[Update 6/16/22: Added Reavon UBR-X200 player]
The best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players are made to deliver the best picture quality you can get from movies and TV. Blu-ray discs are still the best way of watching for hardcore movie lovers, not just because of the quality, but also because streaming doesn't give you beautiful box art or the additional extras that come on the disc such as behind-the-scenes footage, Q&As with the cast and all kinds of other treasures.
The most important thing about 4K Blu-Rays is the quality, although being able to own your own movie collection is important too. Blu-Rays deliver video at a much higher bitrate than streaming services, delivering much more detail and realism. And your Blu-Rays can't vanish from your shelves in the same way movies can be pulled from streaming services or digital download services.
Because streaming is mass market now, the number of new Blu-Ray players released every year is relatively small. But the ones that are released are extremely good and usually very future-proof too, so you can often pick up a brilliant player for less cash if you're willing to consider a slightly older model – and once you've got them playing through one of the best TVs you'll never want to go back to streaming movies again.
In this guide we’ve rounded up the best Blu-ray players available to buy right now. That includes 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, because they look set to continue supporting 4K Blu-ray technology for years to come.
Best 4K Blu-ray players: the list
The DP-UB9000 is Panasonic’s flagship 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, and it's the model to get if you've gone for an elite TV and need something that can really push it to the max. It's beautifully made, enviably specified and unashamedly premium. The heavy metal build and luxe design mean it feels high-end too.
When we tested the DP-UB9000 we were as impressed by its audio as by its image quality. It boasts 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 our book.
Naturally all these flagship features don’t come cheap – but, for those seeking the best Blu-ray playback around and don't mind about it lacking some audio disc support, look no further.
Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB9000 review
The Panasonic DMP-UB820 is an ideal mid-range 4K Blu-ray player, delivering pretty much every video feature you could want – including full HDR support – but without costing as much as the UB9000 above.
In our tests we found that this player may be more affordable, but it doesn't skimp on quality. Panasonic’s HCX image processing works with a special chroma processor that can smartly turn the 4:2:0 color of Blu-ray into 4:4:4 before it reaches your TV. This is obviously very nerdy stuff, but the end result is the best color reproduction you can find for movies, basically.
You've also got a bunch of streaming services built-in, in case you want to use this as your main movie-viewing platform.
What you're missing compared to the UB9000 above is the tank-like build and the support for some advanced music playback types – but a lot of people won't mind about that at all. We certainly don't – this is good enough to pair with high-end TVs, and it comes at a reasonable price.
This little player delivers big: our friends at What Hi-Fi liked how crisp and clear its 4K images are, while Dolby Vision HDR support means that you get as much dynamic range as possible and the colors are expansive and natural.
The Sony manages to be sharp without ever coming across as artificial, so you really get to make the most of your favourite discs.
For audio lovers, there's also SACD support, as well as support for regular music CDs. And you can also play digital Hi-Res audio files. We thought the sound was great, although we've seen some more audiophile reviewers suggest that audio playback isn't quite as lively and musical as some more expensive rivals.
Some reviewers have noted that the audio playback is perhaps a little less lively and musical as the higher-end players here, but that's only an issue for audiophiles, really – for everyone else, this is the budget player to beat.
Please note, we have not yet been able to review the Sony UBP-X700 yet, and will update with our own testing experience when possible.
For 4K Blu-ray players, the Reavon UBR-X100 is the new kid on the block, offering a stylish design and solid build quality to those who prefer their UHD decks to look like they mean business. The disc support is fairly extensive – although the X100 can’t handle SACD and DVD-Audio discs – and actual playback is smooth, responsive and trouble-free.
Whether its CD, DVD, or Blu-ray (Full HD, 3D and 4K variants) the Reavon is a highly capable digital transport. In our tests we found that native UHD content looked flawless, and lower resolution material was perfectly upscaled to match today’s 4K displays. There’s support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but not the less-popular HDR10+ format.
Overall, the X100 is a welcome addition to the disc player market that delivers a very good performance, but ultimately we think it struggles when compared to the similarly priced and better-specified Panasonic DP-UB9000.
Read the full review: Reavon UBR-X100
The Reavon UBR-X200 is a desirable high-end 4K Blu-ray player that brings military-grade construction and a stylish finish to the luxury end of the market. The disc support is extensive but not quite universal, and while this player can handle CD, SACD, DVD, or Blu-ray (Full HD, 3D and 4K variants), it can’t play the lossless layer on a DVD-Audio disc.
However, in all other respects it’s a highly capable deck that ensures UHD content is delivered perfectly, and lower resolution material is upscaled to 4K with artefact-free processing and pixel precision. There’s support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision, although not the less popular HDR10+ format, but that minor point aside the video performance is flawless.
The X200 includes audiophile Burr-Brown DACs, combined with balanced XLR and 7.1-channel analogue audio outputs, ensuring an impressive sonic performance. The result is a player that’s sure to please music and movie fans alike. The media file support is extensive, even if the lack of Wi-Fi forces you to use a wired connection, but there are no built-in streaming apps.
The X200 is certainly impressive, but unless you’re in love with the looks, there are cheaper and better options.
Read the full review: Reavon UBR-X200
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, 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.
As an all-round media center, the PS5 isn't quite as advanced as the Xbox Series X – it doesn't natively support Dolby Atmos audio, nor does it support Dolby Vision HDR over streaming. However, both consoles can pass Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks through to your TV (with some minor tinkering in the Settings), and neither console supports Dolby Vision HDR or HDR10+ from Blu-rays, so actually the PS5 isn't at any disadvantage for discs compared to the Xbox.
Where it does have an advantage, though, is picture quality. In our tests we found that the PS5's image is cleaner and shaper for native 4K than the Xbox, and it upscales HD Blu-rays with more natural results. So we think of the two consoles the Sony is the better Blu-Ray player. Just make sure you buy the version that actually plays discs!
Read the full review: PS5 review
Find one now: Where to buy PS5
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.
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.)
It supports Dolby Atmos audio (including out to headphones, for a fee), but probably more usefully it passes Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks through to your TV to handle, when set up properly. We did find that it could be picky about passing DTS:X through a TV that doesn't support it to a sound system that does, though.
In our tests we also found that the 4K image quality and HD upscaling were both a little weaker from the Xbox Series X than the PS5. Microsoft has added Dolby Vision since we tested the console but it doesn't support Blu-Ray: it's purely for streaming and gaming. So we'd pick the PS5 if you're serious about playing UHD discs.
Read the full review: Xbox Series X
Find one now: Where to buy Xbox Series X
The best 4K Blu-ray players: FAQ
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).