Review: LG OLED65E9

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This week we reviewed the LG OLED65E9 television (€3790) with its 65” (164cm) 4K Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) OLED display. The LG OLED65E9 television features a powerful image and sound processor named α9 Gen 2 that is boosted by artificial intelligence. HDR10 and Dolby Vision compatible, this LG television, which received the EISA Award for best Premium OLED TV 2019-2020, allows the viewer to get the most out of 4K HDR content with enhanced contrast and luminosity. It features a 4.2 channel soundbar compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS, discreetly integrated under the screen. The LG OLED65E9 television also benefits from advanced artificial intelligence integration, applied to image and sound processing as well as home automation control (ThinQ IA) and voice control (Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay2-Siri). 

What does the LG OLED65E9 television have in store for us concerning image and sound? The answer is in this review…

According to the manufacturer, the LG OLED65E9 television promises exceptional immersion thanks to a vivid image and immersive sound. Infinite blacks, incredible contrast and intense colors combined with spatialized sound are implemented to transform the viewer’s living room into a genuine cinema.

We quickly unboxed the TV and installed it in our test room to see if these affirmations were true…

LG OLED65E9: the brand

LG is a leading player in the consumer electronics industry. Its technological expertise covers household appliances, mobile phones and even home theater.

The Korean manufacturer’s catalog therefore features multiple soundbars, wireless home theater systems, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players, UHD 4K projectors, UST projectors, 4K Ultra HD TVs and OLED TVs, including the subject of this review, the LG OLED65E9.

Before becoming a major multinational corporation, LG Electronics was launched in 1958 under the name GoldStar and initially produced radio sets, before starting to diversify. In 1965, the Korean manufacturer began to produce its first refrigerators, followed in 1966 by the release of the first GoldStar TV on the national market.

One of the first Goldstar radio sets and the Goldstar VD-191 black & white television, released in 1966 and only sold in Korea.

Quickly, the brand developed its business overseas and surpassed the $100 million mark in exports in 1978. This was the beginning of a phase of expansion for the Korean manufacturer, who set up a production unit in the United States in 1982. Thirteen years later, the company decided to use a new name, calling itself LG Electronics from that point onwards.

In 1999, LG became part of a joint venture with the goal of producing LCD displays for computer monitors and televisions. At the same time, the Korean brand was also developing its household appliance division and in 2005 became the leader in the US washing machine market. Also very active in the mobile phone sector, LG was constantly innovating and released the world’s first LTE (4G) chipset as early as 2008. The following year, it was rewarded for its efforts in developing its TV division by becoming the second largest LCD television brand in the world, just behind Samsung, another Korean company.

Introduced in 2008, the LG 47LG6000 LCD television had an innovative design, with a rear panel as elegant as the front.

In addition to providing plasma TVs, like the LG 55PG3000 that was also released in 2008, LG also took an interest in OLED technology. Invented by Kodak in 1987, this technology which uses organic diodes was difficult to master. It was not until 2008 that the first model of OLED television was introduced: the Sony XEL-1 that measured 11” (28cm) across and cost no less than 2500 dollars. Convinced that it was the future of television, LG invested money and human resources into developing OLED technology. Several years of research and development were needed for the company to release its first 15” (38cm) OLED TV with an innovative design in 2010: the LG 15EL9500. In the interim, the competition had abandoned OLED technology to focus on the improvement of LCD TVs.

The LG 15EL9500 was the first OLED television released by LG and only measured 15”, or 38cm, across.

In 2012, LG caused a stir at CES by presenting its very first full range of OLED televisions. The first 55” (139cm) LG OLED television was introduced in 2013, followed in 2014 by the first 4K Ultra HD LG OLED TV. 

Released in 2013, the LG 55EA980V OLED television was the brand’s first curved OLED TV.

LG was the only manufacturer on the market to offer OLED televisions. Other brands had tried and failed with this very complex and expensive technology. In 2015, LG presented its Signature series, characterized by its “Picture On Glass” design and supercharged audio system, embodied by a powerful soundbar integrated under the screen. It is the crown jewel in the LG OLED television range.

Released in 2016, the LG OLED65G6V Signature was one of the most powerful 4K Ultra HD televisions available on the market. It received the EISA Award for best high-end television.

Since 2017, LG has been providing its main competition with OLED screens as it remains the only manufacturer of OLED TV displays in the world. Consequently, all Panasonic OLED TVs, Philips OLED TVs, Sony OLED TVs and Loewe OLED TVs feature LG OLED screens. 

LG OLED65E9: packaging and accessories

The LG OLED65E9 comes in an imposing cardboard box that weighs 43kg and is 1.60m long, 1m high and almost 23cm thick. 

The packaging is designed so that the rear base of the television can be mounted before taking the television out of the box. This can therefore be done by one person. 

The LG OLED65E9 television’s base is mounted before taking the screen out of the box.

But setting up the television, which weighs 33.6kg with the base, requires the help of a second person.

It takes two people to lift the LG OLED65E9 television.

The LG OLED65E9’s base acts as a counterbalance so that the screen doesn’t tip forward. It is hollow so that the TV’s power cord and other connection cables (HDMI cables, optical cables, network cables…) can be fed through.

A cable management system is integrated into the LG OLED65E9 television’s base.

The LG OLED65E9 TV comes with: 

  • 1 LG Magic Remote remote control (with an integrated microphone)
  • 2 batteries for the remote control
  • 1 weighted base with cable management system
  • 5 screws for the base
  • 3 covers to conceal the mounting slots of the base if the TV is mounted on a TV wall mount
  • 1 cover for the base to conceal the connection and power cables
  • 1 cable tie 
  • 1 installation and quick start guide
A close up of the accessories that come with the LG OLED65E9 TV.

LG OLED65E9: presentation

Jack Sully’s arrival on Pandora (Avatar) is all the more spectacular with the LG OLED65E9 television.

The LG OLED65E9 television has a ninth generation 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) OLED screen measuring 65” (164cm) across. It features the second gen LG α9 processor with integrated artificial intelligence to enhance image and sound. To best display images shot in HDR with reinforced contrast and brightness, this LG OLED television is compatible with all the main HDR image formats (HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision and Advanced HDR by Technicolor), with the exception of HDR10+.

The LG OLED65E9 television’s audio system consists of a 4.2 channel soundbar compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS, integrated discreetly under the screen. This is one of the Korean manufacturer’s most powerful televisions. It provides the same image quality as the LG OLED65W9 TV from the Signature series, which is primarily characterized by its decentralized connectors and electronics in an external soundbar.

As a reminder, the following 4K Ultra HD OLED television series can be found in the Korean company’s 2019 catalog:

LG OLED65E9: key specifications

Screen

  • Screen size (diagonal): 65” (164cm)
  • Definition: 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K UHD)
  • Screen technology: OLED
  • Light management: self-lighting pixels

Image

  • Video processing: α9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor with artificial intelligence
  • 4K upscaling
  • Deep Learning Picture (content-based image enhancement)
  • AI Brightness (image adjustment based on ambient light)
  • Infinite Contrast
  • Wide Color Gamut (WCG)

HDR

  • HDR10
  • HLG
  • Dolby Vision
  • Advanced HDR by Technicolor
  • HDR Upscaler 
  • HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro

Video game mode

  • Low Input Lag
  • VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
  • ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
  • 4K HFR (120 IPS): with HDMI & USB

Smart TV

  • Operating system: webOS 4.5
  • LG ThinQ Artificial Intelligence
  • Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa
  • Apple AirPlay 2
  • Miracast / WIDI
  • Internet browser
  • Smartphone app
  • LG Content Store (app catalog)
  • Magic Remote remote control
  • Netflix Prime Video and Movies direct access buttons
  • Voice recognition

Audio

  • Integrated 4.2 channel soundbar
  • Total output power: 60W (4x10W / Lows: 20W)
  • Compatible with wireless speakers and Bluetooth headphones (Bluetooth transmission mode)
  • Bluetooth audio playback (Bluetooth receiver mode)
  • Dolby Atmos decoder
  • DTS decoder

Connectors

  • HDMI inputs: 1 (rear) / 3 (lateral), HDMI 2.1 with eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) on HDMI 2
  • USB port (playback and saving): 2 (rear) / 1 (lateral)
  • Optical digital audio output: 1
  • Line/headphone output: 1 (3.2mm mini-jack)
  • Bluetooth (5.0)
  • RJ45(LAN) Ethernet port: 1
  • Wifi (802.11ac)

Product information

  • Weight without base: 20.8kg
  • Weight with base: 33.6kg
  • Weight with packaging: 43kg
  • Dimensions without base (WxDxH): 1447 x 50.3 x 877mm
  • Dimensions with base (WxDxH): 1447 x 220 x 877mm
  • Packaging dimensions (WxDxH): 1600 x 228 x 1000 mm

LG OLED65E9: design

When choosing a TV, the design is an important factor. OLED TVs boast a major advantage in this respect: their extremely slim screens, which gives the manufacturer a lot of flexibility in design.

Picture On Glass

Picture On Glass design: very slim, the LG OLED65E9’s screen is stuck onto a sheet of glass.

For several years now, LG has featured the Picture On Glass design on some of its OLED TVs. The screen is stuck to a sheet of glass, which makes the design visually lighter and improves soldity (OLED screens are flexible). With the LG OLED65E9 television, the Korean manufacturer went so far as to remove the aluminum base that protruded from the front of the previous generation. When viewed from the front, the LG OLED65E9 television has clean lines and an OLED screen that seems to float in mid air.

The design of this large television impressed us, to say the least. Even before we turned it on. On more than one occasion, we heard our colleagues enthuse about its elegance and clean lines.

The LG OLED65E9’s extremely thin frame leaves a lot of room for the picture.

TV stand installation

This LG OLED television needs to be installed on a fairly large piece of furniture because the sheet of glass on which the screen is mounted rests on the front panel.

The base of the LG OLED65E9 TV’s glass panel rests on the NorStone TV-Video stand.

For stabilization, the LG OLED65E9 features a heavy base (12.8kg) that is attached to the back of the TV and acts as a counterweight. The latter includes a cable management system concealed by a removable cover. 

The LG OLED65E9 television’s base is weighted to prevent it from tipping forwards.
The cables fed through the base of the LG OLED65E9, held in place by small tabs.
The cables are then hidden by the removable cover that clips onto the base.

Wall-mounting

If you don’t want to put the LG OLED television on a TV-Video cabinet, it can be installed on a wall using a TV wall mount as it is VESA 300x200mm compatible. For example, the LG OLED65E9 can be paired with the Vogel’s Next 7356 motorized TV wall mount, designed specifically for OLED TVs.

The LG OLED65E9 TV mounted on the Vogel’s Next 7356 motorized TV wall mount.
Rear view of the LG OLED65E9 television mounted on the Vogel’s Next 7356 motorized TV wall mount.

LG OLED65E9: control interface

Joystick

The control interface on the television is limited to a multifunctional joystick integrated on the back of the screen, at the left-hand side when you’re facing the TV.

The little joystick is the only control interface present on the LG OLED65E9 television. It is situated on the back of the TV, underneath the connectors.
A mini control menu appears on the screen when the joystick is pressed.

Pressing the joystick starts the TV when it is in sleep mode, or activates a control interface on the screen when it’s already on. It is then possible to navigate up, down, left and right, and confirm your choice by clicking the center of the joystick. 

A context menu appears when the joystick is used to show the user the different functions that are available.

It isn’t very practical, but it can be of help if you misplace the remote control.

Magic Remote

Consequently, we preferred to use the remote control provided with the LG OLED65E9 television: the Magic Remote that has been included with LG’s Smart TVs for several years now. 

The LG Magic Remote that comes with the LG OLED65E9 TV features direct access buttons for Rakuten TV (Movies button), Netflix, and Prime Video (service provided by Amazon).

This remote control with its curved silhouette fits nicely in your hand and has the advantage of providing an on-screen pointer and a clickable scroll wheel. This combination allows you to easily scroll through the different menus on the screen and confirm chosen options very intuitively. Of course, it is still possible to navigate through the interface using the directional buttons around the scroll wheel.

LG TV Plus app

If you wish, it is possible to use an iOS or Android smartphone to control the LG OLED65E9 TV via the LG TV Plus app. Very simple to use, this app provides access to all of the television’s features. It features a numeric keypad with channel and volume controls, as well as a screen with navigation controls and a validation button at the center.

A screenshot of the LG TV Plus control app: at the left the numeric keypad and volume and channel controls, in the middle the navigation controls and validation button, and at the right the clickable touchpad to control the pointer.

We particularly appreciated the interface that uses the smartphone’s touch screen to control the pointer and allows you to click directly on the screen by tapping the smartphone. It often seemed more practical and precise than the Magic Remote (the remote control’s pointer is too sensitive sometimes).

LG OLED65E9: image

Self-lighting pixels

The LG OLED65E9 television’s OLED screen is made up of over 8 million self-lighting pixels. This means that it is possible to turn each of them on and off and control their brightness level individually. This characteristic of OLED technology makes it possible to achieve infinitely deep blacks, something that’s impossible to do with a LED or even a QLED TV.

The depth and density of blacks provided by the LG OLED65E9 TV is staggering.

Thanks to this characteristic, the OLED screen of the LG OLED65E9 television can display pictures with a very high level of contrast, without any backlight bleeding. For example, it is excellent at reproducing images of starry skies, views of space and city lights at night. This expert handling of contrast also ensures intense color rendering and gives the image depth.

Another major advantage of OLED screens over LCD screens is that they provide very wide viewing angles. Even when you move to the side of the television, the image remains bright and the color tones don’t change.

Being seated at the side of the TV isn’t a problem with the LG OLED65E9 and its very wide viewing angles.

HDR10, Dolby Vision

The high contrast and wide color range covered by the LG OLED65E9 TV allow viewers to enjoy the richness of HDR content. The TV is compatible with HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision and Advanced HDR by Technicolor formats. However, HDR10+, the dynamic HDR format competing with Dolby Vision isn’t handled. 

LG OLED65E9 TV: the opening scene of Mad Max: Fury Road in HDR, in a room with natural lighting and the Standard image mode selected. The image is slightly too orange (sand) and pink (clouds).

The LG OLED65E9 television’s OLED screen benefits from dynamic color handling with the HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro technology which optimizes the display of HDR images. With this process, the LG OLED65E9 TV ensures a real-time conversion of the brightness levels of the HDR images received by using a particularly effective lookup table. Even though its maximum brightness level is more restricted than that of the Samsung Q85R and Q90R QLED televisions, it still provides a beautiful image with movies shot with a high dynamic range (HDR). 

LG OLED65E9 TV: Mad Max: Fury Road opening scene in HDR, in a dark room with Cinema mode activated after calibration with the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark 4K Blu-ray calibration disc. The color of the sand and white of the clouds were more realistic.

What is Tone Mapping?

HDR content makes it possible to display much brighter images than before, but the brightness peaks they can reach are sometimes much higher than those a television can display. Each HDR video file therefore contains a “marker” (called MaCLL or Maximum Content Light Level) indicating the maximum brightness level, intended for the HDR compatible television. The TV must then adapt the display according to its abilities.

Usually, the brightness peaks of HDR videos reach 1000 nits, 4000 nits or 10 000 nits. However, OLED TVs can generally only display 700 to 750 nits, and the best LCD LED or QLED screens can display up to 2000 nits. This is where tone mapping comes in. It has the job of adjusting the brightness levels of the HDR picture that are too high to be displayed by the television. 

If tone mapping technology isn’t available, the easiest way to display HDR images on your TV is to clip the brightness peaks that aren’t handled. Applied to an OLED television, this rather brutal method maintains the brightness level of the original image from total black (0 nit) to 700 nits. But all the areas of the original image with a superior brightness level are displayed as if their brightness level was 700 nits. The result is immediately visible on the screen, as very light and bright objects such as clouds or snow are simply white, without any texture or visible details.

To avoid this, the television’s tone mapping process matches the HDR image’s brightness scale to its own brightness scale. Most tone mapping processes use the same method: they display the original values up to a certain point, for example 300 nits for an OLED TV, all while progressively reducing the brightness of objects with a superior brightness level. The darkest parts of the image therefore remain legible (the blacks aren’t underexposed) and the bright areas are detailed. Clouds and snowy areas aren’t as bright as they could be with an HDR television capable of offering very high brightness peaks, but they are brighter than the other elements in the picture and retain their details and texture. 

During the same scene with the same image settings, the LG OLED65B6V (on the right) is too bright. The lightest zones of the image are slightly overexposed, the colors seem more washed out and a lot of the details on the heroine’s forehead are lost. On the left, the dynamic tone mapping process of the LG OLED65E9 adjusts the colorimetric and brightness values of each pixel, providing a very balanced image with more natural colors.

The Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro HDR technology used by the LG OLED65E9 TV is particularly powerful. Despite a maximum brightness limited to around 700-750 nits, grayscale management is excellent. The gradation scale benefits both the dark and light zones of the image, which are never underexposed or overexposed.

LG OLED65E9: the sound

On all large televisions that are 55” and over, manufacturers pay careful attention to the audio section in order to try and provide sound that is on par with the image quality. Consequently, the Korean manufacturer has given the LG OLED65E9 television a genuine 4.2 channel soundbar which is integrated very discreetly.

The soundbar

Slim and understated with its black perforated metal grill, the LG OLED65E9 television’s soundbar runs underneath the full length of the screen and features 4 drivers.

Positioned just underneath the OLED display, the 4 main drivers are protected by a black metal grill.

Here you can make out the LG OLED65E9’s drivers behind the grill.

The woofers

The two low frequency drivers are placed behind the screen, integrated into the back of the chassis. They are down-firing to allow the low frequencies to spread across the entire room. The amplification provides 60 watts of total output power, 20 watts of which are allocated to the lows.

Two low frequency drivers complement the LG OLED65E9 television’s soundbar. They are placed behind the screen, on either side of the chassis containing the electronics, and are down-firing.

Dolby Atmos and DTS

The LG OLED65E9 television can decode the Dolby Atmos and DTS formats that it reproduces by creating virtual surround sound. The manufacturer’s Clear Voice III voice amplification technology is still used to enhance the perception of dialogue: the mid frequencies are highlighted so the discussions in talk shows, the narration in documentaries and dialogues in TV series and movies are easier to follow.

Headphone output and Bluetooth

It is also possible to listen to the TV with a pair of headphones, both with wired hi-fi headphones and wireless Bluetooth headphones. Note that the LG OLED65E9 television is aptX compatible and can therefore provide enhanced sound quality via a wireless Bluetooth connection. Bluetooth can also be used to stream the television’s sound to a pair of wireless Bluetooth speakers.

We were able to connect the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless AE (M2) headphones to the LG OLED65E9 television. So that it is easier to detect and pair to the Bluetooth headphones, it is recommended to stand close to the television during the procedure. 

Even though the headphone output cannot be configured specifically for use with a subwoofer, you may still use it this way by connecting it to the LFE input of a subwoofer (it is necessary to use an adaptor or mini-jack to RCA cable in this case). 

Even though it isn’t its main function, the LG OLED65E9’s headphone output can be used to connect a subwoofer (LFE input), in order to complement the television’s drivers (cutoff frequency set at 80-100Hz). During movies and video games, the benefits are significant.

You must then choose simultaneous output to the TV’s speakers and the headphone port in the LG OLED65E9’s “Audio” menu. Otherwise, you will only get sound from the subwoofer because the television only activates the headphone output when it detects that a mini-jack connector has been plugged in.

LG OLED65E9: artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is omnipresent on the LG OLED65E9 television, notably via the new LG α9 Gen2 Intelligent Processor, mainly used for image and sound.

The LG α9 Gen2 processor uses a powerful artificial intelligence algorithm to enhance the image and sound generated by the LG OLED65E9 television.

Deep Learning Picture 

Deep Learning Picture technology optimizes the image based on its content and the ambient light in the room. The LG α9 Gen2 has effectively “learned” to recognize the different elements that make up a video image.

The LG OLED65E9 television’s AI Picture process is therefore capable of analyzing the content in an image before displaying it, detecting the quality and processing it to optimize the display (noise reduction, enhanced sharpness and details).

When the AI image mode is activated, the LG α9 Gen2 intelligent processor analyzes then processes the images.

AI Brightness technology uses the LG α9 Gen2 processor together with the ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness of the image displayed to suit the lighting conditions in the room. This process is compatible with Dolby Vision videos. Whatever content you watch on the LG OLED65E9 television, and whatever the lighting conditions are like, the picture is always excellent. This is particularly convenient during the daytime if the light in the room tends to change depending on the weather (cloudy spells, for example). Therefore, there is no more risk of suddenly having an image that is too dark when the room is lit up, or too bright when the room darkens. 

AI Sound

The second-generation LG α9 processor is also capable of optimizing sound since it has also “learned” to identify the different elements of a sound track. It analyzes the type of audio content streamed by the LG OLED65E9 television (news flashes, talk shows, movies, TV series, concerts, music videos…), identifies the voices, sound effects and music, then applies the appropriate process to improve the transmission. The voices on talk shows and news flashes are clearer, the surround sound effects in movies and TV series are virtually spatialized, high and low frequencies are optimized for reproducing music programs.

A diagram of how the AI Sound technology used by the LG OLED65E9 television works.

The LG OLED65E9 television’s audio section also uses artificial intelligence to create virtual 5.1 surround sound from stereo soundtracks. Evidently, the LG OLED TV’s soundbar cannot match a real home theater system with surround speakers placed around the viewers. That said, it can generate expansive and immersive surround sound that extends far beyond the physical limits of the screen.

Moreover, this television provides an automatic calibration feature (One Touch Sound Tuning) that optimizes the sound in relation to the room.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, the LG OLED65E9 television can optimize the sound in relation to the room.

LG OLED65E9: Smart TV functions

The LG OLED65E9 TV is a connected model, otherwise known as a Smart TV. It can therefore by connected via WiFi or Ethernet to the home’s Internet router, to access both multimedia content shared over the local network and different online music services.

LG WebOS

To make navigating through different content and applications easy, the LG OLED65E9 television features the latest version (version 4.6) of the proprietary LG WebOS software interface.

Smooth and intuitive, it takes the form of a banner at the bottom of the screen, superimposed on the program being watched. It appears as soon as you press the “Home” button on the remote control, represented by a house pictogram. This banner has different tabs, each corresponding to a service or application. By clicking on a tab with the remote control, you can access the associated service. 

More comprehensive in the services it provides, the latest version of WebOS displays a second bar of contextual content above the main bar.

The latest version of WebOS (version 4.6 on our model) adds an additional banner just above the first one, to display contextual information about the service selected on the banner underneath. Therefore, if you let the cursor hover over Netflix, Prime Video or Rakuten TV, the second banner displays thumbnails of recent or popular content provided by the service in question. 

The LG WebOS application and service portal is also customizable. You may therefore choose which tabs you want to display and organize them as you wish.

Each tab in the WebOS app banner can be easily moved by selecting it and dragging it to the left or the right.

Online services and applications

Among the many online services available via the WebOS interface are Netflix, Prime Video (Amazon), Rakuten TV and YouTube, which are all pre-installed. The first three are directly accessible on the remote control via their own dedicated buttons. All three provide numerous 4K Ultra HD videos to watch, with Dolby Digital encoding for Netflix and HDR10 for Prime Video and Rakuten TV.

The LG OLED65E9 TV’s Magic Remote features three dedicated buttons for Netflix, Prime Video and Rakuten TV.

It is also possible to download other applications and services via the LG Content Store. Not as exhaustive as Android TV’s Play Store, you can still download the Molotov app to watch and save DTTV, the Plex and Emby apps to play multimedia files shared over the local network, as well as the Deezer and Spotify music apps.

The home page of the LG Content Store provides access to movies (via Rakuten TV), as well as different apps to download.

There are also numerous apps for watching foreign TV shows or kids’ shows online, as well as many video games. 

Many apps are available in the LG Content Store, including Deezer, Youtube Kids, My TF1 VOD…

Voice control

The LG OLED65E9 television doesn’t feature an integrated microphone for voice control, unlike the Sony KD-65AG9 OLED television, for example. The TV’s Magic Remote therefore includes a microphone along with a button to activate it. Note that you must press and hold the button when making your vocal demand because the microphone is deactivated as soon as it is released. Google Assistant is natively integrated in this LG OLED TV, but it is also compatible with Alexa (you need to download the app from the LG Content Store) and AirPlay 2 (compatible with Apple Siri via an Apple Homepod, an iPhone or an iPad).

By holding down the microphone button on the Magic Remote, you can ask the Google assistant a question…
… and it answers almost immediately.

LG OLED65E9: connectivity

All of LG OLED65E9’s connectors are grouped together at the back of the television, on the left-hand side when you are facing the screen.

There are 4 HDMI inputs (1 rear and 3 lateral). They all conform to the HDMI 2.1 standard, and the HDMI 2 input is eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) compatible. Therefore, it is able to send the multichannel HD sound of movies (including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X) to an A/V receiver that is also compatible. 

The LG OLED65E9 television’s connectors are all on the back, on the left-hand side when you are facing the screen.

Three USB ports are also available for audio and video playback as well as for recording TV programs on USB flash drives or portable hard drives.

There is also a digital optical audio output, allowing you to connect a soundbar or A/V receiver to the television if they don’t have an HDMI ARC port. It is accompanied by a mini-jack (3.5mm) format analog stereo audio output which can be switched to a line output (fixed level) or headphone output (variable level). As we saw earlier on, the LG OLED65E9 is Bluetooth compatible. To connect to the local network and to the internet via the home’s router, the LG OLED65E9 television can count on a RJ45 (LAN) Ethernet port for a wired connection and a WiFi controller (802.11ac) for a wireless connection.

LG OLED65E9: impressions

For this review, we installed the LG OLED65E9 television on a NorStone TV-Video stand. We paired it with the Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable connected to the television’s eArc compatible HDMI 1 input. We also connected a Playstation 4 pro to the HDMI 1 input of the LG OLED65E9 to test its performance with video games (input lag: 12.9ms). We used the satellite of our Netgear Orbi RBK50 pack to connect the TV to the local network and to the internet via WiFi. Lastly, we sought the assistance of the Rel Acoustics T9i subwoofer to complement the TV’s integrated soundbar.

LG OLED65E9: image quality

Intense blacks

What first hit us when we turned the LG OLED65E9 television on for the first time was the depth and density of the blacks. The Korean manufacturer isn’t exaggerating when it mentions perfect black. 

On Avatar (4K HDR 10 bit), the LG OLED65E9 provides rich colors and deep blacks.

OLED technology is truly unrivalled in this domain and even the excellent Samsung QE55Q90R QLED television, which does come close, cannot compete. It does offer remarkable levels of black for a LCD QLED television, especially in bright environments, but when the ambient light is dimmed so that the room is dark, the QLED’s blacks seem more like a very, very dark gray. The LG OLED’s black always stays black.

The Samsung QLED QE55Q90R offers a beautiful picture, but the colors seemed less intense and the blacks less deep.

Cinema mode

With this ability to produce such deep blacks, the LG OLED65E9 can display striking contrasts and colors that are both highly vivid and precise. But only if you select the right image mode for the program you are watching. The standard mode is suited to daytime television programs, but the colors were a little too saturated for our taste during the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Blu-ray 4K HDR). 

In standard mode, the color of Tom Hardy’s skin was too saturated and looked unnatural, and the clouds were orange-colored.

We preferred the Cinema mode, which was well calibrated right out of the box, as we found out when we checked with the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark calibration disc. We only modified the original settings very slightly to obtain an image that was to our liking.

With the picture set in Cinema mode, the LG OLED65E9 television provided an image with warm colors but more realistic hues than the standard mode.
After having calibrated the LG OLED65E9 using the different patterns on the Spears & Munsil calibration disc, we achieved a truly cinematographic image.

HDR & tone mapping

During our calibration session with the Spears & Munsil test disc’s contrast pattern, we discovered that the LG OLED65E9’s maximum brightness level was at around 750 nits. This isn’t very high when compared to Samsung’s 2019 QLED TVs (Q70R = 1000 nits, Q80R/Q85R = 1500 nits, Q90R = 2000 nits). Despite this, HDR content looked incredible with the LG TV. This is thanks to the implementation of Dynamic Tone Mapping HDR technology, which is clearly based on a very precisely calibrated conversion chart.

The heart of the flower is bursting with details and has three-dimensional depth. The reddish orange hues are incredibly rich. The LG OLED65E9 expertly handles HDR content.

This technology seems to accurately respect the grayscale of the original HDR content and displays vibrant, bright colors. The image never seemed to lack nuance or details in the brightest areas. The dark areas were always legible, the blacks were intense, and the colors were vivid but realistic.

LG OLED E9 vs LG OLED B6 

We were also able to observe the significant progress made by LG compared to earlier generations of OLED TVs. To do this, we compared the same video content displayed simultaneously on the LG OLED65E9 and the LG OLED65B6V (2016) after calibrating the brightness of the screen and the image menu of both TVs using exactly the same values. 

At first sight, the result seemed more flattering on the older television. The image was brighter and more vivid on the B6, softer and more nuanced on the E9. When we took a closer look, we saw that the very bright areas of the picture were often overexposed on the B6, with a significant loss of detail. The B6’s screen also seemed to veer slightly towards more blue/cyan hues. 

The LG OLED65E9 (left) handled highlights more efficiently than the OLED65B6V (right).

The E9’s picture was more balanced, slightly darker but much more detailed in the bright areas. The colors were also more realistic. The 2019 model handled highlights much better, with more nuance in the highest values, whites that were never overexposed and deeper but more detailed blacks.

Image smoothness (TruMotion)

The LG TruMotion smoothing mode is meant to eliminate the juddering and blurring that occurs with moving images. It was particularly effective and proved to be a valuable asset in maintaining precision and detail during sporting events and matches in particular. The wide and aerial shots during football matches were smoother and sharper. On Bein Sport, with TruMotion activated, we hardly noticed any juddering in the image when following the ball.

The LG OLED65E9’s TruMotion technology is very effective in erasing juddering when watching matches.

On movies, however, we didn’t like the result when the TruMotion mode was activated. We lost the cinematic aspect in favor of a “video documentary” look which, in our opinion, alters the content’s original intention. Those who are bothered by the blurriness of tracking shots can try the Clear mode, which didn’t seem as “extreme” to us as the Smooth mode. The User mode even allows the user to adjust the TruMotion settings to their liking.

The TruMotion User mode lets you adjust the level of judder and blur reduction. It also offers the possibility to activate the Motion OLED feature. The latter interposes a black image between each frame to remove some of the blurring caused by persistence of vision. Note that this reduces the overall brightness of the image.

Upscaling

To test the LG OLED65E9 television’s upscaling abilities, we first watched Hans Zimmer: Live in Prague (Blu-ray 1080p) and deactivated the Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player’s upscaling and image enhancement features.

When we kept the Cinema setting (sharpness: 10, Image IA deactivated), the image was well-defined and very soft. The upscaling was carried out effectively but didn’t excessively highlight the outlines. The compositor’s hair stood out clearly from the background without any visual artefacts or pixelation. We could clearly see the few wrinkles on his forehead and the texture of his t-shirt.

Watching the HD1080p Blu-ray of Hans Zimmer’s concert provided the perfect opportunity to test the LG OLED65E9’s upscaling abilities and to once again be amazed at the contrast quality of the image.

We also watched a few TV programs via the Molotov app (without a subscription, resulting in a maximum definition of 720p). Once again, the LG OLED65E9 did a remarkable job, across a wide range of content. With sources that have a low native resolution, we recommend that you use the AI Image feature which will allow you to achieve even better results.

Excerpt from a TV documentary (Molotov, 720p): the upscaling carried out by the LG OLED65E9 was outstanding. The brightness control was remarkable and the interviewee’s herringbone jacket didn’t present any visual artefacts.
Elementary on TV (Molotov, 720p): Aidan Quinn’s face was detailed, the hues realistic and the color gradation in the skin tones expertly handled.

Game mode

The LG OLED65E9 television’s very low input lag is another of its strengths. Measured at a mere 12.9ms by the manufacturer, it is better in this respect than the latest generation of Samsung’s QLED TVs, which aren’t that far off with an input lag inferior to 15ms. 

The LG OLED65E9 television’s four HDMI 2.1 ports are ALLM and VRR compatible.

This LG television is also ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) compatible. 

The first allows a next generation video game console or a PC with a compatible graphics card to send a signal to the LG OLED65E9 via HDMI to force the television to switch to the display mode with the lowest latency. This is the Game mode, in which all video processing that may cause an input lag is deactivated. 

The image in Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4 Pro) is amazing!

The second feature will be of particular interest to owners of an XBox One X (the only console that is currently compatible) or a PC with a VRR compatible graphics card. With this feature, the risk of stuttering in the game display is almost completely eliminated. The LG OLED65E9 television adapts its refresh rate in real-time according to the framerate of the stream transmitted by the console or PC. The image is smoother and clearer.

Beware of reflections!

This is the LG OLED65E9 television’s Achilles’ heel. The screen with its shiny coating acts like a mirror and easily reflects any light pollution or objects in the room that are in its reflection axis. This is particularly visible during the day in the darkest areas of the image or any evenly colored zones. 

During the day in a room lit by natural light, there were quite a few reflections on the LG OLED65E9’s screen (source: Alita: Battle Angel trailer on Rakuten TV).

This isn’t as much of a problem in the darkness, but you should still be aware of any remaining light pollution and avoid any ambient lighting. Therefore, it is best to take care in placing the LG OLED65E9 and avoid installing it opposite a window that may be reflected on the screen.

In the box at the bottom left of the LG OLED65E9’s screen you can see the reflection of the daylight that is visible under the door leading to our test room.

Most of the time, however, you forget about this when you’re engrossed in watching a movie or a TV program. But the lack of an anti-reflective filter is still a dissapointment. It was all the more evident for us as we had been really impressed by the extremely efficient filter on the Samsung QE55Q90R QLED television. Here, the LG OLED65E9 is beaten by Samsung. 

The risk of diminishing the peak brightness of the screen and reducing the viewing angle most likely convinced LG not to apply an anti-reflective filter to its OLED TVs.

LG OLED65E9: audio performance

The LG E9 OLED television features a 4.2 channel soundbar compatible with Dolby Atmos (decoding). According to the Korean manufacturer, it is capable of effectively positioning the sound effects of the movies and TV series it plays. The LG OLED TV also includes an automatic sound calibration system that takes into account the acoustics of the room. 

AI sound tuning

The LG OLED65E9’s AI sound tuning uses the remote control’s integrated microphone to take measurements while the television’s speakers emit a sound signal. An algorithm then calculates which effects to apply so that the sound restitution is perfectly adapted to the specific characteristics of the listening room. 

The AI sound tuning home screen on the LG OLED65E9 TV.

We decided to try this out in our test room. After the procedure was carried out, the television prompted us to listen to a soundtrack by turning the acoustic corrections it had generated on and off. To be completely honest, we didn’t notice a huge difference between the standard mode and the AI mode when listening to the provided soundtrack.

Spatialization

Whether it was with the movies Mad Max: Fury Road (Dolby Atmos) and Avatar (DTS) or during the game Horizon Zero Dawn, the LG OLED65E9’s soundbar was no joke. The performance was similar to that provided by a good soundbar that offers virtual surround sound. 

In standard mode, the spatialization was rather wide and the mids were pretty detailed. The voices were intelligible. The stereo effects were pronounced. However, we were less enthralled by the two woofers which clearly lacked intensity.

When we activated the Cinema sound mode, we noticed the sound extend, both laterally and vertically. The soundstage remained rather frontal, but the lateral sound effects were convincing and the restitution gained more height. The voices seemed clearer.

However, the lows still lacked too much depth and impact to be convincing. The function named “Bass enhancer” gave the soundtrack a little more density, but it didn’t really blow our minds. 

We weren’t really impressed by the bass enhancer…

We then selected the AI Sound mode to see what impact the artificial intelligence had on the sound. We noticed a slight improvement when it came to the width of the soundstage and the level of detail. The voices, however, weren’t as clear.

When a subwoofer is added to the mix, in our case the REL Acoustics T9i connected to the LG OLED65E9’s headphone output, the sound takes on a whole other dimension. In Cinema mode, whether it was on movies or video game soundtracks, the result was much more immersive. It was striking during the noise of the roaring engines and explosions which were very realistic. Even the male voices were enhanced, with more density. If you don’t want to clutter your living room with a multitude of speakers, a subwoofer is a great compromise to enjoy good surround sound with a lot of energy during action scenes.

LG OLED65E9: Smart TV

Web OS

The WebOS interface evolves little by little with each new generation of LG TVs. The LG OLED65E9 benefits from the 4.6 version which is still just as smooth and pleasant to use. Access to the various services and applications is quick thanks to the responsiveness of the television’s integrated processor. The most popular online video services are already available in the content bar that can easily be personalized, which is a great idea. The second bar of contextual information above the main tab bar is also a nice touch that makes daily use a little easier.

Generation after generation, the LG WebOS interface gets more and more pleasant to use.

LG Content Store

Although the LG Content Store isn’t as exhaustive as Android TV’s app catalog, it still provides many services and apps, such as Molotov, Bein Sport, Deezer, My TF1 VOD, Youtube Kids…

Magic Remote

The Magic Remote is well-designed, and allows you to navigate with the cursor (slightly too sensitive to our taste) and the scroll wheel, or with the classic arrow keys. The LG TV Plus app is also very useful for controlling the TV. This is a big plus if you have a tendency to misplace your remote control…

LG OLED65E9: compared to…

LG OLED65B6V: the blacks are a little deeper with the LG OLED65E9, but we mainly noticed that the latter handles HDR content more effectively. The colorimetry is more accurate, the light areas aren’t overexposed and remain detailed. This LG E9 OLED also has a more powerful audio system.

Sony KD-65AG9: combine the latest generation of LG OLED display with image processing by the Sony X1 Ultimate 4K HDR processor and you get a near perfect device. The LG OLED65E9 is almost as good, but the Sony is a step ahead when it comes to natural colors and handling low light, which is detailed and nuanced. Another of the Sony television’s strengths is its Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology which no other integrated TV audio system can beat.

Samsung QE55Q90R: this Samsung QLED really impressed us with its excellent anti-reflective filter and very high brightness peaks. It is ideal for enjoying HDR images during the day in excellent conditions. Although it is not as bright and is therefore at a slight disadvantage in a bright room in the daytime, the LG OLED65E9 provides superior blacks and more intense color, with a much better contrast. It is best to use the television in a dark or unlit room to enjoy these qualities even more.

LG OLED65E9: conclusion

The LG OLED65E9 television really impressed us with its excellent contrast, lustrous colors and excellent handling of HDR video content. It not only excels with HDR Dolby Vision content, for which it was specifically calibrated in collaboration with Dolby laboratories, but also with other HDR formats, thanks to the Dynamic Tone Mapping pro HDR technology.

We were bowled over by the 4K HDR picture on Mad Max: Fury Road.

The Smart TV system was user-friendly and intuitive, on a par with what the competition offers, but didn’t quite match the more comprehensive Android TV interface. The audio system is effective and provides an extensive, if somewhat frontal surround sound. But the lack of intensity in the lows warrants the addition of a subwoofer. Regarding the α9 Gen 2 processor’s artificial intelligence, we mostly appreciated its upscaling performances with low resolution video sources, whose display quality it manages to enhance significantly. The impact that it had on the sound seemed trivial to us.

What we liked:

  • The outstanding Picture On Glass design
  • The very wide viewing angles
  • The excellent handling of HDR content
  • The contrast and level of blacks
  • The rich, nuanced and accurate colors in Cinema mode
  • The effectiveness of the TruMotion processing during sports programs
  • The upscaling with Artificial Intelligence, which was powerful but not excessive
  • The powerful audio system

What we would have liked:

  • An anti-reflective filter
  • Higher brightness
  • Compatibility with HDR10+
  • A less sensitive remote control cursor

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