LG E9 OLED (OLED55E9, OLED65E9) TV Review

LG E9 OLED (OLED55E9, OLED65E9) TV Review

Last Updated on October 1, 2021 by Daniel Osakwe

This LG E9 OLED can be classified as both mid-range and premium at the same time. Even so, LG Display is investing heavily in its OLED TV production – you can see the damage in the pricing section below – and the sets offer some of the best picture quality on the market.

The same thing happened last year as well. In terms of the best and latest OLEDs, we recommend you take a look at the 2019 LG TV lineup, of which the E9 is one of the flagships. If you purchased an LG OLED in 2018, the most recent upgrades won’t apply to you.

Although the E9 doesn’t offer the same 8K resolution as LG’s Z9 OLED or the wafer-thin screen of the Samsung Signature Series W8, its stylish design and impressive display ensure that it exceeds expectations as a second-tier OLED.

Design

LG E9 smart tv

As opposed to a traditional boxed display, the E9 boasts a sleek glass panel, which makes it stand out from LG’s other OLEDs. The rest of the internal hardware, as well as the weighty stand, are hidden away behind this glass, so you only see the screen of your TV. The only tell-tale sign you have a TV plugged in is the dim red glow along the edge of the glass as it powers on.

As a set, it measures 1226 x 753 x 50mm, but when the stand is included, the dimensions jump to 220mm. Whether on a desk (such as in the main image above) or a shelf, the E9 appears as an untethered, floating screen.

It is designed in a manner that protects the ports and inputs from being seen or noticed. Additionally, you can also remove a panel on one side of the TV to reveal three more HDMIs and two more USB ports. In general, HDMI 2.1 is not a necessity with 4K TVs but is ideal for gamers who want 120fps from their 4K-ready games, or for those who want high-bandwidth ports to future-proof in case more demanding content becomes available down the line.

Additionally, there are slots for CI and Ethernet, an HDMI ARC port (for sending TV audio to soundbars), and wired and wireless headphones options. However, we found the E9 to be surprisingly patchy with Bluetooth 5.0, so we wouldn’t recommend it to those who plan on watching movies with their Bose QuietComfort 35s instead of the TV’s internal speakers.

As part of the set, LG includes its Magic Remote, which is a sleek and ergonomic remote that you can use with ease. There are dedicated Netflix and Prime Video buttons on the Magic Remote, plus large + and – buttons. You can use the scroller to navigate menus as well, and we found the sensor to be very accurate while testing.

Smart TV (webOS with ThinQ AI)

lg e9

In addition to the latest webOS 4.5 software, all of LG’s new OLED and NanoCell televisions offer the newly refined webOS 4.5 platforms.

The WebOS dashboard uses a sleek horizontal menu that displays all the apps and services you have, from YouTube to Rakuten TV to Netflix – but when you hover over an app, a secondary menu pops up above. Do you have Netflix or Hulu in mind? With this feature, it’s so easy to jump into the content you’ve been watching or looking forward to starting.

Additionally, a Home Dashboard lets you view all your connected smart home devices in one place. It works with Google Assistant, Apple HomePod, Google Home, and, new this year, Amazon Alexa. Soon after connecting the E9 to our Amazon Echo Plus, we were able to use Alexa to change the volume of the TV and turn it on and off.

However, Alexa isn’t integrated throughout the set, so it’s hard to open a specific app or search for a title without plugging in a Fire TV device.

HD/SDR performance

The common issue with watching 4K content on HD televisions is that you can enlarge the image without it looking too artificial with decent picture processing. The E9’s OLED panel, on the other hand, is more than capable of handling HD content due to its ability to control every pixel so that it reveals the exact details needed.

The first episode of Stranger Things (SDR) on OLED was a revelation, with the picture capturing the moody, shadow-filled Hawkins forest as well as the vibrant reds and yellows of the kids’ backpacks and T-shirts. Because OLED panels have the ability to turn off individual pixels, they provide incredibly deep blacks and startling levels of color contrast, and the results are immediately apparent. TVs like these are designed to create atmosphere, and even ordinary SDR images get an improved color rendition.

Furthermore, LG has bundled HDR Pro (listed as HDR Effect in your settings) that tries to make use of the panel’s expanded color gamut by brightening SDR images; the result isn’t that natural, however, especially compared to the other picture settings.

According to LG, ThinQ AI will tailor Antenna’s output to whatever content you are watching – horror, sitcoms, news broadcasts, and so on. (For optimal results, we recommend checking the picture settings: Standard will do just fine, but Cinema will impress for movie nights, and Game will give you lag-free gaming.)

One might assume that a TV that’s so clearly designed for movie nights at home would not work well as a gaming TV. The E9 serves up stunning visuals in 3D environments: loading up Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch was simply astonishing, even with the console’s HD restriction, adding a real fullness and vibrancy to the game’s cel-shaded character models.

4K/HDR performance

The E9 OLED is not disappointing if you plan to watch some 4K content on your 4K TV.

Our 55-inch television isn’t quite in scale with a cinema screen, but the effect is not all that dissimilar. As the panel is all-glass, a sense of openness pervades, while the HDR (high dynamic range) gives the aquatic greens on screen a nice touch of emerald.

The 4K resolution can often be hard to discern in bright environments, like a nicely lit living room at the end of the day. In comparison to LEDs or QLEDs, OLEDs produce a dim light output (less than 700-900 nits), making them most suitable for a darkened room where their light won’t clash with other sources.

Hence, The Shape of Water’s blacks can overwhelm the screen at times, but the lush colors seem to make up for it – simply turn off your lights and adjust your blinds for a perfect viewing experience.

In addition to streaming Ultra HD content, there are plenty of 4K Blu-rays available so you can enjoy the quality picture without relying on an internet connection. It offers 12 bit Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) as well as all the premium video formats.

Unfortunately, 10-bit HDR10+ isn’t included, despite being included in high-end sets from Panasonic and Samsung. This is a small letdown when compared to the dazzling visuals and wide format support offered by the E9.

Sound

For those who are not impressed with the E9’s glass design, the C9 OLED, which has essentially the same panel and internal processor, might be preferable instead. On the other hand, the E9 enjoys an advantage in terms of audio.

In addition to the 4.2 speakers (60W) built into the E9 OLED, there is a 90° screen separation which is remarkable for internal television speakers. As we watched Bong Joon-ho’s Okja on Netflix, the sounds of Seoul’s busy intersections drifted from side to side of the set, inspiring us to upgrade from the C9’s 2.2 channel speakers (40W).

Dolby Atmos surround sound is supported by the E9’s front-firing speakers for maximum impact.

Other panels to consider

Even though the E9 is a terrific television, LG’s other OLEDs offer something different as well. With the C9 OLED, the price drops to $2,499 / £2,499 (about AU$3,500). Even cheaper is the B9, though it comes with last year’s processor instead of the A9 Gen 2.

In comparison to LG’s OLEDs, Samsung’s QLED TVs offer brighter displays, even if they are not as crisp or dark as LG’s.

Pros Cons
Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos Patchy Bluetooth for headphones
4.2 channel speakers Low brightness
Glass panel design No HDR10+
Incredible picture quality

Verdict

Its OLED display is dazzling, the picture is crisp, and the visuals are truly cinematic. Although LG’s organic LED displays are less bright than its rivals, they still deliver a great viewing experience.

LG’s E9 differs from other OLEDs primarily due to its shape and size options – both the W9 and C9 offer larger 77-inch models – but we doubt anyone would not like the design of the E9. In addition to its unique look and multi-channel audio, the E9 is a fantastic addition to any living room.