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Itechguides' Take on Sony XBR – 55A9G
The Sony XBR – 55A9G is a fantastic television with an OLED display that produces incredible picture quality and a high contrast ratio. This television also features an excellent sound system, Voice Remote control, and a brilliant Android TV Smart operating system. However, the television’s hefty price tag may discourage potential buyers.
- Sleek, minimalist design
- Excellent display performance
- Brillant sound system
- Voice Remote control
- HDR support
- Ads on Andriod TV OS
Essentially, I will be looking at every aspect of the Sony XBR – 55A9G in great depth. To be specific, I’ll go through the television’s design, display features, sound features, port and connectivity features, and smart features in detail.
Moreover, at the end of each section of this review, I will rate the TV based on my personal opinion. Furthermore, since this review is an impartial critique of the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s performance, you will get to know its advantages and disadvantages.
Finally, the information in this review will enable you to make an informed buying decision. However, that’s if you find the television to fit your taste and budget.
My Initial Thoughts
LG is one of the most well-known names for OLED TVs, with its OLEDC9P being one of the finest OLED TV available today. However, LG isn’t the only big name in the OLED TV game.
Sony also manufactures OLED televisions, and they’re just as excellent as LG’s OLED televisions. Take the Sony XBR – 55A9G, which I am reviewing for example.
The Sony XBR – 55A9G is an impressive OLED TV that offers amazing picture quality and a terrific stereo sound system. Additionally, this television offers a wide viewing angle that makes it suitable for any room setup.
However, with great features comes a great price. Therefore, the Sony XBR – 55A9G is pretty expensive.
This television has a price tag of a whopping $1,944.94, when I wrote this review in October 2021. However, does this massive price tag match the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s performance?
Let’s find out!
Sony XBR – 55A9G Design, Dimension & Weight Review
The Sony XBR – 55A9G’s design is just outstanding. It adopts the company’s Walkman MP3 players and Xperia phones‘ minimalist, black design.
The Sony XBR – 55A9G is made of black metal, slim, and has very thin bezels bordering its OLED display screen. Moreover, the bottom bezel has a strip of dark gray.
Additionally, the bottom bezel features the Sony logo on the left edge and an indicator light in the middle.
Moving on, the Sony XBR – 55A9G stands completely upright on a sleek, brushed gunmetal stand. This stand is placed in the center of the television’s bottom.
Furthermore, the stand has a rounded rectangle shape, providing the television’s sole significant curves. Additionally, it’s also flat enough that the screen’s bottom edge is only 0.2 inches above any surface you place it on.
However, unlike its predecessor’s (Sony XBR – 55A8G) stand, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s stand isn’t adjustable.
Moving to the back of the TV, the back of the Sony XBR – 55A9G has a unique checkerboard design. Moreover, the back also features vents for cooling off the television’s components.
Also, the back has an enclosure or panel that hides the television’s ports and electronics. Additionally, there’s also built-in cable management, which routes all cords to a single exit at the bottom for a neat setup.
Furthermore, the Sony XBR – 55A9G can be mounted on the wall using any 300 x 300mm VESA mount. Impressively, Sony offers its very own wall-mount bracket called the SU-WL855.
This SU-WL855 wall-mount bracket is closer to the wall and allows you more freedom in positioning. Also, it is easier to use than a regular VESA mount.
Moreover, the Sony XBR – 55A9G is very thin itself. Thus, it won’t stick out from the wall if wall-mounted.
The Sony XBR – 55A9G might feel premium and sleek, but trust me when I say it is very durable. This television has no gaps or loose ends anywhere around its chassis.
Furthermore, the Sony XBR – 55A9G is less heavy and sleeker than its predecessors, the Sony XBR – 55A8G. Sony XBR – 55A9G measures 1226 x 40 x 710 mm and weighs 18700 g.
Its predecessor, on the other hand, measures 1,229 x 730 x 290 mm and weighs 19800 g. However, despite being less heavy than its predecessor, the Sony XBR – 55A9G weighs more than most of its competitors.
For example, the TCL 55S425 measure 1244.6 x 78.7 x 721.3 mm and weighs just 12110.9 g.
In summary, the Sony XBR – 55A9G boasts a sleek, minimalist design with impressive build quality. As a result, I will rate the Sony XBR – 55A9G a nine out of ten in this design review section.
Sony XBR – 55A9G Display Features Review
I have made it very clear from the beginning that the Sony XBR – 55A9G is an OLED television. Thus, it features a 55-inch OLED display screen with a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) screen resolution.
Moreover, the Sony XBR – 55A9G is one of the best when it comes to picture quality. The OLED display on the television is precisely calibrated and powered by Sony’s Picture Processor X1 Ultimate.
The Picture Processor X1 Ultimate is the best offered by Sony for its televisions with OLED displays. Moreover, the combination of an excellent picture processor and extremely well-implemented OLED display makes up the perfect picture quality.
Moving on, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display offers excellent color reproduction. This display recorded a color gamut of 127.7% of the Rec. 709 color space.
That’s not unexpected given that OLED displays consistently deliver better than 100% in color gamut tests. Another OLED television that delivered over 100% of the Rec. 709 color space is the LG C9 55-inch.
The LG 55-inch C9 delivered a color gamut of 132.1% of the Rec. 709 color space. Practically, this score is better than the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s.
Regardless, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display is still one of the best in terms of color reproduction. Moreover, color accuracy is also excellent, with the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display delivering a Delta-E rating of 2.7.
Delta E is a standard test for determining the difference between two colors that appear on a display screen. The lower the Delta-E rating, the better.
However, OLED televisions like Samsung’s 55-inch Q90 and the LG C9 55-inch got better Delta-E ratings. Specifically, the Samsung 55-inch Q90 got a 1.5 Delta-E rating, while the LG C9 55-inch got a 1.9 Delta-E rating.
On the positives, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display supports major HDR formats, including hybrid-log gamma (HLG), HDR10, and Dolby Vision. HDR stands for ‘High Dynamic Range,’ and it’s a technique for strengthening the dynamic range of images on LED displays.
Furthermore, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display also supports the IMax Enhanced format. IMax Enhanced is a Sony-exclusive format with its own hue, contrast, and picture clarity criteria.
As one would expect from an HDR-supported display, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display is impressively bright. The display reached a peak brightness of 794 nits.
Moving on, just like every OLED display, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display has an infinite contrast ratio. Therefore, the display is capable of producing perfect blacks.
Furthermore, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display has excellent viewing angles. Therefore, the Sony XBR – 55A9G is ideal for large spaces or seating settings that require a side view.
Reflection handling on the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display is also superb. Although the display has a glossy coating, it is highly efficient in decreasing the strength of reflected light.
Therefore, making the Sony XBR – 55A9G suitable for use in bright rooms.
In terms of gaming, the Sony XBR – 55A9G is a brilliant television for playing games. This is all thanks to its display’s low input lag and impressively fast response time.
The Sony XBR – 55A9G’s display records a 1.9 milliseconds response time and an input lag of 26.8 milliseconds. The amount of time it takes for a display to transition from one color to another is defined as response time.
Input lag, on the other hand, is the time it takes a display to register a signal input.
In conclusion, the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s OLED display is just impressive with minimal to no flaws. This display has impressive color reproduction and good color accuracy.
Besides that, the display is also ideal for gaming.
As a result, the Sony XBR – 55A9G deserves a nine out of ten in this display review section.
Sony XBR – 55A9G Sound Features Review
The sound quality of the Sony XBR – 55A9G is outstanding in more ways than one. First and foremost, thanks to Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound, Sony XBR – 55A9G stands out in terms of sound technology.
Moreover, the television’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound is generated from a pair of 20-watt actuators. Secondly, the Sony XBR – 55A9G also produces sound from a pair of 10-watt subwoofers behind the glass of its OLED display.
This pair of subwoofers behind the television’s OLED display effectively turns the entire display into a vibrational surface of a speaker. The end product is spectacular, with sound coming from the images or movies on the OLED display screen.
As a result, dialogue and sound effects are very accurate and precise. Furthermore, the sound quality produced by this television, in general, is excellent, with crystal-clear audio and deep, rich bass.
This is all thanks to the combination of Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound from the 20-watt actuators and the 10-watt subwoofers.
However, the distortion performance of the Sony XBR – 55A9G’s sound system is sub-par. At most volumes, the television can produce low amounts of distortion.
However, when in maximum volume, the amount of distortion can become overwhelming.
In conclusion, the Sony XBR – 55A9G is very rich in terms of sound features and production. However, distortion may be an issue for those who love loud music or movies.
Notwithstanding, I believe the Sony XBR – 55A9G deserves an eight out of ten rating in this sound features review section.
Sony XBR – 55A9G Ports & Connectivity Features Review
The Sony XBR – 55A9G’s ports and connectors are split into two sections on the rear of the television. The most accessible ports are the ones facing the left side of the television.
The left-facing ports include two USB ports, a single HDMI port, and a 3.5mm jack for headphones. Additionally, there are pin connectors for wiring up a center speaker, and another 3.5 mm jack for composite video.
The second sets of ports on the back of the television are downward-facing. These ports include three additional HDMI ports, with one of the HDMI ports supporting ARC for connecting a soundbar.
Furthermore, there is another USB port, an RF connector for an antenna, an optical digital-audio port, and an Ethernet port. For wireless connectivity options, Sony equipped the XBR – 55A9G with Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Moreover, the Sony XBR – 55A9G also comes with remote control, a Voice Remote control to be precise. This remote control is mainly made of plastic, but it has a brushed metallic finish.
As a Voice Remote control, this remote has an inbuilt microphone for voice control through Google Assistant. To use voice commands, you have to pair the remote with the television via Bluetooth.
After that, on the remote, hold down the Google Assistant button and talk into the microphone.
Moving to the size of the remote control, the remote control is 9-inch long, and has a circular navigation button in the center. Additionally, this circular navigation button is flanked by menu buttons.
Also, a number pad and two dedicated service buttons for Netflix and Google Play sit above the circular navigation button.
Overall, the port and connectivity selection on the Sony XBR – 55A9G is really impressive. Additionally, it comes with a Voice Remote for easy input.
Hence, the Sony XBR – 55A9G will get a nine out of ten rating from me.
Sony XBR – 55A9G Smart Features Review
Like several Hisense TVs, along with other Sony TVs, the Sony XBR – 55A9G uses an Android TV operating system. However, this Android TV OS on the Sony XBR – 55A9G is not the latest version – it runs version 8.0, nicknamed Oreo.
The interface of this Android TV operating system is straightforward, with recommended content and rows of tiled apps. Additionally, it is a powerful OS packed with plenty of streaming apps and useful features.
Popular video streaming apps include YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Google Play Movies & TV, Sling TV, and Netflix. For music streaming apps, you get apps like Pandora, SiriusXM, Google Play Music, Tidal, Spotify, and so on.
Unfortunately, there are advertisements on the Android TV operating system’s interface’s home page. Regrettably, unlike most operating systems, these ads cannot be disabled from the Customize Channels menu.
On a positive note, the Android TV operating system features free streaming apps. The free streaming apps include Bloomberg TV, NBC, BBC iPlayer, Pluto TV, JioTV, Plex, and so on.
Moving on, the Sony XBR – 55A9G features an inbuilt Chromecast. Therefore, you should be able to stream content from your mobile device to the television.
In conclusion, the Sony XBR – 55A9G boasts a capable Android TV operating system. This OS comes packed with lots of free and paid streaming apps.
However, most people might not like this OS for the frequent ads it displays on its interface. Hence, I will rate the Sony XBR – 55A9G an eight out of ten in this smart features review section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both Sony and LG make OLED TVs. However, LG’s OLED televisions are the most popular because they feature better gaming capabilities and are generally less expensive.
Sony’s OLED televisions, on the other hand, are marginally better than LG’s because they get brighter. Also, they have better contrast, but they are way too expensive.
Sony manufactures its televisions and components in Japan, Mexico, and Slovakia. However, these components are put together using parts imported from Spain, Brazil, and China.
The Sony XBR – 55A9G is really expensive with a price tag of $1,944.94. This price tag was accurate in October 2021, when I published this article.
The way a Sony television is used and maintained determines how long it will last. However, Sony claims that their TVs may last four to six years under heavy, regular use.
Yes, it definitely does. The Sony XBR – 55A9G is an excellent television with an OLED display that delivers amazing picture quality and an impressive contrast ratio. Additionally, this television has an impressive sound system, Voice Remote control, and an outstanding Android TV Smart operating system.
My Final Thoughts
The Sony XBR – 55A9G isn’t only a great smart TV; it’s also one of the best-looking and sounding televisions on the market. The television’s OLED display is fantastic, with vibrant colors and deep blacks, as well as outstanding HDR support and overall performance.
Also, the television’s sound comes directly from the display, providing excellent sound quality and a greater sense of immersion. Therefore, there is no need to add a soundbar.
Furthermore, the Sony XBR – 55A9G comes with a variety of handy ports and a Voice remote control. The only downside the Sony XBR – 55A9G has is its expensive price.
However, with its brilliant performance, I believe its $1,944.94 price tag is adequate.
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