“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
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.
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
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.
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
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).
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
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
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
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