The Best Portable DVD Players for Cars

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Apr 27, 2023
A DVD player mounted to the back of a car seat's headrest.

A good portable DVD player will keep you or your kids entertained throughout your trip. Portable DVD players can also be used in a hotel or at home, and some models can play movie files off of a thumb drive or SD card. Of course, portable DVD players have built-in screens, but you can also connect them to larger TVs or monitors.

What to Look For In a Portable DVD Player

With so many options out there, it can be hard to find a portable DVD player or headrest DVD player that meets your needs. So, let’s review some important features to look out for when shopping for portable DVD players.

  • Screen Size: Just like TVs and smartphones, portable DVD players come in several different screen sizes. In this roundup, we’ve listed the best 7- to 16.9-inch portable DVD players to add to your in-car entertainment collection.
  • Headrest Mount: The best portable DVD players come with a detachable headrest mount for kids or adults in the backseat of your car.
  • Resolution: Portable DVD players generally use low-resolution screens. Thankfully, these screens are also fairly small, so the picture quality doesn’t suffer too much.
  • Video Output: Since portable DVD players generally have less-than-impressive resolutions, the best portable DVD players allow you to connect to a TV for a richer visual experience. (Note that this is usually achieved over a 3.5mm AV cable, so you won’t necessarily get an improved resolution when connecting to a TV.)
  • Swivelability: Most portable DVD players come with a swivel screen that you can rotate 280 degrees and flip 180 degrees for different viewing angles, though others don’t. We covered both types in this article.
  • Battery Life: Portable DVD players are usually battery-powered. The best portable DVD players come with high-capacity, long-lasting Lithium-ion batteries and car chargers.
  • Last Memory Function: Most portable DVD players have a “last memory” function. If your DVD player runs out of batteries during a movie, this function will help you pick up where you left off.
  • Supported Media: Portable DVD players can usually play CDs as well as DVDs. Some units can also play files from a USB thumb drive or SD card.

With that out of the way, let’s now dive into the best portable DVD players on the market.

Best Overall: DBPOWER 11.5-Inch DVD Player

DBPOWER 11.5-Inch DVD Player on a white background

Pros

  • Best overall DVD player with broad media type/format compatibility
  • Decent battery life with up to 5 hours of watch time
  • Comes with a remote and headrest mount

Cons

  • Resolution not the best

If you want a solid portable DVD player that ticks all the above boxes and then some, then get the versatile DBPOWER 11.5-Inch DVD Player. It is our top choice for the best portable DVD player. It features a 9-inch 800 x 480-pixel (5:3 aspect ratio) swivel screen that you can rotate 270 degrees and flip 180 degrees for the best viewing angle. It also comes with a headrest mount and remote control.

The DBPOWER supports both DVDs and CDs. It can also play file formats like MPEG2, AVI, DIVX, MP3, WMA, and WAV from a thumb drive or SD card. It has dual stereo speakers and a headphone jack and can play for up to 5 hours on battery life.

Best Budget: UEME 7-Inch Portable DVD Player

UEME 7-Inch Portable DVD Player on a white background

Pros

  • Budget-friendly DVD player with broad compatibility
  • Decent battery life watching with built-in speakers and headphone
  • Comes with a remote and headrest mount

Cons

  • Poor resolution
  • Small screen size

The UEME 7-Inch Portable DVD Player is our best budget portable DVD player recommendation for infrequent travelers, light (portable DVD player) users, and those who don’t mind a 7-inch screen. Although small, the affordable UEME 7-Inch Portable DVD Player is big on features, including a last memory function.

This region-free portable DVD player comes with a 7-inch LCD swivel screen that can rotate 270 degrees and flip 180 degrees. It supports DVD, CD, USB, and SD cards, and it lasts between 3 and 5 hours on batteries. It has an 800 x 480 resolution (5:3 aspect ratio), AV IN/OUT ports, and a headphone jack. It also comes with a remote control and a headrest mount.

Best Premium: FANGOR 10.5-inch Dual DVD Player

FANGOR 10.5-inch Dual DVD Player on a white background

Pros

  • Premium DVD player with dual monitors and broad compatibility
  • Up to 5 hours of watch time on the main DVD player
  • Comes with remote control, headrest mounts, and straps

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • Non-swivelable

For a group of adults traveling together or families with more than one kid, we recommend the FANGOR 10.5-inch Dual DVD Player, our top pick for the best premium portable DVD player. It comes with a main 10.5-inch DVD player and a secondary 10.5-inch monitor as well as dual mounting brackets and a pair of headrest straps.

Also region-free, the 10.5-inch FANGOR Dual DVD Player has an LCD monitor with a 720 x 576 resolution ( 5:4 aspect ratio). It has loud and clear speakers and supports a wide range of media types and formats. Both units can last 2.5 to 3 hours playing together, while the main unit (playing alone) can last up to 5 hours. It also has a last memory function.

Best Compact: ieGeek 9.5-Inch Portable DVD Player

ieGeek 11.5-Inch Portable DVD Player on a white background

Pros

  • Compact 11.5-inch swivelable DVD player for smaller spaces
  • 2,500mAh battery and last memory function
  • Comes with remote control, headrest mount, and built-in games

Cons

  • Resolution can be better

If you own a smaller compact car, you may want to go for the ieGeek Portable DVD Player; our top recommendation for the best compact portable DVD player. Unlike the dual-monitor FANGOR 10.5-Inch Portable DVD Player, it has a single 9.5-Inch swivelable screen (180 degrees and 270 degrees) and supports USB connectivity.

Also region-free, the ieGeek 11.5-Inch Portable DVD Player comes with a long-lasting 2,500mAh battery and a mobile car charger for charging on the go. It comes with a mount and a download code for 180 retro games (though a gaming controller isn’t included).

Best Large Screen: JEKERO 16.9-Inch Portable DVD Player

JEKERO 16.9-Inch Portable DVD Player on a white background

Pros

  • Large-screen DVD player for maximum visibility
  • 5,000mAh battery and last memory function
  • Comes with remote control, headrest mount, and game controller, among others

Cons

  • No user manual
  • Unimpressive resolution

If you prefer a large-screen portable DVD player, we highly recommend the JEKERO 16.9-Inch Portable DVD Player. It features a 14.1-inch swivelable LCD screen that flips 180 degrees and rotates 270 degrees giving you a wide viewing angle from different spots.

The JEKERO 16.9-Inch Portable DVD Player is also region-free, supports a wide variety of media types and formats, and has a last memory function. It comes with a massive 5,000mAh rechargeable battery (6 to 7 hours of runtime) as well as a car charger and remote control.

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