Best CD/DVD drives for Mac iMore 2021
The best CD/DVD Drives for Mac can help your new Mac work with older technology. If you've recently upgraded to a new iMac or MacBook Pro, you're probably going to need an optical drive if you want to continue importing your movies and music or just access the content on your discs. Using a CD/DVD drive on macOS Big Sur isn't as straightforward as it could be. If you think you'll need an external drive mostly for Blu-Ray discs, most of them will also play DVDs and CDs but are not readable/writable drives for CDs or DVDs. If you're looking to play Blu-Rays on your Mac, you'll need one of the best apps for playing Blu-Rays on Mac. Either way, here are some of the best CD/DVD drives for Mac.
- USB-C compatible: ASUS ZenDrive U9M
- No adapter needed: The NOLYTH USB-C Superdrive
- Cupertino's own: Apple USB SuperDrive
- USB-C and USB 3.0: VersionTECh External CD/DVD Drive
- Inexpensive choice: LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive
- Also worth considering: Verbatim External CD/DVD Writer
USB-C compatible: ASUS ZenDrive U9MStaff pick
This super slim drive has both USB and USB-C cables, so you don't need a dongle to use it with your newer MacBook. Plus, its read and write speeds are pretty impressive. If you do a lot of burning, you'll want this drive.
No adapter needed: The NOLYTH USB-C Superdrive
I have this model CD/DVD drive for my Mac computers for multiple reasons. For one, it's practically the same as Apple's SuperDrive in every way, and second, it's got a USB-C cable so I can connect it to my MacBook Pro without needing any additional adapters. Oh, there's a third reason, too. It comes with a USB-A adapter, so I can connect it to any standard USB port.
Cupertino's own: Apple USB SuperDrive
Apple's branded playable/burnable CD/DVD drive is the perfect complement to your iMac or MacBook Pro unless you have a late 2016 or newer MacBook Pro. If you do, you'll need the USB-C to USB adapter. It's not much larger than the size of a CD case, so it fits snug in your computer bag without taking up a lot of room. All you have to do is plug it into your computer using the USB cable. There's no need for special software or external buttons that might get broken. It's solid, simple, and it looks great with your Mac products.
USB-C and USB 3.0: VersionTECh External CD/DVD Drive
The VisionTech External CD/DVD Drive is very slim and compact with no eject button on the device and powered by USB. You can tuck it away anywhere that makes the most sense for you. Preprogrammed for both Mac and Windows, you shouldn't need to do any formatting to get the drive to work. Plus, this drive has both USB 3.0 and USB-C cables, meaning you can plug it right into your MacBook with no adapter needed.
Inexpensive choice: LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive
LG makes a CD/DVD drive that is lightweight, fast, and doesn't cost much. It's made of a hard shell plastic material, so it isn't going to feel as sturdy as Apple's SuperDrive or Confoly's USB-C drive. However, in exchange, you get something that's about as light as a CD in its case.
Also worth considering: Verbatim External CD/DVD Writer
Weighing just 12 ounces, this CD/DVD burner is compact, lightweight, and USB-powered. It's a suitable choice if you need to back up sensitive data, as well as music and video libraries.
Still serving a need
There are many reasons you'd need the best CD/DVD drives for Mac, despite the concept being heavily outdated. Whether you want to digitize your DVD collection or just view a disc on your computer, an optical drive is cheap and sometimes necessary. If you don't think you need one for your Mac but are looking for one of the best Blu-Ray players, you could always get a standalone option.
As you can see, we've selected the NOLYTH USB-C Superdrive as our favorite since it's super similar to Apple's SuperDrive, and you don't need adapters to utilize it with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro since it uses USB-C.
If you're working with a small budget, take a look at the LG GP65NB60. While it only supports USB 2.0, it will still allow you to back up your files and data to your CDs and DVDs, no problem, and it doesn't cost too much.
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