Sony INZONE M9: High-end specs for a high price PS5, PC monitor

Sony has finally branched out and released its very first gaming monitor with the INZONE series. This collection of technologies includes three headsets and two monitors, the crown jewel of which is the INZONE M9, a 27-inch 4K monitor with high-end specifications and designed for the PS5.

But what is really different with the M9? What does it offer that others don’t? And is it worth its eye-watering price tag of £999? We’ve been using the INZONE M9 for a few weeks, so let’s take a look at these questions.

What is the Sony INZONE M9?

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As mentioned, the Sony INZONE M9 is part of a collection of new gaming technologies from the Japanese giant. The M9 is the premium version of its M3 counterpart and reflects that higher quality with its price of £999 in the UK and a slightly cheaper price of US$899.

But what do you get all that money for? The M9 is certainly a premium gaming product, with a 27-inch 4K display that offers 144Hz variable refresh rate (VRR), 1ms response time with G-Sync, HDR and 96 dimming zones on the monitor. These dimming zones essentially allow this LCD screen to mimic something closer to a QLED or OLED TV – although it has to be said that if you’re familiar with OLED screens there’s still a distinct difference between both.

Essentially, the M9 ticks off all the features you’d want from a high-end gaming monitor, to enable the most responsive and dynamic gaming experience possible.

What’s in the box?

Fixing the SONY INZONE M9 bracket
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Right out of the box, there’s not much to do with the M9. Once you’ve dug your way through its polystyrene, all you’ll find is the monitor, its stand, a power cable with power supply and two screws. The installation is then incredibly easy, as it is simply a matter of assembling two parts in the bracket with the two screws and inserting the bracket into the screen. Plug it in and you have yourself a working INZONE M9.

Design and hardware features

HDMI sockets SONY INZONE M9
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Once your M9 is up and running, you’ll be able to appreciate the monitor’s subtle homage to the PS5. With its tri-fold support, the central pillar mimics this original contrast of black and white colors. The stand itself lets you adjust its height and tilt it up and down, and we found that its tilt range and ease of access were highly appreciated. However, the stand consumes a lot of desktop retail, and we imagine many of the desktop ledges used to elevate monitors wouldn’t be deep enough for the M9.

On the back of the monitor, there are a total of eight ports, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. These ports include two HDMI 2.1, three USB-A, one Ethernet, one DisplayPort, and one USB-C DisplayPort.

Once you’ve placed the M9 on your desk, you’ll appreciate the built-in cable funnel that keeps your setup clean. However, the inclination of the ports can make them a bit difficult to access, and we had trouble getting a third cable through the funnel.

On the back, on the right side of the screen, you have an easily accessible power button and a directional control rocker, which might take some getting used to. Moreover, there is a built-in LED light and you can customize its color. However, this thing isn’t very powerful, as we didn’t even notice it was there until we explored the settings.

Quality

SONY INZONE M9 Back
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The quality of the M9’s screen will be noticeable as soon as you start your PS5. With a nearly edge-to-edge display, even the PS5 login and dashboard screen pops visually, with crystal-clear resolution and a smooth presentation. Whether you’re playing games or using the M9 as a PC monitor, its screen looks and feels top-notch and all of its features come together very nicely.

However, that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. Source detection, in particular, felt long and boring at times, sometimes even taking up to ten seconds to detect a new source. It was especially frustrating when playing games that enabled HDR or changed frame rates. Every time you switch modes, you’ll find yourself in front of a blank screen, patiently waiting to resume your gaming session.

Source detection isn’t the biggest disappointment, however, as the sound quality was borderline unlistenable. Immediately, you’ll come back to the idea of ​​playing your games with its tiny sound quality, and in that case, a set of speakers, a soundbar, or a pair of headphones are highly recommended.

The gaming experience

SONY INZONE M9 The Last of Us
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Once you actually play the games, all of the M9’s previous shortcomings disappear. Playing cinematic games like The Last of Us: Part I is fantastic thanks to the M9’s dimming zones and HDR600 display. Blacks aren’t black like an OLED, but they are dark and the dynamic color gamut blows every shot off the screen.

However, as you’d expect for a gaming monitor like this, first-person shooters (FPS) are really where the benefits are felt. Games like Modern Warfare 2 and Apex Legends look and feel much better to play. If you’ve been gaming on a TV with 5-10ms response times, the M9’s 1ms G-Sync will dramatically improve your experience (and maybe even your performance).

You’re going to have to look around a bit for games that support 120Hz, like Destiny 2’s Crucible, and in that case there’s hardly a better gaming experience. When you get the most out of its features, the M9 gives the feel like it captures the best in performance and resolution.

Should you buy the Sony INZONE M9?

SONY INZONE M9 PS5 Dashboard
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With all that’s been said about the INZONE M9, you’d expect the answer to that question to be a resounding “yes”. However, the high entry price of this product – particularly in the UK – prevents us from fully recommending it. For those looking for high-end monitors, you’d be hard pressed to find one with all the features of the M9 for less, but with the odd sacrifice you could potentially save hundreds.

However, a big issue for us is how close that price is to a premium OLED TV. This author has been using the LG C1 48″ OLED for a year, which was bought for the same price as the M9 in the UK. This TV offers 4K, HDR, 120Hz VRR, 1ms G-Sync and of course that OLED display mind blowing so in some cases you get a bigger and better screen for the same or similar price Sure big OLED TVs won’t be for everyone but with incredibly close prices it’s a hard point to ignore.

Our opinion

All in all, if you decide to splurge on an INZONE M9, you probably won’t be disappointed. This is a fantastic display that enhances your gaming experience and even makes browsing the web much more enjoyable. Ultimately, it’s a great display – maybe not £1000 brilliant.


Are you ready to spend big on a dedicated display like the Sony INZONE M9? Clearly voice your opinion in the comments section below.

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Edward N. Arrington