Best overall

Pioneer BDR-XD05S

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Pioneer's external Blu-ray burner is one of the slimmest options on the market, featuring a clamshell design and six-times write speed for single-layer and dual-layer BD-R. It has plug-and-play functionality and support for the latest macOS and Windows 10 software. You simply plug it into your computer via USB — Pioneer drive supports USB 3.0 — and you should be good to go.

It's also great value at $75.

Bottom line: It's a super-slim exterior Blu-ray drive that's easy to connect and enjoy.

One more thing: This drive loads from the top, which helps keep it slim, but that means you can't tuck it out of sight easily.

Why the Pioneer BDR-XD05S is the best external Blu-ray player

Pioneer's BDR-XD05B is a superb little Blu-ray player that's super-slim and contained inside a clamshell design. If you're on the hunt for an external Blu-ray writer, look no further.

It's slim, one of the thinnest on the market, and features an attractive clamshell design. Pioneer has done a solid job with the BDR-XD05S, which enables owners to plug-and-play on both macOS and Windows. Support for USB 3.0 is present for increased speeds to take full advantage of available PC power.

The added bonus of using USB 3.0 is that a single cable is enough for both power and data transfer. Older, USB 2.0 drives required the use of two USB ports on your PC.

Pioneer's burner writes at six-times speeds on BD-R single-layer and dual-layer discs and four-times write speeds for triple-layer and quad-layer BD-R discs. It's also capable of reading and writing DVDs and CDs.

Feature-rich

ASUS 6x Direct

ASUS 6x External Blu-Ray Drive

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This award-winning, stylish entry from ASUS is a great option if portability isn't such a big factor for you. It comes with a vertical stand that will save precious desk space in your office, but beyond aesthetics, this drive is capable of writing at six-times speeds for standard BD-R discs and supports BDXL, meaning you'll be able to backup up to 100GB of data onto a single Blu-ray.

At the time of writing this drive costs a very reasonable $70.

Bottom line: It's a great option for those who require a powerful burner that's simple to use.

One more thing: Features ATP technology for top-quality burning for those with data to write.

Speed

LG BE14NU40

LG Electronics 14x External Blu-ray Disc Rewriter

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LG's Blu-ray disc writer is the fastest on the list, capable of writing at fourteen-times speeds on single-layer BD-R discs and it supports BDXL discs, as well as M-Disc. The latter is designed to last a very long time, hundreds of years in fact. Thus if you need to back up data, this is a solid option.

It's fairly pricey at $140, but you're paying the premium for the sheer performance.

Bottom line: It is a great little drive that's incredibly fast and supports the M-Disc format.

One more thing: It's large, bulky and weighs in at 3.3 pounds.

Portable

Buffalo MediaStation

Buffalo MediaStation 6x Portable Blu-ray Writer

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For a compact and extremely portable option, here comes the Buffalo MediaStation Blu-ray Writer. It features two integrated USB cables — one for data transfer and a second in case you need a boost of power to the unit — which both neatly wrap around and fold into the drive for ease of mobility.

And it comes in at just under $100, too, so it's not the most expensive drive around, either.

Bottom line: It is designed to be transported around with an accompanying laptop for portable use.

One more thing: Supports, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, BDXL, and even DVD HD upscaling.

Conclusion

You really can't go wrong with these external Blu-ray drives. It all boils down to what you need, how much you can afford and whether you're a fan of any particular electronics brand. That said, we feel the Pioneer BDR-XD05B is worthy of the top spot.

Best overall

Pioneer BDR-XD05S

See at Amazon

Pioneer's external Blu-ray burner is one of the slimmest options on the market, featuring a clamshell design and six-times write speed for single-layer and dual-layer BD-R. It has plug-and-play functionality and support for the latest macOS and Windows 10 software. You simply plug it into your computer via USB — Pioneer drive supports USB 3.0 — and you should be good to go.

It's also great value at $75.

Bottom line: It's a super-slim exterior Blu-ray drive that's easy to connect and enjoy.

One more thing: This drive loads from the top, which helps keep it slim, but that means you can't tuck it out of sight easily.

Updated September 6, 2017: We updated our top pick with the latest version of Pioneer's USB Blu-ray drive.