On many modern PCs, optical drives have become an afterthought. In a lot of ways, this makes sense. People used to burn files to CDs and DVDs for backups and transfer. However, most people now use flash drives for transfer, and external hard drives for backups. As a result, many newer PCs and Macs don’t even have an optical drive at all. For most people, this is all well and good.
Why would you pay extra for computer parts that you’re never going to use? But if you want to use an optical disc, like a Blu-Ray disc, you need a drive.
On many computers, you could simply install an internal drive to rectify this. But what if you don’t have any extra space? What if you’ve got plenty of space, but you aren’t confident about cracking your computer open? In either of those cases, an external Blu-Ray drive is going to be your best option.
We’re about to look at three of the best Blu Ray burner external player/writer drives on the market. We’ll start with the Pioneer BDR-XD07B. Coming from a reliable brand, this writer is designed for easy transport and setup. Next, we’ll look at the Verbatim External Slimline. As its name implies, this is an ultra-slim drive. It’s also constructed from durable aluminum.
Finally, we’ll examine the Buffalo Media Station. This drive is specially-designed for making long-term M-Disc recordings. Which one is the best? To find out, we’ll need to take a deeper dive into each of these external drives. Let’s look closer, and see what we learn!
Top 10 the Best Blu ray Burner External 2021
For more information to help you pick out the best Blu-Ray burner for your system, check out our list for the best Blu Ray Burner External in 2021 and the buyer’s guide below.
1. Asus ZenDrive U9M
This drive ripped DVDs faster than the other DVD-only drives we tested, and it includes a USB Type-C cable for newer laptops.
Asus includes both a Mini-USB–to–Type-A cable and a Mini-USB–to–Type-C cable, so you can plug it into almost any computer without buying extra cables. And it feels more solidly built than the other DVD drives we tested, though it was slightly louder than competitors when we were burning or ripping a disc.
2. Pioneer BDR-XD05B Blu-ray Burner
Released in 2015, Pioneer’s BDR-XD05B is a clamshell-designed (opens from the top) slim and lightweight Blu-ray writer that offers a great experience in a design that’s just 8.2 ounces. Measuring 5.24 x 5.24 x .58 inches, the XD05B offers premium and proprietary features such as PowerRead and PureRead to assist in the delivery of smoother playback of both DVDs and CDs.
The Pioneer will handle write speed at 6x for a Blu-ray on one quad-layer BDXL disc that can store the equivalent of around 27 DVDs.
The inclusion of Auto Quiet mode allows for the reduction in disc rotation speed to reduce noise. It switches between both quiet and performance modes depending on your needs. Pioneer includes CyberLink software for Windows, which allows for Blu-ray playback. Unfortunately, the BDR-XD05B is only compatible with Windows software leaving Mac fans to look at alternative options for Blu-ray writing and playback.
3. Verbatim External Slimline
Verbatim is another manufacturer with a sterling track record. They’ve been in business since 1969, and they’ve been making storage solutions ever since. Many of us grew up with their 3.5-inch floppy discs, and their Blu-Ray discs are up to the same standard. So we were interested to see how their external Blu-Ray drive compares to the competition.
The Verbatim External Slimline
is similar in size to the Pioneer drive. At 5.25 x 5.75 inches, it’s a bit wider than the Pioneer drive. However, at only 0.4 inches thick, it’s even slimmer and easier to carry. You can easily fit it in side pockets on luggage, or in a secondary sleeve inside a laptop bag. Regardless of your carrying option, the 8 ounces of weight are hardly noticeable.
4. ASUS External 12X Blu-Ray Burner
If you don’t quite need the speeds of the Verbatim External Slimline, but you still want to burn or read from discs quickly, then this is a great option that outperforms a lot of other models. It has write speeds of up to 12x to Blu-rays, and 8x onto dual-layer Blu-ray discs. There’s no triple-layer support, so keep that in mind if you need to burn your data on discs with three or four layers.
The read speeds are also excellent, supporting up to 8x from Blu-rays, up to 16x from DVDs, and 40x from CDs. All of these terrific transfer rates would probably be wasted except this model also uses a USB 3.0 connection so you can take full advantage of them.
You can also use USB 2.0 with this one, but you probably won’t get transfers as fast through it. It has 4MB of buffer memory and comes with a stand that lets you use it in a horizontal or vertical configuration, making it a great fit for just about any workspace.
5. OWC Mercury Pro
This is an aftermarket external drive casing equipped with an internal Blu Ray drive. The drive found in the casing is the LG WH16NS40, which is one of the best Blu Ray drives you can find right now. So, here you’re paying for the casing and the time saved for not needing to fit the Blu Ray drive into the shell. The final price is not that more expensive than the combined price of an internal drive and an external casing.
When it comes to performance you can expect up to x16 speed both for reading and writing. Further, the drive supports M-DISC standard as well as up to quad-layer Blu Ray discs. The external shell supports USB 3.0 connection and it features an attractive design with aluminum being used as the main build material. Overall, this is an excellent external Blu Ray drive.
The thing is, ASUS’s model is a bit cheaper and it weighs less so we gave it the advantage over this one.
6. Archgon Premium Aluminum
Support m-disc bd-r. cnc aluminum body.
Please make sure your equipment meet the cyberlink powerdvd requirement by going through a test by search ” ultra hd blu-ray advisor ” before purchase. please note that cyberlink powerdvd currently has only pc version. for mac users there is no suitable uhd blu-ray software yet to the best of our knowledge. so on mac computer you can only play and write regular blu-ray,…
Premium external uhd 4k blu-ray writer super-muti drive.
The uhd blu-ray drive can read uhd, read and write regular blu-ray, dvd, and cd with proper software. for regular blu-ray, dvd and cd, you can use whatever applicable software that come with your computer, or search for the proper software to install on your computer.for playback uhd blu-ray, we recommend using cyberlink powerd. it is a 3rd party software that required.
Do not use illegal downgrade firmware or playback software. it may damage the functionality of the uhd drive.
7. MthsTec external Blu-ray DVD drive
The MthsTec external Blu-ray DVD drive sports a similar set of features to the Pioneers disc drive, but at a slightly lower price point. This device is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
The MthsTec external DVD drive can read and write Blu-ray discs, CDs, and DVDs. It is able to playback both 3D and 4K content using a 3.0 USB connection, which is an upgrade over the Pioneer drive, which lacks 4K compatibility. The 3.0 USB connector is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0, but it will be less reliable when burning discs while connected to these slower inputs.
This device also comes with a Type-C interface.
This compact drive features a slide-out tray, and the cable conveniently tucks away into a small slot on the bottom of the drive. The build quality on this drive isn’t quite as good as the last two options on this list, but MthsTec offers a decent warranty.
This device is fully featured when it comes to media playback. If you are looking for a portable, reliable Blu-ray drive to watch content on, this is a great option. If you are looking for a device to burn content on, this DVD drive will work, but not with the same reliability or format options of the Asus BW-16D1X-U.
8. Roofull ECD819
Design to be plugged into USB 3.0 jacks, the Roofull ECD819 (about $24) offers fast data transfer speeds, yet it is still backwards compatible with 1.0 and 2.0 ports, so you can connect it to old computers too. Conveniently, it features a storage slot for its attached cable.
- Front-facing status indicator light
- Plug and play installation
- Available in white or black
9. Samsung – 870 EVO 1TB SATA Solid State Drives
As the name suggests, the new Samsung 870 EVO solid-state drive (SSD), officially announced today, is the upgrade to the 860 EVO that came out two years ago. And it really is, sharing similar hardware components yet being much faster.
In reality, though, this new internal drive is more like an improved version of the 870 QVO. The two share a lot of similarities in performance grade. And again, the 870 EVO also proved to be a more powerful beast, able to handle extended operations without slowing down.
To cut to the chase, this new SSD is an excellent drive for anyone who wants to max out SATA performance and a ton of storage space. For the most part, you can only get higher performance if you move to an NVMe drive.
That, plus the comparatively high-endurance and friendly pricing of between just 13 cents to 20 cents per Gig depending on the capacities, which range from 250GB to 4TB, make the Samsung 870 EVO an easy recommendation. Get one today!
10. Wintale 5 in 1 External Bluray DVD Drive
The wintale Bluray DVD Drive is 5-in-1 in the sense that it supports 1 SD, 2 USB3.0 transfer or charging, and 1 TF card. This Bluray DVD drive also supports DVD/CD write and BD/DVD/CD read. With it, you will be able to copy music/data/movie files from TF/SD card or via two USB ports to the computer.
You can also copy files from bluray player to TF/SD card, USB flash drive, or USB hard drive. It is crucial to note that the TF card and SD card cannot work at the same time; hence, you will have to choose one at a time. The bluray drive is plug-and-play, and, therefore, you will not need an external driver.
How to choose the best Blu ray Burner External
The following attributes are what you should look for in a portable optical drive, whether you need it only every once in a while or use it almost every day:
- Read and write capability: DVD drives must read and write DVDs and CDs, and Blu-ray drives must read and write Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs. We didn’t require Blu-ray drives to support reading and writing to Ultra HD (or UHD, or 4K) Blu-ray discs, but we considered it a nice bonus if you didn’t have to pay much more for that feature.
- Speed: If all you’ll use your drive for is playing discs, just about any drive you buy will perform similarly. But if you’re burning or ripping discs, the rate at which a drive can move data from your computer’s hard drive to the disc or vice versa becomes more important.
- Price: A good DVD drive shouldn’t cost more than $40, and a good Blu-ray drive should cost around $100.
- Noise: All optical drives make noise, but the drive shouldn’t drown out the movie or show you’re trying to watch.
- Connector and cable: Drives should use standard detachable USB cables so that a frayed or broken cable doesn’t ruin the entire drive. On the drive’s end, we prefer the still-common Micro-USB port, though the larger Mini-USB is fine too (optical drives with USB-C ports are rare to nonexistent).
- Almost all of the cables included with drives we tested had USB Type-A connectors on the computer’s end, but the inclusion of a USB-C cable or a USB-A–to–C adapter in the box is a nice bonus.
- Operating system support: All drives we tested were detected by Windows 10 and macOS 10.15 Catalina without our installing any additional software, and the operating systems’ built-in disc reading and burning features worked without requiring any extra drivers or configuration.
- Sturdiness: Few external disc drives are pretty, but the case shouldn’t fall apart under light pressure, the connections shouldn’t be wobbly, and the buttons should work when you press them.
- Usable software: Both Windows 10 and macOS offer tools for burning data to DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and macOS still includes a DVD player app for playing video discs. But macOS can’t play Blu-rays without extra software, Windows 10 can’t play Blu-rays or DVDs, and neither operating system includes software for burning video discs that you can play in DVD or Blu-ray players.
- Free (but potentially illegal) solutions are available for all of those problems, which we cover in the Playing DVDs and Blu-rays section. But if a drive comes with decent playback and burning software, that’s a plus.
- Other extras: All the drives we tested came with one-year warranties and claimed to support the archival M-DISC format, though we didn’t test those claims.
All of the drives featured on this list will support Windows and Mac OS. The difference is the writing speeds, form factor, multi-format support and of course, the price. We hope this should cover for almost everyone who is looking out for the best external Blu Ray burners.
Suggestions and comments are welcome in the comment section below.