4K UHD HDR TV Comparison

4K UHD LED TV Comparison
Wall Mount Tv With Picture E1656104202352 430x600

Sony X900H vs X950H Review (XBR55X900 vs XBR55X950H, XBR65X900 vs XBR65X950H, XBR75X900 vs XBR75X950H, XBR85X900 vs XBR85X950H)

Tweet


The Sony X900H and the X950H are the second to the best and the best model of the Sony’s 2020 4K HDR LED TV lineup. Both are great TVs for most uses. Sony launched the X900 series in 2018. In 2019 Sony launched the X950 series. Then in 2020, Sony launched both the X900H and the X950H Series. As the top models of the Sony LED lineup, picture quality certainly becomes one of their mainstays to competing in the market. The combination of a VA panel, the Full Array Local Dimming, and the picture engine (4K HDR X1 Ultimate seen on the Sony X950H and 4K HDR X1 for the X900H) makes them both produce excellent picture quality for both SDR and HDR content. In previous years, the Sony X950 and the X900 Series were the brightest TVs to show HDR images presenting the brights fully as the target intended by the content creator.

In the market, both series come in various screen sizes. The X900H is available in 4 screen sizes including 55 inch (XBR55X900H), 65 inch (XBR65X900H), 75 inch (XBR75X900H), and 85 inch (XBR85X900H), the X950H comes in one additional screen size. In addition to the screen sizes found on the X900H, the X950H has a 55 inch (XBR55X950H), 65 inch (XBR65X950H), 75 inch (XBR75X950H), and 85 inch (XBR85X950H), and also comes in a 49 inch (XBR49X950H). With the same screen sizes between them (XBR55X900 vs XBR55X950H, XBR65X900 vs XBR65X950H, XBR75X900 vs XBR75X950H, XBR85X900 vs XBR85X950H), as a higher level model the Sony X950H has a more expensive price than the X900H. So what are their differences and which is a better choice for you?

The Sony X900H vs the X950H Key Specifications

Specs and Features Sony X900H Sony X950H
Screen sizes available 55 Inch (XBR55X900H), 65 inch (XBR65 X900H), 75 inch (XBR75X900H), 85 inch (XBR85X900H) 49 inch (XBR49X950H), 55 Inch (XBR55X950H F), 65 inch (XBR65X950H), 75 Inch (XBR75X950H), and 85 Inch (XBR85X950H)
Panel Technology VA Panel VA panel
Resolution 4K (2160 x 3840) 4K (2160 x 3840)
Backlight Technology Direct LED Direct LED
Local Dimming Full Array Local Dimming Full Array Local Dimming
X Wide Angle No Yes, 49 inches (XBR49X950H): No
Picture Processor 4K HDR Processor X1 4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate
HDR Support Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10 Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10
Clarity Enhancement 4K X Reality Pro 4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution
Contrast Enhancement Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, X-Tended Dynamic Range Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro
Color Enhancement Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, TriLuminos Display Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display
Native Refresh Rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
Motion Enhancement X Motion Clarity X Motion Clarity
Smart TV Platform Android TV 9.0 Pie Android TV 9.0 Pie
Remote Sony’s 2020 Voice Remote Control Sony’s 2020 Voice Remote Control
HDMI Ports 4 4
USB Ports 2 2
Audio Channel 2 2.2 Ch, XBR85X950H and XBR49X950H: 2.0 CH
Audio Power Output 10 Watt + 10 Watt 10 Watt + 10 Watt + 5 Watt+ 5 Watt, XBR85X950H and XBR49X950H: 10 watt + 10 watt
Speaker Type Acoustic Multi Audio, Sound Positioning Tweeter, X-Balanced Speaker
XBR55X900H: Bass Reflex Speaker, X-Balanced Speaker
Acoustic Multi Audio, Sound Positioning Tweeter, X-Balanced Speaker;
XBR49X950H: Bass Reflex Speaker, XBR85X950H: Acoustic Multi Audio, Sound Positioning Tweeter
Price See today’s price See today’s price

Features and Technology of the Sony X950H and the X900H

Panel Technology

Just like the predecessor X950G and X900F, both the Sony X900H and the X950H use a VA panel powered by Sony’s TriLuminos Display technology. Typically the use of VA panel technologies allows them to have a high native contrast ratio that makes them produce a deep black. On the other hand, a TV that uses a VA panel usually has poor side viewing angle coverage. With the support of Sony’s TriLuminos Technology, these screens can produce the wide color gamut needed to show colorful HDR images faithfully. Special for the X950H (except for the 49 inch XBR49X950H), the panel also has an optical layer called “X-Wide Angle” that was also found in last year’s models (the X950G and the Z9G). It’s similar to the “Ultra Viewing Angle” feature of the Samsung TV. This technology can improve side viewing angle coverage, with the tradeoff being a slightly lowered contrast ratio and color gamut.

They also use the same backlight technology, which is a Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming technology called X-tended Dynamic Range. What distinguishes these Sony TVs is the extended number of dimming zones.  Unfortunately we don’t know for sure how many dimming zones of each series. With X-tended Dynamic Range Pro, the Sony X950H has more dimming zones than the X900H with the standard X-Tended Dynamic Range.

Image Processor

For their image processing, the Sony X900H and the X950H are powered by different image processors. The X950H is powered by 4K HDR X1 Ultimate which is also used for the X950G and the Sony OLED TV — the X900H is only powered by the 4K HDR X1 Engine, which is the lowest variant of the X1 engine found in mid-level models of last year’s series.  Its level is even lower than the X1 Extreme found on 2018’s X900F. The 4K HDR X1 lacks some technology and features found on the X1 Ultimate such as Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution, and Super Bit Mapping HDR — each is designed for maximizing performance in processing the HDR signal. With the higher abilities of its X1 engine, the X950H can process HDR images better than the X900H.

Motion Technology

Both the Sony X900H and the X950H have the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. This allows them to support any content with a native frame rate up to 120 Hz. With the native 120 Hz refresh rate, both are able to interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 HZ. Unlike the higher-end models of Samsung TVs and LG TVs that also support VRR technology, both the Sony X900H and the X950H don’t support VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology like FreeSync, GSync, or HDMI Forum.  The VRR technology can improve gaming performance, particularly when playing a game with a compatible console, allowing you to play games with screen tearing-free.

Just like other LED TVs with local dimming, to dim the backlight of these Sony TVs, both use a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system with a dimming frequency of t20 Hz in all modes. This frequency is achieved when “MotionFlow” is disabled. Since their dimming frequency is fairly high, this makes their screen’s flicker not as noticeable. Nevertheless their dimming frequency will drop to 120 Hz once the BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode is enabled. To enable BFI mode (X Motion Clarity), you just need to set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and the “Clearness” slider” to either “1” or “2” according to your preference. Enabling BFI mode can help to make motion smoother. Unfortunately, the lowest possible frequency of the BFI mode is 120 Hz and that means it is only effective for 120 Hz content. When playing 60 Hz content, enabling the BFI mode can cause some duplication and that rendition may bother some people.

Connectivity

Both the Sony X950H and the X900H are equipped with 4 HDMI ports for their major connectivity. All their HDMI ports support most popular formats such as HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, and CEC. The X950H also supports HDMI 2.1 while the X900H doesn’t. The support of HDMI 2.1 makes the X950H able to accept a HFR (High Frame Rate) signal like 4K @120 Hz through its HDMI ports. Since the X900H doesn’t support HDMI 2.1, its HDMI can not accept a HFR signal. For both series, one of their HDMI ports (HDMI 3) also supports ARC (audio Return Channel). Just for the X950H, its HDMI 3 also supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel), allowing it to receive a high quality Audio signal like Dolby Atmos via TrueHD and DTS:X via DTS-HD over an HDMI connection. On the other hand, the X900H doesn’t support eARC which means that it can not receive high quality audio signal over the HDMI connection.

In addition to 4 HDMI ports, both series also have 2 USB ports that support USB 3.0 (USB 1) and USB 2.0 (USB 2).  Additionally, they both also have 1 RF In (Tuner In), a Composite In (AV In), 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack), and 1 Ethernet port. Keep in mind that although they both have a Composite In, to use this input you need to buy an adapter separately since the adapter is not included. And to connect to the internet or other wireless devices, both series have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Smart TV Platform

Just like last year’s models, both the Sony X950H and the X900H run Android TV as their smart TV platform. The difference for the latest models is they run the newest version of Android TV, which is Android 9.0 or Pie. Over the years, Android TV has made improvements that bring it closer to the WebOS of LG TVs and the Tizen of Samsung TVs. In the first years where Android TV was released its navigation was a bit confusing, particularly for new users. In this newer version, its interface is designed to be more friendly and easier to navigate. Additionally in terms of speed, this version is also faster than previous versions. Just like other Smart TV platforms, it has a good selection of pre-installed apps. What is most interesting from Android TV is its apps store. With the Google Play Store library supported by lots of developers, this makes for a great selection of apps, games, and other apps you can download directly to your Sony TV.

One of the biggest changes brought about by the 9.0 version is that it also supports streaming services that are also found on the WebOS and the Tizen of its competitors.. In addition to the usual streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, there is also HBO Max and Disney Plus. Unfortunately in Android TV, there is no Apple TV like on the Samsung and LG. For voice navigation, you get a built-in Google assistant and some others voice assistant features similar to the Amazon Alexa. Additionally the Sony series has built in Chrome Cast, allowing you to easily cast any content from your smart phone to the bigger screen of your Sony TV. You also get support for Apple Air Play 2 and that will certainly please the iOS users.

Remote

For the main controller, both the Sony X900H and the X950H come with the 2020 model of Voice Remote. Physically, the remote is not much different from the remote of the X950G or Sony OLED TVs.  Although now it has black colors instead of the silver colors on last year’s model. Just like previous models, the remote is fairly large and has a lot of buttons. In addition to the standard buttons found in most smart remotes, it also has two dedicated buttons for Netflix and Google Play, allowing you to quickly open these apps without entering the main menu. The remote also has a built-in microphone for voice navigation and the voice navigation works well and properly. The remote also supports CEC, and allows you to control other CEC compatible devices with a single remote. Their remote actually can be used to control other devices not supporting CEC by using an IR connection. Unlike the smart remote on the Samsung TVs or LG TVs with a built-in IR, the Son remote doesn’t have IR so to control other devices via the IR connection, you need the IR blaster and this device is not included in the base package.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Sony X900H on Amazon <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Sony X950H on Amazon <<

The Sony X950H vs the X900H Performance

Contrast Ratio and Black Level

Both the Sony X900H and the X950 have a good native contrast ratio. As mentioned above, the use of “X-Wide Angle“ optical on the panel of the X950H may slightly reduce its native contrast ratio, the makes the native contrast ratio of the X950 to be not as high as the X900H. The X900H has a native contrast ratio of around 4000:1, while the native contrast ratio of the X950H is only around 3000:1. Additionally they both also have full array local dimming that can boost the contrast ratio to around 5000:1 for the X900H and o around 4000:1 for the X950H. And since the X900H has a higher contrast ratio, this means it can produce a slightly deeper black than the X950H, although that difference doesn’t have a significant impact on the images produced. Even ignoring this difference, the black produced by each is dark enough to make the black of images look very black in a dark room. And combined with their great black uniformity and the good performance of their local dimming for minimizing blooming, dark scenes of images displayed on their screen looks excellent, particularly when playing HDR content. Details in dark scenes and small highlights are maintained well on the screen.

Winner: X900H has slightly better contrast ratio, the X950H has slightly better black uniformity

Peak Brightness

With SDR content, both the Sony X900H and the X950H have impressive peak brightness. With real content, the X950H can hit around 550 nits while the X900H hits around 500 nits. Even so, with a windows test, their peak brightness depends on the content. The Sony X950H reaches the highest peak brightness on a 10% window, displaying around 1050 nits. On a 2% and 25% window, its peak brightness is relative similar, which is around 850 nits and on a 50% and 100% window, peak brightness is also similar at around 600 nits. Conversely, the Sony X900H reaches the highest peak brightness on a 25% window, at around 625 nits. On a 50% and 100% window, it reaches around 550 nits and 500 nits. On a 2% and 10% window, its peak brightness is dimmer, at around 350 nits and 450 nits. Nevertheless ignoring these differences, their peak brightness is bright enough to overcome the glare in a bright room. And combined with their good reflection handling, in a bright room the picture displayed on their screen still looks good.

With SDR peak brightness, they are not much different; with HDR content, the peak brightness of the Sony X950H is much brighter than the X900H. For real content the HDR peak brightness of the Sony X900H is only a bit improved, at around 550 nits. The X950H can achieve a much brighter HDR peak brightness than its SDR peak brightness, being around 1000 nits. Just like their SDR peak brightness, on a window test their peak brightness has different behaviors. The X950H hits the highest peak brightness on a 10 % window, which is around 1150 nits, while the X900H has the highest peak brightness on a 25% window, at around 700 nits. Comparing each series, on a 2%, 25%, 50% and 100% window, the X950H gets around 850 nits, 950 nits, 725 nits, and 700 nits. Just like its SDR peak brightness, on a 2% and 10% window, the X900H get their lowest peak brightness of around 300 nits and 450 nits, which is quite a bit dimmer than on a 50% and 100% window where it’s able to get around 675 nits and 550 nits.

Considering peak brightness, the Sony X900H delivers a good HDR experience, particularly in a moderately-lit to dark room. Unfortunately, since its peak brightness on 2% and 10% window is relatively lower than a larger window, it is not able to deliver standout highlights in HDR and highlights look dimmer than larger bright scenes. On the other hand, the X950H can deliver a fantastic HDR experience with highlight pops, even in a bright room. In certain scenes, it even is able to show HDR images as bright as the target of 1000 – 4000 nits the content creator intended. Unfortunately, highlights don’t stand out as much due to some blooming around highlights. Even so, the HDR performance of the X950H is fantastic and much better than the X900H.

Winner: X950H

Color Reproduction

The Sony X950H has a bit wider color gamut than the X900H. The color gamut delivered by the Sony X900H covers around 86% of DCI P3 xy and 91% of DCI P3 uv color space, color gamut delivered by the X950H can cover around 91% of DCI P3 xy and around 95% of DCI uv color space. Additionally, the color gamut coverage of the X900H in Rec.2020 color space is not as wide as the X950H, which is around 63% of Rec.2020 xy and 70% of Rec.2020 uv while color coverage of the X950H is around 67% of Rec.2020 xy and 74% of Rec.2020 uv. This means that when showing the color of HDR images mastered in DCI P3 such as HDR10 or Rec.2020 such as Dolby Vision, in certain colors the X950H can show colors more accurately than the X900H. Additionally the Sony X950H has better color volume than the X900H. This is due to its wider color gamut. Essentially they both produce deep darks and bright colors equally well.  Like most LED TVs, both can not produce bright blues. Aside from this difference, the combination of wide color gamut and good color volume makes the color of HDR images displayed on screen look accurate and vibrant.

In addition to a wider color gamut and better color volume, the Sony X950H also has better color gradient than the X900H. This is due to the better performance of image processor. The color gradient of the X950H is excellent. There may be some banding in the darker colors, but it is hard to notice in normal content. On the other hand, although not as smooth as the X950H, the color gradient of the Sony X900H is also great. Just like on the screen of the X950H, there may be some banding in certain colors, but in normal content this should not be noticeable. If banding is visible, you can enable “Smooth Gradation” for removing most of it. Although enabling this feature may make images lose some fine details.

Winner: X950H

Side Viewing Angle

As discussed above, the use of the X-Wide optical layer may reduce the contrast ratio of the X950H while improving its side viewing angle coverage, but its still not as good as the “Ultra Viewing Angle” on the Samsung TV. On the screen of the Sony X900H, black level rises starting at around 15 degrees off center and front, on the screen of the X950H black level starts to rise at around 25 degrees. For maintaining brightness level, the X950H is better. On the screen of the X900H, its brightness will start to drop at around 30 degrees, on the screen of the X950H, the black level can be maintained at up to 50 degrees. Lastly, color accuracy is maintained better on the X950H than on the X900H. On the screen of the Sony X950H, color will start to shift at around 40 degrees and look washed out at around 50 degrees. On the screen of the Sony X900H, color will start to shift and look washed at around 25 degrees off center and front.  So when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on the screen of the X950H will look more consistent than the screen of the X900H.

Winner: X950H

Motion Handling

The Sony X950H and the X900H have excellent pixel response time and their response time is similar, being around 11 ms.  Pixel response time is low enough to make motion clear when playing fast moving images like fast movies or fast games. Following a fast moving object, there may be a ghosting trail, but this should be hard to notice, particularly for people with untrained eyes. To further improve motion, both have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode called X-Motion Clarity to help motion be smoother. But as mentioned above, the lowest possible frequency of the flickering pattern is 120 Hz, which means it is only effective for 120 Hz content. For 60 Hz content, enabling this feature can cause some duplication. To enable the BFI mode, you just need to set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and set both smoothness and clearness sliders to “2”.

When playing 24p movies, both also do a great job. Regardless of the source, it will be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on screen. This means that no matter whether the source is native 24p movies like DVD or Blu-Ray movies, via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, and movies from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu; they both can show video judder-free. For native 24p content, you don’t need to make any setting changes to remove judder. To remove judder from 60i, 60p, 4K signal, the CineMotion setting must be set to “Auto”, “TruMotion” set to “Custom”, and both set with Clearness and Smoothness sliders to minimum.

Winner: Draw

Input Lag

The input lag of the Sony X900H and the X950H in PC mode are equally great. With 60 Hz content, the input lag of the X900H is around 15 ms while the X950H is around 20 ms for any resolution. The input lag of the X950H may a bit higher than the X900H or even most LED TVs, but it is still low enough to make it very responsive for any game, even for fast paced games that require quick reflexes. With 120 fps content, the input lag is even lower, being around 7 ms for the X900H and around 10 ms for the X950H on 1080p resolution. As a side note, they both don’t support 1440p and 4K @ 120 Hz content.  Since the X900H has lower input lag than the X950H for both 60 Hz and 120 Hz content,  the X900H is a bit more responsive than the X950H. Although not as low as the X900H, input lag of the X950H is low enough to make it very responsive for any game. Unfortunately they both don’t have any gaming functions that can improve the gaming experience such as VRR technology and/or ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode).

Winner: X900H

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Sony X900H on Amazon <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Sony X950H on Amazon <<

Conclusion

For Watching Movies

Both the Sony X900H and the X950H are great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. They both have a strong enough native contrast ratio that makes them produce a deep black.  Combined with their good black uniformity they can show shadow details of HDR images excellently. They both also have good local dimming features which can improve their contrast ratio, and also minimize blooming around small highlights. And lastly, their good performance in handling 24p judder allows you to watch movies from any source judder-free. Compared between them, the Sony X900H may have a bit higher contrast ratio that makes it produce a deeper black, although the black uniformity of the X950H is better than the X900H. The X950H is able to bring out small highlights better than the X900H. Overall the X950H is better than the X900H when used for watching movies.

Winner: X950H

For Watching Sports

When used for watching sports, the performance is equally good. Both have good SDR peak brightness and combined with their good reflection handling, it allows you to watch sports in most bright rooms without any serious issues. Additionally, their low pixel response time makes motion look very clear and smooth when you are watching fast sports such as MotoGP or F1. They both have an optional BFI mode that can help make motion smoother, and the lowest possible frequency of their flickering pattern is 120 Hz. Since most sports have frame rate of 60 fps, this may not work well for sports and may even cause some duplication. Compared between them, the Sony X950H is better than the X900H. The X950H has brighter SDR peak brightness and that makes the picture displayed on its screen look better in a bright room, the X950H also has better side viewing angle coverage than the X900H. And you will like this advantage when you watch a big game with a group of your friends and family.

Winner: X950H

For Video Games

Performance of the Sony X900H and the X950H when used for playing video games may not be as good as their competitors, but both are still good TVs for playing games. They both have low input lag in Game mode at any resolution and frame rate. Combining their low input lag and good motion handling allow you to play any fast paced game responsively and with smooth motion. Unfortunately, they both don’t support any VRR technology like FreeSync or GSync which could improve the game experience if playing a game with a console that supports VRR technology.  Comparing them, the Sony X900H is better. This is due to lower input lag than the X950H which certainly makes it  more responsive and this will be more pronounced when you’re playing fast paced games.

Winner: X900H

HDR Performance

The HDR performance of the Sony X950H is better than the X900H. As discussed above, the X900H may have better contrast ratio for producing a deeper black, but the black uniformity of the X950H is better. So in producing a dark scene, this doesn’t mean that the X900H is better than the X950H. Ignoring this difference, with the support of good local dimming performance, dark scenes of HDR images can be shown excellently with details revealed well. In terms of color reproduction, they both are able to show colorful HDR images due to their wide color gamut. The X950H is better due to its wider color gamut, better color volume, and smoother color gradient. The main advantage of the X950H over the X900H is on peak brightness. Peak brightness of the X900H may be bright enough to deliver excellent HDR images in a moderately-lit to dark room; but in a bright room its HDR peak brightness is not right enough. Additionally its peak brightness in a small window is also not bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR. In comparison, the Sony X950H has outstanding HDR peak brightness. Its peak brightness is brighter than 1000 nits, making HDR images displayed on screen to look excellent with highlight pops, even when set in a bright room. In certain scenes, it’s even able to show HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what’s intended by the content creator.

Winner: X950H

Summary

Performance Sony X900H Sony X950H
Movies (4.3/5) (4.3/5)
TV Shows (3.9/5) (4.2/5)
Sports (3.8/5) (4.1/5)
Video Games (4.1/5) (4/5)
HDR Performance (4.1/5) (4.2/5)
Smart TV (4/5) (4/5)

As discussed above, overall the Sony X950H is better than the X900H. Its contrast ratio and input lag may be not as good as the X900H, but it is superior in almost all other aspects. It has wider color gamut, better color volume, smoother color gradient, better images processor, and a much brighter HDR peak brightness. And as a higher model that’s priced more, this certainly is reasonable. Although not as good as the X950H, performance of the Sony X900H is also great for its class. Except for side viewing angle, it also has good performance in almost all aspects of picture quality. So which is a better choice for you? The decision is yours according to your budget and preference.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Sony X900H on Amazon <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Sony X950H on Amazon <<


4K UHD LED TV Comparison is supported by its audience. We review products independently. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. 

Sony X900H vs X950H Review (XBR55X900 vs XBR55X950H, XBR65X900 vs XBR65X950H, XBR75X900 vs XBR75X950H, XBR85X900 vs XBR85X950H)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.