Sony VPL-XW5000ES Review

For the serious home theater buff, Sony’s VPL line of projectors offer the professional performance you’re looking for. These projectors use advanced technology like SXRD panels and sophisticated laser light sources to produce an image as close to cinema quality as you’re likely to find on the home theater market. Of course, the flip side of this is that they’re an investment. The top models in the line cost tens of thousands of dollars. Like the VW325ES, the VPL-XW5000ES represents the entry-level range of this line, with a price around $5,000 that’s affordable in comparison (if not cheap by most buyer’s standards). In this Sony VPL-XW5000ES review, you can check out the full features of this projector to see if it’s worth the investment for your home (>>> Check on Amazon).

Sony VPL-XW5000ES Review of Main Specs:

Sony VPL-XW5000ES
Resolution 3840x2160
Brightness (Lumens) 2,000 ANSI
Input lag 21ms
Throw Distance 6.5' - 20.1'
Screen size 40" - 201"
Speakers No
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Installation and Space Flexibility

The Sony VPL-XW5000ES is built with dedicated home theater spaces in mind, and this is reflected in its design. Its lamp puts out a consistent 2,000 lumens. This is powerful enough to keep the picture sharp and colorful in a dim space, and you can leave a few lights on while you watch without impacting the image quality. That said, it isn’t the best choice for well-lit spaces, especially rooms with lots of windows and natural light.

The same goes for the throw distance of the VPL-XW5000ES. It needs at least 10 feet to produce a 100-inch image, so you’ll need a fairly large space to use it to its full potential. There also aren’t any speakers built in to this projector. Again, this isn’t a concern in many home theater spaces since they’ll often use surround sound systems and receivers, but it does mean you’ll need in a sound source if you don’t have one already.

On the plus side, as long as you have a suitable space for it, the Sony VPL-XW5000ES offers a lot of installation flexibility. It has a relatively wide 1.6x zoom along with a 2D lens shift (+/-25% horizontal, +/-71% vertical), giving users the features they need to quickly achieve a perfect alignment.

Picture Quality

Watching Babylon movie on Sony VPL-XW5000ES
Colors on the Sony VPL-XW5000ES during Babylon (Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures)

The Sony VPL-XW5000ES uses an SXRD panel to produce a native true 4K resolution. This is paired with an infinite dynamic contrast for truly rich black levels, excellent picture depth and texture, and sharp details across the image or types of content. It’s also compatible with image technology like HLG and HDR10, ensuring all shows and movies play at their best. Check comparison vs. JVC NZ7

You’ll be just as floored by the color from this projector as you are by its resolution and contrast. Its combination of Wide Dynamic Range Optics and a wide color gamut produce accurate and nuanced colors. Its color gamut covers about 95% of the professional DCI-P3 spectrum, exceeding the Rec.709 spectrum that’s the broadcast standard. Its Triluminos Pro algorithm uses data about the hue, saturation, and brightness to enhance the realism of colors. Extra features like the Object-Based HDR Remaster and Dynamic HDR Enhancer further optimize the color, depth, and texture, with dual-database processing to improve the picture quality in real time.

Sony VPL-XW5000ES studio photo
Sony VPL-XW5000ES front


  • Sharp, native 4K resolution
  • Vibrant, accurate colors
  • Flexible installation
  • Responsive enough for serious gamers
  • Compatible with most home automation systems


  • Long throw distance
  • No built-in voice control or streaming

Gaming Performance

The Sony VPL-XW5000ES is a very responsive projector. It has a reasonable 21ms input lag in 4K, paired with a 60Hz refresh rate. For 2K resolutions and lower, it has a 120Hz refresh rate with a 13ms input lag. Combined with its Motionflow technology, this ensures a smooth and lightning-fast response for all content, and makes it a suitable option for even competitive gamers.


Sony VPL-XW5000ES connectivity options
Sony VPL-XW5000ES connections

The rear panel of the Sony VPL-XW5000ES has the connectivity most home theater owners need. This includes dual HDMI ports and a USB input, as well as multiple options for network control. It also supports a range of home automation systems, including Control4, Crestron, Savant, and many others.

Now, while it’s easy to connect the VPL-XW5000ES into full-home automation systems, it’s not as easy to link into voice control service based smart homes. It has no built-in wireless connectivity or streaming capability, so you’ll need to connect it to a voice control enabled receiver, dongle, or other device to add this option.

Sony VPL-XW5000ES Review In Summary

The level of visual technology used in the Sony VPL-XW5000ES doesn’t come cheap. While we’d hardly call this projector “budget friendly”, it’s arguably the most affordable way to bring this level of image quality to your home theater setup, and has the content versatility, connectivity, and installation flexibility most need in a high-end home theater space.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you’re looking for from your projector. If you need a short throw, bright lamp, or voice control, you’ll be better off looking elsewhere. To replicate a movie theater experience at home, though, the Sony VPL-XW5000ES is a great option (>>> Find on Bhphotovideo).

Sony VPL-XW5000ES versus other projectors: