Sony finally releases a 4K monitor you might like

Sony InZone Monitor

enlarge Sony’s InZone monitors use a “low depth tripod” to provide more space for other peripherals, Sony said in its video announcement.

Known for everything from TVs to cameras and smartphones, Sony is starting with gaming peripherals, it announced Tuesday. Sony’s new InZone brand will include a pair of monitors, plus wireless and wired headsets for PC and of course PlayStation gamers.

Sony’s first consumer monitors in ages

Sony is probably not a name that comes to mind when shopping for PC monitors. It hasn’t made consumer monitors since the early 2000s, though it has continued to sell expensive, rugged professional monitors for broadcast and production. That changes with the flagship Sony inZone M9 and its brother, the InZone M3.

Never to be confused with the Samsung M8 4K smart monitor announced in March, the M9 is a 27-inch 4K HDR monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. The most interesting feature, though, is the LED backlight with full-array local dimming (FALD), which — along with VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification and 95 percent claimed DCI-P3 coverage — is especially appealing to HDR users.

Sony shows off the M9's FALD backlight.

enlarge Sony shows off the M9’s FALD backlight.

In the video announcement, Sony said it had decided to use a FALD backlight to make the contrast of the IPS panel more comparable to that of a VA monitor without sacrificing the shorter response times that IPS can provide. to achieve. The M9 claims a gray-to-gray (GtG) response time of 1 ms.

Sony has not specified how many dimming zones the monitor has, which is a major factor in how effective the feature is. However, early reviews from CNET and Forbes point to 96 dimming zones. Since you can find monitors with over 1,000 FALD zones, there are obviously more advanced local dimming monitors available than the InZone M9.

Sony claimed the screen has a dynamic contrast ratio of 80,000:1. It didn’t share static contrast ratios, so we’d like to see dynamic contrast in action to see if it’s effective.

For console gamers, Sony’s M9 supports Auto HDR Tone Mapping, which Sony said in a press release works with the PlayStation 5 “to automatically recognize the monitor during initial setup and [optimize] HDR settings.”

In addition, the monitor will automatically switch to cinema mode when watching movies on PlayStation 5 and game mode when playing games.

Samsung recently started selling a 4K, 240Hz monitor, but the M9’s speed specs should suffice for most gamers. There’s also G-Sync compatibility to combat screen tearing when your GPU’s frame rate doesn’t match the monitor’s refresh rate and the variable refresh rate for the PS5 over HDMI 2.1.

The M9 was announced alongside the M3. It’s a 27-inch 1920×1080 display with a 240Hz refresh rate for those who prioritize speed over sharp image quality, but don’t need the fastest refresh rate found in gaming monitors as standard today, 360Hz.

The M3 has a lesser VESA DisplayHDR certification that promises a minimum brightness of 400 nits with HDR and a smaller color claim of 99 percent sRGB.

While both screens are for gamers, they can also be home office hacks. Because they’re KVM monitors, you can use them to control two PCs with the same keyboard, mouse, and headset, Sony said.

Sony said the M9 would be available this summer for $900, and the M3 will be $530 “within 2022”.

A trio of headsets

All headphones have a flip-up microphone so you can easily see if you're muted.

enlarge All headphones have a flip-up microphone so you can easily see if you’re muted.

Sony’s new gaming endeavors also include a trio of headsets already available in the US. They are the Sony InZone H9, H7 and H3 and should of course not be confused with Asus’ TUF Gaming series of gaming headsets, such as the H1 Wireless or the H3.

The Sony InZone H9 wireless gaming headset (40mm neodymium drivers, 5-20,000 Hz frequency range) has a battery life of 32 hours, while the InZone H7 (40 mm neodymium drivers, 5-20,000 Hz frequency range) claims 40 hours before a attack.

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enlarge The H9 adds noise canceling technology included in Sony’s 1000X series headphones.

The more affordable Sony InZone H3 (40mm neodymium drivers, 10-20,000 Hz frequency response) is now wired.

All three headsets support 360-degree spatial sound, which you customize by using an app to take a picture of your ear. Note that you need a PC with a USB-A port and Windows 10 or later to use the feature.

For PS5 gamers, the sense of spatial audio should be tried through the console’s Tempest 3D AudioTech.

Sony sells the InZone H9 for $300, the H7 for $230, and the H3 for $100.

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