Sony’s UBP-X500 offers 4K and Blu-ray on a budget

Sony UBP-X500

Sony’s hi-fi division is about to release a budget 4K UHD Blu-ray media player, capable of high-resolution audio and video output for only £200/€240.

The UBP-X500 joins an illustrious family of Sony’s other 4K Blu-ray players. While Sony was somewhat late to the game for UHD-capable hi-fi, it’s certainly now found its place in the market. 

The latest model can play Blu-ray discs, DVD, and CDs, and is compatible with a range of audio and video formats – though notably not Dolby’s HDR picture format, Dolby Vision. It also features enhanced upscaling, for helping your 4K television get even more out of your regular HD content.

While the player won’t quite reach the heights of its well-reviewed predecessor, the UBP-X800, it still packs in a sizeable amount of functionality for those looking to enhance their home cinema experience.

The release window is marked as ‘mid-August’, so we expect the player to reach shelves and online retailers over the next couple of weeks.

Sound and vision

Last year’s UBP-X800 and UBP-X1000ES were both highly-capable premium devices, even if the latter couldn’t quite justify its higher price tag. 

The more recent UBP-X700 manages to undercut the price on both while retaining most the functionality, with the welcome addition of support for Dolby’s alternative HDR format, Dolby Vision HDR. While that functionality has been scrapped again for the cheaper UBP-X500 model, you’re still able to play Dolby Atmos audio through your speakers.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.