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Sony OLED vs. LG OLED: Key Differences and Full Comparison

Sony OLED vs LG OLED

Sony OLED vs. LG OLED: Key Differences and Full Comparison

Key Points

  • LG is the manufacturer of the OLED panel technology that goes into Sony televisions. LG also supplies Vizio, Hisense, and Philips. 
  • LG runs the webOS smart operating system while Sony has made the transition to Google TV. 
  • Offering a wide range of televisions, LG is more competitively priced in the market. 
  • Sony does a fantastic job with sound quality and is arguably the more complete television package.

When you’re choosing a television these days, there are a few big factors to immediately consider. The “smart” operating system plays a big role but is second to having the best picture. If you shop for a television in person, you will see the picture up close to best know if it’s worth the price tag.

For Sony and LG, competing for your dollar and market share is all about producing the best product. To that end, both companies have enhanced OLED technology over time to make screens feel as lifelike as possible. However, the question persists of whether or not one brand’s OLED can be better than the other. Let’s take a look at some key differences and see which one is worth your money. 

LG OLED vs. Sony OLED: Side-by-Side Comparison

SonyLG
ResolutionOLEDOLED
Size Options42 – 83 inches42 – 120 inches
Image ProcessorX1 Extreme Processor and Cognitive Processor XR add excellent contrast and natural colorsalpha9 AI Processor (various generations) does an excellent job of choosing screen settings based on room lighting
Contrast RatioOverall better contrast, purer whites, deeper blacksStill excellent blacks but not quite Sony-level
Smart TV PlatformGoogle TVwebOS
Connectivity OptionsHDMI 2.1, eARC, OpticalHDMI 2.1, eARC, Optical
BrightnessRemains strong in daylight conditions, premium models perform wellStruggles against competition with overall brightness
Sound qualityDolby Atmos, Acoustic Surface Audio uses the screen as a speakerDolby Atmos, AI Acoustic Tuning adjusts to the room volume, Virtual 7.1.2 channel sound
Voice AssistantGoogle AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Apple AirPlayYesYes, all models

Sony OLED vs. LG OLED: What’s The Difference? 

Panels

With this comparison, things get a little murky when you talk about OLED panels. The reason is that LG currently provides Sony with its OLED displays. Given that, you would think there wouldn’t be much difference between the two. However, there is something of a caveat here. In 2021, LG announced it would be introducing new OLED technology known as “OLED evo”.

Better described as LG’s second-generation OLED panel, it marks the first time the company has made any significant panel changes since 2015. What has yet to be determined is whether the evo will be sold to competitors like Sony. Evo tech aside, it’s safe to say there shouldn’t be a whole lot of difference in the overall panels. Where things get more competitive are the processors and other software tweaks made to bring out the best possible colors, brightness, and more.

Picture Quality

Sony has traditionally been better at upscaling 720p to 1080p, but when it comes to 4K quality, picture quality can be consistent between the two brands. Out of the box, you will typically see a better level of brightness and more accurate colors due to Sony’s initial calibrations. The good news is that LG can match similar brightness and color accuracy. You just need to make some manual calibrations once the TV is out of the box.

Where LG can stand up over Sony is with local dimming. As surprising as it might be because of Sony’s work on the PlayStation 5, LG stands out more for a better picture during dark scenes, specifically during gaming. LG offers deeper overall blacks and while that isn’t to say that Sony doesn’t provide excellent blacks on its own, LG offers a better overall OLED experience for those who value deeper blacks. 

Image Processing

Where Sony stands out a little more is with its XR Processor. To be fair, there’s a lot of science involved beyond just a processor name. However, Sony indicates the XR Processor offers more “depth control” which leads to brighter colors.

When you look at something on the Sony screen, it feels very three-dimensional, which is a result of the processor properly calibrating colors. Ultimately, Sony stands out with better overall color quality and for its image-processing around objects. When you see an object moving on the screen, there is a little less blur with Sony OLED televisions.

Where LG stands out is with its alpha9 AI processors. Steadily advancing over the past few years, LG has made significant strides with deeper blacks, vibrant colors, and increased brightness. The LG processor uses deep learning to ensure objects are enhanced while on the screen. Additionally, LG’s OLED panels do slightly better at adjusting the picture based on ambient lighting.

This is a pretty tight race and the “best” OLED panel between these two TV giants is subjective. For most TV buyers, there should be happiness with both brands. One advantage with Sony is that it does slightly better when connected to a PlayStation 5 to enhance overall picture quality.

Sound

One area Sony does well with on its OLED televisions is sound. Sony has helped pioneer a technology it calls “Acoustic Surface Audio+” that utilizes the screen as a speaker. What this does on television like Sony’s A95K is that it combines two subwoofers with two actuators and vibrates the screen wherever sound would appear. Bass sounds great and adding Dolby Atmos is just icing on the cake. As good as LG can be with sound, Sony takes the cake.

Of course, none of this is to say LG doesn’t offer great sound quality on its own. Its AI Sound Pro technology does a great job of creating a virtual 7.1.2 channel sound on its best televisions. Again, when you add Dolby Atmos, you do feel sound all around you. LG has done excellent work at improving audio quality over the years, but Sony is a master in this space.

Smart TV 

When it comes to choosing a television, the “smart” system is regarded as one of the biggest factors. Sony has transitioned to Google TV and it’s incredibly intuitive, especially for current Android users. Over 10,000 applications are available including games and every streaming service available today. Simply stated, it’s smart and it offers Google Assistant for voice help. As a bonus, Google TV’s recommendation engine is top-notch suggesting shows or movies you might want to watch. 

LG’s webOS platform has received some recent revamps which has helped increase its flexibility and user-friendliness. Adding things like a gaming optimizer is nice, but it still doesn’t compare to the strength of Google TV. You need to dig deeper into settings to get it set up exactly the way you want it, which is not necessarily the best experience for first-time users. Additionally, while LG has a lot of streaming apps available, it’s helpful to check and make sure that the app you want is available before buying. 

Remote

One area LG does have an edge in the OLED battle with Sony is in the remote space. Its “magic remote” offers something of a point-and-click experience, much like the Nintendo Wii remote. With this system, it’s incredibly easy to navigate menus (and there are a lot of menus) and activate both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, both of which are built right into the remote control. 

Sony’s remote is more traditional with a preference for regular buttons over more motion control. It lacks programmable features that help LG’s remote stand out. While there is nothing wrong with Sony’s remote, LG’s is more enjoyable to play with. 

Best Mid-Range OLED Televisions: Sony A80K vs. LG C3

Sony A80KLG C3
PriceStarting at $1799Starting at $899
Screen Sizes55, 65, 67-inch 42, 48, 55, 65, 77, 83
Resolution 4K4K
Refresh Rate120 Hz120 Hz
ProcessorCognitive Processor XRAlpha 9 AI Processor Gen6
Sound50 W (3 actuators, 2 subwoofers, Acoustic Surface Audio+) 60W (AI Sound Pro 9.1.2 virtual channels)
ConnectivityFour HDMI 2.1 inputsFour HDMI 2.1 inputs
Smart SystemGoogle TVwebOS 23
Voice AssistantGoogle AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Comparing the Sony A80K versus the LG C3 is a very tough thing to do. Both of these OLED televisions offer outstanding value for the money. On the one hand, LG claims an early victory thanks to having more size choices and a better starting price. Flipping things around for Sony, as good as the LG C3 is for gaming, Sony’s connection with the PlayStation 5 cannot be understated. 

When it comes to panel quality, both Sony and LG do a great job. Ultimately, the LG C3 is 12 months newer so it offers slightly improved technology. However, it’s a testament to Sony’s OLED strengths that a 2022 TV keeps pace with LG’s popular C3. Overall, the sound quality on the Sony excels. Sony also does a better job with peak brightness, which means it’s the better choice for daytime viewing. 

The LG C3 might be slightly less expensive depending on which size you go for, but overall, if you can find the Sony for less money, I’d stick with it for the better sound. 

Bright Colors
Sony OLED 65-Inch BRAVIA XR A80K
$1,589.00
  • Features XR Cognitive Processor developed by Sony
  • Triluminos Pro enhances the already outstanding picture
  • Dolby Vision HDR and Auto HDR tone mapping for PS5
  • 8.5ms input lag
  • 4K at 120Hz
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02/13/2024 11:11 am GMT

Best High-End OLED Televisions: Sony A95L vs. LG G3

Sony A95LLG G3
PriceStarting at $2799Starting at $1799
Screen Sizes55, 65, 77-inch55, 65, 77, 83
Resolution 4K4K
Refresh Rate120 Hz120 Hz
ProcessorIntelligent Cognitive Processor XRAlpha 9 AI Processor Gen 6
SoundDolby Atmos, Acoustic Surface Audio+ Dolby Atmos, LG FILMMAKER Mode, AI Sound Pro virtual 9.1.2 channels 
ConnectivityFour HDMI 2.1 inputsFour HDMI 2.1 inputs
Smart SystemGoogle TVwebOS 23
Voice AssistantGoogle AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Fantastic Display
Sony 65-Inch 4K X90L Series BRAVIA XR Full Array LED Smart Google TV
  • 4K Ultra HD LED display
  • Dolby Vision HDR
  • Exclusive features for the PlayStation 5
  • HDMI 2.1 gaming with 4K/120, VRR, and ALLM
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio and support for Dolby Atmos
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As two of Sony and LG’s best televisions, the Sony A95L and the LG G3 are direct competitors. On the design front, the LG G3 is an early winner with its almost flush-to-the-wall mounting design. While the Sony is by no means thick, it doesn’t quite offer the same look when hung. 

LG

Beyond design, the LG G3 is an exceptional television with OLED evo technology. LG’s claim that it offers almost 70% more brightness than non-OLED televisions is very real. There is little question that LG has done a great job creating vibrant colors with outstanding contrast. More importantly, the LG G3 has some of the deepest blacks available to consumers. This makes watching movies and TV shows feel even more realistic. 

Sony

On the other hand, the Sony A95L is equally excellent. If LG wins on design, Sony wins on the smart OS with Google TV being leaps and bounds more enjoyable to use than webOS. The quantum dot OLED panel on the Sony A95L is worth every penny and it beats the LG G3 on color volume. You can even say that the Sony OLED display is brighter than the LG G3, which is a big reason to pick the Sony. In the end, you can’t go wrong with either television, but the Sony A95L might be one of the best televisions ever made. 

Sony OLED vs. LG OLED: Which One Should You Buy? 

Unfortunately, the answer to which OLED panel is right for you isn’t cut and dry. If you were to try and do a direct comparison between the LG G3 and the Sony A90L, it’s a subjective answer. The comparison above indicates Sony offers stronger black levels and stronger image accuracy. Also in favor of Sony is the overall sound quality as it excels over LG audio quality.

Where things get a little murky is price, and it’s the one factor that hasn’t been discussed that plays a big role. The thing is, the price is going to vary depending on whether you want a mid-range or high-end Sony or LG TV. So it’s hard to make a direct comparison, though broadly speaking, LG does tend to be friendlier on the price side. 

When it comes to gaming, both televisions are very competitive. LG offers a more impressive gaming mode and features, but it’s Sony that works best with the PlayStation 5. However, gaming isn’t everything and if prices are competitive, Sony OLED televisions are the more complete package.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who manufacturers all of the OLED panels for both LG and Sony?

Coincidentally, LG is the primary manufacturer of OLED panels for Sony, Vizio, Philips, Hisense, and more. 

Do you still need a surround sound system if Sony uses the screen as a speaker?

You certainly don’t need one, especially with Sony’s audio quality but any soundbar will greatly enhance your viewing experience.  

Why is OLED the television panel best worth buying?

OLED offers numerous advantages over every other type of television technology on the market including energy efficiency, deeper blacks, increased brightness and contrast. 

What is the difference between OLED and Samsung’s QLED technology?

This is a game of marketing as OLED is the next iteration of the previous LED technology whereas QLED is just a more improved but renamed version of LED panel technology. 

Is there any other type of picture technology worth considering?

When you factor in price, technology, longevity, future-proofing and overall reliability, OLED remains the absolute best option for just about any type of television buyer. 

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