Bring Some Fun Entertainment Along With These Portable DVD Players
These dependable, portable units are convenient for road trips.
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While many new vehicles are equipped with the latest technology, older cars and trucks typically aren't. If you are looking to upgrade your vehicle's infotainment options, a DVD player is a good place to start. These units can be portable or permanently installed, depending on your needs. They provide a wide range of features and are a great way to entertain children, and even adults, on long road trips. But not all car DVD players are the same. There are several features you should consider before making a purchase to ensure that the one you choose checks the right boxes.
We did the research so you don’t have to. Check out our buying guide below to find the best DVD players for your vehicle.
WONNIE 10'' Dual Car DVD Player
This portable DVD player has 10-inch dual players. AV and DC cabling allows both screens to play the same movie. It comes with brackets to mount on your headrests.
- You can use the AV out option on the player to connect it to a TV so you have a bigger screen for viewing
- Monitors have long run times, at 4-5 hours of continuous playtime
- There are quite a few wires to this setup, which can make it look cluttered in your car
- Doesn’t come with a car charger
SUNPIN Portable DVD Player
A budget-friendly design and convenient mounting system all make this DVD player a good option to save some money and some space when using it in your vehicle.
- Clear, blemish-free image quality
- Sound quality is decent enough for most uses
- Battery charge doesn't last nearly as long as advertised
- After a decent charge, it lasts for only a couple hours at most
eRapta Headrest DVD Player
Nearly the next best thing to having a permanent DVD player installed in your vehicle. This player has a large screen and easy installation design for convenient use.
- Comes with a variety of audio source options
- DVD player is easy to fasten to the back of a headrest
- Overall size is somewhat awkward
- Too small for multiple people to enjoy at the same time but too big for a typical child
We took many factors into consideration when compiling this list of the best DVD players. First, we made sure to feature devices that have a reputation for solid performance. It's important to have a unit that sounds good, looks good, and lasts a long time. We avoided brands that have a tendency to stop working inexplicably or have subpar audio or video.
We featured units that are available in a wide range of prices in order to suit a variety of budgets. We also included kits with both single video screens and dual units, which can accommodate more than one user (particularly important if you have children who fight over each other's belongings). We also checked consumer feedback to see how these DVD players operate in real-world conditions. For more information on our methodology, go here.
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Best DVD Players for Car Reviews & Recommendations
- Brand: Wonnie
- Screen Size: 10 inches
- Player Size: 12.2 x 9 x 5 inches
- Dual screens for two times the entertainment
- Headrest brackets included
- Can be connected to a television
- AV and DC cables included
- Not all cables are included
- No car charger
This portable DVD player comes with two 10-inch screens that can simultaneously play the same movie. It also comes with headrest brackets for flexibility in mounting your screens in your car. You’ll use the included AV and DC cabling to hook up your system.
The player for this system is versatile. You can use the AV out to connect the player to a TV for a bigger display than the two screens. If you’re using the screens, they each have long run times of continuous play for 4-5 hours.
Unfortunately, you need cabling to hook up the two screens to the player. This means you’ll have several cables that can make your system and car look cluttered and messy. It also doesn’t come with a car charger, so you can’t charge it while on the go.
- Brand: SUNPIN
- Screen Size: 9.5 inches
- Player Size: 11 inches
- Good image and sound quality
- Long battery life
- A little quiet without headphones
- System may act buggy at times
For a budget DVD player, the image quality is surprisingly good. While it doesn't have a 4K resolution, the color production and basic details are good enough to enjoy with most TV shows and movies. The sound quality is also good enough to understand quiet dialog when not using headphones.
Volume-wise, the max level isn't very loud without a pair of headphones. While this might be a good thing in a crowded vehicle, you may have trouble listening to quiet scenes and dialogue. Some bugs in the system also make it difficult to use at times.
- Brand: eRapta
- Screen Size: 10.1 inches
- Player Size: 11 x 1.5 x 7 inches
- Optical DVD drive
- Larger screen compared to some rival brands
- Multiple audio inputs
- Easy to install
- A little bulky for a small child’s hands
- Mounting screw can be difficult to adjust
This headrest monitor by eRapta sits comfortably in the high-end range of portable car DVD players. Unlike more budget-friendly options, you get a lot for the money you'll spend on this one, including an actual optical DVD drive and an extra-large screen measured 10 inches diagonally.
The combination of an ultra-thin, widescreen panel, headrest mount, and multiple audio input sources make this a versatile DVD player. Since it simply straps to the back of a seat, the quality and versatility almost rival more permanent DVD players without the complicated installation process most require.
There is a lot to like in terms of quality, but the design of the DVD player is another matter. Unfortunately, the overall size is just off. There isn't enough screen real estate to allow multiple people to enjoy one player at the same time. On the other hand, the screen is bulky for smaller children to hold comfortably for long periods of time.
Our Verdict on DVD Players for Cars
Our pick for the best DVD player for cars is the WONNIE 10'' Dual Car DVD Player. You get two 10-inch screens and headrest brackets, as well as AV and DC cables to hook up the system. The screens have a continuous run time of four to five hours. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the SUNPIN Portable DVD Player.
What to Consider When Buying a DVD Player for Your Car
There are several types of DVD players that’ll work for long trips in your car. You can get a headrest DVD player or a portable DVD player. When choosing the best portable DVD player for cars, make sure to check out the specs, such as the size of the screen, the audio quality, and the mounting options. Read more about these features below.
DVD Players for Car Key Features
Since DVD players are all about playing movies, TV shows, and other videos, the screen is arguably one of the most important components. The size and quality of the screen will directly influence the quality of the image itself. DVD players tend to be on the smaller side of screen sizes, averaging around 7-9 inches diagonally. Like tablets, computers, and televisions, they come in different resolutions like HD (1080) and 4K. The higher the resolution/video quality, the more details tend to come out of the screen. Typically, larger touchscreens, swivel screens, dual-screen DVD players, and higher resolutions tend to increase the viewing experience and price tag as well.
Beyond the video itself, audio quality completes the media experience for most players. Different manufacturers and models tend to take different approaches to audio. Some use built-in speakers to deliver sound, while others stick with a simple headphone jack so the audio doesn't bother other passengers. Regardless of the audio type, the sound delivery should be distortion-free with a volume control that's easy to find and use. You may find some Bluetooth players for wireless headphones as well.
Installation can be a tricky aspect when getting a new DVD player for the car. Permanent mounts that sit in the dashboard or on the roof are less universal in design, meaning some vehicles might not be compatible with the player's mount. Portable DVD players and most headrest models, on the other hand, play well with many vehicle interiors. These mounts either replace the existing headrest or strap onto it with little time and effort.
DVD Players for Car Pricing
You can find a good-quality DVD player for less than $100. There are several options available in stores and online for an affordable price, and they typically have decent screen sizes and image resolutions. If you can stretch your budget a little more, DVD players between $100 and $200 tend to have larger screens and more advanced features. You will find some permanent installations such as flip-out players and built-in infotainment systems at this price point. DVD players that cost more than $200 are typically designed to be permanent installations in your vehicle or high-end portable products with features such as HD and premium screen resolutions.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: Can DVD players for cars read Blu-ray discs?
A: Yes, some DVD players for cars do accommodate Blu-ray discs, but make sure you read the specs before making a purchase to ensure that it plays the type of media you have.
Q: Are car DVD players easy to install?
A: Portable car DVD players are simple to install, and you can put them on the headrest and remove them without much effort. In-dash or flip-out units are more difficult to install and may require professional assistance.
Q: Do wireless devices work with DVD players for cars?
A: Wireless devices like cordless headphones can work with some DVD players if the player has Bluetooth connectivity.
Q: Can I watch TV on a portable DVD player?
A: In most cases, no. Most car DVD players use saved media files. A couple of options, however, come with a portable TV antenna you can mount somewhere out of your car. Reception will vary depending on location.