The Xbox Series X's fan might be whisper-quiet, but its disc drive is really loud

Xbox Series X noisy
(Image credit: Future)

There are lots of great things about the Xbox Series X, not least of all its combination of awesome power and near-silent cooling, but if you've been eyeing it up as a 4K Blu-ray player, we've got some disappointing news.

During our testing of the Xbox Series X, it quickly became clear that Microsoft has gone to great lengths to ensure the Series X’s cooling system is as quiet as possible, but it's equally apparent that similar care has not been taken with the disc drive. It makes a real racket.

It’s not really a problem with disc-based games as they install to and run from the console’s internal storage, requiring the disc to spin only lightly while playing, but it is an issue when watching Blu-rays and DVDs. The Xbox can easily be heard during low-volume scenes; a dedicated player is unsurprisingly significantly quieter.

The Series X's credentials as a 4K Blu-ray player are further hampered by a lack of support for Dolby Vision via the Blu-ray app. This is a particularly odd one as Dolby Vision is supported via apps such as Netflix and Disney Plus, but it's an issue that's carried over from the Xbox One X.

Using a console as a disc-based movie player isn't something that everyone does, and the Series X is extremely impressive as a games machine, but it's a bit of a shame that the opportunity to turn it into a real do-it-all entertainment device has been missed.

Will the PS5 fare better as a Blu-ray player? We're looking forward to finding out.


See our Xbox Series X review

PS5: everything you need to know

Our pick of the best 4K Blu-ray players

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.