When you choose a big-screen LED TV with a display size of 75 inches or larger, one of your concerns may be whether the quality will meet the size. After spending a few weeks experiencing the 75-inch Sony X950G 4K HDR LED TV and Sony HTZ9F Soundbar combo, I can say with authority that in this case, bigger is definitely better.
The Sony X950G 4K HDR LED TV is a 4K LED with the new 4K HDR Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate. It has High Dynamic Range (HDR), IMAX Enhanced, and Dolby Vision™ 6 for a spectacular home theatre experience. X-Wide Angle technology means you can stand to the side of this ultra-thin TV and still enjoy what you’re watching, and there’s a lot to watch. All you have to do is search through Netflix for Dolby or HDR and you’ll be treated to a picture that’s incredibly lifelike.
While the Sony X950G has two sound-positioning tweeters in the rear of the TV, to experience true movie-quality sound you’ll want to pair this beauty with the Sony HTZ9F Soundbar. It comes with its own wireless subwoofer and slides perfectly under the stand of the Sony X950G. When I paired it with my Spotify account for the first time, the floor was vibrating under my feet. It was even better for movies.
This TV is the ultimate LED. While I have a small living room and this big boy took up half a wall of real estate, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second of watching and listening to it.
Appearance and features of the Sony X950G 4K HDR LED TV
The Sony X950G 4K HDR LED TV is a 75-inch 4K Ultra HD display with 3840 x 2160 resolution. The display itself is all screen, with a very thin frame around it and a very thin silver strip lining the bottom.
Make no mistake that this is a heavy TV. It took three of us to move it into position just for fear of it toppling, but the reason it’s heavy is that it’s massive. When you’ve only had 55-inch TVs on your wall and you thought that was big, 75 inches is a revelation.
The stand on this TV is very slim, and on the back, it’s hollowed out to hide cords and cables. The stand is slightly raised, maybe a bit more than would be required in TVs of this size, but that’s to give it the perfect spot to nestle a soundbar like the Sony HTZ9F. Despite it’s size, it doesn’t wobble when on the stand. Just keep in mind you’ll need a large entertainment unit to hold it.
It has 4 HDMI inputs including one HDMI ARC, 3 USB ports, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth. I always appreciate having 4 HDMI inputs, and I like how three of them are lined up in a row for ease of use.
The Sony X950G is packed with technology to ensure an amazing big-screen experience.
- Has the X1 Ultimate processor works with 4K X-Reality PRO technology for clarity
- 120Hz refresh rate and X-Motion Clarity technology keeps up with fast-paced action
- Full array backlight technology with local dimming and boosting, so the contrast is precise
- TRILUMINOS display technology for every colour, shade, and hue you can imagine
- 4K HDR Super Bit Mapping to decrease banding and create a natural picture
- Supports 4K HDR, HDR10, HLG, IMAX Enhanced, and Dolby Vision video
- Runs Android 8.0 Oreo and is compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and Apple Homekit
- Netflix Calibrated Mode to ensure every Netflix Original is perfectly optimized
- Acoustic Multi-Audio technology ensures your TV audio feels immersive
That’s just the TV. When you add the Sony HTZ9F Soundbar you enhance the technology of the display.
- 3.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X soundbar and wireless subwoofer
- 3 front speakers reproduce sound that’s vertical, giving you the feeling that you’re surrounded by sound
- 4K HDR 18 Gbps pass-through and HDCP 2.2
- 400W of total power with 300W to the soundbar and 100W to the subwoofer
- 5 different sound modes to choose from; movies, gaming, news, sports, and music
- Vertical Surround Engine technology to bring to life audio formats like Dolby and DTS:X
- Advanced digital signal processing to watch everything in maximum 7.1.2ch sound
- Wireless subwoofer brings the bass and boom to your living room, and you can place it anywhere without the hassle of cords
- Integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Google Cast so you can stream music from your phone. Connects to your Spotify Premium account for easy navigation
Setting up the Sony X950G and Sony HTZ9F Soundbar
While this TV and sound bar combo has the technology and detailed, specific audio and video settings to impress any TV enthusiast or pro-calibrator, it’s also easy enough for the average person to install.
That means if you want a big 75-inch TV and sound bar but you’re worried it would be too difficult of a process to set up, don’t be. This TV can be plugged in, connected to your Wi-Fi, and you’re ready to go. One simple HDMI cable connects the sound bar to your TV, and your set-top box, gaming consoles, and anything else you’d like to plug in will have a spot too.
To simplify the process you can plug in your Ethernet cable straight to your router. This will ensure you have the strongest stream possible for Netflix, Youtube, and any other streaming video service you watch. For the purposes of the review, I’ll clarify that I have Shaw’s Internet 600 plan and Netflix Ultra for HDR and Dolby content.
Testing the Sony X950G
There’s a lot of tweaks and options on this TV, but the simplest way to experience it is to plug it all in and tap the remote to turn on the home screen. Because it’s running Android Oreo it has a simple interface with all of the options you’d expect from an Android device. There’s the Sony store for apps, Netflix, YouTube, and tutorials on how to use the TV or set it up for a specific purpose.
Once you connect to your router and your soundbar is turned on, the real fun starts. The Sony X950G will automatically calibrate itself for the best possible picture, so you don’t have to do anything but grab your remote and start watching.
Picture quality on the Sony X950G
The display on the Sony X950G is beautiful. I recently tested out the Sony A8G OLED TV, and switching from one to the other wasn’t difficult at all. One simple difference between the two is that an LED TV uses backlighting while an OLED uses individual pixels. The OLED is able to turn those pixels off and on to achieve the truest blacks.
While the Sony X950G TV is an LED, it also has Full array backlight technology. That tech gives it the power to dim and boost the colour, and that dynamically changes the light levels in different parts of the screen. Depending on what you’re watching, you’ll get the brightest whites and the very dark blacks.
Even at 75 inches, the colours were brilliant and the blacks as black as possible on an LED TV. The Sony X950G TV also has X-tended Dynamic Range™ PRO 6x, giving it 6 times the contrast range of a conventional LED-edge lit TV.
Under the hood of the Sony X950G is the brand-new proprietary 4K HDR Picture Processor X1 Ultimate. It provides the realism and real-time object-based rendering so everything is vivid and bright. It’s like you’re standing outside instead of in front of a TV, and it upscales absolutely everything you watch. Even the oldest sitcom streamed to YouTube was clear and defined.
This TV also has TRILUMINOS Display and 4K HDR Super Bit Mapping for intense and realistic colour. Sunsets, even when you’re watching them while gaming, look real. I made my son pause mid-game to take a picture of the sun going down over a poppy field. The TV upscales all content and displays such a wide variety of shades and hues you can almost fool yourself into feeling the warmth of the sun when you’re standing in front of it.
With X-Motion Clarity™ technology and 120Hz refresh rate, you’ll be sure the Sony X950G TV can keep up with action. When I watched sports or movies I didn’t experience any blurring when the action was intense. It doesn’t ghost images, even if a scene goes black during a speedy scene.
For me, one of the most obvious demonstrations of the colour and contrast happened when I watched “Our Planet” in 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision. The sweeping colour across the screen as the earth turned from day to night was nothing short of stunning. The video I took doesn’t do it justice. You have to see it in person.
Viewing angle on the Sony X950G
The Sony X950G has X-Wide Angle technology, so even if you’re sitting off to the side of the TV you should get a great view. I found a slight side viewing angle still offered a great picture, while a more defined angle wasn’t as good as sitting right in front of it. You lose just a bit of the picture quality and contrast, so the best seat is definitely front and center.
Dolby Vision and HDR Content
I had no idea you could type Dolby into Netflix search and you’d pull up Dolby content. There’s also a list of Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and everything HDR available on Netflix. The programs available in Dolby aren’t numerous, but they’re brilliant to watch. The first time we turned one on the screen turned white and it almost blinded me in a dark room. The colours practically burst from the screen.
If you get this TV and you haven’t watched Stranger Things Season 3 yet, do yourself a favour and turn it on. With Netflix Calibrated Mode, designed to display a picture quality that’s exactly like the studio intended, you’ll see Stranger Things in full effect. It’s a very dark show to begin with, and when watching in a dark room the colours and blacks are absolutely spectacular.
The smart features on this TV are great, and I don’t know how I’ll ever live without Google search on a TV. This is a Performance + TV, so everything is designed to run smoothly and quickly. There’s no lag while jumping through the menus, and the remote has one-tap buttons for Netflix and Google Assistant.
All you have to do is tap the button on your remote with the Google Assistant icon and it comes up. I’ll say, “Show me how to bake sourdough bread” and it will come up with a video. It’s a fast and easy way to search instead of typing things in on a remote, and I love voice control on a TV.
There’s a lot of apps you can download in the Google Play store or Sony store. The kids enjoyed downloading different games and playing them on this TV, and there’s a wide variety of smart home apps you can install if you have different smart home devices in your home.
There’s also connectivity for Google Home, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. Chromecast is built into this TV but you’ll have to run through a setup process before you can use it. Any smart device I used with the TV was seamless, and I love how I can stream my outdoor cameras to the TV just by asking Google to open them up.
Sound on Sony X950G
The TV itself has very good sound quality. While the thin display means there aren’t huge speakers built-in, it does have Acoustic Multi-Audio with two sound-positioning tweeters in the rear of the TV and bass reflex speakers. The goal is to produce sound that feels like it’s coming from the picture, and it does a great job of that. It’s not immersive like it is when the sound bar and subwoofer are connected, but it’s still great sound right out of the box.
Testing the Sony HTZ9F Sound bar
The Sony X950G is powerful on its own, but hooking up the Sony HTZ95 sound bar and subwoofer brings out the best in this TV. Every feature is enhanced by big, booming sound.
To get the most out of the Sony HTZ95 you’ll have to plug your HDMI cable into the HDMI ARC port on the TV and the ARC port on the sound bar. The subwoofer is wireless and connects via Bluetooth, so you can plug it in anywhere in the same room and you’ll experience a bass kick for everything you watch or listen to.
Vertical Sound Engine delivers
The Sonly HTZ95 is a 3.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X sound bar with wireless subwoofer. It has 4K HDR 18 Gbps pass-through and HDCP 2.2 with 400W of total power; 300W to the sound bar and 100W to the subwoofer. Advanced digital signal processing means you can watch everything with a maximum 7.1.2ch sound.
I’m not a home theatre pro so I can only judge the sound bar and TV compatibility by listening in, and I love what I heard. The Sony HTZ95 has a Vertical Sound Engine, the latest in surround sound technology, and it uses three front speakers to create sound that feels like it’s coming from all around you.
Paired with the subwoofer which I placed beside the couch, the Sony HTZ95 really does amplify the audio and create an immersive viewing experience. I didn’t feel as though it was playing straight at me but felt like the audio was coming from the corners of the TV.
The Sony HTZ95 can play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio, so if you’re watching Netflix Dolby video, the audio will enhance it perfectly.
Sound modes and streaming
There are 5 modes on this sound bar, and you can choose between movies, gaming, news, sports, and music. You can also just let the sound bar choose, and the display will say TV when you’re watching.
When I was watching a movie I’d change it to movie, and there’s a noticeable difference in audio quality between each mode. When I spent some time gaming on the TV and the gaming mode on the sound bar was pretty amazing. It enhanced the crashes and gunfire so it sounded so real to life it scared one of our cats and sent our dogs barking at the door.
There’s an included remote with the sound bar that lets you amplify the total volume, control the subwoofer, or control the speakers. There are also tweaks you can perform via the remote and onscreen display to calibrate it and enhance your listening experience.
I used the onscreen display to connect the sound bar to the Internet, and once I did I was able to either use a built-in Chromecast or my Spotify account to stream audio. You’ll have to connect via Bluetooth to stream, but once you’re connected it’s easy to put on a playlist. I enjoyed loading white noise playlists and listening to those while working or cooking.
The sounds are crisp, clear and, even at loud volume, gives you very little distortion. It handled everything from the action on Avenger’s Infinity War to Spiderman for PS4 and every Spotify playlist I have. I’ve never had a speaker in my house that rich and clear. Music recorded live sounds like you’re right there in front of the band.
We turned it up really loud a few times and the subwoofer was vibrating the floor. If you really want to add to the experience you can also pick up the Sony SA-Z9R speakers. They round out the sound bar and subwoofer to give you a full 5.1ch sound experience.
Should you buy the Sony X950G 4K HDR LED TV with Sony HTZ9F Sound bar?
Now that I’ve experienced two of Sony’s finest TVs, I understand why it’s so important that your display and audio offer you the absolute best chance at experiencing TV and movies the way they should be; as real to life as you can get.
Whether you’re watching the latest news, biggest blockbuster movies or you’re working out with a fitness video on Youtube, you want your TV to deliver content that’s as close to what the creator intended. The pairing of the 75-inch Sony X950G and Sony HTZ9F sound bar make that happen in the largest way possible.
Despite my small living room, I love the size of the Sony X950G. 75 inches is just big enough to almost take up a wall, and I’m OK with that. The design is perfectly thin and pulls you in without the distraction of a large frame, and the stand neatly hides those annoying cords and cables that take away from the beauty of the display.
The video quality on this TV is stunning, and while the audio on the TV is enough to stand alone, the addition of the Sony HTZ9F sound bar will ensure you enjoy every second of the Dolby and HDR content you watch. Every movie available on Netflix will look bold and bright, and the loud, clear audio will pull you in even more. Having Google Assistant built into your TV is a huge time saver, and built-in Chromecast and Spotify make listening to music so easy.
Why leave your living room to go to the movies when you can have a set up like this? There were a few times I was watching a movie and I completely forgot where I was. It’s that immersive.
I’m so glad I was able to take the Sony X950G and Sony HTZ9F sound bar for a test run, and I think anyone who sets these two up in their living room will enjoy a home theatre experience that’s next level. You can find the Sony X950G 4K HDR LED TV with Sony HTZ9F Sound bar on Best Buy right now.