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Pros & Cons – Sony A8H vs A9G
- Competitive price by OLED standards
- Excellent blacks
- Accurate color reproduction
- Highly customizable UI
- Google Assistant built in, plus Alexa and HomeKit support
- Mic status light on the remote
- Only two size options
- Ambient light sensor feels limited
- Remote isn’t backlit
- No HDMI 2.1
- Superb performance with excellent picture and sound
- Refined design
- Improved remote control
- Best version of Android TV yet
- Very expensive
- Some features disabled by default
Specs – Sony A8H vs A9G
Model Number: 65A8H
Screen size: 65 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
HDR: Dolby Vision HDR, HGL, HDR10
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Ports: 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 ethernet
Audio: 2 Channel x 10-Watt, 2 Channel x 5-Watt
Smart TV software: Android TV
Size: 57 x 33 x 2 inches
Weight: 48 pounds
Screen size 65 inches
Resolution 3840 x 2160
HDR HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Refresh rate 120 Hz
Ports 4 HDMI, 3 USB
Audio Acoustic Surface Audio+ (actuator x2, subwoofer x2)
Smart TV software Android TV 8
Size 57 x 32.8 x 1.6 inches [w/o stand]
Weight 46.7 pounds [w/o stand]
What is good among them – Sony A8H vs A9G?
The Sony Bravia A8H OLED TV sits a tier below the brand’s “Master Series” sets, but benefits from the key features from last year’s Sony Master Series A9G OLED TV like the X1 Ultimate Picture Processor, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, Pixel Contrast Booster, Acoustic Surface Audio and the latest version of Android’s smart TV platform. It also gained X Motion Clarity, which creates a natural motion effect without suffering from the brightness loss caused by black frame insertion.
We reviewed the 65-inch model of the Sony Bravia A8H, which costs $2,499 (down from the $2,799 price offered at the time of this review). The OLED TV is available in one smaller, 55-inch size for $1,899.99.
For our review, we selected the most popular model in the Master Series A9G lineup, the 65-inch XBR-65A9G. But it’s one of three models under the A9G model line, with a smaller, 55-inch and a larger, 77-inch size also for sale. Sony Bravia A9G OLED 65-inch (65-inch HDR) at Amazon for $2,277.90.
Customer reviews : Sony A8H vs A9G
The Sony A8H TV is a mix of metal and plastic. It feels solidly-built, and there are no issues with its construction. There’s a bit of flex in the back panel, but nothing of concern. The stand supports the TV well, and there’s almost no wobble.
The build quality is excellent. The Sony A9G TV feels premium and is very solid with no gaps or loose ends. You should have no issues with it.
The Sony A8H TV itself is trimmer and sleeker than its predecessors, measuring just 57 x 32.8 x 1.6 inches and weighing 46.7 pounds. The design is also surprisingly sturdy for an OLED that at certain points is barely thicker than the glass of the display. It also features built-in cable management, with a cover to hide the panel of ports and connections, as well as cable routing and a second cover built in to the TV stand.
The Sony A9G’s design is outstanding. It has a clean and minimalist look, with thin bezels on all sides, and the flat stand doesn’t take up a lot of space. However, unlike the A8G, the stand isn’t adjustable, making it difficult to place a soundbar in front without blocking part of the screen.
The back of the screen itself is metal, but the rest is made out of plastic. There’s not much in terms of cable management; you can only route the cables through the back of the stand. If you choose to wall-mount it, it’s compatible with Sony’s SU-WL855 slim wall-mount.
The back of the TV has an interesting checkerboard design, with vents for cooling the TV’s internals and panels to hide the inputs. There’s cable management built-in, routing all the cables to a single exit at the bottom for a clean setup.
The port array is located behind the left side of the panel, with a headphone output, composite video input, 2 USB Type A ports and 1 HDMI port facing out for easy access.
There is a third USB port and 3 HDMI ports facing the wall, including one with HDMI ARC/eARC support. You’ll also find an ethernet port and RS-232 input for connecting certain AV peripherals on the back of the panel.
For those who want a Sony TV with HDMI 2.1 for an optimum gaming experience, you might want to look at the Sony X950H 4K LED TV instead, or the LG CX OLED if you demand OLED for your gaming TV. Both support the newer HDMI 2.1 standard, while all of the HDMI ports on the A8H are 2.0a.
The ports and connectors on the A9G are divided between two separate panels on the back of the set. The most accessible, a left-facing input panel, offers a single HDMI port, two USB ports, a 3.5mm jack for headphones, a similar 3.5 mm jack for composite video and pin connectors for wiring up a center speaker.
The second input panel is set farther in on the back panel, and recessed, with downward-facing ports. There, you’ll find three additional HDMI ports, including one HDMI eARC connection for soundbars, as well as a third USB port, an optical digital-audio connection, an RF connector for antenna and an Ethernet port. That combination of rear-mounted, recessed panel with downward-facing ports is less convenient for connecting and disconnecting equipment, but it means the cables can be neatly hidden with a snap-on cover.
For wireless connectivity, the A9G is equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 for wireless audio; it also features a built-in Google Chromecast for content sharing from a smartphone or tablet.
The Sony A8H comes with Sony’s two-way position stand, which has two height settings. The higher setting provides enough room for most soundbars, so the lower portion of the screen doesn’t get obstructed. The stand comes in four pieces: two feet and two brackets. The brackets and the feet can be set in different configurations to achieve the desired height.
Footprint of the 55″ stand in the elevated position: 41.3″ x 12.8″.
in Sony A9G, the stand is flat and it supports the TV well, with only a slight wobble when nudged. As mentioned, the stand isn’t adjustable, which can be an issue if you also have a soundbar.
The footprint of the 55″ model is 18,3″ x 10.1″
HDR brightness – Sony A8H vs A9G
Decent HDR peak brightness. There’s a lot of variation in brightness across different content. This is enough to deliver a good HDR experience.
We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration, using the ‘Custom’ Picture Mode and ‘Expert 2’ Color Temperature. Brightness was set to maximum and Contrast was left at ’90’, which is the default.
Decent HDR peak brightness. It’s good enough to display bright highlights in HDR content when viewing in a dark environment, but it isn’t as noticeable in a bright setting.
We measured the peak brightness, using ‘HDR Cinema’ Picture Mode, with Brightness set to ‘Max’, and Color temperature set to ‘Expert 1’.
If you don’t care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to momentarily reach 794 nits with the 2% window using the default settings of the ‘Vivid’ Picture Mode, Brightness set to ‘Max’, Contrast set to ‘Max’, Black Level set to ‘High’, Adv. Contrast enhancer set to ‘High’, and Color set to ’60’.
Sony A8H vs A9G performance review
When we tested the Sony Bravia A8H with our X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer and SpectraCal CalMAN Ultimate calibration software, the display was able to reproduce 108.94% of the Rec 709 color space. While this is excellent compared to premium LCD TVs, it’s worse than the Sony Master Series A9G (127.96%) and its most immediate rival, the LG CX OLED (134.57%).
The A9G offers excellent color reproduction, with a color gamut of 127.7% of the Rec. 709 color space. That’s not particularly surprising, since OLED panels routinely deliver better than 100% in color gamut tests — the LG C9 OLED (132.1%) and last year’s Sony A9F OLED (130.8%) both offered similar performance — and all outperform the likes of the LCD-based Samsung Q90 QLED (99.8%).
This means you’ll find a broader selection of colors on the Sony A9G or LG CX, though that’s not to say you’ll be disappointed by the A8H, especially because it excels with color accuracy. In fact, it’s among the most accurate TVs we’ve tested. Accuracy is measured using a Delta-E rating, which is the deviation between how color is supposed to look and what actually shows up on screen. A smaller score is better (0 is perfect), and the A8H OLED earned an impressive 1.54.
Sony A8H vs A9G sound quality
Acoustic Surface Audio has arrived for the Sony Bravia A8H OLED TV. With less powerful speakers it’s a slight step down from the Acoustic Surface Audio+ we liked in our Master Series A9G OLED review, but we experienced similarly premium sound. A pair of 10-watt actuators and a pair of 5-watt subwoofers behind the glass turn the entire OLED panel into the vibrational surface of a speaker.
Sony Master Series A9G
The A9G’s sound is impressive in more ways than one. First, it stands out from a design and technology perspective, thanks to Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound, which uses a pair of 20-watt actuators and a pair of 10-watt subwoofers behind the glass of the OLED panel, effectively turning the entire panel into the vibrational surface of a speaker. The results are stunning, with sound that emanates directly from the subjects on screen, lending a new level of realism to dialogue and sound effects.
But the quality of the sound produced is superb, with crystal-clear audio and deep, rich bass. When I listened to The Glitch Mob’s “Bad Wings,” I was pleased to hear real heft to the low, droning bass line, and everything from the fine synthesizer fills to the ethereal vocals that were layered in sounded clear and distinct.
Though Android TV is found on many midrange and budget sets, it proves it’s worthy of a higher caliber. On the Sony Bravia A8H, the ultra-responsive UI is a breeze to navigate, with Android TV’s rows showing a steady mix of your favorite content and recommendations for what to watch next. There’s also a customizable input menu and quick settings menu for making minor adjustments with limited visual interruption.
Chromecast comes built in and worked smoothly when we tried casting our Chrome browser to access a recorded Zoom workout class, but you might not find you need it much thanks to the +5,000 apps available to download through the Google Play store. Whether you want to enjoy your new HBO Max or Disney Plus subscription, watch free shows with Pluto or hop on the cable-cutting wagon with Sling, you should find nearly every service you like on the A8H.
Google Assistant is built in, with microphone support through the TV and support for all of the same Google Home commands as a dedicated smart speaker provides, alongside content search. If yours is an Amazon household, you can also pair an Alexa-enabled device with the TV for voice interaction.
The other great Google capability that’s built in is Chromecast, which offers dead-simple sharing of content and apps between the TV and users’ phones and tablets.
The Sony Bravia A8H OLED remote is practically a clone of the 2019’s A9H one, which we found to be a spectacular improvement over the controller included with the company’s older sets. This one is long and slender, with soft matte buttons and dedicated launchers for Netflix and the Google Play library.
In Sony A9G, the remote also has a slimmer overall profile, a brushed-metal face, and an improved backside that is both more comfortable to hold and easier to take off when you need to replace the batteries.
Does Sony Master Series A9G OLED support gaming?
The Sony A9F OLED offers 4K gaming at 60 Hz, with broad support for every format offered by the Xbox One X. Gaming support includes both 4K and HDR10 support, as well as 4K and HDR10 clips and screenshots for capturing gameplay. For streaming TV and movies, the A9G offers full 10-bit support at 24, 50 and 60 Hz, as well as support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
This set also delivers respectable responsiveness, with a lag time of 26.8 milliseconds. That’s a slight improvement over the previous Sony A9F OLED’s time (27.5 ms) and only slightly slower than the showings from the LG C9 OLED (21.2 ms) and the Samsung Q90 QLED TV (24 ms).
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