One-hundred and ten years ago, cars were just getting started in America. Now, we have luxury coupled with function, and the testament to our advances on automotives come in the form of mobile Wi-FI hotspots, self-driving technology, and one of our favorite perks – DVD players. With our list, you’ll have multiple types of players for your kids, for date night (hey, we won’t judge), and for extended trips where you don’t want to blow hundreds of bucks on a hotel room every night. We’ve found the best – all you have to do is pick.
Best Rated Car DVD Players for 2018:
1. BOSS Audio Flip-Down DVD Player
BOSS has been a leader in audio quality, which reflects on this model, but they blew us out of the water with a killer video quality to boot. Between price, quality, and ease of use, BOSS flip-down model takes the cake.
You get a wireless remote, two dual-channel BOSS headphones (each of them are solid construction). This model is able to support DVD, CD, MP3, USB and SD beautifully, making it one of the most versatile models on the market.
AV output and a dome light make this feel like it was included in your car from the minute it rolled off the assembly line. Your DVDs play in a 16:9 format at HD quality, and the player comes in either black, gray, or tan depending on the interior of your car.
You can listen to both FM and IR stations, which are perfect for that solo drive where you want clear, quality audio rather than the crackling of the built-in radio on your dash. This model is perfect for family cars, commuters with extended drives (30 minutes or more), and solo use.
SD Memory Slot
Monitor Size: 12.1 Inches
3-Year Warranty (When purchased from Amazon)
Supports up to 128GB external devices
- BrandBOSS Audio
- Weight10.9 pounds
For some of us, portable just works better for everything in our lives. With your next car DVD player, you get up to 5 hours on a single charge (which can also be charged via car lighter adapter), though you will need to purchase additional velcro-ready sleeves to slip your DVD player into for the back of the headrest. (It comes with velcro strips, but they can be somewhat unreliable on long car rides with bumps in the road).
With a 1024 x 600 resolution and LED backlighting, you’ll get the perfect picture whether it’s bright outside or pitch black at night. Supported formats include DVD, SVCD, VCD, CD, MP3, JPG, AVI/AVI/MPEG, and DIVX; versatility is key here. There’s no downside to having additional format support.
The battery is built-in to the actual DVD player as opposed to having DC access through the screen itself. Your package includes a great deal of items for the money, including an AC adapter, DC cable, RCA AV cable, 2 velcro straps, and a car charger for your cigarette lighter jack.
Various media support
5-Hour Rechargeable Lithium-ion
Weighs less than 5lbs
2W 8Q Speaker power
- Weight4.41 pounds
3. DBPower 10.5” Portable DVD DIsplay
Being able to swivel your screen multiple ways is a necessity when you’re travelling with kiddos in the car. The last thing you want to hear on the highway is, “I can’t see the screen,” and hear bickering between them. While this model is portable, you can fasten it to the back of a headrest or creatively velcro hang it from the fabric along the car ceiling.
You get a 4-hour battery charge for lengthy rides. This is perfect if you’re commuting to/from school and/or work every day, and you need a pick-up, put-down kind of DVD player. Shock resistance means that you won’t encounter issues if you’re on a gravel road or ding on a pothole, (walkman flashbacks anyone?)
You can charge this in the car or when you bring it inside with the included items in your kit, and enjoy multiple inputs, such as CD, DVD, file formats such as mp3 and avi, and more. Listen to your tunes with superior sound quality over your traditional car radio, or pull off the road during rush hour and watch a DVD while you get a bite to eat.
Flip screen multiple ways (perfect when you have multiple kids in the car)
One car charger, one power adapter included
4-Hour battery runtime
Multiple format support
Value (price + great quality)
- Weight8 ounces
4. Android 7 In-Dash Car DVD/CD Players
Android is one of the best softwares to view any media on, made better by the superior physical build of Corehan. View your DVDs and listen to CDs while you’re driving, or hook up your phone via Bluetooth to stream music while you’re driving.
This model comes with full backup camera integration, so you can hook up your pre existing backup camera to this with no problem. You get a full GPS system with 2017’s map updates, including both offline and online navigation support, all on a 6.95” display screen w/ 1024 x 600 quality. Make calls from your in-dash with no issue.
Kit includes RCA cables, AUX cables, radio antenna wires, 36/dongle wires, microphone extension wire, GPS antenna, and more. This is designed to perfectly balance your desire for high-quality video and audio output, while still being relatively simple to install and extremely easy to use. When you get completely hooked up, you can input stereo headphones for children to listen while you’re driving, without causing a distraction.
Latest 2017 Android UI
Included reliable GPS system
Backup camera supported
- Weight2.9 pounds
5. Autowings Headrest Dual Pack
This is the essential full package deal for anyone looking to entertain passengers on long car trips. You get two screens for the cost of a single high-res one, while retaining all the great qualities that Autowings are known for.
Hook up headphones/gaming devices to these over-the-headrest kits, allowing them to get lost in their media, allowing you to drive with minimal distractions. These support up to 99% of all video formats globally, so you run virtually zero risk of running into a file format that isn’t supported for playback.
Touch screen features allow your passengers to be in complete control of their media, avoiding distractions or stops to fix/alter settings and adjust playback. It’s simple to use. Wires come from the players to hook underneath your seats, hooking up to a power source inside your car. Unlike low-grade headrest models, you won’t be tripping over wires (or worse; not having enough slack to plug them in).
Two screens for the price of one
Includes leather over-the-headrest covers
800 x 480 display w/ covers on
Covers 99% of all file formats worldwide
IR transmitter for wireless headphones
- Weight11.6 pounds
6. BOSS Audio Single Din Touchscreen In-Dash Car DVD Player
In-dash units give you the ability to just install and forget. You don’t have to bring anything into the house to recharge, you don’t have to fiddle with wires and figure out what goes where. BOSS Audio makes it simple to reap the rewards of both with this panel-detaching in-dash DVD player.
Hook up a pair of BOSS Audio headphones to allow for silent enjoyment without interfering with driving operations. Full touchscreen capabilities allow you to seamlessly and quickly flip from options, files and settings with ease, as well as interact with your GPS system.
You get electronic skip detection; one of the issues with DVDs versus digital content (like memory from an SD or flash drive) is that they’re subject to skipping on bumpy roads, like dirt or gravel. This system ensures that you won’t run into those problems.
- BrandBOSS Audio
- Weight5.05 pounds
7. Sound Storm Flip-Down Monitor
Flip down models give you the ability to stow away your player when you want to interact with your passengers. You’re the master of the media in your car. Enjoy your DVDs 1920 x 1080 HD quality, while also gaining access over your hood lights and additional buttons for opening your electronic doors.
USB, AV and SD inputs give you versatility, while he 13.3” LCD monitor keeps the perfect brightness levels through light or dark roads. If you go through a tunnel or a cloudy area, you won’t be shocked by the brightness when you exit.
You get three interchangeable casings for this model, contouring to your interior’s color. Built-in FM and IR transmitters give you fantastic radio selections for that solo drive to/from work, while also opening up Bluetooth connectivity to stream music directly from your phone or mobile device.
13.3” flipdown display
3-Year platinum, dealer-backed warranty
Interchangeable, multi-colored casings to match car interior
IR Headphone output
Dome light w/ front controls
- BrandSound Storm Laboratories
- Weight7.5 pounds
8. CarThree Ultra-Thin HD DVD Player
Portable DVD players are usually favored by those with children; they’re easy, you just turn them on. However, headrest DVD players are easier in the long run, but most parents don’t want to take the time to install these (you have bigger fish to fry, like the terrible twos). CarThree made this model the answer to your prayers – easy to install, simple to use.
This ultra-thin HD DVD player withstands the wear-and-tear of your car life. Whether your kids throw their sippy cup at it or you bump into it when you’re reaching for your bag in the back seat, this will withstand. This kit includes the bracket, so no additional purchases for headrest-mounting are required. It also includes the plastic buckle, remote control, native game disk, car charger, and more.
Sync from your Apple or Android device, and you’re ready to go. This installation method means you won’t hear velcro tearing after a short stop, followed by the DVD player hitting the floor below. It’s as secure as anything else in your ride. 32-bit games come ready to entertain your passengers, and come with a wireless joystick (let’s all relive the days of Atari).
1024 x 600 Quality
Ultra durable, kid-friendly
12-Month warranty w/ 24/7 customer support
- Weight3.75 pounds
9. Tview Flip-Down Car DVD Player
If your goal is mainly just to get a superior radio coupled with your DVD player capabilities, this is for you. This flip-down model comes at an excellent price, and takes the minimalist route, focusing on quality construction over additional features. The screen swivels to contour to wherever your passengers are sitting; no physical readjusting required, you just had to gently move the screen and you’re done.
Plays DVD, CD, DVD-R, DVD+R/DVD-RW, DVD+RW, JPEG, MP3/MPEG4, either from your phone (aux cable required), or from CDs. This model does not support Bluetooth, so you won’t be able to go wireless. To get the features you want without the fluff and additional cost, Tview’s newest flip-down model fits the bill.
Built-in IR transmitter
Lightweight; won’t wear on your roof fabric
Swivel screen for multiple viewing angles
800 x 400 16:9 viewing
- Weight2.65 pounds
10. Audiovox Twin Pack
Two-for-one is what you want to hear, especially when it’s dealing with premium electronics. Two monitors with headsets give you to the ability to entertain your passengers with captivating media, which are absolutely perfect for car trips. These versatile screens fit a wide range of vehicles.
These are simple to install; you won’t have to YouTube/Google a solution when putting these in. You get a total of three colors so your new DVD players won’t look out of place in your car, and you can enjoy FM and IR radio when you’re riding solo (sound plays through your in-dash, factory radio).
Two screens + two headsets for a value deal
Adjustable headrest designed for universal mount
Supports USB/SD inputs for additional media
- Weight20 pounds
Car DVD Player Buying Guide
Sound quality, device type, screen size - there’s a lot to choose from. We’ve compiled another car bible to help you make a decision based on the very best models we were able to find. (Our editor actually fell in love with our seventh product on the list here, and he’s still using it for his kids.) Let’s get started.
The Five Types of Car DVD Players
Portable - These sort of behave like tablets. You can hand them to your kids, they can be plugged into the car lighter, and they’re fun to use.
Rearview - These are actually projected onto your rearview mirror. These need to be used with extreme caution; they can be a source of distracted driving.
Flip Down - When cars first started coming with DVD players, they had these. The screen flips down from the ceiling space above your second row. Your DVD insert is usually located above it. These are more costly and need to be installed.
Headrest - These hang over your headrest, and are usually built for one viewer. These are ideal to allow your child to view media without putting the device in their hands.
In-Dash - You want to park and enjoy some drive-thru or play tunes in all their glory? The in-dash is a popular, more expensive option that usually replaces your current CD player (since they are multimedia and can handle both).
A lot of products will try to sell you on the fact that they can be louder, but that seldom means that they’re better. Car DVD players are going to come with multimedia support, so you can listen to your tunes while you’re driving without hearing terrible static from the radio.
There are two ways to measure audio quality; Db (decibels), and kdps. Db output is part of your car DVD player, but many who purchase and use their multimedia DVD player get upset if the sound quality is lacking, when it could be a kbps issue. This is how your mp3s and mp4s are going to perform, so if you’re playing music from local files, they have to be at least 160kbps if you want to mimic the same quality as a standard audio CD.
Who doesn’t want a larger screen? Unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it here. It’s not about the size of the screen, because they need to contour to your lifestyle appropriately. If you’re going solo and just want a DVD player when it’s rush hour, and you pull off the road, then go with whatever you’d like. When you have kids, other passengers, or a smaller car, you want to plan appropriately.
If you’re going for an in-dash model, screen size is absolutely critical. Never assume that bigger is better in this case; you could end up with a larger screen, and nowhere to put it.
You should absolutely check your media format compatibility before you make a purchase. Most of the time, you won’t run into any surprises, but if you end up going for a cheap model - and we don’t mean inexpensive or attractively priced; we mean cheap - you’re going to encounter less supported formats.
When you run into cheap car DVD players, their software is usually second-rate, which makes an enormous impact on how you use it. You’ll run into various issues, but one of the most prominent ones will be non-supported formats. We’ve selected the best car DVD players that are actually going to work, and get the job done well.
Does my Car DVD Player Support SD, Mini-SD, and USB Sticks?
Anything that accepts a standard SD card will also support a micro-SD, you just need an adapter. Every single DVD player you find is going to be compatible with SD cards - we’ve yet to find one yet that isn’t. With USB, most DVD players will have a slot for them, but you may have to format your files first.
Barely anyone uses actual DVDs anymore, so it makes sense to store a couple of movies on something like a 128GB flash drive (which will hold at least a dozen standard, 90-minute long movies). Just be careful that your little ones don’t tear them out if they’re holding a portable model.
So How do I Pick the Best One For My Needs?
One big factor that can’t help but play a part in your purchase is where the DVD player is going. Sure, it’s going into your car, it’s got a few different models that can go in different areas, but where is it going to be best for you?
If you’re looking to park with a coffee and a quick bite, having the in-dash player would be best. Entertaining the kids on a long car drive? Headrest, flip down, or rearview work best - and portable are the best option for a mixture of the two. These can be slipped into a pouch and hung over your headrest or handed to your child to hold (like a tablet) on the drive.
Now that you’re informed, what’s best for you and your needs? We’ve whittled down the top ten car DVD players in terms of cost, function, and overall quality. All you have to do is point and click.