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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Monday, December 5, 2011
Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB (BDR-206 DBK)

1. Features

Today we will test Pioneer's 12x Blu-ray disc writer. The Pioneer BDR-S06XLB is the retail version of the bulk BDR-206 DBK 12X blu-ray disc writer, also available by the company. This internal BD/DVD/CD Writer will write up to 12x on BD-R (25Gbytes) and BD-R DL (50Gbytes) media, it can read BD-ROM and BD-ROM DL, read/write single and dual layer BD-R & BD-RE discs, read DVD-ROM, and read/write most DVD and CD recordable media formats.

This drive offers 12x recording for the select 6x BD-R media, which means that you will be able to burn 25GB of data in less than 12 minutes. Compared to Pioneer's previous series of 12x BD burners (BDR-205) the BDR-S06XLB is compatible with a wider range of BD-R SL and DL discs. As we will see later on in this article, the drive will burn the majority of BD-Rs for 4X and 6X at higher speeds.

Basic features of the BDR-S06XLB drive include 12x burning for single layer BD-R and select BD-R DL, BD-RE are burned at 2x for both DL and SL, single Layer DVD±R discs can be written at 16X, Double Layer DVD±R at 8X and rewritable discs at 8X (+RW) and 6X (-RW) respectively. The drive also writes CD-R at 40X and rewrites CD-RW at 24X.

Let's see some of the main features of the drive:

Newly designed mechanism for noise suppression
Most operational noise is generated from the air flow when the disc spins within the drive. The disc tray structure on the BDR-S06XLB has been redesigned to control the flow of air and smooth its circulation within the drive. Several tunnel-like air intakes and ducts are placed around the disc tray to realize smoother air flow. The inside of the drive is also smoother so the air flow isn?t hindered and noise isn?t created. Attention to these details allows for the drive?s operational noise to be reduced.
Even with the attention to these details, the disc spinning within the drive will still create some air flow noise. There are three areas from which air flow noise escapes from the front of the drive - above, below, and from underneath. The interlocking/overlapping design works like a sound barrier to trap the air flow noise. As a result, the drive is 3-5dB quieter than Pioneer's previous model and other drives.
Internal Tray Air flow Structure
Tray side-view
Sound Pressure comparison


Intelligent Operation

The drive also monitors how it is being used and will adjust its disc rotation speed automatically, meaning it will spin slowly/quietly for audio & movie playback, and quickly for data transfers.


Dust Protection

The sound barrier design that traps noise inside also works as a barrier to keep dust outside. With the newly developed mechanism, the drive has achieved approximately four times superior dust durability over Pioneer's previous model. This means drive failure due to dust is practically a non-issue.
(Pioneer test)


Lower vibration noise achieved by a more rigid panel design on the top and bottom of the drive chassis

Pioneer has also placed a channel on the front side of the drive to enhance the drive rigidity, which reduces drive vibration and noises. The same measure is placed on the bottom plate of the drive to increase the drive hardiness to prevent unnecessary noise.


Other parts used to protect the drive from noise and dust

A space created for disc clamping on the top of the drive has been reduced to achieve an air tight drive body, which further reduces the air flow noise and increases the anti-dust capability. The traverse mechanism (rails that move the drive pick-up back and forth) increases the drive?s rigidity. The coil spring structure inside the drive absorbs unnecessary vibrations that occur during disc removal. There is also a balancing weight and floating drive mechanism that are cushioned by newly developed materials to support the drive body from vibrations.


Disc Vibration Resonance Stabilizer dedicated for precision writing in a high speed environment

High speed disc rotation causes disc warping due to disc resonant vibration. This results in unstable writing quality, especially in the outer areas of a disc. With the newly designed top chassis, air flow caused by the high speed rotation will press the disc.
Without Disc Vibration Stabilizer
With Disc Vibration Stabilizer


PureRead functionality allows for reproduction of original audio by eliminating Error Data Compensation accompanied by conventional CD Audio play

When CD Audio is hit with an unreadable error, the error is filled by a calculation that is formed by data located before and after the error point. These errors are typically caused by finger prints or scratches on the disc. This calculation is made to create an artificial sound with the purpose to create seamless audio listening. PureRead is a unique function that minimizes the Error Data Compensation by judging the disc condition, readjusting the reading method, and then retrying to read the original sound data as much as possible. The function is used to minimize the chance to hear artificial audio. PureRead


* PureRead function can be set utilizing the Pioneer Drive Utility as well as with Cyberlink's Power2GO software.


Environmentally Friendly Drive Design

An elastic, hot plastic material injected on a cold drive metal body is the conventional production method typically used in the industry. This production method has a disadvantage when it comes to material recycling because plastics and metals are unified which makes the recycling process difficult. Pioneer has employed more environmentally friendly production methods by paying attention to materials that are easier to recycle. Lightweight and elaborate package design is reflected on the drive which has less impact on the environment.

Here are the drive's complete specifications:

Supporting media for burning BD BD-RE, BD-RE DL, BD-R, BD-R DL
DVD DVD-R (Version 2.0 for Gerenal), DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL,
HighSpeed DVD+RW ,DVD-RAM (DVD-RAM Version 2.0/2.1/2.2 without cartridge. RAM2 is not supported )
CD CD-R, UltraSpeed+CD-RW, UltraSpeed CD-RW, HighSpeed CD-RW, CD-RW
Supported media for reading BD BD-ROM, BD-RE, BD-RE DL, BD-R, BD-R DL
DVD DVD-ROM, DVD-ROM DL, DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-RAM (DVD-RAM Version 2.0/2.1/2.2 without cartridge. RAM2 is not supported )
CD CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD,Video CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW
Interface Serial ATA Revision 2.6
Burning speeds BD -R 12X, 10X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X
-R DL 12X, 10X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X
-R (LTH) 6X, 4X, 2X
-RE 2X
DVD -R 16X, 12X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X, 1X
-RW 6X, 4X, 2X, 1X
-R DL 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X
+R 16X, 12X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2.4X
+RW 8X, 6X, 4X, 2.4X
+R DL 8X, 6X, 4X, 2.4X
-RAM 5X, 3X, 2X
CD -R 40X, 32X, 24X, 16X, 10X, 4X
-RW 24X, 16X, 10X, 4X
Reading speeds BD-ROM/R/RE
(Single layer)
Blu-ray movie: 2X
Data transfer rate: 8X Max
(Dual layer)

Blu-ray movie: 2X
Data transfer rate: 8X Max BD-ROM/R/RE SL , 6x BD-RE DL

(Single layer)
DVD-Video: 5X Max
Data transfer rate: 16X Max
(Dual layer)
DVD-Video: 5X Max
Data transfer rate: 12X Max
DVD-R 16X Max
DVD-R DL 12X Max
DVD-RW 12X Max
DVD+R 16X Max
DVD+R DL 12X Max
DVD+RW 12X Max
CD-ROM AudioCD: 9.3X Max
Data transfer rate: 40X Max
Video CD 9.3X Max
CD-R 32X Max
CD-RW 24X Max
Average seek times BD 170 ms
DVD (-R/-RW) 170 ms
DVD (+R/+RW) 170 ms
CD 150ms
Random seek times BD 140 ms
DVD (-R/-RW) 140 ms
DVD (+R/+RW) 140 ms
CD 140 ms
Buffer size 4 MB
Installation Vertical / Horizontal
Max power consumption 22.84 W
Dimensions / weight 148 mmx42.3 mmx181 mm (WxHxD) / 0.75 kg

The retail package includes the ODD, Cyberlink's Media Suite 8 (PowerDVD 9 BD 2ch, Power2Go 7 LE, PowerBackup 2.5 and InstantBurn 5), a SATA cable and an operating instructions leaflet.

Pioneer has also added a black and well-polished front panel to the drive. The eject/close button is silver and a green operation LED is positioned next to it:


The rear panel is typical and has a power and SATA interfaces:

Let's take a look at the drive's internal board. It is recommended not to open the case of your drive since that would void the warranty.

You can click on each picture for a larger view:

The drive's electronics is based on the RENESAS R8J32720 FPV chipset, which is also met at the company's BDR-205BK model and LG's BH10 BD burner.

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