The Sony X95J is a 4k TV with an LED backlight and full-array local dimming feature. Released as part of Sony's 2021 BRAVIA XR lineup, it's Sony's flagship 4k LED model and replaces the Sony X950H. It delivers an impressive experience, with excellent peak brightness in HDR, an amazing local dimming feature, and amazing gradient handling. Like many flagship LED-backlit models from different brands, it has an additional filter layer that improves viewing angles, but this comes at the expense of contrast, which is a bit low for a VA TV. Like the Sony X90J, it can't quite display a wide color gamut, but we don't expect most people to notice this.
The Sony X95J is a great TV for most uses. It's a great TV for watching movies in both SDR and HDR, as it's bright and has good contrast. It's bright enough to overcome glare, and it has surprisingly fair viewing angles, making it a very good choice for watching sports. Gamers will appreciate its low input lag, great response time, and HDMI 2.1 support, but unfortunately, it doesn't support variable refresh rate technology at the moment.
The Sony X95J is a great TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has a good contrast ratio, and the amazing local dimming feature helps to improve dark room performance. It upscales lower resolution content well and has a huge selection of apps if you like to stream movies. It can remove judder from any source, but there's some noticeable stutter when watching movies.
The Sony X95J is an impressive TV for watching TV shows during the day. It has excellent reflection handling and gets bright enough to easily overcome glare in a bright room. There's a huge selection of streaming apps, so you're sure to find your favorite shows, and it upscales older content well. Although it has surprisingly fair viewing angles, it's not the best choice if you like to move around the house with the TV on.
The Sony X95J is a very good TV for watching sports in a bright room. It gets plenty bright enough to overcome glare, and it has excellent reflection handling. It has a great response time, so you can see what's going and not just a blurry mess in fast-paced sports. Although the viewing angle is fair, it's not the best choice for a wide seating area. Unfortunately, it has just decent gray uniformity, and there are some uniformity issues on our unit.
The Sony X95J is an impressive TV for playing video games. It has a great response time, with very little blur behind fast-moving objects, and it has outstanding low input lag. It's also future-proof, with two HDMI 2.1 inputs for next-gen consoles or a PC. Unfortunately, it doesn't support variable refresh rates at the moment, but this has been promised for a future firmware update.
The Sony X95J is a very good TV for watching HDR movies in a dark room. It has good contrast and an amazing local dimming feature. It has excellent peak brightness in HDR, so bright highlights stand out. Unfortunately, there are some uniformity issues in dark scenes, and it can't display a wide color gamut, but this likely isn't very noticeable for most people.
The Sony X95J delivers a great gaming experience in HDR. It has a great response time, resulting in clear motion. It also has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. It has excellent peak brightness in HDR, so bright highlights stand out. Although it has good contrast, it has just okay black uniformity, and there are some noticeable uniformity issues in dark scenes. Unfortunately, it doesn't currently support any variable refresh rate technologies, but it should receive an update that adds it.
The Sony X95J is a great TV for use as a PC monitor. It has excellent reflection handling and amazing peak brightness, so it can easily overcome glare in a bright room. It supports most common resolutions and can display chroma 4:4:4 properly in most of them, which is important for clear text. Unfortunately, although it has fair viewing angles, the edges of the screen might appear non-uniform if you're sitting too close.
The Sony X95J is the flagship model in Sony's 2021 4k LED-backlit lineup, and it replaces the Sony X950H. It sits above the Sony X90J and below the Sony Z9J, which is an 8k LED-backlit model. Its main competitors are flagship models from other brands, including the Samsung QN90A QLED, the LG QNED90, and the Hisense U9DG.
The Sony X95J has a very nice design, with a flat metal border that goes around the screen, delivering a more premium feel than the Sony X90J. It has a very clean look, with panels that cover the inputs on the back, but there's no real cable management.
The feet are very small but support the TV well, with just a bit of wobble. You can attach the feet in three different positions on the 75 inch and 85 inch models. The photo shown here is in the narrow position, but there's also a wide position that offers better support (but requires a larger table), and a soundbar position that leaves enough room to place a soundbar in front of the TV without blocking the picture. Note that the narrow position shown here isn't available on the 65 inch model.
The footprint of the 75 inch model we bought varies depending on the position the feet are installed in. The height listed here is from the top surface of the table to the bottom of the screen and represents the tallest soundbar you can place in front without blocking the screen.
The back of the TV has a nice textured panel that looks great. There are plastic covers that hide the inputs and attachment points for the feet, but no real cable management.
The Sony X95J has excellent build quality. The stand supports the display well but still wobbles. The plastic used in the back panel seems well-built, but there's some flex to them. The metal border around the display seems well-built, with no noticeable issues.
The Sony X95J has good contrast. Native contrast with local dimming disabled is lower than usual for a VA panel, likely due to the X-Wide Angle filter, but this can also vary between individual units. The local dimming feature is extremely effective at boosting contrast but struggles with the checkerboard pattern used. With a half white/half black screen, we measured a contrast ratio with local dimming of 8916:1. With alternating full white/full black screens, we measured a contrast ratio of 22489:1 with local dimming enabled. Although the posted measurements are good, in practice with real content, this TV looks much better than these numbers suggest.
The Sony X95J has amazing peak brightness in SDR. It's bright enough to overcome glare in almost any room. Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of variation in peak brightness between different scenes, but this shouldn't be very noticeable with regular content.
We measured the SDR brightness after calibration in the 'Custom' Picture Mode, with Brightness at max, Contrast at '90', Color Tone set to 'Expert 1', Auto Local Dimming set to 'High', and Peak Luminance set to 'High'.
If you want a brighter image and don't mind losing image accuracy, set the Picture Mode to 'Vivid', Contrast to max, and Color Temperature to 'Cool'. We reached 1095 cd/m² in the 25% window with these settings.
We also tested the SDR brightness with Peak Luminance disabled. Turning it off makes the real scene brightness drop to 442 cd/m². It's more consistent, with most windows measuring between 470 cd/m² and 536 cd/m², but there's some frame dimming in the 2% windows, with both peak and sustained measuring around 410 cd/m².
Update 11/02/2021: We filmed the local dimming videos again because the original ones looked blurry.
Update 09/20/2021: A few people reported that local dimming isn't available when the TV is displaying a 4k @ 120Hz signal. We couldn't reproduce the issue; it appears to be an isolated bug affecting a few units.
The Sony X95J has an amazing local dimming feature, one of the best we've seen on an LED-backlit display. Although there's some blooming with regular content, especially if there are black bars or subtitles, it's really subtle and not very noticeable. There's almost no black crush, and the TV does a really good job preserving fine details in dark scenes. It's still not perfect, though, as zone transitions can be noticeable, although we rarely saw anything with regular content. It's partly due to the relatively limited number of zones on this TV (84, in a 6 x 14 array).
In a side-by-side comparison with the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED and the Hisense U8G, playing the same content, the Sony X95J has a noticeably better local dimming feature. The Hisense U9DG is slightly better overall, as the zone changes aren't as noticeable and there's less blooming around bright objects.
Update 11/02/2021: We filmed the local dimming videos again because the original ones looked blurry.
The local dimming feature performs identically in Game Mode. There's no difference in blooming or zone transitions, and there's still almost no black crush and very little noticeable blooming with real content.
The Sony X95J has excellent peak brightness in HDR. Small specular highlights in some scenes really stand out, and it's bright enough to deliver an impactful HDR experience, close to the content creator's intent in most scenes. It tracks the EOTF perfectly, so content is displayed at the correct brightness level. As the TV approaches its peak brightness, there's a sharp cutoff and actually a slight dip in peak brightness, so there can be a small loss of fine details in really bright scenes. Near-black scenes are displayed properly, with no noticeable black crush.
We measured the HDR brightness in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with Brightness at max, Contrast at '90', Color Tone set to 'Expert 2', HDR Tone Mapping set to 'Gradation Preferred', and Auto Local Dimming and Peak Luminance set to 'High'.
If you want to make HDR content brighter and don't mind losing image accuracy, set Advanced Contrast Enhancer to 'High', Contrast to max, and HDR Tone Mapping to 'Brightness Preferred'. These settings result in a much brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF plot, but the overall peak brightness of the TV remains the same.
With Peak Luminance disabled, the brightness drops considerably, with all windows measuring between 562 cd/m² and 649 cd/m², except the 2% peak and sustained windows, which are around 497 cd/m² and 491 cd/m², respectively.
There's a slight decrease in peak brightness in HDR with Game Mode enabled. With test slides, Game Mode appears to be slightly less bright, so it's not just a margin of error difference, but it's not a significant difference.
The Sony X95J has decent overall gray uniformity, but this can vary between individual units. The sides of the screen are a bit darker than the center, and there's some noticeable dirty screen effect, which can be distracting when watching sports or browsing the web. In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is much better, with no noticeable issues.
Unfortunately, the Sony X95J has just okay black uniformity. The screen is a bit cloudy with local dimming disabled, which is disappointing from a VA panel, but this can vary between units. Enabling local dimming removes all of the cloudiness, but there's still a bit of blooming around the test cross due to the relatively large size of the dimming zones.
The Sony X95J has surprisingly fair viewing angles for a TV with a VA panel, thanks to Sony's X-Wide Viewing Angle layer. At moderate angles, the screen looks washed out a bit, as brightness fades and colors wash out, but most people shouldn't have any issues with it.
The Sony X95J we bought has excellent reflection handling. The anti-reflective coating on the 75 inch model disperses bright lights across the screen, significantly reducing their intensity but creating a rainbow pattern that can be distracting in some cases. The 85 inch model has the same reflective coating, so we expect it to perform about the same, but the 65 inch model doesn't, so we expect it to have worse reflection handling.
Before calibration, the Sony X95J we bought has impressive accuracy. Gamma follows our target almost perfectly, and the color temperature is very close to our target. The white balance is great overall, but some brighter scenes are a bit off. Colors are excellent, but all colors are undersaturated a bit. This can vary between units, but Sony TVs are generally pretty accurate out of the box.
After calibration, the Sony X95J has nearly perfect accuracy. Any remaining issues with the white balance aren't noticeable without a colorimeter, gamma is still almost perfect, and the color temperature is nearly perfect. We couldn't improve color accuracy very much, but most colors aren't undersaturated anymore and any remaining issues aren't noticeable.
You can see our recommended settings here.
480p content, like DVDs, is upscaled well, with no noticeable issues.
720p content, including from a cable box, is upscaled well with no noticeable issues.
Native 4k content is displayed perfectly, with no subpixel dithering or other noticeable issues.
Update 10/26/2021: The pixel photo was incorrectly cropped. For consistency with our other TV reviews, we updated it.
The Sony X95J 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 X95J has a good color gamut, but like the Sony X90J, it can't quite display a wide color gamut. We're not sure why these two TVs behave this way, but in a side-by-side comparison with a TV with a wider color gamut, the difference is noticeable with test slides. In real content the different isn't that noticeable, though. We also did a check with a 50% stimulus instead of our usual 75% slide:
With a 50% stimulus the X95J can display a wide color gamut, but the difference isn't significant. For consistency with our other TV reviews, the official results are with the 75% stimulus. Even though it falls short of what we consider to be a wide color gamut, unless you're comparing two displays side-by-side, most people won't notice the difference.
The Sony X95J has decent color volume. It's limited by the incomplete color gamut, as it can't display the full range of colors in either DCI P3 or Rec. 2020.
The Sony X95J has amazing gradient handling. There's some noticeable banding in darker shades of gray and green, but it's not very noticeable. There's a smooth gradation feature that can significantly reduce banding on the 'Medium' or 'High' setting; we don't recommend leaving it enabled, as it causes a loss of fine details.
There's are no signs of temporary image retention on our Sony X95J, but this may 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 X95J has a great response time. Like most VA panels on the market, it's significantly slower to transition out of dark scenes, so some black smearing is noticeable in certain content. There's very little blur behind fast-moving objects in most scenes.
Unfortunately, like most Sony TVs on the market, the backlight isn't quite flicker-free. It flickers at a high frequency in all picture modes and at all backlight settings, so it shouldn't bother most people.
The Sony X95J has an optional backlight strobing feature that can improve the appearance of motion at the expense of peak brightness. Unfortunately, it can only flicker at 120Hz, even when playing 60Hz content, which can cause noticeable duplications in motion. Our scoring is based only on the flicker frequencies supported and doesn't indicate how well the backlight strobing feature works.
Update 09/09/2021: There was a mistake in the motion interpolation results. This TV can interpolate from 60 to 120 FPS.
The Sony X95J has an optional motion interpolation feature to improve the appearance of motion. It works well in slower scenes, but there are significant artifacts around fast-moving objects. Like the Sony X90J, we noticed glitches and issues in some content.
Due to the relatively fast response time of the Sony X95J, there's some stutter when watching low frame rate content like movies. This is especially noticeable in slow panning shots.
The Sony X95J can remove judder from all sources. For native 24p sources, like a Blu-ray player or some external video players, no additional settings are required. For sources that can only send a 60p/60i signal and for the native apps, additional settings are required.
The Sony X95J has a fast 120Hz refresh rate, great for gaming. Unfortunately, like the Sony X90J and the Sony X900H, it doesn't currently support a variable refresh rate. This feature has been promised for a while on some models, but Sony still hasn't added it, so we don't know if/when this TV will get it.
The Sony X95J has outstanding low input lag, as long as you're in the 'Game' Picture Mode. Outside of Game Mode, or with motion interpolation enabled, the input lag is too high for most gamers.
The Sony X95J supports most common resolutions natively. 1440p requires a forced resolution for 60Hz, but even then, it can't display chroma 4:4:4 properly, so text looks blurry from a PC. It displays 4:4:4 properly in all of the other formats we tested, which is important for clear text.
Some recent Sony TVs, including the Sony X85J, haven't been able to display a 4k @ 120Hz signal properly, even from an HDMI 2.1 source. We tried to reproduce the issue on the X95J, but as far as we can tell, there's no blur when displaying 4k @ 120Hz on this TV. We tested this from an RTX 3080 and double-checked with a PS5 and Xbox Series X, both on the home screen and in a few games that support 4k @ 120Hz.
The Sony X95J supports most features of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It doesn't support 4k @ 120Hz with Dolby Vision at the moment, but this isn't a big deal, as there are no games that support it. The supported formats from an Xbox vary depending on the HDMI Signal Format selected. Setting it to 'Enhanced Format (Dolby Vision)' limits the supported features, and blocks the TV from accepting a 4k @ 120Hz signal.
The Sony X95J has two HDMI 2.1 ports, but one of them is also the eARC port, so if you're planning on connecting a receiver or soundbar over eARC, you'll only be able to take full advantage of one next-gen console.
Update 09/20/2021: We retested the audio passthrough over eARC. DTS-X is working properly, but the Sound mode sync setting has to be enabled for it to work.
The Sony X95J supports all of the high-end audio formats, and can supports passthrough to supported audio receivers or soundbars through ARC or eARC.
The Sony X95J has a decent frequency response. Like most TVs, it lacks thump or rumble in its bass response. The frequency response is balanced above the low-frequency extension, resulting in clear dialogue. It can get very loud, which is good for large or noisy environments, although there's some compression when playing at max volume. There's a digital room correction feature that tunes the frequency response to best suit your rooms' acoustics.
The Sony X95J has decent distortion performance. The amount of total harmonic distortion is low at moderate volume levels but increases significantly near max volume. Note that the amount of distortion present varies depending on the content, and some people may not hear it.
Note: Our distortion measurements show that there's less intermodular distortion at max volume. This is unexpected and doesn't match what we hear from the TV. We checked these results three times, and they were consistent. We're not sure why this is, but it's most likely an issue with our testing or room setup. We're looking into it, and we'll update the review if we can identify the issue.
Like other 2021 Sony TVs, the Sony X95J runs on Google TV, which is mainly a cosmetic upgrade over the previous Android TV interface. It's fairly easy to use and runs very smoothly. We didn't notice any issues or bugs with the interface during testing.
Unfortunately, there are ads throughout the main page and in the app store, and they can't be disabled.
The built-in Google Play Store has a massive selection of apps, so you're sure to find your favorite streaming service. It also has built-in Chromecast and Apple AirPlay support, so you can cast from pretty much any mobile device.
The included remote is sleek and easy to use. There are quick-access buttons for a few streaming services and a built-in mic for voice control. The TV also has its own built-in mic. Voice control can be used to change inputs, open apps, search for basic information online, and even change some of the TV's settings.
Unlike most recent Sony TVs, the power button is no longer located under the center bezel. Instead, it's on the back of the TV near the inputs. Below the inputs on the same panel, there's also a switch that disables the built-in mic.
We tested the 75 inch Sony X95J Bravia XR TV (XB75X95J), and it's also available in a 65 inch and 85 inch size. We expect most of our results to be valid for the other sizes, but there are some slight differences in the 65 inch model.
|Size||US Model||Reflective Layer||Stand Positions|
|65"||XR-65X95J||N/A||Standard & Soundbar|
|75"||XR-75X95J||X-Anti Reflection layer||Standard, Narrow, & Soundbar|
|85"||XR-85X95J||X-Anti Reflection layer||Standard, Narrow, & Soundbar|
If you come across a different type of panel or your Sony X95J 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.
Our unit was manufactured in July 2021; you can see the label here.
The Sony X95J is a great TV with an amazing local dimming feature. It delivers an impressive overall experience, but there are a few oddities that stand out as potential deal-breakers for some buyers.
The Sony X95J is slightly better than the Sony X90J. The X95J has much better reflection handling, better viewing angles, and a better local dimming feature. The X95J is also much brighter, and small highlights stand out better in HDR. The X90J, on the other hand, has better native contrast and better black uniformity, with less cloudiness in dark scenes.
The Sony A80J OLED and the Sony X95J use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The A80J uses an OLED panel, which delivers true inky blacks with perfect black uniformity, whereas the X95J uses an LED backlight. The X95J is a lot brighter, but the A80J has better dark room performance, better uniformity, and better viewing angles. The A80J also has a nearly instantaneous response time, so it's a better choice for gamers.
The Samsung QN90A QLED is better than the Sony X95J, but if you really care about an accurate movie experience, some people might prefer the Sony. The Samsung has much better black uniformity and better contrast, but the Sony has a better local dimming feature, despite the Mini LED backlight on the Samsung. On the other hand, some people might prefer the Sony for watching HDR movies, as it tracks the EOTF more accurately, and many people prefer the processing on Sony TVs, although this isn't something we test.
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.
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 X95J is much better than the Sony X85J. The X95J has an excellent full array local dimming feature, whereas the X85J has no local dimming. The X95J also has much better reflection handling, wider viewing angles, and much higher peak brightness. Finally, the X95J is better for gaming, as it supports HDMI 2.1 and is supposed to receive an update for variable refresh rate support.
The Samsung QN85A QLED and the Sony X95J use different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses. The Samsung has better viewing angles and higher peak brightness, so it's a better choice for a bright room or a wide seating area. The Sony looks much better in a dark room, as it has a much better local dimming feature and better contrast.
The LG C1 OLED and the Sony X95J use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The LG delivers a much better dark room viewing experience, as it has perfect uniformity with inky blacks. The LG is better for gaming, with a good selection of additional gaming features. On the other hand, some people might prefer the Sony for watching HDR movies, as it's much brighter, and many people prefer the processing on Sony TVs, although this isn't something we can test for at the moment.
The Sony A90J OLED and the Sony X95J use different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses. The A90J uses an OLED panel, which delivers true inky blacks with perfect black uniformity, whereas the X95J uses an LED backlight. The X95J is a lot brighter, but the A90J has better dark room performance, better uniformity, and better viewing angles. The A90J also has a nearly instantaneous response time, so it's a better choice for gamers.
The Hisense U8G is a bit better than the Sony X95J. The Hisense has better contrast and much better black uniformity. The Hisense is also much better for gaming, as it already supports variable refresh rate technology, although this has also been promised for the Sony. On the other hand, the Sony has higher peak brightness, a better local dimming feature, and better viewing angles.
The Sony X95J is slightly better than the Sony X900H. The X95J has better reflection handling, a significantly improved local dimming feature, and better viewing angles. The X900H we tested has better uniformity, but this can vary between units. The X95J is also significantly brighter, especially in HDR, and delivers a more impactful HDR experience.
The Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED is better than the Sony X95J. The Samsung has better contrast, better reflection handling, and better viewing angles. The Samsung is better for gaming as it already supports many advanced gaming features, including variable refresh rates, but this has been promised for the Sony too. The Sony has a better local dimming feature, and many people prefer Sony's picture processing system, but we don't currently test this.
The Sony X95J and the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED are both great LED TVs. The Sony is a flagship model with Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' technology that allows it to have much better viewing angles than on the TCL. Even though the TCL has Mini LED backlighting, the local dimming is much better on the Sony because it improves the picture quality in dark scenes. Each TV has HDMI 2.1 inputs, but the TCL has more gaming features like VRR support, which the Sony doesn't currently have, and lower input lag.
The LG QNED90 and the Sony X95J use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The LG uses an IPS panel and is better suited for a bright room with a wide seating area. The Sony's VA panel is better for a dark room, as it has much better contrast, better black uniformity, and a much better local dimming feature.
The Sony X95J is better than the Sony X900F. The X95J has a much better local dimming feature, better viewing angles, and slightly better reflection handling. The X95J is also much better for gaming, as it has significantly lower input lag, it supports HDMI 2.1, and it's supposed to receive an update for variable refresh rate support.
The Sony X95J is a bit better than the Sony X950G. The X95J has a much better local dimming feature and better viewing angles. It's also a bit better for gaming, as it supports HDMI 2.1 and is supposed to receive an update for variable refresh rate support. The X950G, on the other hand, has better contrast and better black uniformity.
The Sony X95J and the Hisense U9DG have different strengths and weaknesses, so the best one depends on your usage. The X95J has much better motion handling, so it's a better choice for gaming or watching sports. The Hisense has better contrast and a slightly better local dimming feature, so it's a bit better in some ways for watching movies. On the other hand, the Sony has better processing, and it's a lot brighter in HDR, so it's a better choice if you care about an accurate image when watching movies.