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'll buy in 2021.
A 4K Blu-ray player continues to be the best strategy to go for film image and sound quality at its very best. Below are the current pick of the crop. The best 4K players offer full fats bitrates for audio and video streams and all but guarantee the fitting HDR standards (including Dolby Vision and HDR10+), and object-based surround codecs comparable to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
There are plenty of 4K discs to make a choice from, so now is a brilliant time to upgrade, and in our experience, image and sound high quality have a tendency to be better than watching a 4K identical on Amazon Prime Video or Netflix.
4K players still spin customary Blu-rays and DVDs (keep in mind them?) so there are no issues of backwards compatibility. Some 4K players are also common decks that may play more area of interest audio disc formats akin to SACD and DVD-Audio.
Our select of the best Blu-ray players and 4K Blu-ray players all serve up sensible picture and sound at their respective price points, and you'll be able to find our definitive record below.
Black Friday Blu-ray player deals
These are 11 of the best film scenes to test surround sound
Keep on reading What Hi-Fi?'s digital editions with this super subscription offer!
With the DP-UB820EB, Panasonic has taken the video processing tech out of the flagship DP-UB9000 which features additional down this list and positioned it it in a more reasonably priced package deal. And the consequences are sensational. The player serves up a perfectly inviting and immersive image, bursting with colour and detail. It additionally produces a meaty and thrilling sound, which compliments the picture completely.
All the main flavours of HDR are supported, including HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, this means that you'll be able to extract essentially the most from 4K content material. It's a very good upscaler too, so customary Blu-rays will have to glance the phase to your shiny new 4K TV. For the money, you'll be able to fight to discover a higher all-round device, which is why we have placed this What Hi-Fi? Award-winner on the top of our list of the best Blu-ray players.
Read the entire review: Panasonic DP-UB820EB
If you want an inexpensive route into the sector of 4K Blu-ray, the Sony UBP-X700 is a great shout. It's some of the talented 4K players we now have observed at this type of cash. It’s a a laugh, involving performance - pictures are stacked with detail. The Sony shows a wonderfully subtle image that’s impeccably judged while being hugely entertaining. Sound high quality is similarly stirring with its zippy, dynamic persona complimenting that class-leading picture.
The Sony ticks lots of the packing containers you'll be expecting a participant to at this price, and contains both Dolby Vision and HDR10 improve however no HDR10+.
Despite now not flashing the hi-res audio badge, the X700 can also play as much as 24bit/192kHz files in all well-liked codecs, including WAV, FLAC and DSD. There's additionally smart capability and dual HDMI outputs. This Sony system is good sufficient to boost all means of home cinema systems, so you can buy with self assurance.
Read the overall evaluation: Sony UBP-X700
This Panasonic 4K participant represents great price for money. Feature-wise, it's a little sparse, however it's the efficiency that matters, and on that entrance it delivers. It can give 7.1 surround sound (the use of a supported gadget), and the audio is properly detailed, with an excellent sense of scale. There's a lot to admire on the subject of image high quality too - darkish main points are easily sturdy sufficient, whilst it handles 4K upscaling with aplomb. A great finances buy.
Read the whole evaluate: Panasonic DP-UB150EB
This mid-range Sony is a bit more capable - and slightly costlier - than those at the finances finish of the market. While it lacks a display at the player itself, its characteristic set more than makes up for it. It even has Bluetooth, for streaming audio to a couple of wireless headphones - a godsend for late-night viewing.
There's no HDR10+ strengthen, however another way it's a very flexible participant, playing great with such niche audio codecs as DVD-Audio and SACD. You need to manually allow Dolby Vision for supported content material, which is a bit of hectic (it will have to just occur mechanically), but this player's excellent performance nonetheless makes it simple to counsel.
Read the entire review: Sony UBP-X800M2
Making a Blu-ray participant for one of these low worth is no simple feat. Making a good Blu-ray participant at this level is more challenging, and a great one more difficult nonetheless. But by hook or by crook Panasonic has controlled it with the DMP-BDT180EB. If you'll are living without the 4K Blu-ray playback, the Panasonic is highest for any entry-level home cinema set-up. Detail ranges, color steadiness and movement handling are all superb for the money.
It doesn’t cling again on the subject of audio quality both. Its dynamic supply is thrilling to hear, voices sound clear and the whole presentation is beautiful balanced. If you want a cast upgrade on an old DVD spinner, this Panasonic Blu-ray participant won't let you down.
Read the entire evaluate: Panasonic DMP-BDT180EB
There's no shortage of excellent 4K Blu-ray players to make a choice from at the premium finish of the market, and the UBP-X1100ES also deserves to be on the record. Like the Cambridge above, it's a universal deck because of this it will possibly care for all means of disc codecs, including 3-d Blu-ray, SACD and DVD-Audio. It helps HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR, however there is not any reinforce for HDR10+, which is a little bit disappointing.
Its image is anything but, regardless that. The Sony serves up a balanced, pure and nuanced image, which shows nice intensity and an excellent quantity of detail. It's a musical participant too, with superb timing and a effective sense of rhythm with track and motion pictures alike.
Read the full assessment: Sony UBP-X1100ES
The DP-UB9000 is another player to throw into the combination in case you are available in the market for a top rate device. Nestled between the Pioneer and Cambridge in this list, the Panasonic is a feature-packed possibility with very good picture and sound high quality.
Its menu system is a little bit overcomplicated, however as soon as you have got the Panasonic arrange to your particular show, it serves up an entertaining and eye-catching image, bursting with color. There's an ideal sense of depth and realism to 4K photographs that makes you sit down up and take realize.
Soundtracks are delivered with quite a lot of weight and energy, which is solely what you need from a premium player like this. The Pioneer almost about pips it for outright musical skill, however the Panasonic DP-UB9000 is still well value auditioning.
Read the entire overview: Panasonic DP-UB9000
Some house cinema set-ups demand a player with even more focal point than the more budget-friendly machines upper up this list. At this level, top class build high quality and high-grade parts are par for the course, as is the attempt to bring you the best image and sound imaginable. The Pioneer UDP-LX500 is the best 4K Blu-ray player within the trade.
Feed the player a 4K disc and the picture that greets you is breathtaking. It paints a balanced picture, full of sensational levels of element. And the Pioneer sounds as excellent as it seems, exhibiting weight, power and a fantastic sense of musicality and timing.
There's no sensible functionality, nor is there a suite of multi-channel analogue outputs for legacy AV receivers, but when you have got the funds and a suitable home cinema gadget to play it via, this 4K Blu-ray player will blow you away.
The simplest hassle is that the LX500 seems to be out of manufacturing. As such, prices are absurd. If you can purchase one for on the subject of its unique cost of £999/$999, then grasp it, Otherwise, you might be at an advantage with either the Sony or Panasonic above.
Read the overall overview: Pioneer UDP-LX500
18 of the best film scenes to test picture quality
Best home cinema deals 2021