Although the Sony A95K OLED TV is powerful, it has excellent colors and contrast. However, its quantum dots layer keeps it from becoming as dark as OLEDs should.

Sony Bravia XR 65-Inch Class A95K OLED TV Review

The pros

  • A wide range of colors
  • Google Assistant and Google Cast interface for Google TV.
  • Apple AirPlay 2 Support
  • A crisp, actuator-based sound system that uses speaker wire inputs

Cons

  • Some OLED TVs have better colors than others.
  • The perfect black levels OLEDs need to provide are compromised by the Quantum Dot Layer
  • Gaming is not supported by AMD FreeSync and Nvidia GSync.

Related Reading: Samsung 65-Inch Class S95B OLED TV Review

Sony Bravia XR 65-Inch Class A95K OLED TV Specs

Name Value
Panel Type OLED
Screen Size 65 inches
Resolution 3,840 by 2,160
Video Inputs Composite, HDMI, RF, USB
HDR Dolby Vision, HDR-10
HDMI Ports 4
Streaming Services Yes
Screen Brightness 600.34 nits
Black Level 0 cd/m^2
Contrast Ratio N/A
Refresh Rate 120 Hz
VRR Yes
Input Lag (Game Mode) 9.8 ms
AMD FreeSync None
Nvidia G-Sync None

Samsung's S95B OLED TV model has made the market more competitive. But that hasn’t stopped Sony. The Sony Bravia XR X95K, its latest OLED TV ($3,999.99 in the 65 inch version), features a quantum dot coating that allows for an incredible color range, a Google TV interface with Apple AirPlay 2, Google Cast and hands-free Google Assistant, as well as behind-the-panel actuators which produce crisp, powerful sound.

Although it has the same problem with ambient light sensitivities as the S95B and does not have the model's accuracy and precision in color, the interface of the A95K is more robust and less frustrating than Samsung’s smart TV platform. For less than the LG C2, the LG C2 offers a stunning contrast and almost perfect color. It costs $2,499.99 (for the 65-inch C2) which makes it our Editors Choice winner.

Related Reading: SunBriteTV 55-Inch Veranda Series 3 (SB-V3-55-4KHDR-BL) Review

Some visual floaturishes

It is almost invisible from the front of the A95K table stand. This is quite a departure from the flat, long legs at the corners on the Sony A90J. The stand, which is nearly a foot deep, has a flat panel and weight that curves behind it, provides stability. The TV tilts slightly back due to this design, however it is not as noticeable as that on the easel-like Sony A1E OLED television from 2017. If you wish to mount the TV on a wall, it can also accept standard VESA mountings.

Only slightly thicker than other quarter-inch OLED TVs, like the Samsung S95B and LG C2, the A95K's panel. The screen is a quarter inch deep, including the black plastic covering that runs across the upper back. The plastic casing thickens to about 1.7 inches in the TV's lower third, where the electronics and other ports are housed. This design is present in all OLED TVs that we have tested. Although the OLED screen may be a little thicker than usual due to the thick black plastic, it is still comparable to the Samsung and LG models.

These relatively minor visual distinctions mean nothing compared with the most distinguishing aspect of the A95K: the onboard Bravia Cam. A short black rectangle juts above the top of the screen and shows off a camera lens and two microphone pinholes. This camera enables video chat on the A95K, along with picture optimization based on the lighting and sound conditions of the room. We generally recommend turning this kind of feature off, but it's available if you want it and appears to be more advanced than the one that accompanies the typical ambient light sensor on other TVs. The lens features a mechanical shutter and you can also fully unplug and remove the unit from the TV for privacy (or just to make the top of the TV look tidy).

All ports face left or down on the left side of the TV's rear panel. The left-facing ports include an HDMI port, USB port, 3.5mm composite video input, 3.5mm remote sensor input, and a set of spring terminals to accept center channel audio from an A/V receiver. The spring terminals are notable if you want to incorporate the A95K into a home theater with existing stereo or surround speakers that get power from a receiver or amp. The connection is rare but the panel-vibrating actuators Sony uses in its OLED TVs are capable of the very crisp, clean sound necessary for the often dialog-focused center channel.

The mic mute switch is also located on the left. All the other inputs are found below the section, including three additional HDMI ports (one eARC), a USB port and another Ethernet port.

The remote is a simple, elegant, and rectangular wand with rounded corners and a gray metal plate on the top that lends it a premium tactile feel. A large circular direction pad sits near the top, with a pinhole microphone as well as power, menu, and input buttons above it. Home and Back buttons reside below the pad along with volume and channel rockers, a mute button, and a Google Assistant button. Playback controls and dedicated buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, and Sony's Bravia Core service are further down the remote.

Related Reading: Samsung 65-Inch Class QN90B Neo QLED TV Review

Apple AirPlay and Google TV

The A95K, like other Sony TVs uses Google TV Smart TV Platform. Google TV, a fully-featured platform that offers access to the most popular video streaming services as well as a wide range of niche apps and services, is available. Google Cast is available to mirror your Android tablet or phone (or Chrome browser tab) onto the TV. Sony has also included Apple AirPlay 2 Support. This is a rare feature on a Google TV. It allows you to share any content on your smartphone, regardless of its operating system.

Google TV also enables Google Assistant, which is generally quite forgiving when it comes to syntax. It can search for content, provide general information like weather forecasts and sports scores, and control both your TV and any compatible smart home devices. The TV's far-field microphone enables hands-free voice commands, though you can also turn off the microphone via the settings or the mechanical switch and access Google Assistant by speaking into the remote, instead.

QD-Compromised Contrast

The Sony A95K 4K OLED TV has a 120Hz refresh speed. The TV supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision content as well as hybrid loggamma (HLG) content. There is an ATSC 3.0 tuner that supports 1080p as well as 4K TV over-the air, if those options are also available.

Tests of TVs were done with the Klein K-80 colorimeter (Opens in new window), Murideo SIX-G signal generation (Opens in new window), as well as Portrait Displays' Calman software (Opens in new window). The A95K OLED TV can achieve perfect black levels but not very bright. It can achieve peak brightness levels of 179.219cd/m2 when using an SDR signal and 342.978cd/m2 when it has an 18% whitefield.

When we switched to an HDR signal, that brightness increases considerably to 229.553cd/m^2 with a full-screen white field, 600.341cd/m^2 with an 18% white field, and a quite-bright-for-an-OLED 758.337cd/m^2 with a 10% white field. However, it doesn't appear to be able to keep the brightness levels at smaller white fields for very long. After about one minute, they settled down to 412.563cd/m2 & 525.752cd/m2, respectively.

Samsung's S95B OLED television surprised us with its unexpected quantum dot layer. This made black levels appear lighter subjectively than normal. Quantum dots are also used by the A95K to increase its color range. However, the light reactivity wasn't as obvious to me (we couldn't compare them side-by-side).

The bottom line is that the A95K and C2 seem to be able to detect light from nearby, so they look slightly darker than fully dark. The A95K isn't as black and has a 'infinite contrast' like non-QD LEDs such as the LG C2, but it looks dark when compared to most LCD TVs.

Sony A95K color ranges

The A95K's colors aren't nearly as impressive as the C2's or the S95B's, though they are wider. The above chart shows the TV's color levels in Cinema mode, with an SDR signal compared against the Rec.709 broadcast standard color space, and with an HDR signal compared against the DCI-P3 digital cinema color space. The Live Color feature boosts saturation significantly for SDR pictures, though this didn't affect HDR pictures too much in our tests. For accuracy, we turned it off in both cases.

SDR colors can be fairly accurate, with very little drift. However they are slightly oversaturated. Whites tend to run slightly cooler. HDR colors have a wider range and are more accurate than the DCI-3 color space. However, cyans can be a bit greener and yellows a little darker. The A95K is more accurate than either the Samsung S95B or LG C2 in terms of their color ranges, but not nearly as much as the latter.

Enjoy a Bright and Vivid Experience in Viewing

The A95K looks amazing with BBC's Planet Earth II. Despite the fact that the TV can push beyond ideal saturation levels, regardless of whether the Live Color settings are set with HDR, water and plants look vibrant and real, and not garish, cartoonish. Whether they are in direct sunlight or shade, the fine textures of fur and bark look sharp and clear. This kind of content makes the TV look like a large, clear window to nature.

In the cold, cloudy opening scene of Deadpool Deadpool's red suit looks saturated. In the later scenes of the lab battle, the flames are brighter and display more variation than just a few yellow blobs. The shadow details are very clear in these shots. They look dark, and don't appear washed out, blown-out or muddy.

The Great Gatsby shows black suits and dark hair with lots of details. Textures and contours are clear in all shots, and the colors look sufficiently dark. Although jackets may appear slightly blurred depending on how the frames are placed, you can see the lapel cuts if one looks closely. Natural skin tones are natural. White objects such as lights or balloons, like white candles, look balanced and bright with lots of highlights.

It is responsive for gaming, but not graphics card synchronization

With a 120Hz refresh rate and an auto-low-latency mode (ALLM), the A95K delivers solid performance and gaming features. It does not support Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync.

The HDFury Diva HDMI matrix was used to test input lag. (Opens in a new Window) The A95K had a latency time of 9.8 milliseconds when it was in Game mode. This is just below the threshold of 10ms that we consider a good TV for gaming. This mode must be turned on before you start playing. In Cinema mode the input lag spikes to unacceptable levels of 143.3ms.

An OLED that's Unique and Ideal for Home Theaters

The Sony A95K OLED TV is striking and vivid. It also supports Apple AirPlay 2 and Google TV. Although it offers a greater color palette than other models in the lineup, they are less accurate than those on the Samsung S95B or LG C2. Due to the quantum dots layer, this TV has similar issues with ambient lighting as the S95B.

This Editors' Choice winner LG C2 is far more affordable than the S95B or A95K ($2,999.99 for the 65 inch model). If you are looking to connect your TV with an A/V receiver powered surround system, the A95K is a great choice. However, we prefer the LG C2 due to its better picture quality and lower price.

Sony Bravia XR 65-Inch Class A95K OLED TV
Sony Bravia XR 65-Inch Class A95K OLED TV Image
The pros
  • A wide range of colors
  • Google Assistant and Google Cast interface for Google TV.
  • Apple AirPlay 2 support
  • A crisp, actuator-based sound system that uses speaker wire inputs
Cons
  • Some OLED TVs have better colors than others.
  • The perfect black levels OLEDs need to provide are compromised by the Quantum Dot Layer
  • Gaming is not supported by AMD FreeSync and Nvidia GSync.
Let's get to the bottom

Although the Sony A95K OLED TV is powerful, it has excellent colors and contrast. However, its quantum dots layer keeps it from becoming as dark as OLEDs should.