Sony KD-65X9005B review

The wedge-shaped Sony KD-65X9005B category-defining Ultra HD Smart TV

T3 Platinum Award
Reasons to buy
  • +

    Bold wedge design

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    Superb image performance

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    Stereo magnetic fluid speakers

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Limited catch-up TV services

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    Distracting Twitter app

  • -

    It's huge!

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Sony's latest Ultra HD screen is overflowing with smart features and boasts jaw-dropping images with hi-fi sound. Read all about it in our Sony KD-65X9005B review

The first TV manufacturer to enthusiastically throw its weight behind 4K, Sony has expanded its UHD line with 2160p sets that embrace its signature wedge design. The 65-inch Sony KD-65X9005B featured here combines leading-edge UHD picture processing and upscaling with equally impressive full-range audio.

The KD-65X9005B is also available as the 55-inch Sony KD-55X9005B and gargantuan 79-inch KD-Sony 79X9005B. The X9005B's main bigscreen rivals are the curved Samsung UE65HU8500 and the Panasonic TX65AX802.

Sony KD-65X9005B: Features

Sony still doesn't offer a full roster of catch-up TV services (just BBC iPlayer and Demand5), but the X9005B compensates with a wide range of Smart functionality. Photo Share allows up to ten people to compare (and trade) JPEGs, while screen mirroring is supported on compatible Miracast-enabled smartphones.

To help navigate broadcast TV, YouTube and VoD services there's One Flick Discovery bar, which recommends things to watch when you're in box-set downtime.

Less compelling is the Social View twitter app, which disgorges a tweet-stream across the bottom of the screen, plus a PIP Skype mode. If you must there's also a Football function, which engages DSP intended to replicate the ambiance of a Brazilian stadium.

More significantly, the set also features an HEVC decoder fully compatible with the Netflix 4K streaming service, home to UHD versions of House of Cards, Breaking Bad and The Smurfs.

All Functions can be navigated with the supplied touch pad Bluetooth controller should the standard IR remote seem too conventional.

Sony KD-65X9005B: Design

We were wowed by the wedge used on Sony's Full-HD KDL-55W955B, but here it's given dramatic extra emphasis by the forward facing stereo speaker array. The result is both formidable and fabulous. Build quality is superb, with chromed end panels and rolled top ensuring the set has a premium feel.

Sony KD-65X9005B: Specs

Connectivity is excellent. The TV has four HDMI inputs, one with ARC and two MHL smartphone ready, alongside three USBs, Ethernet, Scart, component/composite video and stereo audio inputs. Wi-fi is built-in.

There's also a dual tuner for both Freeview HD and satellite services, plus a CI card slot and a digital audio optical output.

Unusually, a port replicator is also bundled. This can be used to simplify cable management when you're wall mounting. The box requires its own power supply, but has single satellite and RF connections, plus three HDMI inputs and a USB input. A single tethered chord runs everything to a back-panel input.

Sony KD-65X9005B: Performance

Sony is at the top of its game here when it comes to image quality. The X9 excels with both Full HD and 4K sources. Deep blacks and bright highlights, courtesy of new X-tended Dynamic range image processing, make for deliciously punchy viewing. The TV also has a quite beautiful colour palette, particularly when it comes to saturated reds and greens.

To assess the screen in full-fat 4K, we connected a media server packed with movie, music and sports sequences. Footage of Muse live in concert sparkled with detail and texture, while soccer shot in 4K 60Hz reveals just how game-changing UHD will be when it comes to sports coverage.

Motion handling is fine, although results are dependant on the chosen Motionflow setting. For the best combination of detail and low artefacting opt for Standard or True Cinema.

Sonically, the set sings. The wide base allows for larger bass drivers, which ensures a full-bodied soundstage with plenty of slam. A soundbar is most definitely not required.

Sony KD-65X9005B: Verdict

Sony has produced a knock-out 4K screen with the big 2014 X9. Picture quality is outstanding, with deep vibrant hues, excellent tonality and extended dynamics. Even the screen's Active Shutter 3D performance is worth a watch. Add to that cracking audio, Netflix 4K compliance and copious connected shenanigans and you have a premium TV to savour. Probably the best reason yet to buy into 4K.

Sony KD-65X9005B release date: Out now

Sony KD-65X9005B price: £3,600

Steve May

For over 25 years, Steve has been casting his keen eyes and ears over the best that the world of TV and audio has to offer. He was the creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and contributes to huge range of technology, home and music titles along with T3, including TechRadar, Louder, Ideal Home, the i newspaper, and more.