Sony KD-55X9005A review

Awesome 4K and great Blu-ray upscaling, but it's audio and 3D that make this 4K TV shine

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Editor's Choice

It's a strange thing to say that a major highlight on one of the first 55-inch Ultra HD TVs is, in fact, sound quality. But that's exactly what the KD-55X9005A excels at, along with searing amounts of 4K detail and a fine upscaled Blu-ray experience.

We liked

Aside from detail, the KD-55X9005A does brilliantly with colour - and even better with sound.

In fact, we'd rate it as the best-sounding TV around. The design is high-end, the user interface slick and the 4K detail stunning. More importantly, at least at this early stage of 4K evolution, is upscaling, and some good news; Blu-rays have never looked better - and that goes for 3D as well as 2D discs.

We disliked

If most Full HD TVs are best fed an HD-only diet, that goes quadruple for the KD-55X9005A, which doesn't make as much of the 4K detail as its bigger 65-inch sibling.

Standard definition sources look rather ropey, and we also noticed some issues with contrast and the 4K-cancelling amounts of motion blur.

We're also not convinced that built-in speakers - and the consequent super-wide design - will appeal to the kind of home cinema aficionados that are bound to be most interested in the KD-55X9005A. At 34.5kg it's a whopper, but is it really big enough to show-off 4K?

Final verdict

With only slightly less wow factor than its big sibling, the far pricier KD-65X9005A, the KD-55X9005A is currently the best value Ultra HD telly around.

But it's not just the pin-sharp performance with (as yet non-existent) 4K sources that blew us away. As if to throw the AV world a few crumbs as we await 4K Blu-ray, Sony's provision of some awesome speakers flanking the 4K panel are a timely reminder of just how much cinematic impact is from sound.

Colour, too, is stunning, and the upscaling of Blu-ray is proficient.

The downsides are a touch of motion blur and the somewhat ropey-look to upscaled standard definition sources, where the maths involved proves too much.

One of the best performers with Blu-ray, let alone 4K, the KD-55X9005A is a standout winner with 3D, too. The passive 3D system's loss of resolution here looks less like a compromise, and it's always smooth and bright. Until we wait for native 4K Blu-ray discs to drip onto the market, the KD-55X9005A has plenty to keep anyone satisfied.

Also consider

Also offering 55-inch-or-thereabouts Ultra HDTVs is LG, Samsung and Toshiba.

LG's effort is the 55LA9700 and Samsung's the UE55F9000, which are both identical in price to this Sony.

If you want to save a few quid, head for Toshiba's slightly larger 58-inch 58L9363DB (£2,999).

Both Samsung and Toshiba use the Active Shutter 3D system on their Ultra HDTVs. Most are available in 65-inch versions, too, but the prices almost double.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal Standard4K UHDTV
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyBRAVIA X9005A
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelB
Smart TVYes
Brand NameSony
Screen Size139.7 cm (55")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)34.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Operating Power Consumption279 W
Standby Power Consumption400 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio1,000,000:1
RMS Output Power65 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 2.0
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand778 mm
Width with Stand1463 mm
Depth with Stand405 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyPolarized
Energy Consumption per Year215 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyMotionflow XR 800
Height749 mm
Width1463 mm
Depth100 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, NICAM
Product SeriesX9005A
Maximum Resolution3840 x 2160
FeaturesMobile High Definition Link (MHL), Web Browser, Ambient Lighting, Sleep Timer, Picture and Picture (PAP)
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKD-55X9005A
Product NameX9 4K Ultra HD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKD-55X9005A
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information4K Ultra HD. A revolution in resolution

Meet the next generation of picture quality - the 4K resolution TV. It's a viewing experience that's hard to describe, like your first trip to the cinema. Just let the pictures wash over you and see for yourself.

A giant leap in picture quality

With four times the detail of a Full HD TV, 4K Ultra HD TV images possess such depth and clarity it feels like you're looking through a window. The screen displays over 8 million pixels for a level of realism you'll almost want to reach out and touch.
Package Contents
  • X9 4K Ultra HD TV
  • Remote control
  • Batteries
  • AC power cable
  • 4 x 3D Glasses
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)33.10 kg