Best external Blu-ray drives

Get the power and speed of a Blu-ray drive in a convenient and portable package. Here's why the BDR-XD05B by Pioneer is the best external Blu-ray player you can buy.

Update January 2017: We given this list a once over and found that all our previous picks still stand — Pioneer's BDR-XD05B takes the #1 position.

Best overall

Pioneer BDR-XD05B

Pioneer 6x Exterior Blu-ray Burner

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Pioneer's external Blu-ray burner is one of the slimmest options on the market, featuring a clamshell design and 6x 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, simply plug it into your computer via USB — Pioneer drive supports USB 3.0 — and you should be good to go.

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

One more thing: Comes bundled with Cyberlink software.

Why the Pioneer BDR-XD05B is the best external Blu-ray player

Pioneer's BDR-XD05B is a superb little Blu-ray player that's super-slim and is 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-XD05B, which enables owners to plug-and-play on both Mac OS and Windows. Support for USB 3.0 is present for increased speeds to take full advantage of available PC power.

The drive also comes bundled with Cyberlink software, which includes PowerDVD 12 for watching Blu-rays and DVDs, PowerDirector 10 LE for editing and uploading home movies to social media, and Power2Go for creating Blu-ray backups of important personal data — all totally optional software that you don't need to install to use the drive but worth noting.

Pioneer's burner writes at 6x speeds on BD-R single-layer and dual-layer discs and 4x 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 6x 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.

Bottom line: 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 14x speeds on single-layer BD-R discs and it supports BDXL discs, as well as M-Disc. The latter are 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.

Bottom line: 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 one 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.

Bottom line: 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.

Affordable

Samsung TSST SE-506CB/RSBD

Samsung 6x External Blu-ray Writer

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Samsung's drive offers the best value, delivering a reliable, lightweight Blu-ray writer at under $100. It's compatible with most types of Blu-ray, DVD-R, CD-R, and even M-Discs. It's also powered by a single USB 2.0 cable, meaning you won't have to free up two valuable USB ports to use your Blu-ray drive.

Bottom line: Cheap but cheerful drive that offers great functionality for the price.

One more thing: Also comes with a Cyberlink software package.

Conclusion

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

Best overall

Pioneer BDR-XD05B

Pioneer 6x Exterior Blu-ray Burner

See at Amazon

Pioneer's external Blu-ray burner is one of the slimmest options on the market, featuring a clamshell design and 6x 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, simply plug it into your computer via USB — Pioneer drive supports USB 3.0 — and you should be good to go.

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

One more thing: Comes bundled with Cyberlink software.