Sony announces InZone game screens and headsets for PC and PS5

Sony is trying to reach more than just PS5 gamers with its new InZone brand of game screens and headsets. I got them in the video built above if you would rather see or hear me talk about these gadgets.

Made for the PC, but with specs to take full advantage of the PS5, along with the Xbox Series X, the $ 899 InZone M9 is the flagship product of the gang. It’s a 27-inch 4K IPS game monitor built to match the aesthetics of the PS5, while having virtually every conceivable specification that gamers could wish for universally, without the OLED panel, of course. It has a refresh rate of 144 Hz (that is not so common available with a 4K display), a response time of 1 ms, variable refresh rate (VRR, both for consoles and with G-Sync compatibility for Nvidia GPUs), plus DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 ports. It can also display video via USB-C.

In particular, the M9 has full-array local dimming with 96 zones, together with the DisplayHDR 600, both of which provide lighter highlights, darker black colors and the ability to juggle the two without too much halo effect. Some features that are specific to this monitor (and which trickled down from advanced Bravia TVs) include automatic HDR tone mapping, which automatically recognizes the M9 when connected to a PS5 and claims to optimize the monitor’s HDR output. There is also an automatic genre picture mode that can automatically switch to movie mode when you start a video streaming service or Blu-ray, and then return to a low latency mode when you start playing again.

In an overwhelming move, Sony does not include any $ 899 M9 video cables. Sony spokeswoman Chloe Canta shared a statement The Verge who said the company chose not to do so because “the required cable type, version and length are different based on a customer’s usage situation.” I guess Sony is not wrong there, but not included some video cables are just not right.

Sony InZone M9

Play with contrasting details and environments, such as Returnleather with M9s full-array local dimming.

Sony InZone M9

The rear LEDs can change the color of the M9’s screen display, but it does not support effects – only solid colors.

There’s a cheaper $ 529 M3 display coming this winter that makes some omissions to meet the lower price point. It interrupts local dimming in full array, drops to 1080p and reduces HDR to 400 nits with peak brightness. Otherwise, the function set is the same with one exception: the refresh rate goes up to 240Hz.

Moves on to the other product category that Sony’s InZone launches: headsets. The H9 sits at the top of the new range, rocks with large over-ear boxes, and has the ability to handle both 2.4 GHz wireless and Bluetooth at the same time. The design is nothing like the Pulse 3D headset that Sony launched with the PS5. Instead, it’s more like competing gaming headsets, with highly adjustable side arms, a flip-to-mute microphone that can offer a healthy dose of sidetone (hear yourself in the headset), and ear pads that Sony says borrow building materials from their latest WH-1000XM5 .

The H9 claims to offer 32 hours of battery life per charge, and it is the only model in Sony’s range that has digital noise reduction. During my practical test, I tested them against my personal set of Sony WH-1000XM3, and they were comparable in quality, with great comfort, effective noise reduction (Sony says it is “inherited” from the 1000X series, but it did not seem pretty as good as XM3), and superb sound quality. One downside, however, is that they are simply huge on your head. There’s a shot in the video above that shows how big they look while on my head.

Sony InZone H9

The H9 only comes in this black and white color variant.

Sony InZone H9

This toggle sound switch does what you expect.

Like the monitors, Sony has a unique angle with the H9 that other hardware manufacturers have not tried, as far as I know. PC gamers can install the InZone companion app with Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer for a more customized spatial sound profile. Oddly enough, this requires you to take pictures of your ears, and yes, Sony claims that doing this will actually improve your sound. In my short practical test of the function, I did not notice any difference, but I will definitely test it more thoroughly for the review.

Sony has another wireless headset, the $ 229 H7, and a $ 100 H3 wired gaming headset. The H7 has a slightly reduced set of features, but it retains the design and the dual wireless connection. You will not get noise reduction, even if that feature increases the battery life to 40 hours per charge. The H3, on the other hand, delivers decent sound performance, but it is more reduced in style compared to the H9 and H7.

Sony who launched their own game monitors was not exactly on my bingo card for 2022, or, well, ever – not that it has not tried before. But the new InZone hardware looks and feels like fully realized ideas coming true. Whether Sony plans to repeat these products annually, as its competitors do, remains to be seen. But what comes out in 2022 feels relatively future-proof. Stay tuned for the final reviews coming soon.