Sony X900H vs X950H Review (XBR55X900 vs XBR55X950H, XBR65X900 vs XBR65X950H, XBR75X900 vs XBR75X950H, XBR85X900 vs XBR85X950H)
Sony X900H and X950H are the second top and top model of the Sony’s 2020 4K HDR LED TV lineup. Both of them are great TVs for most usage. If in 2018, Sony only launched the X900 series only and in 2019, Sony has launched the X950 series only, in 2020, they launched both X900 and X950 Series. As the top models of their lineup, picture quality certainly becomes one of their mainstays in competing in the market. Coming with the combination of the VA panel, Full Array Local Dimming, and their picture engine called 4K HDR X1 Ultimate for the Sony X950H and 4K HDR X1 for the X900H makes they both can produce excellent picture quality in both SDR and HDR. And as we have known, in previous years, the Sony X950 and X900 Series are including the brightest TVs that able to show HDR images as bright as the target intended by content creator.
In the market, both of them come in various screen sizes. If the X900H available on 4 screen size option including 55 inches (XBR55X900H), 65 inches (XBR65X900H), 75 inches (XBR75X900H), and 85 inches (XBR85X900H), the X950H comes in one more screen size. In addition to the screen sizes that found the X900H which are 55 inches (XBR55X950H), 65 inches (XBR65X950H), 75 inches (XBR75X950H), and 85 inches (XBR85X950H), it also comes in 49 inches (XBR49X950H). Meanwhile, with the same screen sizes (XBR55X900 vs XBR55X950H, XBR65X900 vs XBR65X950H, XBR75X900 vs XBR75X950H, XBR85X900 vs XBR85X950H), as a higher model, of course, the Sony X950H has more expensive price than the X900H. So, what are their differences and which is a better choice among them?
Sony X900H vs X950H Key Specification
|Specs and Features||Sony X900H||Sony X950H|
|Screen sizes available||55 Inch (XBR55X900H), 65 inch (XBR65 X900H), 75 inch (XBR75X900H), 85 inch (XBR85X900H)||49 inch (XBR49X950H), 55 Inch (XBR55X950H F), 65 inch (XBR65X950H), 75 Inch (XBR75X950H), and 85 Inch (XBR85X950H)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Backlight Technology||Direct LED||Direct LED|
|Local Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming|
|X Wide Angle||No||Yes, 49 inches (XBR49X950H): No|
|Picture Processor||4K HDR Processor X1||4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate|
|HDR Support||Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10||Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10|
|Clarity Enhancement||4K X Reality Pro||4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, X-Tended Dynamic Range||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro|
|Color Enhancement||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, TriLuminos Display||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display|
|Native Refresh Rate||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Motion Enhancement||X Motion Clarity||X Motion Clarity|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV 9.0 Pie||Android TV 9.0 Pie|
|Remote||Sony’s 2020 Voice Remote Control||Sony’s 2020 Voice Remote Control|
|Audio Channel||2||2.2 Ch, XBR85X950H and XBR49X950H: 2.0 CH|
|Audio Power Output||10 Watt + 10 Watt||10 Watt + 10 Watt + 5 Watt+ 5 Watt, XBR85X950H and XBR49X950H: 10 watt + 10 watt|
|Speaker Type||Acoustic Multi Audio, Sound Positioning Tweeter, X-Balanced Speaker
XBR55X900H: Bass Reflex Speaker, X-Balanced Speaker
|Acoustic Multi Audio, Sound Positioning Tweeter, X-Balanced Speaker;
XBR49X950H: Bass Reflex Speaker, XBR85X950H: Acoustic Multi Audio, Sound Positioning Tweeter
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technology of the Sony X950H and X900H
Just like the predecessor X950G or X900F, both of the Sony X900H and X950H use VA panel that powered by Sony’s TriLuminos Display technology. As we have known, the use of VA panel technologies allow them to have high native contrast ratio that make them can produce deep black. But on the other hand, a TV that use VA panel usually has poor side viewing angle coverage. Meanwhile, with the support of the Sony’s TriLuminos Technology, this allows them can produce wide color gamut that required to produce colorful HDR images. Special for the X950H (except 49 inch model XBR49X950H), its panel also has an optical layer called “X-Wide Angle” that also found in last year’s model such X950G or Z9G. It is similar to “Ultra Viewing Angle” on Samsung TV. This technology can improve its side viewing angle coverage, but on the other hand, it slightly lowered contrast ratio and color gamut.
Meanwhile, they also use the same backlight technology, which is Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming technology called X-tended Dynamic Range. However, that distinguishes among them is the number of dimming zones. But unfortunately, we don’t know for sure, how many dimming zones of each. But certainly, with X-tended Dynamic Range Pro, the Sony X950H has more number of dimming zones that the X900H with standard X-Tended Dynamic Range.
Meanwhile, as their image processor, the Sony X900H and X950H are powered by different image processor. If the X950H is powered by 4K HDR X1 Ultimate that also used for the X950G and Sony OLED TV, the X900H is only powered by 4K HDR X1 Engine, the lowest variant of X1 engine that found in mid-model of last’s year model. Its level is even lower than the X1 Extreme found on the 2018’s X900F. You need to know, the 4K HDR X1 lacks some technologies and features found on the X1 Ultimate such as Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution, Super Bit Mapping HDR, and others that designed for maximizing its performance in processing HDR signal. And with higher level of X1 engine, the X950H can process HDR images better than the X900H.
Both of the Sony X900H and X950H have the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. This allows them support any content with native frame rate up to 120 Hz. Additionally, with native 120 Hz refresh rate, they both are also able to interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 HZ. But unfortunately, unlike the high-end model of Samsung TV or LG TV that also support VRR technology, both of the X900H and X950H doesn’t support any VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology like FreeSync, GSync, or even HDMI Forum. As we have known, the VRR technology can improve their gaming performance, particularly when you play a game with a compatible console, allowing you to play games with screen tearing-free.
Meanwhile, just like other LED TVs with local dimming, to dim their backlight, they both use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system with dimming frequency of t20 Hz in all modes. But keep in mind, this frequency is achieved is “MotionFlow” is disabled. Since their dimming frequency is fairly high, this makes their screen’s flicker is not noticeable. Nevertheless, their dimming frequency will drop to 120 Hz once their BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode is enabled. To enable their BFI mode (X Motion Clarity), you just need to set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and the “Clearness” slider” to either “1” or “2” according to your preference. As we have known, enabling BFI mode can help to make motion smoother. But unfortunately, the lowest possible frequency of their BFI mode is 120 Hz that means it is only effective for 120 Hz content. Meanwhile, when playing 60 Hz content, enabling their BFI mode can cause some duplication that may bother some people.
Both of the Sony X950H and X900H are equipped with 4 HDMI ports as their major connectivity. All of their HDMI ports already support most of formats such as HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, and CEC. Meanwhile, the advantage of the X950H is it also supports HDMI 2.1 while the X900H doesn’t support. The support of HDMI 2.1 make the X950H can accept HFR (High Frame Rate) signal like 4K @120 Hz through its HDMI ports. On the other hand, since the X900H doesn’t support HDMI 2.1, of course, its HDMI cannot accept HFR signal. Additionally, one of their HDMI ports (HDMI 3) also supports ARC (audio Return Channel). Special for the X950H, its HDMI 3 also already support eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel), allow it can receive high quality Audio signal like Dolby Atmos via TrueHD and DTS:X via DTS-HD over an HDMI connection. On the other hand, the X900H doesn’t support eARC that of course makes it cannot receive high quality audio signal over HDMI connection.
In addition to 4 HDMI ports, they both also have 2 USB ports that support both of USB 3.0 (USB 1) and USB 2.0 (USB 2). Additionally, they both also have 1 RF In (Tuner In), Composite In (AV In), 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack), and 1 Ethernet port. Keep in mind, although they both have Composite In, to use this inputs, you need to buy adapter separately since the adapter is not included. And to connect to the internet or other devices wirelessly, they both have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Smart TV Platform
Just like last year models, both of the Sony X950H and X900H also runs Android TV as their smart TV platform. But the difference is they run the newest version of Android TV, which is Android 9.0 or Pie. Over the years, Android TV has makes improvements that has brought it closer to WebOS of LG TV or Tizen of Samsung TVs. Unlike in the first years Android TV was released where its navigation is a bit confusing, particularly for new users, in this version, its interface is designed more friendly so make it is easy to navigate. Additionally, in term of speed, this version is also a faster than previous version. Just like other Smart TV platform, it also has good selections of pre-installed apps. And that is most interesting from Android TV is about its apps store. With Google Play Store that supported by tons of developer, this makes it has great selections of apps, games, and others you can download directly from your Sony TV.
One of the biggest changes brought by the 9.0 version is that it also already supports streaming service that also found on WebOS or Tizen. In addition to usual streaming service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, etc, there is now HBO Max and Disney Plus. But unfortunately, in Android TV, there is no Apple TV like on the other two. Meanwhile, for voice navigation, it supports built-in Google assistant and some others voice assistant such as Amazon Alexa. Additionally, it also has Built- in Chrome Cast, allowing you to cast any content from your smart phone to the bigger screen of your Sony TV. Additionally, it also already supports Apple Air Play 2 that certainly will please iOS users.
Meanwhile, as their main controller, both of the Sony X900H and X950H comes with the 2020 model of Samsung’ Voice Remote. Physically, their remote is not much different to the remote of X950G or Sony OLED TVs. But it now has black colors instead silver color on last year model. Just like previous models, their remote is fairly large and has a lot of buttons. In addition standard buttons that also found in most smart remote, it also has two dedicated buttons of For Netflix and Google Play, allowing you to open these apps without entering menu. Their remote also has built-in microphone for voice navigation and their voice navigation can work well and properly in some purposes. Their remote also support CEC, allows you to control other CEC compatible devices with a single remote. Additionally, their remote actually also can be used to control other devices that is not support CEC through IR connection. Unlike the smart remote on Samsung or LG TV that has built-in IR, their remote doesn’t has IR, so in order can be used to controller other device via IR connection, you need IR blaster and now this device is not included in their buying package.
Sony X950H vs X900H Performance
Contrast Ratio and Black Level
Both of the Sony X900H and X950 have good native contrast ratio. But just we have mentioned above, the use of “X-Wide Angle“ optical on the panel of X950H may slightly reduce its native contrast ratio, makes native contrast ratio of the X950 is not as high as the X900H. If the X900H has native contrast ratio of around 4000:1, the native contrast ratio of the X950H is only around 3000:1. Additionally, they both also has full array local dimming that can boost their contrast ratio to around 5000:1 for the X900H and around 4000:1 for the X950H. And since the X900H has a bit higher contrast ratio, this make it can produce slightly deeper black than the X950H, albeit their difference doesn’t have a significant impact on the images that produced. But even so, ignoring their difference, black produced by them is dark enough to make black of images looks really black in a dark room. And combined to their great black uniformity and good performance of their local dimming in minimizing blooming, dark scene of images displayed on their screen looks excellent on their screen, particularly when they are playing HDR content. Both details in dark scene and small highlight can be maintained fairly well on their screen.
Winner: X900H has slightly better contrast ratio, the X950H has slightly better black uniformity
With SDR content, both of the Sony X900H and X950H has impressive peak brightness. With real content, the X950H can hit around 550 nits while the X900H hit around 500 nits. But even so, with windows test, their peak brightness depends on the content and peak brightness reached by them also has different behavior. The Sony X950H reaches the highest peak brightness is on 10% window, which is around 1050 nits. On 2% and 25% window, its peak brightness is relative similar, which is around 850 nits and in 50% and 100% window, its peak brightness is also relatively similar, which is around 600 nits. On the other hand, the Sony X900H reaches the highest peak brightness on 25% window, which is around 625 nits. On 50% and 100% window, it reaches around 550 nits and 500 nits. On 2% and 10% window, its peak brightness is even dimmer, which is around 350 nits and 450 nits. Nevertheless, ignoring their difference, their peak brightness is bright enough to fight the glare in bright room. And combined to their good reflection handling, in a bright room, the picture displayed on their screen still looks obviously.
While in SDR peak brightness, they are not much different, with HDR content, peak brightness of the Sony X950H is much brighter than the X900H. With real content HDR peak brightness of the Sony X900H is only a bit improved, which is around 550 nits. On the other hand, the X950H can get much brighter HDR peak brightness than its SDR peak brightness, which is around 1000 nits. Just like their SDR peak brightness, on window test, their peak brightness also has different behavior. The X950H hit the highest peak brightness on 10 % window, which is around 1150 nits, while the X900H hit the highest peak brightness on 25% window, which is around 700 nits. Meanwhile, on 2%, 25%, 50% and 100% window, the X950H hit around 850 nits, 950 nits, 725 nits, and 700 nits. On the other hand, just like its SDR peak brightness, on 2% and 10% window, the X900H precisely hit their lowest peak brightness, which is around 300 nits and 450 nits, dimmer than on 50% and 100% window where it is able to hit around 675 nits and 550 nits.
With the behavior of its peak brightness, the Sony X900H actually is able to deliver a pretty good HDR experience, particularly in a moderately-lit to dark room. But unfortunately, since its peak brightness on 2% and 10% window is relatively lower than larger window, it is not able to deliver standout highlight in HDR and highlight precisely looks dimmer than larger bright scene. On the other hand, the X950H can deliver fantastic HDR experience with highlights pops, even in a bright room. In certain scene, it even is able to show HDR images as bright as the target of 1000 – 4000 nits content creator intended. But a bit unfortunately, highlights don’t stand out as much due to there is still some blooming around highlights. But even so, overall, the HDR performance of the X950H is fantastic and much better than the X900H
The Sony X950H has a bit wider color gamut than the X900H. If the color gamut delivered by the Sony X900H cover around 86% of DCI P3 xy and 91% of DCI P3 uv color space, color gamut delivered by the X950H can cover around 91% of DCI P3 xy and around 95% of DCI uv color space. Additionally, color gamut coverage of the X900H in Rec.2020 color space is also not as wide as the X950H, which is around 63% of Rec.2020 xy and 70% of Rec.2020 uv while color coverage of the X950H is around 67% of Rec.2020 xy and 74% of Rec.2020 uv. This means, when showing color of HDR images that mastered in DCI P3 such as HDR10 or Rec.2020 such as Dolby Vision, in certain colors, the X950H can show them more accurately than the X900H. Additionally, the Sony X950H also has better color volume than the X900H. But even so, this is more due to its wider color gamut. Essentially, they both can produce deep dark and bright color equally well. But like most of LED TVs, they both cannot produce bright blues. Ignoring their differences, combination of their wide color gamut and good color volume makes color of HDR images displayed on their screen looks very accurate and vibrant.
In addition to wider color gamut and better color volume, the Sony X950H also has better color gradient than the X900H. But even so, it is more due to the better performance of its images processor. The color gradient of the X950H is excellent. There may be still some a bit banding in the darker of colors, but they are hard to notice in normal content. On the other hand, although not as smooth as the X950H, color gradient of the Sony X900H is also great. Just like on the screen of the X950H, although there may be still some banding in certain color, but in normal content, this should not be noticeable. But even so, if you still feel bothered by banding that may be visible, you can enable “Smooth Gradation” for removing most of it. But keep in mind, enabling this feature may make the images loses some fine details.
Side Viewing Angle
As we have discussed above, the use of “X-Wide optical layer may reduce contrast ratio of the X950H, but on the other hand, it improve its side viewing angle coverage, but still not as good as “Ultra Viewing Angle” on Samsung TV. If on the screen of the Sony X900H, black level rises started at around 15 degrees off center and front, on the screen of the X950H black level just started to rise at around 25 degrees. Additionally, in maintain brightness level, the X950H is also better. If on the screen of the X900H, its brightness will start to drop at round 30 degrees, on the screen of the X950H, black level can be maintained at up to 50 degrees. And lastly, color accuracy also can be maintained better in X950H then X900H. On the screen of the Sony X950H, color will start to shift at around 40 degrees and look washed out at around 50 degrees while on the screen of X900H, color will start to shift and look washed at around 25 degrees off center and front. This means, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on the screen of the X950H will look more consistently than on the screen of the X900H.
The Sony X950H and X900H have excellent pixel response time and their response time is almost similar, which is around 11 ms. Their pixel response time is low enough to make motion clearly when they are playing fast moving images like fast movies or fast games. Following fast moving object, there may be still some ghosting trail, but this should be hard to notice, particularly for people who have untrained eyes. Meanwhile, to further improve motion that produced, they both also have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode called X-Motion Clarity that can help motion smoother. But just we have mentioned above, the lowest possible frequency of their flickering pattern is 120 Hz, which means it is only effective for 120 Hz content. While for 60 Hz content, enabling this feature can cause some duplication. To enable their BFI mode, you just need to set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and set both smoothness and clearness sliders to 2”.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, they both also can do a great job. Regardless the source, all of them will be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on their screen. This means, no matter the source is native 24p movies like DVD or Blu-Ray movies, via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, vi 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, and movies from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, etc, they both can show them with judder-free. For native 24p content, you don’t need to make any setting to remove judder. Meanwhile, to remove judder from 60i, 60p, 4K signal, CineMotion must be set to “Auto”, “TruMotion” set to “Custom”, and set both Clearness and Smoothness sliders to minimum.
The input lags of the Sony X900H and X950H in PC mode are also equally great. With 60 Hz content, the input lags of the X900H is around 15 ms while the X950H is around 20 ms at any resolution. The input lags of the X950H may a bit higher than the X900H or most of LED TVs, but it is still low enough to make it very responsive for nay games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Additionally, with 120 fps content, their input lag is even lower, which is around 7 ms for the X900H and around 10 ms for the X950H on 1080p resolution. As the note, they both don’t support 1440p and 4K @ 120 Hz content. Since the X900H has lower input lags than the X950H on both 60 Hz and 120 Hz content, can be ascertained, the X900H is a bit more responsive than the X950H. But as we have mentioned, although not as low as the X00H, input lags of the X950H is also low enough to make it is very responsive for any games. But unfortunately, they both don’t have any gaming features that can improve their gaming experience likes VRR technology and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode).
For Watching Movies
Both of the Sony X900H and X950H are great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. They both have strong enough native contrast ratio that makes them can produce deep black. Combined to their good black uniformity makes them can show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Additionally, they both also have good local dimming features which in addition can improve their contrast ratio, can also minimizing blooming around small highlights. And lastly, their good performance in handling 24p judder allows you to watch movies from any sources with judder-free. Meanwhile, compare between them, the Sony X900H may have a bit higher contrast ratio that make it can produce deeper black, but on the other hand, black uniformity of the X950H is better than the X900H. Additionally, the X950H is also able to bring out small highlight better than the X900H. Overall, the X950H is a bit better than the X900H when used for watching movies.
For Watching Sports
When used for watching sports, their performance is actually equally good. They both have good SDR peak brightness and combined to their good reflection handling allows you to watch sports in most bright rooms without any serious issue. Additionally, their low pixel response time also makes motion looks very clear and smooth when you are watching fast sports such as MotoGP
or F1. They both may have an optional BFI mode that can help to make motion smoother, but the lowest possible frequency of their flickering pattern is 120 Hz. And since most sports have frame rate of 60 fps, this may not works well for sports and precisely can cause some duplications. Meanwhile, compare among them, the Sony X950H is better than the X900H. In addition to it has brighter SDR peak brightness that makes the picture displayed on its screen looks more obviously in a brighter room, the X950H also has better side viewing angle coverage than the X900H. And you will take this advantage when you watch a big game with a group of your friend or family.
Performance of the Sony X900H and X950H when used for playing video games may be not as good as their competitors, but they both are still good TVs for playing games. They both have low input lags in Game mode at any resolution and frame rate. Combination of their low input lags and good motion handling allows you to play any fast paced games responsively and with smooth motion. But unfortunately, they both don’t support any VRR technology like FreeSync or GSync that can improve their game experience when you play a game with a console that also support VRR technology. Meanwhile, compare among them, the Sony X900H is a bit better. This is due to it has lower input lags than the X950H that certainly makes it is more responsive and this will be more pronounced when you are playing fast paced games.
Overall, the HDR performance of the Sony X950H is better than the X900H. As we have discussed above, the X900H may have better contrast ratio that makes it can produce deeper black, but the black uniformity of the X950H is better. So, in producing dark scene, this doesn’t mean the X900H is better than the X950H. Ignoring their difference, with the support of good local dimming performance, dark scene of HDR images can be shown excellently with details revealed well. Meanwhile, in term of color reproduction, they both are actually able to show colorful HDR images due to their wide color gamut. But in here, the X950H is better due to it has wider color gamut, better color volume, and smoother color gradient. And the main advantage of the X950H to the X900H is on their peak brightness. Peak brightness of the X900H may be bright enough to deliver excellent HDR images in moderately-lit to dark room, but in a bright room, its HDR peak brightness is not right enough. Additionally, its peak brightness in small window is also not bright enough to bring out highlight in HDR. On the contrary, the Sony X950H has outstanding HDR peak brightness. Its peak brightness is brighter than 1000 nits, makes HDR images displayed on its screen looks excellently with highlights pops, even when it is set in a bright room. In certain scene, it even is able to show HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what intended by content creator.
|Performance||Sony X900H||Sony X950H|
As we have discussed above, overall, the Sony X950H is better than the X900H. Its contrast ratio and input lags may be not as good as the X900H, but it is superior in almost all other aspects. It has wider color gamut, better color volume, smoother color gradient, better images processor, and especially is much brighter HDR peak brightness. And as a higher model that priced more expensive, this certainly is a reasonable thing. On the other hand, although not as good as the X950H, performance of the Sony X900H is also great for its class. Except side viewing angle, it also has good performance in almost all aspects of picture quality. So, which is a better choice between them? The decision certainly comes back to you according to your budget and preference.