The Sony UBP-X700 is the latest 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player from the company and is intended to offer a cheaper alternative to its previous UBP-X800. The new disc spinner retains many of the features found on the more expensive player, the Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player features Dolby ATMOS audio, which could help to give you that cinema experience in the comfort of your own home.
This smart-enabled player also has built-in Wi-Fi and can play a range of audio or video files – so will it become your default hub for home entertainment?
Read our full review to discover whether this Blu-ray player deserves a space under your TV.
Sony UBP-X700 Design and Features
In terms of design, the X700 sits somewhere between the up-market, book-like X800 and compact HD models like the BDP-S3700 The X700 measures a foot across and boasts a two-tone finish, but it lacks a display on the front panel — all you’ll find there is play and eject buttons.
To the left of the front panel is a drop-down drawer that hides the disc mechanism.
Apart from the design, what is the difference between the X700 and the $250 X800? Two words: Dolby Vision.
No one likes a format war, but Dolby’s baby is one of a handful of HDR technologies vying for your attention.
While support isn’t coming till mid-2018, the X700 also includes the more widespread HDR 10, so you’ll have most of the bases covered.
Connectivity is identical to the X800’s with two HDMI ports — one for audio and video and a second for decoding audio from an older, non-4K-sporting AV receiver.
The player also comes with a coaxial digital port, which is a bit unusual, as most TVs and sound bars support optical, plus it offers a USB connection.
Aside from the USB port on the front, all the other connections are at the rear.
Here you’ll find twin HDMI outputs, one of which is version 2.0 with support for 4K/60p, 10-bit, High Dynamic Range (HDR10 and Dolby Vision), Wide Colour Gamut (Rec.2020), and HDCP 2.2.
The second HDMI output is version 1.4 and is designed to send audio to soundbars and AV receivers that don’t support HDMI 2.0.
The only other connections are a coaxial digital audio output and an Ethernet port for a wired connection, although the Sony UBP-X700 also has built-in WiFi.
Finally there’s a connector for the external power supply, which is another difference compared to the X800.
Since there are no analogue outputs or digital-to-analogue converters (DACs), the X700 is basically a digital transport.
The provided remote control is smaller and simpler than the one included with the X800, but it gets the job done.
I did find it a bit fiddly to use, especially some of the smaller buttons, but although it feels small in the hand it is well-balanced.
All the controls you need are present and correct, including navigation and playback buttons, along with a Home button and one for directly accessing Netflix.
As you’d expect these days, you don’t need to use the remote to actually control the X700, and Sony also provide the option of using your tablet or a smartphone to control the X700 using the Video & TV Sideview app, which is freely available for iOS and Android.
The app is actually quite good, although I generally found simply using the provided remote was easier than reaching for my phone or a tablet.
Sony UBP-X700 Sound Quality
You’ll want a comparable quality of sound to accompany that superb picture, and the Sony doesn’t disappoint. Voices are front and center, and blissfully clear.
So much of Thor: Ragnarok hinges on humour, and the Sony player relays every joyous quip, sarcastic rejoinder and laugh-out-loud line with punctual timing. It’s full of character.
Special effects are flung about with agility and precision, and there’s a good amount of attack and punch when fists and hammer smack into humans and Hulks alike.
We’d like a bit more gusto and heft to the overall sound, though. The Sony UBP-X800’s expansive and muscular sound elicits a more visceral reaction to crashes, wallops and thunderous blows.
The X700 sounds a tad lightweight in comparison, though it never suffers any wince-inducing brightness despite the leaner tone.
The X700 remains an engaging listen, and comes well-equipped on all fronts. It supports all surround-sound formats, including the latest Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks.
Despite not flashing the hi-res audio badge, the X700 can play up to 24bit/192kHz files in all popular files, including WAV, FLAC and DSD.
That zippy, dynamic character comes through with stereo music, with each instrument and voice ringing through loud and clear on The Dead Weather’s 60 Feet Tall on CD.
If you want to hear all the intricacies of the brooding composition, however, you’ll need a dedicated hi-fi machine for the job.
Should you buy it?
Sony’s UBP-X700 Ultra HD Blu-ray player walks the same path as the UBP-X800 before it, delivering great video performance in a stable package.
You don’t get some of the more advanced configuration and performance options that you’ll find in higher-end players from OPPO and Panasonic–like internal DACs and higher-quality audio components, source direct video output, an HDMI input, RS-232 control, etc.
But for the majority of consumers, this player has it where it counts. Plus, Sony has beefed up its streaming media platform since I first reviewed the X800 to make these UHD models more enticing.
And of course the big addition is the upcoming support for Dolby Vision, which makes the UBP-X700 a more versatile option than its predecessor.
In certain respects, I still prefer the X800, especially if you don’t need Dolby Vision support (because you’ve already purchased a UHD TV that doesn’t do Dolby Vision).
But the Sony UBP-X700 offers a great combination of performance and features for a great price.
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 Sony UBP-X700 is among the best options you’ll find.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions we have already answered so you don’t need to worry about the product. We really hope we answered some of your questions!
QUES: Can I install the Disney+ app on my Blu-ray Disc player?
ANS: No, the Disney+ app isn’t supported on Blu-ray Disc™ players.
QUES: Can I stream Spotify and vudu? Or is it limited to Netflix and Amazon?
ANS: Yes, those apps can be streamed by this Bluray player. There are also other apps available for streaming aside from all the apps you’ve mentioned.
QUES: Will the sony UBP-X700 player work with a Samsung 4K Q6 TV or should I buy a Samsung 4K player.
ANS: The brands don’t matter, the connections do. The Sony will work with any brand TV with the same connections.
QUES: Does My Blu-ray Disc Player Support HDR Playback?
ANS: Your Blu-ray Disc™ player supports HDR playback for Netflix® and Amazon® apps.
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