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Lead image

Best Blu-ray players for 2022

See our expert's top picks

In this article: Our list of best Blu-ray players ...

  1. Best high-end 4K Blu-ray player — Panasonic DP-UB820
  2. Best budget 4K Blu-ray player — Sony UBP-X700/M
  3. Best 1080p Blu-ray player — Sony BDP-BX370
  4. Best 4K Blu-ray player for audiophiles — Panasonic DP-UB9000P1K

... with links to hundreds of customer reviews. We wrap things up with our Blu-ray player buying tips.

Blu-ray players are back in demand. The reason why? Well, after our customers purchase a 4K TV or projector, they tell us they want to see what their new TV can really do. And 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players offer the best possible picture available.

Plus, standard Blu-ray players are more affordable than ever. If you want to play your old DVDs, CDs, or Blu-ray discs — or you rent often from Redbox — they're well worth the price.

Our top picks

Panasonic DP-UB820

Best high-end 4K Blu-ray player — Panasonic DP-UB820

Let me address the elephant in the room: Oppo left a huge void in this category when they stopped making their stellar UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player — our "best high-end player" for 2018. For a while, we struggled to fill this top spot with a replacement.

Then we got our hands on the Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. It has arguably the best video processor ever available. That's right, some reviewers prefer the picture quality over the legendary Oppo!

I've watched Jaws on standard (non-4K) Blu-ray with this player. You'll find some beautiful cinematography in Jaws — those iconic, sweeping ocean and beach shots. But I've never thought of this vintage film as the "gold standard' for picture quality. I have to say, watching on the DP-UB820, I saw a sharpness and richness that I hadn't seen before.

Want to put this player to the test? Check out this list of the best 4K Blu-rays, chosen by our home theater and speaker expert, Kramer.

Back panel of Panasonic UB-820 4K Blu-ray player

Panasonic's DP-UB820 delivers first-rate audio, too. It features a premium built-in DAC and several analog and digital outputs for connecting to a receiver, preamp, or amplifier.

Here's our former TV writer and retired Crutchfield legend Steve to explain Panasonic’s special tone-mapping technology, and other advanced features. These help their players provide the best picture for Ultra-HD Blu-ray with high-dynamic range (HDR) — no matter what 4K TV or projector you use:

Video and audio details

  • full 4K resolution video for use with Ultra HD TVs
  • plays Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, 3D and standard Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs and rewriteable discs
  • HDR types: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG
  • built-in audio decoding for Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X passthrough when output is set to "bitstream"
  • supports high-resolution audio up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution (PCM)

Connections

  • two HDMI outputs for separating audio and video signals
  • Toslink optical digital audio output
  • 7.1-channel analog RCA audio output
  • two USB ports (front and rear-panel)
  • dual-band Wi-Fi and ethernet port for streaming video

Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player with Wi-Fi®

Sony UBP-X700/M

The Sony UBP-X700/M isn’t quite as loaded as the Panasonic, but for the money there’s a lot of value here. In fact, this is the player I actually own. It was an impulse buy — I couldn't pass it up for the price!

And on movie nights, I'm more than happy with my purchase. The UBP-X700 player delivers an excellent 4K picture and serves up the vivid color array that make Sony 4K TVs pop. It even offers up the two most popular HDR formats, both HDR-10 and Dolby Vision.

This player also has dual-band Wi-Fi and can stream Netflix and Amazon Prime video in 4K.

Video and audio details

  • full 4K resolution video for use with Ultra HD TVs
  • plays Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, 3D and standard Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs and rewriteable discs
  • HDR types: HDR10 and Dolby Vision
  • built-in audio decoding for Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • 59" HDMI cable included
  • supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X passthrough when output is set to "bitstream"

Connections

  • two HDMI outputs for separating audio and video signals
  • coaxial digital audio output
  • front-panel USB port
  • built-in Wi-Fi and ethernet port for streaming video

Sony BDP-S3700

Best 1080p Blu-ray player — Sony BDP-BX370

Haven’t gone 4K yet? Still want a great picture for your HDTV?

The Sony BDP-BX370 provides a great 1080p picture. It will even play — and upconvert — your old DVD collection. It also offers access to Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.

This player is much more compact than the others on this list — Sony didn’t even include a front-panel display. Also, the plastic disc tray is not nearly as sturdy as the higher-end players. But you do get a lot of bang for your buck.

Video and audio details

  • video resolution up to 1080p HD
  • plays Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs and rewriteable CDs
  • not 4K or HDR compatible
  • will work with a 4K TV, but will not display full 4K resolution picture
  • 58" HDMI cable included
  • built-in audio decoding for Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X passthrough when output is set to "bitstream"

Connections

  • one HDMI output
  • coaxial digital audio output
  • front-panel USB port
  • built-in Wi-Fi and ethernet port for streaming video

Panasonic UB-9000

Best 4K Blu-ray player for audiophiles — Panasonic DP-UB9000P1K

Panasonic's top-of-the-line DP-UB90001K player includes the same video processor as their DP-UB820. But it takes the sonic features up another level.

Want the best of the best for audio? Look inside:

Panasonic UB-9000 inside build

This update to the popular DP-UB9000 is one of the very few is one of the very few Blu-ray players you'll find with a vibration-reducing metal chassis, and the disc drive is rock solid. Panasonic's engineers separated the power for the audio DAC and analog output circuit, greatly reducing noise generated by the optical drive and video signal processing.

When it comes to music, the player delivers rich, detailed sound for your CDs, and its high-performance DAC can handle high-res PCM and DSD audio files.

As a Blu-ray player, it is currently without peer.

Video and audio details

  • full 4K resolution video for use with Ultra HD TVs
  • plays Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, 3D and standard Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs and rewriteable discs
  • HDR types: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG
  • aluminum front and side panels reduce vibration for superior sound quality
  • built-in audio decoding for Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X passthrough when output is set to "bitstream"
  • high-grade digital-to-analog converter for precise playback of digital music files
  • supports high-resolution audio up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution (PCM)

Connections

  • two HDMI outputs for separating audio and video signals
  • coaxial and Toslink optical digital audio output
  • 7.1-channel analog RCA audio output
  • unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR stereo analog audio outputs
  • two USB ports (front and rear-panel)
  • dual-band Wi-Fi and ethernet port for streaming video

Blu-ray player buying tips

Do you have a 4K or OLED TV? You DEFINITELY want a 4K Blu-ray player – as I said, it gives you the best picture.

Planning on getting one soon? It is worth purchasing a 4K player now. A 4K player can display DVD and standard Blu-ray discs on a 1080p screen.

Comparison of compact versus full-sized Bluray Players

The compact Sony BDP-X370 player shown on top of a full-size player.

Form factor

Larger players work well in serious home theater setups, but there are also extremely compact Blu-ray players. They can fit neatly into tight places, like a bedroom or smaller TV setup.

Want to stream movies, shows, and music?

You can play Netflix or Amazon Prime video on most new TVs. But if you need a way to stream to your projector (or older TV), many Blu-ray players will do the trick.

Some players require a wired Ethernet connection, while others work over Wi-Fi®. The streaming services vary. Check the product descriptions for details.

Connections

All Blu-ray players have an HDMI output to connect the player to your TV or receiver. But if you’re going to connect it to an audio system without HDMI connections, look for a player with dedicated audio outputs.

Panasonic UB-9000 inputs and outputs

The Panasonic UB-9000 offers both digital and analog audio outputs for connecting to high-performance or professional audio gear.

We can help you choose

Have Blu-ray questions? Contact us today.

Our expert Advisors know the gear inside and out. Your Advisor can send specific Crutchfield pages to your screen, saving you a lot of browsing time. You'll get a shopping cart loaded up with everything you need for your new home theater.

Free lifetime tech support is included with your Crutchfield purchase.

Last updated 2/9/2022
  • Tommy B from Amherst

    Posted on 3/30/2022

    I need some advice on model selection. I'm trying to decide between the Panasonic DP-UB820 and the DP-UB9000P1k. My system has a McIntosh MX-122 preamp and a Sony A80J 65" TV. I have 2 Atmos height speakers, 4 rear surrounds and L/C/R channels plus a subwoofer. Sound clarity and separation with Atmos effects are important for 4K movies. What's my best choice for a 4K blu ray between the two Panasonics previously mentioned? Thanks!

  • John from Norwalk, Conn.

    Posted on 2/20/2022

    Is it so difficult to add SACD playback? If Panasonic wants to boast of "audiophile" capabilities, why don't they add this one? Contrary to widespread misinformation, classical labels are releasing new SACDs every month. Just check any issue of "Fanfare."

  • marc from lebanon

    Posted on 8/20/2021

    Jeff, I just bought a sony 65" a80j oled and I want to upgrade my blu-ray player to a 4k player. I'm torn between the panasonics and sonys. To get dolby vision on the panasonics you need to upgrade to the 820 which is double the price. The panasonics do have the HCX processor but I'm not sure if this really comes into play unless upscaling as they don't really explain what this processor is for. I plan on letting the tv do any upscaling as from what I've been reading, Sony has spent a lot of time on this new processor and it's the best one out there right now for upscaling. I also can't tell what is the real difference between the sony 700 and 800m2

    Commenter image

    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    on 8/24/2021

    Hi Marc,

    I think the Sony 700 will do exactly what you want to do, since your main focus is the 4K picture.
  • Les from LA

    Posted on 8/11/2021

    Does the Panasonic DP-UB9000 have the new upgraded DACs?

    Commenter image

    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    on 8/24/2021

    Hi Les, this is the original version.
  • Donn from Waco

    Posted on 9/30/2020

    Will all these players auto select the type of video and audio on the disc?

    Commenter image

    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    on 10/6/2020

    Hi Donn, it varies by the product and function. You may have to select the correct setting in the menu.
  • Don from Carmichael

    Posted on 8/26/2020

    Hi Jeff, I just bought a Sony A8H 4K OLED TV from Crutchfield. What Blue-ray 4K player would be a good pairing with my my new OLED tv?

    Commenter image

    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    on 8/27/2020

    Hi Don,

    If picture quality is your main concern, I absolutely LOVE the way the Sony UBP-X700 looks on my OLED TV. Discs with Dolby Vision HDR look particularly sharp. I only had to make a few "set it and forget it" adjustments to the TV's picture settings to maintain a cinematic look/feel.
  • Russ from Charlotte

    Posted on 5/5/2020

    Hi Jeff. I am much more concerned about audio quality than minor differences in picture quality. I am wondering [1] which 4k Blu-ray players would best serve me as a CD/R & SACD player with unbalanced outputs to replace my aging, but expensive CD player. And [2] will a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic 100 or the internal DAC of my Anthem STR integrated provide better sound quality than the internal DAC in the Blu-Ray player?

    Commenter image

    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    on 5/6/2020

    Hi Russ -- I've forwarded your comment to one of our product Advisors to follow up with you directly. The Sony UBP-X800M2 might do the trick, but they'll probably want to know more about your setup.
  • wesley crume from Bayfield

    Posted on 4/21/2020

    Why exactly did OPPO pull the plug on their blu ray players...? They had EXCELLENT players...!

    Commenter image

    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    on 4/21/2020

    Wesley -- they decided to focus all their attention on smartphones, their primary business. We were also sad to see the Blu-ray players go. Big fans here. We still have a UDP-503 in one of our testing areas for audio and video gear.
  • Cory from Westchester, NY

    Posted on 4/20/2020

    Would be good to know what formats they all play. The Sony UBP-X800 plays DVD-Audio, SACD and 4K and would have been perfect for this lineup.

    Commenter image

    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    on 4/21/2020

    Thanks Cory -- good point. You can find that info on each player's individual product page.
  • Michael Moser from Lakeland, FL

    Posted on 4/11/2020

    I am a classical music fanatic. I probably have in excess of 200 SACD CDs. The inability of the Panasonic UB9000 to play these jewels of my library is a deal breaker. I have heard excellent things about this model. I don't understand this business decision. Same can be said about the lack of HD FM playback capability on the newer AM-FM tuners/receivers. I live in the Tampa/Orlando area and the primary classical music station in each city broadcasts only on HD2. I swear public radio is in cahoots with SIRIUS-XM.

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