“Very good image high quality that totally satisfies.”

Very vivid

Spectacular black ranges

Prime-quality movement dealing with

Glorious out-of-box coloration

No variable refresh charge assist

Unstable tabletop stand

You may not want a TV as wonderful because the Sony X950H, however in the event you see one in individual, I’m keen to wager you’re going to need it.

To be sincere, in the event you’re keen on a Sony TV with nice image high quality and gamer-friendly options, the Sony X900H, which sits just under the X950H being reviewed right here, could be a more sensible choice. Nevertheless, in the event you depend your self among the many ranks of these for whom solely the perfect image high quality in an LED TV will do, the X950H is the place it’s at. If you need the perfect image high quality Sony makes this yr — and certainly among the finest TVs you should buy in 2020 — contemplate the Sony A8H OLED TV.

For perspective, the X950H is accessible in 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch variations for $998, $1198, $1698, $2798, and $Three,998 ,respectively (nonsale pricing). The X900H is available in 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch variants priced at $998, $1298, $2198, and $2798, respectively.  This places a $400 premium on the 65-inch X950H over the X900H.

For individuals who aren’t conscious, I’m an unapologetic fan of Sony’s greatest TVs. The rationale: Image processing. Sony’s said purpose to ship “creator’s intent” is most definitely a advertising line, but it surely one thing at which the corporate succeeds, and it does so by an image processing chip that takes an LED TV panel any firm might purchase off the shelf and transforms it right into a murals.

To be clear, I perceive that sort of accuracy will not be a precedence for a lot of consumers, and it’s true that there are numerous inexpensive TVs that may be a extra sensible selection for most individuals. The X950H is definitely a distinct segment TV, and Sony makes no apologies for that. Is it best for you? Let’s discover out.

Out of the field

Put together your self for a quite concerned unboxing expertise. There’s a ton of plastic clinging to the X950H, presumably to guard its attractive, shiny design accents. There’s additionally a glut of paper within the type of product manuals and setup guides, stuff I often counsel tossing within the recycle bin.

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

On this case, you might need to maintain on to the setup information in case you are stand-mounting the TV — or simply watch my X950H unboxing video — as a result of getting the TV’s toes put in is … lower than intuitive. On the plus aspect, there are two choices for orienting the toes. One locations the toes on the excessive ends of the TV, the opposite faces them inward for a extra slim footprint (but it surely seems to be goofy).

As soon as the TV is ready up, you’ll doubtless admire its kind issue. The X950H doesn’t have an particularly skinny profile resulting from its full-array native dimming backlighting system, however its bezels are virtually nonexistent. Certain, it’s nonetheless a black slab in your room, but it surely’s an aesthetic one.

Certain, it’s nonetheless a black slab in your room, but it surely’s an aesthetic one.

Relying on the lighting scenario in your room, you might discover that the TV’s display casts off a type of rainbow impact when it’s off or when viewing darkish content material in a vivid room. I consider this is because of a mixture of antiglare remedy and a panel layer that improves off-angle image high quality. I’ve seen this on different TV’s, and whereas I didn’t discover it to be problematic for many of my testing interval, I used to be barely bothered whereas attempting to observe Netflix’s notoriously darkish Ozark when daylight was pouring into the room. I noticed much less of myself and the room mirrored, certain, however I additionally noticed a hazy rainbow.

Setup

Research have proven that most individuals don’t do any image settings changes after they get their TVs residence, and for many who don’t, please know that the X950H’s out-of-the-box “Commonplace” image preset is among the many least obnoxious I’ve seen from any producer.

For those who’re shopping for this explicit TV, nevertheless, I’m keen to wager you need the perfect image high quality attainable and, for that I might advocate by beginning with the “customized” mode, which gives the perfect coloration accuracy proper out of the field. Chances are you’ll discover the customized mode to be a bit of darkish, so be happy to regulate the backlight setting to get the brightness degree the place you need it. In any other case, you received’t have to the touch anything.

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

That works for SDR content material, however you’ll additionally need to dial within the HDR image preset that you simply like greatest for each HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material. I counsel pulling up the YouTube app, trying to find 4K HDR content material, and enjoying again one of many clips that comes up. Go into the image settings and choose the HDR image mode you want greatest.

For Dolby Imaginative and prescient changes, I counsel enjoying a Dolby Imaginative and prescient-enabled clip from Netflix. Once more, go into the image settings and choose the Dolby Imaginative and prescient preset (vivid or darkish) that you simply like greatest.

One extra word for setup: Sony gives a “mild sensor” possibility that can mechanically modify not solely the X950H’s brightness but additionally its gamma curve primarily based in your room’s lighting scenario. I discover the characteristic works extraordinarily nicely, however it would additionally darken the image in darkish rooms, so in the event you choose the punchiest HDR expertise you will get, you’ll need to flip this characteristic off.

Sound

I don’t typically discuss a TV’s sound high quality as a result of it’s virtually at all times poor and in dire want of not less than a soundbar for something apart from watching the information. Within the case of the X950H, nevertheless, it’s price dialogue.

Two added audio system pull off some spectacular methods.

Sony’s sound technique with the X950H was to put small audio system on either side of the TV, positioned just under the highest, with a purpose to add a way of directionality and spaciousness to the sound. Working with the 2 down-firing audio system on the backside of the TV, these two added audio system pull off some spectacular methods. Whereas I might not characterize the sound as excessive constancy, I’ll say that the sound is much better than most TVs and provides some immersion to action-packed motion pictures.

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

I’d nonetheless counsel getting a greater sound system for an expertise that sounds pretty much as good because it seems to be, although.

Image high quality

For those who’ve spent any period of time studying TV opinions these days, you’ve in all probability heard loads about zones and nits. Zones refers back to the variety of native dimming zones a TV’s backlighting system has to assist management black ranges and enhance distinction. Usually, extra zones are higher.

Nits refers back to the measurement of peak brightness a TV is able to and, as you possibly can in all probability think about, extra is mostly thought-about higher.

Sony breaks each guidelines. Please enable me to nerd out for a second. Skip the subsequent two paragraphs if you need the underside line.

Sony doesn’t talk about what number of zones its TVs have, nor does it like to speak about its peak brightness measurements, claiming in each instances that the numbers don’t essentially characterize efficiency. I agree, to a level, however for grins, I did measure the X950H’s peak brightness within the customized image mode at about 980 nits (with variance of 10 nits in each instructions). For individuals who don’t know their nits from their mitts, that’s a really respectable quantity.

As for zones, I didn’t depend as a result of I don’t care and it’s tough to do with a Sony TV. Sony has some backlighting magic happening and is de facto the one TV producer I’m conscious of that manages to make zone depend virtually irrelevant. The truth that it’s tough to depend the backlighting zones within the X950H is a testomony to that reality.

The underside line is that the X950H is greater than sufficiently vivid to ship a superb HDR expertise.

The underside line is that the X950H is greater than sufficiently vivid to ship a superb HDR expertise whereas sustaining wonderful black ranges, all with out crushing out low-light particulars. The backlight management is excellent, which suggests the halos you may see round vivid objects on darkish backgrounds are minimized fairly nicely. This additionally interprets into very black letterbox bars that don’t flip grey when the motion on the display will get vivid, and no extreme display brightening when closed captions are in use.

Dan Baker/Digital Traits

Out-of-box coloration can also be excellent within the customized mode, and it’s surprisingly good within the sport mode as nicely. Usually, sport mode tosses coloration accuracy to the wind, however with the X950H, I used to be pleasantly shocked to see a hotter coloration temperature adopted whereas general brightness was very excessive. Extra on gaming in a second.

Movement dealing with is great with the X950H, offering easy, judder-free film playback, in addition to stutter-free movement from 60Hz content material on Netflix and YouTube. The X950H’s processing additionally eliminates any moiré impact one may see in very tight, uniform patterns such because the window screens or the tight patterns on high-rise buildings.

The X950H’s processing actually shines when dealing with low-bit depth content material from streaming providers like Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu (any of them, actually). On different TVs it isn’t unusual to see an impact known as banding in broad coloration areas — assume a giant image of the sky with delicate modifications of the colour blue — the place it seems there are semi-circular bands of coloration. The Sony X950H’s processor, nevertheless, smooths issues out fairly efficiently.

The X950H has a perfectly cinematic image.

My solely image quality-related criticism is with off-angle viewing. Distinction and coloration roll off considerably in the event you aren’t sitting useless middle in entrance of the TV. That is typical of LED TVs with VA-type panels, however Sony’s X-Vast Angle expertise had me hoping for higher. In the end, I’m glad no general image high quality components had been sacrificed for wide-angle viewing. It’s best to only settle for that’s how VA LED TVs are and benefit from the superior distinction they supply.

With all image high quality elements taken collectively, what you get with the X950H is a perfectly cinematic image. It’s deep, wealthy, and punchy when known as to glitter. Merely put, it’s among the finest photos I’ve seen on an LED TV, significantly at its worth.

Not for players

Whereas the X950H’s 18.Three-millisecond enter lag is appropriate for many informal gaming situations, this mannequin lacks the assist for variable refresh charge (VRR) that we’re seeing throughout a broad vary of televisions this yr. Sony informed me that it sees this TV interesting largely to film buffs and selected to not arm it with a number of the options with which it blessed its X900H, together with VRR (through future replace) and an ATSC Three.zero tuner.

Android TV expertise

Till lately, Android TV was a frustratingly sluggish expertise. Happily, the system on chip now being utilized in most 2020 TVs handles Android TV with out vital lag or load occasions. Followers of the Google expertise will recognize the benefit of getting any beforehand logged-in apps mechanically up to date in order that repetitive entry of usernames and passwords could be prevented. Signing in to Google additionally permits YouTube customers to maintain their viewing historical past and advised movies constant throughout all units.

Our take

The Sony X950H gives wonderful image high quality, surprisingly good sound, and a stable sensible TV expertise. Its image processing improves the viewability of all sources because of wonderful upscaling and the flexibility to scrub up low bit-depth content material. Whereas it isn’t the only option for players, it is a perfect TV for film buffs. Whereas I’m very assured in recommending this TV, I need to cease wanting an Editor’s Alternative award as a result of I feel it serves a really area of interest viewers.

Is there a greater different?

I feel the Sony X900H is a sensible different for many who need wonderful Sony image high quality with gamer-friendly options. Samsung’s Q80T can also be a robust contender on this worth class. We’ve got but to see what comes from Vizio this yr and can replace this part accordingly as soon as we’ve had some hands-on time.

How lengthy will it final

An absence of HDMI 2.1 compatibility, for which Sony is taking numerous warmth, provides me some pause in the case of future-proofing. Nevertheless, Sony’s stable monitor report for construct high quality and the X950H’s wonderful image high quality has me believing this TV shall be related for a few years to return.

Guarantee

Sony gives a one-year components and labor guarantee when bought from a certified retailer.

Do you have to purchase it?

Hardcore cinephiles will love the X950H, however most folk available in the market will in all probability be on the lookout for higher general worth or a TV with extra up-to-date options. I say in case you are amongst those that need the perfect image they’ll get from an LED TV proper now, the X950H is a stable selection. Those that are much less enthusiastic might need to look elsewhere.

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