Sony Bravia XR-65A 80L OLED TV Review With Pros and Cons

Sony’s Bravia A80L is like the cream of the crop when it comes to OLED TVs. It’s armed with a bunch of fancy-pants image and video processing technologies straight from Sony’s secret vault, making your home theater escapades way cooler. Whether it’s the good ol’ SD stuff or handling those crazy motion scenes, this TV doesn’t hold back – it’s all about giving you a show to remember. And oh boy, the HDR10 and Dolby Vision experiences are nothing short of impressive, although some folks might be wishing for those highlights to be a tad brighter. But wait, there’s more! The real icing on the entertainment cake is the Acoustic Surface Audio+ thingamajig. It’s like magic – making everything sound more real and turning your TV time into a sensory treat.

So, guess what? We got our hands on this Sony flagship from 2023, the A80L. We’ve been cozying up with it for a solid 15 days, and now it’s time to spill the beans on what we think about this TV.

Sony Bravia XR 80L OLED TV review Snapshot

Editor’s rating: 4.2/5

Design

Software

Picture Quality

Sound Quality


























Rating: 4 out of 5.


























Rating: 4 out of 5.


























Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


























Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


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Pros

  • Appealing Design
  • Outstanding Picture Quality
  • Excellent Motion Handling
  • Superb at Upscaling SD Content
  • Rich and Clear sound

Cons

  • No HDR 10+ Support
  • No Dolby Vision Gaming

Sony Bravia XR 80L OLED TV Price


Sony Bravia XR-65A 80L OLED TV review: Design

The TV’s got that premium vibe going on in the looks department, even though it’s rocking an all-plastic body. There are no chunky bezels in sight here – they’ve gone for the disappearing act, super-thin and sleek. It’s a slender panel (around 0.25 inches thick) connected to a slightly thicker control box at the rear – all decked out in sleek black.

The top and side bezels are incredibly slim, measuring under one-eighth of an inch. The bottom bezel, a bit thicker (just under 0.5 inches), accommodates the IR emitter, a hardware button with a one-touch control for Power, Volume, Channel, Input, and Restart, along with a Sony logo sitting pretty in the lower-left corner. This means the screen gets all the attention without distracting frames hindering your viewing experience.

When it comes to mounting, you’ve got options – you can make use of the 300x300mm VESA holes on the back panel, or you can set it up with the two-piece stand that comes in the package. Those feet – or should I say, “wedges” are like your TV’s stylish shoes, and they’ve got three moves up their sleeve: chillin’ on the sides, snuggling up in the center, or giving a little lift to accommodate a soundbar. And yes, they’re metal through and through. Even the power cord is thoughtfully detachable for easy replacement.

The A80L’s ports are conveniently located on the left side of the TV within a recess that can be concealed using a snap-on panel that’s included within the box. Since all the ports face directly out from the side, plugging and unplugging cables is a breeze. Among 4 HDMI ports, HDMI 3 and HDMI 4 are full bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports (with HDMI 3 supporting eARC), while HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 rely on HDMI 2.0.

The port lineup also includes two USB ports (one with a 500mA rating and another with a 900mA rating). However, if you need to use both of those USB-A ports on the back at the same time, their back-to-back setup could be a little bit of a hassle. There’s also a S/PDIF optical audio out, S-Center speaker in, Ethernet, RS-232 and IR input for remote jacks, and even a coaxial cable connector.

Sony bundles a remote which got six handy hotkeys right there for your favorite apps. The buttons are smartly organized, and honestly, it didn’t take us long to get the hang of it. There’s just one tiny catch – they’re not backlit.

All things considered, the TV stands as a solid choice, boasting a premium look and feel.

Sony Bravia XR-65A 80L OLED TV review: Software

The A80L employs Google TV for its smart interface, bringing a vast selection of apps including major streaming services like YouTube, Prime TV, Netflix, Apple TV, Disney Plus Hotstar, Prime Video, and many more apps. And let’s not forget the Sony’s own Bravia Core app, offering high-quality streams and complimentary movies with your TV purchase.

Compared to its predecessor, Google TV offers a more visually appealing and user-friendly interface. However, it still falls slightly short in terms of intuitiveness, ease of use, and content recommendations when compared to some competing platforms.

Navigating the connection between content and picture adjustment menus within Google TV can be a tad confusing. Fortunately, Sony’s remote controls now feature a dedicated ‘cog’ button that takes you directly to a menu housing most of the available picture and sound adjustments, bypassing the need to navigate through the main Home menu.

Thanks to the Google affiliation, Chromecasting is built-in from the get-go. Voice control is supported through Google Assistant, and the TV can also work with Alexa and Apple HomeKit (though the latter requires external listening devices). Plus, AirPlay 2 support is also included for seamless integration with Apple devices.

The most distinctive smart feature of the A80L is its compatibility with Sony’s Bravia Cam, offered as an optional add-on. This camera can be attached to the TV’s top and unlocks various additional capabilities. These include gesture-based control, video calling, proximity alerts for children nearing the screen, and even Ambient Optimization Pro. This advanced feature detects your seating position relative to the TV and optimizes both the picture and sound profiles accordingly.

Sony Bravia XR-65A 80L OLED TV review: Picture Quality

The Sony XR 80L mesmerizes you with its deep, rich blacks, the eye-catching contrast, the ability to see everything from practically any angle, and the lightning-fast response times – these are the things that make binge-watching your favorite shows feel like a whole new level of awesome. Sony’s really got a knack for turning not-so-great quality content into something watchable and smooth, and they’ve mastered the art of keeping motion looking super sleek too. It’s like your screen’s a magician performing tricks right in front of your eyes.

When it comes to color accuracy, the Custom profile takes the lead, but for most folks, Standard, Vivid, and Cinema modes will likely be the go-to choices. These modes enhance colors and contrast to bring out the best in your content, making it all the more enjoyable.

Sony is quick to highlight various features and technologies that contribute to the TV’s picture quality. The Cognitive Processor XR steps in to enhance color and contrast matching, XR Triluminos Pro ensures HDR richness, and XR Clear Image reduces noise, among other functions. And do these elements actually make a difference? Absolutely.

For instance, watching “Avatar: The Way of Water” feels like a dazzling experience all over again. The vibrant hues and stunning underwater scenes whisk you away to the enchanting world of Pandora. The contrast between turquoise clashes and mesmerizing water combat scenes is a testament to James Cameron’s artistic genius.

In “Top Gun: Maverick,” the aerial acrobatics and lush landscapes appear more intensely realistic, but that doesn’t matter much because every detail is meticulously visible, whether the action is grounded or soaring through the sky.

Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” immerses you into James Halliday’s virtual reality realm, and on the A80L, it’s a visual treat. As expected from an OLED, every image remains equally exquisite from every angle.

The Sony Bravia A80L is quite the HDR champ, supporting HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. It’s worth mentioning that it skips out on HDR10+ and Dolby Vision IQ, but honestly, that’s not a deal-breaker in our book. The HDR experience on this TV is pretty darn good overall. It handles those tricky scenes where dark and bright elements mingle like a pro, serving up some seriously stunning visuals. But here’s the scoop – like all White OLED panels, it can stumble a bit when it comes to really dark scenes with some bright spots. You might notice some artifacts hanging around, especially in scenes where stuff like meteors dash through a gray sky.

Gaming on the Sony Bravia A80L is a treat, thanks to its snappy response time, smooth motion, and VRR support. This TV is a solid option for gamers. It rocks two HDMI 2.1 ports that can handle ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and 120Hz VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium. Just keep in mind that Dolby Vision gaming is limited to 4K@60Hz. Plus, there’s a nifty game mode where you can summon a game bar to quickly tweak settings like VRR and more.

Though it’s worth mentioning, the heavy hitters from Samsung and LG do come with their own extras, like 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, lower input lag and an HGiG mode for super-accurate tone mapping when in game mode.

Sony Bravia XR-65A 80L OLED TV review: Audio Quality

When it comes to TV speakers, we usually don’t expect wonders. But Sony takes a bold step towards changing that perception with its Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology. This innovation integrates the screen into the speaker system, resulting in a truly captivating audio experience.

The Sony Bravia A80L leverages the Acoustic Surface Audio+ tech and offers a robust 50W audio system – three 10W actuators and two 10W subwoofers. Honestly, it’s one of the best TV audio setups we’ve had the pleasure of encountering. Dialogue in movies comes across as crystal clear, and the soundstage feels impressively spacious, even occasionally producing convincing surround sound effects.

On top of that, the TV offers an auto-calibration feature. It uses a microphone in the remote control to collect data and fine-tune audio settings based on your typical viewing distance. This ensures you get the best possible audio experience tailored to your space.

Sony Bravia XR-65A 80L OLED TV review Verdict: Should You Buy It?

The Sony Bravia XR A80L might not be the cheapest option out there, but considering the bang you get for your buck (especially in the smaller sizes), it’s a real marvel. Picture quality, sound quality, and usability come together in a way that’s hard to beat. While the LG G3 and Samsung S95C might outshine the Sony XR-55A80L in terms of gaming capabilities and peak brightness for HDR content, where this TV truly stands out is in its knack for delivering intricate details and refined visuals. Its motion handling is truly impressive, and its sound quality leaves its competitors in the dust. The TV’s versatile design for different placements and its user-friendly interface are clear advantages. On top of that, it’s competitively priced, making the Sony XR A80L an excellent option for those who are all about that immersive cinematic home experience.

Reasons to buy

  • Appealing Design
  • Outstanding Picture Quality
  • Excellent Motion Handling
  • Superb at Upscaling SD Content
  • Rich and Clear sound

Reasons to not buy

  • No HDR 10+ Support
  • No Dolby Vision Gaming

 

Reference

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