Even in today's great age of the cloud, sometimes you still want to use your Mac to read or burn a Blu-ray disc, DVD, or CD. Since the Mac mini doesn't have any type of internal disc reader or burner, an external drive will be in order. We at iMore have looked at many Blu-ray readers over the years to check for compatibility and speed. The Mac mini Blu-ray drives offered here work well with the Mac mini and any type of Apple computer, including the MacBook and iMac.
Speedy, but bulky
This external burner comes bundled with one pack of Verbatim M-DISC BD. Maximum burn speeds include BD-R: 16x, DVD-R/+R:16x, CD-R:40x, BD Dual Layer (DL):12x, DVD Dual Layer (DL):8x. Max read speeds: BD-R:12x, DVD-R/+R:16x, CD-R:40x, BD Dual Layer (DL):8x, DVD Dual Layer (DL):12x. Compatible with Mac and Windows. If size isn't an issue, this is the one most worth considering.
With a maximum write speed of 6x BD-R on single- and dual-layer discs and 4x max write speed on BD-R triple- and quad-layer discs, this reader offers up to 156 percent more data storage capacity than a 50GB Dual Layer Blu-ray Disc. It also includes Toast Light software, which allows you to burn your files to CD, DVD, and Blu-ray Disc.
If you'd like to use your Blu-ray drive with more than one device, this model from Wintale features both USB-3 and USB-C cable connections that will work with almost any Apple device. It also has SD and TF card readers, so it's multifunctional for reading and burning content.
This aluminum-housed optical drive features USB-3 and M-DISC support. Max speeds include 16x for Blu-ray and DVD and 48x for CD. It ships with two Blu-ray media in the case.
Includes Cyberlink Media Suite
For both Mac and Windows, this beautifully designed reader offers BDXL support for high-capacity disc-writing for Blu-ray disks, DVDs, and CDs. It also includes M-Disc support for longer-life recordings. Also included is the Cyberlink Media Suite, which offers Blu-ray and DVD burning and playback tools.
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Reading speeds for Mac mini Blu-ray drives tend to increase in correlation with the device's size, so we recommend the Asus BW-16D1X-U because its large size makes it the fastest Blu-ray reader and DVD burner on this list. It also comes with a free pack of M-DISC BD.
On the other hand, if a thin drive is what you need, the Pioneer BDR-XD05B is a slim, lightweight solution that is also quite portable. Another great option is the Buffalo Meditation, which has Blu-ray reading and burning capabilities, along with a full suite of burning and playback software included in the package. So even though your compact Mac mini doesn't come with its own Blu-ray reader, there are plenty of external choices out there to get the job done.
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.
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