OLED TVs have been an easy go to recommendation over the last 4-5 years, but they’ve never suited my bright Aussie living room, due to their lack of brightness (in comparison to Mini LED) as well as the glare that the panels usually put off. This is all a thing of the past with the Sony A95K QD-OLED TV which is not only the best OLED that I’ve used, by a long way, but pretty damn close to being the best TV that I’ve ever laid eyes on.
QD-OLED TV technology uses quantum dots which results in a stronger light output per pixel, meaning that it’s able to push brightness beyond what we’ve seen in LG OLEDs in recent years whilst maintaining that perfect contrast ratio resulting in fantastic blacks. It also results in more vibrant colours which really just enhance the whole viewing experience and make almost anything on-screen pop.
This was pretty much the case for anything that I was viewing, whether it be SDR 1080p content on my Foxtel box, playing the latest game on the PS5 or using a streaming service to watch 4K/HDR content. It always looked fantastic and how I’d envision a $5,0o0+ TV to look, and didn’t have me reaching for the remote to adjust settings constantly.
This was also the case for glare which I’d say is a case of the QD-OLED panel not needing to use the same coating as regular OLED panels do, but also the extra brightness helping cut through other reflections in the room. Viewing angles are also superb with it making next to no difference whether you’re sitting directly in front of it or off to the side.
The A95K is the most premium TV in Sony’s 2022 line-up (and will be succeeded by the A95L later this year). When it comes to design, it does things quite differently to anything else that I’ve seen both for better and worse. The TV features a pretty hefty stand that acts as a counter balance at either the back or front of the TV. If you’re putting it at the back of the TV, it’ll give the illusion of the TV sitting on your entertainment unit with no gap, but will lean back slightly so that it doesn’t fall forward.
If you put it at the front of the TV, the A95K can sit almost flush against a wall in order to give the illusion that it is wall-mounted. Both ways look absolutely spectacular, but there are some downsides. The first is that the TV sits quite low because it isn’t elevated above the entertainment unit at all, and the other is that you can’t place a soundbar in front of the TV at all, as it’ll cover the screen.
The TV is slightly thicker than other OLEDs overall (at the thinnest point), but this results in a quite uniform thickness rather than the unsightly OLED bump that we’ve seen with other models. There’s also a really nice texture at the back and Sony has gone above and beyond with providing coverings for all openings so that you can’t see cords coming out.
The sound that comes out of the TV was actually quite good, providing clear voices and providing a decent level of bass where required too. I’d still recommend pairing a soundbar (which might be challenging) or some kind of sound system to pair with that near perfect display.
When it comes to gaming this TV really shines, particularly when paired with a PS5. Calibrating HDR has always been the bane of my existence with other TVs, to the point that I never feel like it’s setup correctly, but the A95K showed me exactly how HDR is supposed to look and it’s glorious.
Sony is finally leveraging the fact that it makes gaming consoles and TVs with new ‘Perfect for PS5 ready features’. The biggest one of these for me is the fact that HDR is automatically synced between console and TV with Auto HDR Tone Mapping. This means as soon as you go to the HDR setup screen on your PS5, it’ll tell you that it’s already been setup on your PS5, leaving absolutely no doubt in the fact that it’s setup correctly. The A95K will also automatically switch your input to game mode, making sure you’re leveraging VRR and minimal input lag.
There’s no game bar functionality like we’ve seen on Samsung/LG TVs (although that’s coming in the A95L) and unlike LG and Samsung, the A95K only features two HDMI 2.1 ports (one of which is the eArc port), which is a little bit a bummer on a TV that sits at the price point that it does). It means that if you’ve got a PS5, an Xbox Series X and a soundbar that uses eArc, you’ve essentially got to have either your PS5 or Xbox Series X running on a standard HDMI point, which feels like a real missed opportunity given how successfully this does everything else.
Otherwise though, gaming looks absolutely glorious on this TV, with none of the post processing that we see on other TVs such as QLEDs needing to be turned off in order to maintain low input lag. Games really pop, more recently jumping into Star Wars Jedi Survivor, where the sprawling planets really popped and the lightsaber would really contrast greatly against dark backgrounds thanks to HDR.
It’s been a good few years since I’ve used a TV with Google OS and it was a really nice reminder of just how easy everything is to use, with a wide variety of apps available and it being super easy to both cast to the TV but also use Google assistant to quickly help with anything around the house. For those that want to ensure that the TV isn’t listening to them, there’s also a hardware switch to turn the microphone off at the side of the TV.
You can even use Google to find the remote using a speaker that’s within the remote, which I also just really quickly wanted to touch on as it is quite a premium remote, with a metal finish and also light up buttons in order to use it in darkness. It’s nice just to have a remote that has settings and input buttons, if I’m being totally honest.
The A95K also comes with a camera that sits on top of the TV (but easily be removed or the shutter closed). It can used to video call on Google Meet but can also be used in a number of different ways.
The first is gesture control, which you can raise your hand and easily change the volume or pause and play what you’re watching. It works well and is responsive, but I found that using Hey Google was faster and more efficient.
It can also be used to detect people getting too close to the TV and promptly warn them on the screen to take a step back, as well as detect when nobody is in the room in order to put the TV into power mode and quickly bring it back into regular mode as you step back into the room.
Probably the most useful purpose (outside of video calling) is the camera being used is the light and colour sensor to optimise the display to viewing conditions. It works a lot better than some of the other auto optimisation features that I’ve used in other TVs, and is actually worth leaving on. It can also detect where you’re setting in the room and adjust left and right sound balance to make it sound like you’re sitting in front of the TV.
All-in-all, the Sony A95K is a fantastic TV, and even those that have previously owned an OLED will notice a huge jump in quality both in brightness and colour vibrance. I’m really excited to see how the Sony A95L and Samsung S95C push things even further this year.
The Sony A95K is a genuine advancement on any other OLED TV that I've used in the past thanks to its QD-OLED technology. The result is brightness and colour vibrance beyond any other OLED that has come before it.
Brightness And Colour Vibrance Are Beyond Any Other OLED I've Tested
PS5 Automatic HDR Syncing Is Fantastic
Design Looks Really Premium
OS Is Really Easy To Use
2 HDMI 2.1 Ports Doesn't Cut It
Design Leaves Display Too Low And No Room For Soundbar