Sony UBP-X1000ES Review

Sony UBP-X1000ES

It’s not every day you get premium 4K Bluray players, but the Sony UBP-X1000ES is the company’s top end player, and delivers a standout performance worthy of its price tag.

Save for Dolby Vision, that is.

This premium product is Sony at its envelope pushing best, as the X1000ES impressively handles color, and offers great sound quality that sets it apart from its rivals. There is a real sense image, which brings you in with a feeling of dimensionality.

We started things off with Planet Earth II, and the Sony had no issues capturing all the details and showing them with a real sense of scale. Even background details were handled perfectly well.

Same goes for extreme contrasts — this player is talented.

Taking things down to a standard Bluray, the UBP-X1000ES retained those same characteristics, even with a more limited color spectrum and the lower resolution. Watching Warcraft: The Beginning was a pleasant experience, with the detailed kept sharp and not overly emphasized.

DVD upscaling is good here too, though there is an expected drop in quality when compared to high-definition content.

But video quality is not the only measure of a good Bluray player. It has to offer on the sound front too, and happy to report that the Sony UBP-X1000ES fares well here as well. It potently retained the dynamic range of the impressively immersive soundtrack of Tron: Legacy.

There was nice spacing in the fantastic electronic and orchestral sound of the film.

On the features and design side of things, the UBP-X1000ES sports the same black box aesthetic of newer Sony models. It does come with a handy screen on its front that does a good job telling which menu you are on.

Unfortunately, the remote control is lackluster for a premium player like this. It’s a bland affair, that’s not even backlit, and this makes using it in a dark room a challenge.

The overall build quality of the whole set, however, is good though. The chassis has a rigid and sturdy feel to it, and it offers enough space for all the connectivity options at the back, like optical, coaxial, two HDMI connections with dedicated audio output, and RCA.

Sony has built in support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound formats in the X1000ES, and the player support hi-res files up to 24-bit and 192kHz resolution.

All that said, there is one important omission, that being Dolby Vision. This is a form of HDR that uses dynamic metadata to adjust the picture frame by frame, and provides a noticeable more refined image than standard HDR.

The lack of this inclusion means that that the Sony UBP-X1000ES is not as future proof, as some of the other 4K Bluray players that are on the market.

On the flipside, the X1000ES has dual band wireless connections, and this goes nicely with the decent array of streaming services that it supports, including Amazon Video, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer. It also offers an ethernet port if you’d rather have a more stable alternative to WiFi.

Point being, there’s not much wrong with this Sony model, other than the disappointing lack of Dolby Vision. If you want the best player for your home cinema, then the UBP-X1000ES does more than enough to warrant a look.

Superb color handling
Immersive sound quality
Support for several streaming services
No Dolby Vision
Solid, if a little bland, design
Rating: ★★★★★

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