The 10 Best Optical Disc Drives - May 2017
Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every optical disc drive on the market in the US to determine our top 10 list.
In total we compared over 166 optical disc drives, 69 reviews and 85 prices. Last updated 23 May 2017.
$49.99OverstockSave $7.99 (14%)View Details
$74.99AdoramaSave $1,370.99View Details
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- $75.00 Mac of All Trades
- $84.65 Overstock
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- $99.99 MCM Electronics
$40.74OverstockSave $11.74 (22%)View Details
$82.59Amazon USView Details
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- $87.99 Overstock
$93.99OverstockSave $19.00 (23%)View Details
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- $93.99 Overstock
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- $24.49 MCM Electronics
- $29.68 Overstock
$24.97Tech For LessSave $16.00 (39%)View Details
$27.97Tech For LessSave $3.52 (11%)View Details
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Optical Disc Drive Buying Guide
Optical disk drives cover a wide range of internal and external devices meant to both read and write a variety of removable media. This means they can be used to both read data from discs (i.e - playing a movie DVD or Blu Ray) and also writing or ‘burning’ data (i.e - creating a music CD from individual mp3s, or permanently writing files to a disk for distribution).
While most computers used to house CD and DVD drives as standard, drastically smaller devices and a move towards cloud-based streaming mean that disc drives are being used less and less. Indeed many modern laptops and desktops no longer contain a disc drive at all.
This means that even though it is legacy tech, it’s still worth keeping a drive handy for those times you want to read the data from an old DVD, burn a disc for a friend, or watch a movie when you don’t have access to Netflix. This guide will explain the major points of consideration when choosing an optical disk drive.
Mounting & Portability
The first important consideration is what type of drive you want to get. While all our drives read and write disks, there are 2 main types - internal and external. It’s important to note that generally speaking internal drives can’t be used outside of computers, and external drives have to be powered via USB, and can’t be mounted inside a desktop or laptop.
Internal drives: These are meant to be placed into the computer body itself and wired directly into the system for power and data. They are used mostly for either replacements, or if you are building your own computer from scratch. Because these drives have to fit into a specific bay, it’s important to make sure you get one that is the right measurements and compatible with your computer. This also includes the correct mounting for the machine you’re wanting to install the drive into.
External drives: These drives are meant to be plugged into a computer (usually via USB) to serve as a temporary drive when one is needed. These drives tend to be more expensive than internal drives, but can be used with any computer. They are especially useful for laptops, since the current trend in ultra-thin laptops mean that most modern models don’t have a drive built in. Because external drives are removable, they can be easily stowed away until needed, making them helpful if you only need to read a CD/DVD occasionally. They are also very portable, making them good for watching movies or accessing data on journeys where you may not have access to a stable net connection.
There are 3 main types of optical media supported by the disc drives on our site - CD, DVD and Blu Ray:
CD: Traditionally used for music, and while rather a legacy format, there are so many CDs in circulation that you are bound to need to access one at some point. All disc drives will read and write CDs, but the downside is they hold the least information of the 3 types.
DVD: DVDs are generally used for movies, since they are higher density, so can hold far more data than CDs. DVDs are still widely used for movies and video games, and can also hold a large amount of information, making them useful for backing up lots of files. Nearly all of our drives support both CD and DVD read writing.
Blu-Ray: The newest and highest density of optical media on the market, Blu-Ray discs can hold an enormous amount of data in a single disc. They are primarily used for very high-quality movies. However because they are a new format, Blu-Ray writers are far more expensive than CD or DVD-compatible models. Moreover, not all drives support Blu-Ray reading or writing, meaning that you may find other users are not able to read the data on the disc.
Finally, read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the disc. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be burnt to the disc, or read from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.
Optical Disc Drive Retailers, Prices and Features
Dvd Writer Prices
We currently list 64 cd (re)writers ranging from $0 to $128. The average price of a new dvd (re)writer is $18 and the 80% of dvd (re)writers are priced between $0 and $80. The most expensive cd rewriter that we found is the HP 652241-B21 at $128, and the cheapest is the LG GP67EB60 at only .
Optical Disc Drive Brands - Price Range
Buffalo dvd rewriters range in price from $50 to $80, and the highest average dvd writer price out of all brands is Buffalo dvd rewriters with an average price of $65.
Transcend dvd (re)writers start at $41 and the most expensive Transcend dvd burner costs $41. The average price of Transcend dvd (re)writers is $41 which is the second highest average price of all dvd burner brands.
Apple dvd rewriters start at $0 and the most expensive Apple cd (re)writer costs $75. The third highest average cd (re)writer price out of all brands is Apple dvd rewriters with an average price of $37.
Cd Rewriter Brands - Average Ratings
We have checked 1 expert 0 reviews from across the internet and used this information to calculate the average rating for each brand of dvd rewriter. Asus is the top rated cd burner brand with an average rating of 69%. Transcend is the second best brand with 0% and Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the third best brand with 0%.
Biggest Dvd Rewriter Retailers
We found 10 current offers for optical disc drives from Overstock making it the biggest optical disc drive retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Amazon US for whom we found 8 current offers for optical disc drives. The third biggest retailer is Adorama with 5 current optical disc drive offers.
When Are Most New Cd Rewriters Released?
Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any obvious trend in the release month for new cd writers. In February 2016 nine new cd burners were released making it the biggest month that year for new dvd rewriter releases. July was the biggest month in 2015 for new dvd rewriters, with 17 new dvd rewriters released that month. The biggest month in 2014 for new dvd (re)writer releases was June, with 37 new cd (re)writers released that month.
How Fast Do Dvd Rewriter Prices Drop After Release?
In the first 6 months after release, cd (re)writers drop in price by 95% on average. That means that on a typical cd writer costing $11 you could save on average $10 by waiting 6 months before buying.
CD Read Speeds
The CD read speeds of dvd rewriters range from 14x to 48x. The CD read speeds of most dvd rewriters range from 23x to 26x. The AsusBW-16D1HT, which is on sale for $0.00, has the fastest CD read speed and is a 48x CD read speed cd burner. The AsusBW-16D1HT has the slowest CD read speed. This cd (re)writer is a 24x CD read speed dvd burner and is priced at $40.74.
Biggest Cd Rewriter Retailers
We found 10 current offers for dvd burners from Overstock making it the biggest dvd (re)writer retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Amazon US for whom we found 8 current offers for dvd burners. The third biggest retailer is Adorama with 5 current dvd (re)writer offers.
Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Dvd Rewriters?
With the cheapest price on 6 dvd writers, Overstock is most frequently the cheapest cd (re)writer store.
Proportion of Cd Writers for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?
The store that most frequently offered the cheapest price on optical disc drives is Overstock and offers the cheapest price on 60% of its optical disc drives.