The high weight and the comparatively lush thickness are no coincidence, the new Sony Bravia XR-65X95K has one of the most powerful screens ever. The very bright and high-contrast image also asserts itself in bright surroundings, and the very natural color representation is first class. The good anti-reflective coating also contributes to the high suitability for daylight. The sound quality is above average, and there are numerous and good setting options for committed users. The equipment leaves hardly anything missing, thanks to the Android operating system, the television offers a huge streaming selection. The free video library with five bonus films in the best streaming quality comes on top of that.
Pros & Cons
Very brilliant picture
Good anti-reflective coating
Lots of streaming options
All important connection
Operation partly confusing
At a whopping 33 kilograms, the new Sony Bravia XR-65X95K weighs more than most other televisions of the same size. At 6.1 centimeters, the Sony is also comparatively thick. Both are no coincidence, there is a lot of technology for particularly brilliant picture quality and for the most adequate sound possible. Sony also offers gamers a thick package with the X95K. The remote control, on the other hand, is particularly handy and cannot be lost thanks to a clever extra. You can find out all the details about the new Sony television in the detailed test.
Sony X95K: The alternative to OLED TVs
With the new Bravia XR-X95K, Sony remains true to its strategy of not committing itself to any screen technology even with its top televisions. Since there are both OLED TVs like the A80K model as well as LCD televisions like the X95K in the test. The strengths of good LCD TVs include comparatively low prices for screen sizes from 65 inches upwards, while the prices of OLEDs quickly increase immeasurably as the picture size increases. Sony offers the X95K in three sizes: The tested model with a picture size of 65 inches or 164 centimeters is called Bravia XR-65X95K. There are also two larger variants to choose from: the XR-75X95K with 75 inches (190 centimeters) and the XR-85X95K with 85 inches (215 centimeters). The K identifies all Sony televisions in 2022, the model year 2021 had a J in the model designations. The technical data is the same for all three variants of the X95K, such as the UHD resolution with 3840×2160 pixels and one doubled to 100 to 120 Hertz refresh rate . As a result, the high image sharpness is retained even in fast movements.
The first Sony television with mini-LED technology
One of the typical disadvantages of LCD technology is a lower image contrast compared to OLED – black image areas show a trace of residual light because the so-called backlight behind the actual LCD panel is permanently lit. This panel transillumination, or backlighting, is necessary because LCDs are not inherently luminous. But even minimally brightened image areas that should actually be deep black take away the depth effect and naturalness of the television picture. In the Sony X95K, the backlight is therefore divided into 432 zones, the brightness of which the television regulates to suit the respective image areas. They shine with full power behind bright areas, while the television dims them down behind dark areas (“Local Dimming” or “Full Array LED”).Talking about mini-LED technology . The largest possible number of dimming zones is of course no guarantee for perfect picture quality. In the case of bright image objects in front of a black background, they can be annoying as bright blocks or even flicker in an irritating way if, for example, the camera moves in front of a starry sky. Such effects were very small in the test with the Sony X95K. In such critical cases, the television prefers to accept minimally brightened black and thus lower contrast in order to avoid more noticeable halos. They only become more apparent when you look at them from the side. At almost 14,000:1, the picture contrast was still high in the test; simple LCD televisions don’t even manage a third.
Sony X95K in the test: The picture quality is so good
One of the strengths of the LCD technology is a higher maximum brightness. In current films and series with HDR technology (larger range of colors and contrasts), sun, headlights or explosions reach up to 1,000 candelas per square meter, sometimes even more. Only very few televisions can reproduce this, instead they cap the brightness peaks. The Sony X95K, on the other hand, achieved 1,405 candelas per square meter in the test. So the picture looks very brilliant and lively even in daylight. The good anti-reflective coating of the Sony screen is also noticeable here. Direct light sources are only recognizable as small dots with laterally scattered lines, not as large, bright spots as usual. Also important for uncomplicated use in everyday life: The viewing angle stability, which is good for LCD conditions. Colors look natural and unadulterated even when viewed from the side, only the contrast decreases. In addition, in the test of the Sony X95K, there was a very precise reproduction of the brightness levels down to the darkest areas with error-free gradients without jumps or levels (banding). You can expect natural and unadulterated colors from a top television anyway, and the Sony even showed 95 percent of the larger HDR color gamut in the test.
The best picture settings for the Sony X95K
The extensive setting options are typical of Sony televisions. The image quality is already good ex works in the standard setting, but can be optimized very well in the menu. Nobody should be put off by the large number of menu entries and options, most of which can be left in the factory settings. The most important are:
Image mode: There are more natural colors and more even brightness gradations in the User image mode . With a press of the cog wheel button on the remote control, it is easily accessible in the practical quick menu, and suitable modes for gaming and photos can be called up just as easily. If an HDR film is running, the Sony automatically switches to HDR users . For movies with Dolby Vision, the Dolby Vision Darkmode is perfect. The Sony offers a special picture mode for Netflix, which, like the user mode, simply ensures standard-compliant and unmanipulated picture reproduction and is therefore superfluous. More image enhancement options can be found in the Quick Menu under All Settings .
Ambient light sensor: The light sensor is activated ex works in the “User” image mode. It adapts the image to the ambient light in three ways: On the one hand, it regulates the luminance level , i.e. the overall brightness of the image. On the other hand, he can adjust the tone curve and thus the course of the brightness levels. And thirdly, he varies the automatic white balance to match the color temperature of the room light. The entire control is designed in a sensible and practical way, so that the television always looks brilliant but not overly dazzling. The light sensor also reduces power consumption.
Clarity: This menu item combines measures for noise reduction and image cleaning. The practice-oriented automatic setting is recommended for reducing random noise and reducing digital noise . Even gradation smoothes out disturbing levels in brightness gradients (banding).
Motion: In this submenu you can set whether and to what extent the television should smooth out jerky movements. In the automatic setting of Motionflow , they run smoothly and without interference in TV shows, while movies retain the jerking that is typical of cinema. With the user setting and smoothness at level 2, movements look almost fluid. The Clarity option makes contours look sharper during fast movements, but costs maximum brightness and flickers slightly.
Perfect equipment for gamers
In game mode, Motionflow is turned off to minimize video lag (latency). In the test, it was an uncritical 18 milliseconds. With playback at 120 Hertz, the latency is halved to 9 milliseconds, the two HDMI connections 3 and 4 are suitable for this. They also process variable frame rates (VRR) according to HDMI 2.1 – interesting for owners of the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X game consoles . Important: VRR is deactivated in the menu ex works, the corresponding option can be found in the input settings under HDMI signal format. In conjunction with the PS5, the Sony also automatically balances HDR playback. This is to ensure that neither bright areas of the image are overexposed nor dark areas are drowned out.
The good sound should not be neglected with the Sony X95K either. The case, which is comparatively thick at a good 7 centimeters, creates good conditions for this. In addition, the two main loudspeakers are allowed to work directly towards the audience. This is only noticeable at second glance because the narrow opening for the speakers is set back a little. There are also two bass speakers on the back and two speakers on the upper edges of the screen. They ensure a more spacious sound image at screen height. To ensure that this sounds good in a wide variety of living rooms with different furnishings, there is an entry Auto acoustic calibration in the settings menu. After starting, the television plays a series of test tones and uses the microphone in the remote control to capture the sound at the audience seat. Based on this data, the Sony adjusts the sound settings. This worked very well in the test and eliminated the initially somewhat annoying harshness in the sound without impairing the good speech intelligibility. The Sony X95K can even be integrated into a home cinema system and takes on the role of the center speaker, for which there is often no space under large televisions.
Exemplary with the connections
Sony is already generous with the connections, they are also labeled with high contrast and are arranged in an easily accessible manner. In addition to the four HDMI inputs mentioned there is an analog AV input for old game consoles, for example – a rarity with current top televisions. The headphone output of the X95K is not a matter of course either, alternatively the sound can be tapped via Bluetooth. There are also two USB ports. One of them can be used for TV recordings on standard USB hard drives – as is always the case with Sony, without a time-shift function for temporarily pausing a current program. The other two play photos, videos and music in common formats or supply peripheral devices with power. After the wiring, the connections can be covered with panels so that the TV also looks tidy from behind. There are three options for installing the feet: installing them on the inside allows them to be placed on smaller pieces of furniture, on the 65-inch model, the feet are only 51 centimeters apart. Alternatively, it can be mounted on the outside, for which the space must be at least 1.45 meters wide. There are also two heights to choose from. At 8 centimetres, the higher one leaves plenty of room for a soundbar.
Plenty of apps & Bravia Core with bonus movies
In most cases, a large part of the connections should remain unused because the Sony X95K already offers a huge entertainment package with on-board resources thanks to the Android operating system. The Google TV user interface highlights recommendations from TV channels and streaming providers, and apps are available or preinstalled for all major streaming providers. Also sports and music offers as well as the Sky ticket successor WOW are available, as is the practical Chromecast function to play a video selected on the smartphone on the television. In addition, there is the Sony video store Bravia Core with new and old blockbusters. Five selectable titles can be played within a year in particularly high streaming quality, plus a number of free films. The selection doesn’t replace Netflix or a well-stocked Blu-ray shelf, but it’s a nice bonus. Apple users are happy about AirPlay and HomeKit to broadcast smartphone content to the big screen and turn the TV on and off via Siri.
Two remote controls for every taste
In view of the countless functions and extras, one thing is clear: you have to get used to the operation. However, thanks to short explanations in the menus and quick response to inputs, it works well. Sony supplies two remote controls with the X95K: One of them looks like it was left over from televisions from past decades – with countless tightly packed buttons on an angular plastic housing. The second remote control looks much more modern and valuable. It dispenses with the 10-key keyboard, the colored buttons for teletext and buttons for functions that are used less frequently. Instead, they can be called up via the menu, and numbers can be entered using the on-screen keyboard. The new remote control is much clearer, you don’t have to search for the desired button for a long time. The key label lights up
The Google Assistant is looking for the remote control
Of course, with an Android television: The Google Assistant can help with operation if desired. In particular, the search for specific films and series can make voice control easier. A microphone for this is in the slim remote control, it only pricks up its ears while the Google button is pressed. Hands-free operation is also possible, with microphones built into the television itself. They are switched off at the factory, but can be activated with a switch on the back of the TV. Then the TV listens to the call “Ok Google”. If the remote control has disappeared, “Ok Google, where is the remote control?” will help. After a short moment, the switching unit draws attention to itself with loud beeps.
The high weight and the comparatively lush thickness are no coincidence, the new Sony Bravia XR-65X95K has one of the most powerful screens ever. The very bright and high-contrast image also asserts itself in bright surroundings, and the very natural color representation is first class. The good anti-reflective coating also contributes to the high suitability for daylight. The sound quality is also above average, and there are numerous and good setting options for committed users. The equipment leaves hardly anything missing, thanks to the Android operating system, the television offers a huge streaming selection. The free video library with five bonus films in the best streaming quality comes on top of that.
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