The Sony A9G OLED TV is one of the best 4K and HDR screens you can buy. We could end the review right there, it’s that good. But you probably want to know a little more, like the fact this packs in Dolby Vision and Atmos, or that it’s got some of the best audio bar none.
All that, of course, means a steep price tag. So if you’re looking to keep within a budget and don’t need the absolute best of the best then you might want to check out something from Samsung or LG. If your heart is set on Sony, read on to find out why it’s worth that extra expense, and why it’s part of our list of the best TVs in 2020.
This TV looks as good as it sounds in writing, and we don’t just mean picture quality. The build is all part of the appeal with a super minimal finish that actually enhances any space that has the honor of being this television’s new home.
Of course there are still drawbacks, the most obvious being a lack of HDR10+, for those that want to be totally future-proofed. Although with Dolby Vision support, which is used mostly now by the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus, you should be covered.
Sony A9G OLED TV review: Picture
- Deep blacks
- Rich colors
- Excellent 4K HDR
When you get an OLED you’re going to be seeing some of the best blacks on any panel, since the individual pixels can switch off – unlike an LED LCD which uses a backlight and can still suffer bleed. The result is truly well defined edges to colors, blacks, and the variations between light and dark.
(Image credit: Sony)
Average price: $2499
Sizes available: 55″, 65″, and 77″
Screen type: OLED
4K ready? Yes
8K ready? No
HDR type: Dolby Vision
Audio type: Dolby Atmos
HDMI connections: 4
Other connections: 3 x USB, 1 x Ethernet, Audio Out, Heaphone Out, RS-232C , Composite Video Input.
All that means that the HDR performance of this set is superb with sharply defined edges that give a crisp definition to objects that are rendered superbly. The image is punchy and the rich colors help to back this with a real pop to the visuals. While this may lack some of the brightness of an LED panel, it still offers plenty, especially for low light viewing.
Sony has superb motion processing and upscaling, which results in smooth video even in more visually challenging footage, like the color-rich and action packed Guardians of the Galaxy, for example. Motion is smooth while you still get that Hollywood feel, but without it being overdone or blurred into a distinct lack of realism. The Custom Mode is great here, delivering the picture as Hollywood mastering monitors intended it to look.
The 4K and HDR combination works well with the Dolby Vision support where you can really see those extra colors when watching supported content on the likes of Netflix. The Calibrated for Netflix Mode is perfect here. Jump back down to regular HDR and you’ll feel the warmth drop off. Of course there are lots of modes to pick so this Sony, with its X1 Ultimate chipset, can make almost anything look great.
You also get HDR10 and HLG support, but not HDR10+, although at the time of publishing this doesn’t appear to be getting huge uptake in use.
Sony A9G OLED TV review: Sound
- Dual sub woofers
- 20Wx2 and 10Wx2 speakers
- Dolby Atmos decoder
That entire front panel of glass becomes your speaker, with that Acoustic Surface Audio+ tech, and there’s plenty of power to be had thanks to the dual 20W and dual 10W power output through the actuators. This is backed by dual subwoofers in the rear to give the bass more punch.
All this allows the TV to offer a wide soundstage that is well layered, keeping each part of the audio intact and well spaced enough to enjoy. This is thanks to a switch from circular to oval actuators, over last year’s model, creating more width to the audio. This is going to be the best sound you’ll hear on a TV.
Of course a sound system is always going to enhance audio. This TV has a Dolby Atmos decoder and HDMI passthrough, meaning you can get the best out of a compatible soundbar or sound system for a truly immersive cinematic experience. For day to day viewing though, the TV is more than capable for most audio needs.
Sony A9G OLED TV review: Design and build
- Acoustic Surface Audio+
- Minimal bezel
- Pedestal included
Sony, as you’d expect at this price, has created an absolutely gorgeous TV in the A9G. It’s minimalism at its finest. You get a super slim bezel around the edge of the main panel which sits on top of the metallic pedestal stand. Of course you can also wall mount this, which looks great thanks to it being super slim. The fact this model, unlike its predecessor, doesn’t lean back makes it far more space efficient.
The really stand out feature in the build has to be that Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound. You’ll notice a distinct lack of speakers on this TV if you look it over, that’s because it uses Sony’s smart audio which vibrates right through the television’s glass panel. Actuators placed on the panel vibrate to create sound while woofers on the rear add bass. That means you don’t need a soundbar, which is ideal as the screen sits near flush with the pedestal it stands on.
Round the back you’ve got all the connectivity you’d expect with four 4K HMDI inputs, the prime one featuring eARC for lossless audio passthrough. There’s also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, optical digital audio out, AV minijack, three USB ports, headphone port and Ethernet.
Sony runs the system using Android OS which means easy navigation and regular updates to a very intuitive operating system. Chromecast is built-in with support for Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices. A very smart bit of kit that’s always getting new treats added in the regular updates from Sony.
Should you buy the Sony A9G?
If it’s a money-no-object purchase you’re after and the very best in picture and audio are your needs, then the Sony A9G is the TV for you. There are fantastic rich blacks, punchy colors and defined edges on this OLED panel’s 4K and HDR screen which really emphasizes the quality of Dolby Vision. The Acoustic Surface Audio+ makes for some of the best audio on any TV and the Dolby Atmos support gives you options to make that even more immersive.
If the price is a little steep, there are more affordable options that still get you an OLED panel. Or, if sound isn’t something you need built-in, as you already have a speaker setup, then you might go for a cheaper TV that way.
Other TV reviews: Samsung Q90R review | LG C9 OLED review | Samsung Q70T review | xxx