Sony X95L (XR-65X95L) Mini LED 4K TV review

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posted on Saturday, 14th October 2023 by Steve May

Sony  home cinema  Media Rooms 


In the realm of high-end TVs, OLEDs often take centre stage. Yet, Sony's X95L Mini LED 4K TV is here to challenge that norm. Equipped with a host of impressive features and outstanding picture quality, this television proves that Mini LED technology has its own set of unique AV charms.

The Sony X95L is available in three sizes: 65 inches, 75 inches, and 85 inches, priced at £2,399, £2,999, and £3,999. We tested the 65-inch model.

Sony X95L (XR-65X95L) Mini LED 4K TV: Design and Features

The X95L might not be the thinnest TV, but a seamless edge bezel wrap leaves almost nothing between the viewer and its captivating visuals.

With four HDMI inputs, including two that support 4K at 120Hz, the X95L is ready for modern consoles and media players. The TV has support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), broadening its media room appeal. Integrators should note that one of the HFR HDMI ports serves as the eARC connection, limiting 120Hz gaming to just one HDMI port.

When tested, the input lag in Game mode was measured at 17.1 ms for 1080p/60 content.

Aside from HDMI, there's a digital optical audio output, two USB ports, and an Ethernet LAN for Wi-Fi support. The TV offers both terrestrial and satellite tuner options. There's also a CI slot, plus support for Apple AirPlay and HomeKit.

The TV comes with two remote controls. One is the standard IR remote, and the other a slim Bluetooth wand with dedicated buttons for popular streaming services like Bravia Core, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, YouTube, and Crunchyroll.

The smart TV portal of choice is Google TV, a variation of the popular Android smart TV platform. It focuses on content, offering swift access to streaming apps. I found the TV's native menu navigation intuitive and user-friendly.

In addition to standard streaming services, owners can stream movies from Bravia Core, Sony's own on-demand movie service, which is blessed with high bitrates and IMAX Enhanced content. The TV comes with ten free credits to spend on Bravia Core movies, but after using them, viewers have to pay for access.

Sony X95L (XR-65X95L) Mini LED 4K TV: Picture Quality

We’re increasingly impressed with Mini LED technology, and its execution here is very compelling, aided by Sony’s legendary processing prowess.

Cognitive Processor XR technology makes dynamic adjustments to contrast, black levels, peak brightness, and colour fidelity, while Cognitive XR intelligently assesses what’s being watched and applies processing to optimise the image quality.

With a Mini LED backlight featuring thousands of tiny LEDs, the TV delivers remarkable image uniformity. XR Backlight Master Drive fine-tunes black levels and shadow details, while XR Triluminos Pro handles colour performance.

Picture processing modes include IMAX Enhanced, Custom, Cinema, Standard, and Vivid. There’s also support for Dolby Vision.

Sony remains tight lipped about the number of dimming zones on this model, but we’re definitely seeing an increase over last year’s debutant, resulting in better brightness, uniformity, and HDR precision.

We measured peak HDR brightness close to 1600 nits using a 10 per cent measurement patch. This translates to bright specular highlights.

Sony X95L (XR-65X95L) Mini LED 4K TV: Sound Quality

While the X95L has a reasonable sound system, installers should definitely specify this model with a soundbar or home theatre system. Sony's frame audio system uses the TV's frame as a speaker, and while this creates a larger soundstage with good localisation, there’s a lack of bass. The audio can sound a little thin at volume.

Installers can always use Sony’s Acoustic Centre Sync mode to enhance the audio experience when paired with select Sony soundbars.

Sony X95L (XR-65X95L) Mini LED 4K TV: Verdict

The X95L offers an impressive all-around performance with high detail and vibrant colors, bright HDR highlights, and surprisingly good black levels. While it can't match OLED in completely dark rooms, it excels in less dim environments.

The TV's Google TV platform is packed with features to please gamers, including Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode for PlayStation 5 compatibility.

The main downside is the limitation in HDMI ports supporting 4K at 120Hz; this could be seen by users as a block to future system building.

Still, the X95L presents a high-quality audio-visual performance, and its compatibility with the PlayStation 5 is a bonus. This second-generation Mini LED TV might just convince custom installers and clients that OLED isn't the only premium TV option in town.

The 65-inch Sony X95L 4k Mini LED TV is available now, and retails for £2,399.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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