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Sony's 8K and OLED TVs adapt their sound to your room

They also tout hands-free voice and picture-aware sound.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 6, 2020
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Sony is coming to CES with its customary TV lineup revamp, and this year the focus is as much on sound as it is picture quality. Its newly unveiled Z8H 8K LED (shown above), A9S 4K OLED, A8H 4K OLED, X950H 4K LED (pictured below) and X900H 4K LED sets bring an Ambient Optimization feature that fine-tunes the picture and sound to your viewing space, including an Acoustic Audio Calibration feature that supposedly delivers the "full sound potential" of your TV during the initial setup process. And if you spring for the top-of-the-line Z8H, you'll get a Frame Tweeter that vibrates the frame of the TV itself to generate sound -- if you can't hook up dedicated speakers, this should be more immersive than what you'd normally get from built-in audio.

The Z8H and X950H also boast a Sound-from-Picture-Reality feature that delivers directional sound based on what's happening on screen.

Don't worry, there are visual upgrades. All of the TVs offer Triluminos Display to produce "more shades of red, green and blue" than before, while every set except for the X900H is running on a Picture Processor X1 Ultimate chip. OLED sets (using LG panels, we'd add) now support X-Motion Clarity's high refresh rates to improve the picture in fast-moving scenes, while the X950H brings upgraded wide-angle viewing to 55- and 65-inch sets. The X900H itself is an upgrade as a mid-range model with Full Array LED (read: local dimming).

Beyond that, many of the updates come from software. Sony's TVs are now running Android 9 Pie, with "enhanced" Sony-made interfaces. If you use the Z8H or X950H, you'll also have hands-free Google Assistant voice control (all sets integrate with Assistant and Alexa devices). Those who live in Apple-focused homes will also be happy to hear that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support are making their return, although the Apple TV app is still a no-show.

You'll have to wait until this spring to learn about pricing, but sizing is available now. The flagship Z8H is unsurprisingly available only in 75- and 85-inch sizes (8K would be hard to notice otherwise), while the A9S stands out as a 48-inch OLED model -- you don't have to opt for a large screen just to get those perfect black levels. The A8H comes in 55- and 65-inch sizes for more expansive spaces. The X950H and X900H cover the widest range of sizes with 55-, 65-, 75- and 85-inch sets on hand, (plus 49 inches for the X950H.

Sony X950H 4K TV

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