The Sony X91J is an upper-mid range 85 inch 4k LED TV. It's a new TV in Sony's 2021 lineup, and it's only available in this size as it sits alongside the Sony X90J, which is available in several sizes. It uses the same processor as some 2020 models, so it isn't as good in some areas as the X90J, but it still provides great picture quality that most people should enjoy. It comes with the new Google TV interface, which is user-friendly, and you have access to Google Assistant with the mic in the remote. It has two HDMI 2.1 inputs for high-frame-rate gaming, and it supports variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing, as long as you update it to the latest firmware, but VRR doesn't work at the same time as local dimming.
The Sony X91J is great for most uses. It's excellent for watching movies or gaming in dark rooms because it has an excellent contrast ratio and exceptional black uniformity, but the local dimming causes some blooming. Gaming feels responsive thanks to its quick response time, fairly low input lag, and VRR support. HDR content also looks great as it displays a wide color gamut, but its HDR peak brightness is just okay. It's good for watching shows or sports in a bright room because it gets bright and has decent reflection handling, but it's not good for wide seating arrangements due to the narrow viewing angles.
The Sony X91J is excellent for watching movies in dark rooms. It displays deep blacks thanks to its high native contrast ratio, and the black uniformity is exceptional. It has a decent full-array local dimming feature, but it causes blooming around bright objects. It upscales 1080p or 4k content from Blu-rays or Ultra HD Blu-rays without issues, and it removes 24p judder from any source, which is great for watching movies.
The Sony KD85X91J is good for watching TV shows in a bright room. It gets bright in SDR and has decent reflection handling, meaning visibility won't be an issue in most well-lit rooms, but it's not the best if you want to place it opposite a bright window. Also, it doesn't have trouble upscaling 480p or 720p signals from cable boxes. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not a good choice for watching shows in a wide seating arrangement.
The Sony KD85X91CJ is good for sports. Fast-moving players or balls look smooth due to the quick response time, and if you watch sports in a bright room, it gets bright enough to fight glare and has decent reflection handling. 720p content, like from cable boxes, also looks good. Unfortunately, it's not ideal for watching the game with a large group of friends because it has narrow viewing angles.
The Sony X91J is excellent for gaming. It has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 inputs that lets you play 4k games up to 120 fps. Motion looks smooth thanks to the quick response time, and it has an objectively low input lag, but it's not as low as some other TVs. It also supports VRR to reduce screen tearing, but it has some limitations as it doesn't support FreeSync and VRR doesn't work at the same time as the local dimming.
The Sony X91J is great for watching movies. It performs well in dark rooms, thanks to its high native contrast ratio for deep blacks. It also has exceptional black uniformity. The local dimming feature performs decently, but it also causes blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. In terms of HDR, it supports Dolby Vision, but not HDR10+, and displays a wide color gamut, but its HDR peak brightness is just okay.
The Sony X91J is excellent for HDR gaming. It has great gaming features like HDMI 2.1 inputs, ALLM support, a quick response time, and fairly low input lag. It also supports VRR after a firmware update. HDR content looks great because it displays deep and uniform blacks and has a wide color gamut. However, its local dimming feature causes blooming, it doesn't get bright enough in HDR to make some highlights pop, and it doesn't work at the same time as VRR.
The Sony X91J is great to use as a PC monitor. It has fairly low input lag that delivers a responsive desktop experience, and motion looks smooth as it has a quick response time. It gets bright enough to fight glare in most settings, and it has decent reflection handling. However, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate if you sit too close. While it displays chroma 4:4:4 with 4k @ 60Hz signals, text looks blurry with 4k @ 120Hz signals, which is disappointing.
We tested the 85 inch Sony X91J (KD85X91J), the only size available for this model. It's a larger version of the Sony X90J, but it uses the same processor as the Sony X900H, so the X90J and X91J aren't alike. You can see the differences between them below.
|Size||Model Number||Costco Model||Processor|
|50"||XR50X90J||-||Cognitive Processor XR|
|55"||XR55X90J||XR55X90CJ||Cognitive Processor XR|
|65"||XR65X90J||XR65X90CJ||Cognitive Processor XR|
|75"||XR75X90J||XR75X90CJ||Cognitive Processor XR|
|85"||KD85X91J||KD85X91CJ||4k HDR Processor X1|
If someone comes across a different type of panel or their Sony X91J doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between units.
Our unit was manufactured in September 2021; you can see the manufacturing label here, and the model code label here.
The Sony X91J is a great large TV with picture quality that looks good in dark and bright rooms. It uses an older processor compared to its smaller sibling, the Sony X90J, so it isn't as good in a few areas, but most people should still be pleased with it. Considering there aren't too many 85 inch TVs available, it's a good choice if you want that size.
Also see our recommendations for the best smart TVs, the best 80-82-85 inch TVs, and the best LED TVs.
The Sony X91J is better overall than the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED because it has more features. The Sony is only available in an 85 inch size, and the Samsung is available in 55 to 85 inch size models. The Sony delivers a better experience for watching movies because it has a local dimming feature, which the Samsung doesn't have, but the Samsung gets brighter if you want to use it in a well-lit room.
The Sony X90J and the Sony X91J sit alongside each other in Sony's 2021 TV lineup, but they have a few different features. The X90J is available from 50 to 75 inches, and it uses the Cognitive Processor XR processor, while the X91J is meant to be a larger variant with a different processor, the 4k HDR Processor X1. Both TVs are fairly similar overall, but the newer processor on the X90J has some advantages. Local dimming is much better on the X90J with less blooming, and it gets brighter, especially in HDR. The X90J delivers a sharper image when upscaling, but that's also because the 85 inch X91J has a lower pixel density, resulting in a less sharp image. Overall, while they're similar overall, the X90J is slightly better due to its processor.
The Samsung QN90A QLED is better overall than the Sony X91J. While the Samsung is available in a range of sizes, from 43 to 85 inches, the Sony is only available in 85 inches. The Samsung uses Mini LED backlighting that allows it to get much brighter and have a better local dimming feature, so it's a better choice for watching HDR content. The Samsung is also a better choice for wide seating arrangements because it uses viewing angle technology to improve the viewing angles.
The Sony X91J is better overall than the Sony X85J because it's a higher-end model. While we tested the 55 inch model of the X85J, it's also available in an 85 inch model like the X91J. The X91J has a few extra features that make it better overall, like a local dimming feature. Motion also looks smoother on the X91J due to its quicker response time. On the other hand, the X85J has a higher native contrast ratio, but this may also vary between units.
The Samsung QN85A QLED and the Sony X91J are both great TVs with different panel types. The Samsung has an IPS-like panel with wide viewing angles, while the Sony has a VA panel with better contrast. The Samsung uses Mini LED backlighting that allows it to get much brighter, and combined with the better reflection handling, it performs better in a well-lit room. The Samsung is available in a variety of sizes from 55 to 85 inches, but the Sony is only available in 85 inches.
The Sony X91J uses the same processor as the Sony X900H, and the 85 inch X91J performs a lot like the 55 inch X900H we tested. The local dimming features on each look similar to each other, but because the X900H has a smaller screen, the dimming zones aren't as big, so there's more blooming on the X91J. Other than that, they're very similar even though the X91J is a newer model.
The Sony X95J and the Sony X91J are both great TVs. The X95J sits higher up in the lineup, so it's a bit better in a few areas, like its superior local dimming feature and higher peak brightness, especially in HDR. The X95J also has wider viewing angles thanks to Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' technology, but that means the X90J has a better native contrast ratio. The X95J is a better choice to use in well-lit rooms because it also has much better reflection handling. While the X91J is only available in an 85 inch size, the X95J is available in 65 and 75 inches, as well as 85 inches.
The Sony X950H and the Sony X91J are both great TVs, but as the X950H is a higher-end TV, it's a bit better in a few areas. The X950H has a better local dimming feature, and it also gets brighter, making highlights pop more in HDR and making it a better choice for watching HDR content. The X950H also has wider viewing angles thanks to the 'X-Wide Angle' technology, but that means the X91J has higher native contrast. On the other hand, the X91J has HDMI 2.1 inputs, which the X950H doesn't have, and while it's only available in an 85 inch size, the X950H is available in smaller sizes.
The Sony X91J is a bit better overall than the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED, but they use different panel types. The Sony is only available in an 85 inch size and has a VA panel, while the Samsung is available from 55 to 85 inches. The 55 inch model we tested has an IPS panel, but the 85 inch variant has a VA panel and performs differently. The VA panel on the Sony provides better contrast and the local dimming feature results in less blooming, but the IPS panel on the Samsung has wider viewing angles. The Samsung gets brighter and has better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for well-lit rooms.
The LG C1 OLED and the Sony X91J are different types of TVs. The LG has an OLED panel with a near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks and wide viewing angles, and the Sony has an LED panel that gets brighter and doesn't suffer from the risk of permanent burn-in. The Sony is available in an 85 inch size only, while the LG is available in a variety of sizes, including an 83 inch model. The LG is better for gaming because it has better motion handling. The LG also has lower input lag for a more responsive gaming experience, and it also has much better reflection handling.
The Sony X91J looks more like the Sony X900H than the Sony X90J, except the borders are black instead of silver. It has a simple design that looks nice as it's a mix of metal and plastic.
The Sony X91J has solid metal feet as its stand. It wobbles a bit front to back, but that's expected for such a large TV. There's also enough space between the screen and the table that placing a soundbar in front won't block it.
Footprint of the 85 inch TV: 60.6" x 17.3" x 2.75" (3.62" to the bottom of the screen).
The back of the Sony X91J is mainly brushed plastic that looks aluminum, and there's a vent near the top. There's glossy plastic on each side where the speakers are. There are also hooks on the back of the feet for cable management.
The build quality is great. It's well-put-together with a plastic back and with metal borders and feet. There are visible screws on the back of the borders to hold them together. The back panel flexes a bit, and there's some wobble when the TV is on the stand, but that's understandable considering its size.
The Sony KD-85X91J has a high native contrast ratio thanks to the VA panel, meaning it displays deep blacks when viewed in the dark. The local dimming feature helps it display deeper blacks, but not by much. Keep in mind that the contrast can vary between units.
The Sony X91CJ has great SDR peak brightness. It's closer to the Sony X900H than the Sony X90J, and it gets bright enough to fight glare in most rooms. There's a bit of variation between different scenes due to the frame dimming, but it shouldn't be an issue for most people.
We tested the SDR peak brightness after calibration in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with the Brightness at its max, Contrast at '90', Gamma at '0', Auto Local Dimming and the X-Tended Dynamic Range set to 'High', and the Color Temperature on 'Expert 1'.
If you want the brightest image possible at the cost of image accuracy, use the same settings as above, but in the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, with the Brightness and Contrast at their max, and the Color Temperature set to 'Cool'. We reached 734 cd/m² in the 25% window using these settings.
The Sony X91J TV has a decent full-array local dimming feature. It performs similarly to the Sony X900H, but because it only has 40 dimming zones on a large 85 inch screen, the zones are large. There's no black crush, but that comes at the cost of raised black levels, and there's intense blooming in our test pattern and real content videos. It also affects the uniformity because an entire zone turns on when there's a bright highlight. It's worse than the Sony X90J in this regard because there's less blooming on that TV, and the blacks look darker. However, subtitles aren't as bad on this TV because it dims small highlights, so there isn't a lot of blooming with those, and scenes like star fields also look good. Sadly, it's noticeable when an object transitions between zones, and the zones are a bit slow to turn on and off. You can see it with our test pattern, but it's not as bad with real content.
While it's decent overall, there's a lot left to be desired, and it would benefit from having more zones. We tested it with Auto Local Dimming and X-Tended Dynamic Range on 'High'.
The local dimming is decent in Game Mode. There isn't as much frame dimming with small highlights, but overall local dimming looks the same as outside of Game Mode. Sadly though, enabling the VRR setting disables local dimming.
The Sony X91J has okay HDR peak brightness. This is where we see that the Sony X90J gets much brighter because this TV performs more like the Sony X900H. It gets bright with most content, but small highlights are dim and don't pop the way the creator intended. Fortunately, the EOTF follows the target PQ curve well until the slow roll-off at its peak brightness.
We tested it in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with the Brightness at its max, Contrast at '90', Gamma at '0', Auto Local Dimming and the X-Tended Dynamic Range set to 'High', and the Color Temperature on 'Expert 2'.
If you find the image too dim, then set the the Brightness and Contrast to their max, the Color Temperature to 'Cool', and set the Adv. Contrast Enhancer to 'High'. This results in a much brighter image, as seen in this EOTF, but it doesn't change the peak brightness.
The Sony X91J gets brighter in HDR Game Mode than outside of it, but it looks similar both in and outside of Game Mode. There's less frame dimming, resulting in brighter small highlights and some brighter overall scenes, but the difference isn't too noticeable.
The Sony KD85X91J's gray uniformity is good. The screen looks somewhat patchy, and there's some dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting during sports, but it varies between units. Uniformity is also much better in near-dark scenes.
The Sony X91CJ has decent reflection handling. It handles bright light sources better than the Sony X900H or Sony X90J, but we still don't suggest placing it opposite a very bright window.
The out-of-the-box accuracy is excellent. Most colors and the white balance are only slightly off, so it's hard to notice, but some primary colors are over-saturated. Color temperature is on the cold side, but it's still close to the 6500K target, and the gamma follows the 2.2 target very well. Accuracy may vary between units, but it's rarely an issue on Sony TVs.
The Sony X91J has amazing accuracy after calibration. However, calibrating it doesn't do much because we couldn't get too aggressive without some colors becoming inaccurate. The color accuracy is actually worse than from before, but the white balance, gamma, and color temperature all improved.
You can see our recommended settings here.
The Sony X91J upscales 480p content well, like from DVDs. It looks like it upscales content similarly to both the Sony X90J and the Sony X900H as there's minimal difference between them.
720p content looks great, and it looks similar to the Sony X90J.
There aren't any issues with 1080p content, like from Blu-rays. It's about the same as the Sony X900H, but the Sony X90J looks a bit better for 1080p content.
Overall, the X90J seems to do a better job with upscaling than the X91J because it uses a newer processor. The X90J we tested is a 55 inch model, so it has a higher pixel density that results in sharper images than the 85 inch X91J. If you're looking at the two TVs side-by-side at a distance, they'll look alike, but you'll notice the small differences if you're closer.
The Sony X91J displays native 4k content perfectly, and although it doesn't look as good as the Sony X90J, it's about the same as the Sony X900H.
The Sony X91J uses a BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect picture quality, but it can cause blurry text in some applications when using it as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here.
The Sony X91J displays a great color gamut for HDR content, and it's an improvement over both the Sony X90J and the Sony X900H. It has fantastic coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space and alright coverage of the wider Rec. 2020. However, tone mapping is a bit off for both, and it can't display primary colors as needed.
By our testing standards, the X91J displays a wide color gamut because it meets the 67% threshold of Rec. 2020 coverage, while the X90J doesn't. However, we test this using a 50% stimulus, and we were able to measure a wide color gamut on the X90J using a 75% stimulus. Regardless, it's hard to tell the difference between the two TVs and how one has a wide color gamut while the other doesn't.
The color volume is good. Thanks to its wide color gamut, okay peak brightness, and high contrast, it displays colors at a wide range of luminance levels.
The Sony X91CJ has excellent gradient handling. There's banding that's most noticeable in the grays and greens, especially the darker shades, but it's still minor. However, it's not as good as the Sony X90J, which has less banding in darker colors, and it also doesn't have a Smooth Gradation setting to improve the gradients like the X90J, but we don't use this as part of our testing regardless.
There are no signs of temporary image retention on our unit after displaying a high-contrast static image, but this may vary.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Sony KD85X91J has an excellent overall response time. It's quick with most transitions, except for dark transitions, which create black smearing behind dark objects; this is typical of VA panels. There's also overshoot in some transitions, but it's not too bad.
There's an optional blacklight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion. It only flickers at 120Hz and creates noticeable image duplication, and it also dims the screen. Keep in mind that the BFI score is based on the frequencies at which it can flicker and not the actual performance.
The Sony KD85X91J can interpolate motion up to 120 fps, which creates the soap opera effect. It looks good with slow-moving content, but there are a ton of artifacts with busy scenes, like haloing around heads. It looks similar to the motion interpolation on the Sony X90J as they both smooth out motion in slow scenes but have artifacting in the same places with fast-moving content.
Due to the quick response time, low frame rate content appears to stutter as each frame is held on longer. Enabling the motion interpolation can help reduce this issue.
The Sony X91J removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies.
The Sony X91J has full VRR support after a firmware update. Sadly, enabling the VRR disables the local dimming setting. It works without any issue on the Xbox Series X and PS5. It doesn't support FreeSync at all, as there's screen tearing with the AMD RX 580 and RX 6600 XT, and because the Xbox Series X supports both HDMI Forum VRR and FreeSync, this means that the TV supports HDMI Forum VRR natively.
It's also G-SYNC compatible, but there are some issues with it. It's tear-free with 4k @ 120Hz signals on the pendulum test demo and in Destiny 2 on the NVIDIA RTX 3060, but the backlight is flickering with the demo. 1080p @ 120Hz on the pendulum test demo causes the screen to go black, but 1080p @ 60Hz works without issue. Lastly, 1440p @ 120Hz works without any problem, but the TV is upscaling 1440p to 4k.
Update 03/08/2022: Sony released an update to include VRR support with firmware PKG6.5660.0668NAA. However, we couldn't get proper VRR input lag readings because the TV kept crashing. We experienced the same issue with the Sony X90J, and we're looking into it.
The Sony KD85X91CJ has objectively low input lag, but it's higher than some other TVs, like the Samsung QN90A QLED. Still, it's fine for most gamers. Unless specified, each result is from the 'Game' Picture Mode, but the 4k @ 60Hz with chroma 4:4:4 input lag was measured in 'Graphics' mode instead.
The Sony X91J supports some common resolutions, but not all. It doesn't have trouble with any 1080p or 4k signal with chroma 4:2:0 or 4:2:2, and it displays 1440p signals with a custom resolution at 60Hz, but not 120Hz. Sadly, it only displays chroma 4:4:4 with 1080p signals at 60Hz and 120Hz, and 4k @ 60Hz, but like the Sony X900H, chroma 4:4:4 with 4k @ 120Hz looks blurry. This is disappointing if you want to use it as a PC monitor with a high frame rate.
We were also able to send 4096x2160p @ 60Hz signal, but since it's larger than the standard 3840x2160 for 4k resolutions, the edges of the image are cut off. We were able to display 4:4:4 with it too.
Update 03/08/2022: After a firmware update (PKG6.5660.0668NAA) the Sony X91J now supports VRR from the Xbox Series X and the PS5.
Update 01/28/2022: We investigated a reported issue with micro-stutter when gaming on the PS5. We tried to reproduce the issue with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Astro's Playroom, but we weren't able to.
The Sony X91CJ supports most common signals from the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but it's not without issues. First, if you want to play games in Dolby Vision, you're limited to 4k @ 60Hz. You either have to set the HDMI Signal Format to 'Enhanced Format' for 4k @ 120Hz signals, or to 'Enhanced Format (Dolby Vision)', which limits it to 4k @ 60Hz signals, as you can see in the Xbox menu.
We confirmed that ALLM works because the TV switched into Game Mode when we launched Destiny 2 on the Xbox Series X. However, like the Sony X900H, there were resolution issues with Destiny 2 where it would display 3840x1080 and the rectangle around the 'Open Director' in the menu flashes between white and gray. You can see an example of this from the X900H here.
HDMI ports 3 and 4 support full bandwidth HDMI 2.1, but since HDMI 3 is also the eARC port, that only leaves one free input if you want to connect a soundbar.
The Sony X91J can pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver through an HDMI connection. It supports DTS:X and Dolby Atmos formats over eARC and Dolby Digital and DTS formats over ARC/optical connections.
The Sony X91J has a decent frequency response. It has a well-balanced sound profile, especially if you're listening below its max volume, but although it gets loud, there are more compression artifacts at the max volume. Also, it doesn't produce much bass, so you won't hear any rumbling or thumping.
There's also a digital room correction feature that you can use with the remote.
The Sony KD85X91CJ's speakers have disappointing distortion performance. Although there's minimal distortion at moderate listening levels, it gets much worse at the max volume. However, this depends on the content, and not everyone may hear it.
The Sony X91J uses the new Google TV interface, which is fairly user-friendly. Besides the chroma 4:4:4 bug resulting in blurry text with 4k @ 120Hz signals as explained in the Supported Resolutions section, we also noticed that when in PC Mode, if you press the Settings button it brings you to the home page instead of opening up the settings menu. Let us know if you experience other bugs.
The Sony X91J comes with the same remote as other Sony TVs. The built-in mic offers you access to Google Assistant, as long as you have the remote connected to the TV via Bluetooth. You can ask it to change inputs, search for content, open apps, and change certain settings like the brightness level.