- The Sony A80 OLED TV has received a warm reception in the market, showcasing Sony’s superior build quality and standards.
- The sub-par picture quality in low light is due to the Sony A80’s use of an emissive OLED panel without local dimming, resulting in less brightness.
- The Sony A80 has an overwhelming picture settings menu that can frustrate users, especially with advanced features.
- Some users have reported limited viewing angles, reduced image quality, and color accuracy when not sitting directly in front of the screen.
- Screen burn-in is a common issue with OLED TVs, including the Sony A80, and can reduce the lifespan of the TV.
Since its release in 2021, the Sony A80 OLED TV has had a warm reception in the market — even during the COVID-19 pandemic — which is a major testament to the superior build quality and standards Sony maintains with all its products.
Still, the feelings aren’t mutual with everyone, and for some users, the Sony A80 OLED TV is overrated. So, what’s the verdict on this? Is the Sony A80 OLED TV a worthy purchase?
Let’s talk about the 8 biggest complaints about the Sony A80 OLED TV so you can get the full picture.
Sub-Par Picture Quality in Low Light
The reason for sub-par picture quality in low light is the same thing that makes the Sony A80 OLED TV stand out from competitors regarding picture quality, clarity, and depth.
To understand this better, you must know that the Sony A80 uses an emissive OLED panel that only employs the three traditional color sub-pixels: red, blue, and green. The more common WOLED panel operates with white sub-pixels in addition to the three.
Another thing you need to know is that pixels in emissive OLED panels are lit individually. Due to this, the Sony A80 OLED TV doesn’t have local dimming. As a result, the emissive OLED panel has more clarity and depth, which translates to better picture quality. However, this comes with a downside, as you can experience significantly less brightness in low-light scenes.
Overwhelming Picture Settings Menu
Like other OLED Sony TVs, the Sony A80 has numerous customization options. You can use the Picture Settings menu to adjust things like color temperature or gamut; in most cases, these are reasonably straightforward to navigate but they can easily overwhelm a novice.
It may be necessary to adjust advanced features like object-based HDR remastering, and this is where things get messy. For starters, the sheer number of options and complexity involved may frustrate most users, and, in some cases, the TV manual won’t be of much help.
Also, any adjustments, particularly with advanced features, significantly affect the image and audio quality. This may appeal to advanced users who know what they’re doing but are mostly a minority.
If you’re struggling with the picture settings menu, your best bet would be to stick to default presets and slowly work your way to advanced options once you’re comfortable or have access to tutorials.
Limited Viewing Angles
Another issue that some Sony A80 owners have reported is limited viewing angles. You may notice reduced image quality and color accuracy if you are not sitting directly in front of the screen. This viewing angle issue has been observed to be more pronounced when viewing dark scenes.
The reason behind this, as mentioned above, is that the Sony A80 uses a unique panel technology that allows individual pixels to emit light.
This technology helps to create deeper blacks and a more vibrant color gamut. However, the tradeoff is that viewing angles are somewhat restricted since there’s no local dimming, resulting in poor contrast with low-light scenes.
To mitigate this issue, you can place the A80 in a room with little ambient light and avoid placing it where you or other viewers will be seated at an extreme angle (i.e., not facing the TV directly).
Consider mounting the TV at eye level to ensure you view the screen head-on. Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive remedy from the manufacturer, and these two workarounds are the only way to avoid the limited angle issue.
While limited viewing angles are a downside to the Sony A80 OLED TV, it’s worth noting that this is a common issue among many OLED TVs on the market today, specifically those that use emissive OLED panels.
Screen Burn-In Issue
The screen burn-in issue, or the ghost effect, is a common complaint among Sony A80 OLED TV users. This refers to when an image or pattern is displayed on the screen for an extended period and becomes permanently etched into the screen. This creates a silhouette that affects how other images form on the display.
Although this is reminiscent of CRT-powered TVs, it’s also a common issue with OLED TVs, and the Sony A80 is no exception. Under normal use, screen burn-in is relatively rare, but it’s more likely if the TV is used for gaming or displays static images or logos. To prevent screen burn-in, you’ll have to vary the content on the screen regularly and avoid prolonged exposure to static images or logos.
Besides the obvious frustration screen burn-in brings, it also reduces the lifespan of the TV. Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix for screen burn-in, and in most cases, the only solution is to replace the affected panel, which can be expensive.
Another remedy to reduce the screen burn-in risk is to use the Sony A80’s pixel refresher feature, which runs periodically to clear any image retention. Sony’s logo dimming feature can also help you prevent burn-in.
Note that these suggestions come from Sony A80 users, and unfortunately, they may not be enough to prevent screen burn-in entirely.
Significant Input Lag
Even though input lag is, in most cases, largely unnoticeable, it’s an unforgivable sin in certain quarters. One notable demographic that complains a lot about this issue is the gamer community. However, if, for instance, you’re a stock or forex trader or generally anyone who relies on prompt input and output from their TV, the Sony A80 OLED TV can present significant problems.
Input lag mean refers to a scenario where a television takes significant time to display data or signals from an input device.
Usually, most OLED TVs have some input lag, but with almost 34 milliseconds of input lag, the Sony A80 can frustrate some users. One particular feature of the Sony A80 that severely affects its input lag is the rather underperforming HDMI 2.1 feature.
Still, other factors like the input device and picture settings influence input lag in a TV, so you may want to tinker around with the settings and connection options until you find one with slightly less input lag.
Hefty Price Tag
Starting at $1,699.99 for the base 55-inch model, the Sony A80 OLED TV presents quite the value proposition, not to mention numerous convenient payment plans depending on where you purchase it.
However, not everyone holds the same view. While the Sony A80 OLED is impressive, other similarly capable alternatives are priced lower and offer the same or more value.
The A80’s impressive features, like cutting-edge OLED technology, superior sound, and image quality, are all hallmarks of a premium product. Still, the price may be too much for some budget-conscious buyers.
Audio Delays With Some Models
While Sony’s numerous customization options may seem like a plus, especially with advanced users, it can also be a limitation. Some users have raised the issue of audio delays with the A80, and while a few lip-sync issues may go unnoticed, this issue has frustrated many users.
One explanation for this audio delay issue is the Sony A80’s excessive input lag problem. Audio delays with the Sony A80 OLED TV can also be resolved by toggling the audio and picture settings to their default presets.
However, some users report that the audio delay persists after mitigating the input lag issue and restoring settings to default.
Underwhelming Brightness in HDR
At this point, high dynamic range (HDR) support is standard in almost all TVs. Sony hasn’t been left behind as a market leader, and its HDR feature is one of the best, if not the best, options available.
However, HDR in the Sony A80 has one flaw that has been a pain for some users. With a maximum brightness of 750 nits, the Sony A80 lags behind a couple of competitors, notably the LG C2, Panasonic JZ2000, and Samsung S95B QD-OLED, which have a peak brightness of 1,000, 1,000, and 1,500 nits, respectively.
Sony A80’s emissive OLED panel is one primary cause of this brightness issue. Unlike the WOLED panel used by other TV manufacturers, the emissive OLED panel only employs red, green, and blue subpixels, resulting in more picture clarity and depth but significantly lowering the brightness level.
Other factors that affect brightness in Sony A80 HDR are the absence of local dimming and ambient light levels.
Due to a lack of local dimming in the Sony A80 (which cuts across all OLED TVs), the contrast ratio balancing may be slightly off, resulting in less brightness. Similarly, too much ambient light in a room can overwhelm the brightness of the Sony A80.
- Features XR Cognitive Processor developed by Sony
- Triluminos Pro enhances the already outstanding picture
- Dolby Vision HDR and Auto HDR tone mapping for PS5
- 8.5ms input lag
- 4K at 120Hz
Is the Sony A80 OLED TV Worth It?
In all respects, the Sony A80 OLED TV is a masterpiece. The rich and clear colors, not to mention outstanding motion handling capabilities set it apart from most OLED TVs in the market.
However, despite the praise it has received from some users, a number of people have noted the Sony A80 is fraught with issue. Some of the biggest complaints include limited viewing angles, ghosting or screen burning, input lag, and insufficient brightness in HDR.
Another less common complaint is with the TV’s pricing. To most users, the Sony A80’s premium features warrant its price but not everyone supports this notion.
It’s also worth noting that some of the issues users raise with the Sony A80 OLED TV can be resolved with minor tweaks, but the ball is in the manufacturer’s court for most issues.
|Sub-Par Picture Quality in Low Light
|Significantly less brightness in low-light scenes due to the emissive OLED panel.
|Overwhelming Picture Settings Menu
|Complexity and sheer number of options can frustrate most users, especially novices.
|Limited Viewing Angles
|Reduced image quality and color accuracy if not sitting directly in front of the screen.
|Screen Burn-In Issue
|Static images or logos can become permanently etched into the screen, affecting display quality.
|Significant Input Lag
|Almost 34 milliseconds of input lag can frustrate users, especially gamers and those who rely on prompt input and output.
|Hefty Price Tag
|Starting at $1,699.99 for the base 55-inch model, the Sony A80 OLED TV may be too expensive for some budget-conscious buyers.
|Audio Delays With Some Models
|Some users have reported audio delays, which can be frustrating and may not be resolved even after restoring settings to default.
|Underwhelming Brightness in HDR
|With a maximum brightness of 750 nits, the Sony A80 lags behind some competitors in terms of HDR brightness.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock.com.