• October 2, 2022

“Who needs a humongous 77-inch television? What’s the fuss over 4K? I can hear the dialogue just fine!” 

These were the words of the oblivious me—unacquainted with the magic of crystal-clear picture and sound—before I experienced what true light and sound should feel like. And now, I am forever a changed individual. 

Sony sent over the A80J Bravia XR Smart TV, the HT-G700 Dolby Atmos DTS:X Soundbar, and the super elusive PlayStation 5 to Speed for us to review—and oh boy, it truly is the entertainment system of our dreams.

A feast for the eyes

If you’re ready to invest in a high-end smart TV, the Sony Bravia XR should definitely be on your list. It’s easy to shrug off the extra features when you see it on the ads, but believe us when we say that it means all the difference especially when you’re coming from a regular smart TV. 

Sony takes “smart” to a different level with their Cognitive Processor XR, which enables the TV to cross-analyze each picture element including the focal point, and then integrate and adjust what needs to be adjusted to give the picture the most depth and reality. To put it simply, the TV is smart enough to analyze what’s being shown on the screen to give you an enhanced viewing experience. 

We tried watching Eternals on the Bravia XR and we were simply blown away. The TV adjusts the content close to 4K resolution so it’s incredibly smoother than anything we’ve seen before, and the visual experience was just out of this world given that Eternals had amazing CG shots.

When Sony promised OLED contrast with pure blacks and lifelike brightness, they truly delivered on that front. It was breathtaking to watch vibrant animated films like Encanto and Coco because you get to appreciate the vibrancy and the festivity and the fullness of colors that it was intended to deliver. It was like walking into a rainbow where there are a million of colors surrounding you.

The Sony Bravia XR also comes with Google Assistant, which makes it easy to integrate into your smart home. The TV synced easily into our Google Home interface, and by logging in our Google Account, we were able to access all our subscriptions easily. 

Its 3-way multi-position stand made life so much easier for us. No more buying additional rigs or custom console for the TV to sit perfectly in our living room. We were very pleased that it was flexible enough to accommodate all kinds of furniture setting, with its raised form allowing us to accommodate the soundbar.

A feast for the senses 

And speaking of soundbar, the Sony 3.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X soundbar slipped perfectly under the Bravia XR, letting us enjoy Sony’s advanced surround technology. We have come so far in audio technology that you don’t have to set up so many speakers in different parts of the room just to experience surround sound? All you need is this little nifty soundbar, which uses a Vertical Surround Engine and three speakers hidden behind its length to create that virtual surround sound that seems to come from all around you.

What makes this soundbar even more exciting is that it comes with a powerful wireless subwoofer that delivers deeper, rich bass for optimal movie viewing and music listening. We’re really a fan of the subwoofer’s wireless connectivity, because that’s one less cord to worry about when setting and cleaning up.

In times of pandemic when going to the theaters is still pretty uncomfortable and risky, having a top-notch sound system in your home that delivers that same chest-beating bass and high-quality surround sound is really a treat. Thanks to the Bravia XR- soundbar duo, we were able to rewatch Spider-Man: Far From Home in all of its audiovisual glory—and we did not for a second miss the long lines, awkward seats, and unnecessary neighbor commentary from the theaters.

The king of kings

And of course, the elusive PlayStation 5. Many doubt the need to upgrade to a PS5 at this point since there aren’t too many titles exclusive to the console. Why upgrade if all the games you want to play runs fine on your PlayStation 4 or PC? Well, if you’ve held the PlayStation 5 DualSense wireless controller in your hands and experienced gaming using the Bravia XR and the HT-G700 soundbar, you won’t have the heart to go back to a life before this entertainment trio. 

The Sony Bravia XR Smart TV was made for the PlayStation 5. The smart TV’s Cognitive Processor XR works just as well with the PS5 so you can experience better visual gaming with this setup. The TV adjusts the picture to whether you’re using the PS5 for gaming or watching movies, so you know you’re experiencing the best specs every time. And since the Bravia XR supports HDR, playing games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart gives you an unbelievable range of colors and vibrancy. And did we mention smoothness of up to 120fps? A true shooter’s dream.

There’s no overselling it when we say the DualSense wireless controller plays majestically. The DualSense is just such a huge step-up from the DualShock, that going back to the DualShock afterwards was heartbreaking. The new touchpad comes with no frustrations, and the evolved haptic feedback feels so much more realistic and nuanced than its predecessor. 

Although I still run out of juice midway, the DualSense doesn’t make charging a fuss. Just plug it in front of the PS5 and you can continue where you left off. 

The PlayStation 5 is still so hard to get a hold of today, especially here in the country since pre-orders are exclusively run online through Sony’s official distributors. But honestly, the trouble is so worth it if you’re lucky enough to get a slot. We’re excited for Sony and other developers to release more PS5-exclusive titles, but for now, we’ll be ready with our full Sony arsenal. 

Words and photos by Jovi Figueroa

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