Sony XBR85X950H 4K HDR TV Review

Sony XBR950H

85″ model

X950H 120Hz Android Smart LED/LCD TV

Review Summary
Sony X950H angle view

Product Name: XBR950H

Product Description: 4K HDR | Full-array direct-lit LED backlight with local dimming for excellent picture contrast and black levels | Picture Processor X1 Ultimate | X-tended Dynamic Range PRO delivers 6X the brightness range of conventional LCD TVs | 4K X-Reality PRO upscales images to near 4K quality | Android smart TV | X-Wide Angle | Acoustic Multi-Audio | TRILUMINOS Display

Brand: Sony

  • Sony XBR85X950H & XBR65X950H

See full review below

Model year: 2020

Screen size reviewed: 85” and 65″

XBR85X950H – Check price at
XBX65X950H – Check price at

Bottom Line – The X950H is an excellent 4K HDR LED/LCD TV and is ideal for anyone seeking a high-end TV with top-notch picture quality and a full suite of features including an Android smart TV platform. It’s also available in a wide variety of screen sizes including a mammoth 85” version I reviewed here, which will immerse you in the onscreen action.


  • 85″ model with stand: (W x H x D) 75 1/4″ x 46 1/2″ x 16 1/4″
  • 85″ model without stand: (W x H x D) 75 1/4″ x 43 3/8″ x 3”
  • 65″ model with stand: (W x H x D) 57 1/8″ x 35 3/4″ x 14″
  • 65″ model without stand: (W x H x D) 57 1/8″ x 32 7/8″ x 2 7/8″


  • 85″ model with stand: 108 lbs.
  • 85″ model without stand: 101.4 lbs.
  • 65″ model with stand: 52.3 lbs.
  • 65″ model without stand: 49.2 lbs.

Warranty: One year parts and labor


  • Fantastic picture quality
  • High peak brightness with SDR and HDR content
  • Excellent 4K upscaling
  • Good motion handling during sporting events and other fast-action content
  • Good wide-angle viewing picture quality
  • Low input lag – appox. 19.0 ms with 1080p @ 60Hz and 4K @ 60Hz signals, great for video gaming


  • No HDMI 2.1 support for high frame rates up to 120 frames per second and 48Gbps bandwidth
  • No variable refresh rate – used primary for video gaming
Note: This review has been updated to cover info for the 65″ XBR65X950H
Sony XBR950H

65″ model


Sony’s XBR950 series continues its high-end excellence with its follow-up to last year’s popular and excellent performing X950G with the new X950H which is Sony’s best 4K LED/LCD TV (not including the XBRZ9F Master Series LED TV which was released a couple of years ago and is still available). This latest entry of premium class displays offers Sony’s best features and technology which I will cover later in this review.

The X950H is available in five size options which include 49”, 55”, 65”, 75” and 85” screen sizes.

Design and Features

X950H Side view

Side View 85″

The X950H has an attractive yet modest design that is typical for flat-panel TVs in today’s market; which means it doesn’t have any visual features that would allow it to stand out from any other TVs currently available. The bezel design on the 85″ model is relatively thin, however, it is a bit thicker than what I typically see on LED/LCD TVs, especially on a higher-end model in this price class.

The bezel design on the 65″ model is razor thin and is approximately 1/8″ thick on the top and sides of the panel and slightly thicker at the bottom. This makes it one of the thinnest bezels I have seen to date. This design truly gives the 65″ model a borderless appearance.

The screen surface is semi-gloss.

The XBR950H uses full-array led backlighting with local dimming to illuminate its pixel structure. This backlighting scheme allows for better contrast and black levels in addition to more precise localized screen dimming.

The feet (stand) that support this massive 85” display are made of metal. The feet provide very good support for the TV panel. The 85″ 950H provides cable management so your cables can be neatly channeled into the pedestal feet and up to the back of the TV.

Side View 65″

The 55″, 65″ and 75″ models have the “slim blade” stand design that can be mounted at the outer edges of the screen or at a narrower position underneath the screen. The 49″ model has a stand design that is similar to the 85″ model. The stand design on the 65″ model allowed for a bit more panel wobble than what I typically from most other stand designs. Nevertheless, the panel still had adequate stability which would keep the panel from toppling over.

Remote control – The remote is identical to last year’s model with the exception of a color change to black instead of silver. And just like the previous year’s model, the remote has a sleek design with an intuitive and user-friendly button layout. And in actual use, the remote fit comfortably in my hand and functioned as expected. Sony 950H Remote Control

Feature highlights:

  • Picture Processor X1 Ultimate – This powerful chip will produce picture images revealing real-life clarity and detail with a rich and vibrant color spectrum. It also contains processing for 4K X-Reality PRO which upscales images to near 4K quality | Object-based Super Resolution enhances detail | Object-based HDR Remaster improves color and contrast for SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) content.
  • Full-array LED backlighting with local dimming for great contrast and black levels. Sony’s X-tended Dynamic Range Pro/XDR Contrast 6x enhances contrast for an even more dynamic picture presentation.
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio uses sound positioning tweeters to help optimize the location of sound on the screen, so you hear precisely controlled, high-quality audio from the appropriate areas of the scene. (This feature is available with screen sizes larger than 55″).
  • Acoustic Auto Calibration microphone in the remote measures your room’s “sound” and optimizes settings
  • Ambient Optimization – automatically adjust picture and sound to your environment. An embedded light sensor that optimizes picture brightness to room conditions, boosting brightness in a well-lit room and reducing it in dark rooms.
  • TRILUMINOS Display delivers a wider color palette, for enhanced and accurate color reproduction.
  • X-Wide Angle minimizes color saturation and contrast loss when viewing the TV from wide angles (except 49″ screen size)
  • X-Motion Clarity technology for smoother and clearer fast motion – 120Hz refresh rate
  • CalMan Ready for use with CalMan auto-calibration software
  • Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos – Dolby Vision brings scenes vividly to life for authentic viewing, while Dolby Atmos fills the room with immersive surround sound.
  • In addition to Dolby Vision, the 950H is also compatible with HDR10 and HLG High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats.
  • Netflix Calibrated Mode – This mode was specially developed to enjoy Netflix originals and reproduce the same picture quality on a TV as on a studio evaluation master. With Netflix Calibrated Mode, the creator’s vision and intent are faithfully preserved.
  • IMAX Enhanced – This is a certification and licensing program that will allow users to play the highest quality 4K images and most powerful audio in the comfort of their home. IMAX and DTS are working with studios and content partners to digitally remaster popular movies and other content for IMAX Mode.
  • Android TV platform with Google Assistant built-in
  • The XBR-950H allows for two options to respond to voice commands: In the setup menu, you can choose to have the built-in Google Assistant only activate when you press the mic button on the remote and speak into it. Or, for hands-free voice control, you can set the TV to access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google” when you’re within range of the TV’s built-in far-field microphone.
  • Amazon Alexa-compatible voice control assistants
  • Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit
  • Chromecast built-in
Sony XBR950H Rear Panel

Rear Panel 85″ model

Sony XBR65X950H

Rear Panel 65″ model


  • 4 HDMI 2.0b inputs (HDCP 2.3 compliant)
  • 1 Composite video input (adaptor cable required)
  • 3 USB inputs – one is USB 3.0
  • 1 Ethernet input
  • 1 RF input for antenna/cable/satellite
  • 1 Digital optical audio output
  • 1 Analog audio output 3.5 mm
  • eARC – allows for high-quality audio such as Dolby Atmos via TrueHD and DTS:X via DTS-HD over an HDMI connection
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) provides fast, reliable wireless streaming
  • Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
  • The TV can be set up to output sound from Bluetooth, the built-in speakers and the headphone output at the same time


The XBR85X950H and XBR65X950H follow in the footsteps of their predecessor – the XBR950G – and delivers fantastic picture quality that truly makes you appreciate the caliber of its performance. And my viewing experience was significantly enhanced by the sheer magnitude of its 85” screen, which truly brought the element of a “life-like” “you-are-there” viewing presentation. I was very impressed.

High-def images produced by this TV, whether it be 1080p or 2160p (4K), were top-notch depending on the quality of the source. Detail and clarity were first-rate, delivering sharp and crisp images with exceptional amounts of fine detail which were obvious in the wildlife and outdoor landscaping scenes I viewed on the X950H.

Image transparency was excellent on this display allowing me to see deep into the image with crystal clear quality which gave images a three-dimensional appearance.

Contrast and black levels were excellent on this TV, thanks in part to Sony’s X-tended Dynamic Range Pro/XDR Contrast 6x which enhances the X950H’s dynamic range capabilities. This technology allowed this TV to deliver bright peak whites and deep inky blacks. During dark scenes of a popular Marvel movie, I witnessed impressive black levels that added to the realism of the dark movie scenes I watched. Black levels didn’t appear crushed which made for very good shadow detail which was very apparent while viewing nighttime scenes that had lots of objects and landscape foliage.

As I mentioned earlier, this display had excellent peak brightness; for example, while viewing normal content of white text against a solid black background, the white text was a very bright white which contrasted well against the black background giving the text a dynamic punch. I did, however, notice some slight blooming around the white text; this will vary depending on your picture settings.

Furthermore, depending on the content you are viewing, the black bars will sometimes show light blooming when a bright object is close to the letterbox bars. This is most notable when viewing the X950H in a dark room.

Black screen uniformity was very good on this TV. The screen was a uniformly even shade of black across the entire screen. And during this observation, I did not detect light bleed.

The XBR950H had very good out of box color rendering and doesn’t need to be calibrated to achieve good color accuracy when using the Custom picture mode setting. Nonetheless, a calibration will squeeze out the best picture quality this TV has to offer.

That being said, color reproduction was excellent on this display delivering a rich and vibrant color palette without appearing oversaturated. In addition, the naturalness and accuracy of colors made images appear very realistic. Furthermore, the TV’s wide color gamut capabilities revealed a notable increase in color quality when viewing HDR content.

Side angle viewing on the XBR950H was very good, especially for an LED TV. This performance was made possible by Sony’s X-Wide Angle technology. This technology performed as advertised and allowed for very wide viewing angles from the TV screen with minimal amounts of picture quality loss, namely color saturation and contrast. There is, however, one drawback to this technology; it causes a decrease in picture brightness.

But I must point out this small loss in picture brightness had very little impact on picture quality and will go unnoticed since the X950H still has a very high peak brightness output.

Motion handling – I didn’t experience any motion blur or judder with the sources I used for motion handling. Sporting events were produced without any motion artifacts.

4K HDR – As was the case with the X950G, HDR content delivered the best picture quality on this display. HDR images were very dynamic with exceptionally bright highlights. Scenes that contained both bright and dark images simultaneously showed fantastic picture quality; I was impressed with how well this TV separated and blended the varying contrast differences of the picture into one superbly produced composite image.

I also noticed the increase in picture detail and clarity that HDR images had to offer. And as mentioned above, color reproduction revealed a performance increase delivering colors with more dynamic punch, and realism.

The XBR950H produces a very bright picture and will do very well in a brightly lit room. has posted “real scene” SDR (standard dynamic range) peak brightness at 565 nits, and HDR (high dynamic range) peak brightness at 980 nits.

Sound quality is decent on this TV thanks in part to Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio technology. The X950H produces spacious sound with decent imaging and stereo separation. The sound is also more enveloping and is optimized to the location of the images on screen thanks to the additional speakers located on the top backside of the panel.

The TV’s frequency response has respectable high and midrange sound output but is lacking in bass extension which comes as no surprise since this is a flat panel design. Dialogue was clear and discernible, so you won’t have trouble hearing and understanding spoken words in the content you are watching.


Sony’s XBR950 series is once again poised to be one of the best 4K TV lineups for 2020. It’s loaded with great features while delivering exceptional picture quality that was hard to find fault with. And the fact that the larger 85” model having such a large screen, brings it close to the size of a front projection screen, and will offer you and your family members and guest a more engaging and immersive TV viewing experience.

I highly recommend Sony’s XBR950H regardless of the screen size you may choose.

Sony X950H room view

You may also like this review of Samsung’s QLED Q80T 4K TV.


  • Thanks for your excellent, informative reviews. I’m comparing this unit to the Samsung Q80t that you also recently reviewed. My viewing area will limit me to the 49″ models. The primary use will be movies and streaming content in a dark room, with gaming a distant secondary consideration.The Samsung’s lack of Dolby Vision is a definite negative but not a deal breaker for me. The 950H is about $100 cheaper at all sizes as of this writing. Would you have a preference between these two? Any thoughts are appreciated.

    • Hi Geoff,

      I appreciate your kind words. Thank you.
      The Samsung Q80T and the Sony XBR950H are both excellent TVs. And I could live happily with either model. However, if forced to choose, I would go with the X950H, namely due to its support for Dolby Vision. And for me, it’s better to have it and not need it or use it, vs. not having it and needing it.

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      • Thanks for your quick response, and for this great site.

        • You are welcome. And thanks again for your kind words. Much appreciated.

          HDTVs and More

        • Hi Milton,

          Thank you for providing the most insightful reviews. I appreciate how descriptive your information is given and understood. It’s helped me navigate all the sites and decide
          Between the Q80 and x950…. for price.
          Again thanks and stay safe

          • Hi Craig,

            Its comments like yours that make what I do worthwhile. I’m glad you’ve found the content here to be informative and useful. Your comments are valued and much appreciated.
            Take care.

            HDTVs and More

  • It doesn’t look like this model has Next Gen ATSC 3.0. Is that correct?

  • hi
    thanks for your great review

    This tv or X950G ?

    • Hi arshi,

      Glad you liked the review. Thanks.
      Both models deliver excellent performance, so it’s really a toss-up. But if the price isn’t an issue, I would go with the newer model (X950H). But if you are concerned about pricing and can find the X950G cheaper, then go with that model.

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  • Milton, excellent review. Very informative especially your other review on 900H and the comparison with this one. I am not a gamer so HDMI 2.1 is not a big issue for me. HDMI eArc and Dolby Atmos are critical for me.

    I am confused between these two, especially when Costco is having a sale on the 900H. 65″ 900H is available at Costco for $970

    Is there a reason why Sony did not put ATSC 3.0 on this 950H? It is on 900H. Is ATSC 3.0 important?

    Which one would you recommend? I am looking at 65″

    Thanks for your advice

    • Hi Georj,

      Glad you liked the review. Thank you.

      I don’t know why Sony chose to include an ATSC 3.0 tuner on the X900H and not the X950H. As of right now, ATSC 3.0 broadcasts are not available in the US. However, ATSC 3.0 over-the-air broadcasts are supposed to start by the end of 2020 in the US. So if you are interested in receiving this type of programming, I think ATSC 3.0 is a good feature to have.

      If ATSC 3.0 is very important to you, then go with the X900H. If not I would choose the X950H based on its better overall picture quality.

      HDTVs and More

  • Great Review…

    I believe the image at the top of the article is actually a xbr950G (not H). The legs are the old style
    from the G series. The image at the bottom of the article is 950H. This actually make a difference for me as the H style legs/feet only have two points where the load is supported (at each end of the foot) and if your table is narrow it becomes an issue. Whereas, the old style legs the load is spread along the length of the foot.

    • Hi Bob,

      The image at the top of the article is the 85″ model of the XBR950H which uses a different stand design which I believe better supports the extra weight of the 85″ panel. The 55″, 65″ and 75″ models use Sony’s slim blade design. The slim blade design has two mounting options – at the outer edges of the screen or at a narrower position underneath the screen for smaller tabletops.

      I updated this article to reflect the panel size/stand options.

      Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.

      HDTVs and More

  • Hi Milton,

    In my quest to find the best non-OLED tv for my needs, I’ve narrowed my choices down to a Sony. For my budget, I’m fond of 2 in particular with varying sizes. Either the 65” X950H or the 75” X900H. So a slightly better picture in a smaller package or one that is arguably inferior with a larger 75” footprint. I mostly want it for 4K HDR movies & streaming, various tv, Sports and very casual gaming. I sit about 7-10 feet away and am upgrading from a 55” 1080p tv that is 7 years old.

    My initial reason for the upgrade was to experience 4K and HDR for the first time at home. As well, I’d like a large, immersive viewing experience and am uncertain about the right size. I’ve visited a few shops and the 65” and 75” are very different beasts. Would I get a high end viewing experience with the larger 900 or is the 950 a better option. I need some assistance please as I absolutely love your thorough, unbiased reviews and insights.

    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your kind words of appreciation.

      Based on what your viewing needs are, either model would be a very good choice for you in my opinion. And since gaming isn’t high on your priority list, I don’t think the X900H’s HDMI 2.1 ports would be an issue for you since the X950H is not HDMI 2.1 compliant.

      As far as screen size, both TV’s will provide an immersive viewing experience based on your seating distance. However, the X900H’s larger screen size will enhance that.

      Also, the X950H does provide better overall picture quality in my opinion based on my own comparison results. That being said, what matters most is what model is most appealing to you. Either way, you will have a very good 4K HDR TV.

      HDTVs and More

  • Hey Milton,

    After some intense research, I almost went with the 65” LG CX Oled but chose this tv over it as my living room has a fair amount of ambient light and I prefer the brighter images these LED’s put out. (The lower price didn’t hurt either.) I read there can be a downside to so much light, especially at night viewing HDR on this tv related to blooming. Your review stated that you noticed some blooming in a couple of instances. What it distracting enough to make it a strike against the x950h? This seems to be its only concerning issue.

    • Hi Mike,

      I actually own the XBR65X950H and use it as my reference display when evaluating other LED TVs.

      In my experience and opinion, the X950H does not put out too much brightness (light) that relates to blooming. The blooming that may and can be seen depends on the content you are viewing, for example, in certain dark scenes that have bright spectral highlights near the letterbox black bars may have some blooming pass into the black bars. I have experienced this on the X950X but it was never severe, and at the time I was actually testing for this type of blooming effect.

      Furthermore, blooming is a common issue with LED TVs due to their LED backlighting design. The number of backlighting zones and how well they are implemented will play a major part in how well an LED TV will perform, in particular, how well it controls blooming.

      To help eliminate or minimize this effect, you can set the “X-tended Dynamic Range” and “Auto Local Dimming” features to “High”. Although doing this may cause some shadow detail loss, but for me, it is a worthwhile trade-off. And in my opinion, it is definitely not a strike against the X950H. In fact, if I were not deliberately searching for the blooming, it would have likely gone unnoticed.

      The X950H is an excellent 4K HDR TV. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.

      HDTVs and More

      • Hey Milton,

        Thanks for your helpful reply and for setting my mind at ease regarding my concerns with blooming on the X950H. My new tv is scheduled to arrive in a week and I’ll use your recommendations to minimize it as I love watching movies in a dark room.

        I am also a casual gamer and use a PS4. I’m aware that the tv doesn’t feature VRR or HDMI 2.1 however with its decent input lag on GAME setting, I’m hoping this won’t cause any issues. What is your understanding of the X950H’s ability to process gaming on a PS4? I still have a window to go with the X900H or even the LG CX though its price is $700 more than the X950H. To be honest, I chose the X950H over the LG CX because I was fearful that it wouldn’t be bright enough in my averagely lit living room. Please let me know what you think about the gaming question and my decision to go with the 950 over the CX as I trust your knowledge and experience.



        • Hey Mike,

          You made a good choice going with the X950H.
          I must admit, I’m not an avid gamer. However, I do occasionally do some gaming with my daughter on her PS4 which is connected to my X950H. As far as my eyes can see and according to my daughter’s gameplay on the PS4, there are no issues.

          As far as the CX’s brightness output, I think it performs fine in a room that is not overly bright with sunlight.

          HDTVs and More

  • Hi Milton,

    May I ask why you chose the x950h over a tv like the LG CX Oled? I’m aware that everyone has their preferences but because of your experience as a reviewer, I’d love to hear why you went with the Sony.



    • Hey Mike,

      Good question. As you mentioned, it was partially due to preference, and the bigger factor was budget constraints. Furthermore, the X950H was one of the best-LED models for 2020 in my opinion and ended up being my top choice within my budget. That being said, my next personal choice will be an LG or Sony OLED model now that OLEDs have become much more affordable since their introduction.

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  • Thank you for all the great reviews on TVs. I am in the market for a new 65″ and I keep going back and forth between the Sony 950H and LG CX. The viewing will be primarily Network TV, Movies (Blu-ray and streaming) and lots of sports. I don’t do any gaming at all and the location will be in a fairly bright room. I have a 55″ Sony 800B now and sometimes have to close the shades a bit especially if I am not directly in front of it. I know the CX is one of the best out there but sometime the colors do not seem natural to me. But them sometimes the 950H doesn’t seem as Vivid. I have looked at so much information I think I am confusing myself. Thank you in advance for your time.

    • Hi Tom,

      Thanks for showing your appreciation for the reviews on this website.

      Both the Sony X950H and LG CX are great TVs and will perform well with the content you will be viewing. However, the X950H is brighter than the CX and will give you better visual performance in a bright room. You can compensate for this shortcoming by closing the shades in your room. For overall picture quality, the CX performs best in my opinion. Furthermore, if price wasn’t a factor, I would personally choose the CX. Although, I do prefer Sony’s video processing over LG’s.

      That being said, choose the TV that is most appealing to you, after all, that’s what will matter most.

      HDTVs and More

  • Late to the game here. I currently own a 55″ Sony X850C which I bought in Jan 2016. This is a edge-lit display which had the HDR download. While a fantastic TV for a regular 4K viewing experience, HDR was an afterthought and the processor is not adequate enough to increase brightness levels.

    I came across the X950H as an open-box item for $849. I think this is a great deal and plan to pick up this weekend. I have not seen this potential of this TV. However, I understand its brightness is superb. Any other benefits to purchasing this TV?

    • Hi Mick,

      Generally speaking, the X950H is a much better TV than the X850C, in my opinion. As you mentioned it has a much better peak brightness output which will deliver a much better HDR viewing experience. Other benefits include a better backlighting design…the 55″ model of the X850C uses edge-lit LED backlighting whereas the X950H uses a much superior full-array LED backlighting with local dimming which allows for much better contrast and black levels and for better-localized zone dimming control.

      Additionally, the X950H offers better video processing which will be apparent in its overall picture quality. And if you’re into video gaming, the X950H provides better input lag.

      Mick, you should be very satisfied with your new X950H as it is certainly an upgrade over your X850C. Enjoy your new TV!

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