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Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

Sony KDL-55HX853 55in 3D LED TV

Flagship Bravia with the Olympics in mind

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Sound barrier

If the set does have a performance weakness, it’s with audio. The supplied pedestal features a pair of speakers which are fed by a tether lead on the rear of the set; these are augmented by a third speaker firing from the centre-back of the screen. The latter isn’t a subwoofer, but a mid-range driver.

Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

No 3D specs supplied, but it's probably a blessing

However, even this triumvirate are unable to disguise the set’s congested character. There are several DSP options, but these are only of limited use. Clear Voice effectively renders the audio as if it was coming down a landline, while Dynamic is throaty and Standard sounds thin.

An S-Front Surround mode can be used to literally lift the soundstage, but that’s about it. Rather predictably, the Sound Enhancer mode does the polar opposite to what’s advertised. Should you wish to wall-mount the screen, two downward facing speakers in the base of the set come into play, replacing those in the pedestal.

Verdict


In some respects, this next-gen Sony is not significantly different from the models launched during 2011. It offers from the same mediocre multimedia file support and suffers from crosstalk-addled 3D. But the brand has made a big step forward when it comes to 2D imaging performance, particularly motion resolution. In this respect, I’d say this set currently leads the field. If you want a great looking TV, optimised for sport in particular, look no further. ®

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Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

85%
Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

Sony KDL-55HX853 55in 3D LED TV

Sony's 2012 flagship 55in set throws the spotlight back on TV picture quality.
Price: £1800 RRP

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