Last updated on April 13th, 2021 at 05:39 pm

A good headrest DVD player in your car will provide hours of entertainment for rear-seat passengers on long rides, road trips, or general day-to-day drives. They do more than just play movies though. If you get the right monitor, you can hook in video game systems, listen to music, or even look at your favorite photos. The ideal headrest DVD player will play your movies via the method of choice (DVD, HDMI, etc) with crystal-clear images and will be easy to install.

In years past, integrated DVD players with seat headrests were a popular aftermarket component. Today, many manufacturers offer few built-in players from the factory. But even though the latest tech packages in new cars might offer a good solution, it's often not worth the cost of adding custom headrest monitors from the factory itself.

Since the first version of our list here, more and more mountable/portable DVD players have entered the market. They’re becoming increasingly popular. They are becoming the de facto choice for folks who would like to add an entertainment package to their new or old car. These removable players have the added benefit of being portable, so you can use them at home, in the office, in the car, or anywhere else you might want to watch a movie or play a video game.

Below, we will still discuss the best built-in payers like we have in the past several years on this very list, but it should be noted that the overall best system is, in fact, a portable DVD player.

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Best Car Headrest Video & DVD Players and Monitors List

Below, we will still discuss the best built-in payers like we have in the past several years on this very list, but it should be noted that the overall best system is, in fact, a portable DVD player.

Portable DVD Players for the Car

1. Best Overall Portable Pick: Pumpkin 10.1” Clamshell DVD Player

Key Features

  • 10.1” portable monitor
  • 1080P playback, 1024×800 pixel resolution
  • Clamshell opening for loading DVDs
  • HDMI and AV inputs for expanding
  • Connects to a second player for simultaneous or different playback on each screen
  • HDMI/ AV inputs
  • Includes headphones

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $136.99
Last Amazon price update was: April 15, 2021 9:12 pm

Pumpkin 10.1″ Clamshell DVD Player Quick Review

Pumpkin is a growing brand in car audio entertainment. We recently did a review on one of their Android Headunits and were impressed. Their quality products like this portable DVD player is a good example of how and why Pumpkin's brand is growing. It offers a combination of performance and quality that other brands simply struggle to match.

The DVD player can display content in HD 1080P with a screen resolution of 1024×800. The display provides crisp images, excellent contrast, and is among the best at preventing glare. The clamshell design is perfect for making it easy for young passengers to switch DVDs. You can also play CDs or stream content from a USB flash drive.

You can hook up any device that can take advantage of an HDMI which means you can even get a gaming system set up to entertain on the road while preventing distractions to the driver. The single monitor includes a pair of headphones and charging cables, so set up is fast, simple, and easy.

Pros

  • Excellent resolution and a clear, bright screen
  • Plays DVDs, CDs, and other content
  • Easy to hook up video game systems

Cons

  • Headrest bracket could be better
  • Lack of battery power means the player must be plugged in to work

Key Features

  • Dual screens at 10” each
  • Plays DVDs and CDs
  • 1080P video quality at 1024×800 HD resolution
  • Includes straps and mounts for both monitors
  • Includes a remote

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $159.99
Buy on eBay.com $156.17
Last Amazon price update was: April 15, 2021 10:12 pm

Fangor 10″ DVD Player Quick Review

Fangor hooks your back seat up with this awesome pair of monitors. One monitor contains a DVD player, while the other is solely a monitor. This lets two rear passengers watch the same movie. Each monitor has provisions for headphone hook-ups, too. This is a very affordable way to add dual rear screens to any vehicle.

The monitors feature 1080P playback at 1024×800 pixel resolution, so you’ll get clean and smooth images without image stutter. Fangor provides a bracket that screws into the monitors and mounts to the headrest supports, so you get a solid mount that doesn’t flop around like a fish on shore.

DVDs and CDs load on the side of the main unit, which many people prefer over clamshell designs. You also get an IR remote and a 3-in-1 charging cord. The main monitor includes a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 5 hours on one screen or about 2.5 hours when running both screens simultaneously.

Pros

  • Inexpensive way to add dual monitors
  • Excellent quality screen mounts
  • Battery prevents cords from getting in the way

Cons

  • No HDMI port, so you can’t hook up a video game system
  • Does not include headphones
  • Second monitor is slaved to the main, so you can only watch what’s on one screen at a time

Key Features

  • 10.1” monitor (single)
  • 1080P image quality 1024×600 pixel resolution
  • USB 2.0/ SD card/ MMC card slots
  • Playback of most file types
  • HDMI input for expanding

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $125.99
Last Amazon price update was: April 15, 2021 10:12 pm

Power Acoustik HDVD-91CC Quick Review

The newest 10.1” portable player shows why the company has earned so many fans. The player itself is a sleek, compact package that is easy to install. Because of the portable nature, no wiring is required. The DVD player includes a 12-volt accessory cord, an AC adapter for recharging at home, or the system can be hardwired to your car using the included instructions.

The player has a resolution of 1080P and supports every file format you can think of, except Blu Ray. The DVD player has ports for AV in and out, HDMI input, a USB port, and an SD Card slot. All these options give the NAVISKAuto advanced connectivity that many players at this price point do not include.

The player is mounted to your headrest arms using an included bracket. The mounting allows the player to be swiveled and tilted, while remaining sturdy. This design eliminates the problems with built-in headrest DVD players that often are too loose, causing the screen to move when the driver uses the headrest.

Pros

  • Good quality video playback
  • HDMI port makes hooking up a video game console simple
  • Includes headphones and a remote

Cons

  • Built-in battery discharges rapidly
  • Swivel isn’t enough to ease left and right passenger views

4. Best Budget Pick: Jekero 16.9″ DVD Player

Key Features

  • 14.1” screen, 16.9” DVD player
  • 1280×800 advertised resolution
  • Plays most DVD and CD formats, Does not play Blu Ray discs
  • Built-in gaming includes controller
  • 270-degree swivel and 180-degree flip design
  • Headrest mount included
  • Includes charging cables for car or home use

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $89.99
Buy on eBay.com $146.99
Last Amazon price update was: April 15, 2021 10:12 pm

Jekero 16.9″ DVD Player Quick Review

Our budget pick just happens to also have the largest screen on the list. Built more around portability rather than as a dedicated car headrest DVD player, this product still manages to do a good job of providing entertainment without costing a fortune. The Jekero player makes a great choice for on-the-go entertainment because of the swiveling and folding design that makes it easy to set on a tabletop, on your lap, or in the included headrest bracket.

The screen measures 14.1” and displays in 1280×800 HD resolution for a clear and easy to watch image. The DVD player supports most DVD formats (but not Blu Ray), plays CDs, and can connect to a TV using an AV cable. It includes a game package consisting of classic NES games, but doesn’t have an HDMI plug to connect a separate system.

One key downside to this design is that the device needs to be taken out of the holder to load a DVD or CD. This might be a problem for drivers with smaller children who aren’t old enough to safely remove the device. Some users report issues getting video quality above 720P due to limitations in format playback.

Pros

  • Large screen makes it easy to watch
  • Excellent for on-the-go entertainment like BBQs and getting together with friends
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Can’t connect to another monitor
  • Users report lower than advertised resolution options for video playback
  • Must remove device from headrest mount to change DVDs

Headrest Monitors & DVD Players for the Car

1. Best Overall Built-In Headrest DVD Player Pick: Audiovox 9″ Headrest DVD Player (AVXMTGHR9HD)

Key Features

  • 9” DVD/CD player
  • 800×480 resolution
  • Includes hardwiring kit for installation
  • Includes adapters to ensure a good fit with your seats
  • Three colors (Black, Pewter, Beige) to match most interiors
  • IR transmitter can beam audio to the car stereo or optional wireless earphones
  • HDMI/USB/SD card ports for multimedia playback

Latest Prices

Buy on eBay.com $215.99
Buy on Crutchfield.com $299.99
Buy on Amazon.com
Last Amazon price update was: April 15, 2021 10:12 pm

Audiovox 9″ Headrest DVD Player Quick Review

Our top headrest monitor and DVD player is the 9” HD headrest from Audiovox. This headrest features a larger-than-average 9” monitor. It includes three colors of covers to match many interiors and a variety of post adapters ensure the headrest will mount safely and securely to your seat.

This device includes an IR transmitter, so it can beam the audio from your favorite movie to the car’s stereo system for an immersive experience. It also features MHL technology that lets Android smartphone users mirror their screens on the monitor for even more watching options. It plays most DVD and CD formats, and an HDMI port means you can connect even more options for enjoyment.

The screen resolution is standard 800×480 definition. It’s possible to connect the headrest to a 12V accessory plug, but this headrest is intended for a hard-wire installation that typically involves routing wires through the backrest of the seat. It includes the wiring to make the necessary connections to permanently install it in your car.

Pros

  • Looks professional when installed in your car
  • HDMI and IR make for a more immersive experience with expandability

Cons

  • Resolution is barely acceptable by modern standards
  • Installation is time consuming and can be difficult
  • May not match your interior

Key Features

  • Pair of 9” monitor headrests
  • Available only in black
  • IR transmitter for wireless headphones and FM transmitter to beam to car stereo
  • HDMI port
  • Includes 12V accessory cable
  • Includes pair of headphones

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $341.89
Last Amazon price update was: April 15, 2021 10:12 pm

Xtrons 9″ Headrest Monitors Quick Review

The Xtrons 9” headrests are a great pick for adding dual monitors to your car. While the cost is significantly higher than portable DVD layers, you get two identical headrests with slick 9” monitors that both play DVDs and CDs. Unlike most systems that only mirror, these ones play different content only.

An HDMI port on each headrest allows for hooking up other devices including video game consoles and media storage devices. The headrests have a built-in IR transmitter for wireless headphones, and Xtrons includes two sets.

The headrests are powered by 12V accessory plugs, so you’ll either need to have both plugged in or rewire the system for a hardwire application, a complicated task not for the faint of heart. This set includes a pair of headphones too, you the backseat watchers can listen and watch their own media independently.

Pros

  • A matched set of headrests with monitors
  • Inclusion of an HDMI port and IR transmitter is excellent
  • Both players can play different images

Cons

  • Only comes in black
  • Unknown screen resolution
  • Can’t mirror the same thing on both screens

Key Features

  • 7” DVD/CD monitor headrest (sold individually)
  • 800×480 resolution
  • Includes wiring and remote
  • Available in black, grey, beige

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $95.99
Last Amazon price update was: April 15, 2021 10:12 pm

Yesbay Universal Headrest DVD Player Quick Review

We always like to add a budget friendly pick to our lists.  So if you want a DVD/CD headrest monitor for the back seat, but you’re not interested in dropping a ton of money, this is a good option. The 7” screen has a resolution of 800×480, which will be adequate for the size. The monitor plays most DVD and CD formats, but not Blu Ray.

The headrest is designed to be hardwired and includes the appropriate wiring to do the job yourself. It includes a remote control. The headrest has small speakers and a port for connecting headphones.

All in all, this is a basic DVD/CD solution at an affordable price, but it doesn’t provide out of this world results. It’s a great choice for what it is- a budget solution to a common issue. The headrest is sold individually and is available in black, grey, and beige.

Pros

  • Affordable option
  • Available in several colors

Cons

  • Below average resolution
  • May not match most interiors
  • Lacks HDMI port and IR transmitter

What to Look For in a Headrest DVD Player/Monitor

There are 6 types of monitors you can install in your car. They are:

  1. Overhead for large vehicles with sufficient headroom space
  2. Flip Down which is a version of the overhead monitor that can be tucked away
  3. In-Dash for front seat passengers
  4. Sun Visor which is 5 inches long
  5. Mirror are 4-inch LCD monitors placed on the rear-view mirrors
  6. Headrests are most popular because they can be installed or attached to the original headrest or you can buy one with a replacement headrest

Important Terminology to Know

  • Active Headrest Technology – Also known as Active Headrest Restraint which reduces whiplash injury in the event an accident occurs. If your car is equipped with this technology, it’s ideal to retain the factory-issued headrest and opt for the attachable monitor
  • Dual Channel Infrared (IR) – This feature will allow you to use your wireless headphones with the headrest monitor
  • Pass-Through Technology – This feature will allow you to watch the same movie from one source on multiple devices
  • Cigarette lighter power cables – Allows for the quick installation of the video equipment
  • Video Cables – This is critical to the successful installation of your in-car entertainment system because they are made specifically for car apps and have a higher insulation standard than cables used for the home and office. This added insulation also guarantees to keep radiated noise from affecting video quality
  • Resolution – The quality of the picture cannot be overemphasized. The lower the resolution, the most pixilated the image will be so one should opt for at higher resolution with the ideal being 1024 x 768 which is the standard for a 7-inch Apple tablet – to give you a basis for comparison.
  • Region-free – Ideally, if you want a headrest monitor with a built-in DVD player, the headrest player would be one that is “region-free” which refers to recognition of any DVD regardless of where it was made.
  • PAL and NTSC – This refers to commercial TV color encoding systems. PAL is used in Europe and some parts of Asia while NTSC is common with US and Canada systems. The difference between PAL and NTSC is the frame/second wherein PAL delivers 25/625 while NTSC delivers 30/525.