Sony Master Series A9G 4K HDR OLED TV evaluation: The best TV

Sony Master Series A9G 4K HDR OLED TV evaluation: The best TV

“Hands down, this is the finest 4K TV I’ve reviewed.”

Perfect black ranges

Outstanding shade, distinction

Superior image processing

Excellent HDR efficiency

Impressive sound high quality

Not as vibrant as LG OLEDs

The Sony A9G OLED TV is the best TV you should purchase within the U.S. this yr. Thanks for studying!

Ah, if it have been solely that straightforward. But such a daring assertion must be certified, so I’ll do my best to take action beneath. Certainly, the A9G has tight competitors coming from LG’s personal OLED TVs, Samsung’s QLEDs, and, imagine it or not, some stunning competitors from TCL’s Micro LED units.

Yet when every part is weighed, the Sony A9G comes out on high for me. Here’s why.

It’s beautiful

The Sony A9G’s design won’t be fully sensible for individuals who intend to stand-mount it, however its design is inarguably horny. With a barely raked again, ultra-thin profile and a backside edge that appears to soften into your leisure stand, the A9G (obtainable in 55-,65-, and 77-inch variants) is particularly fetching. Ultra-trim bezels seal the deal as quickly because the TV is turned on, revealing a canvas that’s virtually all-picture and no edges.

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The A9G additionally lastly will get an upgraded distant management with solely a slight design tweak, however a big enchancment in supplies due to a brushed steel end. The distant is weighty and satisfying to carry, if not a bit dated because of its extreme dimension and density of buttons.

It sounds nice

I perceive few of us purchase such a premium TV for its sound high quality, however the A9G is value listening to. Thanks to Sony’s Acoustic Surface expertise, the TV’s display is the speaker, and earlier than you dismiss it as a gimmick, enable me to level out that I feel this is without doubt one of the most significant improvements in TV expertise to return alongside in a while.

Using actuators behind the display, Sony is ready to get the glass panel to provide surprisingly clear, balanced sound with a powerful sense of directionality. What this implies is that voices and sound results appear to return from their location on the display. For instance, if two folks on reverse sides of the display are talking to one another, you’ll hear their voices come from reverse sides of the display, seemingly from the character’s mouths.

sony a9g 4k hdr oled tv review 13Riley Young/Digital Trends

If you’re pondering a glass display may sound somewhat skinny within the decrease tones, you’d be proper. On its personal, the display can’t produce a lot bass, so Sony incorporates little “subwoofers” to reinforce the on-screen sound, rounding issues out superbly.

The constancy is spectacular sufficient that I endorse utilizing one of many A9G’s extra considerate options: Utilizing the TV as the middle channel in a multi-speaker encompass sound system. On the again of the TV is a set of speaker wire terminals into which one can route the middle channel output from an A/V receiver. The TV will then take that sign and use the TV’s sound system to breed all of the dialog and results coming from the A/V receiver. Audiophiles may balk on the thought, however I’ve heard it in a voice-matched Sony encompass system, and it was unbelievable.

Android TV truly works

Leave it to Sony to step up and use a processing chip that may deal with the calls for of the Android TV platform. Where different TVs slug, wrestle, and stutter by way of Android TV’s useful resource hog of a platform, the A9G’s devoted processor makes it as clean as … effectively, each different good TV platform. With the A9G, I  truly used this the built-in platform as a substitute of plugging in a Roku streaming stick as I’ve prior Sony TV fashions.

Along with Android TV comes Chromecast functionality and, quickly, Google Stadia for streaming high gaming titles with out the necessity for a console.

Best image you should purchase

The LG Z9 88-inch 8K OLED will be the most spectacular TV I’ve ever reviewed, however the Sony A9G has the best image high quality you possibly can/can buy this yr. I say this realizing that the LG C9 affords extremely aggressive image high quality for a bit much less cash and a bit much less design aptitude (for which you can step up the E9, I suppose), and sure, all OLED TV panels are made by LG proper now. But ultimately, Sony’s processing makes LG’s OLED panel look higher than LG does.

The TVs you see from Philips and Panasonic within the UK and different non-U.S. markets are utilizing LG OLED panels, simply as Sony is. And, as we’ve seen in prior years, all these OLED TVs look excellent, however they don’t look the identical.

The magic is in image processing, and Sony has image processing perfected.

sony a9g 4k hdr oled tv review 16Riley Young/Digital Trends

It’s not so refined a distinction, both. Both Sony and LG OLED TVs profit from skilled calibration, however look wonderful proper out of the field, with the LG and Sony on par in shade and the LG barely forward in white steadiness when in incomparable image modes. But even when we set out-of-box shade accuracy apart, one can see the combination distinction between the 2 shows with the bare eye.

The Sony has much less judder when displaying 24p film content material and extra pure movement with none movement smoothing turned on. The A9G can clear up low-bitrate streaming content material higher than LG’s units do, leading to fewer artifacts and fewer shade banding. In truth, some streaming content material seemed remarkably near the 4K Blu-ray model of the identical.

Yet, it’s Sony A9G’s considered dealing with of HDR content material which has me selecting it over competing OLEDs. It is true that LG’s OLED TVs are designed to be a lot brighter than Sony’s however, for my part, sustaining spotlight particulars is extra vital.

Sony does an amazing job of balancing punch in specular highlights by sustaining vibrant spotlight element. In side-by-side comparisons, the distinction is apparent, and I name Sony the winner.

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Using widespread comparability titles like Peter Pan, Batman vs. Superman, and The Revenant on 4K Blu-ray, I used to be in a position to see a number of situations the place the LG blew out vibrant spotlight element for the sake of upper peak brightness. Side by facet, the LG seemed extra punchy, however the Sony all the time seemed extra balanced, and when seen by itself, I by no means felt the Sony lacked punch or presence. It was all the time a stunning image.

The identical will be stated for the A9G’s dealing with of shadow element, which is admittedly a tough trick to drag off. By their nature, OLED pixels have a steep slope as they transfer from darkish gray to black. As such, it’s laborious for OLED TVs to not “crush blacks” by going from the greyscale ladder straight to black, skipping a number of steps within the course of and due to this fact dropping element in darkish areas.

Somehow, Sony handles this subject higher than its opponents. Once once more, I felt like I bought essentially the most balanced, even image attainable.

sony a9g 4k hdr oled tv review 15Riley Young/Digital Trends

That’s the crucial, drill-down evaluation, however you don’t should be a videophile to see the A9G is an impeccable TV. Over the course of weeks of analysis, dozens of peers stopped by to see what I used to be engaged on and every of them made the identical remark: Wow!

And that’s simply it: The Sony A9G is a “Wow” TV. It’s delightfully well-refined whereas concurrently all the way down to social gathering. Whether watching sports activities, taking part in video games, or having fun with a superbly shot film, the Sony A9G delivers what content material creators need you to see higher than some other TV you possibly can feasibly purchase proper now. It ought to come as no shock, then, that the Sony A9G takes the highest spot in our Best TVs of 2019 listing.

Our Take

Sony’s A9G is an excellent instance of what a long time of experience in engineering can produce. Thanks to Sony’s excellent processing, the A9G outperforms each different 4K TV I’ve examined this yr, OLED or in any other case.

Is there a greater various?

As traditional, it will rely in your wants. If you’re a gamer, I might urge you to look to an LG OLED due to its future-proofed, full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports, together with extraordinarily low enter lag, variable refresh price, auto low latency mode, and future options not but enabled — simply don’t play the identical recreation 5 hours a day for 4 months in a row otherwise you may see some burn-in.

If you’re not involved in OLED, take into account the Samsung Q90R QLED or the Sony X950G. Both are excellent premium LED/LCD TVs. For a budget-friendly possibility, take into account the 2019 TCL 6-Series (R625).

How lengthy will it final?

The Sony A9G ought to final a very long time due to Sony’s wonderful observe report of construct high quality. As far as future-proofing goes, I’d prefer to see the identical full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports that LG affords on its 2019 OLED TVs, however contemplating there’s no sensible use for HDMI 2.1 simply but, I’m not going to dock Sony for that.

Warranty

Sony affords a one-year guarantee for its A9G collection TVs, offered you buy the TV from a certified seller. The guarantee is reasonably particular about preserving product packaging and such, so check out the superb print right here.

Should you purchase it?

If you’ve gotten the means, completely purchase the Sony A9G in any of its obtainable sizes. This is an astonishingly good tv.

Editors’ Recommendations




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