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Sony A80K: review in two minutes

Sony's A80K sits in the middle of the company's OLED TV lineup for 2022 and is priced significantly lower than the A95K QD-OLED models that sit at the top. Still, the performance offered by the 80-inch A65K we tested showed it to be an excellent all-round deal for the price, offering some competition to LG's C2 OLED TVs for a similar price.

While the LG C2 models rely on that company's webOS platform for streaming and other smart TV tasks, Sony's A80K features the proven Google TV platform with a useful Google Assistant feature, which lets you speak commands. directly into the hidden microphone of the remote control. Google TV's selection of apps highlights all the highlights — Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and more — and the screen layout can be customized to highlight the destinations you visit regularly.

  • Sony A80K at Best Buy for €1,999.99 (opens in a new tab)

A new wide color gamut panel for the A80K combines with Sony's XR OLED Contrast Pro, XR Triluminos Pro and Cognitive Processor XR features to deliver deep blacks and detailed shadows in images, as well as rich, fully saturated colours. The overall picture brightness is satisfactory, although a little lower than that of the best OLED TVs, such as the LG G2 and also the LG C2 series. Still, Sony's mid-range OLED manages to look great even in brightly lit rooms, and stuns in dark ones for best-quality movie viewing.

Speaking of the A80K looking great, its One Slate design gives it a sleek and attractive glass front, while a three-position multi-stand that can be adjusted to different heights lets you easily store a soundbar under the screen. . For such a slim package, audio performance is impressive thanks to Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+, a feature that vibrates the screen to produce sound, aided by two bottom-mounted subwoofers. Also included is Dolby Atmos decoding with 3D surround sound enhancement, a feature that creates a believable Atmos experience without having to use a separate soundbar.

Gamers will greatly appreciate the A80K, which provides two HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K 120Hz video, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). And there's also an automatic HDR tone mapping feature that kicks in specifically when you're gaming with a PlayStation 5 console. Rounding out Sony's excellent feature set, a built-in ATSC 3.0 tuner allows the A80K to receive next-generation digital TV broadcasts in the United States. state

Sony A80K review: Price and release date

  • Release Date: May 30, 2022
  • XR-55A80K: $2000 / £2099 / AUD3899
  • XR-65A80K: €2300 / €2899 / AU$4999
  • XR-77A80K: €3300 / €3999 / AU$7999

The Sony A80K launched in late spring 2022, and as Sony's mid-range OLED offering, the A80K models make up almost half of the company's new flagship A95K QD-OLED TVs.

The main competitor here will be the LG C2, and the result of the price comparison here depends on the region you are in. The 80-inch and 65-inch A77K sets cost slightly less than LG's mid-range C2 OLEDs in the same sizes. in the US, while the 55-inch version is priced slightly higher than LG's same-size C2. In the UK Sony is more expensive in all sizes.

The A80K OLED's rear panel inputs include two HDMI 2.1 ports that support 4K 120Hz video input. (Image credit: Future)

Sony A80K review: Features

  • Google TV interface
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG High Dynamic Range
  • HDMI 2.1 inputs with 4K 120Hz, VRR, ALLM and eARC

The A80K OLEDs come with Google TV for searching apps and Google Assistant is built-in for voice searching using the Sony remote's built-in microphone. The app selection includes Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV and more, with buttons to directly access various apps provided on the remote.

Sony's 2022 OLEDs feature the company's OLED Contrast Pro XR and Cognitive Processor XR features to improve picture quality, primarily by increasing peak brightness in highlights and deepening blacks in an automated, scene-by-scene manner. A wide color gamut panel also combines with Sony's XR Triluminos Pro feature and XR Cognitive Processor to provide full DCI-P3 coverage (the color space used for mastering films destined for digital cinema release and for disc Ultra HD Blu-ray).

Four HDMI inputs are provided, two with HDMI 2.1 features including 4K 120Hz support, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).

The A80K also has a built-in US ATSC 3.0 tuner. This allows viewers to watch live digital TV for free from stations broadcasting in the latest format, which is capable of delivering 4K resolution video with Dolby Atmos audio. After a slow start, ATSC 3.0 is beginning to gain traction in the US with coverage expected to reach 75% of markets by the end of 2022.

Interface Google TV Sony XR A80K OLED

The One Slate design of the A80K OLED uses a single glass panel to cover the entire front face of the array. (Image credit: Future)

Sony A80K review: Image quality

  • Rich color reproduction
  • Deep blacks with detailed shadows
  • Good HDR brightness for an OLED TV

In addition to its full coverage (we measure it at 99,5%) of the DCI-P3 color space when displaying 4K HDR, the A80K is capable of good brightness for an OLED TV. We measured 785 nits (in a 10% windowed pattern) in Vivid picture mode and a consistently impressive 616 nits in Cinema mode.

While that's well below similarly sized QLED mini-LED models like the Samsung QN95B (which can hit over 2500 nits of peak brightness), and also LG's OLED 2022 G2 flagship, a model that can hit 1000 nits in Vivid mode should be Plenty bright for all but the brightest rooms.

How bright is the A80K for real world viewing? When I streamed the Netflix doc My Octopus Teacher (an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2021) with my bedroom ceiling lights on, the Sony picture was still very bright and punchy, and there was no apparent drop in color saturation. . And while the A80K lacks the anti-glare screen coating found on specialty TVs like Samsung's The Frame, screen glare was minimal and generally not an issue. As you'd expect from an OLED TV, picture uniformity was excellent, even in off-center viewing positions.

While many higher-end TVs offer a Filmmaker picture mode meant to give you movie-friendly picture settings you don't have to worry about, the A80K doesn't have that convenience. (There is a Netflix adaptive calibrated mode that automatically adjusts picture brightness based on the ambient lighting in the room, but it only applies to shows streaming from that service.)

The good news here is that the team's Cine picture mode was accurate right out of the box (as confirmed by our measurements). The bad news is that the suite's Motionflow processing is enabled by default in Cinema mode, so cinema purists will have to visit the picture settings menu to change it.

Key specs

Screen size: 55, 65, 75 inches
Resolution: 4K
Panel technology: OLED
HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Audio support: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, DTS
Smart TV: Google TV
HDMI connections: 4

While motion handling with the A80K, which has a 120Hz refresh rate, is generally very good, there were instances where I encountered motion-related artifacts. When I saw a clip at the beginning of the James Bond reboot, No Time to Die, where Bond runs across a hill outside an Italian town to visit a burial site, for example, I noticed the effects of floating in the landscape. when the camera rotates. it's. . Viewing with Motionflow on its default auto settings removed this, but also added a video-like “soap opera” effect. However, setting Motionflow to its lowest fixed this and also reduced the artifacts I was seeing in No Time To Die.

As with other Sony TVs (and projectors) I've reviewed in the past, the A80K did a great job of upscaling standard definition HD shows to 4K. This was confirmed when I saw a regular Blu-ray release of No Time to Die, which looked like 4K/HDR in detail, color, and contrast. This could very well be down to Sony's Cognitive Processor XR feature, which received changes for 2022 aimed specifically at improving color vibrancy and image depth.

As I settled in to watch in a darkened room, I selected two 4K Blu-ray titles that I knew would provide a Sony TV with an HDR challenge: Dune and The Batman. Both looked great on the A80K, with deep shadows appearing like true black and dark scenes revealing plenty of detail. Building on that solid foundation, bright HDR reflections like the floating, glowing orbs in Dune, or the sun streaming through the windows of Bruce Wayne's mansion in The Batman, had a powerful effect and contributed to a 3D-like quality. in general in some scenes.

A related measurement note: Sony's OLED measured 0 nits in an all-black window pattern, meaning it's capable of "infinite" contrast. This accounts for the set's exceptionally deep black reproduction, as well as its powerful image contrast, especially when viewed in low-light conditions.

  • Image Quality Rating: 4.5/5

Close up of Sony XR A80K OLED adjustable stand with sound bar

A three-way multi-position bracket allows you to adjust the height to suit the soundbar's location. (Image credit: Future)

Sony A80K review: Sound quality

  • Acoustic Surface Audio+ uses the TV screen for sound
  • Acoustic audio calibration tunes the sound for the viewing environment
  • Dolby Atmos with effective 3D surround sound enhancement

The A80K series OLED TVs are equipped with Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+. This places five actuators, three directly behind the screen and two to the sides, which vibrate it to create full-range sound, and are accompanied by two subwoofers to enhance bass. Other audio features include Acoustic Audio Calibration to adjust your computer's audio output to your viewing environment, Voice Zoom to enhance dialogue, and 3D surround sound enhancement.

Having rarely relied on a TV's built-in sound system to watch movies these days, I was amazed at how clear the dialogue was and how loud the speakers sounded without sounding forced...

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