Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 – 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Sony X950H / XH95

9.2

Design

9.3/10

Video Quality

9.2/10

Ports & Connectivity

9.0/10

OS, Apps and Features

9.1/10

Price / Quality

9.2/10

Pros

  • Very good brightness
  • Nice viewing angles
  • Low input lag
  • A huge list of smart features and functions

Cons

  • No HDMI 2.1
  • Very few dimming zones
  • Motion Interpolation could be better
  • No VRR, ALLM or HFR

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2020 was certainly a very important year for Sony TVs and for Sony in general. With the release of their new PlayStation 5 during the end of the year the Japanese manufacturer had to be ready in order to offer a yearly lineup of models that would be able to take advantage of their latest gaming console. But things were not as clear cut as we were expecting as many of their flagships, including the one we will be reviewing here, were missing the necessary HDMI 2.1 that would take advantage of the full PS5 capabilities. And today in our Sony X950H review we will be looking at Sony’s best 4K LED LCD offering and if it is the ideal LCD to go for this year.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

The X950H, being a flagship unit, comes fully packed with technology features that certainly makes it a top premium TV model but here we find a paradox. While the lower X900H TV features a HDMI 2.1 port the X950H is not and this seems to be a very strange move from Sony with a lower tier model getting such a high profile feature and their flagship isn’t. But in general their implementation of HDMI 2.1 in their 2020 models is shaky at best so this shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

The X950H is being offered in 5 different models ranging from 49″ all the way up to 85″ and while most of their features are the same they have slight differences in terms of connection port numbers and layout, different sound systems and the use of the X-Wide Angle technology being implemented. Everything else is the same with all of them using a VA TRILUMINOS display with a Full Array with Local Dimming (FALD) light system, come equipped with Sony’s best Picture Processor X1 Ultimate, support Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision and feature Android TV 9.0 with all its smart and streaming features like voice control, Chromecast and Airplay 2.

This unit is certainly the finest non OLED 4K TV Sony has on offer so the stakes are high. Can it compete with the other major flagships and how much the omission of HDMI 2.1 is hurting this one? Let’s find out…

Design

The X950H is the successor of X950G but the two TVs have little in common in terms of actual design. Nevertheless the X950H keeps all these elements that make a flagship unit distinguish itself from the rest of the lineup.

The TVs overall thickness was measured around 2.7″ (6.9 cm) making it just about what you would expect from a FALD TV that needs slightly more thickness to accommodate the backlight system but in general it is slightly more thick especially if you compare it to some extremely thin Edge LED TVs. But as always it’s a give and take situation. Having side looking ports do help in such an occasion as you will not have trouble using them at all with the TV wall mounted. The borders are extremely thin and with so thin bezels the screen really becomes more impressive.

The back side of the TV features a mainly plastic cover with a horizontal brushed texture but other than that it’s the usual design we see in most units. All the connections are placed on the lower right corner, although depending the size you get they come in different layouts. The power connector is isolated from the rest on the left side while towards both side corners we find two special tweeters being part of Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio system. In the middle there are the usual VESA wall mount holes and that’s pretty much all.

When it comes to the stand of the X950H it seems that Sony went ahead and redesigned it and what we do get is honestly unique in terms of mechanics. First of all the stand is all metal which helps a lot it terms of stability and less wobble but featuring a bench type design meant that you would need a big furniture to place it on. And here is where Sony’s design comes in as the stand can lock into two different positions. Either full extended or in a more narrow position in case your furniture is smaller than the full extend of the TV.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Keep in mind that the 49″ size is using a completely different stand, one that mostly reminded us of the one used in the X950G. Lastly the X950H feature special plastic clips that attach on the back legs in order to help with cable management.

We had major complaints with the design of the remotes Sony were using the last few years but thankfully it seems that this has finally changed and the one we get now at least is a nice improvement compared to the previous ones.

Featuring a grey metal texture the remote that comes with the X950H seem to be the same one we found in the X800H with the only difference being that this one has a light grey color instead of a dark one. The remote is definitely on the large side and has all the functions for smart TV functionality. Except from the usual numerical pad and navigation buttons you get two big dedicated buttons for Google Play and Netflix while there is also a Google Assistant button that can be used with the built-in microphone in order to issue your voice commands. But in order for that to work it needs to be paired to the TV through Bluetooth but in this case all other commands work without the need for line of sight.

All buttons have a nice feel to them and have certain distance from each other to avoid pressing the wrong one but unfortunately there is no backlight function that could greatly help in a low lit environment. In general the remote is an upgrade compared to the one we saw in last year’s models so we take this as an improvement.

The X950H looks and feels like a premium TV model. Good design with a nice stand, sturdy construction, thin borders and a nice remote gives you the impression that what you buy is a top tier TV.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Video Quality

Processor technology used

Sony has been using three different processors for their 2020 TVs and the X950H is getting the best of them called X1 Ultimate Processor which has some differences compared to the less capable variants we had seen in their other lower tier offerings. So let’s see the different technologies that are included in this top chip of theirs.

First we get Object-based Super Resolution technology which detects individual objects in a picture and preserve detail on-screen. Hundreds of objects are identified and their resolution individually enhanced to give a picture of exceptional accuracy and detail.

There is also Object-based HDR remaster with which the color in individual objects on screen is analyzed and the contrast adjusted, unlike most TVs where contrast is only adjusted along one black-to-white contrast curve. Because objects are remastered individually, this TV can reproduce greater depth, textures, and more real pictures. 

Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR is utilized to create a smooth, natural picture as you watch with thousands of tones, shades, and gradations of light, without the “banding” that can occur on other TVs. 14-bit signal processing breaks up the solid bands of color, effectively smoothing out the gradation between shades displaying a 14-bit equivalent gradation, even from an 8-bit source, showing 64 times the color levels of a conventional display.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

The X1 Ultimate is using a Dual Database processing system. One database is used to clean the picture, reducing on-screen noise. The other is used to upscale the resolution, improving clarity. These two powerful image improvement databases work together, dynamically improving pixels in real time. Each database has tens of thousands of references, amassed from their experience creating content for TV and movies over the years.

Dynamic Contrast Enhancer is responsible for automatically adjusting contrast settings according to your environment in order to provide clearer and more defined colors.

And then there is X-tended Dynamic Range PRO. By precisely balancing the light output across the screen, dimming LEDs independently and boosting others, X-tended Dynamic Range PRO reveals a brightness range several times that of a conventional LED-backlit TV.

And for last we left 4K X-Reality Pro. By using this picture processing technology the X950H is able to up-scale any kind of source content up to 4K with remarkable results. 4K X-Reality PRO is using a variety of noise reduction techniques to sharpen and refine images while patterns in images are compared with patterns stored in a unique database to find the best hue, saturation, and brightness for each pixel.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

In this test we try out different content on various resolutions from pretty low SD content all the way up to 1080p resolution in order to determine the up-scaling capabilities of the X950H. At least with all the content we tried we didn’t observe any artifacts or distortion from the up-scaling process and it shows how good the X1 Ultimate is in this regard. Obviously the original content plays a big role in the final image but as far as the process itself the X950H passed with high colors.

Lighting technology used

All sizes of the X950H are getting the same Full Array with Local Dimming (FALD) light system which means that there is an array of LED lights on the back of the display that is divided into different zones that are controlled by the TVs software to light up whenever the content asks for it.

There are two crucial factors when it comes to how efficient the FALD system is. The first is how many zones are being used. The more the better but keep in mind that cost goes up also so most manufacturers seem to have tried to reduce this number and by improving their dimming algorithms, the second crucial factor, they try to achieve similar results. Some times these algorithms are efficient enough but not always which can result in various undesirable effects on the screen.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

For the X950H it seems that there are 63 dimming zones being utilized which are not many considering we have seen some models in the previous years having numbers into the hundreds. The low number of dimming zones result in more visible blooming which is a bright ring appearing around bright objects against a dark background. The more zones available the less blooming you will see and while the local dimming of the X950H is really good it cannot do much with the blooming effect which can be pretty distracting in some cases especially in scenes with extremely bright objects.

Brightness / Contrast

One of the most important characteristics of a HDR TV is no other than its brightness output. It’s unfortunate that many lower tier HDR TVs don’t have the necessary brightness output to make HDR justice even with manufacturers advertising them as such. Thankfully most of the flagship models don’t have such problems and the X950H should be among them.

In our SDR brightness test we used the Custom Picture mode with Expert 2 color temperature and both Local Dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range were set to high. In our 10% white window test the X950H was able to output 1012 nits of brightness which is considered amazing and more than enough for any SDR content either you will be watching in a dark room or a bright lit environment.

As for our HDR brightness test over a 10% window we managed to get 1140 nits which can also be considered exceptionally good. It may not be the most bright TV we have ever seen to date but getting above the 1000 nits threshold is enough to guarantee an HDR image that is vivid and true to how their makers intended it to be.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

The X950H is using a VA panel and as such the TV has very good contrast ratio as per usual with all VA equipped models. With the included Local Dimming things get slightly better as the Sony TV is doing a good job with it keeping the blacks at low levels. The X950H is loosing slightly here because it used the X-Wide Angle technology to improve its viewing angles and we know that this layer has a slight negative effect on the contrast in general.

Lastly keep in mind that the 49″ size does not have the X-Wide Angle technology so probably the contrast ratio is slightly better compared to the other sizes because of this.

Viewing angles

With the X950H using a VA panel the viewing angles we get are mediocre at best. This is not the fault of the TV itself but rather the display technology being used as all VA equipped TVs are suffering from bad viewing angles. The last few years manufacturers are using special layers in order to improve this and achieve what OLED TVs can do so Sony has named this X-Wide Angle which they have used in some of their top offerings in 2020.

The X950H fortunately does use this extra filter and slightly makes things better but don’t expect a night and day difference. From our tests we would say that up to 35-40 degrees the TV retains good image quality. But anything above that colors shift, brightness and black levels integrity takes a huge hit and the overall image quality degrades a lot.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Even so 40 degrees of angle for a VA panel equipped TV is exceptionally good and the X950H is ideal for not only a home theater system but also for family setups where many family members will be watching at different angles. Just keep in mind that the available 49″ size is not using the X-Wide Angle technology and thus its performance in this aspect is worse than the other sizes.

HDR support

We have mentioned before that in 2020 Sony have been very consistent with the types of HDR support they offer across their entire lineup. Actually the X750H was the only new release that didn’t support Dolby Vision but for all the rest, the X950H included, we get the usual trio of protocols offered by Sony.

As such the X950H comes with the standard trio of HDR protocols that include the basic HDR10 which is required for 4K UHD playback, HLG that is used in broadcasting and lastly the more advanced Dolby Vision that uses dynamic metadata and offers the best quality from the three available.

We have said before that Sony does not seem eager to support HDR10+ and while their official claim of preferring to focus on the protocols available is a rather strange one we at least hope that at some point in the future we will be able to get Samsung’s solution also. But for the foreseeable future don’t expect this to happen.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Color coverage

The X950H comes with wide color gamut support which is one of the fundamental requirements for HDR content viewing as it can make the colors look more vivid and lifelike. The TV is using Sony’s proprietary TRILUMINOS display with Live Color technology in order to display a wider color palette and more natural shades and hues.

Also with the X950H we find another image technology that Sony calls “Precision Color Mapping”. This goes beyond conventional color enhancement, optimizing colors individually in real time. It drives the maximum performance of the display and controls the representation of every color perfectly in order to provide the best image result possible.

Being on the high end of things we were expecting the X950H to do great in this test so let’s see what we got. On the DCI-P3 color space we measured a coverage of 93% which is amazing. On the wider REC.2020 color space we were able to measure a coverage of 70% which is considered good but not the best we have seen and in this regard the X950H, being the top 4K LCD flagship, did disappoint us a bit.

Motion performance

Sony is known for their excellent motion performance they have in their TVs and the X950H seems to follow this trend. The TV is using a 120Hz panel and in combination with Sony’s Motionflow with X-Motion Clarity it improves motion blur and judder for clearer images by flickering its backlight at 720 Hz which is extremely fast for most people to notice.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

The TV comes equipped with both Motion Interpolation and Black Frame Insertion (BFI) smoothing techniques. These two can be enabled or disabled depending on that settings you choose in the MotionFlow menu when that is set to Custom. With the Clearness slider set to minimum the TV will use the standard Motion Interpolation system while anything above that will switch to the Black Frame Insertion. Keep in mind that with BFI, brightness takes a hit as black frames are inserted in between every two frames while flickering may also become visible.

Now in general we can say that motion interpolation worked well in the X950H but not always. When there was a lot of action with fast camera movements we did notice some artifacts which indicate that the TV was always interpolating. Many TVs when the scenes are too demanding stop to interpolate as they cannot cope with the fast movements but it seems that the X950H does not so it’s a bit of a hit or miss situation during specific scenes.

Lastly we should mention that the X950H does not support any kind of VRR technologies either HDMI Forum VRR, FreeSync or G-Sync. So if any of these are really important to you then your options are two actually. Either to go for the lower X900H which comes with an HDMI 2.1 port and all the technologies this brings or go for the 8K LCD option, the Z8H / ZH8.

Input lag

Next in our tests, the input lag measurements. We can admit that TVs, even low tier ones have really amazed us the last couple of years as they have achieved input lags that measure into single digits. The X800H we had tested recently came really close at 11.1 ms so we were curious to see how a flagship TV as the X950H would fare. And the number we got was 18.7 ms which is really good even though a bit higher than what we were expecting to see.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

This measurement is an average of 1080p and 4K resolutions with the available Game mode turned on. When we turned off the Game mode the input lag spiked to 84.1 ms which may be too much for demanding gamers but can still provide a satisfying experience for casual gamers and slow paced games. Unfortunately as the X950H is missing an HDMI 2.1 port this means that certain, gaming focused, features are missing also. And this is no other than Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) which could be of real benefit with the new gaming consoles released. For that you will have to look at the X900H instead.

Now as we always do we did try some gaming on this TV with our PS4 and went a few laps on F1 2019 to see what kind of control we get out of it. With Game mode on response time was amazing with instant reactions to our commands and there was no visible delay or lag. We did try without the available Game mode and while the difference was obvious we could still play with satisfactory results even if it needs a bit of getting used to the slower reaction time of the TV.

In general the X950H is a nice gaming TV and even if it doesn’t reach the lowest input lag we have measured to date what we saw was still good enough either you are a serious gamer or a casual one.

Image quality impressions

Overall the X950H left us with good impressions but not as good as you would expect from Sony’s 4K LCD flagship. On the one hand the X1 Ultimate processor is really impressive and packs a lot of power in terms of image processing and up-scaling capabilities. Brightness, while not the best out there, was good enough for both SDR and HDR content and due to the included VA panel and Local Dimming function contrast was very good. The use of a Full Array (FALD) light system help with light control while the inclusion of the X-Wide Angle technology made viewing angles better than most similar models.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

On the downsides the FALD system uses too few dimming zones and there was some visible blooming even if it was not very distracting. Also while the X-Wide Angle technology helps with viewing angles it makes contrast ratio worse. Motion performance was more or less good but the TV failed to stop interpolating in heavy action scenes making the appearance of artifacts a bit too obvious. And lastly the TV is missing any of the next generation HDMI features like VRR, ALLM and HFR which is a real shame for such a high profile TV.

All the above left us with a bittersweet taste to be honest. The TV is not bad, not at all, but it could have been so much better and it’s a pity that most manufacturers seem to keep the best of the best for the new 8K TV sets making even their 4K flagships missing some of the specs that we would deem important in any top tier 4K TV nowadays.

Audio Quality

Next we will talk about the audio system that is utilized in the X950H and here things couldn’t be more confusing as not all sizes use the same system. For the 49″ a simple 2.0 channels bass reflex system is used with 20 watts of power output. The speakers are placed in the usual downwards position so there is nothing out of the ordinary there.

As for the 55″, 65″ and 75″ sizes Sony has used their own Acoustic Multi-Audio technology. Sound on conventional TVs with a speaker located below the screen is often out of sync with the picture. Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio includes two sound-positioning tweeters at the back of the TV in addition to the down firing drivers that enable sound to follow the action for a more accurate experience. Independent amps are controlled separately to precisely manage sound positioning of these speakers in high tone areas, enhancing sound pressure and stability for more realism.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

The system in these sizes is rated at 10 W + 10 W + 5 W + 5 W for each speaker for a total of 30 watts of power output. Also these sizes use a uniquely shaped driver that Sony calls X-Balanced Speaker that combines the good performance of a conventional round speaker with the practicality of an oval shaped one. As for the 85″ size it features exactly the same system as the other sizes with the only difference being that it doesn’t have independent amp control and is not using the X-Balanced Speakers of the smaller sizes.

The TV obviously comes with Dolby Atmos support along with Dolby Audio and DTS. But Sony went one step further and included S-Force Front Surround which is their proprietary virtual surround technology.  By upconverting inputs, S-Force Front Surround virtually reproduces a multi-surround speaker system within your TV so you can enjoy all the thrills of more immersive sound.

Now we have seen many TVs support Dolby Atmos but with their simple 2.0 channels audio systems they fail to reproduce it the way it was meant to. So where does this leave the X950H? To be honest things are slightly better than what we expected. The Acoustic Multi-Audio system does make sound feel more rich and vibrant while also gives it more extension and depth. Dialogue was clear and distinct even with plenty of sound effects at play while overall volume could go pretty high for a system like this without much distortion.

Does it offer a genuine Dolby Atmos experience? No and how it could since the necessary hardware is not there? If you really want to feel how Atmos or surround activity sounds like you will at the very least need to get a soundbar with either Atmos or surround speakers support. But it is certainly a step up from the rest of TVs that use traditional 2.0 channels systems and claim to support Atmos. And for casual viewing that is more than enough.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Ports and Connectivity

For some reason the X950H is the rare case where different sizes are using different connection port layouts and also slightly different numbers of ports. With this in mind the 49″ and 85″ have two groups of ports with one group looking sideways while the other is looking downwards. The rest of the sizes are having a single group look at the side.

The 49″ and 85″ surprisingly also have one USB more available for a total of three instead of two in the other sizes. And while this may not be such a huge deal for most it is still a curious and noteworthy difference between the same models.

Now as for what we actually get. There are 4 HDMI inputs, 3 USB ports (2 USB ports for 55″, 65″, 75″) for connecting external storage or other USB based devices, 1 digital audio output, 1 analogue audio output for connecting headphones, 1 composite input, 1 ethernet port for connecting your TV to your local network through a wired connection, 1 RS-232C port for control, 1 IR input and the usual Antenna/cable RF connector.

Surprisingly it seems that one of the USB ports available is indeed a USB 3.0 which is amazing considering that all major manufacturers have really disappointed us in this regard as many of their flagships are still using the archaic USB 2.0 instead which in 2020 should be unacceptable. Also all HDMI ports are the older 2.0b as we already mentioned that the X905H is missing any HDMI 2.1. At least we do get eARC support in HDMI 3 in order to be able to pass through Dolby Atmos to an external audio device like a soundbar.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

In terms of wireless capabilities things are pretty much similar to the other Sony releases so the X950H comes with built-in WiFi (802.11ac) along with Bluetooth v4.2. We would like to see the newer Bluetooth 5.0 but no luck this year from Sony.

The X950H is a really strange model and we cannot comprehend the decision of Sony not to include HDMI 2.1 in their flagship 4K LCD TV. For the lower X900H to get HDMI 2.1 along with all the goodies this brings and the top X950H not is a move that doesn’t make any sense and for that reason this model will be loosing a few points due to that.

OS, Apps and Features

As far as its smart TV functionality Sony has stayed behind the Android platform for many years and continues to do so. So with the new 2020 releases we have reached Android TV 9.0 which is the best and most stable version so far and has really come closer in terms of usability and functionality to its main competitors, Samsung’s Tizen and LGs webOS. Sony seems to offer the full Android TV 9.0 to almost all their 2020 releases with the only exception being the bottom tier X750H which we had analyzed in our review. So when it comes to the UI and smart functionality experience Sony offers the same across the board.

As such our analysis in this section is the same as we did in our X800H review and we will be making appropriate changes and additions wherever we deem necessary.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Android TV 9.0 hasn’t changed much compared to last year but there are subtle improvements and updates. So if you have used any of the last Android TV versions you know more or less what to expect. In the latest Android TV 9.0 version we could not be more happy with how smooth and lag free our experience has been. Everything runs fast and we didn’t experienced any unusual bugs at least during the time of our testing. Opening and closing the various apps was very smooth and will not keep you waiting at all.

Unlike webOS and Tizen the Android TV platform takes the whole screen when you enter its home screen and you get various selections on the top and left of the screen. Customization is also possible in certain parts of the layout that could help you organize various tiles and icons to your preference.

If there is one thing that Android has in abundance that is definitely the huge support from developers. Through the included Google Play you can find literally thousands of apps that you can download and use except from the pre-installed ones. There is so much content available that you will definitely find the ones you are looking for and the list goes on and on.

Some of the most prominent names are all accounted for including Google Play TV & Movies, Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Video, Sling TV, Hulu and Youtube as well as Pandora, Tidal, Google Play Music, Spotify or iHeartRadio. As always some of them are region dependent so make sure the ones you are interested in are working in your area. Lastly certain apps like Netflix and Youtube support playback for both 4K and HDR content for those interested in it.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Chromecast is also available here and it gives you the ability to stream content from other Chromecast enabled devices like mobile phones and tablets directly to the TV. Voice control is also present but it seems that it is a bit limited compared to other competing models. By that we mean that although you can use the remote’s built-in microphone to give commands to Google Assistant for Amazon Alexa you will need an external Alexa enabled device to work. Additionally there is also Sony’s Voice Search available.

We have seen the same thing in some other Sony TVs also like the X800G and even in the newer X800H and probably has to do with the fact that it’s using Google’s Android system and thus having Alexa built-in was not possible. With voice control you can issue various commands to the TV but functionality extends far beyond that as you can control any smart devices you have in your house also.

There is also a built-in media player available that you can use to playback various video and audio content from an external storage connected to the USB ports. Support is pretty good for a built-in player and compared to the competition we can admit that it will be able to play more files in comparison but in general don’t expect it to replace your dedicated media player box if you use one. If there is a file that is not following the usual standards it will not play it something that a dedicated player might will. But the files that do play didn’t reveal any playback problems like lagging or skipping. Everything was smooth and trouble free.

Sony has also added support for both Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit. With Airplay 2 you can stream content from other Apple devices on your TV while HomeKit lets you control certain aspects of the TV through your mobile device. Also except from those two the X950H is also getting Apple TV which is Apple’s online streaming service in order to have the complete Apple’s suite. So in case you favor Apple’s products the X950H will certainly cover you in this respect.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

As with the X800H the X950H is Calman Ready. To address color variations from the production process, this TV is ready to use Portrait Displays’ high-performance Calman auto-calibration software. This allows an unprecedented level of calibration and the ability to fine-tune adjustments simply not possible through conventional picture settings. It delivers high-fidelity color reproduction that’s true to the original TV signal, and can even adapt to the subtlest changes in color that may occur over time.

A few more features that are worth mentioning are that this TV has a Netflix Calibrated mode. This mode was specially developed to enjoy Netflix originals and reproduce the same picture quality on a TV as on a studio evaluation master. With Netflix Calibrated Mode, the creator’s vision and intent is faithfully preserved.

The X950H also supports IMAX Enhanced. So in case your other equipment is also IMAX Enhanced you can enjoy content that meet high-quality color, contrast, clarity, and sound.

And one more feature that we shouldn’t forget is Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect Bluetooth compatible devices to your TV for easy wireless entertainment. You can pair your Bluetooth headphones or earphones with the X950H and enjoy TV shows and music in your favorite place—without any disturbances or interruptions.

One last thing we need to mention is that there is no official app support for controlling the TV. If you want to control the X800H using your mobile device you can use the Android TV app made by Google that supports many of Sony’s TVs the last few years. It’s nothing major but can be a nice alternative to the included remote if you want to have more options.

The X950H is getting the full package. There is hardly anything missing here and at least in this regard the X950H is getting the high end treatment.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

Final Thoughts

The X950H is Sony’s best 4K LCD TV for 2020 and to be honest with the arrival of 8K TVs the top 4K models find themselves in a difficult position as most manufacturers seems to keep the very best only for their new 8K offerings.

But this doesn’t mean that the X950H is not a good TV. On the contrary it packs some high end features with a very efficient Full Array with Local Dimming (FALD) light system, Sony’s very best X1 Ultimate processor, X-Wide Angle technology and their proprietary Acoustic Multi-Audio system. All these give the X950H very good brightness with good color coverage, very good contrast, nice viewing angles along with satisfying motion performance and low input lag. If you add support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos along with the latest Android TV 9.0 you get a lot of value for your money.

But not all is good. The FALD system is using only 63 dimming zones and no matter how efficient its algorithms are there is bound to be some slight blooming in certain scenes and less light control. Also the included X-Wide Angle do decrease the overall contrast ratio while its motion interpolation can reveal artifacts when in heavy action scenes. And while all this slight missteps are the result of their 8K offering pushing the top tech on the performance ladder one thing that is totally disappointing is the omission of HDMI 2.1. We cannot comprehend the reasoning why the lower X900H gets it and their top 4K LCD does not and for us this is a huge design mistake as the TV is missing all the new tech this brings like VRR, ALLM and HFR.

We are in a transition period for all TV manufacturers. With 8K TVs taking more slots every year and new TV tech on the horizon the current 4K LED LCD TVs, and especially the top tier ones will start to loose their premium status and will slightly go down the performance ladder. But until that happens the Sony X950H is Sony’s 4K LCD best and despite its weaknesses and omission of HDMI 2.1 it still remains an amazing model for anyone that is looking for a new TV for movies, sports, gaming or casual use.

Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 - 2020 4K LED LCD TV)

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6 thoughts on “Sony X950H Review (X950H/XH95 – 2020 4K LED LCD TV)”

  1. Thank you for the review. Easy to read and with so much details. I am looking into buying a new TV but I am a bit scared of the OLED burn-ins so I decided to go for a good LCD one. I don’t care for 8K so what you think? Should I go for the X950H?

    Reply
    • Well, if you don’t care for 8K and you don’t want to go OLED then yes, the Sony X950H is your best bet at least when it comes to Sony’s camp. Just keep in mind that the X950H doesn’t have HDMI 2.1 so it depends if this is an important feature for you or not.

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  2. We’ve been looking into upgrading our tv as our smart TV has stopped working for some reason. I have never owned a Sony TV personally, I was more of a Samsung guy, but I think I might try one out as you’ve written a great review and provided very helpful information on it. Keep up the good work!

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  3. Can u send me picture setting for dark room in night for hd programs. I have bought 55″x950h but not getting goof setting can u help

    Reply
    • Custom Picture mode with Expert 2 color temperature is the best and most accurate combination you can use. And set Local Dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range to high.

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