Xiaomi Mi TV 5X 55 Review: Improved, And Still Reasonably Priced

Although Xiaomi and its Redmi sub-brand have much of the budget and mid-range television segments in India covered, its focus will always be on value for money, and that applies to the high end as well. Big screens, plenty of features, thoughtful software, and discrete design have largely defined the Mi TV range. The company’s latest television series, the Mi TV 5X, hopes to carry that forward without compromising on the one thing that has attracted buyers to the brand – competitive and reasonable pricing.

Priced at Rs. 45,999 in India, the Xiaomi Mi TV 5X 55-inch Ultra-HD LED Smart TV is very impressive on paper and promises capable performance, without forcing you to spend too much. Some of its key features include support for Dolby Vision, hands-free Google Assistant voice controls, and the combination of Android TV 10 and the company’s popular PatchWall UI. Is this the best 55-inch television you can now buy under Rs. 50,000? Find out in this review.

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X 55 design and specifications

Televisions from Xiaomi’s Mi brand have sported the Mi logo thus far, but with the Mi TV 5X, there’s a big change. The company announced that it is switching to ‘Xiaomi’ as its brand name on future products, and the Mi TV 5X shows that, even if it’s still called a ‘Mi TV’.

Displayed prominently right below the screen is the new Xiaomi logo on a silver strip, just above the module that has a few indicator lights and the power button. The rest of the borders around the screen are considerably slimmer and similarly silver in colour, giving the Mi TV 5X a distinct look that stands out among the competition as well as other televisions from Xiaomi such as the Redmi TV X Series and Mi TV 4X range.

The Mi TV 5X isn’t quite as slim as some of the flagship TVs I’ve reviewed recently, but it’s reasonably well built and not too thick even at the bottom, which bulges a bit. It looks good for a TV in its price range, whether placed on a wall or on stand mounts. The lower part of the back of the TV has a carbon-fibre-like texture, with one set of inputs and ports facing downwards, and a second set facing to the left of the screen.

The less frequently used ports, including the Ethernet, optical audio out, composite AV input, and antenna port all face downwards, while the two USB ports, three HDMI 2.1 ports, and 3.5mm audio out socket face to the left. The television can be stand-mounted using the metal stands included in the box, or wall-mounted using any aftermarket VESA-compatible kit. Xiaomi can provide a wall-mount kit at an extra cost at the time of installation.

The Mi TV 5X sports the company’s new ‘Xiaomi’ brand logo, instead of ‘Mi’ 


While I’m reviewing the 55-inch model in the Mi TV 5X series which is priced at Rs. 45,999, you could also choose the 50-inch and 43-inch models, priced at Rs. 41,999 and Rs. 31,999 respectively in India. All three are Ultra-HD TVs with support for up to the Dolby Vision format for HDR.

The Mi TV 5X 55 has a 55-inch Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) LED-backlit screen, with support for the Dolby Vision and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats.

This television has a rated sound output of 40W, and support for Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD through its two-speaker system. HDMI ARC is supported on one of the HDMI ports, and there’s also dual-band Wi-Fi ac and Bluetooth 5 for connectivity. The TV has a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage for apps and app data.

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X 55 remote and features

While the general design and branding of Xiaomi’s televisions have changed over the months and years, the company’s approach to the remote has been largely the same. The Mi TV 5X has Xiaomi’s familiar, minimalist remote, and expectedly yet still disappointingly, the needed AAA batteries are not included in the sales package.

The remote itself is one that I’m very used to, and the company’s software tweaks such as Quick Mute and Quick Settings access have long since made up for its physical shortcomings. It’s suitably equipped to get you anywhere within the TV’s software quickly, and you can navigate around both the Stock Android TV UI and Xiaomi’s own PatchWall UI easily enough.

Other key features of the Mi TV 5X include hands-free Google Assistant access, Google Chromecast built-in with support for Ultra-HD and HDR casting from supported apps and services, an auto low-latency mode for use with gaming consoles, and the ability to use Alexa as your default voice assistant if you prefer.

The remote of the Mi TV 5X is a familiar one, with a minimalist, compact design


The television has a microphone that can be set to always-on mode to listen for the ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’ wake words, just as you’d have it on a smart speaker such as the Google Nest Audio. It’s possible to turn off the microphone if you have privacy concerns or just don’t want to use voice commands; there’s a physical sliding switch to control this at the bottom of the TV, just below the Xiaomi logo.

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X 55 software and interface

Just like the remote, the software experience on the Xiaomi Mi TV 5X remains familiar for anyone who has used a Xiaomi television before. The television runs on Android TV 10, with both the stock Android TV user interface, as well as Xiaomi’s own PatchWall 4 launcher. All major apps are supported, and users have full access to the Google Play Store for Android TV to download any of over 5,000 apps available.

The stock Android TV UI will be familiar for users of other Android TV devices as well, since it works without any real manufacturer-enforced limitations here. The settings are accessible from anywhere in the interface, including if content is playing, by long-pressing the Mi button on the remote. A short-press of the button will switch to the PatchWall launcher, which shows a wide selection of curated content from various streaming services.

PatchWall 4 is slightly improved over previous versions, with IMDB ratings integrated into most titles, a new look for the information pages for titles with additional details, and more. PatchWall allows for easy access to the TV’s settings and other source inputs, as well as different apps that you might have installed on the TV.

Users who like a lot of recommendations and content curation will enjoy what PatchWall has to offer, thanks to its content-centric approach. Also worth mentioning is that the Mi TV 5X supports the Mi Home app through the PatchWall launcher, allowing you to control IoT devices in your home through your TV or through voice commands, if you have the Mi Home app linked to your Google account. This could be convenient if you own and use devices such as the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P and Mi LED Wi-Fi Smart Bulb.

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X 55 performance

Good looks and features aside, the Xiaomi Mi TV 5X 55 is also well equipped to deliver a pleasant viewing experience, driven by its focus on value. Picture and sound performance are very good for a 55-inch television priced under Rs. 50,000, delivering the sheer impact of a big screen TV, while also doing a good job across resolutions and content types. That said, I did face occasional lag and UI performance issues, which I’ll elaborate on in this section.

Ultra-HD Dolby Vision content brings out the best in the Mi TV 5X 55


The Mi TV 5X 55 is a high dynamic range (HDR) television with support for the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats. Naturally, the 55-inch screen means that this TV is best considered for top-quality content, such as Dolby Vision movies and TV shows on Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar which looked considerably better than anything else I watched.

Watching Korean hit TV show Squid Game in Ultra-HD and Dolby Vision on Netflix, the Mi TV 5X made for an enjoyable experience. The picture had a gentle, easy-going tone to it, with colours that didn’t quite pop as much as on more premium TVs, but were refined and impactful nonetheless. The bright pinks and greens of the uniforms worn by the guards and contestants in the show were subtly, yet strongly brought out by the TV.

The picture is sharp and detailed, without appearing too jarring and edgy. There was a sense of smoothness to Ultra-HD content, with Dolby Vision content looking even better through brightness and contrast. Visually striking shows such as Our Planet looked impressive on the Mi TV 5X, as did gentler and less impactful viewing such as Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime Video.

While there is a definite boost in brightness, and the ability to have varying levels of contrast and impact in the same frame with HDR content, the biggest benefit of Dolby Vision on the Mi TV 5X was in the tone. This television usually captured the feel and essence of TV shows well, providing a sombre, dark feel to shows such as Squid Game and movies such as Greyhound on Apple TV+, while the light-hearted Somebody Feed Phil looked bright and fun as Phil Rosenthal explored cities and their unique eateries.

The television retains the tone of shows and movies with Dolby Vision; Squid Game looked sombre and haunting, even while the colours looked good


Many LED-backlit TVs, particularly those priced at under Rs. 50,000, tend to choke a bit when it comes to black levels. The Mi TV 5X, while not quite as impressive as televisions such as the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro (which has local dimming), does a reasonably good job with darker scenes and black tones. Although there was a mild grey wash on the screen, it wasn’t as intense or distracting as on the Redmi TV X55, which costs about Rs. 5,000 less than the Mi TV 5X. Dark scenes looked decent in dully lit rooms as a result, while bright scenes were watchable even with sunlight striking the TV.

Standard dynamic range and standard definition content, while naturally not as attractive to watch as HDR, was decent on the Mi TV 5X 55 nonetheless. The Last Dance on Netflix, as well as assorted full-HD content such as The Good Place, Parks and Recreation, and Schumacher were good to watch, with the TV handling the older, upscaled footage of the Bulls’ historic championship runs and Michael Schumacher’s F1 dominance in the 1990s particularly well. In general, this TV made for a consistently bright, sharp, and clean viewing experience across resolutions and content.

Sound on the Mi TV 5X is comfortable and acceptable in ordinary viewing situations; the TV can get quite loud thanks to its 40W speakers. The sound is well-tuned and uniform, without too many jarring volume spikes. Interestingly, while Dolby Atmos is supported on the TV and was activated with a slider switch in the sound settings menu, the Mi TV 5X doesn’t support Dolby Atmos detection by content platforms – Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar both showed support for 5.1-channel audio at best.

Instead, enabling Dolby Atmos on this TV seems to upscale the sound signal at the hardware stage. This still made a slight difference in sound quality with most content. Some virtualised surround effects could be heard while watching Squid Game, and the sound felt a bit more refined and detailed overall. Even with this switched off, or with content that doesn’t really benefit from the format, sound was decent enough. That said, a good speaker system such as the Sony HT-S40R, which I reviewed alongside this TV, might help improve the listening experience.

PatchWall shows a growing collection of curated content from across various streaming services and content providers


Although the picture and sound were generally good, and the software experience was satisfactory for the most part, I did experience some performance glitches with the Mi TV 5X. These included occasional lag and stutter in the picture when streaming Ultra-HD content, delayed responses to button-press commands from the remote, and a few Wi-Fi connection drops.

I also experienced delays in subtitle timing on some occasions, with the words appearing on screen about a second or two late but clearing on time, making it hard to read along when watching foreign-language content. While these issues weren’t very bothersome and were often fixable by turning the TV off and on again, they did come up every once in a while, so they are worth pointing out.


Xiaomi’s focus on value for money and competitive pricing continues to pay off for the company, and the Mi TV 5X is a good example of why affordable TVs are worth considering. Priced at Rs. 45,999, this is quite easily my top pick among 55-inch televisions priced at under Rs. 50,000 right now. It delivers a good blend of design, features, and…


Revisión de Apple AirPods (3ra generación): nuevo diseño, experiencia familiar

Los AirPods de Apple han tenido un papel muy importante en el segmento de audio personal, tanto tecnológica como culturalmente. Si bien los verdaderos auriculares inalámbricos existían antes del lanzamiento de los AirPods de primera generación a fines de 2016, el producto de Apple sin duda popularizó el factor de forma en todo el mundo. El éxito de los Airpods inspiró a muchas marcas a sumergirse en el incipiente segmento de productos e incluso sacar ideas de su diseño icónico. Hoy en día, si bien hay muchas opciones inalámbricas reales de muchas marcas, los AirPods continúan destacándose por su diseño y estilo reconocibles.

Apple lanzó recientemente los AirPods (3ra generación), con un precio de Rs. 18.500 en la India. Aunque este auricular es el sucesor de los AirPods (2da generación), presenta un diseño completamente renovado que es muy similar al de los Rs. 24.900 AirPods Pro. Sin embargo, carece de algunas de las características que distinguen a los auriculares insignia de la compañía. ¿Son los Apple AirPods (3ra generación) los mejores auriculares inalámbricos verdaderos que puede comprar por menos de Rs. 20,000, y qué tan bien funciona? Descúbrelo en esta revisión.

Al igual que el resto de la verdadera gama inalámbrica de Apple, los AirPods (3.ª generación) están disponibles en un solo color: blanco.

Estuche de carga MagSafe para Apple AirPods (3.ª generación)

Con la tercera generación, Apple ha adoptado un nuevo diseño para los AirPods, inspirándose en los AirPods Pro. Los vástagos de los auriculares son más cortos y ahora hay un botón de toque forzado en cada auricular para los controles, similar al de los auriculares Pro. Sin embargo, a diferencia del Pro, que tiene orejeras de silicona para un ajuste más seguro y aislante del ruido, los AirPods (3.ª generación) tienen el mismo ajuste en el oído externo que los AirPods originales.

Los auriculares de los AirPods (3.ª generación) también son más grandes que los de los AirPods no profesionales y tienen rejillas más anchas. Como resultado, el ajuste es más seguro que el de los AirPods (2.ª generación), pero no tan seguro ni aislante del ruido como el de los AirPods Pro.

Podía escuchar mucho sonido ambiental cuando usaba los nuevos AirPods, y esto es por diseño, para que sean adecuados para uso en exteriores. Como se ha convertido en la norma para los verdaderos auriculares inalámbricos de Apple, los AirPods (3ra generación) están disponibles solo en blanco. Los auriculares y el estuche de carga tienen clasificación IPX4 de resistencia al agua, y podrán soportar salpicaduras ligeras de agua y sudor.

Un gran cambio es la adición de controles táctiles forzados en Apple AirPods (3.ª generación). A diferencia de los controles táctiles menos precisos de los AirPods de primera y segunda generación, el toque forzado requiere un gesto muy deliberado similar a presionar un botón, y la retroalimentación del auricular también te hace sentir como si se tratara de botones mecánicos, aunque no lo sean. ‘t.

Los controles le permiten reproducir y pausar música, saltar a la pista anterior o siguiente y responder llamadas, así como invocar a Siri sin usar su teléfono inteligente. Aunque no puede controlar el volumen directamente desde los auriculares, puede usar los comandos de voz de Siri para ajustarlo.

El estuche de carga de los Apple AirPods (3.ª generación) es más corto y más ancho que el de la variante de 2.ª generación, para adaptarse a la forma de los nuevos auriculares. El puerto Lightning para cargar está en la parte inferior, el botón de emparejamiento está en la parte posterior y la luz indicadora está en el frente. El estuche admite carga inalámbrica Qi con compatibilidad MagSafe para accesorios compatibles.

Los AirPods de Apple (3.ª generación) se ajustan al oído externo; no hay puntas de silicona para los oídos como en los AirPods Pro

Apple continúa usando Bluetooth 5 y el códec Bluetooth AAC como la opción predeterminada cuando se combina con dispositivos fuente de Apple, aunque también hay compatibilidad con el códec SBC. Los AirPods (3.ª generación) utilizan el chip H1 interno de Apple, que permite un emparejamiento rápido y hace que la conectividad funcione bien con otros dispositivos Apple. También hay un sensor de detección de piel, que permite que el auricular sepa cuándo está en tus oídos para controlar las funciones automáticas de reproducción y pausa. No hay cancelación de ruido activa en los AirPods (3ra generación), y el paquete de ventas incluye solo un cable de carga USB tipo C a Lightning.

La duración de la batería en los Apple AirPods (3.ª generación) es mejor que en los modelos de 2.ª generación o Pro; Pude obtener un poco más de 5 horas de tiempo de uso en los auriculares con música y llamadas. El estuche de carga tiene suficiente energía para cargar los auriculares cuatro veces, lo que me da una duración total de la batería de alrededor de 25 a 26 horas por ciclo de carga. Esto es bastante bueno dado el conjunto de funciones de los AirPods (3.ª generación).

Spatial Audio y Siri completo en los AirPods (3.ª generación)

Apple presentó Spatial Audio con Apple TV y lo lanzó para Apple Music a mediados de 2021. Los AirPods (3.ª generación), al igual que los AirPods Pro y AirPods Max, son compatibles con Spatial Audio, junto con el seguimiento de la cabeza para los servicios compatibles.

El asistente de voz Siri también es compatible con los AirPods (3.ª generación), con la opción de habilitar la frase de activación de manos libres “Hey Siri”. Esto funciona como lo haría en un iPhone o HomePod, aunque los auriculares necesitan emparejarse con un iPhone, iPad o Mac para conectarse a Internet. Siri puede leer notificaciones entrantes, ajustar el volumen y controlar la reproducción, obtener contenido específico, llamar a contactos y más, directamente desde el auricular sin siquiera tocar el dispositivo de origen, y todo esto funcionó como esperaba para mí.

Otras características clave incluyen el emparejamiento y la configuración rápidos de Apple, que detecta los AirPods (3ra generación) y los vincula a su ID de Apple, para que pueda emparejar automáticamente y cambiar rápidamente entre sus otros dispositivos Apple. Esto también permite una funcionalidad mejorada con la aplicación Find My en iOS. La funcionalidad Find My incluye seguimiento local y notificaciones cuando se olvida el auricular, similar a lo que obtiene con un Apple AirTag.

Por supuesto, puede vincular los AirPods (3.ª generación) con otros dispositivos, como teléfonos Android, mediante Bluetooth estándar. Sin embargo, las funciones mejoradas que obtiene al usar los auriculares con dispositivos Apple no estarán disponibles.

Buen sonido, pero mal aislamiento del ruido en los Apple AirPods (3.ª generación)

Este cambio generacional de los AirPods va mucho más allá del diseño; los AirPods (3.ª generación) tienen algunas características clave de los AirPods Pro que los distinguen del modelo de 2.ª generación. Estos incluyen Adaptive EQ, los controladores personalizados de alta excursión y el amplificador de alto rango dinámico de la compañía, y compatibilidad con Spatial Audio. Todo esto le da a los nuevos AirPods un sonido más cercano al de los AirPods Pro más caros, aunque sin cancelación activa de ruido.

Para desbloquear todo el conjunto de funciones de los AirPods (3.ª generación), necesitará un dispositivo iOS

La falta de ANC es tanto un beneficio como un inconveniente en los AirPods (3.ª generación); la señal de audio real es ‘sin adulterar’, por así decirlo, pero al mismo tiempo, escucha mucho sonido ambiental junto con música que podría dificultar la experiencia auditiva. Dicho esto, los auriculares son lo suficientemente ruidosos y limpios como para brindar una experiencia auditiva decente incluso en entornos algo ruidosos.

La función Adaptive EQ de Apple, que también se ve en los AirPods Pro y AirPods Max más caros, está presente en los AirPods (3.ª generación), con la ayuda de micrófonos en el interior de los auriculares que permiten el ajuste automático del ecualizador según la forma de las orejas del usuario. . De hecho, encontré que el sonido era más similar al de los AirPods Pro que al de los AirPods de segunda generación; la firma sónica parecía poder ajustarse a varios géneros y pistas sobre la marcha.

Comenzando con Snitch de Netsky y Aloe Blacc, los AirPods de Apple (3.ª generación) crearon un sonido que fue inmediatamente atractivo y bien calibrado para la pista, prestando la debida atención a cada parte del rango de frecuencia. El comienzo de la pista fue detallado, con la voz de Aloe Blacc sonando nítida y clara. Esta impactante pista electrónica sintetizada sonaba impresionante, con los AirPods (3.ª generación) fluyendo a través de ella de forma casi intuitiva.

Las pistas más agresivas y rápidas, como Holdin’ On (Skrillex y Nero Remix) de Monsta, sonaron cohesivas y ofensivas, y los AirPods (3.ª generación) lograron mantenerse al día con el cambio constante de ritmo en la pista, alternando entre voces más suaves y bajo agresivo. Con la verdad más lenta y refinada de Kamasi Washington, los auriculares lograron resaltar los detalles en los instrumentos de jazz, mientras se ajustaban lenta y calculadamente a los cambios sutiles en el ritmo y el tono.

El ecualizador adaptativo y la buena afinación hacen que los AirPods (3.ª generación) suenen bien, pero la falta de aislamiento de ruido frena un poco la experiencia

El rendimiento también fue bastante bueno con el audio de solo voz de los audiolibros, aunque tuve que subir el volumen casi al máximo cuando estaba al aire libre para dominar los sonidos ambientales. En general, Apple AirPods (3ra generación) brinda una experiencia auditiva atractiva y puede adaptarse al género y la pista en juego. El sonido es casi tan bueno como el de los AirPods Pro, pero obviamente un poco diferente debido a la falta de cancelación activa de ruido y la capacidad de escuchar una buena cantidad de lo que sucede en el fondo.

Aunque Spatial Audio con soporte para Dolby Atmos y seguimiento de la cabeza no es nuevo ni siquiera para la gama AirPods, se ha vuelto mucho más relevante desde que llegó a Apple Music a mediados de 2021. Los AirPods (3.ª generación) son compatibles con todas estas funciones de Apple TV y Apple Music cuando se usan con un dispositivo fuente compatible.

El rendimiento de Dolby Atmos y Spatial Audio es tan bueno como en los AirPods Pro, con los auriculares capaces de simular una experiencia de sonido envolvente a pesar de las limitaciones obvias del audio de dos canales. El seguimiento de la cabeza también es impresionante; girar la cabeza cuando escuchaba ciertas pistas resultó en que la música “permaneciera en su lugar” por así decirlo; las voces en las pistas habilitadas para Dolby Atmos generalmente sonaban como si se originaran en la dirección del dispositivo de origen, incluso si mi cabeza miraba en una dirección diferente.

Apple tiene su propia forma de reducir el viento y otros sonidos ambientales durante las llamadas, utilizando una malla acústica alrededor de los micrófonos. Aunque es difícil saber qué diferencia está haciendo esto en la experiencia general, tuve buenas experiencias con las llamadas en los AirPods (3.ª generación) tanto en interiores como en exteriores. Aún así, la falta de cancelación activa de ruido y aislamiento de ruido afectó significativamente mi capacidad para concentrarme en las llamadas si no estaba en un espacio silencioso.

También hay soporte para un nuevo códec AAC-ELD, que se dice que mejora el rendimiento de voz en las llamadas FaceTime. Sin embargo, no noté particularmente ninguna diferencia con respecto a antes.


Con un precio de Rs. 18,500 en India, los Apple AirPods (3ra generación) son un par de verdaderos auriculares inalámbricos costosos, dado que no hay cancelación activa de ruido. Sin embargo, en todos los demás aspectos, este es un buen par de auriculares. Funciona muy bien con los dispositivos y accesorios de Apple, suena bien y ofrece una experiencia de uso integral que se adapta a iOS, Siri y Apple Music. Aunque, naturalmente, no es tan bueno como los AirPods Pro, esta es la siguiente mejor opción, especialmente si tiene un presupuesto inferior a Rs. 20.000.

Varias opciones de la competencia por este precio e incluso más bajo ofrecen un mejor aislamiento pasivo del ruido (a menos que prefiera un ajuste en el oído externo) y cancelación activa del ruido, pero los AirPods (3ra generación) están diseñados para funcionar bien dentro del ecosistema de Apple. Si tiene un iPhone, iPad o Mac, querrá considerar los AirPods (3ra generación) sobre las opciones de marcas de la competencia, simplemente por lo bien que funcionan juntos. Dicho esto, con los AirPods Pro con un gran descuento cuando están en oferta, es posible que puedas comprarlos a un precio ligeramente más alto que el de los AirPods (3.ª generación).

Esta semana en Orbital, el podcast de Gadgets 360, hablamos sobre el iPhone 13, el nuevo iPad y iPad mini, y el Apple Watch Series 7, y lo que significan para el mercado indio. Orbital está disponible en Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music y dondequiera que obtenga sus podcasts.
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Sony HT-A5000 Soundbar and Home Theatre System Review: Fairly Well Equipped

A good home theatre system can really enhance your entertainment setup, and there are various ways to put one together in your television room at home. While many might opt to mix-and-match individual components from different brands, others might prefer the simplicity and ease of setup that you can get with a single product set. Sony offers just that with its feature-filled A-series soundbars, which can be used with matching subwoofers and rear speakers. I’m reviewing one of the Sony HT-A5000 soundbar systems here.

Priced at around Rs. 1,72,000 for the package I’m reviewing here, but with packages starting at around Rs. 1,12,000 onwards in India, the Sony HT-A5000 soundbar is the brand’s mid-tier product in its A-series lineup of soundbars and speaker systems. With a 5.1.2-channel speaker setup for the soundbar and support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision passthrough, is the Sony HT-A5000 worth the price? Find out in this review.

The up-firing speakers of the Sony HT-A5000 attempt to virtualise overhead speakers for compatible audio formats


Sony HT-A5000 system packages and pricing

While Sony states that the HT-A5000 is only being sold in packages in India starting at Rs. 1,11,980, the soundbar can be purchased on its own from Amazon for Rs. 85,990 at the time of writing this review. Different packages are available on Amazon as well, so depending on your requirements, you can find the setup and price point that suits you best.

Sony recommends the use of a dedicated subwoofer with the HT-A5000, with the company’s own package options including either the SA-SW3 (Rs. 1,11,980) or SA-SW5 subwoofer (Rs. 1,38,980). You can also add the optional SA-RS3S (Rs. 30,990) or SA-RS5 (Rs. 47,990) wireless rear speakers, if you like. For this review, I had the HT-A5000 paired with the SA-SW5 subwoofer and SA-RS5 rear speakers, with the total package priced at around Rs. 1,72,000. I have tested the various components both individually and together, to get a clear picture of how each of them work.

Sony HT-A5000 design and specifications

The Sony HT-A5000 is part of the same series as the Sony HT-A7000 (Review) and Sony HT-A3000, and is the positioned between them based on features, specifications, and pricing. This soundbar has a 5.1.2-channel configuration, with three front-firing speakers, two beam tweeters, a dual-channel subwoofer, and two up-firing speakers for overhead sound. The rated power output of the HT-A5000 is 450W.

Although not as impressive to look at as the more expensive HT-A7000, the Sony HT-A5000 is nearly as big and still quite a good-looking soundbar. There are no glossy or fabric elements on the speaker unit, but the textured black finish and metal grille do give it a modern and refined look. The bar unit weighs 6.1kg and lines up fairly evenly with a 55-inch television.

At the top of the HT-A5000 is a touch panel for the on-device controls, while the back has two cutouts for ports and sockets. The front of the speaker has a small monochrome display which shows the power status, volume, and active source.

Basic controls for the Sony HT-A5000 are on the soundbar itself, while more detailed controls are available on the remote


The Sony HT-A5000 comes with a useful remote that has plenty of controls, going far beyond the basic ones on the soundbar itself. IT lets you switch between various sound modes, control the volume of a connected subwoofer or rear speakers, and quickly switc between sources, over and above the basics of power, volume and playback controls. The sales package also includes a power cable for the HT-A5000, an HDMI cable, and batteries for the remote.

Sony HT-A5000 connectivity and features

For connectivity, the Sony HT-A5000 primarily relies on HDMI eARC, with separate input and output ports. It can handle display signal passthrough for up to 8K HDR, 4K 120Hz, or Dolby Vision content. There are also optical (TOSLINK) and USB Type-A ports, as well as an ‘S-Center Out’ socket which lets you use a compatible Bravia TV as a centre speaker.

Wireless connectivity on the Sony HT-A5000 uses Bluetooth 5 (with support for the SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs) and Wi-Fi, which works with various services and protocols including Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa. There is also support for HDMI CEC, and the TV Wireless protocol which lets the soundbar connect wirelessly to compatible Sony Bravia TVs.

The Sony HT-A5000 supports various Dolby formats up to Atmos, DTS:X, and Sony’s own Vertical Surround Engine for overhead speaker virtualisation. All of this can usefully be controlled through a visual interface which can be accessed when the soundbar is connected to a TV through the HDMI port. The interface allows easy access to controls and connectivity options, and also lets the user set up the 360 Spatial Sound Mapping feature and any Wi-Fi-based services, among other things.

Sony SA-SW5 subwoofer and SA-RS5 rear speakers design and specifications

The Sony SA-SW5 subwoofer and SA-RS5 rear speakers are packaged separately, come with their own power cables, and are designed to visually match any of the A-series soundbars. These units are quite large, and you’ll need to ensure you have the space and ability to place them correctly. Usefully, the RS5 speakers have in-built batteries, and are rated to run for up to 10 hours on a single charge, which can come in handy if positioning is tricky and power outlets aren’t easily accessible.

Sony sells the HT-A5000 in various packages that include subwoofers and optional rear speakers, such as the SA-RS5 wireless speakers


The subwoofer wasn’t too difficult for me to place, but the rear speakers were a bit more complicated due to needing a power socket and a secure place to put each of them behind my seating area. All additional units need to be positioned correctly near the main soundbar. Once set up and connected, they’ll power on and off and connect to the HT-A5000 automatically and reliably, based on the power status of the main soundbar. The pairing process is quite easy, and can be carried out through the visual interface for the HT-A5000.

The SA-SW5 subwoofer has a rated output of 300W and therefore significantly increases the overall power of the package, while the SA-RS5 rear speakers have a rated output of 180W (90W each). Each of the devices requires a separate connection to a power outlet, but as mentioned, they pair with the HT-A5000 master device wirelessly, which handles connections with all other devices such as your TV and media sources.

Sony HT-A5000 performance

The three soundbars in Sony’s A-series lineup in India are primarily differentiated by their driver configurations, and as a factor of that, their rated power output. The Sony HT-A5000 is the middle product in the lineup, offering a bit less than the HT-A7000 on the whole, but a fair bit more than the lower-priced HT-A3000. In my opinion, this makes the HT-A5000 the most practical of the three in the lineup, and it is particularly well suited to pairing with premium 55-inch or 65-inch televisions.

Primary connectivity for the Sony HT-A5000 is through HDMI ARC/eARC, but other options including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are also present


The HT-A5000 is also particularly well suited to the typical urban living room, and arguably looks more in place in such a setting than the HT-A7000 and other premium home theatre setups from specialist loudspeaker brands. This also carries through to its ease of use and the lack of tweaking necessary to get the best out of it. It never felt too loud, powerful or overbearing in my home, and it should be able to adapt to both larger and smaller spaces, in my opinion, thanks to its mid-tier 5.1.2-channel configuration and power output.

Ease of use, and the fact that I didn’t have to do much setup, make the Sony HT-A5000 a lot less complicated than the HT-A7000. I rarely needed to adjust the levels of the SA-SW5 subwoofer and SA-RS5 rear speakers after the initial calibration and setup, or even switch sound formats or modes to enhance voice and dialogue quality; the Sony HT-A5000 pretty much just worked as it was.

That said, to get the best out of the Sony HT-A5000, you do need to use it with the right equipment; audio format support is a big factor in the performance of the soundbar system. I had the Sony HT-A5000 connected to an Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen), with content passing through the soundbar to the television, thus allowing for up to Dolby Atmos support when available.

Watching the iconic ‘Beard After Hours’ episode of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+, Dolby Atmos made everything sound considerably better. Sound coming from the rear speakers was particularly well tuned and refined, and the trippy nightclub scene at the end of the episode also managed to put the overhead channels of the HT-A5000 to good use, creating a very audible virtualisation effect. There was sound coming from all directions, but it never felt too much or too jumbled up; the entire track was cohesive and all components played rather well together.

Various formats up to Dolby Atmos are supported on the Sony HT-A5000, along with Dolby Vision and 8K passthrough for video content


Overhead virtualisation naturally needs the right kind of content. However, most of the time, I was watching TV shows and movies available in 5.1-channel audio, such as Andor and Rogue One on Disney+ Hotstar, 1899 on Netflix, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (both movies) on Amazon Prime Video. For these, the soundbar relied on Sony’s Vertical Surround Engine and 360 Spatial Sound mapping to virtualise the 5.1-channel audio signal to work effectively with the additional channels in the setup.

This worked effectively, and the sound from the Sony HT-A5000, SA-SW5, and SA-RS5 was remarkably consistent across formats and content types, at moderate to high volume levels. While I did also try the Dolby Audio and DTS:X modes, these didn’t have as much of an effect on the HT-A5000 as on the larger and more expensive HT-A7000 soundbar.

Taking the rear speakers and subwoofer out of the equation naturally takes a significant bite out of the overall sound, but the HT-A5000 on its own is obviously still significantly better than what even a high-end television will deliver through its built-in speakers. The soundbar delivers a wide, spacious sound stage, much more loudness, and a level of clarity and definition that adds value to your viewing experience.

I would recommend having a subwoofer though; the built-in subwoofers on the HT-A5000 are nowhere near as good as the SA-SW3 or SA-SW5. That said, the SW5 does seem a bit too powerful for this soundbar, and I had to turn its volume down a fair bit to ensure the levels matched on the setup as a whole.

On the other hand, the SA-RS5 rear speakers match quite well with the HT-A5000. I found them ideal with the volume maxed out. These rear speakers delivered only a small portion of the overall sound and were never too loud, instead relying on their positioning to enhance the listening experience.

On the HT-A5000, I did need to occasionally adjust the volume for comfort, but fortunately I didn’t experience any sudden or forced volume spikes. Moderate volume levels were ideal in most situations and with most types of content, but this pair can get quite loud if needed without much distortion or awkwardness in the sound.

The soundbar system worked particularly well for action sequences and soundtracks, but was fairly capable even with soft or dialogue-based content such as stand-up comedy specials. It was even pretty good for listening to music, with decent sound quality both from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-based sources.


The Sony HT-A5000 is undoubtedly quite expensive and would be ideally matched with a premium television. However, despite its lesser configuration as compared to the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, I found the HT-A5000 better suited to the typical living room. It’s a lot easier to use, the specifications fit in with most viewing needs, and the soundbar works well with Sony’s range of matching components. Good format support and adaptability further add to its overall appeal, making this an all-round performer.

All of this said, the Sony HT-A5000 on its own feels a bit underwhelming, and is best used as part of a package that includes a dedicated subwoofer and preferably rear speakers as well. It’s worth the purchase if you’re looking for a premium home entertainment speaker system that is…


Philips 55-Inch 8100 Series (55PUT8115/94) Ultra-HD 4K LED Smart Android TV Review: Worth the Price?

Although you don’t have to spend more than Rs. 40,000 to get a 55-inch Ultra-HD TV these days, increasing your budget does usually get you better features and performance. This also means being able to choose from more brands, including well-known and established options that offer somewhat more assurance of quality and performance. One such brand is Philips, which has positioned itself a step above the entry-level segment.

Officially priced at Rs. 89,990 (but usually available at Rs. 69,990), the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV is in roughly the same segment as the now-discontinued Philips 8200-series TV range. On paper, its support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, smart connectivity through Android TV, and 20W sound output seem impressive. Is this the best television you can buy for around Rs. 70,000 right now? Find out in this review.

Philips positions itself a bit higher than competing brands such as Xiaomi and Hisense, and aims to take on the likes of Samsung and Sony


Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV design and specifications

The Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD TV is positioned against more premium players such as Samsung, LG, and Sony. However, Philips will also have to take on the technically superior quantum dot LED TVs that value-focused brands have launched, such as the Hisense 55U6G which retails for under Rs. 60,000.

The Philips 55PUT8115/94 television is fairly straightforward and efficient in its design. The point of a television is to put the screen at the centre of the viewer’s attention, and this Philips TV does that well with discreet, slim black borders all around the LCD panel and a simple Philips logo in the bottom left corner.

The television isn’t slim but it isn’t very thick either, and maintains a reasonable aesthetic profile regardless of whether it’s wall-mounted or table-mounted. To the left of the screen, facing outward are one HDMI port (with ARC support), a USB Type-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the antenna socket. The rest of the ports are bottom-facing, and these include three HDMI ports, one USB Type-A port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, and the Optical Audio Out (Toslink) port.

Disappointingly, the power socket faces backward, which can cause a plug to bend a bit when the TV is wall-mounted with a low-profile mounting kit, and that doesn’t feel very reassuring. The bottom-facing ports were very difficult to access once the TV was wall-mounted, and even the side-facing ones were a bit tricky to reach. A wall-mount kit isn’t included in the box, so you’ll need to confirm with your retailer whether wall mounting will be provided for free or as a chargeable extra as part of the installation of the TV.

You’ll want to ensure you have all of your connections attached before putting the TV up on a wall, but this won’t be much of a problem if you’re table-mounting the TV, since it weighs a reasonable 11.5kg (11.8kg with the stands attached) and can be moved around a bit if necessary. The TV stands for the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV are included in the box and attach to the TV near the corners, so you’ll need a wide enough table to place the TV on.

The television sent to me for review is the 55-inch model, and it has an Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) LED panel. The TV supports HDR up to the Dolby Vision and HDR10+ formats, and has a refresh rate of up to 60Hz. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. Audio return channel (ARC) for HDMI is supported. For sound, the television has a bottom-firing box speaker system with a total rated output of 20W, and support for Dolby Atmos. There is 4GB of storage for apps and app data.

Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV remote and features

Although minimalist remotes with fewer buttons and smaller dimensions are trendy for televisions these days, I always appreciate a traditional remote for the flexibility and control it offers. The remote of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 is large, with a number pad, playback controls, hotkeys for some streaming services, and a large and tactile D-pad which makes navigation easy even in the dark. It also has useful options for invoking Google Assistant, source selection, and more.

The full-sized remote of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV has hotkeys for Netflix, Google Play, and YouTube


The remote is powered by two AAA batteries (included in the sales package), and is light and easy to handle. It uses both infrared and Bluetooth for connectivity, although the latter only works for Google Assistant voice commands. Although infrared requires a line of sight to work, the remote was able to work well for me even if not pointed directly at the TV. This will also ensure more conservative battery use, since Bluetooth drains batteries a lot quicker.

Like other televisions running the Android TV platform, the Philips 55PUT8115/94 has full-fledged Google Assistant capabilities and built-in Chromecast. Apart from this, there is also support for HDMI ARC and HDMI CEC.

Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV software and interface

Android TV is the operating system of choice for many TV manufacturers because of its quality and ease of use, and the Philips 55PUT8115/94 runs Android TV 10 with the refreshed Google-TV-like user interface. This is a well-established and very reliable software experience, and it’s likely that many buyers will have seen or used it in some form or the other already. Over 5,000 apps are available for Android TV through the Google Play store.

For the most part, my experience with the TV’s software was good. Apps and content were usually quick to load, and there were no buffering issues with content on a fast Internet connection. Navigating the interface was smooth, and basic functions such as switching source devices or invoking Google Assistant yielded the desired results with no trouble at all.

However, I did begin experiencing a recurring issue around two days after a reboot of the TV. Subtitles were slow to load, the sound would cut out at odd times, and eventually, whatever app was running (usually Netflix, but occasionally also Disney+ Hotstar) would crash and take me back to the Android TV home screen.

The Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV runs on Android TV 10, with the stock Android TV user interface and access to the Google Play Store for apps and games


A full reboot of the TV – that is, powering it down and turning it back on – would fix this issue, until it resurfaced again after a couple of days. I faced this with the Philips TV throughout the entire review period, and while the fix was easy, it was still time-consuming and bothersome to have to go through the drill every couple of days. No software updates were pushed during my time with the TV, but I’m hoping Philips releases a software patch for this soon.

Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV performance

Philips occupies a niche in the big-screen TV segment when it comes to pricing; it’s more expensive than competing products from brands such as Xiaomi and Hisense, but a bit more affordable than similarly-specced TVs from brands such as Sony and Samsung, such as the Samsung 55AU8000 TV.

On paper and in the real world, the Philips 55PUT8115/94 does offer a lot for its street price of around Rs. 70,000. However, it’s not quite as impressive as the now-discontinued Philips 55PUT8215/94, and falls short when compared to decent QLED TVs on some parameters such as brightness. While this TV is undeniably good when it comes to picture and sound quality, the feeling I got was that performance didn’t quite match up to its price.

I watched varied content across resolutions and HDR formats, including The Bubble, No Time To Die, Community, Kim’s Convenience, and Severance. Apart from this, I also streamed live sports content (Formula One) and played some standard definition videos from YouTube, to cover a wide range of genres and viewing habits.

Although the picture is sharp, brightness on the Philips 55PUT8115/94 isn’t very good


Ultra-HD Dolby Vision content looked visibly better than anything else on the Philips 55PUT8115/94 television, but certain types of content seemed to suit the TV’s picture signature and muted approach a bit better. This TV doesn’t get as bright as some of its competitors, but it does manage to deliver plenty of detail despite this, particularly in content with a muted colour tone and palette such as Severance and The Bubble.

I did need to darken my room as much as possible to get the best results with such shows, as bright indoor lighting or sunlight hampered the viewing experience. Even with the enhanced brightness on offer with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content, the Philips TV didn’t quite match up to what a decent quantum-dot LED TV in this price range can offer.

On the other hand, I liked how sharp and detailed the picture was, as well as the smooth, clean motion handling of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV with Ultra-HD content. The snow-filled outdoor landscape and the windowless office spaces in Severance looked sharp and on-point, achieving the mood that the show aims to set. Fine details in the facial expressions and moods of the characters were brought out capably and reliably by the television. Motion was definitely easy on the eyes, and made it possible to watch content for long stretches with little discomfort.

Sitcoms, including Community and Kim’s Convenience, felt lively because of the brightness of the content and gentler camera work, but still seemed a bit dull in comparison to what the competition can reproduce. That said, I seldom encountered any motion artefacts or picture flaws; the television pretty much did its job in a straightforward and simple manner. It eliminated distractions and let me focus on what I was watching.

I watched a full-HD stream of No Time To Die on Amazon Prime Video, and only detected minor differences in sharpness between that and other Ultra-HD content I had recently streamed across platforms. Although Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content was visibly a bit brighter, SDR content didn’t feel like too much of a step down, given the toned-down brightness of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV.

SDR and lower-resolution content didn’t feel like too much of step down, given the muted brightness levels of the TV with HDR content


Formula One live-streamed with Disney+ Hotstar, as well as standard definition content showcased some issues with sharpness and ability to upscale and process lower-resolution content. In some cases, particularly with the Australian Grand Prix, this wasn’t bad at all, and about as good as can be expected when watching this kind of content on a 55-inch television.

Sound quality on the Philips 55PUT8115/94 was acceptable, but it did not get quite as loud and wasn’t as refined as I’ve heard on similarly priced competition such as the Mi QLED TV 4K. While the sound was clean, I often felt a need to bump the volume up in dialogue-heavy scenes when watching The Bubble, only to have to quickly decrease it when the soundtrack took over or when action scenes played out.

Although these volume spikes and drops were never too drastic, this did affect the sound experience a bit, and you might want to invest in a basic soundbar to overcome the weaknesses of the TV’s speakers. Dolby Atmos did seem to provide a bit more width and depth to the sound with supported content, but this could only really be heard at high volume levels.


Competition in the mid-range television segment is fierce, and the price of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 ends up holding it back, compared to its peers. Although the picture is sharp, detailed, and often gets the mood of content right, its inability to get bright enough and its below-average sound quality hold this TV back. I also experienced some software issues that could simply be a bug or a result of poor implementation.

This TV costs perhaps Rs. 10,000 too much, in my opinion, and better value-for-money options can be found from competing brands. Both Xiaomi and Hisense sell quantum-dot LED TVs at around the same price or less. That said, if you want picture quality that delivers on most counts, this Philips TV could work well for you. It might also be worth looking at the Philips 55PUT8215/94 TV, which although officially discontinued, might still be available at some retailers, as it offers better overall performance.

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Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar and SA-SW3 Wireless Subwoofer Review: Big and Powerful Sound at Home

If you’re shopping for a high-end home entertainment audio system and you have a generous budget, there isn’t any shortage of options. Many people would opt for a multi-speaker system powered by a proper home theatre amplifier, but this also involves a complicated setup and installation process, including mounting the speakers and running power and audio cables around your room. You might therefore want a soundbar for its ease of setup and use, even if you’re willing to splurge a bit.

The Sony HT-A7000 soundbar is meant for exactly that kind of customer. Priced at Rs. 1,49,990, this is a premium 7.1.2-channel single-bar speaker system that promises premium performance, with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, Bluetooth and HDMI connectivity, Dolby Vision and 8K HDR pass-through, and more.

Along with the optional Sony SA-SW3 wireless subwoofer (priced at Rs. 29,990) which I’ve also reviewed here, this setup could make for a promising home theatre system with a convenient physical footprint. Is this the best premium soundbar system you can buy right now? Find out in this review.

The Sony HT-A7000 soundbar has two top-firing overhead channel speakers along with a built-in subwoofer.


Sony HT-A7000 soundbar and SA-SW3 subwoofer design and specifications

The Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2-channel soundbar can be purchased as a standalone device and is priced at Rs. 1,49,990 in India. However, Sony also sells it as a bundle with additional speakers. You can buy this soundbar with the SA-SW3 subwoofer (Rs. 29,990) or SA-SW5 subwoofer (Rs. 61,990), and SA-RS3S wireless rear speakers (Rs. 35,990) to expand your setup.

For this review, I used the Sony HT-A7000 with the Sony SA-SW3 wireless subwoofer. This combination is available directly from Sony as a bundle at a promotional price of Rs. 1,50,980 at the time of this review, which is just a bit higher than the cost of the HT-A7000 on its own. You can add the wireless speakers if you like as a separate purchase, but this will make setup and installation a bit more complicated, since they need to be placed alongside or behind your seating area. The soundbar and subwoofer alone were fairly easy for me to set up myself, with both positioned near my television and drawing power from the same socket board.

The Sony HT-A7000 bar speaker is quite large and heavy at 8.7kg. It’s roughly the same length as a typical 55-inch television, and also wide enough that it needs to be placed on a large table or home entertainment unit. The size (and price) of the HT-A7000 means that it is best paired with a premium television, and its built-in connectivity and amplification mean that you don’t need an AV receiver or home theatre amplifier.

The bar speaker itself looks premium and very attractive, with a metal grille, glossy surface at the top, and fabric covering the two top-firing overhead channels. The touch controls for power, Bluetooth connectivity, signal source, and volume are on the top of the soundbar. The front of the HT-A7000 has a small monochrome display that indicates its power status, the source that’s in use, and volume levels. The display was a bit hard to read from a distance, but it’s more than adequate for the purpose it serves.

The Sony SA-SW3 subwoofer has a rated output of 200W


A remote is bundled with the Sony HT-A7000, and has detailed controls for navigation, display, subwoofer volume adjustment, and sound mode selection, among other things. Also included in the sales package are the power cord for the soundbar, a 3.5mm audio cable for wired connectivity, and an HDMI cable.

The Sony HT-A7000 is a 7.1.2-channel speaker system with five front speakers, two beam tweeters, two top-firing overhead-channel speakers, and a built-in subwoofer. This soundbar has a total rated power output of 500W. The SA-SW3 subwoofer has a rated output of 200W, and wireless connectivity with compatible Sony products, including the HT-A7000, is easy to set up.

Connectivity options on the Sony HT-A7000 include two HDMI inputs, one HDMI output with ARC/eARC support, an analogue stereo jack, optical audio input, and a USB Type-A port. You can therefore simultaneously connect two source devices such as streaming devices, gaming consoles, or Blu-ray players directly to the HT-A7000, which can then connect to your TV or projector using HDMI ARC or eARC. The HT-A7000 supports video signal pass-through up to the Dolby Vision, 4K-120Hz, and 8K HDR formats, so this speaker is future-ready and capable of handling most current source devices.

Alternatively you can simply use the optical audio input or the HDMI ARC connection to your TV to receive audio. I used the Sony HT-A7000 with different smart televisions during my review, relying on HDMI ARC for the sound signal, and it worked as expected. Various sound formats up to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are supported by the HT-A7000, along with Sony’s own DSEE Extreme, Vertical Surround Engine, and 360 Reality Audio enhancement features.

The Sony HT-A7000 has Bluetooth 5 connectivity, with support for the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. There is also Wi-Fi, which enables Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and built-in Chromecast audio support. HDMI CEC is supported, letting you use your connected devices to control the soundbar.

The Sony SA-SW3 wireless subwoofer has a dull, patterned texture on the top and sides, and fabric covering its front. The back has buttons for power and wireless linking, and a socket for the included power cable. The front of the subwoofer has a small indicator light, which shows the power and connectivity status of the device.

This subwoofer only connects wirelessly to compatible Sony audio systems such as the HT-A7000 soundbar. The process was simple and the connection was stable throughout my time with these two units. It isn’t possible to adjust the subwoofer volume directly from the SW3 itself, and I needed to use the remote of the HT-A7000. This was often necessary given the sheer power of the subwoofer.

Connectivity options on the Sony HT-A7000 include HDMI with ARC/eARC support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more


When connected to a display, you can open up the visual interface of the Sony HT-A7000 to select source devices, adjust settings, and explore and activate the various connectivity options. This was also necessary to calibrate the audio according to my room environment, link the SA-SW3 subwoofer to the bar speaker, and change the audio format and basic sound settings for proper listening. It’s a good, clean interface that works well for its purpose.

Sony HT-A7000 soundbar and SA-SW3 subwoofer performance

Looking beyond its design, connectivity options, and raw specifications, the Sony HT-A7000 is quite a beast when it comes to performance. It was very easy for me to set up and operate, and although there was a small learning curve and certain tweaks needed to be carried out, I quickly managed to get the HT-A7000 and SA-SW3 performing at the kind of level that I expected of a soundbar system that costs over Rs. 1,50,000.

I used the Sony HT-A7000 and SA-SW3 primarily as a sound system for my television while watching various movies and TV shows across audio formats including Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos, relying on HDMI ARC for connectivity. I also occasionally used Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth to stream music.

Of all the movies and TV shows I watched while using the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar and SA-SW3 subwoofer, Dune on Amazon Prime Video was perhaps the most memorable, even though it didn’t use any advanced audio format. Initially, the deep, rumbling soundtrack put the subwoofer to good use, but with absolutely no adjustments, voices sounded too soft and got lost in the atmospheric background sounds and intense action sequences of the movie.

This was quickly and easily fixed by turning off the DSEE Extreme mode, enabling the Auto Volume adjustment setting, and setting the Voice Dynamic Range feature to ‘Auto’. This allowed the soundbar to tweak sound levels to suit whatever was being played, on the fly. Indeed, it adjusted itself quickly and dynamically to suit softer voices in scenes as needed. This did tend to affect soundtracks a bit adversely, particularly the opening credits, which sounded a bit strange. However, vocals and action sequences sounded very good.

The physical controls for the Sony HT-A7000 are on the top 


There were times when I needed to lower the subwoofer volume, which at high levels, was occasionally overpowering with its intense bass. Once all of these initial setup issues were tackled, I was truly able to enjoy the loud, intense, atmospheric, and immersive sound that the Sony HT-A7000 and SA-SW3 produced. I did still occasionally need to tweak the subwoofer volume, but these adjustments were quick and easy, and entirely worth it to allow the HT-A7000 to work well with the content being played.

Indeed, my experience with Dune considerably more fun than when relying on only the Philips 55PUT8115/94 television’s – or rather most televisions’ – basic speaker system. The audio quality and sound experience of the Sony soundbar also far outclassed the picture levels that this particular Philips TV managed, which is why I mentioned in the beginning that it’s best to match this speaker setup with a TV of similar stature for the best home cinema experience.

At moderate volume levels, the sound from the Sony soundbar and subwoofer felt strong and engaging, while even at lower volume levels, casual content such as sitcoms or late night viewing were perfectly enjoyable.

Dune also let me try the native sound post-processing modes, including Dolby Speaker Virtualiser and DTS Neural:X. There’s a third mode called ‘Sound Mode On’ which presumably preserves the original source audio without adding any enhancements. DTS Neural:X was perhaps the more impressive of the two post-processing modes, adding much more atmospheric aggression and mood to the sound. The Dolby Virtualiser mode kept things a bit more uniform and soft, while still enhancing vocals.

Priced at over Rs. 1,50,000, the Sony HT-A7000 and SA-SW3 bundle is expensive, but performance is excellent


Sound Mode On was best used with Dolby Atmos content to ensure no changes were made to the sound signal. With Our Great National Parks on Netflix, performance was excellent as there was decent virtualised surround sound despite the lack of physical rear speakers. The sounds of nature, particularly flowing water and the chirping of birds, had a distinct sense of directionality and a wide soundstage that was impressively audible at the sides and above where I was sitting.

Even without the Sony SA-SW3 subwoofer, the Sony HT-A7000 delivered excellent sound, albeit with expectedly less low-end grunt. I wasn’t disappointed with the bass levels, but I definitely felt that the SW3 subwoofer added some useful and helpful attack and punch to the sound, particularly in intense movies and TV shows, and even music. The ‘Immersive AE’ mode improved the soundstage both vertically and horizontally, but seemed to make the overall sound a little less cohesive and sharp, particularly voices.

Music sounded surprisingly good on the Sony HT-A7000 and SA-SW3, thanks to their sheer power and attack. The tuning of the drivers naturally favours movies and TV shows, but that said, it’s a workable option for occasional music listening.

Audio quality was expectedly better with AirPlay and Chromecast than Bluetooth, but I did face some connectivity bugs with AirPlay which caused music to stop or the soundbar to not respond to playback controls on my iPhone on occasion. Bluetooth was more stable in terms of connectivity, and LDAC Bluetooth codec support made for decent sound quality when used with an Android smartphone.


It can be argued that a soundbar will never quite match up to a proper surround sound system, but a very good soundbar still has enough potential to make the difference somewhat irrelevant. The Sony HT-A7000 is quite impressive, enhancing the sound experience across genres and content, and adding useful post-processing and specific tuning where necessary. Combined with the Sony SA-SW3 subwoofer, this is a formidable home theatre system but is still easy to set up and operate.

That said, it’s undeniably very expensive at around Rs. 1,50,000 for the combo; perhaps more than it needs to be given that you can get soundbars that are also very good, such as the Sony HT-Z9F, for considerably less. However, if money…


Revisión del sistema de barra de sonido LG Eclair QP5 Dolby Atmos: el tamaño importa

Uno de los beneficios más importantes de un sistema de barra de sonido es su tamaño y la facilidad de instalación que viene con un paquete de uno o dos altavoces. Por lo general, lo suficientemente pequeño como para caber en una mesa de TV y con requisitos de cableado simples, una barra de sonido es una forma conveniente de mejorar el sonido para ver la televisión en casa. Dicho esto, las barras de sonido suelen ser largas y, por lo tanto, pueden ser un poco difíciles de colocar de forma segura en espacios muy compactos. Una barra de sonido súper compacta, como el producto que estoy revisando aquí, tiene como objetivo ofrecer una solución a ese problema.

El LG Eclair QP5 se promociona como la barra de sonido más pequeña de la compañía con soporte Dolby Atmos y tiene un precio de Rs. 59,990 en India, aunque está disponible por un poco menos en los listados en línea. Lo que hace que este sistema de barra de sonido sea tan único es el tamaño del altavoz de barra y el hecho de que también incluye un subwoofer en el paquete. El QP5 tiene un sistema de altavoces de 3.1.2 canales y una salida nominal de 320 W, con la afinación realizada por Meridian Audio. ¿Es este el mejor sistema de cine en casa supercompacto que puede comprar en este momento? Descúbrelo en esta revisión.

Las opciones de conectividad en el LG Eclair QP5 incluyen HDMI, entrada óptica digital, USB y Bluetooth

Diseño y especificaciones de la barra de sonido y subwoofer LG Eclair QP5

Aunque el LG Eclair QP5 se comercializa como un sistema de barra de sonido, una mirada rápida al altavoz principal hará que se cuestione esa lógica por completo. El altavoz de “barra” mide poco menos de 30 cm de largo y pesa solo 1,55 kg. Este tamaño compacto significa que no se parece en nada a una barra de sonido típica. LG afirma que el sistema QP5 se combina mejor con un televisor de 40 pulgadas, y el parlante de barra se veía absolutamente pequeño en comparación con el televisor Sony KD-43X75K de 43 pulgadas con el que lo usé para mi revisión.

Los puertos están en la parte posterior del altavoz de barra e incluyen un puerto de entrada HDMI, un puerto de salida HDMI compatible con ARC, un puerto de entrada óptica digital (Toslink), un puerto USB tipo A y un puerto DC- en el enchufe para el adaptador de corriente. Los botones para los controles básicos también se encuentran en la parte posterior, justo encima de los puertos, y estos incluyen encendido, volumen, selección de fuente y Bluetooth. No hay pantalla en el sistema de altavoces, pero hay tres luces LED en la parte delantera que indican la alimentación, el estado de conectividad y el volumen.

Si bien el parlante de barra puede ser pequeño, el subwoofer inalámbrico incluido ciertamente no lo es, y esto crea una falta de coincidencia visual bastante extraña cuando se observa el sistema LG QP5. Aunque los dos componentes tienen formas y texturas de tela similares en los lados exteriores, la diferencia de tamaño es bastante marcada y poco común en este segmento. El subwoofer solo pesa 7,7 kg.

El subwoofer no tiene botones visibles cuando se coloca en posición vertical y se puede colocar en casi cualquier orientación que le resulte conveniente. Lo tenía alineado paralelo a la pared para evitar que sobresaliera demasiado. Hay un botón de emparejamiento en la parte inferior que, presumiblemente, solo necesitará usar una vez durante la configuración inicial, para conectarlo de forma inalámbrica a la barra de altavoces.

El parlante de barra LG Eclair QP5 tiene una configuración de parlantes de 3.1.2 canales, con tres controladores que se activan hacia adelante y dos controladores que se activan hacia arriba, y el subwoofer tiene dos puertos de bajos que se activan hacia afuera. La posición de los controladores en el altavoz de barra es tal que se dice que ofrece más amplitud en el sonido de lo que normalmente sugeriría un altavoz de este tamaño, mientras que los canales superiores dirigen el sonido para que rebote en las superficies superiores para la virtualización de la parte superior. canales

La salida de sonido del LG Eclair QP5 tiene una potencia nominal de 320 W para todo el sistema, pero solo el subwoofer representa 220 W. Los cinco controladores de la barra de altavoces tienen una potencia nominal de 20 W cada uno, para un total de 100 W de salida. El altavoz tiene Bluetooth 4 para conectividad, con soporte para los códecs Bluetooth SBC y AAC. También hay soporte para los formatos de audio Dolby Atmos y DTS:X, y LG afirma que Meridian Audio ha ajustado el QP5 como continuación de la colaboración de larga data de las dos compañías.

En la caja se incluye un control remoto para el LG Eclair QP5, que ofrece prácticamente los mismos controles que los botones del dispositivo, junto con un par de botones adicionales para modos de sonido y un d-pad para navegación y selecciones que se activa en algunas situaciones El control remoto utiliza dos pilas AA para la alimentación. Tenía el QP5 conectado usando HDMI ARC, que también activó la compatibilidad con HDMI CEC y significó que en realidad no necesitaba usar mucho el control remoto de la barra de sonido, ya que el control remoto de mi televisor manejaba los ajustes de potencia y volumen.

Aplicación de subwoofer y barra de sonido LG Eclair QP5

A pesar de la falta de una pantalla en el sistema LG Eclair QP5 y el control remoto minimalista, el dispositivo no se detiene cuando se trata de personalización y ajustes de configuración. El QP5 utiliza la aplicación LG Sound Bar (disponible para iOS y Android) para personalizar y controlar las preferencias en el sistema de altavoces. La aplicación utiliza Bluetooth para conectarse al QP5, de forma similar a como funcionan los auriculares, audífonos y parlantes inalámbricos con sus propias aplicaciones.

El LG Eclair QP5 tiene un control remoto que se puede usar para cambiar los modos de sonido y controlar la reproducción, además de los ajustes básicos de potencia y volumen.

Con Bluetooth encendido y conectado a su teléfono inteligente, la aplicación muestra una interfaz visual ordenada para varias configuraciones y controles en el LG QP5. Puede configurar la fuente, ajustar el volumen, cambiar el efecto de sonido predeterminado según el tipo de audio (Automático, Música con Meridian, Juego y Cine) y ajustar los niveles de sonido específicos para el woofer, el altavoz central y los altavoces superiores. .

También puede actualizar el firmware, ajustar otras configuraciones, como la activación del formato de sonido, la activación de HDMI CEC y más. Después de la configuración inicial, realmente no necesitaba usar la aplicación a menudo, excepto para ajustar ocasionalmente el volumen del subwoofer. Los modos de efectos de sonido se pueden cambiar desde el propio control remoto. La aplicación es útil en general y es una buena característica.

Rendimiento de la barra de sonido y subwoofer LG Eclair QP5

El diseño y el tamaño de la barra de sonido LG Eclair QP5 significa que la instalación y el posicionamiento probablemente serán mucho más convenientes que con los sistemas de altavoces más grandes y tradicionales. Sin embargo, el tamaño también plantea dudas sobre las capacidades de este sistema de altavoces de barra de sonido y, de hecho, el rendimiento fue un poco confuso.

Los cinco controladores en la barra de altavoces del LG QP5 están inclinados para el ancho y el escenario sonoro y, de hecho, experimenté un sonido más amplio de lo que normalmente hubiera esperado de una barra de sonido de este tamaño. Conecté el sistema de parlantes al televisor Sony KD-43X75K usando HDMI ARC para esta revisión y tuve acceso a contenido variado con formatos de audio hasta Dolby Atmos.

Dado que tenía el LG QP5 instalado en el dormitorio con un televisor de 43 pulgadas, gran parte de mi visualización era en la tarde o en la noche, y tendía a limitarse a la visualización casual de comedias de situación, carreras de Fórmula 1 o programas de juegos, la mayoría de los cuales se limitaban a la codificación de audio básica o la codificación de sonido envolvente de 5.1 canales. Sin embargo, también vi contenido de Dolby Atmos, en particular episodios de Our Great National Parks y Love, Death & Robots Season 3.

El subwoofer del LG Eclair QP5 es considerablemente más grande que el parlante de barra y tiene una potencia nominal de 220 W de salida de sonido.

Dolby Atmos en una barra de sonido pequeña como esta siempre sería una propuesta incierta, pero el dispositivo brindó algunas mejoras en el sonido cuando se usa con el contenido correcto. La espaciosidad en el escenario sonoro estuvo presente en todas las direcciones, particularmente en las inquietantes escenas de barcos del episodio ‘Bad Travelling’ de Love, Death & Robots.

Aunque los controladores que disparaban hacia adelante ofrecían algún reflejo de sonido en las paredes, los controladores que disparaban hacia arriba no eran lo suficientemente capaces de proporcionar una virtualización superior adecuada. Dicho esto, esto también permitió un poco de espacio en la altura, con el escenario sonoro virtualizado logrando cubrir el área de la pantalla del televisor, si no toda la habitación. Este también fue el caso de Our Great National Parks, con los sonidos de la naturaleza sirviendo adecuadamente a la pequeña habitación en la que estaba usando la barra de sonido.

El subwoofer del LG Eclair QP5 no solo es visiblemente más grande que el altavoz de barra, sino también mucho más potente. Esto tendía a causar un poco de desajuste en la firma sónica donde los graves eran considerablemente más fuertes y más agresivos que los medios y los agudos. Es posible usar la aplicación para bajar un poco el tono del subwoofer, pero siempre me pareció demasiado fuerte, particularmente con la inquietante banda sonora de Better Call Saul: Season 6.

Con contenido centrado en la voz, como la comedia de situación Kim’s Convenience, el sistema LG QP5 tendía a depender menos del subwoofer y más del controlador de canal central de la barra de altavoces. Si bien el sonido era definitivamente más alto que el que ofrecía el televisor, a veces se sentía un poco incómodo y estridente, lo que requería reducir el volumen a niveles que no eran los ideales. Curiosamente, los cortes ocasionales con la música hip-hop sonaron impresionantes, aunque provocaron algunos picos de volumen repentinos que debían reducirse rápidamente.

Aunque el QP5 puede sonar muy alto, los niveles altos de volumen a veces eran un poco arriesgados debido a los picos de volumen impredecibles y al ruido sordo inesperado del subwoofer. Sin embargo, a volúmenes moderados, fue más que suficiente para llenar una habitación de 100 pies cuadrados, y definitivamente agregó un poco más de nitidez que los parlantes ordinarios de la televisión.

El Bluetooth en el LG Eclair QP5 se puede usar para conectividad inalámbrica con un televisor compatible o si necesita usar la barra de sonido como un sistema de altavoces para música cuando está conectado a un teléfono inteligente o tableta. El QP5 fue bastante agradable para este último, ofreciendo un sonido de ataque que llena la habitación y un hermoso escenario de sonido incluso a bajo volumen. Las pistas rápidas y contundentes como Show Me Love de Steve Angello y Laidback Luke fueron divertidas de escuchar, y la afinación pareció adaptarse a la música un poco más que a la televisión para la que está destinada en gran medida.

Durante mi tiempo con el LG Eclair QP5, enfrenté algunas ocasiones en las que el sonido se apagaba de forma intermitente y se reanudaba durante unos segundos, incluso cuando usaba HDMI ARC del televisor como fuente. Por lo general, esto se solucionaba solo y no ocurría más de una vez cada dos días, pero definitivamente era molesto cuando lo hacía. Al usar el control remoto del televisor para ajustar el volumen, el nivel saltó en incrementos de 3 a 4 en cualquier dirección para mantenerse al día con los niveles de volumen de la barra de sonido. Esto no fue realmente un problema, pero parecía un poco extraño y carecía de uniformidad al intentar aumentar o disminuir el volumen.


El LG Eclair QP5 es una barra de sonido bastante única, principalmente por su apariencia y lo fácil que es instalar gracias a su tamaño compacto. A pesar de esto último, el sonido que se ofrece es significativo y, aunque enfrenté algunos problemas con la estabilidad del audio y ocasionalmente una salida sónica estridente y desequilibrada del sistema, la experiencia general fue en gran medida positiva. La compatibilidad con Dolby Atmos, un buen rendimiento con Bluetooth y música, y un subwoofer muy bueno ciertamente ayudaron en su caso.

Sin embargo, en Rs. 59,990 (o incluso el precio en línea más bajo de Rs. 42,990), el LG QP5 es, sin duda, demasiado caro para lo que se ofrece. Este es un sistema de barra de sonido que se combina mejor con un televisor de 43 pulgadas, lo que lo hace más caro que la mayoría de los televisores de este tamaño en este momento.

Además, la falta de Wi-Fi o conectividad inteligente y el puñado de problemas que enfrenté subrayan aún más que el precio es quizás demasiado alto. Hay mucho que me gusta aquí sobre el diseño y las capacidades del LG Eclair QP5, por lo que aún podría valer la pena si está buscando un sistema de barra de sonido premium y tiene espacio limitado para la instalación.

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Sony Bravia XR-55X90K Ultra-HD Android LED TV Review: Focused on Performance

With OLED and Mini LED display technologies gaining prominence in the premium segment, quantum-dot LED tech has largely settled into a comfortable mid-range position. Buyers looking to spend a bit more for a promise of better performance often look to options from brands such as Sony and Samsung, both of which are well established when it comes to LED and quantum-dot LED TVs. Among the more popular options in the upper mid-range segment is the X90 series from Sony, which has now been updated for 2022 with the X90K range.

Priced at Rs. 1,23,490 for the 55-inch (XR-55X90K) variant on review here, the Sony Bravia X90K series is the company’s most expensive and advanced LED television range in India right now. With this, Sony hopes to strike a balance between performance and price, with Triluminos quantum-dot technology, full-array local dimming, and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. There’s a lot of promise here, but is the Sony 55X90K the best big-screen television you can buy under Rs. 1,50,000? Find out in this review.

The Sony 55X90K TV runs on Android TV 10 software, with the Google TV user interface on top


Sony Bravia XR-55X90K Ultra-HD LED Android TV design and specifications

The X90 series sits at the top of the pecking order for Sony’s LED TVs, and is available in three sizes: 55 inches priced at Rs. 1,23,490, 65 inches priced at Rs. 1,70,990, and a 75-inch variant which will be launched in the coming weeks from the time of publishing this review. Apart from the size, there are no differences in any of the models, with all having Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) Triluminos (quantum-dot) LED screens, and a refresh rate of 120Hz at up to 4K resolution.

Coming to the design of the TV, the Sony Bravia 55X90K is pretty much what you’d expect from a high-end Sony television. It’s entirely black, with slim bezels around the screen, a discreet Sony logo in the bottom left corner, and little else to take any attention away from the screen itself, which is how televisions should be. The power button and a slider switch for the always-on microphones are at the bottom of the TV, alongside the main speakers.

Unlike many modern high-end televisions, the Sony 55X90K isn’t very slim at any point. However, it isn’t too bulky or thick either as it doesn’t sit too far from the wall even when wall-mounted, and has a similar width as most TVs of its kind. The television weighs about 17.4kg without the stands attached, and supports VESA wall mounting.

The table mount stands are included in the sales package, and are easy to install. The stands attach to the bottom corners of the TV, so a wide table or television unit will be needed if you choose to stand-mount the Sony Bravia 55X90K TV. Interestingly, you can attach the stands to keep the TV at a lower position where the frame is almost resting on the stands. The higher position leaves some space between the bottom of the TV and the table, which should come in handy if you want to place a soundbar there.

Wall mounting can be availed through the free installation which comes with the TV. The installation technician will bring along the wall-mount kit and install it, if you choose. I used a third-party wall-mount kit, which attached easily onto the back of the TV thanks to the VESA standard.

The Sony 55X90K television has support for the Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range formats


All of the ports and sockets on the Sony XR-55X90K television face outwards to the left of the screen, while the power socket for the detachable power cable is on the right. Usefully, access to the ports and sockets is quite easy even when the TV is wall mounted. There are four HDMI ports (two are HDMI 2.1 with 4K 120Hz and Variable Refresh Rate support, one of which additionally has eARC support), two USB Type-A ports, one Optical Audio-out (Toslink) port, an Ethernet port, an antenna socket, and sockets for 3.5mm audio-out and Video In.

The Sony Bravia 55X90K television has support for the Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG formats for high dynamic range content, and Dolby Atmos and DTS Digital Surround audio formats. There is dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, along with 16GB of internal storage for apps and app data. The TV is powered by Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR, and has a four-speaker system with 30W of total rated output. As with many of Sony’s high-end televisions, there is full-array local dimming on the 55X90K TV.

Sony Bravia XR-55X90K Ultra-HD LED Android TV remote and features

Sony has typically included large, full-function remotes with its televisions, including the recently launched X75K series. However, the 55X90K television marks a notable departure from this trend. It has a smaller, more minimalistic remote with fewer buttons. This kind of remote is admittedly much easier to handle and store safely and has buttons for most important functions, so I wasn’t too bothered by the change.

There is no number pad, but a ‘123′ button brings up a virtual number pad in case you need it. The remote has hotkeys for YouTube, YouTube Music, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, along with a Google Assistant button and a microphone on the remote to listen to voice commands. Other buttons include volume and playback controls, a D-pad for navigation, home and back buttons, and buttons for settings and source selection. The remote is powered by two AAA batteries, which are included in the sales package.

Key features of the Sony Bravia 55X90K TV include auto low-latency mode and variable refresh rate (VRR) for gaming, hands-free Google Assistant support thanks to the always-listening microphones on the TV, Alexa support, and a light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness of the screen according to lighting conditions in the room. Other useful connectivity options include built-in Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay with HomeKit support.

Sony has gone with a smaller and more minimalistic remote with the X90K series


All of this worked as expected, including being able to use AirPlay without the need for a separate app; I could just select AirPlay from the source selection menu and the TV would appear in a list of available displays on my iPhone or MacBook.

Sony Bravia XR-55X90K Ultra-HD LED Android TV software and interface

The Sony Bravia XR-55X90K television runs on Android TV, similar to others in Sony’s smart TV range over the past few years. However, recent models, including the Sony X75K series have had the newer Google TV user interface on top of the Android TV, unlike the older stock Android TV UI that many manufacturers still work with. That said, the X90K TV runs Android TV 10 with the Google TV UI, unlike the more affordable X75K series which has Android TV 11.

Although a bit old and naturally a bit short on updates and security patches, Android TV 10 delivers largely the same experience as Android TV 11, at least at the UI and feature level. Plus, the hardware in the TV ensures good performance for the user interface. The Google TV user interface on the X90K is the same as on the X75K series with key features including Google Play Movies embedded into the UI rather than as a separate app, and a content-centric approach that highlights and recommends movies and TV shows from various apps.

Interestingly, this TV also gets a ‘Netflix Calibrated Mode’, which is said to optimise picture settings for specific content on Netflix. Other key UI functions, including accessing the settings, can be done from any screen on the interface by pressing the settings button on the remote.

Google Assistant can be used to search and access specific content, or even general information, and the Google Play store for Android TV provides access to over 5,000 apps and games built for use on televisions. It’s a largely familiar experience for anyone used to Android TV, and remains my pick as the best television operating system right now.

Sony Bravia XR-55X90K Ultra-HD LED Android TV performance

The Sony Bravia XR-55X90K Ultra-HD LED TV uses its resolution, calibration, and Triluminos quantum-dot technology to deliver the kind of performance you would expect for the price. While not quite on par with good OLED TVs in this price range when it comes to black levels, the Sony 55X90K uses its full-array local dimming to good effect, to ensure decent blacks and rich contrast, while delivering impressive brightness and a level of colour accuracy that not too many televisions offer in this segment. Furthermore, I found performance to be consistently good across various types of content and resolutions.

Expectedly, the best experience was with high dynamic range Ultra-HD content, and the Sony 55X90K TV’s support for the Dolby Vision format helped it deliver quality picture performance.

The Sony XR-55X90K television provided a bright, sharp, and clean picture, especially with Ultra-HD HDR content


Umbrella Academy Season 3 showed that the Sony 55X90K TV was not only very bright with Dolby Vision content, but also had colours that felt very accurate and on point. The TV also captured the slightly vintage aesthetic very well, while properly portraying the vibrant colours of the lavish sets of the show. There was a sense of warmth and comfort in the colours that made it possible to comfortably binge-watch the show on the Sony TV.

While the Sony Bravia television was quite bright, it didn’t quite get as bright as the Mini LED-powered Samsung QN95B TV. However, it more than made up for this with its warm, soft tones, and its ability to handle motion well. That said, its brightness capabilities didn’t falter even under bright daylight or when switching on all the lights in the room. Usefully, the Sony 55X90K is able to use a sensor to adjust its display brightness based on the light in the room; this worked well, ensuring brightness levels were always gentle on the eyes.

Black levels and contrast quality wasn’t exceptional on the Sony X90K TV out of the box, but I was able to set it up to my liking quite easily. Once calibrated, the blacks were decent thanks to good local dimming, which also delivered excellent zone-based brightness as bright parts of the screen shone through, while darker zones maintained the quality of the black levels. There was some visible blooming from bright zones, but this wasn’t distracting or bothersome in any way.

High dynamic range content did show a visible difference in brightness levels and colour accuracy when compared to standard dynamic range content, but it wasn’t too far behind in quality. Watching select scenes of Spider-Man: No Way Home on Netflix in Ultra-HD resolution (but with standard dynamic range) was good, thanks to the TV’s capable native brightness levels, sharpness, and clean overall approach to picture quality.

Upscaling of lower-resolution content was decent on the Sony XR-55X90K TV


Full-HD and standard definition content is usually iffy on high-end TVs, which are usually optimised for high-resolution content. However, the Sony Bravia XR-55X90K TV offered a clean picture, with good upscaling that made most low-resolution content look decent despite the large screen size.

There was occasional judder visible with the motion processing disabled, but turning on some of the motion interpolation and processing features made a visible difference in reducing the judder while keeping artefacts to a minimum even with low-resolution content. The Sony Bravia 55X90K also seemed to be able to adapt well to different types of content, prioritising sharpness or smooth, clean motion as needed.

Sound quality on the Sony Bravia 55X90K television was acceptable across formats and content types, although Dolby Atmos did make a noticeable difference in improving the spaciousness and detail in the sound. While the TV did sound alright even at soft and moderate volumes, it didn’t get too loud, and was audibly held back a bit by its 30W speaker system which didn’t deliver a very impressive performance as I’d have expected from a TV at this price.


Changes in technology and pricing in the premium television space means that it’s now possible to buy an OLED or Mini LED television for less than Rs. 1,50,000, which makes the older quantum-dot LED technology feel a bit dated in comparison. However, it also makes it possible to buy a well-equipped, well-calibrated, and feature-rich quantum-dot LED TV such as the Sony Bravia XR-55X90K at a price which, while definitely on the premium side of things, isn’t quite as high as other flagship options.



Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch Ultra-HD LED Android TV (55PUT7906/94) Review: Quite the Show

Televisions tend to be more about the core functionality and less about the design and other aesthetics but every once in a while, we’ll see something flashy and pleasantly over-the-top. One such concept is Philips’ Ambilight technology, which interestingly and rather astoundingly, adds to the viewing experience particularly in dark rooms where the LED lights at the back of the TV can really shine. Philips’ latest television in India brings back the concept in a big way, and at a much more accessible price than before.

Priced at Rs. 99,990 for the 55-inch 55PUT7906/94 variant, the Philips Ambilight 7900 series is a fairly standard Ultra-HD LED TV, but with the added feature of a three-sided Ambilight LED lighting at the back. There is also support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and Android TV OS for smart functionality, among other useful features. Is this the most unique and interesting 55-inch TV you can buy for around Rs. 1,00,000 in India? Find out in this review.

The Philips Ambilight 7900 series TV runs on Android TV 10, with the improved stock Android TV user interface


Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch Ultra-HD LED Android TV (55PUT7906/94) design and specifications

The Philips Ambilight 7900 Series is available in three sizes — 55 inches, 65 inches, and 75 inches — with prices ranging from Rs. 99,990 to Rs. 1,89,990. All three sizes have similar specifications and features including the three-sided Ambilight LED lighting at the back of the televisions.

At the front and back (for the most part), the Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch television looks like just about any modern budget or mid-range television. There are slim borders around the screen, a small Philips logo at the bottom, a module for the IR receiver, indicator light, and a multi-function physical button to control the power and volume without the remote.

The TV is moderately thick but slightly slimmer at the edges, which leaves enough space to access the left-side ports when the television is wall-mounted. The 55-inch variant weighs around 14.2kg without the stands, and is compatible with VESA wall mounts (not included in the box). The table stands are included in the box and fix onto the TV near the corners, so you’ll need a large table or TV unit to place the Philips Ambilight 7900 series TV on.

While the television seems rather ordinary-looking at first glance, the key feature shows itself only when you turn the Philips Ambilight 7900 series TV on. There are LED lights built into the frame of the TV all along the left, top, and right edges, projecting multi-coloured light onto the wall behind the TV. The lights can get quite bright, and are effective regardless of whether you have the TV wall-mounted or on the table stands slightly away from the wall.

The Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch television has most of its ports in the square cavity at the back and facing downwards, so you’ll have to ensure that you’ve attached most of these connections before wall-mounting the television (if that’s the case for you). The ports at the back include Digital Audio-out (Toslink), one USB Type-A port, RJ45 Ethernet port, antenna socket, and three HDMI ports.

The LED lights at the back project colour onto the wall behind, depending on the colours on the screen


The ports on the left side are much easier to access even with the TV wall-mounted. These include one HDMI port (with ARC support), 3.5mm headphone jack, and one USB Type-A port. I’d have ideally liked at least one more HDMI port on the side, as well as the Toslink port. That said, having the ARC-enabled port on the side is a sensible decision by Philips.

The Philips Ambilight 55PUT7906/94 LED TV has an Ultra-HD (3840×2160 pixel) screen, with support for the HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision high dynamic range formats. There are two full-range bottom-firing speakers with a total sound output of 20W, and support for various audio formats up to Dolby Atmos. Bluetooth 5 and dual-band Wi-Fi are supported on the TV, and there is 8GB of internal storage for apps and app data, along with an unspecified quad-core processor to power the software and interface.

Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch Ultra-HD LED Android TV (55PUT7906/94) remote and features

Philips has typically included a full-size remote with its televisions, and it’s no different with the Ambilight 7900 series LED TV. The remote is arguably a fair bit larger than it needs to be, and has buttons to control navigation on the Android TV UI, playback controls, input selection, and a classic number pad, among others. There are hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and YouTube, as well as a Google Assistant button and microphone to listen to voice commands.

A couple of useful additions include an ‘info’ button which shows resolution and Internet speed, and the Ambilight button. The latter provides quick access to the Ambilight menu, which can be used to turn on or off the Ambilight effects, or modify the settings including the modes and lounge lighting presets. It’s useful to quickly adjust this, particularly if you’re finding the glare too much or the lights a bit distracting.

The remote initially worked fine, but after a few weeks I found that I had to point it directly at the IR receiver for it to work; this seemed to happen overnight with it working fine the previous day. Changing the batteries and resetting the TV made no difference, and Bluetooth connectivity only worked for Google Assistant and not the rest of the remote’s functions, which continued to rely on IR. Strangely, the remote began working normally a couple of days later, so it’s hard to pinpoint the issue here.

Apart from Ambilight, the Philips 55PUT7906/94 TV is pretty ordinary when it comes to features. There is built-in Chromecast for content casting, and Google Assistant for voice commands, both of which are standard to all televisions running Android TV software.

Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch Ultra-HD LED Android TV (55PUT7906/94) software and interface

The Philips Ambilight 7900 series 55-inch LED TV runs on the Android TV 10 operating system, with the updated user interface with the refreshed, Google TV-like appearance. Of course, this isn’t the same as the Google TV user interface, but the core experience is the same as what you get on most Android TV-powered televisions. This includes access to the Google Play store, which now claims to have over 7,000 apps and games specifically designed for use on a TV screen.

The remote of the Philips Ambilight TV is a full-sized one and has hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Google Play


Some key apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Youtube are preinstalled on the Philips Ambilight 7900 series television, and the new user interface is able to curate and push certain content recommendations using these and other major streaming services. While it is a step below the much more polished and capable Google TV UI, the stock Android TV user interface is still a pretty good option given that the app experience is the same reliable one that the platform has worked hard to get right.

My issues with the remote aside, I found the UI performance on the Philips 7900 series TV to be a bit sluggish at times. There was often a noticeable delay in the reaction time when navigating the UI, along with visible lag in the picture. Fortunately, this didn’t extend to when actual content was playing, but I did find it a lot easier to switch to the Chromecast with Google TV which was a lot less frustrating to use.

Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch Ultra-HD LED Android TV (55PUT7906/94) performance

It’s now possible to get a good quantum-dot or OLED television for less than Rs. 1,00,000, so spending that much on an LED television such as the Philips Ambilight 7900 Series 55-inch TV might seem a bit silly. However, the Philips television’s key feature — and indeed its most impressive party trick — is the Ambilight effect which enhances the viewing experience in its own unique way.

Now, it’s possible to set up aftermarket LED lighting for just about any television, with brands such as Govee and Philips offering such solutions. However the undeniable convenience and ease of use of the Philips Ambilight television, as well as the fact that you can switch it off easily with the television remote, makes it a superior option for anyone looking at rear adaptive LED lighting. That said, I’m left wondering whether that alone justifies the considerable premium of the Philips 7900 series TV.

The Philips 55PUT7906/94 television has an Ultra-HD resolution LED screen with support for HDR up to the Dolby Vision format. Performance was decent with high-quality content, and the picture was definitely as sharp as it could be, but there were a few drawbacks that I wouldn’t typically expect to see on a 55-inch television priced at Rs. 1,00,000.

Colourful content such as Into The Spiderverse looked beautiful on the Philips TV, particularly with the Ambilight effect on


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse seemed like the best movie to start with given the bright colours and trippy comic-book style visuals that I expected to play well with the Ambilight functionality on the Philips TV, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The truly impressive bit here was how the Ambilight worked with with the film, with the bright lights reacting intuitively to the continuously changing colours on screen, giving me the feeling of the television and picture being a bit bigger and more vibrant that it actually was. The Ambilight effect was quick to read colours on the edges of the screen and flowed well, making for a particularly good effect with fast-moving, colourful content.

With gentle motion and muted colours, such as the many monochrome scenes in the final season of Better Call Saul, the Ambilight effect on the Philips 7900 series LED TV often had very little to do or add, and was best switched off. I also found that the effect worked best when the lights projected onto a white wall, since this allowed them and the colours to be seen clearly. Against a textured blue wall for instance, the effects were largely lost, save for blue light itself.

Fortunately, controlling the Ambilight settings on the Philips 7900 series TV is an easy process, thanks to a dedicated Ambilight button on the remote which opens the quick access menu on the Android TV user interface. You can control the intensity through Ambilight presets, or set it to lounge lighting which sets a single colour for the rear lighting.

Although the picture was sharp on the Philips Ambilight 7900 series TV, the black levels weren’t very good


The picture was sharp and detailed with the animation of Into The Spider-Verse and even bright, colourful shows such as Masaba Masaba. The colours looked good too, although not anywhere near as punchy and defined as on the more affordable Xiaomi OLED Vision TV. With the dark scenes in shows such as Better Call Saul and Obi Wan Kenobi, the poor black levels of the Philips 7900 series LED TV were quite the setback.

The backlighting of the LED display tended to create a ‘whitewash’ effect during dark scenes, making blacks appear dark grey. This was visible even with bright and colourful content, but the whitewash effect looked particularly prominent and distracting with dark visuals. This is typically something I expect to see on a much more affordable LED TVs, so I was disappointed with this on the Philips 7900 series TV.

The Philips Ambilight 7900 series television is fairly bright thanks to its LED display panel, and as a result is easy to watch even in a relatively bright room. That said, making even a small effort to darken the room, such as drawing the curtains, goes a long way in making the picture look better. Quantum-dot LED TVs such as the Hisense 55U6G are considerably brighter and are priced lower.

Although HDR up to the Dolby Vision format is supported, the Philips Ambilight 7900 series television didn’t benefit significantly from this. While there was a slight bump in brightness and somewhat improved colours with HDR content as compared to SDR content, it wasn’t quite as effective as I’ve seen on a lot of televisions, such as the Sony X75K which did a better job despite being only HDR10-capable.

Where the Philips Ambilight 7900 series TV does perform reasonably well is with upscaling lower-resolution content. HD and full-HD movies and TV shows looked decent on the Philips TV…


Revisión de Realme Buds Air 3 Neo: bueno por el precio

Si bien hoy en día hay muchas marcas que venden productos competentes en el segmento inalámbrico real asequible, Realme se destaca por algunas razones. La marca ha superado los límites en lo que respecta a la propuesta de valor de manera constante, ofreciendo productos asequibles con características y especificaciones que normalmente no esperaría ver en el segmento de presupuesto. La gama Buds Air de audífonos inalámbricos verdaderos de la compañía es solo eso, y el último producto continúa avanzando aún más, ofreciendo calidad y capacidades a precios razonables.

Con un precio de Rs. 1999, el Realme Buds Air 3 Neo es una alternativa más asequible al Realme Buds Air 3, que tiene un precio de Rs. 3,999. En el papel, ambos se ven iguales en la mayoría de los aspectos, incluida la compatibilidad con aplicaciones y otras características clave, y solo la falta de cancelación activa de ruido se destaca como una diferencia importante. ¿Es este el mejor par de verdaderos auriculares inalámbricos que puede comprar por menos de Rs. 2,000? Descúbrelo en esta revisión.

Realme Buds Air 3 Neo diseño y características

Aunque Realme Buds Air 3 Neo se basa en Realme Buds Air 3, un poco más caro, se ve considerablemente diferente. Los auriculares tienen un diseño de vástago que se mezcla con el resto del molde mucho más suavemente, y el acabado reflectante se ve bien contra el plástico opaco de la parte posterior de los vástagos y las carcasas de los controladores. Al igual que Buds Air 3, Neo tiene un ajuste en el canal para un sellado adecuado y un aislamiento pasivo del ruido.

Los auriculares de Realme Buds Air 3 Neo pesan 4 g cada uno y tienen controles táctiles que se pueden personalizar con la aplicación Realme Link. Los controles se basan en tres tipos de gestos: doble toque, triple toque y tocar y mantener presionado, que se pueden configurar para controlar la reproducción, el volumen y la invocación del asistente de voz predeterminado en su teléfono inteligente. También puede configurar el gesto para activar el modo de juego de baja latencia, que implica un gesto de tocar y mantener presionado en ambos auriculares simultáneamente.

Realme Buds Air 3 tiene un ajuste estándar en el canal, que es cómodo y garantiza un aislamiento de ruido decente

Encontré que los controles de toque eran un poco dudosos, con el gesto de triple toque a menudo registrándose como un doble toque, y el gesto de doble toque no hace nada en absoluto, a veces. Preferí usar mi teléfono inteligente para controlar la reproducción, ya que esto era más confiable y los toques firmes a veces alteraban el ajuste de los auriculares Realme Buds Air 3 Neo.

El estuche de carga de Realme Buds Air 3 Neo es similar al de Buds Air 3 en forma y tamaño, pero el color y la textura son un poco diferentes y se sienten un poco menos refinados. Sin embargo, la tapa translúcida tiende a compensarlo, ofreciendo una estética interesante y atractiva. La parte frontal de la carcasa tiene el logotipo de Realme y una luz indicadora, mientras que la parte inferior tiene el puerto USB tipo C para cargar. No hay sensores de detección de desgaste en los auriculares, por lo que tendrá que reproducir y pausar la música manualmente según sea necesario.

Para un verdadero auricular inalámbrico con un precio inferior a Rs. 2000, el Realme Buds Air 3 Neo está bastante bien equipado. Aunque no hay cancelación activa de ruido, hay otras características como Dolby Atmos, cancelación de ruido ambiental para llamadas, carga rápida, modo de baja latencia de 88 ms y resistencia al agua IPX5 para los auriculares. El paquete de venta incluye tres pares de olivas y un cable de carga corto.

Aplicación y especificaciones Realme Buds Air 3 Neo

Realme utiliza la excelente aplicación Realme Link para admitir muchos de sus productos de hardware, incluido Realme Buds Air 3 Neo. La aplicación es particularmente útil si tiene varios productos Realme, ya que puede usarlos todos desde una sola aplicación. Dicho esto, Realme Buds Air 3 Neo solo es compatible con la versión de Android de la aplicación Realme Link; aunque el producto apareció en mi perfil en la aplicación iOS, no pude acceder a las funciones del producto.

En Android, la aplicación funcionó como se esperaba, ofreciendo un diseño limpio y ordenado de las funciones y personalizaciones de los auriculares. Esto incluye una pantalla de nivel de batería para los auriculares (pero no el estuche), tres ajustes preestablecidos de ecualizador para elegir, Volume Enhancer, Dolby Atmos, Game Mode y configuraciones personalizadas para los controles táctiles. Es simple, receptivo y muy fácil de usar en general.

El estuche de carga tiene un puerto USB tipo C

Los Realme Buds Air 3 Neo tienen controladores dinámicos de 10 mm y usan Bluetooth 5.2 para la conectividad, con soporte para los códecs Bluetooth SBC y AAC.

Realme Buds Air 3 Neo rendimiento y duración de la batería

Realme ha tardado un tiempo en llegar a donde está en el verdadero segmento inalámbrico, pero la mayoría de sus nuevos productos ahora son muy capaces y ofrecen una excelente relación calidad-precio. Buds Air 3 Neo es un auricular económico que ofrece un poco más que la mayoría de los auriculares TWS con un precio inferior a Rs. 2000 cuando se trata de características, junto con un sonido alto y limpio.

El soporte de códec estándar significa que los auriculares son cómodos independientemente de si los usa con un dispositivo iOS o Android, aunque solo podrá usar la aplicación en Android, como se mencionó anteriormente. El sonido de los auriculares es muy alto y, por lo general, no tenía que superar el nivel del 50 por ciento cuando estaba en interiores, y rara vez superaba la marca del 60 por ciento en exteriores. La firma sónica es la esperada en forma de U, dando un impulso significativo a los bajos y altos incluso en la configuración del ecualizador ‘Equilibrado’.

Al escuchar Rollin’ de Calvin Harris, el sonido de los Realme Buds Air 3 Neo fue definitivamente pesado en el bajo, con los golpes del ritmo lento golpeando con fuerza incluso a niveles de volumen relativamente bajos. Las voces no se sintieron demasiado contenidas dado el volumen general de los auriculares, pero Buds Air 3 Neo definitivamente puso la atención en el ritmo por encima de todo. Sin embargo, el sonido nunca se sintió incómodo o fuera de lugar; los auriculares están bien afinados en ese sentido.

La tapa translúcida de Realme Buds Air 3 Neo se ve interesante, particularmente con la variante de color azul

En pistas que no estaban demasiado centradas en los graves, como Neon de John Mayer, la atención tendía a recaer en los agudos. Aunque no se sintió demasiado estridente, hubo momentos en la pista en los que me sentí solo un poco incómodo, como cuando se golpearon los charles en la batería. La voz conmovedora de John Mayer fue limpia y audible en todo momento, manteniendo la naturaleza inofensiva y directa del sonido.

En general, ‘inofensivo’ es la mejor manera de describir el sonido en Realme Buds Air 3 Neo. No hay nada excepcional aquí, incluida la firma sónica que está afinada para los géneros de música pop y electrónica. Sin embargo, esto es exactamente lo que esperaría de un par de verdaderos auriculares inalámbricos con un precio inferior a Rs. 2000: un sonido fuerte y directo que se combina con un buen diseño y un aislamiento de ruido pasivo para hacer que los Buds Air 3 Neo se adapten bien al uso diario y al trabajo.

La calidad de las llamadas en los auriculares fue decente por el precio, tanto en interiores como en exteriores. No tuve ningún problema con las llamadas en la mayoría de los casos, en gran parte gracias a las capacidades de volumen de Realme Buds Air 3 Neo. La estabilidad de la conexión tampoco fue un problema, ya que los auriculares funcionaron sin problemas a distancias de hasta 3 m entre el teléfono inteligente y los auriculares. La compatibilidad con Dolby Atmos, aunque presente, pareció tener muy poco impacto en el sonido con pistas compatibles en Apple Music.

La duración de la batería en Realme Buds Air 3 Neo es bastante buena por el precio, con los auriculares funcionando durante unas seis horas con una sola carga en un nivel de volumen de alrededor del 50 por ciento. El estuche de carga agregó tres cargas adicionales, para un total de alrededor de 24 horas de duración de la batería por ciclo de carga.


Realme Buds Air 3 Neo es tan sencillo y directo como parece, y eso es lo que lo hará tan atractivo para cualquiera que busque verdaderos auriculares inalámbricos con un presupuesto limitado. Con una apariencia ordenada, un ajuste cómodo, un conjunto útil de funciones, una buena duración de la batería y un sonido decente por el precio, esta es una de las mejores opciones que puede comprar por menos de Rs. 2000 ahora.

Puede valer la pena considerar alternativas de marcas como OnePlus y Oppo, pero el Realme Buds Air 3 Neo tiene un poco de ventaja gracias al soporte de la aplicación. A este precio, también podría valer la pena mirar los auriculares estilo banda para el cuello como OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z2, que suenan un poco mejor.

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Sony Bravia XR-55A80K Ultra-HD OLED Android TV Review: Effortlessly Good

Only a handful of brands sell OLED televisions in India, with Xiaomi, LG, and Sony being notable names in the segment. Widely considered among the best TV display technologies for mainstream televisions, OLED is usually seen on premium, big-screen televisions, often priced at over Rs. 2,00,000 for the popular 55-inch size. The latest television I’m reviewing is not quite from Sony’s flagship lineup for OLED TVs, but is firmly positioned as a premium option as part of the Japanese company’s XR series.

Priced at Rs. 2,49,900 officially (but can be bought from official retailers for around Rs. 1,85,000), the Sony Bravia XR-55A80K is the smallest and least expensive in the company’s 2022 OLED lineup in India. With an Ultra-HD HDR display with support for Dolby Vision HDR, Google TV UI on top of Android TV, and Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR powering it, is this the best TV under Rs. 2,00,000 you can buy right now? Find out in this review.

The Sony XR-A80K television series is available in three sizes, starting at 55 inches


Sony Bravia XR-55A80K Ultra-HD OLED Android TV design and specifications

The Sony XR-A80K series is available in three sizes in India — 55 inches (on review here) priced at Rs. 2,49,900, 65 inches priced at Rs. 3,49,900, and 77 inches priced at 6,99,900. The 77-inch variant has a rated sound output of 60W as compared to 50W on the 55-inch and 65-inch options, which is the only difference in the variants apart from the screen size.

The Sony Bravia XR-55A80K looks a lot like the Sony XR-55X90K quantum-dot LED TV which I recently reviewed, with thin black borders along the edges of the screen, resulting in an impressive screen-to-body ratio. It’s a straightforward, distraction-free look that ensures your attention is on what’s playing on the screen.

There is a small Sony logo in the bottom-left corner, and a switch on the underside that controls the always-on microphone for voice controls. The microphones themselves are just below the screen facing forward, with a dull indicator light just between them. The television is reasonably slim, but there is a fair bit of space between the edges of the TV and the wall behind, with the middle of the TV being a bit thicker.

The 55-inch A80K TV weighs about 18kg, and comes with the table stands in the box. The stands can be fitted at the corners of the TV, so you’ll need a large table or entertainment unit to place it on. Wall mounting is an option as well, although the kit for this is not included in the box. Sony does provide free installation with the TV, so you can have the technician install a suitable wall mount for this at the time of installation.

There is hands-free voice assistant support on the 55A80K, and you can even turn off the microphone for more privacy


All of the ports and sockets on the Sony XR-55A80K TV face to the left of the screen, with only the power socket for the detachable cable near the right side of the screen, at the back. The ports aren’t too difficult to reach even with the TV wall mounted on a low-profile mount kit. Connectivity options include two USB Type-A ports, Digital Audio-Out (Optical Toslink), a 3.5mm headphone jack, a single Video-In socket, an Ethernet port, an antenna socket, and four HDMI ports. Among the HDMI ports, two support 4K at 120Hz, while one supports HDMI ARC and eARC.

As mentioned, the Sony XR-55A80K is a 55-inch Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) OLED television, with support for the Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range formats. For sound, the television has a five-driver setup with a total output of 50W, and uses Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology which gives the impression of sound coming from the screen itself. Dolby Atmos and DTS Digital Surround are also supported on the TV.

Like the Sony Bravia X90K series, the A80K is powered by Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR, and comes with dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. The TV has 16GB of storage for apps and app data.

Sony Bravia XR-55A80K Ultra-HD OLED Android TV remote and features

The Sony Bravia XR-55A80K, like the X90K, has Sony’s newer and somewhat minimalistic remote. This isn’t to say that it’s barebones; there are plenty of buttons and controls on it, including a D-pad and Android TV navigation keys, source and settings buttons, playback controls, a Google Assistant button, and volume controls. There are also hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and YouTube Music.

This kind of remote is a lot easier to handle as it does away with many of the buttons that modern streaming-focused users don’t often need, such as the full number pad. The remote has a microphone for voice commands, and has Bluetooth connectivity for ease of use. It’s powered by two AAA batteries (included in the box), and covers practically everything you’ll need to control on the TV.

Other features on the Sony Bravia XR-55A80K include support for Apple AirPlay and HomeKit, built-in Google Chromecast, and hands-free Google Assistant, apart from remote-based voice commands. When the slider switch below the TV is set to ‘On’ and the TV itself is on, you can invoke the voice assistant with the ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’ voice command and speak directly to the TV.

The remote of the Sony XR-55A80K TV has hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and YouTube Music


You can also set up Amazon Alexa on the TV, if you prefer. For gaming, the Sony Bravia XR-55A80K supports 4K at 120Hz through two HDMI ports, auto low-latency mode, and variable refresh rate (VRR).

Sony Bravia XR-55A80K Ultra-HD OLED Android TV software and interface

Sony is among the few brands that has adopted the Google TV user interface across its product range, and the XR-55A80K is no different. At its base, the television runs Android TV 10, with the Google TV UI on top. This is practically the same user experience as on the Chromecast with Google TV, and is one that I consider to be among the best software and user interface packages for televisions right now.

Some of its key features include the much improved content curation and recommendation system, banner view showing major new releases, multi-app ‘Continue Watching’ row, and the rather quirky themes for the kind of movies and TV shows you can watch.

Google’s own purchases and rentals are integrated into the UI, and a search for any content will show you the best and most affordable available method to watch it, prioritising any streaming services you’re already subscribed to. Netflix is integrated into the search for titles, but unfortunately not into the recommendation engine, unlike on the Chromecast with Google TV. Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+ Hotstar, Voot, and Zee5 are among the services that work with the recommendation system.

Also worth mentioning is Sony’s Bravia Core streaming service, which is available on XR series TVs like the 55A80K. Sony states that Bravia Core can stream at up to 80Mbps (considerably higher than other services) to provide better picture quality for Ultra-HD HDR content, tagged as ‘Pure Stream’. The content library isn’t as vast as on other services, but it’s worth exploring for the technically better stream and picture quality on offer.

Sony bundles a one-year complimentary subscription of Bravia Core with the 55A80K, with many titles available to stream for free and without any need to redeem a credit. Apart from those, I had five credits to redeem on ‘premium’ titles, which included much of the ‘Pure Stream’ and IMAX Enhanced catalogues.

As of now, it isn’t clear how much the service will cost after the free trial, but users should be able to continue viewing titles redeemed with credits for some time beyond the subscription period. Picture quality on titles on Bravia Core was indeed better than even Netflix and Apple TV for Ultra-HD content.

Sony Bravia XR-55A80K Ultra-HD OLED Android TV performance

The premium segment for televisions isn’t quite as diverse and populous as the more affordable price points, and Sony’s reputation does give it a bit of an edge here. However, there is strong competition to the XR-55A80K even at this price, particularly from the excellent LG 55C2 OLED TV and Samsung 55QN95B. While the LG television delivered slightly better contrast and blending, and the Samsung TV was undeniably brighter and more vibrant, the Sony XR-55A80K tended to offer better realism and picture accuracy on the whole.

High-quality Ultra-HD HDR content is sharp, detailed, and great to watch on the Sony XR-55A80K TV


The HDR format support for Dolby Vision on the Sony TV tended to favour content on Netflix, Apple TV+, and Disney+ Hotstar a bit more than Amazon Prime Video, although the objective quality of content on the Bravia Core streaming service seemed to outperform just about everything else. What stood out about the Sony XR-55A80K though, was its ability to adapt to the quality of content, fluidly and effortlessly; while good content looked the part, even lower-resolution content was suitably upscaled to look decent on the 55-inch screen.

Additionally, the Sony XR-55A80K was able to use its light sensor very well, to adapt the brightness and impact levels for the content and ambient light settings in the room. As a result, the picture always felt natural and easy on the eyes. It was never too bright, and I also didn’t find myself needing to adjust the brightness to make up for daylight or bright room lights. The Sony TV seemed to do all of this on its own, making for an easy viewing experience that let me focus on what was playing.

Watching Thor: Love and Thunder on Disney+ Hotstar in Ultra-HD Dolby Vision was a treat on the Sony XR-55A80K, with the television adapting well to the numerous bright, colourful scenes of New Asgard, as well as the dark, creepy scenes in the Shadow Realm. The ability to capture detail and add a sense of realism was noteworthy, with the glistening of Thor’s gold chest plate looking absolutely on point, even while Gorr’s lurking in the shadows retained all of the detail and watchability that you’d expect from a high-end OLED TV.

As expected for an OLED television, the Sony XR-55A80K wasn’t exceptionally bright. Unlike the Samsung QN95B which delivers a consistently watchable picture regardless of lighting conditions, the Sony benefited from at least some darkening of the viewing room, even in the form of simply drawing the curtains closed. There was also a fair amount of glare on the screen from slivers of light from the windows or ceiling lights, so you’ll definitely need to set the room up for the TV when watching.

The Sony XR-55A80K is among the best of the premium OLED TVs available in India right now


Colourful animation such as Pacific Rim: The Black in Ultra-HD looked sharp and detailed on the Sony XR-55A80K, as did football documentary Welcome To Wrexham in full-HD resolution. The Sony television delivered impressive consistency in the picture, often making it hard to distinguish between Ultra-HD and ftull-HD content.

The black levels were similarly impressive across resolutions and dynamic range, particularly during the dark scenes of Thor: Love and Thunder where faint details were visible clearly and beautifully even during the dark Shadow Realm scenes. Watching dark content at night was a surprisingly good experience, thanks to the sheer detail and naturalness in the picture that the Sony XR-55A80K is capable of.

However, there was a notable difference between good Dolby Vision HDR content and SDR content, with the TV providing impressive colours, a visible bump in brightness, and impressive contrast between bright and dark zones. Dolby Vision content such as Home on Apple TV+ was an impressive showcase of what the TV is capable of, getting the bright cityscapes of Hong Kong, as well as the grey interiors of Gary Chang’s converted home on point quite capably.

Standard definition content naturally looked a bit awkward on the 55-inch screen of the Sony A80K TV, but it didn’t look quite as awkward as I’ve seen on many televisions of this size and resolution. Ideally, you’ll want to stick to full-HD resolution and above to put the TV to good use.

Sound quality was impressive on the TV as well, particularly with Dolby Atmos content. The TV was loud, detailed, and had a rather impressive soundstage thanks to the company’s interesting speaker layout and positioning. With standard audio content, I found the sound entirely acceptable for most purposes, but you might want to consider a good soundbar for a more…