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Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players 2022

Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players you can buy in 2022.

Streaming services vary in quality but the best picture and sound can be reliably read from disc, every single time. The only way to get all that high quality audio and video is with one of the very best 4K Blu-ray players around and below we have them all – tested and rated.

4K Blu-rays not only get extra resolution but also bring HDR (including Dolby Vision and HDR10+), and object-based surround formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. There are tons of 4K discs to choose from, so now is a great time to upgrade on a 4K Blu-ray player, and in our experience, picture and sound quality outstrip anything you'll find when watching a 4K equivalent on Amazon Prime Video or Netflix.

4K players still spin normal Blu-rays and DVDs (remember them?) so there are no problems with backward compatibility. Some 4K players are also universal decks that can play more niche audio disc formats such as SACD and DVD-Audio.

Our pick of the best Blu-ray players and 4K Blu-ray players all serve up brilliant picture and sound at their respective price points. Here's our definitive list.

Panasonic DP-UB820EB - Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players 2022

(Image credit: Panasonic)

1. Panasonic DP-UB820EB

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

Specifications
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 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 Panasonic DP-UB820EB review

Sony UBP-X700 - Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players 2022

2. Sony UBP-X700

A brilliant 4K Blu-ray player, with an attractive price tag to boot.

Specifications
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 colors+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 Sony UBP-X700 review

Panasonic DP-UB150EB - Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players

(Image credit: Panasonic)

3. Panasonic DP-UB150EB

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

Specifications
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, 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 budget buy.

Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB150EB

Sony UBP-X800M2 - Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players 2022

(Image credit: Sony)

4. Sony UBP-X800M2

A great 4K Blu-ray player for the money, despite a couple of peculiar traits.

Specifications
Type: 4K Blu-ray
SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: Yes/Yes/Yes
Outputs: HDMI x2, Coaxial digital
Dimensions (hwd): 5.4 x 43 x 26.5cm
Weight: 3.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Crisp, detailed picture+Rhythmic, musical sound+Supports SACD and DVD-A
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks HDR10+-Odd Dolby Vision execution-Could be more vibrant

This mid-range Sony is a bit more capable – and a bit more expensive – than those at the budget end of the market. While it lacks a display on the player itself, its feature set more than makes up for it. It even has Bluetooth, for streaming audio to a pair of wireless headphones – a godsend for late-night viewing.

There's no HDR10+ support, but otherwise it's a very versatile player, playing nice with such niche audio formats as DVD-Audio and SACD. You have to manually enable Dolby Vision for supported content, which is a bit annoying (it should just happen automatically), but this player's superb performance still makes it easy to recommend.

Read the full Sony UBP-X800M2 review

Sony UBP-X1100ES - Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players 2022

(Image credit: Future)

5. Sony UBP-X1100ES

A hugely capable 4K Blu-ray player, not without its quirks.

Specifications
Type: 4K Blu-ray
SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: Yes/Yes/Yes
Outputs: HDMI x2, optical and coaxial digital, analogue
Dimensions (hwd): 5.4 x 43 x 26.5cm
Weight: 3.9kg
Reasons to buy
+Crisp, clean 4K picture+Entertaining, immersive sound+Universal disc support
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+-Strange handling of Dolby Vision-Lacks a premium finish

There's no shortage of excellent 4K Blu-ray players to choose from at the premium end of the market, and the UBP-X1100ES also deserves to be on the list. It's a universal deck which means it can handle all manner of disc formats, including 3D Blu-ray, SACD and DVD-Audio. It supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR, but there's no support for HDR10+, which is a little disappointing.

Its picture is anything but, though. The Sony serves up a balanced, natural and nuanced image, which displays great depth and an impressive amount of detail. It's a musical player too, with excellent timing and a fine sense of rhythm with music and movies alike.

Read the full Sony UBP-X1100ES review

Panasonic DP-UB9000 - Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players 2022

6. Panasonic DP-UB9000

A seriously capable 4K Blu-ray player for home cinema enthusiasts.

Specifications
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
-Very little at this price

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. It has been bettered for outright musical ability, but the Panasonic DP-UB9000 is still well worth auditioning.

Read the full Panasonic DP-UB9000 review

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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.