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The best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players you can buy right now

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player? Knowing which model is right for you can be a tricky business nowadays, not least because there isn’t all that much new Blu-ray hardware on the market.

That’s because many believe the rise in 4K streaming on the likes ofNetflix,Disney Plus andAmazon Prime Video has rendered Blu-ray technology surplus to requirements. We, however, are not so pessimistic. 

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players remain a worthy complement to any home theater system, still offering the best way to enjoy the latest movies thanks to their buffer-free picture quality and more consistent support of premium HDR formats likeDolby Vision andHDR10+.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best Blu-ray players available to buy right now, with 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, which looks set to continue supporting 4K Blu-ray technology for years to come.

Best 4K Blu-ray players

1. Panasonic DP-UB 4K Blu-ray player

The first 4K Blu-ray player to support HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision

Specifications

Supported resolution: x

Smart TV: Yes

Dimensions: x 81 x mm

Weight: kg

UHD Upscaling?: Yes

Wi-Fi?: Yes

3D support?: Yes

HDR Formats supported: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision

Reasons to buy

+Fantastic image quality+Four types of HDR support+Powerful HDR display optimizer

Reasons to avoid

-No SACD or DVD-audio playback-CD playback is acebric

The DP-UB is Panasonic’s latest flagship 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and, after Oppo started winding down its competing devices, the new model finds itself in one of the top spots in the high-end player market. 

That said, beautifully made and enviably specified, this flagship 4K disc spinner is unashamedly premium. The plastic and tin build, familiar on mainstream Blu-ray players, has been replaced with heavy metal and luxe design. 

Beyond its good looks, however, the DP-UB is also the first UHD deck from Panasonic to support all key HDR flavours: vanilla HDR10, its dynamic sibling HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision. The latter is included, despite the fact that Panasonic isn’t supporting Dolby Vision on any of its 4K TVs. 

Not only is the player more than capable with images, it has audiophile aspirations as well, sporting high quality DACs, two-channel and channel analogue outputs, and Hi-Res Audio support. Toss in a host of smart features, and the UB ticks nearly every box in the book. 

Naturally all these flagship features don’t come cheap - but, for those seeking the ideal replacement Blu-ray player after Oppo’s collapse, the Panasonic DP-UB is a more than adequate replacement. 

Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB review

2. Panasonic DMP-UB 4K Blu-ray player

The best bang-for-buck 4K UHD Blu-ray performance

Specifications

Supported resolution: x

Smart TV: Yes

Dimensions: x 61 x mm

Weight: kg

UHD Upscaling?: Yes

Wi-Fi?: Yes

3D support?: Yes

HDR Formats supported: HDR10

Reasons to buy

+Outstanding picture performance+Hi-Res Audio file playback+4K Netflix and Amazon onboard

Reasons to avoid

-Not as sexy as the DMP-UBNo Dolby Vision support

The Panasonic DMP-U is the 4K Blu-ray player we end up recommending most often. It's more affordable than an Oppo deck, and still gets you the amazing picture quality of Panasonic's top-end DMP-U   

Streaming service support, with HDR-enabled 4K Netflix, is well worth trumpeting and the player does a swell job with bit audio. It supports both FLAC and DSD files. 

There's no Dolby Vision support, perhaps the main reason to upgrade to the DMP-UB But as it stands the UB offers the best balance of price, audio visual performance and features. 

Read the full review:Panasonic DMP-UB

3. Pioneer UDP-LX 4K Blu-ray player

A premium player for your high-end A/V needs

Specifications

Supported resolution: x

Smart TV: N/A

Dimensions: /8 x /8 x /4 inches ( x x mm)

Weight: lbs. ( kg)

UHD Upscaling?: Yes

Wi-Fi?: Yes

3D support?: Yes

HDR Formats supported: HDR10, Dolby Vision, plus HDR10+ later

Reasons to buy

+Solid image quality+Supports numerous formats

Reasons to avoid

-No streaming services on board

While its £ ($, AU$) price tag might be a bit intimidating, Pioneer has produced a peach of a player with the UDP-LX This heavyweight home cinema hero deserves to be shortlisted by all high-end upgraders, and can comfortably claim to be one of the best universal 4K Blu-ray players available for less than a grand. 

There are caveats though. It’s not quite as brilliant a video performer as its main rival, the cheaper Panasonic DMP-UB, and it’s not quite as well finished either. However, if music is as important as movies to you, it’s clearly got broader appeal. Move over Bradley and Gaga, a new AV star is born.

Read the full review: Pioneer UDP-LX

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Even in the streaming age, there are some good reasons to watch movies on the humble Blu-ray player. A hardware player offers the best image and sound quality available, thanks to the enhanced storage capacities of Blu-ray discs. There are two types of Blu-ray disc options available: 4K UHD Blu-ray and p Blu-ray. Both are a step up from a traditional DVD player, but getting a 4K player will let you play both kinds of Blu-rays and give you access to formats like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, DTS:X and HDR Even better, all of them will play your DVD and CD collections, too. Streaming problems like dropouts, bandwidth caps or buffering are nonexistent. But if you somehow want those, most of the best Blu-ray players options can also support streaming apps such as Netflix (some even in 4K) and Hulu.

Current gaming consoles like the high-end PS5 and the Xbox Series X can play both Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays, in addition to the latest games. Plus, if you don't have a 4K TV and a library of only regular Blu-rays, you can save money by buying a p-only player like the Sony BDP-S 

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So, are you ready to make the most of your 4K content with the best Blu ray player? Grab an HDMI cable get ready to enjoy the excellent playback and top-notch viewing experience that Blu-ray players have to offer.

Best Xbox for Blu-ray movies

Xbox Series X

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You'll have a hard time getting your hands on the Xbox Series X until later this year due to insatiable demand, but keep checking back on restock updates. This is the only current Xbox model that accepts optical discs. It can play DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays, in addition to Xbox game discs. It can also be used with standard IR remotes, unlike the PS5. (The cheaper Xbox Series S does not have a disc slot.)

Read our Xbox Series X review.

Best PlayStation for Blu-ray movies

PlayStation 5

James Phelan/CNET

The high-end PS5 (the $ model) includes an optical drive that accepts DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays, in addition to PS4 and PS5 game discs. The cheaper PS5 Digital Edition does not have a disc slot. Both models continue to be sold out at various retailers, but keep checking back for restock updates.

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Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players

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  

A 4K Blu-ray player is still the best way to go for film picture and sound quality at its very best. The best 4K players offer full fat bitrates for audio and video streams and all but guarantee the right HDR standards (including Dolby Vision and HDR10+), and object-based surround formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

There are loads of 4K discs to choose from, so now is a great time to upgrade, and in our experience, picture and sound quality tend to be better than 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 backwards 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, and you can find our definitive list below.

These are 11 of the best film scenes to test surround sound

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1. Panasonic DP-UBEB

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, multi-channel analogue

Dimensions (hwd): x 43 x cm

Weight: kg

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-UBEB, Panasonic has taken the video processing tech out of the flagship DP-UB 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 compliments 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-UBEB

2. Sony UBP-X

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): x 32 x cm

Weight: kg

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, the Sony UBP-X is a great shout. 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 complimenting 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 X can also play up to 24bit/kHz files in all popular 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-X

3. Panasonic DP-UBEB

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): x 32 x cm

Weight: kg

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 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-UBEB

4. Sony UBP-XM2

A great 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): x 43 x cm

Weight: kg

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 review: Sony UBP-XM2

5. Panasonic DMP-BDTEB

One of the best Blu-ray players, and also one of the cheapest we recommend.

Specifications

Type: Blu-ray

SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: No/No/Yes

Outputs: HDMI

Dimensions (hwd): x 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-BDTEB. 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-BDTEB

6. Sony UBP-XES

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): x 43 x cm

Weight: kg

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-XES also deserves to be on the list. Like the Cambridge above, 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 review: Sony UBP-XES

7. Panasonic DP-UB

A seriously capable 4K 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, multi-channel analogue, RCA Phono, XLR

Dimensions (hwd): x 43 x 30cm

Weight: kg

Reasons to buy

+Crisp, insightful picture+Dynamic expressive sound+Good selection of features

Reasons to avoid

-Very little at this price

The DP-UB is another player to throw into the mix if you're in the market for a premium machine. Nestled between the Pioneer and Cambridge in this list, the Panasonic is a feature-packed option with excellent picture and sound quality.

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 Pioneer just about pips it for outright musical ability, but the Panasonic DP-UB is still well worth auditioning.

Read the full review: Panasonic DP-UB

8. Pioneer UDP-LX

The best 4K Blu-ray we've tested at this high price point.

Specifications

Type: 4K Blu-ray

SACD/DVD-A/3D Blu-ray support: Yes/Yes/Yes

Outputs: HDMI x2, stereo RCA

Dimensions (hwd): x x cm

Weight: kg

Reasons to buy

+Crisp, insightful picture+Natural colours+Dynamic, expressive sound

Reasons to avoid

-Few smart features-Still waiting for HDR10+ update

Some home cinema set-ups demand a player with even more focus than the more budget-friendly machines higher up this list. At this level, premium build quality and high-grade components are par for the course, as is the attempt to bring you the best picture and sound possible. The Pioneer UDP-LX is the best 4K Blu-ray player in the business.

Feed the player a 4K disc and the picture that greets you is breathtaking. It paints a balanced picture, packed with sensational levels of detail. And the Pioneer sounds as good as it looks, displaying weight, power and a fine sense of musicality and timing.

There's no smart functionality, nor is there a set of multi-channel analogue outputs for legacy AV receivers, but if you've got the budget and a suitable home cinema system to play it through, this 4K Blu-ray player will blow you away.

The only trouble is that the LX appears to be out of production. As such, prices are absurd. If you can buy one for close to its original cost of £/$, then grab it, Otherwise, you're better off with either the Sony or Panasonic above.

Read the full review: Pioneer UDP-LX

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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 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.

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