Best Sub-$100 Blu-Ray Internal Burner In The USA?


I am building a new PC in Texas and would like to buy a new internal Blu-Ray burner for the system. My budget is $100. I have a Pioneer BDR 209-D (300+ discs burned since 2015) in my current PC. I was considering just moving it to the new box. However, I would like to get a BD-R burner with M-Disc technology. I also rip all CDs that I buy using Exact Audio Copy. I would like for my new drive to shine on Digital Audio Extraction. Brand does not matter. I simply want the best drive for my money. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thank you!

2 days and no responses, so I guess i’ll bite.

The only players left, I suppose, are LG and Pioneer.

All things being the same I’d choose Pioneer nowadays, as they have added M-Disc support in recent models.

Many have commented that recent LG drive mechanisms are cheaply built; further the repertoire of burning strategies in their firmware tend to be rather generic rather than explicitly tweaked to get the best out of media out there.

Depending on your other needs (UHD or not) I’d follow the prices on the BDR-2212, -212UBK, and -212DBK.

Thank you for the reply Schuster! Very much appreciated. I have just pre-ordered the Pioneer BDR-212DBK for $75 from B&H Photo.

I was monitoring prices on several LG burners.
After reading your post, I am glad I stuck with Pioneer. :+1:

I wouldn’t say that the fact that the mechanism is weak is the main issue… I don’t think Pioneer drives are built that much better. All modern drives are junk compared to their predecessors which were built like tanks.

And to be honest it’s not really that big of a deal. Optical drives are meant to be disposable. My issue here is that LG is charging more than three times the price, and in some cases ten times the price of a DVD writer. You would expect at least some sort of increased quality at those prices, but this is not the case.

The problem with LG drives per se is that the blu-ray laser dies prematurely. This is almost certainly because the PCB of the drive inadequately filters the PSU voltage coming into the drive. Pioneer drives also suffer from this issue.

Its only one choice Winpover WH16NS58 with 1V1 firmware. There is modified laser againist original lg and better materials are used. Burning quality on all pioneer drives is much worser or unacceptable at all. 1V1 firmware can test bluray quality in OptiDrive control too and support 4k bluray with adequate software. 1V5 firmware is better in writing quality, but looses 4k Br read support and bluray quality test in OptiDrive control. With 1V5 is quality on bluray measurable only with included VP tools. Good option is buy media from vinpower too. They are very good and cheap too. Asus drives are unacceptable at all with writing quality. WH16NS58 cost for me 121 eur including Postage to slovakia and VAT

Why do you think so? I don´t have a original WH16NS58, but is there a prove that it uses better materials than the Standard-LGs?

Pioneers Half Height BD-RE-drives are overall better than LG, that´s fact. And that in build quality, noises and writing quality. I have a bunch of drives from LG and Pioneer, LG have some strong points but Pioneer is an allrounder with almost all kind of media.

Can you tell me which media would be burned “unacceptable” with the Pioneer (except those old crap-media with OTCBDR001-MID)?

When it comes to writing-quality, no matter of if BD-R or DVD+/-R, I would prefer Pioneer, especially if I would get a 212 for 75$. This drive in not available in Germany, the cheapest 211 costs 122,90€, thats 136,33$ (US)

I don’t remember seeing proof for this particular model; but in general, Vinpower Digital has been selling custom-built versions of LG drives (also LiteOn which are rebranded as “Optiarc”, “Plextor”, and “Piodata”). They are designed to withstand the rigors of constant use in duplicator towers. This may include longer life lasers, improved heat sinking, and sturdier tray mechanisms. They are also unique in that the company is constantly tweaking the firmware based on observed performance issues and posts regular updates (i.e. several times per year) for end users.

Because I Had original LG wh16ns48 and Wh16NS48 From winpower and later wh16sn58 .winpower drives had some different components. I Compared pioneer 209d and bdr s09xlt against winpower wh16ns58 and due to error count and speed, winpower wh16ns58 is absolute winner. error count on winpower is half of pioneer drives. tested optical quantum and variety of verbatim media. Readibility is also tested on harman kardon bds335 on which vinpower burned media performs visible faster with no playback glitches. Pioneers are good but winpower performs much faster and with 30-50% less errors. and on Pioneer BD writing quality measurement is not possible (on my models) Absolute loosers are ASUS drives of any kind.

Absolutely agree with shuster, vinpower support is excellent, i ordered some media too and asked for lightscribe media (my loved wife uses lightscribe often), ordered 200 dvd and 200 br media for testing… and they send me next 600 hp lightscribe medias for free :D. Answer time is in 24 hour and allways accurate

Report of a failed Vinpower “duplication-grade” drive:

I have some of the Vinpower-LiteOns. Don´t disassembled it, but the burn quality seems not to be different to standard LiteOn-drives. Don´t compared the tray, but if there are differences it´s to small to feel it instantly.

I´m not sure whether LG build custom-drives for Vinpower or anyone else. Never saw a direct comparing of the inner build of these drives.

And many scans of many media is posted here, can´t remember the LGs beat the Pioneer overall; the LG are also strong at CMC MAG BA5, but you will also find many good results with Pioneer.

Only with Slimtype-drives I can say LG is better than Pioneer, and LGs Slimtype are better than their Half Height

My Pioneer BDR207EBK just broke, what is a good replacement? I read currently all drives are cheaply made, except for vinpower modified drives but I can’t find suppliers. My eyes were on WH16NS60 and Pioneer 212 but I’d like scanning suport with OptiDrive Control.