The Sony X950H is a great 4k TV that delivers a stunning HDR experience with its high peak brightness and impressive color gamut. It has a full-array local dimming feature to enhance its already great contrast ratio further, making it a very good choice for dark room viewing. Like its predecessor, the Sony X950G, it has excellent color accuracy out-of-the-box, so you may not need to calibrate it to get the best viewing experience. Its motion handling is impressive, as it has a fast response time and an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to improve clarity. Gamers should appreciate its incredibly low input lag; however, the lack of variable refresh rate (VRR) support is disappointing. Although it has Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer, its viewing angles remain mediocre and aren't ideal for wide seating arrangements. On the upside, reflection handling has improved significantly and so has gray uniformity, which is good news for sports fans.
The Sony X950H is great for most uses. It's well-suited for any type of lighting conditions, as it has a great contrast ratio that allows it to produce deep blacks, and its excellent peak brightness can easily overcome glare. It delivers a great HDR experience and upscales lower resolution content from cable TV well. It has a fast response time and low input lag, but there are no advanced gaming features like VRR. It can display chroma 4:4:4 and is immune to permanent burn-in, making it a very good choice for use as a PC monitor.
The Sony X950H is great for watching movies. It performs very well in dark rooms thanks to its great contrast ratio, full-array local dimming, and outstanding black uniformity. It upscales lower resolution movies well and can remove judder from all sources. However, low frame rate content like movies can appear to stutter due to the TV's fast response time.
The Sony X950H is great for watching TV shows. It provides good visibility in bright environments, as it can fight glare easily and it handles reflections well. Lower resolution content from cable TV is upscaled well and without any issues, and there's no risk of permanent burn-in even if you watch the same program all day long. The downside is the TV's mediocre viewing angles, which makes it harder to watch while walking around doing chores.
The Sony X950H is very good for watching sports. Thanks to its high peak brightness and outstanding reflection handling, the TV is easily visible in the brightest lighting conditions. There's almost no dirty screen effect, and the TV upscales lower resolution content like cable sports well. Despite having Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer, the viewing angles are mediocre, so it's not the most ideal for watching a big game with a large group of people.
The Sony X950H is good for gaming. Its high contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity make it a good choice for dark room gaming. Its input lag is low enough for most casual gamers and remains low at all resolutions. Response time is great, so fast-moving scenes look clear. It has a 120Hz refresh rate but lacks variable refresh rate support to reduce screen tearing.
The Sony X950H is great for watching movies in HDR. It has a high contrast ratio that allows it to produce deep blacks, and it has a full-array local dimming feature to improve black level. It has an impressive color gamut and high peak brightness to deliver HDR content with vibrant colors and bright highlights. Black uniformity on our unit is outstanding, so there's no distracting backlight bleed in dark scenes. That said, uniformity can vary between units.
The Sony X950H is good for gaming in HDR. It has a fast response time that results in very little motion blur, and it delivers a great HDR experience thanks to its high peak brightness and wide color gamut. Its input lag is low, even in 10-bit HDR mode. Sadly, it doesn't support VRR to reduce screen tearing.
The Sony X950H is very good for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag and fast response time, resulting in a responsive desktop experience. It supports chroma 4:4:4 at all resolutions and its VA panel is immune to permanent burn-in. However, its viewing angles are mediocre, so the edges of the screen may look inaccurate if you sit up close.
The Sony X950H has a simple, yet outstanding design, with thin bezels and minimal branding. Although the feet look thin, they're fully metal and they support the TV well. We have them set as wide as possible, but they can be moved inwards to accommodate smaller tables.
The stand is fully metal and supports the TV well, allowing for very little wobble. There are two possible positions for the feet. We set up ours at the wide position, but you can set them up at the narrow position if you have a smaller table. The feet are also interchangeable, so you don't have to worry about putting them on the wrong side.
The stand on the 49" variant is different; it's similar to the one on the Sony X950G.
Footprint of the 55" stand at the wide position: 47.8" x 12.3"
Footprint of the 55" stand at the narrow position: 32.1" x 12.3"
The back of the TV is fairly plain and made of plastic. It has a horizontal brushed texture, and the inputs are facing sideways, making them easier to access when wall-mounted. There are two clips included in the box to tie the cables to the feet, which serve as cable management.
The 49" variant has some downward-facing HDMI ports.
The TV is of moderate thickness and doesn't protrude much when wall-mounted. Our unit leans backwards a tiny bit; however, this varies between units.
The Sony X950H has a great build quality. Although it's mostly plastic, it feels well-built, and there's no flex on the back panel, except the area where the inputs are located. The metal stand supports the TV well, and there's very little wobble.
The Sony X950H has a great native contrast ratio, and it gets slightly better when local dimming is enabled. However, it's lower than what we would expect of a VA panel due to Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer, which improves viewing angles at the expense of lower contrast. That said, blacks still look deep, making it a good choice for dark room viewing. Note that the contrast ratio can vary between units.
The 49" variant of this TV doesn't have the 'X-Wide Angle' layer and is expected to have a higher contrast ratio.
If you want a TV with a higher contrast ratio, check out the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020.
Excellent SDR peak brightness. Like the Sony X950G, the brightness varies depending on the scene, but overall, it's more than enough to overcome glare even in the brightest lighting conditions. If you want an even brighter TV for outdoor use, check out the Samsung The Terrace.
We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, with Local Dimming set to 'High', and X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High'.
If you don't mind losing image accuracy, you can get a brighter image by setting the Picture Mode to 'Vivid', Local Dimming to 'High', X-tended Dynamic Range to 'High', and Contrast to max. We achieved a peak brightness of 1145 cd/m² in the 10% window with these settings.
Update 07/09/2021: We've added two new videos demonstrating the local dimming feature with real content.
The local dimming is good. In normal content, there's more dimming than blooming around bright objects, but not to the point of crushing small highlights or losing detail. Highlights don't stand out as much and are instead handled a bit more evenly. While there's still some blooming, it's much better handled than on the Sony Z9F.
Update 07/09/2021: We've added two new videos demonstrating the local dimming feature with real content.
The local dimming feature performs identically in Game Mode.
Update 07/09/2021: We retested the HDR brightness at the same time as retesting the Game Mode brightness, but the peak brightness didn't change much.
Excellent HDR peak brightness. While it varies a lot across different content, the overall brightness is more than enough to deliver a fantastic HDR experience.
We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, 'Expert 2' Color Temperature, and with X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High'.
If you want a brighter image and don't mind losing accuracy, set the Picture Mode to 'Vivid', Local Dimming to 'High', X-Tended Dynamic Range to 'High', and Contrast to max. We achieved a peak brightness of 1185 cd/m² in the 10% window with these settings.
Update 07/09/2021: We retested the HDR brightness in Game Mode, and it's a bit brighter in all tests.
The Sony X950H has excellent peak brightness in HDR Game Mode, but it's not quite as bright as out of Game Mode. Small highlights stand out really well, and there's little variation in peak brightness with different content.
Gray uniformity is good on our unit of the Sony X950H; however, this can vary between units. There's very little dirty screen effect, which is great for sports fans, but the vignetting at the corners is very visible and can be distracting for some. Uniformity is much better in dark scenes.
Our unit of the Sony X950H has outstanding black uniformity; however, this can vary between individual units. Without local dimming, the entire image looks more grayish, and there's a little bit of blooming around the test cross. With local dimming enabled, uniformity is significantly better, but the blooming is much more noticeable.
Mediocre viewing angles. Despite having Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer to improve viewing angles, gamma shift still happens fairly quickly when moving off-center. It should be okay for most rooms, but not for large rooms with wide seating arrangements.
The 49" variant of this TV doesn't have the 'X-Wide Angle' layer and is expected to have worse viewing angles.
Outstanding reflection handling. Visibility shouldn't be a problem even in very bright rooms with sunlight. However, the TV's 'X-Wide Angle' layer causes a rainbow effect that some may find distracting.
The Sony X950H has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy. White balance is good, and the color temperature is very close to our 6500K target. Gamma doesn't follow the target all that well, with most scenes appearing brighter than they should. Note that color accuracy can vary between individual units.
After calibration, the Sony X950H's color accuracy is exceptional. White balance and gamma are nearly perfect, with only a slight dip in the gamma causing bright scenes to be over-brightened. There's still some inaccuracy with the color blue, which is typical for LED TVs.
You can see our recommended settings here.
480p content like DVDs looks good and we didn't notice any visible artifacts.
1080p content looks good and there are no noticeable upscaling artifacts.
The pixels are blurry due to the TV's 'X-Wide Angle' layer. It's very likely that the layer also affects red and green sub-pixels more, as they appear doubled while the blue sub-pixel remains clear.
The Sony X950H has a great HDR color gamut. It has outstanding coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content; however, coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is just okay. Using the 'Custom' picture mode, the EOTF follows the input stimulus perfectly, but instead of a slow roll-off towards the TV's peak brightness, it's completely flat, resulting in some clipping in very bright scenes. The 'Game' mode EOTF performs identically, which you can see here.
If you find HDR content too dim, you can make it brighter by using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, with Local Dimming set to 'High', and X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High' as well. These settings result in a much brighter image, which you can see in this EOTF.
Great color volume. The TV can display dark and saturated colors well due to its high contrast ratio, but like most LED TVs, it has difficulty producing bright blues.
Outstanding gradient performance. There's a bit of banding in all colors, although it's most noticeable in greens and grays. Enabling Smooth Gradation can remove most of it, but it can cause the loss of some fine details.
The Sony X950H shows no sign of temporary image retention, but this can vary between individual units.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Sony X950H has an impressive response time that results in clear images with very little motion blur. However, just like the Sony X950G, there's overshoot in the 0-20% transition, causing some artifacts in dark scenes.
Update 06/11/2020: There was a mistake in the way we checked for flicker. The "Standard", "Vivid", and "Cinema" modes flicker at 120Hz by default, but this is because Motionflow is enabled by default in those modes. Disabling it resets the flicker to 720Hz.
The Sony X950H uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight, and there's 720Hz flicker in all picture modes unless Motionflow is enabled. This is a very high flicker frequency, and we don't expect it to bother most people.
Update 07/06/2020: We previously mentioned that to activate the BFI feature, the 'Clearness' slider can be set to either '1' or '2', according to your preference. However, 'Clearness' and 'Smoothness' sliders must be set at '2' for it to work. The text and the settings page have been updated.
The Sony X950H has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur. To enable it, set Motionflow to 'Custom' and set the Clearness and Smoothness sliders to '2'. Note that the Clearness slider needs to be higher than minimum, and when set higher, it decreases the backlight's brightness and changes its amplitude.
Update 07/15/2020: We've retested the motion interpolation with different content, and noticed a good amount of artifacts in scenes that have a lot of movement. This is likely due to the TV continuing to interpolate during intense scenes, whereas other TVs tend to stop.
The Sony X950H has a motion interpolation feature that can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps. It performs well and we didn't notice any artifacts in our tests. To interpolate 60fps content, Motionflow must be set to 'Custom', with the Smoothness slider set to'Max' and the Clearness slider set to 'Min'. To interpolate 30fps content, Cinemotion must be set to 'Auto'.
Due to the TV's fast response time, low frame rate content can appear to stutter. If it bothers you, enabling Cinemotion can help.
The Sony X950H can remove judder from all sources. For 24p content, there's no need to change any settings. For 60p content and native apps, set Cinemotion to 'Auto', and Motionflow to 'Custom', but leave the Smoothness and Clearness sliders at minimum.
Unfortunately, the Sony X950H doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies. If you want a similar TV that has VRR support, check out the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED.
The Sony X950H has great low input lag when in 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode. It's responsive enough for most casual gamers, but it's a bit too high for competitive gaming. While you can use motion interpolation for gaming, it increases the input lag significantly and it isn't recommended.
If you want lower input lag for gaming, check out the Sony X900H.
Even though the Sony X950H has a 120Hz refresh rate, it can only achieve 120Hz at a 1080p resolution, so 1440p and 4k content are limited to 60Hz. It can display chroma 4:4:4 properly for PC users, and it needs to be in either 'Game' mode or 'Graphics' mode for it to work. For high bandwidth signals like 4k @ 60Hz + 10-bit HDR, set HDMI Signal Format to 'Enhanced format'. If you want a TV that can display a 4k @ 120Hz signal, check out the Sony X90J.
If you want a TV that supports HDMI 2.1, check out the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED.
There are two USB inputs on the TV, one of which is a USB 3.0 port.
The Sony X950H supports eARC, allowing it to pass high-quality audio like Dolby Atmos via TrueHD and DTS:X via DTS-HD over an HDMI connection. To use it, set eARC to 'Auto', and Passthrough mode to 'Auto' for DTS to work.
The Sony X950H's frequency response is good. It's relatively well-balanced and gets very loud, but there's a bit of compression when playing near max volume. It doesn't have much bass extension, so it can't produce a thumping, rumbling sound. There's a room correction feature to tune the sound according to your room's acoustics, and it's performed using the built-in microphone on the remote control.
Sub-par distortion performance. Although the TV sounds clean at moderate volume levels, there's a significant amount of distortion when playing near max volume. That said, it depends largely on the content and some people may not hear it. If you want a TV with speakers that cause less distortion, check out the Samsung The Sero.
Update 07/15/2020: It's been mentioned to us that apps and settings can be customized to show on the quick menu and quick settings list, which further reduces the amount of time required to access them. The 'Time Taken' values have been updated.
The Sony X950H runs on the latest version of Android TV. It's easy to use and it runs very smoothly.
We didn't see any ads, but there was suggested content on the home screen. If you don't want to see suggested content, there's now an option to disable it in the settings menu.
The Google Play Store received a makeover. The interface is clean, there's a large selection of apps, and it runs very smoothly. Casting is supported and the built-in media app can play most common file types.
The remote control is nearly identical to the one that comes with the Sony X950G, except that it's now black instead of silver. There are shortcuts to Google Play and Netflix, and there's a built-in microphone, which is used for voice control and the TV's room correction feature. Being an Android TV, voice control is handled by the Google Assistant. It can perform most searches and commands, but it can't change some of the TV's settings like the brightness.
Unlike the Sony X950G's three-button controls, there's now a single button located in the middle of the TV, below the Sony branding. You can use it to turn the TV On/Off, change the channel, adjust the volume, and change the input source. A short press of the button lets you navigate the on-screen menu, while a long press selects the highlighted option.
We tested the 55" Sony X950H (XBR55X950H), and for the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" (XBR65X950H), the 75" (XBR75X950H), and the 85" (XBR85X950H). Note that the 49" variant doesn't have Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer to improve viewing angles, so it's expected to have a higher contrast ratio. There are also other differences, such as the borders, speaker configuration, and location of inputs, as some of the HDMI ports on the 49" variant are downward-facing. In Europe, this TV is known as the XH9505, and we expect it to offer the same performance.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Sony X950H doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
|Size||North America Model||EU Model||'X-Wide Angle'|
Our unit of the Sony X950H was manufactured in February 2020, you can see the label here.
The Sony X950H is a great TV for most uses. It has impressive motion handling and it delivers an excellent HDR experience, but it doesn't perform as well for gaming due to its slightly higher input lag and lack of variable refresh rate. For other options, check out our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 4k HDR TVs, and the best 4k gaming TVs.
The Sony X950H is slightly better than the Sony X900H overall. The X950H has better viewing angles, reflection handling, and it delivers a better HDR experience, as it has a better HDR color gamut and it can get brighter. However, the X900H has a higher contrast ratio since it doesn't have the 'X-Wide Angle' layer and it has a lower input lag. Also, the X900H is expected to get VRR and other features related to HDMI 2.1 in a future firmware update.
The Sony X90J and the Sony X950H have a lot in common, but they're also different in a few aspects. While both TVs use a VA panel, the X90J has a better contrast ratio to display deeper blacks. This is because the X950H has the 'X-Wide Angle' layer to improve its viewing angles but at the cost of a lower contrast ratio. The X950H has a better color gamut and gets a lot brighter, bright enough to deliver a true cinematic HDR experience. For gaming, the X90J is a better choice because it has HDMI 2.1 support and can display a 4k @ 120Hz signal. It's also advertised to have VRR support, although that isn't available yet.
The Sony X950H and the Samsung Q80/Q80T perform very similarly overall. The Samsung is better for gaming, as it has a lower input lag, a faster response time, and supports VRR. On the other hand, the Sony has better local dimming and black uniformity, as well as higher HDR brightness, so it may be the better option if you watch a lot of movies in either SDR or HDR.
Overall, the Sony X950H is a little bit better than its predecessor, the Sony X950G. They have near-identical features and perform similarly when it comes to motion handling, but the X950H has a better color gamut, significantly better reflection handling, and its local dimming is also improved. That said, the X950G gets brighter and it's more color accurate out of the box. Black and gray uniformity are better on the X950H, although it could be due to manufacturing tolerances.
The Sony A8H OLED is better overall than the Sony X950H, but they have different panel types. The OLED panel on the A8H allows it to display perfect blacks, and it also has much wider viewing angles than the X950H. The A8H also has a much quicker response time for gaming. However, the LED panel on the X950H gets much brighter, making it a better choice for well-lit rooms, and it isn't prone to permanent burn-in like the A8H.
The Hisense H9G is a bit better overall than the Sony X950H. The Hisense has a much better contrast ratio, it has a much quicker response time, and a lower input lag. However, the Sony has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy, it gets brighter in HDR, and it handles reflections better.
The Sony X950H is higher up in the lineup than the Sony X800H, so it performs better, but they also have different panel types. The X950H has a VA panel with a much better contrast ratio and a full-array local dimming feature, so it displays deep blacks. It also gets much brighter, delivering a better HDR experience. However, the X800H has an IPS panel, so it has much wider viewing angles.
For most uses, the Sony X950H performs better than the Sony X900F. The X950H has a better local dimming feature, it has wider viewing angles, and it has better reflection handling. Input lag is much lower on the X950H, but the X900F has a higher contrast ratio and a faster response time.
The Sony X950H is better than the Sony X80J for most uses, although they have different panel types and are at opposite ends of Sony's TV lineup. The X950H is a flagship model from 2020 that uses a VA panel with a great contrast ratio. The X80J, meanwhile, is an entry-level 2021 model that uses an IPS panel, meaning its contrast is mediocre, but it has wide viewing angles. The X80J also lacks certain features, like local dimming, that the X950H has.
The Sony X950H performs better overall than the Samsung Q70/Q70T QLED. While the Sony doesn't have a contrast ratio as high as the Samsung's, it has better viewing angles, gets much brighter, and can deliver a true HDR experience. The Sony also has a much faster response time for smoother motion handling.
Overall, the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED performs better than the Sony X950H. The Q80 has a higher contrast ratio that results in deeper blacks, its local dimming performs better, and it has better viewing angles. The Q80 also has much lower input lag and it supports variable refresh rate technology; however, the X950H has much better color accuracy out of the box.
The Samsung QN90A QLED is better overall than the Sony X950H, mainly because it has more gaming features. The Samsung has HDMI 2.1 support, allowing you to play 4k @ 120Hz games. It also has lower input lag and supports VRR to reduce screen tearing. In terms of picture quality, the Samsung uses Mini LED as its backlighting, so it gets much brighter and has a better local dimming feature in SDR, but the Sony's local dimming is better in HDR. Each TV has viewing angle technology to improve the viewing angles, but Samsung's is better, so it's a better choice for use in wide seating arrangements.
The Hisense U8G is slightly better than the Sony X950H for most uses. The Hisense has significantly better contrast and a better local dimming feature, so blacks look better in a dark room. The Hisense also has more advanced gaming features, including support for a variable refresh rate. On the other hand, the Sony has slightly better viewing angles, so it might be a better choice for a wide seating arrangement.
The Sony X950H is much better than the Sony X85J. The X950H has a good full-array local dimming feature, and it's much brighter than the X85J. The X950H also has much better reflection handling and slightly better viewing angles. On the other hand, although the X85J lacks a local dimming feature, it has better contrast. The X85J is also a bit more future-proof, as it has two HDMI 2.1 ports.
The Sony A80J OLED is better overall than the Sony X950H, but they use different panel types. The X950H has a VA panel, and while its contrast ratio is excellent, it doesn't compare with the near-infinite contrast of the A80J. The A80J also has wider viewing angles and a nearly instantaneous response time for smoother motion. To top it off, it's a better option for gamers since it comes with two HDMI 2.1 ports and is set to receive VRR support in a future firmware update.
The Sony X950H is better than the LG NANO90 2021, but they use different panel types. The Sony is better for dark room viewing because it has a higher native contrast and better local dimming, so blacks look deep and inky. It also gets significantly brighter and displays a wide color gamut, so the Sony is a better choice for watching HDR content. On the other hand, the LG has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles. It's also better for gaming because it has HDMI 2.1 and VRR support, which the Sony doesn't have.
The Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020 and the Sony X950H are very similar overall. The Vizio has a higher contrast ratio, a better HDR color gamut, and much lower input lag. The Sony has wider viewing angles due to its 'X-Wide Angle' layer, faster response time, and its internal speakers sound much better.
The Sony X950H is better overall than the LG NANO90 2020, but they have different panel types. The Sony has a VA panel with a much better contrast ratio and better local dimming, allowing it to display deep blacks. It also gets much brighter, making it a better choice for watching HDR content. On the other hand, the LG's IPS panel has wider viewing angles. The LG also has more gaming features like its HDMI 2.1 support, and support for VRR to reduce screen tearing.
The Sony X950H and the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED have very similar overall performance. The Samsung has a higher contrast but worse viewing angles. The Sony gets brighter, has better reflection handling, and has a slightly faster response time. However, the Sasmung has a lower input lag and supports VRR, making it a better option for gaming.
The Sony X950H is a bit better than the Hisense U7G. The Sony has better reflection handling, better black uniformity, a better local dimming feature, and it's more accurate out of the box. The Sony is also a lot brighter, especially in HDR, and it has better gradient handling. The Hisense is a bit better for gamers, though, as it has two HDMI 2.1 ports, and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology (VRR).
The LG C9 OLED is a much better TV than the Sony X950H. The LG is an OLED that can produce perfect blacks with its infinite contrast ratio, and its response time is much faster, which results in less motion blur. Also, the LG has lower input lag and it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing when gaming. The Sony has better color accuracy, though, and it can get a lot brighter to make highlights pop in HDR content.
The LG GX OLED is much better overall than the Sony X950H, but they have different panel types. The LG is a uniquely-designed TV that's meant to sit flush against the wall and doesn't come with a stand. Its OLED panel has self-emitting pixels, meaning it has an infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity. It also has wider viewing angles and HDMI 2.1 support for gaming. However, the X950H has an LED panel, which gets much brighter and it doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in like the LG.
The LG B9 OLED is a significantly better TV than the Sony X950H. Due to OLED's emissive technology, the LG has an infinite contrast ratio that can produce perfect blacks, without any blooming caused by local dimming. Viewing angles are better on the LG, and so are black and gray uniformity. Also, the LG has near-instantaneous response time, much lower input lag, and it supports VRR. However, the Sony can get much brighter to deliver a better HDR experience, and it's much more color accurate out of the box.
Overall, the Samsung The Terrace is a bit better than the Sony X950H. The Samsung has a higher contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, much lower input lag, and gets much brighter in both SDR and HDR. However, the Sony has wider viewing angles, better color accuracy out-of-the-box, and significantly better gradient handling.