Sony A95L evaluate: Wow issue

As was the case when the expertise debuted final yr, simply two manufacturers have embraced QD-OLED TVs for 2023: Samsung and Sony. Samsung’s assist was inevitable, in fact, provided that the South Korean model invented the expertise as a substitute for the ‘common’ WRGB OLED TVs, made well-liked by LG, that it is refused to make use of for greater than a decade.

In fact, Sony sticking with it for one more yr was most likely additionally by no means actually unsure both, given the ecstatic reception loved by its A95K QD-OLED debutante in 2022.

With the standard of the A95K nonetheless contemporary in my thoughts, it is honest to say I have been fairly excited by the arrival of Sony’s new A95L QD-OLED set, examined right here in its 55-inch variant. Particularly provided that it ought to mix Sony’s conventional image processing prowess with the identical type of substantial brightness enhancements I’ve seen with Samsung’s second-gen QD OLEDs and Sony’s most superior gaming assist but.


Sony A95L

Editor’s alternative

Highly effective sound, a super-elegant design and arguably one of the best and most immersive photos the TV world has ever seen add as much as a superheroic return for Sony’s tackle QD-OLED expertise.


  • Beautiful colors
  • Phenomenal distinction
  • Potent, impactful sound

  • Solely two absolutely featured HDMIs
  • Costly in contrast with Samsung QD OLEDs
  • Audio lag with Atmos sources


Even by Sony’s now anticipated minimalistic requirements, the 55A95L is a ‘barely there’ deal with. For starters, because it does not need to accommodate any ‘regular’ audio system (extra on this later), the body across the display screen is virtually non-existent. A lot in order that the set truly lives as much as the ‘seamless edge’ design that Sony offers it.

The rear is fairly trim, too. Sony hasn’t gone for the type of two-level strategy many OLED TVs try, the place an extremely skinny outer rear edge is joined by a a lot deeper center part. As an alternative, the entire rear seems to be uniformly trim after a delicate angling again from the highest, left and proper edges.

Sony A95L 5

Contributing additional to Sony’s obvious need to make sure that its flagship TV for 2023 does as little as doable to distract you from its hopefully imperious photos are its toes. Of their most elegant placement the display screen sits proper down on high of them, with virtually no air between the underside of the display screen and the floor you’ve got positioned the TV on.

They’re tucked proper underneath every backside nook in order that they virtually seem like extensions of the display screen’s body, with a slight angling in of every foot in entrance of and behind the display screen to creates a delicate ’embrace’ impact – barely softening the design’s in any other case very angular traces.

Throw in one in all Sony’s distinctive grid patterns, etched into the 55A95L’s rear panel and removable panels for overlaying the connections bay and you have got a very premium-feeling, 360-degree look.

Sony A95L 7

Whereas the foot placement described above is essentially the most elegant choice, Sony additionally thoughtfully lets you connect the toes in order that the display screen is raised up a few inches. One thing you’ll need to do, in fact, if you wish to use the TV along side a soundbar. Sadly there is not any choice on the A95L to put the toes nearer collectively in order that the display screen may stand on a narrower little bit of furnishings – which can be tough when you plump for the 77-inch model of this set.

The 55A95L is the primary – and lengthy overdue – TV from Sony that actually helps all the most recent cutting-edge gaming options you’d truly anticipate the TV model that makes the PlayStation 5 to ship. In a perfect world all 4 of its HDMIs would assist such gaming options, reasonably than simply two, however after such an extended watch for such complete gaming assist I am inclined to be proud of what we have.

The 55A95L’s proficient HDMIs are joined by a few USBs and a centre speaker cable enter, which is there in order that the TV’s audio system can turn out to be the centre channel in a wider exterior speaker arrange – extra on that later.

Sony A95L 4

Delivery with the 55A95L are two separate distant controls: one reasonably primary, plasticky one with a full numeric pad crammed into it, and one rather more refined and properly made metallic-finish one with out numeric buttons. This second choice is snug to carry with properly laid out buttons, and better of all its buttons are illuminated by backlighting as quickly as you choose it up. Nice for controlling the TV throughout night-time film classes.


At $2798/£2,999 the 55A95L could be very costly for a 55-inch TV. Samsung’s flagship 55-inch QD-OLED TV for 2023 – the Samsung S95C – by comparability, is simply $1,899/£1,899 on the time of writing, whereas LG’s 55-inch G3 OLED, with its new brightness boosting Micro Lens Array expertise, additionally solely prices $1900/£1,900.

This robust pricing begin for the 55A95L, although, will not essentially deter the type of AV fanatic Sony is clearly concentrating on its newest TV at. Such AV followers pays for high quality – so lengthy, in fact, as that high quality is definitely there. To which finish the 55A95L provides a compelling image high quality story.

The QD-OLED nature of its display screen, for starters, sees a blue OLED mild shone via inexperienced and crimson layers of Quantum Dots to create its colors. A pure RGB strategy which avoids the white factor discovered with common OLED screens, and so has the potential to ship richer color saturations. Particularly in shiny image areas.

Sony A95L 1

All OLED screens use self-emissive pixels, in fact, enabling them to ship peerless black ranges and native distinction in addition to exceptionally vast, efficient viewing angles. This joins Sony’s newest Cognitive Processor XR, which, alongside dealing with Sony’s class-leading movement processing system, provides an XR Clear Picture system for bettering the best way noise is handled and determination enhanced when upscaling sub-4K sources.

New QD-OLED-specific distinction and Triluminos color enhancements be part of a processing system that is already broadly acclaimed for its potential to ‘rebuild’ photos in order that they extra intently resemble the best way the actual world seems to be – all with the goal of getting photos as shut as they’ll to Sony’s professional-grade mastering displays.

This latter level will probably be of specific curiosity to lots of the type of AV followers keen to pay a premium to pursue their dwelling leisure obsession to the Nth diploma. And using the pure RGB QD-OLED expertise on paper, no less than, has the potential to assist the A95L get nearer to that of its mastering displays than any earlier Sony TV.

Sony A95L 6

Returning to the 55A95L’s new (for Sony) gaming options talked about in passing earlier – now two out of 4 of its HDMIs can deal with 4K/120Hz HDR graphics, variable refresh charges and Dolby Imaginative and prescient with, crucially, no must have to decide on between this key function triumvirate as you do with each different Sony TV sequence this yr.

The Dolby Imaginative and prescient Recreation assist is not truly energetic but, regardless of how late within the yr the TV has arrived, however it is going to be unlocked later by a firmware replace.

The 55A95L additionally helps, in fact, the Good for Ps system, that means {that a} PS5 linked to it may inform which Sony TV it’s and robotically choose its finest HDR output settings accordingly – in addition to robotically turning the TV to its fast-response Recreation preset when a sport (reasonably than video) supply is detected.

The quickest response that Recreation mode can ship is a really respectable (although not fairly class-leading) 16.7ms with 1080p sources, which reduces to only underneath 8ms with 120Hz titles.

The 55A95L carries Sony’s new Recreation Bar menu, which turns into obtainable when the TV is working in its Recreation mode. On the time of scripting this incorporates such gaming aids as a digital crosshair, the choice to lift the brightness of darkish areas, and a Movement Blur discount choice that sacrifices just a little enter lag pace in return for barely smoother movement when taking part in video games with comparatively low body charges.

Though it is not obtainable on the time of writing, Sony is moreover promising that it is going to be including a mode for shrinking the scale of the picture in Recreation mode, in order that critical gamers of quick response based mostly video games can soak up all the image in a single look extra simply.

The 55A95L’s good options are carried, inevitably given it is a Sony TV, by Google TV. That is high quality so far as it goes; Google TV’s interface is extra engaging, intuitive and customisable than the previous Android TV system was, and it really works as slickly as you’ll hope contemplating that is such a high-end TV with Sony’s most superior ‘mind’ but.

Sony A95L 11

There may be, although, an issue on the time of writing for UK customers within the form of no assist for both Freeview Play or Sony’s extra customary Youview ‘umbrella apps’ for the UK’s terrestrial broadcaster catchup providers.

In actual fact – as seen on the Philips OLED808 set that makes use of the identical Google good TV system – there is not any signal of BBC iPlayer, ITVX, All4 or My5 apps that many UK households would possible look forward to finding as normal on any UK TV today, by no means thoughts one as high-end because the 55A95L.

I wasn’t capable of affirm whether or not these providers can be coming to the TV on the time of writing, so it’s possible you’ll must consider a Fire TV stick, Apple TV 4K or just like get these apps when you want them.

The massive ‘worldwide’ apps, akin to Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV are, current, in fact, together with Sony’s personal Bravia Core service. This film streaming service can assist stream charges of as much as 80Mbps to hopefully ship cleaner, much less compressed photos, and by shopping for the 55A95L you should have earned your self 10 free premium (as in, newly launched) film purchases and a two-year subscription to the service’s again catalogue content material.

Sony A95L 9

The 55A95L provides an uncommon further angle to its good options courtesy of its included Bravia Cam. This attaches magnetically to the highest of the TV and in addition to opening up the inevitable video convention options, additionally helps gesture controls, and might allow the TV to optimise its image and sound settings based mostly on its evaluation of your seating level relative to the display screen. Whereas I did not personally really feel a lot of an urge to make use of this digicam’s options, and I doubt they’re going to change your viewing expertise, you may as properly give it a go because it’s included.

Image efficiency

The straightforward query we have to reply right here is whether or not the A95L does sufficient to justify its fairly substantial worth hike over key rivals. And the quick reply is, sure, it does.

The lengthy reply begins with an imperious distinction efficiency. On the darkish finish of issues, black ranges are immaculate. They’re deep, in fact; that a lot we might anticipate from any OLED TV today. The 55A95L, although, combines these deep black ranges with arguably the best stage of management I’ve ever seen from a TV. There is no trace of noise, as an illustration, because the TV exhibits near-black image data – one of many trickiest issues for OLED screens to realize. Neither is there a lot as a touch of instability in darkish scenes, and maybe better of all, the 55A95L’s dealing with of refined shadowy particulars and darkish colors is nearly as good as I’ve seen.

You all the time really feel solely assured that the display screen is displaying you simply the correct amount of refined image data in darkish areas and scenes, leaving no element ‘crushing’ in darkish corners but additionally not bringing out elements of darkish areas with extra emphasis than they have been designed to have.

This wonderful shadow detailing ensures that darkish scenes look as three-dimensional and immersive as shiny ones, and followers of Dolby Imaginative and prescient will probably be delighted to listen to that this immaculate shadow element efficiency holds good with Dolby Imaginative and prescient sources. There is no proof of the darkish scene element crushing with Dolby Imaginative and prescient I’ve seen on fairly a couple of different TVs over the previous yr or two.

The black bars above vast facet ratio stay completely black always, with no mild bleed of the kind you get with just about all LCD TVs to some extent.

Sony A95L 2

Making the 55A95L’s black stage prowess all of the extra lovable for dwelling cinema followers is the best way all that darkish element and inky blackness co-exists alongside a lot brighter mild peaks, and rather more vibrant colors than we received from the already wonderful A95K final yr. The gleams in actors’ eyes, reflections of daylight on glass or steel, distant lights in home windows or candles and torches lighting darkish passageways… all these intense treats of fine HDR masters are rendered with beautiful depth by the QD-OLED panel, with not one of the dimming or surrounding greyness that you just’d anticipate them to trigger with even the perfect LCD TVs.

Possibly even higher by way of delivering a constant, and due to this fact extra immersive, viewing expertise is how a lot further brightness the 55A95L manages to carry onto throughout very shiny scenes in contrast with its predecessor. This helps such scenes really feel extra practical and refined, in addition to serving to photos obtain an virtually uncanny three-dimensionality because of the additional vary of sunshine, shade and color all this expanded, however brilliantly managed luminance makes doable.

There’s loads of refined shading and color firming to be seen in peak shiny highlights too, displaying that the improved brightness over the A95K is solely pure and all the way down to the second-gen QD OLED panel reasonably than being pressured by over-enthusiastic tone mapping.

The 55A95L’s new stage of magnificence additionally owes a debt to QD OLED’s pure RGB strategy to color. You can see the additional richness QD-OLED allows on final yr’s A95K, particularly in comparatively pure reds and yellows. However the further brightness of the 55A95L makes this purity and the power to retain excessive saturation ranges – even in very shiny areas – extra noticeable, and extra gorgeous.

Whereas colors look extra vibrant than they did on the A95K, additionally they by no means look cartoonish or overblown. Quite the opposite, the subtlety of blends and naturalism of tones – even in the case of tough pores and skin shading and low-lit backgrounds – is rarely lower than a pleasure to behold.

All of this gorgeous management of sunshine, color and distinction performs into an emphatically crisp and detailed 4K picture that completes the best way the 55A95L’s photos draw you in. Even 4K discs I hadn’t significantly thought a lot of earlier than, usually find yourself wanting like finest cinematography Oscar winners by the point the 55A95L’s labored its magic on them. Discs I’ve all the time thought seemed nice? They’re elevated to a different stage.

Sony A95L

The exceptional image processing does a stellar job of upconverting HD photos to the display screen’s native 4K pixel rely, too. It provides element and that particular three-dimensionality that I’d say is finally the 55A95L’s largest distinguishing function, whereas additionally effortlessly detecting and eradicating supply noise.

Sony’s now just about legendary movement prowess is once more available to make sure that not one of the pretty element and nuance of the 55A95L’s photos is misplaced in extreme judder or blurring throughout even essentially the most action-packed pictures.

Throw in to the combination virtually infinitely vast viewing angles with none detriment to the image, and a thoughtfully judged and assorted set of image presets, with one thing to please just about each style, and I am each working out of superlatives for describing the 55A95L’s photos and struggling to seek out something detrimental to say about them.

At a push I would say that the Vivid preset in each normal HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient modes can come on manner too robust at occasions, inflicting the normally immaculate colors – particularly pores and skin tones – to turn out to be over-wrought and unnatural, and the distinction to turn out to be too excessive. Although I would nonetheless counsel watch HDR content material in Vivid mode no less than as soon as, for a couple of minutes, if solely to get a fuller sense of simply what Sony’s newest QD-OLED display screen is able to by way of its full brightness and color extremes.

Sony A95L

It is also value mentioning that in its extra ‘smart’ presets the 55A95L does not push its peak brightness fairly as exhausting as Samsung’s S95C QD OLED TVs do. Measured on a white HDR window occupying 10 per cent of the display screen space, as an illustration, the Sony 55A95L reaches 1337 nits in its Skilled (most correct) setting, which drops to 1260 nits in its engaging and default Normal mode.

In distinction, Samsung’s S95C QD-OLED hit 1375 nits in its Film mode with the identical check sign, and 1400 nits for its default Normal settings.

The variations within the comparatively correct Cinema settings do not depart Sony trailing far behind its Samsung rival, although, in reality. And if taking a barely extra measured strategy to brightness has contributed to the additional ranges of precision, stability and sheer cinematic high quality the 55A95L’s photos handle to seek out, its a small sacrifice that I am more than pleased to make.

Nevertheless, I ought to add that if in case you have a very shiny room to cope with, quite a lot of this yr’s Mini LED TVs can go a good bit brighter nonetheless than the 55A95L – although with out, in fact, the identical stage of sunshine management.

Sound efficiency

The 55A95L backs its jaw-dropping photos up with a significantly completed sound system, too. As with all Sony OLED TVs, it’s constructed round an Acoustic Floor Audio system. Which implies the display screen itself is used to generate the sound, utilizing (on this case) a pair of actuators to vibrate the display screen and two rear subwoofers to inject the bass.

The TV carries Dolby Atmos decoding, too, which performs properly with the Acoustic Floor expertise in serving to to create a soundstage stuffed with element and influence.

It could possibly get remarkably loud for a TV that has no seen audio system, and in contrast to the sound of most slim-design TVs, the sound pushes ahead into your room, making it extra impactful and immersive. Particulars are clear and properly positioned on the display screen, too, proper all the way down to voices talking from totally different elements of the display screen. All of which proves as soon as extra simply how efficient the Acoustic Floor expertise might be.

Sony A95L 8

The subwoofers handle to ship rather more bass depth and quantity than I would imagined they’d be capable to with so little rear panel depth to work with. There’s a restrict to their capabilities, thoug – the epic bass drops at the beginning of Blade Runner 2049 trigger the subwoofers to crackle and spit – virtually like somebody’s frying bacon behind the TV.

Moments of sustained ultra-heavy bass like these in Blade Runner 2049, although, are literally fairly uncommon – even within the Hollywood blockbuster world. So for the overwhelming majority of the time the 55A95L’s subwoofers truly do very properly.

One different audio peculiarity discovered me having so as to add just a little delay to the audio output of my Oppo 205 4K Blu-ray participant to get the sound to sync correctly with the video when taking part in Dolby Atmos tracks into the TV. However as long as your system lets you alter audio sync on this manner, in case you expertise the identical, you need to be high quality.


Sony’s sophomore QD OLED display screen has performed it once more. By combining the appreciable brightness and distinction enhancements achieved by the second era of QD-OLED panel design with an much more refined and spectacular model of Sony’s distinctive video processing system, the 55A95L manages to ship arguably essentially the most constantly flawless and immersive photos I’ve ever seen.

There are a few niggles on the software program entrance – significantly the presently lacking UK terrestrial catch up apps and slight audio sync points with Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Most individuals possible to purchase a premium TV just like the 55A95L, although, will possible be capable to get spherical each of those small points, leaving them free to lose themselves in essentially the most immersive photos on the town.

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