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2023 Sony BRAVIA XR Television Lineup
In this article, we will be going over the new 2023 television lineup from Sony. If you are like us and have been a Sony fan for decades you might remember their first XBR TV released in 1985. It looked amazing back then and was followed up with other XBR models including their 34” XBR HDTV which was “the” TV to have when HDTV first emerged. We always looked at the XBR name as being synonymous with the best TVs on the market.
In 2021 Sony came up with a video processor so good, they wanted to give it a new name and badged it XR. And we can tell you, the jump was revolutionary with those models just looking astoundingly good. For 2023, Sony has added another great feature to the XR Cognitive processor called XR Clear Image Technology.
All of the 2023 models with the improved XR processor also have some serious gaming upgrades.
We love the way Sony pushes the state of the art in video and continues to be the only company we know of that produces equipment used in every chain of content creation. From high-end cameras your favorite movies are shot on, to the production equipment used to edit the content, to commercial movie theater projectors, Sony has a part in it. We really feel this vast array of knowledge in the content industry gives their engineers a leg up in producing a better product for our homes.
Technology These 17 Models Share
The 2023 Sony models will give you a lot of choices in technology and some exciting new screen sizes. You’ll find QD-OLED tech, OLED, Mini LED, and Full-Array dimming models to choose from.
Sony also continues their commitment to sustainability in 2023 — some of the new models use 99 percent recycled plastic material, while packaging size has been reduced by 15%, the use of ink by 90%, and plastic by 35%! There is also a new ECO mode you can engage to further reduce power usage.
There is a lot of tech the 2023 XR models have in common. We will cover that first then go into each series to go over what you get as you move up to help you decide which is the best set for your needs.
There are 32 different TVs in the 2022 Sony lineup, and 17 of those use the XR processor. Since we are all about the best quality at Audio Advice, we will focus on those models.
Bravia Cognitive Processor XR
The Bravia Cognitive Processor XR is one of the biggest upgrades we have seen from Sony in a long time. This processor adds cognitive intelligence which is actually beyond artificial intelligence to imitate the visual process of the human brain.
The XR processor is looking at every frame of the image and breaking it down into thousands of elements it is processing all at the same time. Sony set out to make their processor look at the image much like the human brain would process real life. Everywhere you look, there are certain parts in your field of vision that you focus on more. The XR processor uses AI to make the picture look more like what you would see in real life.
The video technology used in the new Sony sets has many aspects. There is separate processing going on for each of the critical components of the image: color, contrast, motion, and clarity. To produce a lifelike image, all of these aspects need to be perfectly executed. The job of the XR Cognitive Intelligent Processors is very similar to the director of an orchestra. If you can imagine everything going on inside each of these elements as a musician or group of musicians. The XR processor acts as the director to decide how much of each component to apply to each of the thousands of elements inside every single frame of the image.
Within the groups of color, contrast, motion, and clarity as you move up in the model line, the technology used improves for some aspects, but the XR processor that is doing the directing is identical in all of the new models with this groundbreaking video processor.
Although we hope most of you would plan to add a full surround system or great soundbar to a TV of this level, the XR Cognitive Intelligent Processor also improves the audio if you are using the TV for your movie sound.
XR Clear Motion Technology
For 2023, Sony has added XR Clear Motion technology. In our opinion, Sony has always been the best at reducing noise and motion blur. Clear Motion will take this to a whole new level by reducing noise and motion blur even more than in the past. Clear Motion uses object-based black frame insertion vs frame based to limit the impact on brightness. This should set them even further apart from the competition. All of the new models except the 93L will have this great new tech.
Depth Control Mapping
As the most powerful processor on the market, Sony’s XR processor has some more super powers. One of them is an improvement in depth control that came out in the 2022 XR processor — called Depth Control Mapping — which more accurately identifies near objects from the background (especially around the focal points) to present real-life depth with a natural look and feel.
Another improvement in the XR processor introduced in the 2022 version is a color algorithm that analyzes each frame to control the luminance and saturation for improved color volume. This allows the XR processor to develop brighter colors not previously recognized in the original XR’s algorithm. By adjusting luminance & controlling saturation in the image, the image will appear more vivid with brighter colors & darker darks over previous models.
XR Triluminos Pro
Sony has been famous for their Triluminos video processing for years which maps colors from a wider palette to reproduce finer gradients of shades and hues. The new XR Triluminos Pro takes this color palette and widens the color space even more through 3D color algorithm processing.
If you have ever seen bands on your TV picture where there are very small gradients of color changes across the whole screen, like you might see in a sunrise image, you have seen what is called banding. Sony has always had a great system to reduce banding but takes it to a new level with the XR processor. 4K images that might have banding on other TV brands will look super smooth on these new sets.
Let’s face it, right now, not all of the content we enjoy is in 4K or even better 8K. Sony has always done a great job of upscaling the incoming signal to 4K or 8K if the set supports it and this year these models have XR Upscaling, which takes advantage of the better processor to turn your 1080p or 1080i signal into something that looks even better.
We have always been very impressed with how well Sony pulled this off as it applies so much to streaming content and we love the fact that Sony keeps improving this technology.
2023 Bravia XR Gaming Improvements
We had wondered why Sony with such a big investment in the Playstation had lagged a little behind in gaming tech. Well for 2023, they leap ahead of the competition.
In addition, there are controls for VRR, Motion Blur Reduction and you can even resize your screen all in one very easy-to-use menu
One neat feature is the ability to choose six different crosshairs that stay on the screen. Another nice one is the Black Equalizer which will let you change the settings to better see that target hiding in the shadows.
All of the new models will sense when you have connected a PS5 and adjust the HDR tone mapping to perfectly line up. With the PS5, the set will also sense whether the content is coming from the console or not and change the picture settings from game to TV, which is pretty cool.
Serious gamers will rejoice as they can now get the best picture along with great gaming features.
Both the Z9K & A95L models come bundled with Sony’s improved Bravia Cam and Ambient Optimization Pro. All other 2023 XR models are compatible with the Bravia Cam as an optional accessory that can be added on.
Bravia Cam adjusts for ambient light hitting the screen and include a sensor for white balance. It can also recognize how far viewers are from the TV to adjust for sound and picture settings, so they are just right from any seating position.
The Bravia Cam is also a high-quality webcam that makes video chatting and conference calls more convenient on your big screen. If you work from home, you could have a video chat in the comfort of your living room on the couch, or in any room where your TV is. The Bravia Cam will work with major video chat services, but their app has to be developed, first. As developers roll out their own apps, Sony confirmed this cool feature will also work with select third-party compatible webcams as well.
Integrated Smart TV w/ Google TV & Built-In Streaming
The new 2023 models continue with the Google TV support with great search features. Using Google Assistant, you can organize your content or even use it to find your remote! Google Assistant is built-in, but the TV is also compatible with Alexa, letting you incorporate the TV into your preferred smart home system.
If you want a big library of 4K content, Sony has come to the rescue with their Bravia Core streaming platform. This is included on all of the models with the new XR processor and gives you access to the huge library of Sony content. The really great news for those of us with high-speed internet is their Pure Stream technology that runs at 80mbps. To maximize this experience you should have internet speeds of at least 100 down but you will get amazing picture quality almost as good as a UHD disc itself and far beyond normal blu ray. With the largest library of IMAX Enhanced content available, the Bravia Core app is pretty darn cool!
This is a subscription service, but every TV comes with a free time period of 1-2 years and some credits for movie purchases that vary based on the model.
You will want a good WiFi system in your home to make the best use of this service as the hard-wired jack on the back of the TV will not support these speeds, but the WiFi antennas do.
One big pro of using the built-in apps is Sony’s Calibrated for Netflix mode which brings studio-quality picture & sound. Sony and Netflix engineers worked together to develop a system that delivers content closer to the original source. This does work fantastically using the built-in apps on a Sony TV that supports the Calibrated for Netflix mode. For 2023 Sony has improved this mode one step further with a new Adaptive Netflix Calibrated mode that also adjusts for lighter/darker rooms along with picture color tone based on the color temperature of the room lighting.
As you might expect, these all support Airplay2, Alexa, Homekit, and Google Home, and all have a voice remote.
For anyone lucky enough to have a new gaming console, this is a big deal! HDMI 2.1 supports up to a 48Gbps peak bit rate and 120 frames per second on 4K content. The great news is latency is reduced to as low as 8.5ms if you use the ALLM Game mode on the new Sony sets. If you are into competitive gaming, these features will give you a big edge in shooting, sports, and other games with instant on-screen action.
All of these sets have at least two HDMI 2.1 inputs onboard that support this higher speed (4K120/VRR/ALLM/48Gbps), so you can connect two next-gen gaming consoles. If you game on the Sony PS5, there’s a special Auto HDR Tone Mapping feature that will give you the best picture. We also like the fact that all of the new Sony models have eARC. ARC stands for audio return channel. This tech sends the audio signal back down to your home theater receiver or soundbar via a compatible HDMI cable.
eARC upgrades ARC to send full Dolby Atmos immersive audio back into your soundbar or receiver. This also applies to enjoying Netflix using the Netflix calibrated mode as you will need to use the app on the TV.
We should point out that of the two high-speed inputs, one of them is the eARC input. So, if you are using eARC to get your audio back into your system, this really only gives you one input for 2.1, unless you go all out and splurge for the flagship Z9K model, which has three high-speed HDMI 2.1 inputs onboard.
Sony has maintained their new multi-position stand from 2022 that offers a variety of placement options. If you have ever tried to put a soundbar in front of a TV, quality soundbars are often taller than the TV image sits off the surface. These new models have stands you can adjust to have the TV sitting either flush to the top of your TV stand or raise up the TV enough to clear just about any soundbar.
Now we will get into the 6 new series with the XR processor available from Sony for 2023.
Sony Bravia XR-X90L 4K Full-Array LED TV
Screen Type: Full-Array LED | Available Sizes: 55”, 65”, 75”, 85”, 98” | Replaces: X90K
You’ll get most of the great Sony technology mentioned above at some very affordable prices, including a full-array LED backlight that provides precisely localized lighting across the entire screen. This includes the new Clear Motion technology and the new game mode.
The XR processor uses Sony’s XR Contrast Booster to improve the picture contrast. These models have XR Contrast Booster 10 which produces a dramatic picture with bright highlights and great black levels. Sony's XR Triluminos Pro further enhances the picture by reproducing a wide color spectrum for excellent textural detail and natural skin tones.
The big news though, is there is now a much more affordable option with all of the wonderful Sony picture technology for those of you who want an even bigger image. Yes, for 2023, we will see a whopping 98” screen size in the X90L series!
As the entry point into Sony’s impressive XR tech, the X90L models give you the option to add Sony’s new Bravia Cam later. For someone looking to get into that great Sony picture and stay on a budget, the X90K offers a whole lot of bang for the buck and covers the most popular sizes with tons of smart features built-in.
Sony Bravia XR-X93L 4K Mini LED TV
Screen Type: Mini LED | Available Sizes: 65”, 75” | Replaces: X95K
This is the first series that gets you into great Mini LED technology. The already stellar performance of Sony’s LED technology has been further evolved with thousands of significantly smaller LED lights, allowing an even more crisp, bright image. The super dense Mini LEDs paired with Sony’s XR Backlight Master Drive deliver incredibly precise light control with exceptional contrast. Sony’s XR Contrast Booster 15 delivers brighter highlights, more natural mid-tones, and deeper blacks by dimming some areas of the screen while boosting others.
This technology also reduces “blooming” (known as the halo effect) that you often see around brightly lit objects on dark backgrounds. The X93L features Sony's X-Anti Reflection and X-Wide Angle technologies to help you keep enjoying a beautiful picture if you watch your TV off axis. The X93L models have what Sony calls their X-Anti Reflection surface that reduces glare on your screen. This is great if you have light spilling into your room and onto your TV set. Interestingly, it’s the same surface tech Sony uses on their top-of-the-line 8K Mini LED panels too.
The XR processor in the X93L, along with 3D Surround Upscaling technology contribute to a richer, more involving sound that creates a heightened Atmos-like sound field. The Acoustic Multi-Audio tech uses sound-positioned tweeters in the back of the TV that tracks the action on the screen. If you pair the X95K up with a Sony compatible soundbar the Acoustic Center Sync synchronizes the built-in speakers for even better sound.
We should point out, these will not have the Clear Motion tech found in the other models, but Mini LED technology should deliver a great picture.
These are going to be a great value with all of the tech we discussed initially and Mini LED which will probably make them a sweet spot for a lot of people.
Sony Bravia XR-X95L 4K Mini LED TV
Screen Type: Mini LED | Available Sizes: 85” | Replaces: X95K 85"
This is a one-model series and is basically a hot-rodded version for the much bigger 85” screen size. As you move into this size, you can see artifacts easier which is why the X95L 85” has a couple of enhancements over the X93L. First, it will have the XR Clear Motion technology we went over in the beginning of this article. It also moves to Contrast Booster 20 with an even better XR Backlight Master Drive.
When you want to go big with Sony and get the best picture this will be the choice. There is no question it will be the brightest and highest quality picture 85” on the market in 2023.
Sony Bravia XR-A80L 4K HDR OLED
Screen Type: OLED | Available Sizes: 55", 65", 77", 83” | Replaces: A80K
OLED TVs have always appealed to video purists as they can deliver perfect inky blacks. When you couple a great OLED panel with all of the wonderful Sony tech we went over earlier, you get an amazing picture for the money.
The A80L models come in 55”, 65”, 77”, and 83” sizes. They include all of the same great Sony tech mentioned previously, but the A80L models use a new high luminance OLED panel combined with Sony’s new XR OLED Contrast Pro engine to produce purer, deeper blacks with even better color reproduction for a picture that is full of depth and detail.
Pairing an OLED panel with Sony’s special XR OLED Contrast Pro tech really boosts the color and contrast even in rooms with a lot of ambient light coming in, so you get really deep, inky blacks with the brightness of an LED panel. These also support HDR10 which is essential for streaming 4K & 4K Blu-ray content so you get the brightest colors that look like they really pop off the screen. Brightness and color levels also adjust scene-by-scene in response to the video signal with Dolby Vision.
This model also includes Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+. If you are looking at all the best OLED panels on the market, the Sony A80L provides a lot of value for an affordable price. We love the fact they added an 83” version to this series in 2023 letting you get a huge OLED screen for a reasonable price too.
2023 Sony Master Series Models
The Sony Master Series is the best of the best and consists of three new models — the Z9K Mini LED, A95L QD-OLED, and the A90K OLED. Carrying over from Sony’s 2022 TV lineup, the A90K OLED and 8K Z9K Mini LED remain in the lineup. The Z9K models will have a running update to get Clear Motion and the Gaming Menu, but the small A90K sets will not receive these.
Sony puts their highest grade components and best build quality into these sets. Then, after each panel comes off the production line, every single one is individually calibrated! When you want the best picture quality on the planet, choose the Sony Master Series.
Sony Bravia XR-A90K 4K HDR OLED (2022)
Screen Type: OLED | Available Sizes: 42", 48"
Sony's flagship MASTER Series OLED is consistently one of the most highly rated TVs available. These smaller screen sizes let you bring Master Series level performance into modest-sized spaces or even as a monitor. The A90K models come in 42” & 48” sizes and these use the same new high luminance panel from the A80L OLED models with Sony’s XR OLED Contrast Pro engine — but as a Master Series set, Sony put their highest grade components and their best build quality into these models.
This model includes all of the same great Sony tech mentioned previously- except for Game Menu and Clear Motion, but the two compact sizes make these a great choice for general use in smaller rooms — there’s even a high-position stand available that turns the TV into a high-performance OLED gaming monitor.
The new high luminance OLED panel combined with Sony’s new XR OLED Contrast Pro engine gives this one a big boost in color and contrast even in brightly lit rooms with a lot of ambient light coming in, so you get peak brightness with those deep, inky blacks only a great OLED panel will deliver.
Sony Bravia XR-A95L QD-OLED
Screen Type: QD-OLED | Available Sizes: 55", 65", 77" | Replaces: A95K
Moving up the Master Series line, the Bravia XR-A95K uses a new panel with QD-OLED (Quantum Dot layer) technology — and since Sony already makes the best processors in the industry when you combine their processing with the best panel in the industry consumers get the best picture, features, and tech available, anywhere.
In 2022 QD-OLED was completely new and only came in 55” and 65” sizes. We are super excited to see for 2023 a new 77” panel with QD-OLED tech. With the A95L, you get a big boost in color brightness of up to 100% compared to conventional OLED tech — and when you compare this new tech to the panel used in Sony’s best OLED TV ever — the A90L — there is less image retention sometimes found with conventional OLEDs and the picture on the new A95L QD-OLED is just incredible.
Since Sony makes the best processors, the QD-OLED tech in this panel uses everything Sony already knows about high-performance image processing — letting Sony's XR Triluminos Max technology squeeze every last drop of performance from the new panel to give you the best color reproduction and a very bright picture.
You get all of the same great Sony features and tech as the previous models including Clear Motion and the Game menu, but with the QD-OLED panel, you’ll get the distinct advantages of brighter saturation of colors. The A95L delivers vibrant colors and realistic texture at any brightness level, along with the great contrast that made OLED TVs famous. With XR OLED Contrast Pro, the A95L adjusts brightness for peaks in glare and shadowy blacks so that the image is not too washed out or too dark to see.
This will also be the series that will make serious gamers drool. In addition to the Game menu, this is the only series with a very slick multi-screen system. You’ll also get separate game modes for First Person Shooters and Real Time Strategy games. Plus the A95L models are the only ones with Dolby Vision for gaming. There is no doubt in our minds, these models will be a gamers dream come true!
The A95L's XR processor also contributes to a richer, more involving sound. The 3D Surround Upscaling technology can create a heightened Atmos-like sound field regardless of the source. Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology tracks sound effects and dialogue and match them with the on-screen action, creating an even more immersive experience.
The A95L will also include the Bravia Cam with all of its great features we went over earlier in this article.
Instead of the small and often down-firing speakers that you’ll find in most TVs, the XR-A95L uses actuators on the back to send vibrations through the screen to produce sound from its entire surface. The television can even function as your center channel in a traditional home theater setup with a separate receiver using Center Speaker Mode, which allows dialogue, effects, and music to come directly from the screen. Pretty cool!
However, we still think if you are getting into a TV of this level, you should get an audio system that is worthy of its great picture!
Sony Bravia XR Z9K 8K Mini LED TV
Screen Type: Mini LED | Available Sizes: 75", 85"
In 2022, Sony introduced their new Master Series Mini LED — the Z9K. At Audio Advice, we really loved the cool tech in this flagship 8K model. SInce this panel technology is so good, Sony made no changes to it for 2023, but they are upgrading the XR processor to give it both Clear Motion and the Gaming Menu, which is pretty cool.
While there is not much in the way of 8K content on the market, there are still big reasons to consider an 8K panel. With the XR Processing power and thousands of tiny densely packed 8K Mini LEDs, the Z9K upscales any content close to 8K resolution, allowing you to see the fine details and textures on an immersive 75” or 85” screen!
A Mini LED is a lot smaller than a traditional LED. Since the size of Mini LEDs has been reduced to be so small, Mini LED-based TVs use thousands of tiny, miniaturized LEDs to power the backlight — illuminating what you see on the screen. — and since you have more LEDs in a Mini LED panel, you can control the black levels better.
With conventional LEDs, there are some challenges manufacturers have to work around, but not every brand has done nearly as well as Sony has. One of the most common challenges is “blooming” — also known as the “halo effect.” Blooming happens when the light from brightly lit objects on a screen “bleed” into the darker surrounding areas, creating a halo effect around the object, hence the name.
The effect is very noticeable in rooms with all the lights dimmed. When trying to watch your movie in a completely dark room, you may have noticed the effect around very brightly lit objects that are isolated against dark backgrounds — such as a street light, stars dotting the night sky, or even subtitles.
While Sony has achieved incredible contrast ratios with conventional full-array local LED dimming, Mini LED technology takes everything Sony knows about high-performance image processing and squeezes every last drop of performance from the panel tech to give you the best of both worlds — so you get the inky black levels like an OLED, the brightest colors possible of a traditional LED panel.
Sony’s XR Backlight Master Drive precisely controls each and every one of those densely packed Mini LEDs for exceptional contrast, so you get very bright highlights and deep, inky blacks on a glorious 75” or 85” screen. To see an 85” picture upscaled to 8K is super impressive. IMAX Enhanced content on Bravia Core looks amazing on these great 8K models!
As Sony’s top-of-the-line Mini LED television, the Z9K tops out the 2023 models in terms of peak brightness and provides amazing color resolution.
These also include the very cool Bravia Cam with the sets.
Acoustic Multi-Audio combined with the XR Processor ensures that you’ll always get 3D audio, regardless of your source and without the need for additional gear. Sony’s innovative frame tweeter design allows the TV’s frame to produce sound and can be projected vertically or to the side and positioned where the source of a sound appears on-screen. This cool acoustic tech also combines with Sony’s new Bravia Cam, which can detect your proximity to the screen or sense your motion that will adjust the sound coming out and even the brightness based on the axis of your seating position. Super cool!
We hope this overview of the new XR models from Sony has been helpful in understanding the differences. At Audio Advice, we have been fans of Sony TVs for decades. Sony also has by far and away the best customer support in the industry. There is just no comparison to the other big brands when it comes to customer service.
You really can not go wrong with any Sony TV as they all have incredible pictures, but we can say, as you move up, you will get an even better quality picture. This year, more than ever before, the step-up models are well worth the price difference when you consider most of us keep a TV for at least 10 years if not more.
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