Sony X940C 4K UHD TV reprises polarizing speakers, still looks incredible

Two of the finest televisions we reviewed in 2014 were the Sony X900B and the X950B, but they presented consumers with a bit of a conundrum. Both offered incredible picture quality for an LED/LCD TV, but where the X950B offered full array LED backlighting with local dimming and a rudimentary speaker system for a considerable premium. the X900B sported a side-mounted premium speaker system, but at a lower price.

It now appears that Sony’s best TV for 2015 will be adopting those speakers. That means — for now at least — that Sony’s best display comes with those speakers, and that could be problem for some.

While they sound excellent (perhaps the best on-board TV sound system we’ve heard to date), Sony’s tacked-on speakers are not removable, and they add considerable width to the television. Also, they don’t come with any grills or covering, and their look doesn’t find favor with everyone. This leaves Sony’s fans with a tough decision: Go for the best and deal with the speakers even if they aren’t desired, or step down to a lower model without the speakers and deal with any marginal differences in performance.

As for its picture quality, the X940C appears to be every bit the excellent performer the X950B is, with one notable advantage: Sony’s X1 picture processor. We’ve always said that premium processing is the one factor that separates the good from the great TV makers, and Sony’s processing has always been among the best.

The X1 takes things to a new level by painstakingly analyzing every element of an incoming video signal and, pixel by pixel, optimizing it for the best possible color, contrast and and brightness. It takes any resolution, not just 4K, and makes it look its best.

Sony’s Bravia TVs now run on the Android TV platform, bringing Google’s emerging smart TV platform to a big stage.

Right now, this is one of five TVs to keep an eye on in 2015. And you can put your eyes on it right now in our video above.