Sony UBP-X800M2 review | What Hi-Fi?

With an increasing number of people reputedly content to fire up their favourite 4K video streaming provider, you’d be forgiven for thinking that disc formats are an endangered tech species.

But given the quantity of 4K content now to be had at your fingertips thru TV apps, does the arena nonetheless desire a bodily 4K layout? Even Samsung has given up the ghost and stopped its Blu-ray player production.

Sony’s resolution appears to be a definitive sure. After all, the Japanese large is likely one of the founding fathers of the unique Blu-ray structure and still provides a spread of 4K Blu-ray gamers in its current AV line-up, including its newest deck, the UBP-X800M2.

Build

We have big hopes for this device. It succeeds the unique UBP-X800, a deck we awarded 5 stars again in 2017. The new type has been buffed and tweaked beneath the hood reasonably than being completely overhauled, but if we’ve discovered anything about Sony’s Blu-ray players over time, it’s that they’re typically extremely aggressive, if not class-leading, particularly at around this £350 ($500) price level.

The UBP-X800M2 sits a few rungs up from what we’d name funds, despite the fact that, and its primary rival is the Award-winning Panasonic DP-UB820EB. It’s a little slimmer than the Panasonic, but nonetheless weighty thanks to Sony’s frame and beam chassis design which goals to increase rigidity and minimise the consequences of exterior vibrations. 

It’s a minimalist-looking deck too, designed to connect to and complement Sony’s Award-winning STR-DN1080 AV receiver. The fascia is blank, excluding power and eject buttons at the proper. The loading draw is tucked away at the back of a big phase of the entrance panel which drops down. It’s slightly abnormal that there’s no show on the player, although.

Features

Around the rear of the deck is a familiar arrangement of video and audio outputs. Again, they’re saved to a minimum. There are dual HDMI outputs that can be used to separate audio and video so that you’re feeding the purest signals into your show tool and AV house cinema amplifier. There’s additionally a coaxial virtual output and an ethernet for stressed web connection and for accessing the player’s built-in streaming services and products (dual-band wi-fi may be integrated).

Look intently and you’ll see a small Bluetooth logo. That’s proper, you'll be able to in truth circulate audio from the participant to a couple of headphones. It’s useful for late-night viewing and we don’t undergo any lip-sync issues when using the characteristic throughout trying out.

As a part of its sensible suite, the UBP-X800M2 comes with the 3 major video streaming products and services: YouTube, Netflix (with a devoted button on the far flung) and Amazon Prime Video. There is 4K HDR enhance the place available, although the Sony doesn’t support Dolby Atmos over Netflix or Dolby Vision via Amazon Prime Video.

Sony UBP-X800M2 tech specifications

HDR codecs HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG

Dolby Atmos Yes

DTS:X Yes

Outputs HDMI x2, coaxial digital

Inputs USB, ethernet

Dimensions (hwd) 5.Four x Forty three x 26.5cm

Weight 3.8kg

The Sony also doesn’t cater for HDR10+, which is a little disappointing when rival machines such as the Panasonic DP-UB820EB tick all of the major HDR boxes. It’s a shame given the admirable manner Sony continues to stand by means of and fortify area of interest audio formats equivalent to DVD-Audio and SACD, which can be both supported by means of the UBP-X800M2.

We’re also perplexed and a little bit annoyed by the best way Sony has noticed fit to put in force the participant’s Dolby Vision fortify. Like the dearer Sony UBP-X1100ES, as an alternative of automatically switching between HDR10 and Dolby Vision depending at the content you’re playing (as with the Panasonic), it's a must to allow and disable Dolby Vision during the participant’s menus. 

It’s specifically long-winded and quite unintuitive, particularly since having it enabled robotically triggers your TV’s Dolby Vision image mode when you’re observing a disc that’s best in HDR10.

As with the X1100ES, the X800M2 also includes HDR to SDR conversion, even supposing we doubt you’d be purchasing this player to use with a non-HDR-supporting 4K TV. It comes in more useful when the player is used with a projector, a lot of which don’t strengthen HDR requirements.

In operation, the Sony is as fast and slick as anything we’ve tested in 2019. Discs load temporarily and the player responds to button presses on its small, palm-sized far off with none hesitation.

Picture

We fan the flames of the Sony and slip within the 4K Blu-ray of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the place we’re greeted through a crisp picture with quite a lot of detail and perception. When things take a flip for the worst aboard the Staten Island ferry, the Sony presentations nice composure as the fast moving action unfurls.

As Vulture hovers over the ferry, attempting to take down Spidey along with his high-tech weaponry, the Sony assists in keeping movement stable and composed. As Vulture’s weapon malfunctions, the bursts of shiny light are punchy and vibrant. The Panasonic DP-UB820EB appears to ship them with slightly better depth, but there’s not an enormous quantity in it. 

It’s a equivalent case with colors, because the Sony opts for a extra reserved, neutral manner, whilst the Panasonic is going for better vibrancy and a reasonably extra film-like quality which emphasises depth and which some may find quite extra immersive.

With usual 1080p Blu-rays, the Sony’s steadiness and composure shine through once once more. Of route, the picture high quality does leisure at the high quality of the disc put its means. It can’t do much to relieve the noise from the Transformers film, but it surely does a superb activity with Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, with nice consideration paid to the feel and element of Newt Scamander’s sensible apparel.

Sound

We’ve come to expect great sound from Sony’s 4K Blu-ray players, and the UBP-X800M2 doesn’t allow us to down. It’s wonderfully musical through the criteria of this value. It presentations an much more fleet-footed and rhythmical solution to the rating of Fantastic Beasts than the Panasonic DP-UB820.

There’s dynamics and element in spades right through the a laugh bank scene close to the beginning of the movie. Strings sound candy and herbal, with a variety of sparkle through the percussion. Dialogue is apparent, herbal and convincing – the player delivers Newt’s softly spoken method with great subtlety which different opponents in finding laborious to do.

As the Obscurus begins to rip in the course of the city, the Sony’s spectacular dynamic ability comes to the fore, the rating and the scene explode into existence with soaring highs and crashing lows delivered with immense verve and vigour. For this cash, this deck is an actual entertainer.

Verdict

The UBP-X800M2 is the latest in a a success line of 4K Blu-ray avid gamers from Sony. Picture quality is up there with the best and it’s one of the vital sonically proficient decks we’ve heard round this cash too. 

The loss of HDR10+ fortify will frustrate a few potential owners and the implementation of Dolby Vision seems overly complicated, but it still delivers a 4K performance value investigating.

SCORES

MORE:

Best Blu-ray players 2019

Read our Sony X1100ES review

Read our Panasonic DP-UB820 review

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