While most Gen-Z and Millennials consider DVD players to be “collector’s items” these seemingly old-fashioned devices are still very much in use. In fact, most people who own TV sets also own a DVD player to play their favorite movies offline. Plus, most (if not all) blockbuster movies get a DVD release a few months after hitting the big screen.
So, if you’re looking for an alternative to online streaming, DVDs are still very much an option. They even come in portable versions that are lightweight and easy to carry around. Modern-day DVDs are much easier to use and maintain compared to old-school versions.
A lot of them are powered by rechargeable batteries, which are built-in and can last for hours on end on a single charge. You’ll find that most of the models available on the market come with a lot of impressive features and exceptional display quality.
With that said, buying a DVD device is not as easy and simple as it once was. There are literally hundreds of different models available to choose from and each has something different to offer. To help you along, we’ve chosen to review the best portable DVD players on the market and give you tips on how to make the right purchase.
PLAN - PRICE
START UP - $ 29
NAVISKAUTO 10.1" Dual Screen DVD Player
BUSINESS - $ 49
DBPOWER 12.5" Portable DVD Player
ADVANCED - $ 99
DR. J 12.5" Portable DVD CD Player
ADVANCED - $ 99
UEME Portable DVD Player
ADVANCED - $ 99
Spacekey Portable DVD Player
Things to Look for When Shopping for the Best Portable DVD Player
Finding the best DVD player can be an exhausting experience, especially if you’re not exactly sure what to look for. That’s why we’ve put together a helpful checklist of features that you should consider with each model that you look at.
We all know that display is everything when watching content, regardless of the medium or device that you’re using. As with online streaming, full HD display is king when it comes to DVD players. It’ll give you clear visuals and rich colors.
On the downside, it’s very draining on the battery. If you’re going to opt for anything less than HD, make sure it has decent display options and resolution because that’ll affect the display quality as well.
Most people assume that size doesn’t matter because all portable DVDs are small and compact. But, the truth is that some models have better portability than others. Small DVDs typically carry within them a tiny battery that can only last for a short amount of time and requires constant recharging.
The size you pick will depend on the availability of charging ports in the area where you plan to use it. For instance, if you plan on using your DVD player in your car or RV while on a road trip, then you should purchase a larger device because you’ll have constant access to charging ports.
Realistically speaking, most portable DVD players can only hold a charge for 3.5 to 4 hours at most. This translates to one long movie or two regular length movies. You should also make sure that the battery can be charged from your car and that the charger doesn’t rely on wall sockets alone.
In addition to bringing you high-quality visuals, the DVD player you choose should provide you with good quality audio as well. This typically translates to an output level of about 15W and above. There are a lot of models out there that can reach an output level of about 45W and even higher.
It’s important to note here that for the most part, you probably won’t need a super loud DVD player, especially if you plan to use it in closed, indoor environments. But, if you’re thinking of starting a mobile outdoor cinema then you’ll need a DVD player with the highest audio output available.
Most portable DVD players can play a wide range of formats with clarity. This includes video formats as well as audio files. This means your DVD player should double as an MP3 player when the occasion calls for it, and without draining the battery life.
However, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker if a DVD player is unable to play certain file formats. You could always purchase a file converter separately that’ll help you change the file format to suit your DVD player’s requirements.
Get yourself a good quality DVD player that can play most DVDs and CDs. We say “most” because it’s very rare to find a portable DVD player that’s compatible with ALL formats.
It’s worth noting that you should check to see if your DVD can play old-school DVDs that were released years ago or ones that are scratched. If not, then you might notice that this type of DVD has poor display quality.
Nowadays, DVD players can play files from storage devices other than regular DVD discs. Some models come with a USB stick or SD card slot so you can access and play content from a wide variety of formats.
However, portable DVDs may not be able to deliver the same high-quality, HD visual experience offered by laptops and notebooks when using these storage devices, but you’ll still get decent playback.
Also, make sure to look for a DVD player that comes with built-in headphone jacks so you can enjoy your movies and series in private and without traffic noise. It’s worth noting that using headphones can significantly reduce the amount of battery drainage that happens when watching content.
Look out for any additional or “special” features in the DVD player that are designed to make things easier for you or enhance the player’s performance. For example, there are a lot of portable DVD players out there that come with A/V ports so that it’s easier to connect them to your TV set, and don’t forget to check if it has a remote control.
Some models even come with Dolby Digital audio decoding features for high-quality audio output. A Component/Digital or S-video output is also worth looking into as a feature that enhances reliability.
Types of DVD Players
Before getting your own best portable DVD player, it is wise to know more about the different types available in the marketplace. The most popular type of DVD players are:
Portable DVD Players
Not only is this type of DVD player lightweight and easy to carry, but it’s simple to use and you can easily plug it into your car. It’s a lot of fun even for your kids!
Flip Down DVD Players
This is one of the first DVD players that were created solely for use in cars. You mount it on the ceiling, from which the screen drops so you can enjoy effortless viewing. These are pricier than most other portable DVD players and you will have to hire someone to install them.
Rearview DVD Players
As the name implies, this type of DVD player projects visuals onto your rearview mirror. They’re not generally recommended because having one of these can be a major distraction while driving.
In-Dash DVD Player
Create your own on-the-go drive-thru with an in-dash DVD player. It might be a little more expensive than most of the options mentioned above but you can use it as a replacement for your CD player.
Headrest DVD Players
Again, the name says it all. Headrest DVD players are designed for single viewer experience. They’re perfect for when you want your child to enjoy his movie or cartoon show in the backseat or airplane without necessarily having to hold the device it’s playing from in their hands.
What Are the Supported Formats?
Check to see what type of media formats your DVD player supports. After all, you shouldn’t purchase a DVD player that won’t allow you to play your favorite movies because they’re in an “incompatible” format. Keep in mind that the cheaper your DVD player is, the higher the chance that it can only support a limited number of formats.
That’s because cheap DVD players feature second-rate software that’s not up to par. This affects the player’s performance and limits its ability to play different formats. You’ll also experience a number of other issues that you don’t need to be dealing with. That’s why we’ve chosen only the best portable DVD players on the market in the review section below.
How to Install a DVD Player in Your Car?
The installation method will depend on the type of DVD player that you purchase. Most units use a plug-and-play system which makes your life super easy. All you have to do is mount them on your vehicle’s headrest and plug them into the nearest 12V outlet using the power cord.
On the other hand, you have DVD players that come with a flip-down and in-dash mechanisms which you can easily integrate to your car’s in-built audio or video system. These require professional installation and are usually more expensive as well.
On the whole, it’s quite easy to install a DVD player. However, it’s important to observe certain safety rules first, like disconnecting your car battery’s negative terminal.
Next, you must remove the car’s current stereo unit which is usually the panel that’s located on the center console. For the best results, we advise that you check the owner’s manual from your car manufacturer for direct instructions.
If you purchase a car DVD player then it’ll most likely come with its own instruction manual that shows you what to do to successfully install the player. You may also drive the type of car that needs an adapter faceplate.
If that’s the case, then it’s even more important that you follow the provided instructions and use any wires that are provided properly. For the most part, the DVD player installation usually comes down to sliding the device into the proper slot and make sure that it’s secure. Afterward, you need to reinstall the pane and re-attach the battery cable’s negative end.
What is the Largest Screen Size Available?
When it comes to car DVD player screen size, the sky is the limit. Just make sure that it doesn’t obstruct your view of the road from either the front or the back. Also, it shouldn’t interfere with your car’s aesthetics.
For the most part, a 13-inch screen works best for an SUV or van, but this screen size might be too huge for a sedan. The size of your console will determine the size of your in-dash system as well and currently, Plye makes the largest available portable DVD players which measure 14 inches.
Single DIN vs. Double DIN DVD Players
Size is the only separating factor between a double Din DVD player and a single DIN. A single DIN has dimensions of 7×2 inches from the front, while a double DIN measures 7×4 inches.
The double DIN is called this way because it literally doubles the height or width of the interface so that the DVD player can literally fit like a glove. These models typically feature integrated controls so you can enjoy an engaging viewing experience.
A single DIN DVD player will typically feature a slide-out display which you can slide into the DVD player. That’s why a lot of people prefer it because it looks like a regular DIN car stereo when not in use. You’ll only see the screen after you activate the DVD.
Best Portable DVD Player in the Marketplace
Buying a portable DVD player doesn’t have to be stressful if you know what features you like and which specifications to look out for. Hopefully, the above section will make it easier for you to find the best portable DVD player for your needs.
Of course, if you need further help, we have a comprehensive list of the best models on the market, with a review of each option for your convenience. Keep reading for more.
1 – NAVISKAUTO 10.1″ Dual Screen DVD Player
Most people prefer portable products because they just make life easier. The same can be said of this dual screen DVD player from NAVISKAUTO. It features a fairly large 10.1-inch dual screen display and a powerful battery that can last for up to 5 hours on a single charge! It also comes with Velcro strips but we wouldn’t recommend that you rely on them when driving on rough terrain.
The screen has a 1024 x 600 resolution with LED backlighting to help you see an accurate picture regardless of whether you’re watching in full or low light conditions. This DVD player supports a wide variety of formats, including DVD, CD, MP3, VCD, SVCD, JPG, DVIX, AVI/AVI/MPEG.
It’s worth noting that it comes with a built-in battery for added convenience. When you open the box, you’ll see the DVD player itself as well as an AC adapter, an RCA AV cable, a DC cable, a car charger and 2 Velcro straps.
Comes with two built-in speakers
Offers 5 hours’ worth of playback time
Backed by a 18-month warranty
Comes with SD and USB card reader support
It’s not made to last
2 – DBPOWER 12.5″ Portable DVD Player
DBPOWER has gone all out with this DVD player to make sure it includes all the fantastic and innovative features you’d expect from a modern unit. This includes a USB port and SD card slot, as well as support for an array of different formats, such as SVCD-R, VCD, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD, CD-R and CD. The only format it doesn’t support is Blu-Ray DVDs.
Otherwise, you can use it to watch video file formats that include XVID, VOB, MPEG1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as AVI. The audio file formats it supports are WMA and MP3. It also supports the JPEG image file format.
This DVD player features a thoughtful design that enables you to effectively “pause” a movie while you’re watching it so that you can watch it later. This is known as “last memory function” and it makes for a more seamless viewing experience.
In addition to watching DVDs in your car, this player can also be used outside of your car. It’s lightweight and very portable. Plus, you can connect it to your TV set if you like as well.
You can use it from anywhere
Comes with convenient “last memory functions”
Supports a wide array of different formats
Can be used with a number of primary storage devices
The remote takes some getting used to
It’s incompatible with Blu-Ray DVDs
3 – DR. J 12.5″ Portable DVD CD Player
This portable DVD player from DR. J measures 12.5 inches and it’s very popular among users due to its long-lasting battery life. Apparently, it’s practical and easy to use no matter how long you’re planning to be on the road for.
It supports various media platforms and comes with an integrated rechargeable battery that has a 5-hour lifespan. The best part is that it comes with a power adapter and car charger as well so you can plug it in and enjoy endless entertainment if you like.
The screen offers a 270-degree swivel feature so you can customize it to meet your needs. This is arguably the best portable DVD player for kids. You can use it to play DVD movies, concerts, games and music.
Features break-point memory function
Screen comes with 270 degree swivel
5-hour battery life
Not the best quality player you can find
4 – UEME Portable DVD Player
The UEME 10.1″ portable DVD player comes with a lithium battery that has a 4-hour lifespan with each charge. It’s ideal for when you decide to take long road trips. Keep in mind that the battery life will get drained much quicker if you use this in a loud environment that requires you to turn up the volume.
Rather use it only in a quiet environment, or use the 3.5mm headphone jack to connect the earphones. There’s an AV OUT port that you can use to connect this DVD player up with your main TV set.
This is great for when you want to enjoy large screen resolution viewing. This DVD player sports a wide 10.1-inch screen with a 16:9 ratio and a screen resolution of 1024×600, and a TFT full color LCD display. You can rotate the screen for up to 180 degrees and it supports all the main disc formats.
This includes MPEG1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as FLV, XVID, AVI, and VOB. Audio formats that are supported include WMA and MP3 while it comes with support for image file formats as well, like BMP and JPEG. You’ll be glad to know that there’s an SD card and USB drive port for even more input versatility.
Supports all the main disc formats
Allows you to rotate the screen
Can be used in and outside of your car
The battery can run for up to 4 hours on a single charge
The remote control takes some time getting used to
The USB port can be tricky
5 – Spacekey Portable DVD Player
Never get bored on the road again thanks to this portable DVD player from Spacekey. It’s the best portable DVD player for car as it features a 10-inch swiveling screen that allows you to watch your favorite content from a comfortable angle in your car. It also delivers good quality audio and clear imagery.
As part of the package, you get AV cables so you can connect this player to your TV and enjoy seamless entertainment on a larger screen. This is a great gift idea for movie lovers because it’s simple, easy to use and versatile.
Works well in and outside the car
Comes with an AV connection so you can connect it to your TV
Allows you to turn the volume all the way up
The remote control can be problematic
6 – Boifun 17.5″ Portable DVD Player
With a 17.5″ screen, this model from Boifun is one of the largest and best portable DVD players on the market. It comes with advanced features such as a 1280×800 HD swivel screen, a 5000mAh battery that can last for up to 6 hours on a single charge, and 270-degree rotation.
This DVD player supports a variety of formats and you can play content from an SD card or USB stick thanks to the included ports. There’s also an anti-shock function that’s designed to ensure proper disc reading no matter how much the vehicle shakes during the process.
Lastly, ease of use and a straightforward operating system make this the best portable DVD player for toddlers and older members of your family.
Comes with AV cables for TV connection
Supports a wide array of formats
Great for families
Its size makes it a bit too big for regular-sized cars like sedans
7 – ieGeek 11.5″ Portable DVD Player
A lot of DVD players offer a lot of sizzle but none of the meat. This model gives you the best of both worlds, with a sleek aesthetic accompanied by thoughtful design. It features a cutting-edge LCD eye protection screen that helps to prevent flickering and dazzle.
It also comes with a “last memory function” which allows you to pick up where you left off when watching content. This is in addition to a “repeat” function which you can use to repeat the same song or video automatically. The latter feature will definitely be a hit with the kids!
The 11.5-inch screen is pretty decent but if you want a larger screen then you could always connect it to your TV set using the AV output feature. The battery can last for up to 5 hours on a full charge.
Has an impressive 5-hour running time
You can connect it to a larger TV screen
Features LCD eye protection screen
Comes with repeat and last memory function
The screen is smaller than expected
8 – HD JUNTUNKOR 12.5″ Portable DVD Player
This is another great DVD player to keep your kids entertained on the road. It features a 12.5-inch screen, a 270-degree swivel function and a screen resolution of 1024×600. The battery has a long lifespan of up to 5 hours and you can either use the AC charger or car charger.
There’s also a protection board for the charger which allows it to go further than it would without protection. There are two operating systems on the DVD player, which is a first. The first OS is for daily viewing, while the second is designed for on-board viewing.
In our opinion, this is the best portable DVD player for car headrest because it comes with a customized car bag. You’ll also be glad to know that it can play anything but Blu-ray format files, including CD, DVD, CD-R/RW, DVD -R/+R, DVD+RW/-RW, VCD, and SVCD. It’s also backed by a 2-year money-back guarantee.
Delivers crystal clear picture with no glare
Easy to mount and use
Comes with every cable you’ll need to play it from different devices including TV sets
Great value for money
It doesn’t come with a USB charger
A bit heavy to carry
9 – Pyle 17.9″ Portable DVD Player
Although it has a relatively small screen, this DVD player still deserves to be on this list of the best portable DVD players on the market. This is a top-loading model that comes with a high-resolution LCD widescreen.
Thanks to the AV connector and HDMI port, you can easily connect this player to another screen such as a tablet, smartphone or your TV set. It supports all the major digital formats such as WMA, AVI, MP4, and MP3.
Alternatively, you can load your content through the provided SD card and USB slots. There’s an in-built IR transmitter and RCA wiring harness that you can use to enjoy your favorite visual content in peace.
Keep in mind that this is a universal car headrest monitor, which means it can be installed into any car model. It comes with its own mounting bracket for easy setup, as well as a leather screen cover and remote control.
Comes with an RCA wiring harness and IR transmitter
Can be used with a wide array of storage devices
Features a high-resolution screen
It doesn’t live up to the hype of being a “universal headrest monitor”
10 – APEMAN 7.5” Portable DVD Player
The APEMAN DVD player is made with your family’s safety in mind. It allows for hands-free operation and it’s easy to set up. It comes with its own custom made car charger which is easy to use and the battery can last for up to 5 hours on a single charge.
On the other hand, the screen offers 270 degrees swivel function and can fold back for up to 180 degrees. This car DVD player is a great way to upgrade your car’s entertainment system. You’ll be happy to know that it comes with a 3-in-1 cable which you can use to connect the device to your TV, and there’s an AC wall charger to boot!
Great for taking “home entertainment” on the road
Supports a wide variety of media file formats
Easy to maneuver
Battery life can last for up to 5 hours of continuous playback
The remote control is difficult to use
It’s not suitable for all DVDs
PLAN - PRICE
START UP - $ 29
Boifun 17.5" Portable DVD Player
BUSINESS - $ 49
ieGeek 11.5" Portable DVD Player
ADVANCED - $ 99
HD JUNTUNKOR 12.5" Portable DVD Player
ADVANCED - $ 99
Pyle 17.9" Portable DVD Player
ADVANCED - $ 99
APEMAN 7.5'' Portable DVD Player
So, what is the best portable DVD player you ask? Well, that depends on you and what you’re looking for. We’ve provided you with all the information you need in order to make an educated choice and even offered some reviews of our top picks.
If we were to recommend just one option, though, it would be the Boifun. It has a large screen size, a 1280×800 HD swivel screen, a 5000mAh battery ad 270-degree rotation for comfortable viewing. It also supports all the viewing formats you’ll need and comes with USB and SD card slots.
Best of all, we love the anti-shock feature which enables you to enjoy seamless viewing no matter how bumpy the road is that you’re driving on. This is truly the best portable DVD player in our opinion and it’s a great buy for families and avid road-trippers.