Pioneer BDR-XS06 Review

The BDR-XS06 is Pioneer’s next generation external Blu-Ray drive. Unlike many other similar drives, the BDR-XS06 features a new sleek design and a unique disc loading mechanism. The drive is often recommended for MacBooks and iMacs but also works with Windows devices. The only downside is the price. Which is why we wrote this review, to find out if the Pioneer Blu-Ray drive is actually worth it.

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 135×135×20 mm / 5.3×5.3×0.7″
  • Blu-Ray Writing Speed: Up to 6x BD-R
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD+RW
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-RW
  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac operating systems

In The Box

  • Pioneer BDR-XS06 external Blu-Ray drive
  • MicroUSB 3.0 B to USB 3.0 cable
  • Corel Toast Lite (Mac OSX only!)


The Pioneer BDR-XS06 is one of the most unique looking external Blu-Ray drives I have seen available. Instead of a typical tray system, it has a slot on the front. All you do is place your disc at the opening and the drive will “eat” it. And to get the disc back, you just push the eject button which is also on the front. A really simple design. It reminds me of optical drives on older MacBook Pro’s. Besides that, I also really like the overall design. The drive looks like it’s been made out of aluminium while really the body is made out of plastic. Pioneer has done a really nice job at making it look aluminium.

Pioneer BDR-XS06 Slot

The dimensions of the Blu-Ray drive are 135×135×20 mm / 5.3×5.3×0.7″ and the weight is 280 g / 0.62 lbs. So it’s not exactly the lightest drives but also not as heavy that it wouldn’t be portable. The drive also comes with a MicroUSB 3.0 type B to USB 3.0 cable, which is used to power it. My only complaint about it is that the cable is way too short. It’s so short that you need to keep the drive close to your laptop. That’s really my only issue with it.

Overall the build quality is very nice. Nicer than most of the other Blu-Ray drives I have seen. Which is to be expected as well, considering the price.


In terms of performance, the Pioneer BDR-XS06 is a pretty average external Blu-Ray drive. It has a Blu-Ray writing speed of 6x and DVD writing speed of 8x. Which is okay, I mean it’s not the fastest but also not the slowest. Fast enough for the drive to do it’s job and allow you to watch Blu-Ray movies without any issues.

The drive does also come with the standard Pioneer features such as PowerRead, PureRead and Auto Quiet mode. All of these features can also be disabled and modified from the Pioneer Drive Utility program. It’s available for download on their website. The Auto Quiet mode is a pretty good feature at keeping the drive less noisy. However the downside is also that it slows down the drive speed, which can be annoying when you want to burn Blu-Ray drives. I do want to add that the drive is pretty loud when you turn it off. So definitely pay that in mind if you are looking for a more quiet optical drive.

Other than that, you can use the external Blu-Ray drive with both Windows and Mac devices. The drive even comes with a software called Corel Toast Lite. There is a downside however, the Corel Toast Lite software is only for Mac OSX. So unfortunately for Windows users, you need to find a different program to burn on Blu-Ray drives. Also the Corel Toast Lite doesn’t include anything for watching Blu-Ray movies, so you are also going to need to find a playback program for that as well.


If you are looking for a really good external Blu-Ray drive and don’t care that much about the burn speed, then the Pioneer BDR-XS06 is an excellent choice. Especially when you have a Mac. Overall it’s fine for home use. The only downside of the drive for me is the noise. Especially when you turn off the Auto Quiet mode. And also the short cable. Perhaps if the cable was longer, I wouldn’t be that bothered by the noise.

7.5 Total Score

One of the best looking external Blu-Ray drives. However it's quite noisy.

Build Quality
Blu-Ray Writing Speed
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply