Sony KD-65A8 in the test: The television practically consists only of a screen – the frame and loudspeakers cannot be seen.

No speakers are visible on the Sony Bravia A8, the television uses its super-flat OLED screen as a huge speaker membrane. This Sony trick isn’t new, but it’s still good. The sound comes in the best possible clarity from where it belongs – in the middle of the picture. The picture is also pleasing, the colors are brilliant and natural, as is typical for OLEDs, and the A8 is somewhat restrained in terms of maximum brightness. The Android operating system is drilling Sony to AirPlay and HomeKit for Apple users, the app selection includes the most important streaming services. In addition, videos can be started from the smartphone via Chromecast – a great package.


  • Good tone
  • Great picture quality
  • Extensive equipment


  • Instructions in the menu difficult to use
  • No time shift function

S.Applied minimalism looks like: The Sony Bravia A8 doesn’t have a millimeter too much frame. Viewed from the side, it resembles the often quoted line in the landscape. This Sony television is virtually pure screen. This makes it ideal for wall mounting, but there is another important reason. The test by COMPUTER BILD reveals which it is and whether the device is convincing in terms of quality and features.


The best TVs: 65 inches (165 cm)

OLED screen for top picture quality

Sony uses a so-called OLED screen in the Bravia A8. In contrast to the more widespread LCD screens, this technology works with self-illuminating pixels – millions of small LEDs made of organic material form the individual pixels. The advantages of this technology: With the pixels switched off, perfect deep black can be displayed. LCD screens, on the other hand, create at most a very dark gray. The difference can be seen in completely darkened rooms. But the color rendering also benefits from the deep black background of the OLED screens in lighter surroundings. In addition, there is great viewing angle stability and fast switching times for streak-free playback. OLED televisions always work with double the refresh rate of 100 to 120 Hertz. The anti-reflective coating is good, the reflections are less noticeable than you would expect from such a black glass surface.

The remote control of the Sony A8 contains a microphone for the Google Assistant.  It can also be used to find YouTube or Netflix videos.  © COMPUTER BILD

The Sony A8 remote control includes a microphone for the Google Assistant. It can also be used to find YouTube or Netflix videos.

The screen is also the speaker

The screen is of course not everything in a television. Sony packs the obligatory electronics from the power supply unit through image processing, main processor and RAM to the receiver and connections in a 4.5 centimeter flat housing that takes up almost two thirds of the back of the screen. This is hardly noticeable even when looking from the side; from most perspectives, the Sony looks like a pane of glass a few millimeters thick. The only question left is: what to do with the loudspeakers? There is no frame for it, the otherwise common hiding place in the bottom would not sound ideal. The solution has already been found in the previous models Bravia A1 and AG9 proven: Sony also uses the OLED panel as a loudspeaker in the A8. The manufacturer calls this “Acoustic Surface Audio”. To do this, Sony installs special speaker drivers on the back of the screen. They put the entire screen in the desired vibrations to generate sound. They are not visible, but the sound quality achieved in this way is really good with excellent speech intelligibility. Nice side effect: the sound comes advantageously from the center of the picture and spreads more evenly in the room than with conventional loudspeakers. Two woofers in the back support the screen speakers. Sony crowns the good sound properties with an automatic calibration (“Acoustic Auto Calibration”), so that the television sounds clear and balanced in sparsely furnished rooms with large windows as well as in living rooms with thick carpets and upholstered furniture.

The Sony A8 isn’t the brightest, but it’s consistently good

When it comes to picture quality, the Sony doesn’t let anything burn thanks to the OLED screen technology. There was nothing wrong with the color matching in the test, and the brightness levels also corresponded exactly to the specifications. Sony drives the maximum brightness (650 candela per square meter) less than other manufacturers with their OLED televisions. This is hardly noticeable in practice because the maximum brightness only occurs selectively anyway. On the other hand, this measure reduces the risk of burn-in effects. Nothing of this was seen in the test, even after long-term display of test images.

The one with Portrait Displays Calman The color gamut determined by the Sony A8 is typical for OLED televisions: It extends far into the peaks of the brightly highlighted target color space without oversaturated with over-saturated colors.

The best picture settings for the Sony A8

In its factory settings, the Sony A8 initially pleases with a crisp picture, but if you take a closer look, you notice that the colors and contrasts are too cool. The picture quality is much better in picture mode “user“. The light sensor is activated at the factory, which regulates the image according to the ambient brightness. It can remain switched on. Whether and how the Sony smooths movements in films can be found under”Motionflow“The automatic option delivers good results without annoying artifacts.”X-Motion Clarity“improves the sharpness of movement, but costs a bit of image brightness – that is a matter of taste. The automatic settings for both noise suppression functions work very well in practice. In addition, graduated color gradients (” banding “) can be set with the option”Even gradation“Smooth very nicely in the medium setting. The Sony manages all of this without any noteworthy side effects.

Sony Bravia A8: The most beautiful TV from Sony in the test The Sony A8 showed the best possible picture quality in the user picture mode.  © Sony, COMPUTER BILD

The Sony A8 showed the best possible image quality in the “User” image mode.

Sony is also opening up Android to Apple users

The back of the Sony A9 is well equipped with four HDMI inputs, AV input, three USB ports and TV sockets for cables and antennas as well as satellite.  © COMPUTER BILD

The back of the Sony A9 is well equipped with four HDMI inputs, AV input, three USB ports and TV sockets for cables and antennas as well as satellite.

Test result Sony Bravia KD-65A8 and KD-55A8

  • Good tone
  • Great picture quality
  • Instructions in the menu difficult to use
  • No time shift function

* The cheapest price may be higher in the meantime.

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