When it comes to gaming, especially on consoles, a good TV and sound system are crucial. But what’s a setup that can give you great performance in a small area?
Well, Sony sent us the Sony BRAVIA X85F and HT-Z9F so we thought: Why not these two in tandem? Below are our thoughts on this particular combination.
Before we begin, check out our first looks video:
What’s inside the packaging?
- BRAVIA X85F TV, 65-inch
- 2x Tabletop/desktop stand
- User instructions
- Quick setup guide
- Voice-enabled remote control
- Power cable
- Batteries (for remote)
- HT-Z9F soundbar unit
- Subwoofer unit
- HDMI cable
- Wall Hanging Bracket
- Remote control
- Batteries (for remote)
When it comes to design, the BRAVIA X85F may look simple. However, it does have a premium build quality with its aluminium chassis and sleek black body. If you ask us, you can’t really go wrong with this type of design.
From the front, you can see that this flat screen has incredibly thin bezels. That has become a standard these days and it’s a standard we like. It effectively gives you a larger screen size without the TV being too big. Mind you, at a minimum of 55 inches and 20 kg (the one we reviewed was the 65-inch model) it’s still a big TV. However, it can fit in tight areas if you do it right.
Nothing much to say about the back, since nobody looks at it regularly. But it’s where the connectivity ports are found. You’ll find all the important ones here including USB ports, HDMI ports, and even one Ethernet port. It also supports wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and WiFi (for internet connection). For a complete list of connectivity and specs, refer to the full specifications here.
The HT-Z9F is a very slim soundbar for what it can output. It has a metal-grill across the front covering the three speaker units. This magnetically attached grill can be taken off, which is handy when you want to do some cleaning. It also partially obscures the LED display, making the font-face look like pixel art, which we felt was a nice touch.
On top is the touch panel, with the standard set of multimedia controls available. There’s no feedback when you touch them though, so we mostly stuck to using the remote control.
At the back, all the connectivity ports have been squeezed into a small area. It can be a bit unsightly once you plug everything in since you’ll see a bundle of cords sticking out.
The subwoofer unit is a standard rectangle-shaped box. It’s relatively large so the best placement for it is on the floor. You can connect it to the main unit wirelessly too, so you have a bit of freedom in terms of where you want your bass to come from.
The X85F is solid performer considering what it offers at a starting price of RM5,399. It not only outputs and upscales up to 4K resolution but also supports HDR (HDR10 and HLG), which is nice to have if you are a Netflix subscriber and own a PS4 Pro.
This model also uses Android TV as the base and will have a lot of apps you’ll normally use. It performs well enough too but can feel a bit sluggish at times. Particularly, movies or videos start to stutter whenever we are accessing the menu to change the settings.
Of course, what’s really important is image quality, which we found quite good. It has good color reproduction, excellent viewing angles, and high refresh rate to handle motion. Calibration is recommended, however, if you’re concerned with color accuracy.
The one downside of this TV is its below average contrast levels. Specifically, dark/black scenes will look hazy or cloudy. This is because the panel uses frame dimming instead of local LED dimming. It’s not that noticeable in a bright room, but turn off the lights and it becomes apparent.
Next up, let’s talk about the Z9F soundbar set. Although officially categorized as a 3.1-channel audio system, the Z9F is certainly the heavier hitter of the two products. Using the Vertical Surround Sound technology, you can get 7.1.2-channel virtual surround sound.
Setup is simple enough: Connect to TV via HDMI-ARC, then connect subwoofer wirelessly by pressing the “Link” button and voila! Once that’s done, all the settings can be controlled using the remote. You can swap between different preset EQs on the fly and also activate the Vertical Surround Sound by pressing the respective buttons.
We were pleasantly surprised with the excellent sound quality coming from the slim Z9F. It has a very smooth midrange and rich bass, allowing it to excel in games, movies and music. While it’s not audiophile level in any of those categories, it delivers enough quality to satisfy us.
If you’re on the hunt for a new TV and sound system, the BRAVIA X85F TV and HT-Z9F soundbar is definitely a combination you can consider.
At a starting price of RM8,395 (RM5,399 + RM2,999), it’s a relatively affordable setup. What’s convenient about this setup is that it’s also possible to fit it into small areas like a personal office or small room.
Interested? You can find out more about the TV and sound bar by clicking on the links below: