great option if you're already going to be upgrading your games console.


8. Xbox One S: Best cheap games console with Blu-ray player

Xbox One S Review

(Image credit: Microsoft)
A superb budget friendly way to get a console and Blu-ray player in one

Reasons to buy

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Diverse Multimedia Options
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4K Blu-ray Player
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Xbox Game Pass

Reasons to avoid

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Lacking in power
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Weakest exclusive lineup

The Xbox One S is an affordable alternative to the top-end Xbox Series X. You still get a 4K Blu-ray player and ability to play top-end games, all via a media hub system that can unify your devices at home – but without breaking the bank.

When you consider this can be bought for $300 and a decent Blu-ray player will cost a similar sum, it makes sense to get this with all the extras. Not only will this let you play great games but it will also give you access to streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+ and more all from that one easy to use interface.


Blu-ray players buying advice

Best Blu-ray players: what we tested, what we found

The best Blu-ray players are capable of playing a broad array of video and audio formats, including 3D and 4K Blu-ray discs. Below is a list of criteria to consider when looking for the best Blu-ray player for your home entertainment system.

Build Quality & Usability: Easy Interfaces & Scrolling

As home theater hardware, Blu-ray players aren't nearly as performance-tied as product families like smartphones or tablets. Still, ease of use plays a vital role in what makes the best Blu-ray player.

In our evaluations, we measured the performance of each player in several areas. Factors like cleanly designed interfaces and quick loading speeds were strong points for our top rated Blu-ray players. If you want to adjust settings, like audio sources and subtitles, you don't want to scroll through submenu after submenu. Similarly, we factored in the boot time of each Blu-ray player on stock settings into our ratings. While boot time was only one of several data points we used – many players have quick-start settings that allow for instantaneous power on times – it can be an indicator of player performance in secondary areas.

Qualitatively, we evaluated the design and build quality of each player and its accessories. While these specifications are secondary to player performance, they still play a strong role in daily use. Poorly designed remotes or players with low-quality bodies can be an inconvenience.

Connectivity: Cables, Cables & Cables for Your Player

Home theater setup can often quickly devolve into a mess of cables for various devices, but top Blu-ray players manage to work around these issues. Before making a purchase, consider your current home television and the cable types it needs to function. Do you want the player to use component or HDMI cables for connectivity? What audio standard does your home theater use if you have a secondary audio source? If you plan to use the player as a dedicated multimedia hub, do you want a USB port on the player?

In addition, internet connectivity is an important feature for most home users. Along with allowing streaming apps to function, internet connectivity allows your Blu-ray player to download updates when needed. Some budget players will only have an Ethernet jack for physical connections, but higher-end models include WiFi support.          

Blu-ray players: what else is important? 

Features by the Numbers: 3D & 4K Support 

For most home users, Blu-ray players that provide basic high-definition playback functionality will be enough. However, higher-end and mid-range models increasingly provide features that were previously only found in premium models.

4K is a display standard that refers to media that plays at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and possesses higher image quality than traditional high-definition content. TVs with 4K support display content at this higher resolution. 4K compatibility on Blu-ray comes in two formats: Players with native support can play 4K content by default, while players with upscaling simulate a 4K image from a standard high definition source. Image quality on upscaling players will be usable on a 4K television but won't be comparable to native 4K content.

3D support is rarer these days, as the technology never really took off like TV manufacturers were hoping it would. But if you do have a 3D TV, there are still plenty of 3D capable Blu-ray players out there.

Streaming Apps 

It can be a hassle to bounce between multiple electronic devices, especially when you add streaming services on top of them. Whether you’re trying to build the perfect home theater, or simply want to streamline your existing setup, getting a Blu-ray player with WiFi capabilities is one way to make things easier. A good Blu-ray player can connect to the internet and allow you to access video and music streaming apps – and it should support DLNA streaming in case you want to use the player to access your folder of downloaded videos and music.

A Blu-ray player with media apps allows you to switch between your physical Blu-ray collection and videos from popular streaming sources like Netflix (opens in new tab), HBO Max (opens in new tab), Hulu (opens in new tab) and Disney Plus (opens in new tab). This isn’t a necessity if you already have a standalone streaming device, like Apple TV or Roku, though it may be nice to have streaming access regardless of which device you are using.

Having DLNA streaming support is also a plus if you have your own home media server. If you use Plex or a similar service, you can play your cherished video collection through your compatible Blu-ray player without having to change devices.

It’s worth noting that if you want to stream 4K content through your Blu-ray player, you’ll need to have a compatible television and a good enough internet connection in order to properly support it. In some cases, budget Blu-ray players won’t have all, or even some, of these features. We recommend opting for a mid- to high-end player so that you have all of these options available to you whenever you’re in the mood to watch some movies.

Region free?

One of the most irritating things about DVD players is that certain discs are unable to be played because of their regions, which is just another reason why so many people think Blu-ray players are their answer to that problem. Yet despite popular belief, not all Blu-ray players are region free (opens in new tab), so it’s always best to check before purchasing a Blu-ray for that reason.  

Does a Blu-ray player play DVDs too?

Yes. One of the most useful things about buying a Blu-ray player is that it also works as a DVD player. That means you won't have to worry about having a separate DVD player set up and your DVD collection is still perfectly usable alongside your Blu-ray collection. While a standard Blu-ray player won't play 4K Blu-rays, it will happily play Blu-rays, DVDs, and even CDs if you want to listen to music via your Blu-ray player. 

If you're able to afford the extra cost, it makes sense to buy  a new Blu-ray player even if you still mostly watch DVDs as you have the benefit of also being able to watch Blu-rays while DVDs are gradually phased out. Even better, most Blu-ray players upscale the DVDs you watch meaning you get a superior picture quality while watching older films. Combined with many modern Blu-ray players including smart features such as streaming support, it's an ideal all-in-one device for those keen to get the most from their media collection.

Ian Stokes is the Tech Editor here at Top Ten Reviews. He has extensive experience in tech and games journalism, with work published on IGN, Kotaku UK, Waypoint, GamesRadar, Trusted Reviews, and many more. You'll find him covering everything from smartphones and home computers to 3D printers and headphones. He's also our resident cocktail expert.