The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV is the perfect companion for your new-gen console
- Manufacturer: Philips
- Model: Momentum 559M1RYV/00
- Type: 55” 4k UHD, VA, 144Hz, HDR1000 Console Gaming Monitor
- Price when reviewed: £1,299
- Supplied by: Philips
Philips Momentum 559M1RYV Review
It’s been just over a year since we reviewed the Philips Momentum 558M1RY, and I still rate it as one of the best big-screen displays for console gaming. There was only one thing it was missing – HDMI 2.1 for the new-gen Xbox Series X.
At the time, the Series X hadn’t yet been released, but based on what we knew, it was going to need an impressive display. With its incredible picture quality and ability to run the Xbox at both 4k/60Hz and 1440p/120Hz, the 558M1RY still holds up as a fantastic monitor for the new consoles. Now that the dust has settled on the Series X launch, though, we’re actually seeing more games capable of running at 4k/120Hz, and let’s face it, if you have that kind of power, you want to be able to use it.
The old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, rings especially true here. Philips has kept everything that made the old monitor so good and updated it to support the best features of the new consoles. The subtle but stylish high-end TV aesthetic (very similar to their well-received OLED TVs) is once again very welcome, the superb Bowers & Wilkins soundbar returns, and the panel is stunningly bright, with DisplayHDR1000 certification.
Where the 559M1RYV has been improved, however, is that it now has not just one, but three HDMI 2.1 inputs, along with DisplayPort 1.4 and USB-C (supporting DisplayPort alt-mode and KVM). This enables the monitor to run the Xbox Series X in all of its 4k/120Hz glory, as well as supporting low input lag and variable refresh rate. Additionally, as this is a ‘Designed for Xbox display’, it also comes with some bespoke Xbox presets for both SDR and HDR colour space and image processing.
Choosing the best combination of settings took a lot of experimentation and testing, but in the end, the simplest solution turned out to be the best. I’ll go into this in more detail later, but there are many image presets available that should cater to everyone’s preferences: from those who want an accurate sRGB image right up to those who prefer a super-saturated, larger than life, retina-searing HDR experience.
Unboxing, accessories and assembly
The 559M1RYV comes pre-assembled and immaculately presented inside a humongous and well-packaged box. It’s quite a heavy monitor, weighing in at 23 kg (50 lbs), but not beyond what a fairly strong person can lift. You will probably need a hand moving it into place, though, as there aren’t many handholds suitable for a single person to lift.
I’d recommend plugging in any cables or peripherals you will need before putting the monitor into place, as the down-firing ports are tricky to access once the monitor is in situ.
Included with the monitor are a high-speed HDMI cable, DisplayPort cable, USB-C to C cable and the power cable, as well as the incredibly handy remote.
Although the monitor supports USB up and downstream connections, there is no USB-B cable included for connection to your PC. These can be picked up cheaply anyway, but the 559M1RYV does allow KVM (Keyboard, video, mouse) connections via USB-C, which is very convenient if you have a USB-C Thunderbolt port on your PC or laptop.
Design and build
The Momentum 559M1RYV looks more like a high-end TV than a typical gaming monitor, with its metallic T-shaped stand, fabric coated integrated soundbar and narrow bezels. It’s thicker than a lot of TVs and monitors nowadays, but the stand is remarkably sturdy and doesn’t project out much further than a typical mid-size monitor, which is impressive considering the size of this display.
Ergonomic adjustment of the stand is limited to tilting the display forwards and backwards, but that’s not unusual for a display of this size. For those who prefer their displays to be wall-mounted, the Momentum 559M1RYV is compatible with VESA 200*200 mounts and comes with the necessary mounting screws included, which is appreciated. The soundbar is attached to the display, so if you mount the display higher up and have it angled down towards you, the soundbar is still pointing in the right direction for optimal sound.
There isn’t any integrated cable management system, but when it is mounted on the stand the cables are all concealed behind the soundbar, giving a clean and tidy look to the monitor.
The included remote control is small, but it has convenient buttons for quickly adjusting brightness, volume, switching between AV inputs, and choosing between SmartImage and Sound Mode presets. Like on the older model, the remote works well, but the monitor’s UI response when using it is slower than I would like; it’s perfectly fine for general navigation of the settings, but changing the brightness can be tedious and time-consuming. There is a joystick at the rear right of the display which has much better responsiveness, but given how awkward it is to reach I’ll take a slightly slower remote any day.
Across the top and sides of the rear panels are the banks of LEDs for the AmbiGlow lighting. Maximum luminosity can be adjusted in the settings, from a faint hue to an exceptionally bright glow that extends across the wall behind your display.
You can use the AmbiGlow as standard bias lighting in the colour of your choosing, or have it react to audio or run preset patterns. By far the best use of AmbiGlow is when it is set to follow video, though. This allows each LED to react to the image on the screen, taking the predominant colours and extending them out behind the monitor. Like on the previous 55” Momentum, there is a slight delay to AmbiGlow reacting to changes on the screen, and subtle changes in colour caused occasional flickering, but it’s not too distracting.
I absolutely love AmbiGlow – so much so that after testing the 558M1RY I went and bought bias lighting strips to put behind my office monitor and TV. There’s no substitute for the real deal, though. Once you’ve seen proper AmbiGlow in action, you’ll wonder why every manufacturer hasn’t put it on their displays.
The only problem with the AmbiGlow is that when you switch from SDR to HDR when using the SmartImage Xbox HDR preset, it changes the AmbiGlow to a bright green bias light, and you’ll have to enter the settings each time to switch it to your preferred mode. It only takes a few seconds to adjust, but it’s something I wish you didn’t have to do every time.
Connectivity and Supported Resolutions
The connectivity options on the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV are outstanding: There are 3x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4 and USB-C (which supports DP Alt mode and 65W power delivery) for signal inputs, as well as a USB-B (upstream to connect to your PC), and 4 x USB 3.2 downstream ports for connecting peripherals (including two fast-charge B.C 1.2). Finally, a 3.5mm jack output is included for connecting headphones or stereo desktop speakers.
The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV supports the following optimum resolutions:
HDMI 2.1: 3840*2160 @ 120 Hz (Xbox Series X|S)
HDMI 2.1: 3840*2160 @ 144 Hz (PC)
DisplayPort 1.4: 3840*2160 @ 144 Hz
USB-C: 3840*2160 @ 120 Hz
Unfortunately, the Momentum 559M1RYV doesn’t seem to support eARC, and there is no HD audio passthrough. This may have been omitted because of the (excellent) soundbar, but for those with high-end audio systems, not having eARC or S/PDIF support could be problematic.
It’s possible to run this display in PBP mode, which lets you display two sources side by side. For consoles, it displays a pair of 27” 16:9 1080p screens across the centre of the screen, though PC inputs can be changed to 1920*2160 to maximise screen space. Unfortunately, PIP (picture in picture) mode is no longer included on the updated 559M1RYV.
I can’t overstate just how good the picture is on this monitor. The vibrancy and richness of colours make games and movies come to life. Bright neons, deeply saturated colours and highlights are hugely impressive, but I was equally impressed by how well subtle tones and pastel shades were rendered, with no visible banding across gentle gradients and no loss of detail in dark scenes.
Whether you are gaming or watching movies, it’s a mesmerising experience. I found myself rewatching and replaying games and movies just to see how good they looked on the 559M1RYV. Admittedly, I did the same thing with the previous Momentum 558M1RY, but now that Xbox has introduced FPS boost to a large number of games, there’s a tonne of content you can play at 4k/120Hz, and it’s every bit as breathtaking as you’d imagine.
The images produced by the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV look phenomenal straight out of the box, with an excellent factory calibration geared towards Xbox consoles. There are quite a lot of different presets you can choose from, but the one handily labelled “Xbox” is the best for the Series X, both in terms of picture quality as well as enabling all of the gaming features like auto low latency and VRR.
Like most gaming monitors, there are presets for FPS games, driving games, RTS and more, but they all tend to stray too far from proper colour accuracy for my taste. This is all subjective, though. It could be that you prefer the heightened black levels of the FPS mode, for example, but I find it washes out the image, giving blacks a grey tinge. Likewise for the other presets, they all seem to alter the hue or result in crushed colours in the darkest and brightest parts of an image. The Xbox preset, however, is as near as makes no difference, perfect.
I tested the Momentum 559M1RYV extensively with all of the presets, comparing each with the monitor after I had calibrated it, and the Xbox preset was visually imperceptible from the calibrated image. The Xbox setting also had the highest peak brightness, greatest contrast and deepest blacks. I’ve tested a lot of monitors that take quite a lot of tinkering to optimise, so it is hugely satisfying to have one that is so easy to get just right, and it’s ideal for console gamers who just want to plug in and play with the best picture possible.
There is a slight amount of VA glow in the bottom right and left corners, but it is very subtle considering the overall brightness. Ghosting can be quite pronounced with overdrive turned off; switching it to the fastest overdrive setting improves but never quite negates it. Similarly, VA smear is present, but the 559M1RYV handles it well and unless you are specifically looking for it, it is quickly forgotten.
Optimal settings for Xbox Series X
- Game setting: Adaptive Sync – On; Low Input Lag is activated by default in this mode
- Picture: SmartImage – Xbox; Gamma – 2.2
- Colour: Color Temperature – Native
- HDR mode: Xbox
(Other settings are available but should be left in their default position)
That’s all there is to it. Using these settings gives you access to all of the advanced features of the Series X and the best overall picture quality (in comparison with a calibrated image), though feel free to tweak them to suit your own preferences.
Brightness, contrast and colour
Peak brightness (SDR, SmartImage: Xbox) was recorded at an incredible 795.4 cd/m², which is stunningly bright. This goes alongside a black level of just 0.25 cd/m², which allows the image to not only retain the most subtle of detail in dark scenes but also helps the 559M1RYV to produce a contrast ratio of 4155.9:1.
Brightness intensity is curved rather than linear: 75% brightness equates to 359 cd/m² peak/0.20 cd/m² black, 50% drops this to 216 cd/m²/ 0.17 black, and 25% drops to 160 cd/m²/0.15 black. For viewing in a darkened room, it’s easy to fine-tune the brightness to an acceptable level, and thanks to the excellent colour saturation, the image remains bold and vivid.
The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV has a 10-bit panel, with excellent colour coverage.
- sRGB: 132%
- AdobeRGB: 90.9%
- DCI P3: 93.5%
With the colour temperature set to native, the recorded white point of the 559M1RYV was 6496K, with an average DeltaE of 0.61, which is highly accurate and remarkably close to the ideal 6500K target.
For those who work in or just prefer the sRGB colour space, you’ll also be pleased to know that Philips has enabled brightness adjustment whilst in sRGB mode.
HDR on many monitors, especially those with HDR 400 certification, rarely makes much of an impact above what the SDR picture achieves. On the 559M1RYV, however, the HDR performance is a standout feature, and it’s why I absolutely love this monitor. I’d have liked to see DolbyVision support, but HDR10 seems to be used most in Xbox games making it a good fit for this display.
With a peak HDR brightness of 1286 cd/m², it’s not hyperbole when I say this display can get blindingly bright. Whether you’re watching movies or playing games, the HDR elevates them to a breathtaking spectacle of light and colour. Now that the Xbox Series X|S supports auto-HDR in a lot of games, as well as most of the biggest games and movies having high-quality HDR now, you owe it to yourself to have a display that can do them justice.
Even though this isn’t an OLED or FALD display, Philips has done a fantastic job of minimising the amount of haloing when viewing ultra-bright objects against a dark background. In scenes with large swathes of black, the local-dimming backlight is switched off almost entirely in these parts, giving the resultant picture staggering amounts of contrast without losing detail in the shadows.
If HDR is even slightly important to you when choosing your display, the 559M1RYV should be at the top of your list.
Each of the presets operates with a slightly different range of brightness and level of colour saturation. If you are experimenting with them, you must go into the Xbox HDR calibration settings and adjust each time you change the mode. I originally set up my Xbox to use DisplayHDR 1000 mode, and subsequently thought all of the other modes were broken due to colours and highlights getting blown out. It was only when double-checking that I realised you need to recalibrate for each mode.
The DisplayHDR 1000 preset offers a more natural, cinema-like experience, with incredible peaks of brightness, but with restrained use of colour. It can make it look more subdued compared to the other modes, but for watching movies the DisplayHDR 1000 setting is sublime. I did find on some games that it lowered the mean brightness; whilst playing Psychonauts 2 I noted that although there were instances where bright highlights truly shone, outdoor areas that should have been bright were quite dull. The same was true on Forza Horizon 4, with the overall image appearing listless in comparison to running it in SDR.
Using the personal preset, you have some control over the settings but the overall picture, especially in dark scenes, was too bright. Watching Our Planet on Netflix, it crushed the pale blues of the skies so much that they were almost white, with no definition between the sky and the clouds. Of the other modes, like HDR Game and Movie, the colour saturation was way too high, giving dark skin tones an unnatural and reddish hue, and making lighter skin tones excessively pink.
The Xbox HDR mode gave the best overall balance between saturation, colour accuracy, dark detailing and impressive highlights, making it easily the best mode for gamers who prefer a rich and vibrant image. I binge-watched most of the MCU movies in 4K HDR using the Xbox HDR setting, as well as trying out every game I could think of with HDR. As ever, if you want to see HDR used to maximum effect, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a breathtaking example of how it can be used to enhance your experience. It also runs at 120Hz, making it a stunning showcase for the capabilities of the Momentum 559M1RYV. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to capture in an image, especially with my camera, so here’s a shot from Doom Eternal in HDR with Ray Tracing enabled.
Created by Bowers & Wilkins, the 2.1 channel DTS soundbar comprises two tweeters, two 10 W mid-high speakers and a 20 W woofer, for a total output of 40 W (RMS). It may not sound like a lot, but the audio they produce is remarkable and more than adequate for most living rooms. Bass is punchy and full, whilst the mid to high ranges are clean, performing well even at low volumes. I’d have liked to see some way of connecting an external sub, but the integrated woofer does such a good job that for most people it won’t even be a consideration.
Because of the width of the display, the soundbar has plenty of room to spread out the speakers, and this has resulted in an impressive soundstage, with great width and stereo separation. When so many monitors and even TVs have such poor performing integrated speakers, the Bowers & Wilkins soundbar is a very welcome addition.
As mentioned before, however, if you have a separate sound system there is no passthrough and no eARC support, so you’ll be limited to stereo audio through the 3.5mm headphone port.
Pricing and availability
The MSRP for the Momentum 559M1RYV looks to be £1299, though it can already be found for just over £1200. It’s not exactly cheap, but given the level of performance, size, sound quality and the fact it is relatively future-proofed with three HDMI 2.1 inputs, it still represents excellent value for money, and should easily last you for this generation of consoles and beyond.
It’s selling out quite fast at some online retailers, but considering it has only just been released we can expect stock levels to build up soon. As it is, a quick search found several retailers with the 559M1RYV in stock and available for a great price.
With the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV, the simple act of playing a game or watching a movie is transformed into an event; It feels special, like having your own personal IMAX theatre in your living room. You’ll want to replay games you’ve played dozens of times before, and revisit movies just to experience them on this magnificent display.
You’re also getting a future-proofed display, with all of the features you need to enjoy console gaming at its very best: 4k resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, stunning HDR, variable refresh rate support and low input lag. I can easily imagine this monitor still being desirable in seven years time when the next generation of consoles rolls around.
The average pixel response, lack of eARC or audio passthrough and slight black smearing prevents me from giving this a perfect score, but this is an exceptionally good display that perfectly complements the Xbox Series X and will make you extremely happy you chose it.
The only negative for me – I have to give it back…