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Sony Inzone M9 review: The best next-gen gaming monitor so far?

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £999
inc VAT

It’s not flawless but the Sony Inzone M9 is still a mighty next-gen gaming monitor with good HDR


  • Lovely panel
  • Plenty of ports
  • Comparatively good HDR performance


  • Weak ergonomics
  • No cables in the box
  • Expensive

The Sony Inzone M9 is the firm’s first-ever 4K gaming monitor. On the face of it, this is a match made in heaven: Sony is known for its display technology, and with the PlayStation 5 now firmly entrenched as a must-have games console, it’s easy to see why the Japanese brand chose this moment in time to enter the monitor market.

Indeed, most monitor brands have announced or launched a next-gen-ready 4K gaming monitor in the last year or so. However, very few of them have done it quite like this. Sony has thrown the kitchen sink at the Inzone M9: with full-array local dimming, HDR 600 and all the benefits of HDMI 2.1 support, this monitor means business.

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Sony Inzone M9 review: What do you get for the money?

The Inzone M9 costs £999 and is currently available to preorder, with shipping commencing from 18 August. That significant outlay nets you a 27in IPS monitor with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, a refresh rate of 144Hz, a quoted response time of 1ms G2G and Nvidia G-Sync support. HDMI 2.1 also brings with it generic VRR for PS5 and auto low-latency mode (ALLM), which lets the monitor switch into game mode when it detects that a connected console is switched on. As an added bonus, the PS5 will automatically adjust its HDR settings when connected to the M9.

The Inzone M9 has a DisplayHDR 600 certification and 92-zone full-array local dimming courtesy of a direct-lit LED backlight. It supports HDR10 and hybrid log gamma (HLG), which means the M9 can manage TV channels with HDR capabilities.

As for ports, you’ve got two HDMI 2.1, one DP 1.4 and one USB-C 3.0 for video, plus a three-port USB-A hub, a single USB-B hub enablement port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The stand provides 70mm of height adjustment and 20 degrees of backwards tilt, and there’s room for a VESA mount if you want more versatility.

In the box, you’ll find the power supply (which incorporates a very large power brick) and documentation.

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Sony Inzone M9 review: What does it do well?

The Inzone M9 is refreshingly unusual-looking. The monitor itself is tastefully designed and sturdily assembled, and the black-and-white colour scheme is clearly intended to pair nicely with the PlayStation 5. I’m fond of the vent on the rear that’s illuminated by a strip of adjustable LED lighting.

This is a surprisingly small and fairly lightweight monitor. Weighing in at 6.8kg and measuring 27in across the diagonal, the M9 is easy to carry and reposition on your desk. The bezels are slim, and the chin isn’t particularly prominent, giving the panel a TV-like quality.

The stand might not be to everyone’s taste (more on that later), but Sony says that the point is to give you more desk space, and it’s not hard to see how that works in practice. The splayed legs and narrow central column have a very small footprint and produce virtually no wobble, which is a nice bonus.

It’s also remarkably well-equipped. Most of the high-end gaming monitors I’ve tested recently are disappointingly low on ports – even Samsung’s 49in, £1,849 Odyssey Neo G9 only has a miserly two USB-A ports on the rear. By contrast, the three-port USB-A hub and USB-C port onto the rear of the M9 feels almost generous.

As always, though, none of this means much unless the panel performs well. In terms of colour reproduction, the Inzone M9 is vibrant, managing 128.7% of the sRGB colour gamut (91.2% DCI-P3 and 88.7% Adobe RGB) out of the box. That’s a tad under Sony’s marketing claims but nothing to worry about – this monitor oozes rich colours in SDR and HDR.

Accuracy is great, too: the Inzone M9 produced an impressively low average Delta E of 1.23 when measured against the DCI-P3 colour profile. The M9 has several presets – FPS Game, Cinema, Game 1, Game 2 – but we’d recommend sticking with Standard. The Game presets are there for you to customise for your favourite titles.

The M9 handles games with aplomb, producing no noticeable ghosting and only a small amount of motion blur. Better yet, increasing the response time setting from “Standard” to “Fast” introduces no ghosting, so we recommend you do so immediately – notching it up to “Faster” produces a bit of ghosting but this is to be expected.

Brightness, meanwhile, is suitably retina-searing. I measured 417cd/m² in SDR with local dimming disengaged, which is ample for any conceivable scenario. Meanwhile, a near-perfect colour temperature of 6600K indicates that you’re not going to notice an obvious blue/red tint. Viewing angles are strong, too – a product of the IPS panel technology.

Engaging HDR produced a peak luminance of 694cd/m², which is comfortably higher than the 600cd/m² required for a DisplayHDR 600 certification. Paired with this panel’s wide gamut capabilities and full-array local dimming, the result is impressive by the standards of most high-end gaming monitors; the M9 delivers a natural, subtle HDR that does exactly what HDR is meant to do. Where appropriate, bright, colourful highlights and shadowy patches are properly accentuated with little noticeable blooming and no obvious signs of backlight activation. Sure, it won’t have the same nuance as a 4K TV with a higher number of FALD zones, but it’s a very good effort all the same.

Note: some reviewers have spotted vignetting (vertical strips visible when displaying a bright, uniform colour) while using the M9 but I experienced no such issues – your mileage may vary. This sort of thing is really only visible when working from Google docs or similar and won’t affect your gaming experience.

On the whole, then, the Inzone M9 is a magnificent partner to use on both PC and PS5, delivering stunning colours comparable to a 4K TV and the responsive gameplay of a high-end monitor. I’m not even all that fussed about the size of the panel: 27in at 4K might not be ideal for workers looking to capitalise on screen real estate, but for gamers sitting at a desk, it’s fine.

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Sony Inzone M9 review: What could be better?

While the relatively complex local dimming arrangement definitely helps improve contrast (you can see as much by switching it on and off whilst in-game), the M9 is ultimately based on an IPS panel. This means contrast can be a bit uninspiring: out of the box in SDR, for example, the M9 produced a contrast of 978:1, which is far from the best result I’ve ever received from an IPS monitor. It’s fortunate that local dimming can be used in SDR mode, as this improves contrast somewhat.

Although it’s trying hard to be different, the M9’s stand is a bit of a mess. It’s not the most appealing-looking thing in the world, in my opinion, and it creates more problems than it solves. For one thing, adjustability is lacking: 70mm of height adjustment isn’t enough to correct bad posture, so you’ll need to prop the M9 up on something – although you may struggle to do so, because the legs are too far apart.

The sloping strut means that lowering the panel brings it closer to you, which is an odd thing to have to adjust for. In addition, the port management hole is so narrow that squeezing a DP cable through it was a real challenge. Clearly, it would be worth picking up a VESA-compatible mount, but that’s not something you should really have to think about on a £999 monitor.

I should note that I had a bit of trouble navigating the on-screen display (OSD). I always prefer a joystick over buttons, but this joystick proved consistently unresponsive when pressed inwards.  And while I’m covering niggling user experience issues: it would have been nice to have all the relevant cables provided in the box. I’d expect as much from such an expensive product.

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Sony Inzone M9 review: Should you buy it?

The Sony Inzone M9 is the best next-gen gaming monitor I’ve tested thus far. Its HDR performance is head and shoulders above the majority of its rivals and while the panel isn’t quite as jaw-dropping as a QLED Samsung/Alienware number, it’s still vibrant and responsive – in other words, more than good enough.

The user experience could be better, but, on balance, the Inzone M9 earns a recommendation. There’s simply very little out there that can match it for sheer performance – whether you’re a PC gamer, or a PS5 gamer, or both, the Inzone M9 should be top of your wishlist.

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