Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players 2024: budget to premium disc players

We get it, streaming services have a lot of benefits including convenience and the cheaper price, but 4K Blu-rays will always be our favourite way to watch a film or TV show. 

They offer unrivalled picture and sound performance, and they usually support all of the usual AV features we look out for such as HDR and Dolby Atmos sound. The biggest benefit is that when you buy a film or TV show on Blu-ray, it's yours to keep – unlike streaming services or digital content platforms that can swiftly remove content from your library with little to no warning. 

However, if you want the very best experience when it comes to pictures and sound, then you will need a good Blu-ray player. Luckily for you, we've rounded up the best players (both 4K and HD) that have been through our rigorous testing process. Every model on this list has our seal of approval,

Whenever we test a TV, projector, soundbar, AVR or home cinema speaker package, we will always reach for a Blu-ray in order to fully test the capabilities of picture and sound. If you would like to find out more about our testing procedures, then you can read all about how we test Blu-ray players.

You may notice a few omissions from this list; for example, neither the Xbox Series X nor the PlayStation 5 make it, however, they're solid options if you're a keen gamer and film fan who doesn't want their entertainment setup to be overly cluttered. There are also options from enthusiast brands like Reavon and Magnetar, and while they may entice those who are deadly serious about physical media, they do have hefty price tags attached. 

What you will find on this list is a range of players to suit a plethora of use cases and budgets, so scroll down to find out which Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players we think are the very best that money can buy.

The quick list

Here's a quick breakdown of our picks for the best Blu-ray players with a short summary and some of the key features that they individually offer. If you're after more details, click the image of the streaming service to drop down to the in-depth entry.  

Lewis Empson author profile image
Lewis Empson

I'm a staff writer here at What Hi-Fi? that happens to be a huge fan of physical media. I've been growing my personal collection of Blu-rays for many years now and have been following the latest trends and developments in the world of 4K Blu-rays closely since I joined What Hi-Fi? in 2022. I've been particularly vocal about my concerns with the declining interest in the format, urging people to buy physical copies of their favourite films while they still can. 

The best Blu-ray players we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Best overall

As an all-rounder, this is the best 4K Blu-ray player we've seen at the money.


Type: 4K Blu-ray
SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: No/No/Yes
Outputs: HDMI x2, Optical digital, 7.1 multi-channel analogue
Dimensions (hwd): 6.3 x 43 x 20.4cm
Weight: 3.5kg

Reasons to buy

Vibrant, immersive HDR picture
Punchy, believable colour balance
Powerful and weighty sound

Reasons to avoid

Could be dynamically subtler
No SACD or DVD-A support

With the DP-UB820EB, Panasonic has taken the video processing tech out of the flagship DP-UB9000 – which features further down this list – and placed it in a more affordable package. And the results are sensational. The player serves up a wonderfully inviting and immersive picture, bursting with colour and detail. It also produces a meaty and exciting sound, which complements the picture perfectly.

All the main flavours of HDR are supported, including HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, which means you can extract the most from 4K content. It's a very good upscaler too, so normal Blu-rays should look the part on your shiny new 4K TV. For the money, you'll struggle to find a better all-round machine, which is why we've placed this What Hi-Fi? Award-winner at the top of our list of the best Blu-ray players.

Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB820EB

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Panasonic DP-UB820EB scores in depth
PictureVibrant, immersive HDR picture★★★★★
SoundPowerful and weighty sound★★★★★
FeaturesNo surprises, but ticks main boxes★★★★☆

Best cheap

The best 4K Blu-ray player for those on a tight budget.


Type: 4K Blu-ray
SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: No/No/No
Outputs: HDMI x1
Dimensions (hwd): 4.6 x 32 x 19.3cm
Weight: 1.2kg

Reasons to buy

Punchy visuals
Impressive sound
Great value

Reasons to avoid

No Dolby Vision

This Panasonic 4K player represents great value for money. Feature-wise, it's a little sparse – the main one missing is Dolby Vision support, which could put some buyers off. But it's the performance that matters, and on that front it delivers. It can provide 7.1 surround sound (using a supported system), and the audio is nicely detailed, with an impressive sense of scale. There's a lot to admire when it comes to picture quality too - dark details are easily strong enough, while it handles 4K upscaling with aplomb. A great buy for those working on a tight budget.

Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB150EB

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Panasonic DP-UB150EB scores in depth
PicturesPunchy, vivid picture★★★★★
SoundBig, impactful sound★★★★★
FeaturesGood for the money★★★★☆

Best affordable

A brilliant 4K Blu-ray player that rivals the Panasonic in top spot.


Type: 4K Blu-ray
SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: Yes/No/Yes
Outputs: HDMI x2, Coaxial digital
Dimensions (hwd): 4.5 x 32 x 21.7cm
Weight: 1.4kg

Reasons to buy

Crisp, natural-looking picture
Excellent detail and colours
Dolby Vision support

Reasons to avoid

Sound could be grander
No HDR10+ support

If you want an affordable route into the world of 4K Blu-ray players, the Sony UBP-X700 is a great option. It's one of the most talented 4K players we've seen at this kind of money. It’s a fun, involving performance - pictures are stacked with detail. The Sony displays a wonderfully subtle picture that’s impeccably judged while being hugely entertaining. Sound quality is equally stirring with its zippy, dynamic character complementing that class-leading picture.

The Sony ticks most of the boxes you'd expect a player to at this price, and includes both Dolby Vision and HDR10 support but no HDR10+.

Despite not flashing the hi-res audio badge, the X700 can also play up to 24bit/192kHz files and supports a number of formats, including WAV, FLAC and DSD. There's also smart functionality and twin HDMI outputs. This Sony machine is good enough to boost all manner of home cinema systems, so you can buy with confidence.

Read the full review: Sony UBP-X700

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Sony UBP-X700 scores in depth
PictureCrisp, natural-looking picture★★★★★
SoundSound could be punchier and grander★★★★★
FeaturesGood features and connectivity options★★★★★

Best non-4k

One of the best cheap Blu-ray players we recommend.


Type: Blu-ray
SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: No/No/Yes
Outputs: HDMI
Dimensions (hwd): 4.3 x 31.2 x 18cm
Weight: 1kg

Reasons to buy

Sharp details
Smooth motion
Dynamic sound

Reasons to avoid

Doesn't play 4K discs
Small remote
No wi-fi

Making a Blu-ray player for such a low price is no easy feat. Making a good Blu-ray player at this level is more difficult, and a great one harder still. But somehow Panasonic has managed it with the DMP-BDT180EB. If you can live without the 4K Blu-ray playback, the Panasonic is perfect for any entry-level home cinema set-up. Detail levels, colour balance and motion handling are all excellent for the money.

It doesn’t hold back when it comes to audio quality either. Its dynamic delivery is exciting to listen to, voices sound clear and the whole presentation is pretty balanced. If you want a solid upgrade on an old DVD spinner, this Panasonic Blu-ray player won't let you down.

Read the full review: Panasonic DMP-BDT180EB

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Panasonic DMP-BDT180EB scores in depth
PictureSharp details and vibrant picture★★★★★
SoundDynamic, full sound★★★★★
FeaturesSmall remote and no wi-fi★★★★☆

Best high end

The best premium 4K Blu-ray player for home cinema enthusiasts.


Type: 4K Blu-ray
SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: No/No/Yes
Outputs: HDMI x2, optical and coaxial digital, 7.1 multi-channel analogue, RCA Phono, XLR
Dimensions (hwd): 8.1 x 43 x 30cm
Weight: 7.8kg

Reasons to buy

Crisp, insightful picture
Dynamic expressive sound
Good selection of features

Reasons to avoid

No SACD or DVD-Audio support
Menu options can be confusing

There are some great budget 4K Blu-ray players in this list, but the Panasonic DP-UB9000 is the one to audition if you're in the market for a premium machine.

Its menu system is a little overcomplicated, but once you've got the Panasonic set up for your particular display, it serves up an entertaining and attention-grabbing image, bursting with colour. There's a great sense of depth and realism to 4K images that makes you sit up and take notice.

Soundtracks are delivered with plenty of weight and power, which is just what you want from a premium player like this. The provision of a 7.1 multi-channel analogue is great news for owners of legacy AV receivers, while the choice of either balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA connections for stereo playback and the provision of support for WAV, FLAC, AIFF and AAC audio formats shows this player means business.

Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB9000

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Panasonic DP-UB9000 scores in depth.
PictureExcellent colour balance and sense of realism★★★★★
SoundSolid, powerful sound★★★★★
Features Menu options can be confusing★★★★☆

How to choose

How to choose the best Blu-ray player for you

As filming technology advances with increasingly impressive stunts, sets, and graphics, filmed at ever-higher resolutions and frame rates, 4K Blu-rays really let you appreciate the artistry of today's filmmakers with sharp details, seamless motion and rich colours.

To make the most of a 4K Blu-ray player you'll need to pair it with a 4K TV or projector and for top-notch visuals look out for which HDR formats are supported such as Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

4K Blu-ray players not only enhance your viewing experience, but they can also support lossless object-based surround formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. But you'll need to partner it with either a compatible sound system and AVR or a soundbar capable of outputting immersive audio.

4K players are backwards compatible so you can play normal Blu-rays and DVDs without issue, though if this is something you're likely to do frequently pay close attention to a model's upscaling abilities. Some 4K players are also universal decks that can play more niche audio disc formats such as SACD and DVD-Audio.

Almost all players have Ethernet ports for a wired network connection and a large number even have wireless built-in and USB ports that you can use to access an external hard drive. Expect to find HDMI outputs as standard on modern players and, for flexibility, many Blu-ray players have an additional audio-only output.

Our list of the best 4K Blu-ray players only contains models reviewed by our test team in our dedicated test rooms. Each model has been through our rigorous testing process so you can be 100% confident that they all serve up brilliant pictures and sound at their respective price points.

Also consider

Sony PlayStation 5: Chances are, if you're a console gamer you'll already have one of these. The PS5 is a very capable 4K Blu-ray player, with features such as Dolby Atmos and HDR10 playback both supported. Unlike its Xbox counterpart, it doesn't feature Dolby Vision which is a bit of a shame, but considering it's half the price of the premium Panaosnic and has the ability to stream and play games, its certainly a solid deal. 

Microsoft Xbox Series X: An alternative option to the above choice, the Xbox Series X does much of what the PS5 does but with the added benefit of Dolby Vision. The Xbox also seems to have more picture and sound settings to tweak, making it the better console for those who like the squeeze out the very best AV experience from their console. 

Reavon UBR-X100: It's pricey, but this enthusiast level 4K media player is a solid choice for those who want to try something new. Featuring excellent picture quality and detailed sound, the Reavon is an impressive piece of kit. However, it skips out on HDR10+, so we'd recommend giving it a miss if you own a Samsung TV. 

How we test

How we test blu-ray players

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year, from TVs to speakers, headphones to hi-fi systems. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them? Allow us to explain.

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years of experience in reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency.

This includes a dedicated home cinema room where we spend plenty of time with every Blu-ray player that passes through our doors. When testing picture quality we try players with reference TVs and projectors trying a wide range of content, including SDR and HDR.

To assess sound quality, we connect them up to our reference AV receiver and surround sound package so we can hear just what they're capable of. We'll also use the player with a more price-comparable system to see how it works with electronics and speakers that would be a better fit price-wise.

We also compare 4K Blu-ray players with rival products in the same category, and the current class-leaders to see where they sit in the current market and to help us decide where they should feature in this buying guide.

 All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity. That's why our reviews are trusted by retailers and manufacturers as well as consumers.

Recent updates

  • March 2024: Added 'recent updates', 'also consider' and 'FAQ' sections. Added new photos of each entry. 


What are the benefits of 4K Blu-ray over streaming?

Stick with discs or switch to streaming?

While we can't deny that streaming is more convenient and often more cost-effective, there are a handful of serious drawbacks that keep us firmly grasping our players and discs. 

Buying your favourite movie on 4K Blu-ray means you'll be getting the highest bitrate playback, meaning that picture and sound quality will trump anything that streaming services can offer. There are services out there that boast high-bitrate streaming (such as Sony's Picture Core service), but they are few and far between.

You also won't have to worry about your favourite content disappearing from your library, as streaming services often rotate content libraries based on contractual agreements. Once you own a movie on Blu-ray, it's yours.

While streaming is usually more cost-effective, we can't ignore the ongoing trend of rising subscription prices. Netflix, for example, has raised the price of its 4K HDR tier a handful of times in just the last year. 4K Blu-rays aren't cheap, but if you're paying for three or more streaming subscriptions monthly, then we'd hazard a guess that the price disparity isn't huge. 

Do I need a specific TV to watch 4K Blu-rays?

The player isn't the only equipment you'll need.

If you want to get the most out of your 4K disc player, then you'll need a good TV. Most TVs on the market are 4K these days, and many include support for HDR in the HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision formats. We're partial to OLED TVs, as in our experience they offer the best picture performance when it comes to contrast, colours and black depths, although QLED TVs are constantly evolving and improving. If you don't have a 4K TV already, then you won't see the benefit from this upgraded Blu-ray format. 

To take advantage of the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X spatial audio tracks on your 4K Blu-rays, you'll want either a Dolby Atmos soundbar or a home theatre speaker package and AVR combo. We recommend the latter option as it provides the most cinematic sound.

You'll also want a high-speed HDMI capable; we know this might sound pedantic but trust us when we say it can make a difference. You don't need anything fancy, but the one that comes in the box with your Blu-ray player can easily be bettered.  

Can I play regular Blu-rays in a 4K Blu-ray player and vice versa?

To put it simply, you're going to want a 4K Blu-ray player if you have a mixed collection of standard and 4K discs. A 4K Blu-ray player can play 4K discs and regular Blu-rays alike, making them the most versatile option. You cannot play a 4K Blu-ray in a non-4K player, so if you plan on buying the higher resolution discs then you should opt for one of the 4K models on this list. 


The very best films to showcase Dolby Vision performance

22 of the best film scenes to test Dolby Atmos

Our pick of the best home cinema deals

1080p vs 4K: how the screen resolutions differ

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.

With contributions from
  • Polarisis5769
    Enables video feedback with and without audio capturing in options menu to fixing issues in firmware and in for suggestions to improve the hardware and video playback for 8k converted native flies in glass disks storing many 8k movies in bundle packs bought for improvement to movie remasters and remakes to the hardware makers and movie makers for 70 mm conversions sold to digital 8k and for native 8k cable tv on these players in the future.
  • MeneerPaul
    Hi, Polarisis5769. I'm very new here. Joined because I am prone to learning a lot; this time diving into multi-format players.
    Looks like you have some good suggestions for further deliberations, but could you please try to make your comment understandable by adding some fullstops an subjects to verbs?
  • lovlid
    He could have also told us what the **** he was talking about o_O
  • kawmic
    Blu ray just suck after Oppo 's exit! Where's dvda and sacd????