XR65X95K 120Hz Google TV Smart Mini LED TV
Product Name: XBR95K
Product Description: Cognitive Processor XR | Mini LED Backlighting w/ Local Dimming | XR TRILUMINOS Pro Display | XR Motion Clarity | X-Wide Angle technology | X-Anti Reflection technology | IMAX Enhanced certification | HDMI 2.1 | ATSC 3.0 Tuner | Google TV | Acoustic Multi-Audio system | Chromecast built-in | Voice remote with a built-in microphone | Game Mode offers support for 4K@120Hz, ALLM and VRR
See full review below
Model year: 2022
Screen size reviewed: 65”
Bottom Line: Sony’s first mini LED display delivers very good performance with the exception of occasional blooming around bright objects set against a black or dark background due to its mini LED’s implementation which may be distracting to some viewers.
On the plus side, the X95K offers pristine 4K HDR picture quality with exceptional detail, clarity, and image transparency. Black levels and shadow detail are excellent. Its great peak brightness output provides for outstanding HDR images and allows for the X95K to perform well in a well-lit room.
The X95K offers advanced gaming features and low input lag making it a great TV for gaming.
With stand: (W x H x D) 56.88 x 33.38 x 13.63″
Without stand: (W x H x D) 56.88 x 32.88 x 2.38″
With stand: 72.7 lb
Without stand: 70.8 lb
Warranty: One year parts and labor
- Mini LED backlighting
- Excellent overall picture quality
- Superior video processing
- High peak brightness with SDR and HDR content
- Excellent 4K upscaling
- Good motion handling during sporting events and other fast-action content
- Good wide-angle viewing picture quality
- Advanced gaming features
- Google TV
- Low input lag – approx. 18.0 ms with 1080p @ 60Hz and 4K @ 60Hz signals| 9.4 ms with 1080p @ 120Hz and 10.0 ms 4K @ 120Hz signals
Blooming around bright objects against a black background
The X95K is Sony’s flagship 4K LED for 2022. Previous models of the XBR95 series used traditional LED backlighting. The X95K is Sony’s first mini LED model which uses smaller LEDs in greater quantity for the TV’s backlighting and allows for greater control over local dimming and produces a brighter TV image. The X95K is available in 65” ($1,999.00), 75” ($2,999.00) and 85” ($3,999.00) screen sizes.
Design & Features
The X95K is very similar in appearance to last year’s X95J and features a sleek bezeless design that allows you to focus on the screen images. The ultra-thin border accents that surround the screen are made of metal and add to the overall attractiveness of the display. The 65” X95K has a semi-gloss screen surface and is illuminated with 432 LED zones for the display’s backlighting.
The rear panel is made of plastic and features a checkerboard or tile pattern instead of the typical smooth surface found on most flat-panel TVs. Sony also provides panel covers that will hide the connection ports and cables for a clean setup.
The X95K has three stand mounting positions: “wide position” or “standard position”, a “narrow position” and a “soundbar position” that elevates the TV high enough for a soundbar to be placed in front of the display without blocking the picture. The “wide position” and “soundbar position” provide the best support for the display panel with a minimal amount of wobble.
The overall build quality of the X95K is very good and exudes premium quality which is expected for a flagship design.
- Mini LED backlight powered by XR Backlight Master Drive for precise brightness control (local dimming)
- Cognitive Processor XR uses powerful real-time processing based on a human perspective for a true-to-life picture |XR Contrast Booster 15 balances light output across the screen for improved contrast | XR 4K Upscaling intelligently re-creates lost textures and detail in lower-res content
- XR Motion Clarity blur reduction
- High Dynamic Range (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG) extends picture contrast and brightness when viewing HDR content
- X-Wide Angle technology maintains accurate color and contrast when viewing from the sides
- X-Anti Reflection technology ensures a clearer screen with reduced glare and light reflection
- XR TRILUMINOS Pro display technology for a wider, more natural color palette
- IMAX Enhanced certification for improved performance with IMAX Enhanced 4K/HDR content
- Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode mimics the settings on Netflix’s mastering monitors to ensure an accurate picture
- Acoustic Multi-Audio system uses sound-positioning tweeters at the back of the TV so the sound follows the action
- Acoustic Center Sync synchronizes TV speakers with compatible Sony sound bars for fuller, more immersive sound
- 3D Surround Upscaling uses XR signal processing to upscale even two-channel sources to simulated surround sound
- Multi-position stand has wide, narrow, and sound bar settings
- Voice remote with a built-in microphone
Smart TV features:
- Google TV interface lets you browse live TV, movies, and TV shows from across many streaming services all in one place
- The remote has built-in Google Assistant — control basic TV functions and compatible smart home gear, search TV’s streaming services, set timers, and more | use wake word to access Google Assistant hands-free
- Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 for wireless streaming from your Apple device
- Works with Amazon Alexa devices
- 4 HDMI inputs (two 2.0b, two 2.1) – all inputs are HDCP 2.3 compatible | HDMI 3 and HDMI 4 inputs support 4K/120Hz full 48 Gbps bandwidth and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) | HDMI 3 input supports enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
- 1 Composite video input (3.5mm A/V minijack – adapter required)
- 1 RF input for antenna, cable, satellite
- 1 Digital optical audio output
- 1 Ethernet input
- ATSC 3.0 tuner for over-the-air 4K broadcast
- 2 USB inputs
- 1 3.5mm stereo minijack headphone output — can also be connected to a soundbar or other audio system
- S-Center Speaker In
- Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
- Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
The X95K delivered impressive overall picture quality. There was, however, one area of performance the X95K had issues with which was blooming. I will talk more about this later.
One of the first things I noticed about the X95’s picture quality was the sheer brightness of the picture images. This was due in part to the use of mini LEDs. The brightness output of the X95K makes it an excellent choice for well-lit rooms. It also has great reflection handling so screen glare will be kept to a minimum.
*SDR peak brightness: 10% window 1,223 nits
*HDR peak brightness: 10% window 1,423 nits
The X95K produced excellent detail and clarity and was at its best with 4K HDR images. These images had great transparency and depth providing a more life-like quality.
Color rendering was great on the X95K. In the “Custom” picture mode and “Warm” or “Expert 1” temperature settings the X95K had very good color accuracy. And with real content, color reproduction was very good delivering a rich and vibrant color palette without appearing oversaturated. In addition to accuracy, the color presentation appeared very realistic in nature. Furthermore, the X95K has a great wide color gamut which allowed HDR color rendering to truly shine on this display.
With local dimming turned on, contrast and black levels were very good on the X95K. Blacks were deep and well-saturated and enhanced the image quality while watching scenes with dark content in a dark room. Additionally, black levels didn’t appear crushed which made for very good shadow detail which was very apparent while viewing dark movie scenes with low levels of ambient lighting.
The 65” X95K’s mini LED local dimming feature does a very good job of producing very deep black levels. However, there is one caveat…as great as the mini LEDs are at creating outstanding deep black levels, the negative effect on picture quality is blooming. This was very noticeable in dark scenes with bright white objects; this was also visible with subtitles in dark scenes. One cause for this anomaly is the amount of smaller LEDs clustered together in each zone which produces more brightness, thus more blooming becomes more visible.
Another possible reason for the higher amounts of blooming is that Sony’s local dimming algorithm prioritizes picture image accuracy over blooming suppression. This technique also allows for better shadow detail in dark scenes with no or minimal amounts of black crush. This assessment makes sense because Samsung’s excellent QN90B QLED TV which also uses mini LEDs has substantially lower amounts of blooming but suffers from the loss of some shadow detail and black crush being present depending on the content being viewed.
With local dimming set to “Medium or “High”, black screen uniformity was very good on this TV. The screen was a uniform even shade of black across the entire display’s surface. And during this observation, I did not detect light bleed.
The unit I used for this review had good gray screen uniformity. The corners of the screen had some slight darkening (vignetting), and there were minimal amounts of DSE (dirty screen effect) across the entire screen which was not an issue when viewing normal content.
Side angle viewing on the X95K was very good, especially for an LED TV. This performance was made possible by Sony’s X-Wide Angle technology. This technology performed as advertised and allowed for very wide viewing angles from the TV screen with minimal amounts of picture quality loss, namely color saturation and contrast. There is, however, one drawback to this technology; it causes a decrease in picture brightness. Nevertheless, its effect on perceived picture brightness was a non-issue with the X95K due to its high levels of peak brightness output.
Motion handling – The X95K did a good job preventing motion blur and judder with the sources I used for motion handling. Sporting events were produced without any motion artifacts.
The X95K’s sound quality was decent thanks partly to Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio technology. The audio output was spacious with decent imaging and stereo separation. The sound was more enveloping and is optimized to the location of the images on screen thanks to the additional speakers located on the top backside of the panel.
The TV’s frequency response had respectable high and midrange sound output but was lacking in bass extension which comes as no surprise since this is a flat panel design. Dialogue was clear and discernible, so you won’t have trouble hearing and understanding spoken words in the content you are watching.
X95K vs. X90K
Although I wasn’t able to do a direct comparison between the X90K and X95K, however, referring to my notes and going off of memory, in my opinion, the X95K does have better overall picture quality. Image quality on the X95K had more dynamic punch and image smoothness for a more refined picture image. Additionally, the X95K had more clarity, detail, and image transparency. All of the aforementioned attributes of the X95K allowed for more realistic picture quality. By comparison, the X90K image quality can appear slightly flat since it doesn’t produce the picture attribute at the same level as the X95K.
Although technically the X90K has a better contrast ratio than the X95K, the X95K did a much better job with black levels with real content in dark scenes. This was due to the use of the mini LED used in the X95K and a better local dimming feature that includes more dimming zones.
The X95K also has much better peak brightness when compared to the X90K which allows for a better HDR experience.
Sony’s entry into the mini LED TV market has proved to be a success. The X95K’s overall performance was great except for its shortcomings with blooming which was visible in dark content with bright objects or subtitles. Other than the occasional blooming the XR65X95K is a great 4K HDR TV. It has an excellent feature suite that includes the Google TV smart TV platform.
I really enjoyed my time evaluating the X95K and found it to be a worthy contender if you’re seeking a high-end premium class 4K LED HDR TV. It’s definitely worth checking out.
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You may also like this review of the Sony X90K
All image credit Sony