Sony XR-65X95K – Mini-LED backlit TV review
Sony announced two series of Mini-LED backlit TVs at CES 2022. The 4K model is designated the Sony X95K with the stunning XR Backlight Master Drive technology.
The flagship Sony Z9K (8K) and Sony X95K are the new Mini-LED backlit TV series in 2022. It turns out that Sony uses four image-processing technologies simultaneously in its new products. That’s because the regular FALD LCD TVs are joined this year by mini-LED models and the new Sony A95K QD OLED series.
But back to the X95K and let’s look at the Sony XR-65X95K model in our review, which is in Sony’s premium segment. The new product should compete with well-known TV brands on a number of features. The 2022 successor to last year’s Sony X95J series will receive two major updates.
Before looking at the new product, let’s draw parallels between the X95J and the X95K. What these series have in common are all the same LCD TVs with the XR cognitive processor and X-Wide-Angle and X-Anti-Reflection technologies. The Acoustic Multi-Audio sound system provides excellent and immersive sound. So the Sony XR-65X95K is definitely similar to last year’s series.
Design and features.
Since the X95K series only comes in larger diagonals, the design solution was borrowed from last year’s X95J series. The case is quite slim with the characteristic features of last year’s series. The legs of the stand are closer to the edges of the screen for stability models. The color design is metallic silver. The interface part is located as in the predecessor.
The main innovation is the screen, which is no longer equipped with a direct FALD backlight. The Sony X95K series uses thousands of ultra-thin mini LEDs that have hundreds of dimming zones. This provides more precise control over the distribution of brightness through the backlighting, resulting in improved contrast and peak brightness.
However, there are complications that need to be realized with a powerful computing process. Controlling thousands of mini backlight LEDs is not easy. Otherwise, the chess-like structure of such backlighting becomes visible when the pieces are displayed on the screen.
The new XR Backlight Master Drive
The Sony X95K uses Sony’s XR Backlight Master Drive technology to solve the problem of proper backlighting. It involves an algorithm that optimizes Mini-LED backlight control. Sony fans will recall the Backlight Master Drive technology in the legendary Sony ZD9 series or the first series of 8K Sony ZG9 TVs. Both product lines were ahead of the competition in their day.
In the Sony 65X95K TV, compared to the 2021 model, the manufacturer managed to increase the maximum brightness and minimize the annoying effect of backlight flicker. Thus, it turned out to provide a much better contrast ratio.
And thanks to the X-Wide-Angle technology and X-Anti-Reflection Coating it became possible to view even from steep viewing angles. Therefore, a true high-quality television with 4K resolution and Mini-LED backlighting can be called a Sony XR-65X95K model.
In addition, there are various updates in technology, some of which will be available for the entire line of Sony 2022 TVs. The Sony Bravia XR cognitive processor has been slightly upgraded to include a number of features. Depth Control highlights objects that are in focus while “muting” the background image, which is more in line with the natural visual experience of the eye.
The algorithm that corrects color contrast has also been improved. Not only does it now have the ability to optimize colors based on their brightness, but it can also adjust color saturation. As a result, we get brighter colors and more natural gradients on the screen.
Adaptively calibrated Netflix mode
New to the Sony XR X95K series is the adaptively calibrated Netflix mode. It combines the familiar Netflix calibration mode with environmental optimization. It is a brightness adjustment based on ambient light. Details in dark scenes remain clearly distinguishable even in bright sunlight. Parallel to this there is the addition of a calibrated BRAVIA CORE mode for eponymous high-quality streaming.
As for the interface part of the Sony XR-65X95K Mini LED TV, the TV has two HDMI 2.1 interfaces with a full 48Gbps, as it should be for the 2022 model. The ports support VRR (variable refresh rate), ALLM (automatic low latency mode) and eARC.
It is supposed to support 4K @ 120 Hz video with VRR and HDR, including Dolby Vision. This requires further clarification. In addition, there are two 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 connectors for 4K @ 60Hz content. According to the manufacturer, the VRR feature will be available from the launch of the Sony X95K series without any software updates.
The separately purchased BRAVIA CAM camera for the 65X95K mini-LED TV is the Full HD version. It installs easily on top of the TV. This camera is equipped with built-in microphones. Not only can you do video chats via Google Duo with the camera. The gadget comes with some interesting features.
For example, the camera recognizes where the viewer is sitting and adjusts the acoustics of the TV according to his position. It takes into account the distance and viewing angle of the TV. In addition, the room can be “measured” and an optimal sound can be created. A good feature in the camera is the “proximity alarm”.
It activates when someone gets too close to the screen of the XR-65X95K. The camera also detects when a viewer is leaving the room and dims the TV at that moment to save power. And last of the interesting features of the Bravia Cam is the integration of TV gesture control.
For the “highly encrypted” there is an option to close the camera with a special curtain, and to disable the microphone with a mechanical knob. On the left side of the TV is a mechanical button to turn off the Bravia X95K’s built-in near-field microphones.
Acoustic Multi Audio
Briefly about the sound equipment of the Sony Mini LED X95K TV with Backlight Master Drive. Just like last year’s series, there is also Acoustic Multi Audio technology in the new Sony X95K. But there is some “acoustic upgrade” that sets the Sony XR-65X95K TV apart from last year’s models.
Sony’s new X95K series features a more refined dual woofers, optimized tweeters on the sides of the screen, and two frontal midrange speakers. As a result, the entire sound spectrum from high tones to bass is improved. The sound system has a total power of 60 watts, which is the maximum possible (at the moment) for built-in acoustics.
Backlit remote control
What else can be attributed to the innovations. Perhaps it is a premium remote. Only the Sony Z9K, A95K, A90K and X95K series TVs will come with this remote. The new remote has fewer buttons and the size is reduced by 35 percent compared to the standard remote. The key layout has been optimized, and the control buttons are now much better positioned.
What’s cool is that the remote control now has a backlight that activates as soon as you pick it up. The material of the remote has been optimized so that it collects less dust and is easier to clean. If the remote control is lost among the cushions of the sofa or after a rough night and Google Assistant is activated, the remote will beep if you voice the command “Where’s the remote?”
Sony X95K Specifications
As for the price and availability of the Sony X95K 4K Mini LED TV series with XR Backlight Master Drive, we know that the line consists of the Sony XR-65X95K, Sony XR-75X95K and Sony XR-85X95K models. This series will probably be available in late spring 2022. Prices will be available at that time, but for now, as of January 2022, data has not been disclosed by the manufacturer.
X95K review summary
In conclusion to Sony’s X95K review, the manufacturer has presented an overabundance of innovation in 2022. High-end models in the LCD TV segment have gotten even better with Mini-LED technology.
Sony’s QD-OLED models use brand new display technology, and the OLED series has been further optimized and is now available from 42 inches and larger. We can say that since 2022 there are noticeable updates compared to last year’s models. And all new products from Sony are worthy of attention.