We’d hardly call Pioneer’s ’51FD and ’LX71 Blu-ray players pug ugly, but there’s no accounting for taste, so the company has whipped up a super-thin player to attract the style hounds.

The BDP-LX08 is a sleek 4cm thinner than its siblings and, coincidentally, matches perfectly with a Pioneer home cinema receiver to create a smart Blu-ray system.

The player’s aluminium top plate and black acrylic front are certainly a minimalists’ dream – press ‘open’ on the aluminium remote control and the front panel drops to reveal a disc drawer and display.

Under the hood

While it looks different on the outside, the LX08’s guts are the same as those found under the bonnet of the ’LX71. It boasts the same user-friendly interface, and it also features Pioneer’s Precision Quartz Lock System, designed to deliver jitter-free CD playback over HDMI.

Of course, you’ll need to partner the player with a compatible Pioneer AV receiver (such as the £1500 SC-LX81) to access this functionality. 

Superb detail and black depth

The LX08 is also equipped with the same high-grade audio and video DACs (Digital-to-analogue converter)  found in the ’LX71, so you won’t be surprised when we say that picture and sound quality are up to the same high standard.

Images are beautifully clear and three-dimensional, while black depth and detail are nothing short of superb.

Solid sound

Loud explosions, such as those on Hellboy, are solid, taut and powerful surround-sound effects. Characters’ dialogue sounds dramatic and coherent too.

Even during CD playback, there’s a refined and natural tone – the player’s ability to time accurately is a world away from the majority of Blu-ray disc-spinners.

But as much as we like sleek gadgets, when you consider that Pioneer’s very own £400 ’51FD is just as good a player, it’s just a little too expensive to get full marks.

Stuff says... 

Pioneer BDP-LX08 review

One of the best-looking and performing Blu-ray players we’ve seen, but not quite worth the extra premium