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Sony X950H TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Updated Nov 26, 2021 at 08:58 am
Sony X950H Picture
8.3
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.4
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.4
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung QN85A QLED
8.1
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.3
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.3
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.2
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense U8G
8.2
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung QN85A QLED
This TV was replaced by the Sony X95J
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Sony X950H is Sony's flagship 4k LED LCD TV for 2020. It's an impressive TV for most uses. It delivers great picture quality, with great contrast, excellent peak brightness in SDR, and a good full array local dimming feature. It also has excellent peak brightness in HDR, so small highlights stand out. It also has great motion handling, with an impressive response time and a fast 120Hz refresh rate. Unlike the 2021 models, it runs the older Android TV interface instead of Google TV, but it still has a great selection of streaming apps and an easy-to-use, fast interface. It has low input lag, which is great for gaming. However, sadly, it doesn't support any of the advanced gaming features found on some of the newer models, like variable refresh rate support or HDMI 2.1 support for 4k @ 120Hz gaming.

Our Verdict

8.3 Mixed Usage

The Sony X950H is great for most uses. It's well-suited for watching movies in a dark room or shows in a bright room, 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.

Pros
  • Great contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
  • Outstanding reflection handling.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
8.4 Movies

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.

Pros
  • Great contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Removes judder from all sources.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
Cons
  • Stutters a bit in low frame rate content.
8.4 TV Shows

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.

Pros
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
  • Outstanding reflection handling.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
8.1 Sports

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.

Pros
  • Great response time.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
  • Outstanding reflection handling.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
8.3 Video Games

The Sony X950H is great for gaming. Its high contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity make it a good choice for dark room gaming. It has a fast 120Hz refresh rate, and a great response time, so fast-moving objects are clear, with little blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has low input lag, resulting in a responsive gaming experience. Sadly, it doesn't support any advanced gaming features like HDMI 2.1 or variable refresh rate.

Pros
  • Great contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Great response time.
  • Fantastic low input lag.
Cons
  • No advanced gaming features like VRR or HDMI 2.1.
8.3 HDR Movies

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.

Pros
  • Great contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Good full-array local dimming.
  • Removes judder from all sources.
  • Excellent HDR brightness.
Cons
  • Stutters a bit in low frame rate content.
8.2 HDR Gaming

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.

Pros
  • Great contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Good full-array local dimming.
  • Great response time.
  • Excellent HDR brightness.
  • Fantastic low input lag.
Cons
  • No advanced gaming features like VRR or HDMI 2.1.
8.2 PC Monitor

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.

Pros
  • Great response time.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
  • Outstanding reflection handling.
  • Fantastic low input lag.
Cons
  • No advanced gaming features like VRR or HDMI 2.1.
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • 8.3 Mixed Usage
  • 8.4 Movies
  • 8.4 TV Shows
  • 8.1 Sports
  • 8.3 Video Games
  • 8.3 HDR Movies
  • 8.2 HDR Gaming
  • 8.2 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Jul 09, 2021: We've added two new videos demonstrating the local dimming feature with real content and retested the peak brightness in HDR.
  2. Updated Mar 01, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.6.
  3. Updated Jul 15, 2020: We've retested the TV's smart features and motion interpolation.
  4. Updated Jul 06, 2020: We fixed the settings needed to activate the BFI feature.
  5. Updated Jun 25, 2020: We retested the input lag, and found that it's not affected by the game mode bug we found on the X800H.
  6. Updated Jun 11, 2020: There was a mistake in the way we checked for flicker in other picture modes. We've updated our notes below.
  7. Updated Jun 10, 2020: Review published.
  8. Updated Jun 04, 2020: Early access published.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony X950H is Sony's 2020 flagship 4k LED TV and the replacement of 2019's Sony X950G. It sits right below Sony's Masters series, which includes their OLEDs and the 8k Sony Z8H, and its main competitors are the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED and the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

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 support the TV well. We have them set as wide as possible, but you can move them inwards to accommodate smaller tables.

Design
Stand

The stand is fully metal and supports the TV well, allowing 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 inch stand at the wide position: 47.8" x 12.3"

Footprint of the 55 inch stand at the narrow position: 32.1" x 12.3"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

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 inch variant has some downward-facing HDMI ports.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The bezels are very thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.72" (6.9 cm)

The TV is of moderate thickness and doesn't protrude much when wall-mounted. Our unit leans backward a tiny bit; however, this varies between units.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

Picture Quality
8.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3,170 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
3,819 : 1

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 inch 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.

8.7
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
565 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
880 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,085 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
847 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
628 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
626 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
867 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1,060 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
842 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
626 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
625 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.031

The Sony X950H has excellent peak brightness in SDR. It's plenty bright enough to overcome glare in any indoor setting, even if you have a lot of natural light. Unfortunately, there's some variation in peak brightness with different scenes, but it's not very noticeable with most content. 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.

7.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

This TV has a good full-array local dimming feature. 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 handled a bit more evenly. While there's still some blooming, it's much better handled than on the Sony Z9F, but not as good as the replacement Sony X95J.

7.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The local dimming feature performs identically in Game Mode.

8.7
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
999 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
945 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,167 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
970 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
719 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
688 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
920 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1,148 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
962 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
717 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
685 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.028

This TV has excellent peak brightness in HDR. It's bright enough for small highlights to really stand out, and it delivers an impactful cinematic experience in HDR, even in very bright scenes. The TV tracks the EOTF properly, so all scenes are displayed at the correct brightness, but it cuts off sharply at the TV's peak brightness, which can cause a loss off fine details in some scenes.

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.

8.5
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
870 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1,042 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,106 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
884 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
658 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
687 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
1,011 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1,087 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
880 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
655 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
685 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.030

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 well, and there's little variation in peak brightness with different content. The EOTF is nearly identical to 'Custom', with the same sharp cutoff near the TV's peak brightness.

7.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.625%
50% DSE
0.162%
5% Std. Dev.
0.671%
5% DSE
0.080%

The Sony X950H we bought has good gray uniformity, but this can vary between individual units. The corners of the screen are significantly darker than the center, but there's just a bit of dirty screen effect, which is great for sports fans. Near-dark scenes look much better, with almost no noticeable issues.

8.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.536%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
1.229%

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.

6.3
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
40°
Color Shift
38°
Brightness Loss
50°
Black Level Raise
23°
Gamma Shift
14°

This TV has a mediocre viewing angle, as expected for a VA panel. Despite having Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer to improve viewing angles, gamma shift still happens fairly quickly when moving off-center. It's okay for most rooms, but not for large rooms with wide seating arrangements.

The 49 inch variant of this TV doesn't have the 'X-Wide Angle' layer and is expected to have worse viewing angles.

9.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.7%
Indirect Reflections
0.9%
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.9%

This TV has outstanding reflection handling. It has a glossy finish that significantly reduces direct reflections, but the X-Wide Viewing Angle filter causes significant rainbow smearing that can be distracting.

8.5
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.89
Color dE
2.35
Gamma
2.14
Color Temperature
6,518 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

The Sony X950H that we bought has excellent accuracy out-of-the-box. It can vary between individual units, but Sony TVs usually have excellent accuracy. The white balance is excellent, and the overall color accuracy is great, but there are some noticeable issues with certain colors, including blues and greens. The color temperature is very close to our 6500K target.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.22
Color dE
1.10
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6,503 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes

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.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content like DVDs looks good, and we didn't notice any visible artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like cable TV, is upscaled without any issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks good, and there are no noticeable upscaling artifacts.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

The Sony X950H displays native 4k content perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Sony X950H can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

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.

8.2
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
91.01%
DCI P3 uv
95.55%
Rec 2020 xy
67.14%
Rec 2020 uv
73.16%

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.

8.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
87.0%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
50.0%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
75.5%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
42.6%

This TV has great color volume. It fills out most of its gamut in the DCI P3 color space, and it can display dark saturated colors well. Bright colors are just as bright as pure whites, which is great.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.076
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.094
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.067
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.091

Like most Sony TVs, the Sony X950H has excellent gradient handling. There's a bit of banding in darker shades of 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 in high-quality content.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00%

The Sony X950H shows no sign of temporary image retention, but this can vary between individual units.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Motion
8.3
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.2 ms
100% Response Time
10.7 ms

The Sony X950H has an impressive response time overall, resulting in clear motion with little blur behind fast-moving objects. Like most TVs with VA panels, transitions in dark scenes are much slower, resulting in noticeable black smearing, but there's very little overshoot.

9.5
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
720 Hz

The Sony X950H uses pulse width modulation (PWM) at all backlight levels, but the flicker frequency is high enough that it shouldn't bother most people. 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.

6.0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker For 60 fps
120 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
No
120Hz For 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

The Sony X950H has an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion, to reduce motion blur.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The Sony X950H has a motion interpolation feature that can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 fps. It handles most content well, but we noticed significant artifacts in busy scenes. It seems like the TV keeps trying to interpolate frames, even when it can't keep up, whereas many other TVs would simply stop interpolating.

6.9
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.9 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
5.9 ms

Since this TV has a relatively fast response time, there's some noticeable stutter in slow panning content. The motion interpolation feature can help reduce stutter if this bothers you.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

This TV can remove judder from all sources.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

Unfortunately, the Sony X950H doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies. If you want a similar TV with VRR support, check out the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED.

Inputs
9.1
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
19.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
85.7 ms
1440p @ 60Hz
19.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz
19.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
19.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
19.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
85.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
78.3 ms
8k @ 60Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120Hz
10.8 ms
1440p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 120Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A

The Sony X950H has fantastic 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 isn't recommended.

If you want lower input lag for gaming, check out the Sony X900H.

9.2
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

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 displays chroma 4:4:4 signals properly, which is important for clear text from a PC. If you want a TV that can display a 4k @ 120Hz signal, check out the Sony X90J or the Sony X95J.

Inputs
Advanced Console Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, Variable Refresh Rate
No

The Sony X950H can't take full advantage of the newest consoles, as it doesn't support HDMI 2.1. It doesn't support any advanced gaming features, like variable refresh rate technology, either. It doesn't support the industry standard automatic low latency mode (ALLM), but we found that it uses a Sony-proprietary form of ALLM, which only works with the PS4 or PS5.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Unfortunately, this TV doesn't support HDMI 2.1. If you want a TV that supports HDMI 2.1, check out the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (adapter required, not incl.)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 1
SD/SDHC 0

There are two USB inputs on the TV, one of which is a USB 3.0 port.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
Yes
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
Yes
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
Yes

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.

Sound Quality
7.5
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
95.14 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.39 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
2.08 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
4.21 dB
Max
93.6 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.43 dB

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.

5.7
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.127
Weighted THD @ Max
11.245
IMD @ 80
5.34%
IMD @ Max
37.15%

This TV has 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.

Smart Features
7.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Android TV
Version 9.0
Ease of Use
Average
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
2 s
Advanced Options
Many

The Sony X950H runs the Android TV interface, which is pretty easy to use and has a great selection of additional apps.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
Yes

Unfortunately, like most TVs on the market, there are ads on the Sony X950H. They're not always there, though, and there's at least an option to disable most of the suggested content.

9.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Very Smooth
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

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.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
No
Remote App Android TV

The remote control is nearly identical to the one that comes with the Sony X950G, except it's now black instead of silver. There are shortcuts to Google Play and Netflix, and there's a built-in microphone, which you can use for voice control and the TV's room correction feature. As 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.

Smart Features
TV Controls

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 lets you navigate the on-screen menu, while a long press selects the highlighted option.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Remote control
  • Power cable
  • Wall-mount spacers
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • Cable management clips
  • User guide

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 72 W
Power Consumption (Max) 169 W
Firmware PKG6.4625.0605NAA

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55 inch Sony X950H (XBR55X950H), and for the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65 inch, 75 inch, and the 85 inch models. Note that the 49 inch 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 inch 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 their Sony X950H doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Size North America Model EU Model 'X-Wide Angle'
49" XBR49X950H KD-49XH9505  No
55" XBR55X950H KD-55XH9505 Yes 
65" XBR65X950H KD-65XH9505  Yes 
75" XBR75X950H KD-75XH9505  Yes
85" XBR85X950H KD-85XH9505  Yes

Our unit of the Sony X950H was manufactured in February 2020, you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

The Sony X950H is a great TV for most uses. It has impressive motion handling, and it delivers an excellent HDR experience. However, 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.

Sony X90J
50" 55" 65" 75"

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.

Sony X95J
65" 75" 85"

The Sony X95J is a bit of a downgrade from the Sony X950H in some ways. The X95J has a much better local dimming feature, but the X950H has better black uniformity and better contrast. The X95J is a bit better for gaming, though, with two HDMI 2.1 ports, and it's supposed to receive an update for variable refresh rate support later in the year.

Sony X900H
55" 65" 75" 85"

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 has more gaming features like HDMI 2.1 inputs and VRR support.

Samsung QN90A QLED
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

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.

Sony X91J
85"

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.

Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
49" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

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. 

Sony X950G
55" 65" 75" 85"

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.

Sony X85J
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

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.

Hisense U8G
55" 65"

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.

Sony A80J OLED
55" 65" 77"

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.

LG C1 OLED
48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

The Sony X950H and the LG C1 OLED are two high-end TVs with different panel types. The LG's OLED panel has a near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks and has wider viewing angles, but the LED panel on the Sony gets brighter and doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in. The LG is a much better gaming TV because it has HDMI 2.1 inputs and VRR support, which the Sony doesn't have.

Sony A8H OLED
55" 65"

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.

Sony X900F
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

For most uses, the Sony X950H performs better than the Sony X900F. The X950H has a better local dimming feature, wider viewing angles, and a better reflection handling. Input lag is much lower on the X950H, but the X900F has a higher contrast ratio and a faster response time.

Sony X800H
43" 49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

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.

Hisense H9G
55" 65"

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.

Sony X80J
43" 50" 55" 65" 75"

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.

TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED
55" 65" 75"

The Sony X950H and the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED are both great TVs. The TCL has a higher contrast ratio than the Sony because the Sony uses viewing angle technology to improve the viewing angles at the cost of the contrast, so the TCL displays deeper blacks. However, the local dimming feature on the Sony still seems to be more effective at improving the picture quality in dark scenes. The Sony has more accurate colors, and it doesn't have issues displaying 480p content like the TCL. However, the TCL comes with more gaming features out-of-the-box like HDMI 2.1 inputs, VRR support, and lower input lag.

LG NANO90 2021
55" 65" 75" 86"

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.

Hisense U7G
55" 65" 75"

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).

LG NANO90 2020
55" 65" 75" 86"

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.

Samsung Q70/Q70T QLED
55" 65" 75" 82" 85"

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.  

Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED
55" 65" 75" 82"

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.

Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020
65" 75" 85"

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.

Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED
49" 55" 65" 75" 82" 85"

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.

LG C9 OLED
55" 65" 77"

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.

LG GX OLED
55" 65" 77"

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.

LG B9 OLED
55" 65" 77"

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.

Samsung The Terrace
55" 65" 75"

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.

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