Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player? Knowing which model is right for you can be a tricky business nowadays, not least because there isn’t all that much new Blu-ray hardware on the market.
That’s because many believe the rise in 4K streaming on the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video has rendered Blu-ray technology surplus to requirements. We, however, are not so pessimistic.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players remain a worthy complement to any home theater system, still offering the best way to enjoy the latest movies thanks to their buffer-free picture quality and more consistent support of premium HDR formats like Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best Blu-ray players available to buy right now, with breakdowns of their price, features and compatibility to help you find the right model for your home. We’ve also included the latest Xbox and PlayStation hardware, too, which looks set to continue supporting 4K Blu-ray technology for years to come.
- Got your player already? Check out our round-up of the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies
Best 4K Blu-ray players
The DP-UB9000 is Panasonic’s latest flagship 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and, after Oppo started winding down its competing devices, the new model finds itself in one of the top spots in the high-end player market.
That said, beautifully made and enviably specified, this flagship 4K disc spinner is unashamedly premium. The plastic and tin build, familiar on mainstream Blu-ray players, has been replaced with heavy metal and luxe design.
Beyond its good looks, however, the DP-UB9000 is also the first UHD deck from Panasonic to support all key HDR flavours: vanilla HDR10, its dynamic sibling HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision. The latter is included, despite the fact that Panasonic isn’t supporting Dolby Vision on any of its 4K TVs.
Not only is the player more than capable with images, it has audiophile aspirations as well, sporting high quality DACs, two-channel and 7.1-channel analogue outputs, and Hi-Res Audio support. Toss in a host of smart features, and the UB9000 ticks nearly every box in the book.
Naturally all these flagship features don’t come cheap - but, for those seeking the ideal replacement Blu-ray player after Oppo’s collapse, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 is a more than adequate replacement.
Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB9000 review
The Panasonic DMP-U700 is the 4K Blu-ray player we end up recommending most often. It's more affordable than an Oppo deck, and still gets you the amazing picture quality of Panasonic's top-end DMP-U900.
Streaming service support, with HDR-enabled 4K Netflix, is well worth trumpeting and the player does a swell job with 24-bit audio. It supports both FLAC and DSD files.
There's no Dolby Vision support, perhaps the main reason to upgrade to the DMP-UB900. But as it stands the UB700 offers the best balance of price, audio visual performance and features.
Read the full review: Panasonic DMP-UB700
While its £999 ($999, AU$1999) price tag might be a bit intimidating, Pioneer has produced a peach of a player with the UDP-LX500. This heavyweight home cinema hero deserves to be shortlisted by all high-end upgraders, and can comfortably claim to be one of the best universal 4K Blu-ray players available for less than a grand.
There are caveats though. It’s not quite as brilliant a video performer as its main rival, the cheaper Panasonic DMP-UB9000, and it’s not quite as well finished either. However, if music is as important as movies to you, it’s clearly got broader appeal. Move over Bradley and Gaga, a new AV star is born.
Read the full review: Pioneer UDP-LX500
Sony might have been a little late to the Ultra HD Blu-ray party, but its first player is a great machine. It's solidly made, and its overall image quality is superb.
As an added bonus, the player also supports a wide range of audio formats, can play SACDs, and even DVD-As.
So why does the player sit the number three slot in our list? Well, unfortunately it lacks support for Dolby Vision, the high-end HDR format that discs are increasingly offering support for, and which the Oppo UDP-203 does now support thanks to a firmware update. Its also more expensive than our top pick, the Panasonic DMP-UB700.
If you want a UHD player that also doubles as a very capable music player, then the Sony UBP-X800 is a great choice, but if you're after something focussed solely on playing movies, then there are better or cheaper options out there.
Read the full review: Sony UBP-X800
You'll make a couple of compromises if you want to take advantage of the DMP UB300's budget price-tag – there's no built-in Wi-Fi for example, and rear ports are incredibly limited – but thankfully the machine doesn't scrimp where it matters.
Picture quality is excellent, it supports a wide range of audio codecs and formats, and there's also streaming services built in if you're willing to go down the wired ethernet route.
Read the full review: Panasonic DMP-UB300
If you're sussing out a gaming console to play your 4K Blu-rays and DVDs, it's worth keeping in mind the Xbox Series X.
Granted, the console is hard to get hold of right now – occasional restocks aside – but it could be worth it as a long-term investment, both as a gaming machine and as a 4K Blu-ray player for your home, all combined in one piece of hardware.
The Xbox Series X also supports Dolby Atmos audio and Dolby Vision HDR – neither of which you'll find on the PS5 – though the Dolby Vision support is limited to streaming services and doesn't extend to the disc drive, hence why the console is so low in this list. (You'll only get regular HDR10 over disc.)
As a stand-in for other 4K Blu-ray players in this list, the new Xbox is a pretty good bet, if you can accept its HDR limitations. Not to mention its native 4K gaming, incredibly powerful processing, and Quick Resume features set to elevate your stay-at-home gaming.
Just keep in mind that the cheaper Xbox Series S model doesn't come with the same built-in player capabilities, being a digital-only console (and one that relies on 4K upscaling, at that).
Read the full review: Xbox Series X
Find one now: Where to buy Xbox Series X
The Sony PS5 is helping to keep 4K Blu-ray technology alive with its dedicated disc drive – in the mainline console, at least. While you can buy a slightly cheaper discless version for $399.99 / £359.99 / AU$599.95, it's the standard edition console we're interested in here.
The PS5's disc drive can play 4K Blu-rays – which is fitting, since Sony helped to popularize Blu-ray players with the PS3 two whole console generations ago.
However, as an all-round media center, the PS5 isn't quite as advanced as the Xbox Series X. It doesn't support Dolby Atmos audio, nor does it support Dolby Vision HDR over streaming (although neither console supports the dynamic HDR format over disc).
As a games console with a 4K Blu-ray player baked in, though, it's a handy two-in-one solution – and if you were already planning on buying a PS5 console, it may save you looking for additional disc-playing hardware alongside.
Read the full review: PS5 review
Find one now: Where to buy PS5
Are Blu-Rays still worth buying?
For our money, yes, but the question of just how long Blu-ray players and discs will stay relevant amid widespread industry changes is a difficult one to answer.
For instance, tech giants like Oppo and Samsung have exited from the Blu-ray market altogether in recent times, leaving the likes of Sony, Pioneer and Panasonic as the only remaining major manufacturers of the hardware.
What’s more, some of the best movies ever made are only just getting 4K Blu-rays, and with the best 4K movies continuing to take advantage of Ultra HD Blu-ray technology – despite those high-profile departures from the industry – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players and discs are still worth considering if you’re after the very best home entertainment experience.
What TV do I need to use a 4K UHD Blu-ray player?
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth clarifying that you’ll need to own a 4K TV to warrant buying a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. A 4K player will still work if you’re using a HD display, mind, but picture quality will be limited to 1080p.
That said, HD Blu-ray discs will be upscaled to 3840 × 2160 (4K) resolution by way of filling in the extra pixels, but the quality will appear noticeably lower-grade than Ultra HD Blu-ray discs (which provides a native 4K image).