Whether you’re traveling across the country or just visiting relatives in the next state, you may find yourself getting sick of the radio or running out of audiobooks to listen to.
A portable DVD player can offer endless entertainment on long drives. You can mesmerize the kids with the latest Disney films or put on their favorite series to pass the time. Dual-screen displays mounted to the headrests can turn the backseat into a home cinema, and flip-out swivel screen variants bring the action to your lap. Portable DVD players can play all your favorite blockbusters, eBooks, and even NES games.
While you might think that bringing movie magic into your car would be expensive, portable DVD players can actually be purchased on a budget. And when the kids are entertained, they’re worth their weight in gold.
So why not take the road less traveled and find a portable DVD player that turns the backseat into a blockbuster arena?
Top Portable DVD Player for Cars in 2023
- Dual HD 1024 x 800p displays
- Excellent five hours battery life with one screen
- Remote control
- SD slot + USB ports
- 6 hours long-life battery
- USB and SD cards supports DVD formats, CDs, JPEGS, and AVI/MPEGs
- Exceptionally easy to use
- Swivel screen for extra viewing angle
- 15.6” screen swivels 270 degrees
- Offers remote control, chargers and earbuds
- 2.5 hours of battery
- HD 1024 x 800p display
- 5-hour long battery time
- Reads multiple formats (AVI, MPEG files, JPEGS and more)
- Full-package for in-car entertainment
- HD screen (1366 x 768 pixel resolution)
- 2 hours battery time
- Includes remote control
- Fold-out swivel screen DVD player
- Reads multiple formats
- 5 hours battery timing
- HD 180-degree flippable screen
- Impressive 5 hours battery timing
- Affordable price tag
- Supports many NES games
- 5 hours battery time
- Top quality sound
- 6 hours long battery life
- Easily connects to other TV / DVD player
- 15.6” screen for in-car family entertainment
- Offers premium video quality across a 1024 x 600 display
- Decent quality sound for on-the-road usage
- Built to last
Here are the best portable DVD players for cars.
1. FANGOR U1011A – Best Secure Mounting System
The FANGOR U1011A dual-screen system is the best choice for in-car entertainment. It will keep all passengers happy by eliminating the need to share a single screen.
The FANGOR U1011A’s 10.5-inch system includes one headrest-mountable DVD player and a second screen. Both displays have a resolution of HD 1024 x 800p, and the player is region-free, allowing you to play DVDs from any region as well as CDs and other formats.
The FANGOR U1011A also has an SD slot and USB port, allowing you to access a variety of media, including files up to 32 GB in size. It comes with multiple adaptors for charging in the US, Europe, and the UK, as well as a 12V car charger and a rechargeable battery with a five-hour lifespan for one screen or 2.5 hours for dual screens.
While the FANGOR U1011A is a robust portable DVD player, mounting the screens on your car’s headrests can be a bit fiddly. The included screws may also be too short for certain car headrests, requiring a trip to the hardware store. Once installed, the screens are held firmly in place, providing a stable viewing experience even on rough roads.
2. BOIFUN BFN-161 – Best All-Purpose Travel Player
The BOIFUN BFN-161 flip-out portable DVD player is suitable for use anywhere. It’s particularly useful during road trips or other types of travel.
The BOIFUN BFN-161 has a 17.5-inch casing that contains a 15.6-inch HD screen, making it suitable for group viewing. However, it might be too large for use in a car. The screen can be swiveled 270 degrees vertically and 180 degrees horizontally for various viewing angles. The device also has a headphone jack for private listening.
In addition to DVDs, the BOIFUN BFN-161 can play CDs, JPEGs, and AVI/MPEGs from USB or SD cards, providing a wide range of entertainment options. It’s also region-free, meaning it can play DVDs from any region. The included AV to RCA cable allows the device to be connected to TVs, adding to its functionality. The BOIFUN BFN-161 has a car charger and a battery life of six hours.
The BOIFUN BFN-161 is easy to use, with intuitive controls and additional features such as an SD slot and AV to RCA connectivity. It’s suitable for kids and older users.
3. Sylvania SDVD1566 – Best For Kids’ And Seniors’ Use
The Sylvania SDVD1566 is a fold-out style portable DVD player with an ample screen and various additional features. However, it’s priced higher than other options on the market.
The Sylvania SDVD1566 has a 15.6” screen that swivels 270 degrees, giving you a clear and sharp picture from any angle. Its anti-shock playback feature ensures smooth playback even on rough roads.
One downside is the 2.5-hour battery life. It’s enough to get through most kids’ movies, but you’ll need to bring the charger for longer viewing sessions. The DVD player comes with power adaptors for both household outlets and 12V car outlets.
In addition to DVD, the Sylvania SDVD1566 supports CD, CD-R, and other formats. Its USB port and SD card reader allow you to play a variety of file formats, including DIVX and MPEG, but AVI is not supported. Keep in mind that you may need to convert your files before playing them.
The Sylvania SDVD1566 is easy to use, with controls on the main pad and a full-function remote control. It’s a great choice for the elderly or kids, who will have no trouble figuring out how to use it.
There is only one headphone jack, so if you’re traveling with a full car, you’ll have to rely on the in-built speakers. The sound quality isn’t great at higher volumes, so you may have to sacrifice rich sound for volume.
4. WONNIE US1012F – Best Value Dual Screen DVD Player
The WONNIE US1012F has a dual 10.5″ setup, which is perfect for keeping every passenger happy in the backseat.
The WONNIE US1012F comes with a main player and a second “slave” screen that can be connected through AV cabling (which connects the picture) and a DC line (which provides power). The cables are long enough to give you flexibility in setting up the screens in your vehicle, but they can also create a lot of wires that need to be managed carefully in the car.
The WONNIE US1012F includes headrest mounts which provide a stable and secure place for the dual screens. They are easy to install and make it easy to watch movies from the back seat once they are in place. You can also disconnect the screens while leaving the brackets in place, which can help protect your electronics from thieves when you leave your vehicle overnight.
The WONNIE US1012F’s 10.5″ screen is smaller than many fold-out designs, but thanks to the short distance between the viewer and the screen in the back seat, the display looks great with its HD 1024 x 800p resolution. Each screen has its own headphone jack, so the kids can watch their own movies while you focus on driving.
The WONNIE US1012F has a USB port and an SD card reader that support additional inputs, and it can play AVI and MPEG files as well as JPEGs and more. You can also bring the main player into your hotel room at your destination and hook it up to the TV.
The added battery on the WONNIE US1012F will power the main screen for about five hours, but once you hook up the second screen, you can expect the battery life to be halved. Don’t forget to bring the adapter on a long drive!
The WONNIE US1012F comes with a remote control and a car charging adapter, so it has everything you need for in-car entertainment. Bon voyage!
5. Pyle PDV156BK – Best Swivel Screen Picture Quality
Pyle PDV156BK’s portable DVD player has a flip-out swivel screen and a near-18″ housing. It’s one of the larger devices on the market. However, the screen itself is slightly smaller at 15″.
The Pyle PDV156BK’s HD screen has a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and is adjustable, spinning 270 degrees on one axis and folding into tablet mode for comfortable hand-held viewing. It plays CDs, DVDs, and a variety of other formats (VCD, CD-RW, and MPEG4). It also has a USB port and SD reader that allow you to play digital files up to 32GB in size.
The Pyle PDV156BK has a 2400mAh battery that can last for a couple of hours without being plugged in, but it’s a good idea to keep the adapter handy as many modern movies run longer than 120 minutes. It comes with a remote control and AC and 12V car outlet adapters.
The Pyle PDV156BK has low-quality inbuilt speakers, but it has a 3.5mm jack that allows you to connect headphones or an external speaker. There is only one 3.5mm output, so you may have to negotiate with others if using an external speaker.
6. HDJUNTUNKOR HDPDVD-01 – Best Compact Swivel Screen
The HDJUNTUNKOR HDPDVD-01 is a compact portable DVD player that delivers excellent functionality.
The HDJUNTUNKOR HDPDVD-01 is a fold-out swivel screen DVD player that’s suitable for travel. Its headrest mount bag makes it an ideal in-car viewing device. The player’s 10.5” screen may be small compared to other fold-out devices, but it has a 1024 x 600p resolution and is at an optimal distance for immersive viewing when mounted on the headrest.
The headrest mount bag easily straps to the seat in front and allows you to fold the player into a tablet-style shape that fits seamlessly into the bag. The mount bag can be removed when not in use.
The HDJUNTUNKOR HDPDVD-01 supports a variety of media types, including CD, DVD, CD-R/RW, DVD-R/+R, DVD+RW/-RW, and DIVX formats. It also has a USB port and SD card reader for digital files. It’s region-free, so you can buy DVDs while on vacation without worrying about compatibility.
The player comes with AC adaptors for home charging and a car power adaptor. It has a battery life of five hours. It also includes a remote control and a 3.5mm jack for headphones or a speaker.
7. DBPOWER MK101 – Best Fold-Out DVD Player For Multiple Screen Options
The DBPOWER MK101 is a compact portable DVD player with a fold-out design. It has a swivel screen that allows for multiple angles of viewing.
The DBPOWER MK101 portable DVD player has a 10.5” screen that flips 180 degrees to convert to a tablet-style mode. It includes convenient headrest mounts, making it an excellent in-car entertainment option. The screen has an HD 1024 x 600p resolution and looks great when it’s in your face. However, it may be a little small for use outside the car.
The AV In/Out port on the DBPOWER MK101 gives you the option to hook up an extra screen, adding another layer of functionality to this portable DVD player for cars. It’s useful for long car journeys when kids struggle to share a screen. The DBPOWER MK101 is also surprisingly affordable, allowing you to invest in a second player for dual-screen action.
In addition to a USB port and SD reader, the DBPOWER MK101 supports a range of other formats. However, the resolution on your digital files is locked at 720 x 576 pixels. On a screen of this size, the resolution should be adequate for in-car viewing.
The DBPOWER MK101 has a five-hour battery life and includes a 12V adapter for in-car charging. Keep in mind that if you opt for an extra screen, it will need independent power and you may need to juggle power supplies.
The DBPOWER MK101 only has one 3.5mm jack and the speaker quality isn’t great. It’s advisable to pack an external speaker if you want bigger sound. The portable DVD player comes with a remote control, but the controls are slightly convoluted. “Okay” means “Play” and “STOP” means “Pause”, which could lead to confusion.
8. JEKERO 1703 16.9″ – Best Portable DVD Player For Gaming
The JEKERO 1703 is a compact portable DVD player with a 14.1″ screen and 1280 x 800 resolution. Its fold-out design makes it easy to take with you on the go, and the 14.1″ screen size is a good balance between portability and viewing experience.
The JEKERO 1703 is a region-free portable DVD player that supports multiple disc types, including CDs. It has a USB port and SD reader, allowing you to play a variety of media types. Additionally, the JEKERO 1703 can play many NES games, making it a multi-functional entertainment device. It even comes with a wired gamepad that can be connected through the USB port.
The JEKERO 1703 has a battery life of up to five hours and comes with a car charger for longer drives. It has a headphone jack, but only one, so you may need to use external speakers or the built-in speakers for group viewing. The built-in speakers have decent sound quality and ample volume.
The screen of the JEKERO 1703 can be rotated and folded into tablet mode, but it doesn’t come with headrest mounts. While the DVD player itself is affordable, you may need to purchase a separate accessory for headrest mounting.
9. WONNIE W-US-1589B – Best Portable DVD Player For Battery Life
The WONNIE W-US-1589B dual-screen DVD player is a great option. If you prefer a flip-out portable DVD player from this reliable brand, this is a good choice.
The WONNIE W-US-1589B is a portable DVD player with a 15.6” TFT LCD screen. It’s region-free and supports a range of formats, including CD and DVD, CD-R/RW, DVD -R/+R, DVD+RW/-RW, VCD, SVCD (RW), and CD-R (RW). It has a USB port and an SD card reader for playing files from external devices.
The WONNIE W-US-1589B has a headphone jack and underpowered speakers, but it can be connected to external speakers or a car’s sound system through an aux cable. It has AV In/Out capabilities, allowing it to be connected to another TV or DVD player. This is useful for long drives when each passenger can have their own screen.
WONNIE is a reliable brand known for its shock-resistant, smooth-functioning portable DVD players. The WONNIE W-US-1589B has pre-reading and break point reload features and comes with a car charging adaptor. Its rechargeable battery has a long lifespan, lasting up to six hours.
10. UEME PD-1020 – Best Value Swivel Screen
The UEME PD-1020 is a high-value portable DVD player produced by UEME. It’s a great budget option.
The UEME PD-1020 is a budget-friendly option for portable entertainment. Its 10.1” swiveling screen has a 1024 x 600p resolution display and provides premium video quality. The player supports CDs, DVDs, and digital files through USB or SD reader inputs (note that the SD reader is limited to cards up to 32GB).
The UEME PD-1020 has in-built speakers that deliver decent sound quality, considering the small size of the unit. The speakers are powered at 1.5 watts, which is sufficient for on-the-road use.
The player has a rechargeable battery, but it tends to lose charge quickly. Thankfully, UEME PD-1020 includes a car adapter for charging on the go. Keep this handy to avoid interrupting your movie with a cliffhanger ending.
Overall, the UEME PD-1020 is a durable and affordable portable DVD player that’s perfect for keeping kids entertained on the road.
Make Your Car the Ultimate Movie Theater: A Guide to Selecting the Best Portable DVD Player
DVDs may be becoming old technology but in 2023 portable DVD players certainly aren’t skimping on innovation. Here’s everything you need to know about portable DVD players – it’s time to hit the road.
Screen Size and Quality
When choosing a portable DVD player, consider the size and quality of the screen. While you may not be able to get a 50-inch screen like your home media hub, you can still find high-quality options.
Large screens up to 18 inches can enhance the viewing experience, but be aware that manufacturers may advertise the size of the whole DVD player, not just the screen. Large screens can be inconvenient to use in a car and may require multiple people to hold them. Smaller screens can be mounted on headrests and are suitable for long road trips.
The quality of the screen is also important, as a low-quality screen may have poor resolution or limited viewing angles. For example, a portable DVD player with a 10-inch screen and HD display may be a good choice for a family road trip.
It’s important to consider the media compatibility of a portable DVD player. Some DVD formats may not be supported by certain players.
To ensure maximum compatibility, choose a region-free DVD player. This allows the player to play DVDs that are locked to certain regions.
USB ports allow you to play media files stored on a hard drive. AVI and MPEG files are usually recognized, while DIVX and MP4 files may be supported on higher-end Blu-ray players.
SD card reader slots give you access to additional media types. They can also be useful for viewing pictures from a camera on a larger screen.
Power Options / Battery Life
There are two main power options for portable DVD players in cars: a 12V outlet or a battery. The battery allows for more flexibility in placement, but may only last 5-6 hours. For longer trips, look for a DVD player with a longer battery life, such as 10 hours. Don’t forget to bring the charger for longer drives.
A portable DVD player with a sturdy and durable design will be more reliable and long-lasting. It can withstand accidental drops or bumps. For example, a shockproof and drop-resistant design is a good choice for rough or unpredictable conditions.
It’s important to consider your budget when selecting a portable DVD player. Prices can range from $120 to $400 or more. A budget-friendly option with basic features may cost around $100, while a more expensive player may offer more features and higher quality.
Some portable DVD players don’t require installation and can be used on your lap or dashboard. For a more comfortable viewing experience, you can mount the screen to the headrest.
Look for a portable DVD player that comes with brackets, tools, and clear instructions for easy installation. You may only need a screwdriver, and professional installation isn’t necessary. You can even involve the kids in the installation process.
When shopping for a portable DVD player, consider the quality of the built-in speakers. The rumble of the road can make it difficult to hear the audio from the player, so it’s important to choose a device with good sound quality.
If you’re not satisfied with the built-in speakers, consider purchasing an external speaker. A portable DVD player with built-in surround sound or the ability to connect to external speakers may also improve the overall audio quality and viewing experience.
Extra Features to Consider
There are a few extra features to consider when choosing a portable DVD player. These can add versatility and convenience to your device.
An AV port allows you to connect the DVD player to other devices, such as a second screen in a car or a hotel TV. Keep in mind that AV cables may not always be included with the player.
A headphone jack allows for an immersive viewing experience and is essential if you plan to use multiple screens at the same time. Portable DVD player speakers may not always be powerful enough, so headphones can be a useful alternative.
A remote control can be convenient for controlling volume or pausing the player from a distance. Some remotes offer more functionality than others, so check before purchasing.
Compatibility With Other Mounting Options
Portable DVD players can be mounted in a car for easier use while driving. Consider if the player is compatible with car headrests or other mounting options, such as overhead or flip-out systems. A player with a mounting kit and compatibility with car headrests may be a good choice for in-car use.
Portable DVD players are a great option for in-car entertainment. They not only play movies, but also CDs, photo slideshows, and even NES games.
Many portable players can also be easily connected to a TV for entertainment in hotel rooms or other locations. They are easy to install, making it simple to turn the back seat of a car into a mini cinema.
Both kids and the driver will be happy with this choice.