26

Sony A9S TV Review

True Score

86
88
4

Experts

91
148

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The high-end Sony A9S TV is excellent for dark room movies because of its inky blacks, 120 Hz refresh rate, wide viewing angles, and excellent reflection handling. However, the ABL, lack of HDMI 2.1 and VRR, and high input lag aren’t great for gaming.

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Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The Sony A9S TV is a high-quality, 48-inch 4K OLED TV that debuted in 2020. Thanks to its OLED technology, it produces deep blacks, good peak brightness, and life-like imagery.

The compact screen doubles as a speaker, and the TV’s sleek bezel design adds to its aesthetic appeal. Additionally, users can connect the TV to Alexa, Apple AirPlay, and Apple HomeKit.

The Sony Ultimate X1 processor can upscale low-resolution content to 4K, and for bringing out subtle details, the TV features a Pixel Contrast Booster.

The Sony A9S has four HDMI 2.0 ports and three USB connections but lacks HDMI 2.1 support and the ability to display content in 4K at 120 Hz. It has a low response time, but unlike the best TVs, it doesn’t have a variable refresh rate.

Consensus

our Verdict

The Sony A9S TV’s peak brightness (836 nits) doesn’t eliminate glare, and the ABL dims the screen often. No HDMI 2.1 support may deter Xbox and PS5 gamers, but it has four HDMI 2.0 ports.

The TV produces inky black levels (0.238% standard deviation) for dark room screening, and reflection handling is excellent in well-lit spaces.

Although the 1.8ms response time and 120 Hz refresh rate are fantastic for fast motion, the lack of VRR causes some screen tearing. Colors pop with the inf:1 contrast ratio, and bright objects don’t bloom.

The TV upscales DVDs well, and the voice control-enabled remote operates the seamless Android TV OS. While the viewing angles are wide, the tested input lag (10.3ms) is unsatisfactory for competitive gaming.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Impeccable picture quality in the dark
    • The Sony A9S TV excels for nighttime movie marathons, delivering inky blacks with its inf:1 contrast ratio (which is the best we’ve tested) and incredible black uniformity (0.238% std. deviation).

  • Fairly bright
    • Its tested peak brightness (836 nits) ranks in the top third of all TVs we have tested, and it is suitable for versatile viewing conditions because its glossy display handles reflections effectively. (ref)

  • Fast response time and low input lag
    • Films and games with fast-moving sequences are smooth thanks to the 1.8ms response time. The tested 10.3 ms input lag ranks in the top third of our tested TVs, and casual gamers will find it adequate, but it may not satisfy competitive gamers.(ref)

  • 120 Hz refresh rate
    • At 120 Hz, the refresh rate is ultra-responsive, with reduced motion blur during gaming.

  • Great off-center viewing
    • This TV is perfect for hosting movie nights with friends since it exhibits wide viewing angles, with colors washing out only after 54°.

Reason to Avoid

  • Distracting ABL
    • Although the TV can get adequately bright, the automatic brightness limiter (ABL) frequently dims the screen, which can be distracting for daytime viewing.

  • No HDMI 2.1
    • Gamers won’t be able to experience 4K at 120fps due to the lack of HDMI 2.1.

  • No Variable Refresh Rate
    • Screen tearing issues could negatively impact your gaming immersion since there is no VRR

Sony A9S TV Specs

Backlight TypeBacklight TypeNo
Display TypeOLED
HDMI Inputs4
HDMI TypeHDMI TypeHDMI 2.1
HDR FormatDolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
HomeKit CompatibleHomeKit CompatibleYes
Max Resolution3840 x 2160 (4k)
Number of Audio ChannelsNumber of Audio Channels2.1
Panel TypePanel TypeOLED
Refresh Rate120 Hz
Screen size48"
Smart PlatformSmart PlatformAndroid TV
Speaker OutputSpeaker Output10W + 10W + 5W
Sync TechnologySync TechnologyNo
VRRVRRNo

All Specs

Test Results

Color Gamut % (DCI P3 xy)95.07
Color Gamut % (DCI P3 uv)98.07
Color Gamut % (Rec 2020 xy)69.72
Color Gamut % (Rec 2020 uv)75.8
Color Gamut % (sRGB)0
Color Gamut % (Rec 709)0
Color Gamut % (BT.2020)0
Color Gamut % (Adobe RGB)0
Color Gamut % (BT.709)0
Contrast Ratio (x:1)0
SDR Brightness (nits)557
HDR Brightness (nits)693
Input Lag (ms)18.5
Response Time (ms)1.8
Color Washout (Degrees)54
Color Shift (Degrees)32
Brightness Loss (Degrees)60
Reflections (%)1.4
Low-Freq Extension (Hz)80
Freq Response StdDev @ 70db3.7
Freq Response StdDev @ 80db3.83
Weighted Total Harmonic Distortion @80db0.683
Intermodulation Distortion @80db0.78
EOTF (600 nit delta)0
EOTF (1000 nit delta)0
EOTF (4000 nit delta)0

All Tests

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Product Comparison

Sony A9S TV Review

True Score

86
88
88
NR

Ranking

#

26

/

156

#

12

/

156

#

14

/

156

#

/

Market Context

The Sony A9S TV is a high-quality, 48-inch 4K OLED TV that debuted in 2020. Thanks to its OLED technology, it produces deep blacks, good…

The Sony A9S TV is a high-quality, 48-inch 4K OLED TV that debuted in 2020. Thanks to its OLED technology, it produces deep blacks, good peak brightness, and life-like imagery.

The compact screen doubles as a speaker, and the TV’s sleek bezel design adds to its aesthetic appeal. Additionally, users can connect the TV to Alexa, Apple AirPlay, and Apple HomeKit.

The Sony Ultimate X1 processor can upscale low-resolution content to 4K, and for bringing out subtle details, the TV features a Pixel Contrast Booster.

The Sony A9S has four HDMI 2.0 ports and three USB connections but lacks HDMI 2.1 support and the ability to display content in 4K at 120 Hz. It has a low response time, but unlike the best TVs, it doesn’t have a variable refresh rate.

The Sony A8H OLED TV has a more consistent SDR peak brightness than the Sony A9S TV, thanks to its less aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter…

The Sony A8H OLED TV has a more consistent SDR peak brightness than the Sony A9S TV, thanks to its less aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). Additionally, the A8H is available in two sizes (55 and 65 inches), whereas the Sony A9S is exclusively offered in 48 inches. But if you want something slightly bigger than the best 85-inch TV, read our Samsung TU9010 LED 4K TV review.

The Samsung S95C OLED TV has wider viewing angles than the Sony A9S TV. The Samsung S95C supports a variable refresh rate to prevent screen…

The Samsung S95C OLED TV has wider viewing angles than the Sony A9S TV. The Samsung S95C supports a variable refresh rate to prevent screen tearing, while the Sony A9S does not. On the flip side, the Sony A9S is slightly better at upscaling sharpness than the Samsung S95C. To learn more, read our Samsung S95C OLED TV review.

The LG CX OLED TV displays 4k at 120Hz signal, offers low input lag, and boasts VRR support, unlike the Sony A9S TV. The A9S…

The LG CX OLED TV displays 4k at 120Hz signal, offers low input lag, and boasts VRR support, unlike the Sony A9S TV. The A9S has slightly wider viewing angles for less distortion during off-center viewing compared to the LG CX. It also has better gray uniformity when compared to the LG CX. For a Sony TV that displays 4K @ 120Hz signal, read our Sony A80K OLED TV review.

Backlight Type

No

No

No

Display Type

OLED

OLED

OLED

HDMI Inputs

4

4

4

HDMI Type

HDMI 2.1

HDMI 2.1

HDMI 2.1

HDR Format

Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG

Yes

HDR10+, HLG

HomeKit Compatible

Yes

Yes

No

Max Resolution

3840 x 2160 (4k)

3840 x 2160 (4k)

3840 x 2160 (4k)

Number of Audio Channels

2.1

n/a

4.2.2

Dig Deeper

Sony Bravia A8H Review →

Samsung S95C OLED TV Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

88

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

91

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

86

Any product with a True Score above 80 is a Absolutely Fresh

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    101.4

    Category Trust Rating

    By:

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  • Consumer Reports
    35.4

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    By:

    Unknown
  • Pocket Lint
    58.4

    Category Trust Rating

    By:

    John Archer
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    48

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