The best Blu-ray players of 2018

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

It may seem strange to purchase a disc player when streaming services offer so much great entertainment on demand, but hard-copy media still offers the highest-quality experience. It also makes it possible to throw in an old copy of your favorite CD or movie that hasn’t yet been licensed to stream.

If you’re going to buy a new player, we recommend going all the way: Ultra HD Blu-ray players will future-proof your setup and provide a level of picture quality that’s second to none. Whether you’re looking to simply swap out a broken Blu-ray player or upgrade to a gorgeous Ultra HD unit, we’ve got a pick for you. Also, don’t forget to browse through our list of the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs to really show off what your system can do.

At a glance

Product Category
Sony UBP-X700 Best Blu-ray player overall
Sony UBP-X800 Best Blu-ray player for music
LG-UP870 Best budget Ultra HD player
Microsoft Xbox One S Most fun player
Sony BDP-S6500 Best 4K upscaling Blu-ray player
Sony BDP-S3500 Best replacement Blu-ray player

Sony UBP-X700

The best

sony home theater 2018 ubp x700 blu ray player

Why you should buy this: It offers the most immersive cinema-style playback around, including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support.

The best

Sony UBP-X700

With support for both major forms of HDR and object-based surround sound, Sony's UBP-X700 is the best Blu-ray player you can buy.

Who it’s for: Those who want a player that will offer them the best possible viewing experience, regardless of format.

How much it will cost: $200

Why we picked the Sony UBP-X700:

Sony’s UBP-X700 is an affordable home theater masterpiece. With excellent video and audio processing, the player will play any of your favorite discs at their maximum possible fidelity.

Unlike its bigger brother, the UBP-X800, this model offers both Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy the gorgeous contrast and wide color gamut offered by both of the leading high-dynamic range formats. That, plus support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound (in addition to various other established surround sound formats) means that you’ll never have to worry about getting the most immersive experience possible in your home theater.

Add in the fact that all that technology is available inside the UBP-X700 at the easy-to-stomach $200 mark, and you understand why this is our favorite player on the market right now.

Read our Sony UBP-X700 review

Sony UBP-X800

The best for audio enthusiasts

sony home theater 2018 ubp x700 blu ray player

Why you should buy this: It offers incredible sights and sounds, including Dolby Atmos and HDR10 support.

The best for audio

Our Score

Sony UBP-X800

Loaded with features and packing class-leading performance, Sony's UDP-X800 will help you get the very best out of your home theater setup.

Who it’s for: Those who refuse to compromise on fidelity for either the video or audio side.

How much it will cost: $248

Why we picked the Sony UDP-X800:

There’s a reason Sony’s UDP-X800 tops virtually every Blu-ray player list you can find. Sony’s UDP-X800 has stepped in to fill the void left by the shocking demise of the best Blu-ray player maker in the world, Oppo Digital. This player offers just about everything you could want, including gorgeous 4K resolution, high-end audio decoding that includes both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and HDR10 to bring the very best performance out of every disc in your collection.

While you’ll pay a bit more for the UDP-X800 than for the UBP-X700 listed above, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. That’s because it offers the company’s DSEE HX audio processing, which will take everything from Mp3 to FLAC files and make them sound absolutely astonishing. So if you’re the kind of person who wants a player that spins both audio and video discs, this is likely the option for you.

One thing it unfortunately doesn’t offer is Dolby Vision HDR, so those with Dolby Vision-supported TVs will definitely want to keep this in mind. But if you want to get the very best quality out of your top-tier home theater setup (without dropping more than $1,300 on the last of Oppo’s coveted UDP-203), this is the player for you.

Read our Sony UBP-X800 review

LG UP870

The best budget Ultra HD player

best blu ray players lg up870 formatted

Why you should buy this: It comes at a low price, but doesn’t sacrifice image quality.

The best budget Ultra HD player

LG UP870

With speedy performance and a crazy-low price, LG's UP870 is a steal of a deal.

Who it’s for: The audio and video enthusiast on a budget.

How much it will cost: $145

Why we picked the LG UP870:

If you’re looking to enjoy your favorite Hollywood blockbusters in full 4K HDR glory but don’t want to tap your vacation fund to do it, LG’s UP870 is our go-to pick. This Blu-ray player is a perennial favorite, and now it can be had for a crazy-low price. Like the UDP-X800, this Blu-ray player does not offer Dolby Vision HDR — an odd exclusion for LG, which adds Dolby Vision to many of its top TVs.

You also won’t get streaming apps, but frankly, if you have a 4K Ultra HD TV (which you’d better if you’re buying a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player), your TV’s onboard streaming is likely better than any Blu-ray player’s apps anyway. More to the point, we suggest those who want a great streaming experience buy one of these affordable devices tailor-made for the job. The UP870 may be low on frills, but it offers speedy performance at a great price, and that’s a deal in our book.

Microsoft Xbox One S

The most fun

Best Blu-ray players xbox one s
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: You want an Ultra-HD player and also love to game.

The most fun

Our Score

Microsoft Xbox One S

The Xbox One S is more than a gaming console: It’s a very capable Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

Who it’s for: Those who want the maximum amount of functionality (and fun) for their money.

How much it will cost: $300 to $310

Why we picked the Xbox One S:

If you want a great Blu-ray player and you’re also into video games, the Xbox One S offers serious value for your dollars. An attractive gaming console with sleek looks and a great price point, this version of the Xbox One is the most affordable way to double down, so to speak, as it offers tangible improvements in performance over the original Xbox One console that include the addition of an Ultra HD player, all at a killer price.

Like most high-end Blu-ray players on the market, the console features a USB 3.0 port, and Ethernet, S/PDIF, and USB 3.0 ports, in addition to two HDMI ports (one in, one out). A one-stop solution for everything from gaming to high-end A/V viewing, the Xbox One S offers 4K streaming and a beautiful picture, with HDR10 support that provides impressive contrast. If you’re a more serious gamer, you may also want to consider jumping up to the newer Xbox One X, which offers better graphics and a speedier processor. Either way, if you need a Blu-ray player with versatility and dual personalities, the Xbox One is a great choice.

Read our full Xbox One S review

Sony BDP-S6500

The best 4K upscaling

Best Blu-ray players sony dbp-s5500

Why you should buy this: It will make your standard Blu-ray discs pop on that new 4K TV.

The best 4K upscaling

Sony BDP-S6500

Sony's BDP-S6500 is the best Blu-ray player if you want an excellent picture, but don't think you'll ever buy an Ultra HD disc.

Who it’s for: Viewers who don’t want to make the leap into 4K Blu-ray discs, but want to squeeze the best possible picture out of their current collection.

How much it will cost: $90

Why we picked the Sony BDP-S6500:

If you don’t know whether you’ll ever make the leap into Ultra HD Blu-ray, but you want to view your current collection at the highest possible quality, there’s no better option on the market than Sony’s BDP-S6500. A standard Blu-ray player that upscales 1080p Blu-ray content to 4K for the latest generation of TVs, the player takes your now-aging collection and makes it look prettier than ever on your new screen.

In addition to awesome disc playback, a powerful Wi-Fi chip and Ethernet port enable fast 4K streaming. Finally, Sony’s TV SideView app lets you control your screen from your smartphone, as well as share your entire smartphone screen with your TV (for select phones), which is great for showing friends and family pictures and video.

S0ny BDP-S3500

The best replacement player

Sony BDP-S3500

Why you should buy this: You need a cheap replacement for your current Blu-ray player.

The best replacement player

Sony BDP-S3500

If you need a new player for your old discs without making the leap to Ultra HD Blu-ray, Sony's BDP-S3500 is a great choice.

Who it’s for: Viewers who need a new Blu-ray player to play their favorite CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, but who never plan on buying any Ultra HD Blu-ray content.

How much it will cost: $73 to 120

Why we picked the Sony BDP-S3500:

Some people are so into streaming that they don’t ever plan on buying a disc again — but everyone needs a way to play back their CD, DVD, and Blu-ray collection. That’s where players like Sony’s ultra-affordable BDP-S3500 come in. A simple, no-nonsense player with Dolby TrueHD, built-in Wi-Fi, and up to 300 streaming apps available, this little black box will allow you to enjoy your once-coveted discs in great quality, with some Netflix on the side. If you’re looking to replace a recently broken player, this is a great pick.

How we test

We begin each model year by bringing in the top-tier televisions from each of the major brands, including Samsung, Sony, LG, and Panasonic. These premium televisions help set the highest standard for the year, managing expectations for each model below them, and providing context among the competitors.

We typically test any media player with a number of these high-end TVs, checking compatibility and performance over a series of weeks or even months in our A/V testing room.

When possible, we’ll place two competing models side by side to analyze picture quality differences, providing real-world context to the specifications provided by each manufacturer.

We make a concerted effort to test every aspect of a given player, making sure to provide the most thorough feedback possible to our readers. After all, you’ll be living with your new player for years to come, and we only want to recommend devices that we ourselves enjoy.

Movies & TV

Why ruin a good thing? These are some of the worst movie sequels ever made

A sequel that doesn't compare to the original film isn't worth making, right? Unfortunately, this is Hollywood we're talking about. We've picked out 12 films which will go down as some of the worst follow-ups ever made.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Fluance’s four beautiful new turntables arrive with easy-to-stomach prices

Acclaimed audio brand Fluance launched four new turntables as part of its new Reference series, aiming to offer elegant looks and pristine sound to those who are just getting into the world of high-end analog audio.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Godzilla,’ Brightburn,’ ‘Triple Frontier,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Brightburn and Triple Frontier, among other previews.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma, ‘Sabrina’ special

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Alfonso Cuaron's new film Roma, Jim Henson's classic fantasy The Dark Crystal, and more.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (January 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in December 2018 and January 2019, from new original series to classic…
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Google Assistant gets the Marshall treatment with two new smart speakers

Marshall's Voice-series were already some of the most stylish smart speakers on the market, but now they're available as Google Assistant-compatible editions. This makes Marshall one of the few companies to support both Alexa and Google.