Best Sony TVs for 2017: We compare Sony’s A1, ZD9 and XE93 TVs to see which 2017 telly is best for you. Here’s our full Sony A1 vs Sony ZD9 vs Sony XE93 TV comparison review.
The year 2017 is going to be a big one for Sony after it unveiled a totally new and innovative type of smart television. Sony’s A1 OLED TV boasts 4K HDR visuals and actually uses the screen’s glass as a giant speaker – and incredibly the audio sounds amazing.
Never one to rest on its laurels, Sony has launched two other top-end 4K HDR TVs to take on the competition (Samsung, LG and so on) in 2017. The Sony ZD9, lauded by all since it was first unveiled in July last year, will still be leading the pack of course. But now the ZD9 is backed by the latest XE93 set, which boasts some seriously premium features too.
So what’s the difference between these three flagship Sony TVs and which one should your piggy bank split open for, so you can truly say you own the best of the best?
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Sony A1 vs ZD9 vs XE93: The A1 is OLED, while the ZD9 and XE93 are LCD
The talk of the CES 2017 tech trade show was Sony’s A1 TV, not only because of that glass speaker, but also because it marks Sony’s return to OLED. It’s that super-thin display which gives the TV such a slender design, despite the smart vibrating glass tech. It also means really, really good picture quality.
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The A1 not only has a 4K HDR OLED panel for super rich colours, plus near instant refresh rates and mind-boggling contrast ratios. This TV also features the Android operating system, with built-in YouView functionality.
Sony’s ZD9 and XE93 also feature Google’s Android OS with YouView functionality. However, they use LCD panels instead.
Read next: OLED vs LCD, which is best?
The top-end ZD9 sports Sony’s Backlight Master Drive, which uses dense LEDs and a smart local dimming algorithm to output 16 times XDR contrast, complete with Sony’s X-tended Dynamic Range Pro smarts. Plus the ZD9’s refresh rates are next level thanks to the Motionflow XR 1200Hz, which in normal speak means this television is ideal for sports and action movies alike.
The XE93 features Sony’s Slim BackLight Drive+, which uses a dual layer of light guide plates for more precise local dimming. In other words, you get some strong contrast, while still keeping the slim build. The result is XDR Contrast x10, for true blacks. This is backed by Motionflow XR 1000Hz, for blur-free action – although not quite as smooth as the ZD9.
Sony A1 vs ZD9 vs XE93: Sony’s A1 features a glass speaker and built-in sub
Sony’s A1 not only uses the screen’s vibrating glass to create sound, but also features a sub built into the rear stand that offers excellent bass too. This is even smart enough to vary its output based on whether the TV is wall mounted or plonked down on the built-in stand.
The result is room-filling sound, with bass not only comparable to dedicated soundbars but actually better than many on the market. And the lack of bulky speakers means you have just a slither of a screen with barely any bezel. Minimalism at its best.
The XE93 also features enhanced audio thanks to its smart front-facing speakers. Unlike traditional down-firing audio, this points the sound at the listener for a clearer, more powerful end result.
Sony A1 vs ZD9 vs XE93: All three TVs use the X1 Extreme 4K HDR processor
Sony has developed its X1 Extreme 4K HDR processor specifically for its top-end TVs, so they deliver the best possible performance. This means the software works more intelligently to squeeze every bit of potential from the hardware.
The result is bright light images, darker blacks and a more realistic recreation of lifelike effects. So an explosion, for example, should be far more crisp and shocking thanks to this engine.
And the good news is that all three Sony TVs in this comparison review pack the X1 Extreme, for smooth performance and spectacular results.
Sony A1 vs ZD9 vs XE93: Smart cable tidying
The backs of the A1, ZD9 and XE93 sport covers that allow users to hide away ugly cables. These covers can be replaced after HDMI cables and the like are plugged in and held in place. This results in a seamless rear finish without cable mess.
In the case of the XE93, the back is also finished with a futuristic looking criss-cross pattern and light colour to ensure it looks the part in any room it’s place in.
Sony A1 vs ZD9 vs XE93: UK price and release date
While Sony hasn’t confirmed pricing for its 2017 TVs yet, it has at least grouped them so we know what to expect.
At the top of the pile will likely sit the latest Sony A1, as that uses the totally new glass vibrating speaker technology. The next priciest should be the ZD9, which has an announced price of £4,000. Then the XE93 should sit in beneath that.
Expect the XE93 to arrive in the coming months while the A1 launch date is to be confirmed.
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