Sony UBP-X700 review

The Sony UBP-X700 brings your 4K TV to life, without draining your savings

Sony’s UBP-X700 is an affordable way to squeeze every last drop out of your 4K Ultra HD TV.
Sony’s UBP-X700 is an affordable way to squeeze every last drop out of your 4K Ultra HD TV.
Sony’s UBP-X700 is an affordable way to squeeze every last drop out of your 4K Ultra HD TV.


  • Compact form factor
  • HDR 10 and Dolby Vision support
  • Great audio processing
  • Easy to use remote


  • Feels a little chintzy
  • Not great for streaming compared to dedicated boxes

We love streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as much as anyone, but if you’re serious about getting the maximum possible image quality from that brand new 4K TV, you’re still going to need a disc. It may seem like a throwback to last decade, but the fact is, the only way to get the maximum fidelity out of your favorite films and TV shows at present is to watch them on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

And for that, there are few players that offer the same level of quality from a footprint as minimal as Sony’s UBP-X700. With fantastic image and audio processing and support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats, this affordable Sony player is a great option for those looking to take their home theater to the next level.

Out of the box

For how well it renders the picture and sound of your favorite content, the X700 is a remarkably non-descript device to look at. A simple black box with an angled lower section and a silver Sony logo on the front, the player is designed to blend in among all your other home theater components.

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

As you’d expect, the device comes with only a power cable and a small remote (plus two AAA batteries), leaving you to supply and HDMI cable to connect it to your TV, projector, or A/V receiver. The remote has big buttons that are easy to see, and we like its compact form factor and reliance on a style of batteries we typically have around — some other players use large watch batteries, and that’s just annoying.

Features and functions

The biggest reasons to buy the X700 are its great video and audio processing. As mentioned above, the player support both major formats of HDR (high dynamic range) — HDR10 and Dolby Vision — making it a versatile option that enhances virtually any modern 4K TV. It’s worth noting that, though HDR10 is supported by most modern TVs and projectors, Dolby Vision support is rarer, so you’ll want to check to make sure your TV is compatible if you want the more dynamic contrast afforded by Dolby Vision, and/or whether you even need it in the first place.

The X700’s also a built-in streaming player with apps for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, among others.

Like all Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the X700 also supports HD Blu-ray, DVD, CD, and SACD formats, meaning it will play back virtually any disc in your collection. It’s also a built-in streaming player with apps for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, among others. We still prefer the streaming interface of most modern TVs and, even better, outboard streaming devices like the Roku Ultra or Amazon Fire TV Cube  — both because of their better interfaces and voice search capabilities — but it is nice to have streaming onboard if you don’t want to switch sources.

In terms of inputs and outputs, the player has everything we’d want: There’s two HDMI output ports on the back panel, a coaxial audio output, Ethernet port (there’s also built-in Wi-Fi), and a USB input on the front panel.

sony ubp x700 ports
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

The overall build quality of the X700 is high, but we couldn’t help but feel a bit disconcerted at how light it is. The drawer that holds discs feels a bit flimsy when opened, too — the plastic cover in front of it feels more precarious in operation than we’d like. Still, it’s not like anyone will be lugging this with them on the go, and as a piece of hardware to stick on a shelf, it does the job just fine.

The same goes for the utter lack of any display on the device. Frankly, we don’t really need one on a simple disc player, especially given that the built-in interface on your TV screen is very simple to use.


The first time we turned on the player, we used this interface to navigate to the onboard settings menu, where we found everything we needed was already set to “Auto” — indicating that the player would automatically detect the format and quality of a disc and do its best with whatever we threw at it. This may be less than ideal for those who love to have full control over the settings, but for novices it’s an easy, plug-and-play solution that works quite well. If you do find yourself wanting to, say, let your TV upscale a 1080p Blu-ray instead of utilizing the X700’s upscaling engine, you can simply turn upscaling off.

The UBP-X700 offers fantastic image quality without any hassles.

Regardless what you’re playing, the UBP-X700 offers fantastic image quality without any hassles. We tested the X700 with the BenQ HT2550, using an assortment of Ultra HD Blu-ray, standard Blu-Ray, and DVD sources. In all instances, we were impressed with the image processing offered by the lightweight player, which brought outstanding picture regardless of whether we were playing 4K or upscaled content.

When watching The Martian via Ultra HD Blu-ray, we were particularly impressed with the HDR10 performance, which offered bright highlights and excellent contrast when rendering images from the Martian landscape. We also loved the way that the player upscaled our standard Blu-ray copy of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The bright greens were particularly well rendered, standing out amidst darker backgrounds in the film. Heck, even our trusty old DVD copy of Space Jam looked better when spun inside the X700, appearing a bit less grainy on our massive 100-inch projection screen than we’ve seen it before (though still very clearly upscaled from standard definition).

sony ubp x700 top
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

It didn’t come as a surprise that the audio quality offered by this player was equally impressive; Sony has long made some of our favorite audio processors on the market, and is currently the manufacturer of our favorite headphones. Especially when watching via our 4K projector, the massive soundstage offered by the X700 fooled us into thinking we were back at the theater. Films we typically watch on streaming services via our Roku Ultra had much more vibrant sound when listened to on disc through the Sony player, with surround sound audio and voices becoming even more vivid. This is typically the case with any comparison between Ultra HD Blu-ray and streaming video, but it was clear the player itself was a big part of the improvement.

Our Take

With great sound and image quality and a small footprint that will fit alongside even the sleekest setups, the UBP-X700 is a great option for those who are looking to make the most of their home theater without breaking the bank.

Is there a better alternative?

If you’re after a player that supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 formats, there aren’t any obvious alternatives to the UBP-X700. But if you’re after something that simply plays Ultra HD Blu-Ray discs, the more-affordable LG UP870 is a good option – though it does not include any streaming capabilities. If you’re also a gamer, it may be worth taking a look at the Xbox One S, which can play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs with HDR10, and costs just a touch more than the UBP-X700.

How long will it last?

Sony has a history of building long-lasting products, and we don’t expect this one to be any different. If you purchase a UBP-X700, we’d expect it to last for years of steady use.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re looking for a great player that supports all your HDR content — and won’t force you to cut into your vacation fund — the UBP-X700 is among the best options you’ll find.


Netflix is testing a cheap mobile-only subscription tier in some markets

Netflix is trying to reach potential subscribers in emerging markets. To that end, the company has begun rolling out a cheaper, mobile-only subscription tier, which comes at around $4 per month -- half the price of the Basic subscription…
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

Time for a TV upgrade? Here’s what you need to know about 4K Ultra HD TV

Ultra HD 4K has quickly taken over the world of TVs. But what is Ultra HD 4K, how does it work, and most importantly, should you upgrade, or keep your old TV? We explain it all right here.
Home Theater

Don't wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.
Home Theater

You can get a top-tier Vizio P Series TV for a song this Black Friday

Vizio has announced a slew of Black Friday deals for those interested in new home theater offerings, but none are more enticing than the deals the company is running on its top-tier P-Series and P-Series Quantum TVs.

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
DT Daily

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Home Theater

A recent Twitter leak may show the upcoming AirPods 2 model

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.

The best movie soundtracks of all time, from 'Star Wars' to 'E.T.'

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

How to convert and play FLAC music files on your iPhone or iPad

The high-resolution revolution is upon us, and FLAC files are a popular way to store hi-res sound. But what if you’re an iOS user? Check out our article to find out more about FLAC files, and how to use them on Apple devices.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.