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Sony VPL-XW7000ES 4K SXRD Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on April 25, 2022 by Phil Jones
Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector premium home theater award

The XW7000ES is a 3200-lumen native 4K home theater projector that retails for $27,999. It is part of a complete line refresh of Sony's SXRD projector lineup. Sony has reduced the number of models they offer but now every unit utilizes a laser light source. Since the laser light source has a rated life of 20,000 hours the result is years of nearly maintenance-free operation. 

In addition to their laser sources, these models also utilize a new 0.61-inch SXRD panel which is more compact while still offering the high native contrast and native 4K UHD resolution. The XW7000ES is 20% smaller and 30% lighter than the VW915ES.  

  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the front
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the rear
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the left
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the front top
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Sony VPL-XW7000ES Specs
Native Resolution3840x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3200
Zoom Lens Ratio2.14:1
Lens ShiftYes
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Weight31 lbs
Warranty3 year

One reason why the new 0.61-inch SXRD imager is more compact is due to the fact that its native resolution is now 3840 x 2160 while the older 0.74-inch SXRD imager’s native resolution was 4096 x 2160.

Most 4K consumer displays have a native resolution of 3840 x 2160 commonly referred to as 4K UHD with a 16:9 aspect ratio. However, the resolution of the previous Sony 4K SXRD was 4096 x 2160 (as mentioned above) which is cinematic 4K making their aspect ratio closer to 17:9. Since most consumer content is produced in 4K UHD, about 7% of the pixels of the older Sony SXRD imager we’re not utilized much of the time.

When using a 16:9 screen those extra pixels were just zoomed off the screen. Not only were you not using all the pixels on screen you were not using all the projector’s brightness. 

The smaller 3-chip imaging system also reduces the size of the lenses which results in a more compact chassis. The XW7000ES is nearly 30% smaller and 20% lighter than the VW915ES while delivering 30% more brightness. 

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector dimensions

The XV7000ES is lighter and more compact than previous Sony 4K SXRD laser projectors

Lastly, all the new models including the XW7000ES, are equipped with the X1 Ultimate video processors which have been optimized for projector applications. The X1 Ultimate is Sony’s most powerful video processor, and it was first introduced in Sony's flagship 4K SXRD projector, the VPL-GTZ380. This processor is what gives the projector the ability to do frame-by-frame HDR tone mapping. The VW1025ES supports both the HDR10 standard as well as HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma).

Sony is introducing three new 4K SXRD models in 2022

Sony was the first company to introduce a native 4K home theater projector and they still have one of the most comprehensive model assortments. In addition to the XW7000ES, Sony is introducing two additional laser-based 4K SXRD Home Theater models.

While Sony has slimmed down their projector lineup slightly, they still offer a total of five 4K HDR home theater projectors, starting with the XW5000ES ($6,000 SRP) moving up to the flagship GTZ380 which is $80,000 (minus the ARC-F Lens).

Check out our interview with Rob Brennan (Sony's Product Technology & Training Manager) from the Spring 2022 Projection Showcase where we discuss the new lineup in detail.

See below for a summary of the Sony 4K SXRD projector lineup for 2022.

Sony 4K Projector Comparison Chart-2022 - Projector Reviews Image

The Sony VPL-XW5000ES ($5,999 SRP), which replaces the VPL-VW325ES, is still the least expensive native 4K projector but like all the newly introduced Sony models it utilizes a laser light source and the X1 Ultimate video processor.

I have had a Sony lamp-based SXRD projector in my media room for years but I found myself utilizing my flat panel more than the projector. I was always worrying about lamp hours which meant content had to be “bulb worthy” so I used the projector primarily for movie nights and special events like the Super Bowl. Previously you would have to spend at least $20,000 to get a Sony Laser SXRD projector, but now these laser sources are available on Sony models starting at just $6000. 

Stepping up to the VPL-XW6000ES ($11,999 SRP) adds a motorized ACF lens with picture position memories along with additional 500 ANSI lumens of brightness. The XW6000ES retails for about a thousand dollars more than VPL-VW715ES but the new model is 800 lumens brighter and includes a laser light source and the more powerful X1 Ultimate video processor. 

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector in use in a home theater

The XW7000ES is designed to produce an outstanding image in nearly any room environment

The VPL-XW7000ES replaces both the VPL-VW915ES ($20,000 SRP) and the VPL-VW1025ES ($40,000 SRP). When compared to the VW1025ES, the new XW7000ES offers comparable optics, 1000 lumens more brightness, and a better video processor for nearly $14,000 less.


  • Price: $27,999
  • Z-Phosphor laser light source
  • Technology: 3 x 0.61” SXRD panels (LCoS)
  • Native Resolution: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
  • Brightness (Manufacturer Claim): 3,200 lumens
  • Lamp Life: 20,000 hours
  • Contrast: ∞ (infinity): Dynamic
  • Zoom Lens Ratio: 2.14:1
  • HDR10/HLG compatible
  • X1 Ultimate Video Processor
  • Frame and Frame HDR Auto Tone Mapping
  • Two 18Gbps HDMI 2.0b (HDCP 2.3) inputs
  • Power Lens Focus/Shift/Zoom: Yes
  • Weight: 31.1 lb
  • Warranty: 3-year parts & labor

Notable Features

The XW7000ES utilizes many of Sony's popular features and proprietary technologies discussed in great detail in our reviews of other Sony home theater projectors including the VW1025ESVW915ES, and VW715ES.

However, let's quickly summarize some unique/upgraded features found on the Sony XW7000ES.


All Sony's projectors utilize SXRD panels which is Sony's version of LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon). This three-chip 4K SXRD imaging system is very similar to what has been utilized in Sony 4K cinema projectors that are found in the best movie theaters in the world.

Previously, all Sony 4K Home Theater projectors used 0.74" SXRD panels with the same native cinematic 4K resolution (4096 x 2160) and 17:9 aspect ratio as your favorite 4K movie theater projector. However, most consumer 4K content is produced in 4K UHD which is 3840 x 2160 with an aspect ratio of 16:9. This means that nearly 7% of the older SXRD panel’s resolution was not utilized when viewing 4K UHD material on a 16:9 screen.

Sony's 0.74" SXRD panels are 4k (4096 x 2060) while the new 0.61" SXRD panels are 4K UHD (3840x2160)

When using a 16:9 screen the extra pixels found on the 0.74" SXRD panels were just zoomed off the screen. Not only were you not using all the pixels on screen you were not using all the projector’s brightness.

The XW7000ES features newly developed 0.61" Native 4K UHD (3840x2160) SXRD panels. Unlike some competitor 2K pixel shifting projectors, the new native 4K UHD SXRD panels found in the XW-Series can faithfully reproduce all 8.3 million pixels found in the 4K UHD (3840x2160) SDR and HDR content you watch every day. Since all 8.3 million pixels along with all the laser light source’s output is utilized on a 16X9 screen, there is wasted resolution or brightness.

While the SXRD panels are still Sony's proprietary version of LCoS technology which delivers high contrast ratio and deep blacks, they are more compact. While developing the 10,000 lumens GTZ-380 learned some lessons trying the maximize that unit brightness while still delivering deep blacks. That information was used not only to develop the new 0.61-inch SXRD panels but also to redesign the projector’s internal optics.

The new SXRD panel offers higher light and a flatter reflective surface which improves the XW-Series brightness and native contrast. While the new SXRD panels offer very high native contrast, the XW7000ES projector's dynamic contrast is nearly infinite due to their ability to precisely modulate their laser light sources.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector with new 0.61" SXRD 4K panels

The New 0.61 inch 4K SXRD panel is more compact than the previous version

Sony also made improvements to the technology used to drive the new SXRD panels which result in more precise grayscale gradation and finer color reproduction.

The new Wide Dynamic Range Optics uses Sony’s latest Z-Phosphor laser diodes along with a new light source cooling system. In addition, the newly developed optical system has higher reflectance along with more uniform polarization. The end result is a more compact design that offers better light control while maximizing the potential of the laser light source.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector wide range optices

New Wide Dynamic Range Optics are compact with better light control

Smaller, denser SXRD panels reduce the size of the optical block and lenses, resulting in compact projectors which can deliver the performance of larger models. This is one of the main reasons why the XW7000ES is the lightest and most compact native 4K projector in its class. When compared to the VPL-VW915ES, the new XW7000ES is 20% smaller and about 30% lighter while delivering 1200 lumens more brightness.

The higher brightness and native contrast combined with a wide color gamut make HDR content really pop on the XW7000ES. We had the ability to review the XW7000ES and its HDR performance was noticeably better than the award-winning VPL-VW1025ES which retailed for $12,000 more.  


Sony's ACF Lens x-ray view

Newly Developed ACF (Advanced Crisp Focused) Lens

To complement the new 0.61-inch SXRD imager found in the XW7000ES, Sony has developed a new ACF (Advanced Crisp Focused) lens assembly. This optical system is basically a compact version of their outstanding ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) lens.

The VW1025ES came bundled with an ARC-F lens, which is an ultra-high-quality multi-element all-glass lenses assembly. This type of lens is also utilized on the VW5000ES and the flagship GTZ380 home theater projectors.

This lens assembly commanded a high premium because it literally doubles the price of the VW1025ES ($40,000 SRP) compared to the VW915ES ($20,000 SRP). However, the difference in sharpness was dramatic. It is like looking through an open window.  When viewed through the unit’s ARC-F lens, things just seem clearer – richer, more real.

Sony claims that the new ACF lens found in the XW7000ES offers the same optical quality as the ARC-F lens found in the previous VW1025ES. However, the new projector is brighter, more compact, and $12,000 less.

The ACF lens is a floating lens system with two moving lens groups that include extra low-dispersion (ELD) elements. This ensures optimal convergence of the red, green, and blue light even at the extreme edges of the screen. The benefit is outstanding focus across the entire screen and a significant reduction in chromatic aberration (color fringing).

While I didn’t have the opportunity to compare the XW7000ES and VW1025ES, the image from the new projector was outstanding. If you plan on sitting close to a very large screen, you will definitely appreciate the additional sharpness of the ACF lens found in the XW7000ES. In addition to more clarity, The ACF lens ensures the maximum amount of the laser light source’s brightness reaches the screen.


Superior processing separates Sony’s video displays from the competition. Last year Sony began equipping their new 4K home theater projectors (like the VW1025ES) with a version of the same X1 Processor that has been optimized for projectors.

The XW7000ES is equipped with the X1 Ultimate video processor which was first introduced in Sony’s flagship SXRD projector the VPL-GTZ380. This video processor is based on the original X1 Ultimate Processor used for Sony's top of the line BRAVIA TVs.

While the processor was originally designed for Sony's Master Series LCD and OLED flat-panel televisions, this version has been optimized for projectors with the goal of enhancing the picture quality of projected images.

The X1 Ultimate is Sony's most powerful video processor

The X1 Ultimate Processor not only improves the detail and resolution of any source, it also provides a noticeable improvement in the HDR performance compared to the old Sony 4K SXRD models. HDR content will be brighter with richer colors, deeper black levels, and bright highlight detail will be more visible.

Of all the benefits of the X1 Ultimate Processor, the most notable is the Dynamic HDR Enhancer feature which dramatically improves the look of HDR content. Thanks to the Dynamic HDR Enhancer, the XW7000ES can analyze HDR content scene by scene for precise dynamic tone mapping of HDR10 content.

HDR analysis and tone mapping might be a new concept for a lot of projector manufacturers, but Sony began blazing the trail back in 2017 when their 4K TV lineup introduced the X1 Processor. HDR scenes are brighter, with richer colors and a better black level.

In addition, a second feature called Object-based HDR Remaster analyzes and adjusts the colors and contrast of individual objects on the screen. Some projectors can adjust contrast frame-by-frame, this is accomplished along a single contrast curve. The X1 Ultimate adjusts each object in each frame individually of both SDR and HDR content using multiple contrast curves per frame. Because of Object-based HDR Remaster, you will experience results in greater depth, richer textures, and an even more realistic SDR and HDR image.

In the XW7000ES, this precision tone mapping is combined with a dynamic laser light modulation to greatly improve the look of HDR content. In a recent article, we took a deep dive into how the X1 Ultimate processor helped the GTZ380 achieve the best HDR picture we have ever seen. Check it out!

The XW7000ES is compatible with both HDR10 and HLG content. Since most HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content is either backward compatible with or available in HDR10, you will be able to watch most of the HDR content available on 4K Blu-ray Disc and streaming services. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) was developed for live broadcast, so you are all set to enjoy sports and award shows when the networks start broadcasting.

While more and more 4K HDR content is available every day, we still watch a lot of HD content. When HD content is projected onto a massive screen, you often see noise and artifacts. For even better 4K upscaling, the X1 Ultimate also includes Dual Database Processing. Two powerful image improvement databases work together, dynamically improving images in real-time. 4K X-Reality PRO™ upscales images to near 4K clarity while a second database cleans the picture and reduces onscreen noise.


The XW7000ES utilizes many of Sony’s popular features and proprietary technologies discussed in great detail in our reviews of the VW1025ESVW915ES, and VW715ES.

Since many of the common features found in our older special feature section were repetitive, that information can now all be found on the new Sony Feature Explanation page. You also click any of the bolded/highlighted terms in the article to access a more detailed definition.

However, let’s quickly summarize some of the most notable Sony features found on the XW7000ES.

The XW7000ES is one of five laser-based 4K SXRD home theater models in Sony’s lineup. In fact, all the 2022 Sony Home Theater models utilize a version of their Z-Phosphor light engine. The light source has a rated life of 20,000-hours which ensures several years of nearly maintenance-free operation. If you watched the VW915ES for 8 hours a day, five days a week, the laser light engine would last about a decade.

The XW700ES has a Z-Phosphor light which can deliver 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness

The XW7000ES utilizes a Motorized Lens Assembly with Picture Positioning (lens memories). These lens memories offer the ability to save different motorized lens settings, like one for HDTV and one for widescreen movies. This is a useful feature for someone who opts for a 2.35:1 screen because they want to take advantage of the entire screen area when watching widescreen movies.

When used with a stationary anamorphic lens, the XW7000ES has several Aspect modes, including V Stretch and Squeeze, which can properly display both widescreen and 16x9 content on a 2.35:1 screen.

The new ACF lens used in the XW7000ES has a 2.14x zoom range and also has a large amount of horizontal and vertical lens shift which really simplifies installation.

To maximize the gaming experience, the XW7000ES includes a Low Latency Game Mode. When this mode is engaged, the projector switches off most of its video processing to dramatically reduce game lag.

Sony quotes 21ms input lag when playing content in 4K@60fps and just 13ms gaming in Full HD@120fps. We measured 4K/60fps at 26ms and 1080/120fps at 16ms, which is an outstanding performance for most gamers.

Unlike most flat-panel TVs, Sony home theater projectors like the XW7000ES still support 3D. The projector’s built-in RF transmitter is compatible with third-party Active RF 3D glasses for wider coverage and greater stability.


  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the front left
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the rear
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector rom the right
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the front top

The XW7000ES is lighter and compact than the Sony 4K SXRD laser models it is replacing

The XW700ES utilizes a new chassis that is noticeably more compact and lighter than its predecessors, the VW1025ES and VW995ES. The chassis measures approximately 18 inches wide, 8 9/32 inches high x 20 5/16 inches deep, and weighs about 31 pounds.

When I first pulled the XW7000ES out of the box, I was surprised by how light the unit was. The XW7000ES is about 20% smaller and nearly 30% lighter than the VW915ES sample that I had been using as a reference unit. Anyone installing the XW7000ES will appreciate the weight reduction, especially trying to mount it on a ceiling.

While the XW7000ES is still much larger and heavier than most DLP-based home theater projectors. Larger chassis is worth it for the benefit of better black levels, a motorized lens with horizontal/vertical shift, and quieter operation.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector buttons

The XW7000ES control panel

When looking at the projector from the front, the inputs are on the lower left side while the small control panel is located n the upper left side of the chassis as well. The XW7000ES also has dual 18Gbps HDMI inputs, which is more than enough bandwidth to support 4K@60P HDR with 10bit color. The power connection is located on the back of the projector on the lower right side.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector rear panel with connections

XW7000ES Inputs

The XW7000ES does not have 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs so it doesn't support 4K@120fps playback. If you are a movie lover, this isn't a big deal as most movies are shot in 24fps because it looks more cinematic. While movies like The Hobbit, Billie Lynn Halftime Walk, and Gemini Man were shot at higher frame rates, most cinema lovers didn't like the "Soap Opera" look and preferred the lower frame rate version.

The high-end gaming computers and the latest game consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X support gaming in 4k@120p. However, even the most powerful gaming systems struggle to render detailed scenes at that resolution and frame rate.

In GAME mode, the XW7000ES input lag is just 27ms when playing content in 4K@60fps and an incredibly low 16ms when gaming in Full HD@120fps. I would argue that the properly ray-traced gaming in HD would look better than poorly rendered 4K and the projector's ultra low lag will make the experience better.

Sony claims a very quiet 26 dB which is significantly quieter than most projectors that I have reviewed. The unit’s fan intakes are on the front flanking the lens, and the unit exhaust vents are located along the rear. Whether in a dedicated home theater, or a media room, it is very unlikely you will notice the nicely low-pitched background fan noise.

XW7000ES remote

The XW7000ES includes Sony’s standard backlit projector remote control that comes with all their consumer 4K projectors. Since it is bigger than many projector remotes, the buttons are large and well-spaced. You can use dedicated buttons to quickly switch between the Calibrated Picture Presets. To make quick, fine adjustments to the image, there are buttons to directly access many of the picture quality settings including MotionFlow, Color Temp, and Gamma Correction.

Having direct access to the HDR Contrast Enhancer via a dedicated button is especially useful when viewing HDR materials. It’s quick and easy to switch between the High, Mid, and Low settings to adjust the look of HDR content.

The XW7000ES is equipped with a 2.14:1 motorized ACF zoom lens which is center-mounted. When it comes to placement flexibility, the VW1025ES offers a lot of zoom range compared to most home theater projectors whose zoom lenses usually range between 1.1:1 to 1.6:1, depending on the brand and model.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector lens close up

The XW7000ES has a motorized 2.14:1 zoom lens

The ACF lens used in the XW7000ES offers motorized focus and zoom as well as plenty of horizontal and vertical lens shift. Having a large amount of zoom and shift capability makes installation a breeze, especially when you are trying to replace an older unit that was previously fixed mounted.

Throw Distance for a 16:9 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal)Min Screen Distance (in)Max Screen Distance (in)
80”                                     94 (358cm)198 (509cm)
100”118 (300cm)248 (630cm)
120”141 (358cm)297 (754cm)
140”165 (419cm)346 (879cm)
160”188 (478cm)396 (1006cm)
180"212 (539cm)446 (1133cm)

Throw Distance for a 2.35:1 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal)Min Screen Distance (in)Max Screen Distance (in)
80”                                     99 (251cm)209 (531cm)
100”124 (314cm)261 (663cm)
120”149 (378cm)314 (798cm)
140”174 (442cm)366 (930cm)
160”199 (505cm)418 (1061cm)
180224 (569cm)470 (1194cm)

Even though the XW7000ES is utilizing a new chassis, it still uses a common menu system that Sony has used across their lineup of home theater projectors. While Sony has not changed the look and feel of their menus in years, they add extra menu items to control any new features and capabilities as needed.

  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector picture menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector gamma menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector installation menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector function menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector setup menu

The XW7000ES uses the same menu system as previous Sony 4K SXRD models

Of course, the higher-end model projectors have more menus because of more features. For example, the step-up XW7000ES offers menus for Lens Memory which it supports, while the XW5000ES does not. The type is slightly on the smaller side, but you will still be able to easily read them from a normal seating distance. Overall, the menus are well-thought out and organized.



I was impressed with the outstanding picture quality of the XW7000ES right out-of-the-box. I have been blessed with the opportunity to review several good home theater projectors over the past year, but very few could match the XW7000ES.

The REFERENCE and USER picture presets were less than a hundred degrees off my calibrated white balance target of 6500K. The color temperature of the IMAX ENHANCED mode was accurate but the black level was elevated.

  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector color
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector color
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector color
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector color

The XW7000ES color reproduction was excellent out of the box

For extra brightness and to combat higher ambient light, you can switch to BRIGHT TV or BRIGHT CINEMA. These picture modes are slightly oversaturated with a cooler color temperature, but it may be worth it to cut through a lot of ambient light.

Like other Sony home theater projectors, I would be satisfied with the picture quality of the XW7000ES whether it was calibrated or not. However, I did take the time to measure the projector’s picture modes and calibrate its USER Mode.

Since your room and screen material has a major impact on the overall picture, we don’t recommend using someone else's calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, copying someone else results can cause more harm than good.

Just as an example, I am including the before and after results of calibration for my specific room and screen. To test the projector’s color accuracy, we use Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software.

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector color calibration data

Out-of-the-box, the grayscale and color tracking was very good. When measured, the color temperature of the USER mode was very close to my target of 6500K.

The XW7000ES grayscale was also good out of the box but there is a little too much blue at higher IREs which made the Color Temperature slightly cool.

The projector color tracking was also outstanding as well. Lastly, the Gamma measurement pre-calibration was close to my target of 2.2.

We calibrated the USER mode for SDR viewing in a room with low ambient light.

  • Picture Mode: USER
  • Color Temperature: 6804K
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 0.74
  • Average Grayscale dE: 2.87
  • Gamma: 2.23

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector color calibration data

The color temperature was already very close to our 6500K. We switched the COLOR TEMP from its default of D65 to the nearly identical-looking CUSTOM 3 setting so we could compare the grayscale before and after adjustment.

To produce good grayscale (RGB Balance), I reduced the BLUE GAIN and increased the GREEN GAIN and RED GAIN a couple of steps. This resulted in a color temp closer to my target of 6500K.

To achieve my gamma target of 2.2 in my room, I set the GAMMA CORRECTION to 2.2. The XW7000ES offers CMS adjustments but the color tracking was excellent so there isn’t really a need to utilize them. However, I made adjustments to the saturation and hue for Green and Blue.

  • Picture Mode: USER
  • Color Temperature: 6493K
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 0.46
  • Average Grayscale dE: 0.68
  • Gamma: 2.18

Delta E as a measure of grayscale/color accuracy of 3 and under is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye. Even before calibration, the XW7000ES had an average Grayscale dE of less than 3 and average Color Tracking dE of just 0.74. These pre-cal measurements are better than many calibrated Home Theater projectors.

HDR Color Tracking and Grayscale

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector color calibration data

HDR measurements were great after calibrating SDR

After calibration, the XW7000ES had an average grayscale dE of 0.68 and average Color Tracking dE of just 0.46 which is absolutely outstanding.

Like most Sony Home Theater projectors, once grayscale and color tracking were accurately adjusted for SDR, they will look great for HDR as well.

While there was some slight improvement to the picture after calibration, the difference was not dramatic. The colors and skin tones looked great the instant I turned the XW7000ES on.

I spent days watching content on the XW7000ES and unlike many laser-equipped home theaters projectors, I didn’t feel the need to fiddle with the unit’s picture adjustments.

Most owners would be satisfied with the picture quality of the XW7000ES whether it was calibrated or not.

Would I still pay to have the XW7000ES professionally calibrated? Yes, if you have already spent $26K on a projector of this caliber, it would be silly not to optimize the unit’s image for your room.

Once the projector is calibrated, the unit’s Auto Calibrate feature combined with its Z-Phosphor light source ensures that the XW7000ES will deliver “calibrated” color accuracy for several years.

The XW7000ES can reproduce about 95% of DCI-P3 color space, enough to ensure HDR colors appear rich and vibrant. Sony home theater projectors, like the XW7000ES, do not use a color filter to extend their color gamut. This is fine with me because I have never been a fan of using cinema filters when viewing HDR content.

While a cinema filter would increase the XW7000ES’s color gamut coverage, it would also reduce the projector’s brightness. Colors look more saturated when they are brighter. When viewing HDR on a projector, I personally prefer the look of extra brightness over a slightly wider color gamut.


  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector brightness
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector brightness
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector brightness
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector brightness

The Sony XW7000ES has a rated brightness of 3200 ANSI lumens. I set the projector to IMAX ENHANCED Mode (the brightest mode) and then I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

Sony XW7000ES Brightness (IMAX Enhanced Mode, Lamp Control Max): 3203 Lumens

The XW7000ES measured 3203 lumens which matched Sony’s rated brightness of 3200 lumens. This is 1000 lumens more than the VW1025ES. You will find the XW7000ES more than bright enough for viewing SDR content on a 180” screen or HDR content on a 150” screen in a dark room.

Picture ModeLumensColor Temperature
Cinema Film 131866720K
Cinema Film 228976823K
Bright Cinema29307897K
Bright TV26449763K
IMAX Enhanced32036771K

After SDR calibration, the XW7000ES, I still measured over 300 nits off my 100" matte white screen. which is very bright. When calibrating many projectors, you have to sacrifice half of the projector’s rated brightness to produce an accurate image but maintained most of its pre-cal brightness.

Also when viewing HDR content, the Dynamic HDR Contrast feature did an excellent job maximizing the brightness on the screen. The XW7000ES produced a brighter, more vibrant HDR image than many competitors’ projectors with higher rated/measured brightness.


  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector contrast
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector contrast
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector contrast
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector contrast

The XW7000ES delivered deep blacks with good shadow detail

The native contrast and black levels of the new 0.61” SXRD panels used in XW7000ES appear to be similar to the 0.74” units used in the older Sony 4K SXRD projector like the VW915ES.

While brightness is important, deep, accurate black levels separate a good home theater from a great one. If you compare two projectors with identical brightness, the one that can produce deeper blacks will deliver a higher perceived contrast.

One of the main reasons to buy a higher-end home theater projector, like the XW7000ES, is much better black levels, resulting in higher contrast. This is really beneficial when watching movies in a darkened theater or in a room with lots of light control.

Combining the high native contrast of the SXRD panels with the precisely modulated laser light output resulted in outstanding black levels. The XW7000ES delivered great blacks level and excellent shadow detail in my viewing room.

I did most of my viewing with the DYNAMIC CONTROL set to Limited, which engages laser dimming. Not only were the blacks nice and deep, but subtle details in the shadows were also clearly visible.

The XW7000ES rated brightness of 3,200 lumens combined with great black levels results in excellent contrast that made images pop, especially in a dark room.


  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector sdr
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector sdr
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector sdr
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector sdr

Due to its native 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) SXRD panels combined with its ACF lens, the XW7000ES had no problem delivering sharp, detailed images from my 4K UHD Blu-day player and Kaleidescape.

Since most TV shows and live broadcasts are still produced in HD, good 4K upscaling continues to be critical. Sony has over a decade of experience when it comes to 4K upscaling, so the XW7000ES does an excellent job as expected.

4K HDR content can deliver expanded color space with better highlight and shadow detail, but even the brightest HDR projectors can struggle to reproduce HDR faithfully.

The X1 Ultimate processor combined 3200 ANSI lumen with the resulted in a noticeable improvement in HDR reproduction when compared to my VW915ES sample.

  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector hdr
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector hdr
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector hdr
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector hdr

HDR content looked outstanding on the XW7000ES

In addition, the Dynamic HDR Enhancer feature utilizes frame-by-frame HDR tone mapping to deliver respectable full-screen brightness while still displaying a good amount of highlight detail.

The factory HDR Contrast setting of 50 was a little high resulting in some unnecessary highlight clipping, especially when viewing HDR content mastered above 4000nits. Once I reduced the setting to about 45, I rarely felt a need to make any additional manual tone mapping adjustments when viewing during HDR.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector hdr contrastSony VPL-XW7000ES projector hdr contrast

Reducing the HDR Contrast setting from 50 to around 45 restored highlight detail with minimal impact on brightness

I left the Dynamic HDR Enhancer set to LOW most of the time but switching the settings to HIGH does increase onscreen brightness at the expense of clipping more bright highlights.

However, with nearly 50% more brightness available than the VW915ES, cranking up this setting is really unnecessary unless your screen is gigantic. If you do want to adjust the Dynamic HDR Enhancer setting, you can quickly switch between levels with the press of a button on the remote control.

Even though the XW7000ES is utilizing frame-by-frame tone mapping, sometimes brighter highlights are occasionally clipped. This is not a sign that the XW7000ES is not dynamically tone mapping. Sony believes this is necessary to keep most of the image on the screen as close to the director’s intent as possible. Remember, you can always adjust the HDR Contrast setting to restore any clipped highlight information.

The XW7000ES, like previous Sony 4K Home Theater projectors, also has an “HDR Reference Mode” located under the HDR menu option. When engaged, the XW7000ES will faithfully track the luminance of HDR content (no tone mapping) until the projector hard clips just like an HDR mastering display. This mode works well on content mastered at 1000 nits or below, but content mastered above that will have a few more clipped highlights.


The Sony VPL-XW7000ES

Sony was kind enough to let me spend a few weeks with the XW7000ES before the unit was officially announced. Prior to receiving the XW7000ES, I had been using a VW915ES as my reference projector for several months, so I am very familiar with their 2021 models.

While the VW915ES is an awesome projector with a good lens, the ACF lens equipped XW7000ES was physically smaller, but it delivered a noticeable increase in clarity and sharpness edge to edge. While I didn’t have the opportunity to compare the XW7000ES with an ARC-F lens-equipped model like the VW1025ES, I suspect the optical quality is similar. The XW7000ES not only offers a higher quality ACF lens but better video processing, and 1200 lumens more brightness than the VW915ES.

The XW7000ES new 0.61-inch native 4K UHD (3840x2160) SXRD panels delivered a sharp picture. Due to its X1 Ultimate video processor, the XW7000ES did an excellent job upscaling HD content. In addition, the projector-optimized X1 Ultimate processor combines signal HDR analysis and precise modulation of its 3200-lumen laser source to produce a stunning HDR picture.

  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector wide range optices
  • Sony's ACF Lens x-ray view
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector with new 0.61" SXRD 4K panels

The XW7000ES utilizes several of Sony's newest technologies

While some projectors struggle with a lack of brightness and produce dull HDR video, Sony’s new Dynamic HDR Enhancer works to eliminate this problem. Powered by the X1 Processor, this feature measures the average and peak brightness of HDR10 content frame by frame for precise dynamic tone mapping to maximize the projector’s HDR picture quality.

So, whether viewing HD, 4K or HDR content, the picture quality delivered by the Sony XW7000ES was outstanding right out of the box.

The XW7000ES produced close to its rated brightness of 3200 ANSI lumens even in its most accurate picture modes. Many projectors deliver significantly less than their rated brightness when placed in their most accurate picture mode and it is not uncommon to see the brightness cut in half.

When it comes to native contrast and black levels, very few home theater projectors except for JVC DILA projectors can match/beat the XW7000ES. I have not come across a single-chip DLP home theater projector that can even come close.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector in use in a home theater

Lastly, the XW7000ES, like most Sony SXRD projectors, includes several “installer-friendly” features including a motorized lens with tons of zoom and lens shift, including position memories. Picture position memories are great for customers with masking screens or anyone who want to maximize the image size of 16:9 and widescreen on a 2.35:1 screen.

In addition, the XW7000ES has a large amount of zoom and horizontal/vertical lens shift capability, which makes installation a breeze, especially when trying to replace an older, previously mounted unit.

When compared to the award-winning VW1025ES ($40,000 SRP), the new XW7000ES ($27,999 SRP) costs about $12,000 less but offers 1000 lumens more brightness, a better video processor, and similar optical quality.

Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector dimensions

The XW7000ES is incredibly lightweight and compact for a 3-chip 4K SXRD last projector capable of delivering 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness

The only projector in its price range that rivals the XW7000ES is the JVC NZ9 /RS4100 which also retails for $26,000. I would consider both models the best in their class. The JVC offers more features including 8K e-shiftX, HDR10+ compatibility, and 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs for 8K@60fps and 4K@120fps playback.

While features like 8K@60fps and 4K@120fps look good on paper, if you are a movie enthusiast, it offers very little benefit. Movie buffs still love the cinematic look of 24 frames per second content so 120fps is basically utilized in test footage and gaming.

While the JVC NZ9 supports gaming at 4K@120fps, it has higher input lag than the XW7000ES at 4K/@60fps and 1080P@120fps, so I would argue that the gaming experience would be better on the XW7000ES.

The NZ9 supports 8K@60fps but there is very little content available. Until 8K projectors are adopted in professional cinemas, there is little motivation for the big studios to produce content in 8K. Moving to 8K production would dramatically increase production costs while providing studios with very little return. In the future, we might see live broadcast events shot in high frame 4K or 8K, but it will a long, long time before they become the industry standard.

When compared to the JVC NZ9, the XW7000ES is slightly brighter but much lighter, and far more compact. When viewing SDR and HDR content, both projectors delivered an outstanding image. Which unit looks best really comes down to personal preference.

The JVC NZ9 did a better job preserving highlight detail but the image looks slightly flat compared to the XW7000ES. Basically, the XW7000ES looked more like the Sony BVM-X300 mastering display that I used to have on my desk. Regardless, any projector enthusiasts would be happy with either XW7000ES or the JVC NZ9 since we consider both of them the best in their class.

Sony-XW7000ES-Hero-Award - Projector Reviews - Image

The Sony XW7000ES is one of the best home theater projectors available for under $40,000

With a retail price of $27,999, the XW7000ES does command a premium price over most 4K home theater projectors, its outstanding SDR and HDR picture quality and feature set make it worth every penny. The XW7000ES would be a great addition to any premium home cinema and it is highly recommended.



  • An outstanding ACF lens delivers excellent edge to edge clarity
  • Superb black levels
  • Great “out of the box” picture
  • Native 4K UHD resolution (3840x2160)
  • 3200 ANSI Lumen Z-Phosphor Laser Light Source
  • 20,000 Hour Light Source Life
  • Excellent video processing (X1 Ultimate)
  • Frame by Frame Tone Mapping to optimize HDR10 viewing
  • Dual 4K HDCP 2.2 (18Gbps) HDMI inputs
  • Excellent 4K upscaling
  • Excellent placement flexibility with motorized lens features, including:
    • 2.14:1 zoom lens
    • Lots of vertical/horizontal lens shift
  • Ultra-Low input lag
    • 21ms on 4K@60fps
    • 13ms on 1080p@120fps
  • Lighter and more compact than competitive 3 chip native 4K models
  • 3-year parts/labor warranty



  • Premium Price puts it out of the reach of many customers
  • Lacks 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs for 4K@120fps playback


Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector from the front


Sony VPL-XW7000ES Specs

Projector ModelVPL-XW7000ES
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3200
Brightness DescriptionLaser
Contrast Ratio∞:1
Native Resolution3840x2160
Max Resolution4096x2160
Blue RayYes
Ultra Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio3100
Video Compatiblity720p, 1080i, 1080p, UHD, 4K
HDTV720p, 1080i, 1080p
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Noise Level (-db) 
Power Zoom FocusYes
Lens ShiftYes
LAN NetworkingNo
Zoom Lens Ratio2.14:1
Optional LensNo
Special FeaturesHDR10/HLG compatibility, Dynamic Tone Mapping, Auto Calibration Mode
Wireless NetworkingNo
Dimensions18" W x 6.25" H x 20.3" D
Weight31 lbs
Warranty3 year

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