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Sound Quality Of Sony KDL40X3500

by Vincent Teoh
6 November 2007

Pioneer PDP4280XD Speaker

Maybe it is psychological, but I have always preferred the sound coming out from speakers mounted on the sides (rather than the bottom) of televisions, which is the case for Sony KDL40X3500. The pair of speakers (rated at 11W each) are protected by finely pored grilles which blend reasonably well with the bezel.

While the bass does not extend as low as the Samsung 52F96 or the Pioneer 4280XD, the speakers on Sony KDL40X3500 is one of the best I've heard on a flat panel television due to outstanding stereo separation, clarity and transient response. Even though it widened the soundstage substantially, I am still not convinced by the [S-Force Front Surround], as it weakened the midrange and mutated certain sound characteristics (for example a basic drum stroke would sound like a rimshot).

The onboard sound is more than adequate for day-to-day programmes (I found dialogue to be extremely clear without needing to utilise the [Voice Zoom] function), but if budget and space permit, you should consider a separate home theatre system for critical viewing.

     
  Sony KDL40X3500 Sound Assessment
     
  Resolution Good
  Transient Response Above Average
  Dynamic Range Average
  Stereo Imaging Good
  Dispersion Average
  Volume Average
     

Background Noise

In addition to electronic buzz, the Sony KDL40X3500 also emitted a faint whirring fan noise from the rear of the panel. In combination these background noises were quieter than that generated by a Sony PS3, and were barely audible 4 feet from the front of the television if there was no other sound. I'm not sure if my calibrated settings had anything to do with it (the loudness of the fan is directly proportional to its speed which is presumably affected by heat/ light output), but from a sitting distance of 8 feet away, I simply did not notice these noises in normal viewing.


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