Written By
Published Feb. 7, 2018

Over a century ago, cars were just getting started in America. Now, we have luxury coupled with function, and the testament to our automotive advances comes in the form of mobile WiFI hotspots, self-driving technology, and one of our favorite perks – car DVD players. Our list features different types of DVD 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 dollars on a hotel room every night. We’ve found the top car DVD players on the market – all you have to do is pick the one you want.

The Best Car DVD Player

Being able to swivel your screen multiple ways is a necessity when you’re traveling with kids in the car, and this model is portable, you can fasten it to the back of a headrest, or you can creatively hang it from the car ceiling.

You get a 4-hour battery charge for lengthy rides. This is perfect if you’re commuting to or 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 hit a pothole, (Sony Walkman flashbacks, anyone?)

You can charge this in the car or when you bring it inside with the included items and enjoy multiple inputs, such as CD and DVD, and file formats such as mp3 and avi. 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.

Key Features
  • 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)
Specification
  • Brand DBPOWER
  • Model PD102
  • Weight 8 ounces

BOSS has been a leader in audio quality, which is reflective in this model, which blew us out of the water with excellent video quality as well. Between price, quality, and ease of use, the BOSS flip-down model takes the cake.

You get a wireless remote and two dual-channel BOSS headphones (and each of them are solid construction). This model is able to support DVD, CD, MP3, USB and SD, 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.

Key Features
  • Wireless Remote
  • SD Memory Slot
  • Monitor Size: 12.1 Inches
  • 3-Year Warranty (When purchased from Amazon)
  • Supports up to 128GB external devices
Specification
  • Brand BOSS Audio
  • Model BV12.1MCH
  • Weight 10.9 pounds

Android is one of the best softwares to view media, and it’s 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.

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 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.

The kit includes RCA cables, AUX cables, radio antenna wires, 36/dongle wires, microphone extension wire, a 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 to while you’re driving, without causing a distraction.

Key Features
  • Latest 2017 Android UI
  • Included reliable GPS system
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Backup camera supported
  • Mirror Link
Specification
  • Brand Corehan
  • Model CD-2D-ZZH-AN-02
  • Weight 2.9 pounds

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.

Touchscreen 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 have enough slack to plug them in).

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand AUTOWINGS
  • Model A-9000TH-Black
  • Weight 11.6 pounds

In-dash units give you the ability to install them and forget them. You don’t have to bring anything into the house to recharge, and 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 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. For more products like this, check out our review of the best double DIN car stereos here. 

Specification
  • Brand BOSS Audio
  • Model BV9986BI
  • Weight 5.05 pounds

Flip down DVD players 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 DVD’s 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 the 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.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Sound Storm Laboratories
  • Model S13.3BGT
  • Weight 7.5 pounds

Portable car DVD players are usually favored by those with children; they’re easy to use, 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 them (you have bigger fish to fry, like the terrible twos). CarThree made this model the answer to your prayers – it’s easy to install, simple to use.

This ultra-thin HD car 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 it all. This kit includes the bracket, so no additional purchases for headrest-mounting is 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 it comes with a wireless joystick (let’s all relive the days of Atari).

Key Features
  • 1024 x 600 Quality
  • Inlcudes remote
  • Ultra durable, kid-friendly
  • 12-Month warranty w/ 24/7 customer support
  • Three-step installation
Specification
  • Brand CarThree
  • Model CL101DVD
  • Weight 3.75 pounds

If your goal is mainly just to get a superior radio coupled with your car 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 is required, you just gently move the screen and you’re done.

It plays DVD, CD, DVD-R, DVD+R/DVD-RW, DVD+RW, JPEG, and 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 flip-down model fits the bill.

Key Features
  • Built-in IR transmitter
  • Lightweight; won’t wear on your roof fabric
  • Swivel screen for multiple viewing angles
  • 800 x 400 16:9 viewing
Specification
  • Brand Tview
  • Model T91DVFD-TN
  • Weight 2.65 pounds

Two-for-one is what you want to hear, especially when it’s dealing with premium electronics. Two monitors with headsets give you the ability to entertain your passengers with captivating media, which is absolutely perfect for car trips. These versatile screens fit a wide range of vehicles.

These are simple to install; you won’t have to go online to find a solution when putting these in. You get a total of three colors, so your new DVD player won’t look out of place in your car, and you can enjoy FM radio when you’re riding solo (the sound plays through your in-dash, factory radio).

Key Features
  • HDMI input
  • Two screens + two headsets for a value deal
  • Adjustable headrest designed for universal mount
  • Supports USB/SD inputs for additional media
Specification
  • Brand Audiovox
  • Weight 20 pounds

With larger, more accessible control buttons clustered at the bottom of its 9-inch 800 x 480 resolution LED-backlit screen, the CUtrip is a versatile multimedia player that you’d love to have on the back of your car’s headrests.

It’s dual-screen design allows simultaneous viewing of the same material. Unfortunately, while the system comes with a built-in battery that should last a good five hours, the second unit draws its juice on the main, substantially cutting its battery-run operation in half. Nevertheless, you can always plug the system into your car’s cigarette light adaptor.

It’s got built-in stereo speakers for a more immersive listening experience or if you’ve got passengers who’d like to enjoy more private entertainment. If you don’t want to be distracted from your driving, you can easily plug in an earphone.

Mounting the CUtrip is made ridiculously easy as it already comes with a claw headrest mount. It’s a more stable and more secure way to keep your DVD player from slipping compared to the more traditional headrest straps.

Key Features
  • 800 x 480 resolution LED backlit screen
  • Supports 11 video disc formats
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • SD, MMC, TF, and USB support
  • 5-hour battery runtime
Specification
  • Brand CUtrip
  • Model
  • Weight 6 lbs

This car DVD player is reminiscent of the Acer Ferrari One netbook with its characteristic bright red and black chassis, giving it a sportier look especially when closed. The UEME is fully capable of supporting up to 9 different types of video discs in addition to conventional image and music files.

It’s a portable media player that is as nifty inside your car as it is anywhere else. It’s the perfect companion for some out-of-town adventures, several days stay in the wilderness, or even wasting time while waiting for the pediatrician to see your kid, thanks to its 4-hour runtime. And since it can be easily connected to your TV, you’ve got exceptional versatility in your hands.

There’s no need to bring headphones as the built-in speaker produces loud booming sounds fully capable of filling the cabin of your car with intensely rich trebles and bass for a more evocative viewing experience.

The UEME car DVD player is built for rugged conditions with exceptional shock-resistant qualities that will put to shame other brands. The headrest mount can be further improved, however, with a more rigid structure to keep it in place.

Key Features
  • 800 x 480 TFT LCD
  • Supports 9 video disc formats
  • 180-degree rotating screen
  • Built-in speakers
  • USB and SD card support
  • 4-hour lithium polymer battery runtime
Specification
  • Brand UEME
  • Model PD-0091-RED
  • Weight 3.15 lbs

At only 1.34 inches thick, this car DVD player can easily be mistaken as a kiddie tablet especially since it comes with a humongous 10.1-inch screen in full 1024 x 600 HD resolution. Unlike other headrest DVD players, the Eonon can easily pass as a tablet since the DVD player is fully capable of playing 32-bit games from your own SNES legacy collection or some other titles. There’s never a dull moment with the Eonon in the hands of your kid.

The package comes with wireless stereo headsets, eliminating the need for cumbersome wires dangling from the side of the headrest DVD player. There’s no danger of pulling on any cords and dropping the device.

The dual headrest monitors can communicate with each other using infrared, allowing for the simultaneous viewing of the same material. However, if you’ve got kids who have vastly different interests, the Eonon can provide the pleasure of viewing two different videos at the same time.

The Eonon is HDMI-capable too, allowing you to plug in your iPhone devices as well as other gadgets that come with HDMI capability. Of course, if you have another gadget that doesn’t have this feature but can be attached with an HDMI adapter, then you’re pretty much in luck.

Listening to your favorite music played from the nearest FM radio station is also possible since the C110A comes with the FM transmitter fully built into its design. This is one neat car DVD player you will always be delighted to put in your car.

Key Features
  • 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 HD display
  • Supports 10 video disc formats
  • Built-in FM and IR transmitter
  • HDMI capability
  • Comes with wireless IR stereo headset
  • USB and SD card slots
Specification
  • Brand Eonon
  • Model CAA00A
  • Weight 8.25 lbs

Light and portable, the Korazmi is a headrest-mounted DVD player capable of playing 8 different types of video disc formats. Its built-in Dolby digital decoder makes for an excellent system of entertaining your passengers at the back of your car. While the Korazmi is primarily intended for film viewing inside one’s car, it can also be used at home with its synchronicity with TV systems.

The DK95 comes with built-in speakers so there’s no need to buy earphones for your passengers. But if you want a more distraction-free driving, you’d better get earphones each for your buddies so they can enjoy the film while you stay focused on the road.

The Korazmi makes for a great personal entertainment, whether it is inside or outside your car. Sadly, its built-in battery only maxes out at 3 hours of runtime whereas other brands can muster 5. Nevertheless, it should still be an enjoyable 3 hours for your kids during momentary stopovers.

Key Features
  • 800 x 480 crystal clear dual screen
  • Supports 8 video disc formats
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • TV synchronicity
  • SD and USB slots
  • 3-hour battery runtime
Specification
  • Brand Korazmi
  • Model DK95
  • Weight 4 lbs

Give your passengers the pleasure of watching your collection of memorable videos in various disc formats with the DBPOWER portable car DVD player. Whether you place it squarely on your dashboard or flip it to be converted into a headrest-mounted device, this entertainment system is sure to keep your passengers fully engaged.

And when you arrive home or perhaps even in your hotel room, you can easily connect the DBPOWER to your TV set and watch the same films your passengers have been watching throughout the ride. Bring it to the beach or the park and you’ll never have any dull moments looking at the same boring stuff.

It’s understandable that most of us don’t like packing a whole lot of CDs and DVDs. No problem! The DBPOWER can easily use both SD cards and USB flash drives, so you’ll have all the great movies of your life right inside your wallet or pocket.

Key Features
  • 800 x 480 resolution
  • 180-degree folding and 270-degree swiveling screen
  • Supports 12 video disc formats
  • TV synchronicity
  • SD and USB direct play
  • 5-hour lithium ion battery runtime
Specification
  • Brand DBPOWER
  • Model PD928
  • Weight 2.54 lbs

Car DVD Player Buying Guide & FAQ

Sound quality, device type, screen size – there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to a car DVD player. 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 Dvd Player –  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 Dvd PlayerThese 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 Dvd PlayerWhen 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 Dvd PlayerThese 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 Dvd PlayerYou 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).

car dvd player

Car DVD Player Audio Quality

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.

Car DVD Player Screen Size

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 car 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.

Supported Formats for Car DVD Players

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.

Car DVD Player FAQ:

Q:  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. Some DVD players will also allow you to connect in an aux cable too. 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.

Q:   So How do I Pick the Best Car DVD Player 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 in 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 car DVD 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 best car DVD players in terms of cost, function, and overall quality. All you have to do is point and click.

Q:  How do I install a DVD player in my car?

  It all depends on the type of DVD player you have. For example, the best DVD players are as simple as plug-and-play. You set them on your dashboard or have them mounted onto your headrest, get the power cord, and plug this straight into your car’s 12v outlet. Of course, if you have an in-dash or even a flip-down system that needs to be integrated into your vehicle’s built-in video and audio system, then there will be some degree of installation needed. Installing a car DVD player is quite easy. You may want to disconnect the negative terminal on your battery first before doing anything with your car’s existing system. Next, you can start removing your vehicle’s existing stereo unit. Depending on your car, you may have to remove the panel on the center console. Regardless, it is always best to check your car owner’s manual on how you can install a DVD player. Car DVD players also come with their own set of instructions on how to install the gadget into your car. Some cars may require a kind of adapter faceplate. Make sure to follow the instructions to the letter and use additional recommended wires if needed. Slide the new DVD player right into the slot and secure it into its bracket. Reinstall the panel if needed and reconnect the negative end of the battery cable.

Q:  How can I set up wireless headphones for a car DVD player?

Getting a wireless headphone to work with your DVD player actually depends on the model of your car DVD player. First, it should have an integrated wireless infrared transmitter to allow it to communicate with any wireless device that operates on the IR principle. If your gadget simply doesn’t have IR capabilities, then it would be useless pairing it up with a wireless headphone. The good news is that if your DVD player comes with an IR remote control, there’s a good chance it can have wireless headphone connectivity as well. Setting your wireless headphones for your DVD player is quite easy. On your remote control, look for a button that is labeled as IR-TX. Press this button. You should also see the words ‘IRTX CHA’ in your screen if channel A is wirelessly connected and ‘IRTX CHB’ if channel B is connected.

Q:  Which car DVD player can play all video formats?

  Most DVDs come in MPEG-2 formats, also known as H.222 or H.262. There are also those that come in MOV, WMA, and WMV as well as DivX. Newer DVDs come in MPEG-4 standard or H.264. These are more popularly known as Blu-Ray. There is another type of Blu-Ray video file format that is more of the result of home-written DVD, the MKV. Another home-created DVD is the AVI video format. These are just the video formats; there is also the type of discs that need to be considered as different car DVD players can have varying compatibilities with such media. DVD+R is almost always universally recognized, although many players can actually read other formats as well. So which car DVD player can play all video formats? Looking at our selection, there really is no single product that can cover all video file formats, although the NaviSkauto can play a wide range of files including AVI, DivX, MPG, VOB, MPEG-4, DAT, DVD-ISO, and DVD-IFO. UEME’s DVD player also deserves mention as it can play VOB, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, XVid, DivX, AVI, and FLV files.

Q:  What is the largest screen size for a car DVD player?

There really is no limit to the size of the screen of your car’s DVD player. As long as it will not obstruct your view of either the front or rear of the car or that it will not detract from the overall aesthetics of your car, you can go as large as you want. Vans and SUVs can really benefit from a large 13-inch screen, although the same may not be said of a small compact sedan. In-dash systems will also be limited by the amount of space available on the console. The largest car DVD player available in the market today is a 14-inches from Pyle.

Q:  What is the difference between a Single DIN and a Double DIN car DVD player?

  The only difference between a single DIN and a double DIN car DVD player is related to its size. When seen from the front, a single DIN will usually measure 7 x 2 inches whereas a double DIN will come in as 7 x 4 inches. Since a double DIN essentially ‘doubles’ the width or the height of the interface, this allows car DVD player manufacturers to integrate the screen right into the player itself. Controls are also integrated into the design, allowing for a more engaging experience. Single DIN car DVD players typically come with a slide-out display that can be easily stowed into a slot in the DVD player. When not in use, the unit looks like a typical single DIN car stereo. But when the DVD is activated, the screen slides out to reveal the DVD display.

Sources:

  1. Car DVD Player Benefits and Drawbacks – HowStuffWorks
  2. 14 Ways To Make Family Road Trips Easier – HuffPost

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