Sony is attempting to go out to more than just PS5 gamers with its new InZone brand of gaming monitors and headsets.
Made for PC but with the specification to take full benefit of the PS5, with Xbox Series X, the InZone M9 is the flagship outcome of the bunch. It’s a 27-inch 4K IPS gaming monitor made to match the aesthetic of the PS5 while having every conceivable spec that gamers may universally want, sans OLED panel, of course.
Instead, it has a 144Hz refresh rate (not so typical with a 4K screen), a 1ms response time, and a variable refresh rate, plus DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 ports. It can also display video thru USB-C.
Notably, the M9 noted full-array local dimming with 96 zones, along with DisplayHDR 600, both entitled for darker blacks, brighter highlights, and the ability to juggle the two without too much of a haloing effect. In addition, some unique features of this monitor include auto HDR tone mapping, which automatically identifies the M9 when stuffed into a PS5, and reasons to optimize the display’s HDR output. Auto genre picture mode can automatically swap to cinema mode when you throw a video streaming service or Blu-ray, then go back to a low-latency method when you begin gaming again.
In a mind-boggling move, Sony doesn’t include video cables with the $899 M9. Sony spokesperson Chloe Canta stated that The company chose not to because “the needed cable type, version, and length are distinct based on a customer’s use case.”
Games with contrast-rich details and circumstances, like Returnal, shine with the M9’s full-array local dimming. The rear LEDs can vary the color within the M9’s on-screen display, but it doesn’t support effects — just solid colors.
A cheaper $529 M3 monitor is coming this winter, which makes some omissions to meet the lower price point. For example, it lops off full-array local dimming, falls to 1080p, and bumps the HDR down to 400 nits of apex brightness. Otherwise, the feature set is identical with one exception: the refresh rate goes up to 240Hz.
It was moving onto the other product class that Sony’s InZone is launching: headsets. The H9 models are at the top of its new lineup, rocking big over-ear cans, and can simultaneously handle both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth. However, the design is unlike the Pulse 3D headset that Sony launched alongside the PS5. Instead, it’s more similar to competing for gaming headsets, featuring highly flexible side arms, a flip-to-mute microphone that can deliver a healthy dose of sidetone, and pillowy ear pads that Sony says borrow build materials from its latest WH-1000XM5.
The H9 offers 32 hours of battery life per charge, and it’s the only model in Sony’s lineup to feature digital noise cancellation. One downside, however, is that they are huge on your head. A shot in the video above shows how large they look while on my head. The H9 only comes in this black and white colorway. This toggling audio switch does what you anticipate it to.
Like its monitors, Sony has a unique angle with the H9 that other hardware makers haven’t tried, to my knowledge. PC players can install its InZone companion app and Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer to get a more customized spatial audio profile. Oddly, doing this requires you to take pictures of your ears, and yes, Sony claims to do this will improve your audio.
Sony has one other wireless headset, the $229 H7, and a $100 H3 wired gaming headset. The H7 has a slightly reduced feature but retains the design and dual wireless connectivity. Unfortunately, you won’t get noise cancellation, though axing that feature boosts the battery life to 40 hours per charge. The H3, on the other hand, delivers decent sound performance, but it’s more pared back in terms of styling compared to the H9 and H7.
Sony releasing its gaming monitors wasn’t exactly on my bingo card for 2022, or, well, ever — not that it hasn’t tried before. But its new InZone hardware looks and feels like fully realized ideas are coming to fruition. Whether Sony plans to iterate yearly on these products, as its competitors do, remains to be seen. But what’s coming out in 2022 feels relatively future-proofed.
Sony has announced a new line of InZone gaming products, which includes monitors and headsets made in the same design as the PlayStation 5, but they are focused not only on console players but also on computers.
The flagship of the new line is the InZone M9 monitor. It is a 27-inch model with an IPS panel, 4K resolution, and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Response time is 1 ms, and there is support for adaptive frequency technologies for both consoles and PCs. The monitor is compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync. The InZone M9 can receive video signals via DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1, and USB-C.
The monitor has 96-zone local dimming and DisplayHDR 600 certification. The InZone M9 also supports HDR tonal adjustment for automatic image adjustment when connected to the PS5. In addition, the monitor can automatically switch to movie mode when watching videos on streaming services or Blu-ray and return to game mode with minimal input delay when the game session begins.
The InZone M9 should go on sale this summer, with a suggested retail price of $899. It’s a bit strange, but Sony has decided not to complete the monitor with video cables. So the user, in her opinion, will buy the best rope they like.
In addition to the flagship M9, Sony also introduced a cheaper model – the M3. It will cost $529; it is also a 27-inch monitor, but without local dimming, with Full HD resolution and a maximum brightness of 400 nits, but the maximum refresh rate will be 240 Hz. The M3 should go on sale in the winter.
In addition to monitors, the InZone line also includes gaming headsets. The H9 is a top model, large overhead headphones that can work via a 2.4 GHz wireless connection or Bluetooth. The design of the InZone H9 is not similar to the Pulse 3D. A headset was announced at the same time as the release of the PS5, but the new model looks like a more traditional gaming headset. Sony promises up to 32 hours of battery life and support for digital noise reduction.