Best 4K Blu-ray Players 2019

Best 4K Blu-ray Players

Intro

The 4K era has been upon us for a few good years now and as such there is a good number of options in the market today that cover almost all budgets, tastes and needs. But finding the best 4K Blu-ray players can be a difficult task especially if you are not into the loop while in the meantime  manufacturers try to get a bigger piece of the consumer market by releasing new yearly models that some times are more of a re-brand rather than a true upgraded successor.

And with streaming becoming more and more popular each year it puts more pressure on manufacturers to offer better value that will keep disc media relevant and into the game by offering what dedicated disc players are good at. The best image and audio quality possible. So in this article we will try to help you distinguish the best models available right now by analyzing their characteristics and pointing out their key differences through our comprehensive list.

But if you are in a hurry and want to save time you can immediately check Panasonic DP-UB820, our #1 recommended 4K Blu-ray player on Amazon. Or alternatively you can read our full review HERE.

How to choose a 4K Blu-ray player

There are a few key elements that you have to consider before deciding what is better for you and what suits your needs. But what defines a good 4K Blu-ray player is it’s capabilities in combination with it’s price tag. When the first players appeared most of them were expensive and were missing some key features we find today in most of them like Dolby Vision. But with a few good years under their belt now we are able to distinguish them in three different categories with premium, middle-tier and budget friendly ones. But what characteristics decide in which category each player belongs? Let’s see below.

  1. Built Quality : Build quality means what kind of components did the manufacturer used during production as well as how good design the player has. Usually premium players are using more advanced internal designs with better and more stable disc drives as well as higher quality audio components like DACs (Digital to Analogue converters), dedicated power supplies, circuits and capacitors. But while premium players is more or less a given to come with top quality components it’s the lower tier players that becomes more important what kind of components they have and this is one of the key elements of how good a player can be.
  2. Video/Audio Quality : Obviously no matter how good build quality a player may have it’s the quality of it’s video and audio output that matters the most and it’s the single most important element when selecting your player in combination with it’s price tag. Some times the kind of quality a player can output is a direct result of it’s components but this is not a definite thing as we have seen players that have a big difference in price but their performance is very similar.
  3. Inputs/Ports : Usually connectivity is the number one element that is affected by the price as the more expensive you go the more connections you will get. It seems that even for the most cheap models there is an absolute minimum being offered that usually include an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and a Digital audio output that can be used to connect older equipment. Going higher in price you will find dual HDMI ports, more Digital audio outputs, USB ports as well as multi-channel analogue connections.
  4. App and Features included : With streaming becoming more and more popular disc players are under constant pressure as offering the best video and audio quality is not enough anymore. And while the lower priced models offer a more barebones experience getting a more expensive player usually means that comes with a few streaming services available in order to have more flexibility and options. Also more expensive models come with more settings and features that can help you calibrate the image to your liking as well as audio options in order to set up the player the way you see fit.
  5. Price : Unfortunately many people that are not tech savvy believe that the higher the cost the better the player. And although this may holds true to a certain degree it is not entirely straightforward. With many competitors on the market each one has difference price strategies so you need to be able to distinguish who offers the most for the price asked in order to be able to get more value for your money.

#1 Panasonic DP-UB820 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

Panasonic DP-UB820

Our Rating :

Pros
Amazing image quality
HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support
Excellent HDR enhancements
Very good price

Cons
No SACD or DVD-Audio support
Average remote
Settings can be overwhelming for novice users
User Interface looks dated

If you are looking for one of the best 4K Blu-ray players in the market today but at the same time you don’t want to break the bank then this one is the definite choice. It combines some of the more advanced features you will find in Panasonic’s premium models but uses a lower cost construction to keep the cost down.

But what we like in this one is that it uses Panasonic’s HCX processor that is responsible for the amazing quality it can output while it also supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. With the included HDR Optimizer the player can tone map the brightness of each UHD disc in order to match lower performing HDR TVs and thus offer better results even when your TV is not a top tier model. It also supports all four HDR protocols including the new HDR10+ while it is one of the few players that also come with voice control features that includes Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

You can read our full review of Panasonic DP-UB820 HERE.

Some of it’s key characteristics and features are :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and CDs.
  • HCX processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray with HDR Optimizer and 4K upscaling.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10+, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma(HLG) supported.
  • Netflix, Amazon and Youtube streaming services support with 4K and HDR.
  • Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled.
  • WiFi built-in, USB streaming, Mirroring, Web Broswer.

As you can see from the above this player comes fully packed with specs and features that will certainly satisfy both casual consumers as well as hardcore home theater fans. There is an overwhelming number of positive reviews both on Amazon and on the internet and is widely accepted by first-hand buyers and home theater experts as the best, price-sensitive 4K blu-ray player on the market so far. Quality doesn’t have to be expensive and Panasonic did prove that with this player.


#2 Sony UBP-X800M2 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

Sony UBP-X800M2

Our Rating :

Pros
Great image quality
HDR10 and Dolby Vision support
Streaming features
Excellent price

Cons
No HDR10+ support
Average remote
Few connections available
It could use a better user interface

If you are looking for a quality player that still holds a punch but being more affordable this one is a great choice for you. The X800M2 is the successor of the already very successful X800 and Sony took that as a basis in order to release this new model that also supports Dolby Vision while keeping the already excellent performance of it’s predecessor.

Additionally the player supports SACD as well as DVD-Audio that even some more expensive players are missing and while these are more or less dead formats there is still as strong following adding more value to such a low priced device. Additionally with the included DSEE HX upscaling technology your mp3 files will sound better than ever while with the included Bluetooth function with LDAC technology you can stream high quality sound to your headphones for some silent audio enjoyment.

The most important features of this player are the following :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and CDs.
  • Frame-and-beam chassis.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma(HLG) supported.
  • HDR-to-SDR tone mapping conversion.
  • DSEE HX upscaling of compressed music files.
  • WiFi built-in, Bluetooth, USB streaming.

Getting top quality image and audio while also featuring Dolby Vision, HDR to SDR conversion, DSEE HX audio upscaling and built-in bluetooth in such a low price is an achievement by itself. If you are extremely tight on budget then this one here is your best bet. It may not be the best player overall but at this price it is hard to beat. Sony has created a 4K Blu-ray player that is literally for everyone and the X800M2 is designed to spearhead the casual consumer market for Sony.


#3 LG UBK90 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

LG UBK90

Our Rating :

Pros
Great image quality
Dolby Vision
Easy setup
Good price

Cons
Basic design
Only two streaming services
No front display
Limited features

The LG UBK90 is a very good budget friendly player that was released in 2018 and while it offers a few advanced features like Dolby Vision as well as some streaming services it remains a very simple player that was mainly designed to offer great video and audio performance without much of the extras we get in more advanced units.

It is also very easy to setup something that if you are a casual user you will greatly appreciate as it will take you just a few minutes to have it up and running while it’s second HDMI port can be very useful if you have older audio equipment that only has HDMI 1.4 as you will be able to separate video and audio signals through the two ports. And while the unit is a bit bare bones there are a couple of streaming services included for good measure.

You can find our detailed review of the player HERE.

Key features of the player are the following :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and CDs.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10 and Dolby Vision supported.
  • 4K streaming with Netflix and Youtube.
  • WiFi built-in, USB streaming, 3D support, 4K upscaling.

Looking at the specs it is very obvious what this unit is capable of. It was meant to be a cheap but good performing, Dolby Vision enabled 4K Blu-ray player without adding any premium features or components that would make it’s price go higher. The player may not look too much but there is more than meet the eye as it manages to pass with flying colors where it matters the most. To offer excellent image quality at an amazingly low price. If that’s what you also care the most then this player is definitely for you.


#4 Philips BDP7502 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

Philips BDP7502

Our Rating :

Pros
Excellent image quality
Dolby Vision support
Fast loading times
Very low price

Cons
Average build quality
Not many streaming apps
Average USB media playback
Not the most quiet deck

Philips may not be one of the major players in this segment at least when you compare them to Sony, LG or Panasonic but they manage to create worthy and good quality equipment. And this is the case here as the BDP7502 is their second 4K player in the market with an aggressively low price. Having checked a few models with almost the same cost we see that more or less their characteristics are similar.

As such this unit may not come with a design that will wow you but it’s performance certainly will. And if you add that it comes also with Dolby Vision support it makes things even more interesting. The unit is mostly destined for UHD playback but there are a couple of streaming services available for variety as well as USB playback in order to enjoy your files from an external storage device.

Read our in-depth analysis HERE.

Key features of this unit include :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and CDs.
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
  • HDR10 and Dolby Vision supported.
  • 4K streaming with HDR for Netflix and Youtube.
  • Home Network Multimedia Browser.
  • WiFi built-in, USB streaming, 4K upscaling, HDR to SDR conversion.

The Philips player will definitely fail to impress you on first look but don’t be discouraged by that. Because it may look like a cheap DVD player from 15 years ago when you play your first UHD disc you will be amazed by what this low priced device can offer. And while UHD playback is it’s main strength the ability for Network and USB playback as well as the inclusion of Netflix and Youtube streaming make it worth it much more than it’s actual cost.


#5 Panasonic DP-UB9000 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

Panasonic DP-UB9000

Our Rating :

Pros
Spectacular image quality
HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support
Excellent HDR enhancements
Top build quality

Cons
No SACD or DVD-Audio support
Settings can be overwhelming for novice users
Very expensive

If money is not a big deal for you if you put quality as top priority then stop looking any further as this player is the definition of perfection. Panasonic is one of the first manufacturers in the 4K market and continue offering premium products for those that are looking to get the best of the best. This player has literally everything you will ask for. Amazing build quality and top audio components, excellent performance both in video as well as audio and comes fully packed with connections and features that will make even the most hardcore user to break a smile.

Featuring Panasonic’s HCX processor that includes the amazing HDR Optimizer the player also is one of the first units that supports HDR10+ as well as all other HDR protocols. If you throw in the mix additional online streaming, Local Network streaming as well as USB playback support, High resolution Audio capabilities and 3D support and all these wrapped in a nice THX stamp then what you get is the full package you would expect with such a high price.

Read our in-depth analysis of the player HERE.

The most important aspects of the player are as follow :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and CDs.
  • Premium built quality with top quality DACs and audio components.
  • HCX processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray with HDR Optimizer and 4K upscaling.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10+, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma(HLG) supported.
  • Netflix, Amazon and Youtube streaming services support with 4K and HDR.
  • Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled.
  • WiFi built-in, USB streaming, Mirroring, Web Broswer.
  • XRL balanced outputs, 7.1 analogue outputs.
  • THX certified.

Certainly when you see the names Panasonic and THX on the same player cannot mean anything else than good things. The UB9000 may be one of the most highly priced 4K Blu-ray players on the market to this day but the amount of quality you get for the price asked is unparalleled. There is practically nothing missing here and this unit was designed in order to destroy all competition. So if you are looking for the best 4K player money can buy you just found it.


#6 Sony UBP-x1100ES 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

Sony UBP-X1100ES

Our Rating :

Pros
Excellent image quality
Premium build quality
Great audio performer
Many features

Cons
No HDR10+ support
High price
Video streaming limited
Cheap remote

If you want a premium quality player but without the need to spend the extremely high price of some of the other premium competing models this 4K player might be the one you are looking for. The UBP-X1100ES is the flagship player from Sony in the 4K arena and the Japanese manufacturer has made sure to equip this model with all the necessary ingredients in order to be considered a premium model.

As such the unit sports a carefully designed chassis as well as well selected audio components, has amazing performance when it comes to video as well as audio quality and supports both Dolby Vision and HLG other than the standard HDR10. High resolution audio support couldn’t be missing but Sony has also added DSEE HX technology that can improve quality of simple mp3 files. Online streaming and USB playback couldn’t be missing as the unit comes with both WiFi and Bluetooth with LDAC technology features.

Here are the most major characteristics of this player :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, CDs, SACDs and DVD-Audio.
  • Premium built quality and components.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma(HLG) supported.
  • Netflix, Amazon and Youtube streaming services support with 4K and HDR (Netflix, Amazon only).
  • DSEE HX technology for higher resolution mp3 playback
  • WiFi built-in, USB streaming, DMP (Digital Media Player), DMR (Digital Media Renderer)
  • Bluetooth streaming with LDAC technology

The Sony UBP-X1100ES is on a league of it’s own as there is no other direct competitor at this price range. The unit costs a cut above what most players cost but at the same time is lower than the other premium acclaimed 4K Blu-ray players. This is both a blessing and a curse as it cannot be considered a direct premium competitor but on the other hand it cannot also be compared to the lowered priced models as it definitely doesn’t belong with them. In the end this unit manages to excel with it’s playback performance as well as it’s streaming capabilities making it an excellent choice if you are interested in it.


#7 Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

Pioneer UDP-LX500

Our Rating :

Pros
Perfect image quality
Exceptional sound
Amazing build quality

Cons
Price is very high for a 4K deck
No streaming apps
No smart functions

When you look for a premium 4K Blu-ray player the options you have are rather limited but this doesn’t mean we don’t get a few good choices. One of them is definitely this player from Pioneer that has equipped the LX500 with everything that defines a premium model. But unlike other premium decks where manufacturers try to fit more features and functionality Pioneer had their own ideology when creating this model. As such this unit’s strong points are it’s excellent build quality and amazing playback capabilities with little else to offer.

By carefully creating a quality chassis and internal layout and with selecting the best audio components possible Pioneer was able to achieve the kind of performance they wanted from a premium device like this. Other features it has include the ability to playback content through the USB port, it comes with High Resolution Audio support, can upscale lower resolution content as well as play 3D Blu-rays.

Take a look at our detailed article of this player HERE.

Key features and characteristics of the player :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, CDs, SACDs and DVD-Audio.
  • Premium built quality and components.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10 and Dolby Vision  supported.
  • USB streaming, 4K upscaling, 3D playback.

This premium player from Pioneer was created with one thing in mind. Best quality possible in both video and audio while leave everything else out. As such if UHD playback is the one and only thing that you care about and you are serious about it then the LX500 should be among the few units to consider as it may not have the bells and whistles of other models but packs some serious playback power that will definitely amaze you.


#8 Sony UBP-X700 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

Sony UBP-X700

Our Rating :

Pros
Excellent image quality
Very good value
HDR10 and Dolby Vision

Cons
Basic design and ports
DVD performance could be better
Dolby Vision not supported yet

We are well into extremely budget-friendly territory here as this player can be found at a price that is almost the lowest for any kind of 4K player in the market. But what makes this player more interesting is it’s support for Dolby Vision and this immediately makes this unit the cheapest so far to support this advanced HDR protocol from Dolby.

The unit may not offer a lot more but at this price this is to be expected but if you are interested in it then Sony has also included USB playback as well as some streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Youtube that is a nice addition. Another feature that you will definitely appreciate is the inclusion of High Resolution Audio support in order to enjoy the best music quality possible.

You can check our review of this specific player HERE.

The major points of this player are the following :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, CDs and SACDs.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10 and Dolby Vision supported.
  • Netflix, Amazon and Youtube streaming services support with 4K and HDR.
  • WiFi built-in, USB streaming, Miracast, DLNA

This player’s definite highlights is it’s 4K performance and the inclusion of Dolby Vision at an extremely affordable price. If you want a player at the lowest possible price but at the same time you would like to enjoy the quality of Dolby Vision content then the X700 is a no brainer. It doesn’t offer much more than that but you get a few extras that add a bit more value making an even better deal than it may seem.


#9 LG UBK80 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

LG UBK80

Our Rating :

Pros
Great image quality
Easy setup
Good 4K upscaling
Excellent price

Cons
No Dolby Vision
No WiFi
No online streaming services offered
Only one HDMI port

The UBK80 was the second offering from LG in 2018 and this unit will offer you the absolute basic features a player can offer you. It can playback Blu-ray, DVD and CD discs other than UHD ones as well as the latest Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio formats while it only supports the basic HDR10 protocol.

The player may well be the most affordable 4K player in the market but LG managed to add a few extra features in order to add some more value. As such we get USB playback, 3D support and 4K upscaling but the most interesting is the inclusion of High Resolution Audio in order to enjoy your high quality music.

You can read our detailed review HERE.

It’s basic features include the following :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and CDs.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10 support.
  • USB playback, 3D support, 4K upscaling.

The UBK80 may not offer much more than excellent playback capabilities and a few extras to sweeten the deal but if you are looking for the cheapest 4K Blu-ray player to satisfy your viewing needs and don’t care much about extras or premium features the UBK80 fits the bill perfectly while it will not hurt your pocket almost at all. 4K doesn’t need to be expensive and this player proves it in the most emphatic way.


SPECIAL MENTION

OPPO UDP-203 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

 

OPPO UDP-203

Our Rating :

Pros
Great image quality
Lots of connections
Great features

Cons
High price
Could use a better design
No streaming services

Normally we wouldn’t include in such a list a player that has been discontinued but we believe that special mention should be given to this player as it is considered one of the best 4K players to this day and if it wasn’t for Oppo’s decision to exit the 4K UHD players market this one would still rate very high in our list. The Oppo UDP-203 is considered by many the best player you could get that combined an excellent build design and materials as well as offering amazing video and audio performance.

Oppo decided not to include much else as far as extras is concerned as they wanted to offer a player that would focus almost entirely on offering the best 4K experience possible. Nevertheless the unit also offers High Resolution Audio support, is 3D enabled and comes with USB playback as well as Network streaming.

Check out our analytic review HERE.

Key characteristics of the player include :

  • Universal disc player for 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, CDs SACDs and DVD-Audio.
  • Exceptional build quality and design.
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and High Resolution Audio support.
  • HDR10 and Dolby Vision supported.
  • WiFi built-in, Local Network streaming, USB playback, 3D support.

Many are wondering what new models Oppo would have created if they would have stayed in this business. As it is the UDP-203 will remind us the excellent quality this company was putting in all their products and will be an example for all others that remain what means to offer a product that has the kind of value we got in all devices that bear the name Oppo. You can still find the UDP-203 in circulation but it’s extremely limited numbers has increased it’s price to crazy high prices. If you manage to find a unit at a low price then you should definitely consider it although now that Oppo is out of the game components and service may be a bit difficult to find.


Closing

With streaming becoming more and more popular dedicated disc players are being pressured to offer more in order to stay competitive. As much as internet speeds and connections improve physical media will always have the advantage of offering the best quality possible. The departure of Samsung and Oppo from this market certainly created some waves but there are still enough players in the game in order to give us a diverse selection that can satisfy all levels of consumers.

When choosing a 4K Blu-ray player first of all you have to set your maximum budget as this will limit the options you have and then choose according to which aspects of a player you put priority at. Hopefully our buyer’s guide can help you get a better idea of what are the best models on the market right now in order to make the best choice for your needs and budget.

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