Sony UBP-X1000ES Ultra HD Blu-ray player review

    The UBP-X1000ES is Sony’s premium 4K Blu-ray providing, a complicated stablemate to the unfeasibly superb UBP-X800. By way of efficiency and worth, the latter could be thought-about top-of-the-line worth UHD Blu-ray gamers obtainable, so clearly this dearer sibling must be somewhat particular to warrant a premium.

    A cursory look would recommend that the decks are minimize from the identical fabric, because of a shared chassis design and stippled matt end, however there are some important variations.

    The UBP-X1000ES incorporates a high-end 192kHz/ 32bit DAC and affords a gold-plated phono analogue audio output on the rear. It additionally has a extra substantial energy provide, plus an FL standing show. Even its ft have been upgraded, to offer higher isolation. Much less clearly, the UBP-X1000ES helps all the foremost good residence management protocols, particularly Control4, Savant and Crestron. This alone may very well be a clincher when you’ve got a customized put in AV good residence system that you just wish to combine the deck into.  

    Set-up and options

    Along with  the broadly house phono audio output, there are two HDMIs, one providing full AV, the second audio solely. The concept right here is to offer a pure audio HDMI feed for people who want it. There’s additionally coaxial and optical digital outputs, USB, IR distant port and wired Ethernet as an alternative choice to the onboard twin band Wi-Fi.  

    Audio output choices are complete. PCM could be output from the digital outputs at 48KHz, 96KHz or 192KHz. There’s additionally a DSEE HX audio upscaler for low-bitrate audio content material, must you nonetheless have some knocking round. 

    Two HDMI outputs assist you to keep away from having to make use of the pass-through on your house cinema amplifier

    Usability is similar to the step-down UBP-X800. The Residence web page affords fast tiled entry to featured apps, which embody Amazon, Netflix, YouTube (all of which stream in 4K when obtainable), Rakuten TV, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC Information & Sport and Spotify.

    There are thumbnails for linked USB units, media servers and display mirroring. The participant immediately found my QNAP NAS and twonky server. 

    Wi-fi connectivity is nice, with Bluetooth plus LDAC, and MiraCast is accessible for suitable smartphones.

    The participant is suitable with 3D Blu-ray discs, even when your new 4K TV isn’t. Disc loading appears fairly quick, with discs going from tray to menu in simply over 35 seconds.

    The Residence web page affords fast tiled entry all the main streaming apps


    In relation to UHD playback, this flagship actually knocks it out of the park. Pictures are supremely detailed (take a look at patterns play with absolute constancy and no apparent artefacts), whereas color gradations are easy and band-free. The deck additionally does a superb job upscaling common HD Blu-rays.

    Maybe oddly although, the participant solely helps common HDR. There’s no compatibility with Dolby Vision, which you would possibly suppose can be a given (for common enchantment) at this greater worth level. Oddly, Sony’s incoming, low-cost UBP-X700 model does assist Dolby Imaginative and prescient, but Sony maintains there are not any firmware plans so as to add DV to this deck. The participant isn’t suitable with the upstart HDR10+ dynamic metadata normal both. 

    Is that this an enormous deal? It relies on your show. When you personal a top-end 4K HDR TV, able to a excessive peak luminance, the advantages of any dynamic metadata HDR system are literally negligible, because the set is not going to/or-only-rarely have to tone map (which is the method by which a TV brings content material exterior of its luminescence capabilities right down to a stage that it could deal with). 

    The participant interpolates UHD with four:four:four subsampling. By default, the UBP-X1000ES sends the utmost knowledge from disc to display, primarily based on the aptitude of the linked receiving gadget. For instance, when taking part in a 4K 60p disc, if the sink (receiver) permits, then the participant will ship decision at 4K 60p, Deep Color at 12 bit and chroma at four:four:four.

    If this isn’t potential, then the quantity of knowledge is decreased within the following precedence order: decision, body price, HDR, Deep Color and Color Area. Use a high-speed 18 Gbps HDMI cable for the very best image high quality. When you use a lesser 10.2 Gbps HDMI cable, the participant may output 4K at SDR, and 8bit with four: 2: zero color subsampling.

    As an ES music participant, the deck is okay. The DAC used here’s a high quality merchandise, providing an analogue output that’s crisp, ethereal and musical. It does an outstanding job with rock  – the fantastically engineered Again In Black (AC/DC) sounds sensational – and lighter acoustical items alike.

    Just like the UBP-X800, it sounds wonderful over HDMI too. Stevie Surprise’s Dwelling within the Metropolis (Blu-ray) is grindingly rhythmic and musical. The deck paints sonic element throughout a large, plausible soundstage.

    Along with high-res file assist (which incorporates AAC, ALAC, DSD as much as as much as 11.2MHz, FLAC, WMA, MP3/MKV and MPEG), the X1000ES is suitable with each SACD and DVD-Audio. It rewards audiophile archeologists with a stage of high-fidelity playback that continues to be pretty much as good because it usually will get. The multichannel mixture of  London philharmonic Orchestra taking part in Morning Temper (Peer Gynt Suite No 1 Opus 46, from the Grieg Classical Masters Sequence), for instance, is solely uplifting in a approach that listening to the identical traditional pouring forth from a Sonos system merely isn’t.

    We preferred

    Sony has executed a cracking job with the UBP-X1000ES. In order for you sensational 4K video and audiophile grade sonics, you’ve come to the proper place. 

    The UBP-X1000ES delivers pristine UHD Blu-ray photos and its audio efficiency is great, be it through HDMI or two channel analogue. The participant can be artfully constructed, and when you’ve got a customized set up good residence system it’ll match proper in.

    We disliked

    There are a couple of niggles which chip away on the worth of this premium participant.

    The X1000ES is significantly dearer than the UBP-X800, and doesn’t fairly have the function roster of the Dolby Imaginative and prescient-enabled, MQA-playing Oppo UHD-203 – and should you’re in search of a UHD participant with comparable audio chops (though admittedly not common disc compatibility), then Panasonic’s DMP-UB900 supplies cheaper competitors. 

    When you’re shelling out for a high-end 4K participant, you then would possibly fairly anticipate to see Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR (or HDR10+) assist along with vanilla-flavoured HDR. The shortage of any type of dynamic metadata compatibility is disappointing.

    Last verdict

    The supply of a high-end DAC and built-in good residence assist clearly warrant a premium over Sony’s laborious to withstand UBP- X800, however at greater than twice the value the UBP-X1000ES can hardly be described as a discount. That mentioned, in relation to efficiency this deck can’t be faulted. Video high quality is great and it sounds supreme, each with stereo sources and multichannel mixes. 

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