LG B9 OLED Review: The LG B9 OLED is a remarkable TV with excellent picture quality that displays perfect blacks. It has excellent wide viewing angles, good SDR peak brightness, and handles reflections well. This TV has a wide color gamut and decent HDR brightness, but the aggressive ABL can become bothersome. Motion looks crisp thanks to the nearly instantaneous response time, and the TV has a motion interpolation feature that can help minimize stutter in movies. Gamers will enjoy a responsive gaming experience thanks to the very low input lag, but unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs, it has the possibility of developing permanent burn-in.
LG B9 OLED Review
Price and availability
The LG B9 OLED comes in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes in the UK, with a third 77-inch model coming at some point in the US too. The B9 now retails at $1,399 / £1,299 (around AU$2,030) for the 55-inch OLED55B9, or $2,299 / £1,799 (around AU$3,340) for the 65-inch OLED65B9 – helped by a price cut that came only a few weeks after launch.
LG B9 OLED Review: Design
The LG B9 OLED may not seem too different from the LG C9 at first glance, with a minimal bezel hugging LG’s 2019 OLED panel and a small LED along the bottom bezel showing the TV’s power state, but the B9 does however sport its own TV stand, with a sharply-angled trapezium shape – unlike the C9’s wider curved stand, which is designed to funnel audio out of the downward-firing speakers towards the viewer.
In terms of dimensions, however, the 55-inch B9 measures 1228 x 744 x 246 mm – practically the same as the C9’s 1228 x 738 x 251 dimensions.
The other major difference is that, as the cheapest OLED from LG this year, the B9 uses slightly less premium materials… though the plastic casing at the back of the set is innocuous enough, and still manages to show off the thin dimensions of the flatscreen panel.
Despite being the runt of the OLED litter you’ll also get LG’s Magic Remote (batteries included) – with precise IR navigation, a responsive clicker wheel, and stylish wooden surface in a black plastic casing. There are dedicated buttons for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video too, though sadly not for FreeView Play (UK).
Design TL;DR The B9 isn’t overly flashy in its design, but cuts a similarly sharp, minimalist design to other LG OLED sets. LG’s Magic Remote is always a plus, too.
Like the majority of LG’s 2019 OLEDs, the 65in LG OLED65B9PLA has a tidy design. From the front, it’s virtually all screen with a miniscule frame and a small, central, black plastic plinth taking the weight of the set. Just four screws anchor the panel to the stand but it feels sturdy enough.
The majority of the ports are around the back, with no big surprises here in terms of connections. Fully-certified HDMI 2.1 sockets bring with them a degree of future-proofing and there are more than enough sockets to accommodate any device you might care to attach. Positioning of the ports should pose no problem for wall mounting either.
The only other piece of kit included is the LG Magic Remote, a gesture controller with plenty of buttons on board. We’re not entirely convinced by the on-screen pointer, which often feels like it’s slowing things down, but there are usually hard button alternatives available. There’s also an LG remote app if you’d rather use your smartphone instead.
The Magic Remote also contains a microphone for voice commands, backed up by the Google Assistant service. Though it seems to recognise our commands, it doesn’t always deliver the best results unless you already happen to be in the correct section of the TVs operating system.
The LG OLED65B9PLA has a 2.2-channel speaker set-up with a healthy 40W of power. It boasts both Dolby Atmos and a virtual surround mode, and both of these certainly add the extra dimensions to the audio that they claim to.
Watching Steppenwolf’s attack on the Amazons in Justice League, there’s a definite sense of height as the New God supervillain leaps hundreds of metres to come crashing down on the fleeing warrior women on horseback. And in surround mode, their arrows whip left to right well beyond the plane of the TV panel before the titanic baddie flicks them away.
The trouble is that you have to pay for these modes in dynamics. The extra processing dampens the punch and that’s not a trade-off we’d recommend. The weight of the sound is decent, if not that tight; we feel the blows as they land. Detail is nicely picked out too. It’s easy to hear the twangs of the bowstrings against film’s soundtrack, but voices are a touch on the muffled side through the dialogue, and that adds to that sense of missing precision.
If you really want a TV with stellar sound, then you’ll need something with a built-in soundbar or, better still, invest in some external home cinema sound.