Sony Bravia 9 vs A95L: will Sony's new flagship Mini LED TV beat its top OLED?

Sony Bravia 9 in a living room
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony’s 2024 TV lineup looks a little different from the years gone by, not least in its naming convention. There are no Xs or As in this year’s TVs — instead the manufacturer has brought its Bravia branding front and centre, with the Bravia 9 this year’s flagship TV in a trio of newcomers.

It’s a Mini LED set, and is the successor to last year’s five-star X95L. However, unlike that set, it’s being officially positioned above the company’s flagship OLED, the A95L – another five-star set – which remains in the line up from last year. If you were wondering where Sony sat on the whole Mini LED vs OLED conversation, the Bravia 9 seems to answer it.

But how does it stack up against its biggest in-house rival? And if you’re looking to invest in a premium Sony TV this year, where should your money go? We’ve put them head to head based on specs and some early first impressions – we’ll be sure to fill in any gaps just as soon as we’ve had the Bravia 9 on our test bench.

Sony Bravia 9 vs A95L: Price and availability


(Image credit: Future / Netflix, Our Planet II)

At the moment, we're expecting the Bravia 9 to launch in all regions, but we do know that Sony isn't planning on bringing the 65-inch screen size to the UK – only the 75- and 85-inch sizes will be available at launch.

So far, we also only have confirmed pricing for the UK, and at the moment, it's a touch more expensive than the X95L launched at, but still cheaper than the A95L.

We'll update this pricing as soon as we have more:

  • 65-inch: £N/A / $3300  
  • 75-inch: £4499 / $4000
  • 85-inch: £4999 / $5500

Sizewise, the A95L comes in a 55-inch screen size, but misses out on the larger 85-inch option.

It's so far held the prices it had at launch fairly consistently, but it remains to be seen if this drops once the Bravia 9 launches. You can pick the A95L up for the following prices, though it currently seems to be hard to find in Australia:

  • 55-inch: £2499 / $2799 / AU$5295
  • 65-inch: £3199 / $3299 / AU$5995
  • 77-inch: £5499 / $4999 / AU$9499

Sony Bravia 9 vs A95L: Design

Sony Bravia 9

(Image credit: Sony)

Whether you choose the Bravia 9 or the A95L, you're going to be getting Sony's preference for straight and pointy design language. We've no arguments with that, both look smart, with slim bezels from the front and nicely flat back panels for wall mounting. Neither are gobsmackingly slim from their side profile, but to call them chunky would probably be a bit cheeky. 

The feet on the Bravia 9, just like on the A95L, face forwards and sit at the edge of the set to avoid unwanted reflections. This can be troublesome when it comes to finding furniture wide enough – particularly at the larger screen sizes – so the Bravia 9 has the option to move them inwards towards the centre of the screen, which is welcome.

This wasn't an option on the A95L, except for the 77-inch screen size. Arguably that's the size that needs the feature the most, but we would have liked to have seen it on the 55- and 65-inch versions too.

While the Bravia 9 pips the A95L for convenience there, both TVs have the option to sit flush with your TV stand or to raise them up slightly, to accommodate a soundbar.

Sony Bravia 9 vs A95L: Features

Sony A95L Xbox Series X HDR Calibration

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, the big difference between the two here is the TV technologies – the Bravia 9 is a Mini LED TV and the A95L is a QD-OLED.

Sony is using a new backlight in the Bravia 9 – something you can read about in more detail in our first impressions – but the long and short of it is that it should help to make the Bravia 9 one of the brightest TVs we've ever seen. 

It's an advantage that Mini LED has over OLED anyway, but going by figures alone, the Bravia 9 could be twice as bright as the A95L, which could make the Bravia 9 the winner with HDR content.

Sony doesn't like to give out official figures for things like nits and dimming zones, but the demo we saw suggested the Bravia 9 could reach peak brightness levels of almost 4000 nits. That is almost double the near-2000 nits of claimed peak brightness of the A95L.

How that presents itself during in-depth testing remains to be seen, but it's certainly impressive on paper.

Both TVs feature Sony's excellent Cognitive XR processor, though the Bravia 9 gets a slightly upgraded version this year that includes subtle improvements to things like Face Detection and Scene Recognition.

Elsewhere though, you can expect a lot of the same features between the two. 

Both include many of Sony's other excellent picture processing improvements, which we've found to create a picture we have long praised as among the most subtle and insightful you'll find. We doubt you'll be disappointed in either, though we'll have to wait for our full review to be sure.

As always with Sony, both the Bravia 9 and the A95L supports HLG, HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats, but there's no support for HDR10+. If we had to pick a side in the advanced HDR format argument, Sony falls on the right side of it, but it's still a shame to lose out on anything at these prices – Panasonic and Philips manage to include both, after all. 

The Bravia 9 does get an extra picture preset to play with, compared with the A95L, and that's the new Prime Video Calibrated Mode. A bit like the Netflix and Bravia Core (soon to be Sony Pictures Core) Calibrated Modes, it will automatically adapt itself to the content you're watching on Amazon's streaming service, to get it closer to the creator's intentions. If you're a big Prime Video fan, this may be an interesting feature to try out.

Both TVs use the Google TV smart platform, which offers a good selection of apps and a pretty strong recommendation engine, but for gamers, both TVs have their frustrations. There are only two HDMI 2.1 sockets for handling 4K/120Hz (including Dolby Vision gaming), VRR and ALLM – and one of those is eARC, so may be taken up by a soundbar or AV receiver.

It means neither one is better than the other if you have gaming in mind, but you can just about muddle through if you only own one console. Even better if that's a PS5 – both offer Sony's "Perfect for Playstation 5" automatic settings mode.

Sony Bravia 9 vs A95L: Picture

The Sony Bravia 9 photographed on a wooden stand in a lounge environment

(Image credit: Future)

We haven't fully tested the Bravia 9 as yet, so we can't call this head-to-head officially until we do. Of course, what we can say is that we really loved the A95L's picture, and our first impressions of the Bravia 9 are incredibly strong too – but how they'll compare when in proper test conditions is a little more up in the air.

For now, let's tackle the newcomer first, and in the demos we saw there were two things that really struck us. Firstly, just how close the Bravia 9 got to the Samsung S95C for black depth – all while providing brighter and more insightful highlights. And let's not forget the A95L is a QD-OLED panel, just like the S95C, so it'll be interesting to see how it performs in comparison.

Secondly, that incredible peak brightness capability, which we got to see when the Bravia 9 was tasked with reproducing some coloured test panels at different brightnesses. Our TV and AV editor, Tom Parsons, noted that "other than some slight clipping in the 2000-4000-nit jump with the red pattern, the Bravia 9 was able to reproduce every step up to the 4000-nit peak. Only the [4000-nit] mastering monitor could handle every step in every colour, and neither the Sony X95L nor Samsung S95C could get close".

That sounds promising indeed, and we'd hasten a guess that – even with the additional brightness offered by the excellent second-generation QD-OLED panel – the A95L couldn't beat it here. 

However, we did put the A95L up against the best of the best in 2023, and it convincingly beat the lot. We loved everything, from its contrast and colour handling to its accuracy, detail and insight. This has been a Sony strong point in its premium TVs for a while, but we have preferred – if pushed – the overall balance of of its OLEDs to its Mini LEDs. Let's see if that continues in 2024.

Sony Bravia 9 vs A95L: Sound


(Image credit: Future / Netflix, Our Planet II)

The Bravia 9 and the A95L use different methods to deliver sound, but are ultimately trying to give you the best sound quality you can muster from a TV without an additional soundbar.

The A95L uses the same Acoustic Surface Audio screen-shaking technology that we've seen in its OLEDs for a few years now. That is a 2.2-channel actuator-based sound system, with two actuators built behind the screen, vibrating it to produce sound. This is then backed up by two standard woofers to add some wallop to the low end.

It's a system we've long praised, and makes the A95L one of the best sounding TVs you can buy, thanks to great detail levels and a strong handling of dynamics. We reckon you couldn't easily best it with a budget soundbar, which is pretty impressive for a built-in system.

The Bravia 9, on the other hand, features a new iteration of Sony's Acoustic Multi Audio+. It's different to other versions since it features beam tweeters along the top of the frame, firing sound upwards, as well as frame tweeters on the sides giving the sound some width.

Sony claims this is an industry first, and helps to create a sound system with a 70W output. Not bad at all, and a little more powerful than the 60W offered by the A95L to boot.

With both TVs you'll get Acoustic Centre Sync, which is back this year to allow Sony's TV to sonically integrate with a compatible Sony soundbar, as well as Voice Zoom 3 (coming to the A95L via update), which allows you to boost or reduce dialogue without making adjustments to the rest of the mix. 

We didn't actually get to hear the Bravia 9 so we can't be sure whether its on-paper specs match up in real life. But we're hopeful.

Sony Bravia 9 vs A95L: Early verdict

The Sony Bravia 9 photographed on a wooden stand in a lounge environment

(Image credit: Future)

Sony's new flagship TV impressed us no end during our hands-on time, packing a level of punch, detail, colour handling and contrast that's hard not to be wowed by. 

But there's no getting away from the fact that the Sony A95L was the most impressive TV we saw last year, bar none. It can't get close to the incredible peak brightness levels that the Bravia 9 can offer – but then, maybe it doesn't have to. 

Its unbeatable contrast, next-level subtlety and overall cinematic impression it leaves on you couldn't be bested last year, even by Mini LED's best offerings. It'll be interesting to see if a TV from within its own company can manage it this year. 


Read our full first impressions of the Bravia 9

Or how about our first impressions of the Bravia 8

Sony Bravia 8 vs A80L: which OLED TV is better?

Verity Burns

Verity is a freelance technology journalist and former Multimedia Editor at What Hi-Fi?. 

Having chalked up more than 15 years in the industry, she has covered the highs and lows across the breadth of consumer tech, sometimes travelling to the other side of the world to do so. With a specialism in audio and TV, however, it means she's managed to spend a lot of time watching films and listening to music in the name of "work".

You'll occasionally catch her on BBC Radio commenting on the latest tech news stories, and always find her in the living room, tweaking terrible TV settings at parties.