LG C9 OLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Mar 11, 2020 at 10:25 am
LG C9 OLED Picture
8.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
9.3
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.3
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.6
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
9.0
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.8
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.7
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.7
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
This TV was replaced by the LG CX OLED
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The LG C9 OLED is an excellent TV. Like all OLED TVs, it delivers outstanding dark room performance, thanks to the perfect inky blacks and perfect black uniformity. It has an outstanding response time, delivering clear motion with no blur trail, but this does cause stutter when watching movies. This TV also supports HDMI 2.1 on all four ports, and even though there aren't many HDMI 2.1 sources available, it could help make your TV future-proof.

Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, there's a possibility of experiencing permanent burn-in, and the brightness of the screen changes depending on the content (ABL), which may bother some people.

Our Verdict

8.8 Mixed Usage

The LG C9 OLED is an outstanding TV for most uses. The OLED panel produces excellent picture quality for most uses, with perfect blacks and wide viewing angles. It has a nearly instantaneous response time, which is important for gaming or use as a PC monitor. Unfortunately, there's a risk of burn-in, and the brightness of the screen changes with different content, which may be distracting.

Pros
  • Perfect blacks.
  • Fast response time, low input lag.
  • Wide viewing angles.
Cons
  • Brightness variation due to Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL).
  • Risk of permanent burn-in. (See here)
9.3 Movies

The LG C9 is an outstanding TV for watching movies. With OLED's ability to turn individual pixels off, you get perfect blacks when watching in the dark. This emissive technology also allows the TV to display bright objects in dark scenes with no blooming at all. Its near-instantaneous response time results in fast scenes that look clear and almost blur-free; however, it may also cause lower frame rate content to appear stuttery.

8.3 TV Shows

The LG OLED C9 is an excellent TV for watching TV shows during the day. It has good peak brightness and an impressive anti-reflective coating, so you shouldn't have any issues, even in a bright room. It also has wide viewing angles, which is great if you like to walk around with the TV on.

8.6 Sports

The LG C9 is an excellent TV for watching sports. Its extremely fast response time delivers an image with almost no motion blur, and there's very little dirty screen effect that can be distracting. Its wide viewing angles are perfect for watching a game with a big group of friends, and lower resolution content like cable sports are upscaled well, without any visible artifacts.

9.0 Video Games

The LG C9 is an exceptional TV for gaming. It has a remarkably low input lag and near-instantaneous response time, so fast-paced games look crisp, with almost no motion blur. It supports variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing, and it has been certified to work with recent NVIDIA graphics cards. When gaming on a compatible console like the Xbox One, its 'Auto Low Latency Mode' saves you the trouble of having to switch picture mode.

8.8 HDR Movies

The LG OLED C9 is an excellent TV for watching movies in HDR. The OLED panel produces perfect blacks, it has a wide color gamut, and good peak brightness in HDR. Unfortunately, the TV's automatic brightness limiter (ABL) causes the brightness to fluctuate with different content, which may bother some people.

8.7 HDR Gaming

Excellent TV for gaming in HDR. It has excellent gaming performance, thanks to the nearly instantaneous response time and low input lag. It has an excellent wide color gamut and good peak brightness in HDR. The brightness changes with different content, though, and this might bother some people, especially with bright games. There's also a possibility of burn-in, which might be an issue due to the static elements found in most games.

8.7 PC Monitor

The LG OLED C9 is an excellent TV to use as a monitor, as it has an excellent low input lag and outstanding response time, making your desktop experience feel responsive. However, care should be taken to avoid static user interface elements being displayed for a long time, as there's a risk of permanent burn-in. The TV can also display chroma 4:4:4 properly and it has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate even if you sit up close.

  • 8.8 Mixed Usage
  • 9.3 Movies
  • 8.3 TV Shows
  • 8.6 Sports
  • 9.0 Video Games
  • 8.8 HDR Movies
  • 8.7 HDR Gaming
  • 8.7 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Jul 03, 2020: We've retested the VRR minimum range. We can confirm that it's <40Hz.
  2. Updated Jun 25, 2020: We incorrectly listed this TV as flicker-free, but it's not.
  3. Updated May 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  4. Updated Feb 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  5. Updated May 17, 2019: We've retested the input lag on the same firmware (03.50.31) and found the 4k @ 60Hz + HDR input lag is in the same ballpark as the other resolutions (around 13ms). We don't know why our previous measurements were higher, as we did confirm them twice. We've also updated the 1440p @ 60Hz input lag with this latest firmware.
  6. Updated May 02, 2019: We've retested the input lag of the C9 with the firmware update 03.50.31. The input lag measurements in SDR game and PC modes have decreased. We haven't retested 1440p @ 60Hz but we will retest this in the future.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG C9 is a high end 2019 OLED TV, and directly replaces LG's 2018 C8. All OLEDs deliver very similar overall picture quality, so the main differences between this TV and its competitors are the additional features and the design. The main competitors to this TV are the LG B9, LG E9, Sony A9G, and Sony A8G. The main LED competitors are the Sony Z9F and the Samsung Q90R.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the 2019 LG OLED C9 is excellent. Overall, it's very similar to the 2018 LG C8, with only minor differences. The stand supports the TV well, and there's very little wobble. The stand itself is slightly different; it isn't as tall as the C8's, so the panel is closer to the table, and the front portion of the stand doesn't stick out as much. The TV is well-built, so there shouldn't be any issues using it, but it's thin, so care should be taken when moving it.

Design
Stand

The stand is very wide and will require a fairly large table. It supports the TV well, though there's still a bit of wobble when nudged.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 35.6" x 9.75".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

The back of the TV is nearly identical to the 2018 LG C8. There are back facing inputs as well as side-facing ones. There's a removable plastic cover, which hides the built-in cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.37" (0.9 cm)

The borders are extremely thin. There's almost no gap between the edge of the bezel and the start of the pixels.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.87" (4.8 cm)

Since all the electronics are housed in the bottom portion of the TV, the top half is much thinner, but also more fragile, as it can flex easily. The TV can be wall-mounted and shouldn't stick out much unless you use the back-facing ports.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is excellent. The panel-only portion of the TV can flex a bit, but we don't expect this to cause any issues. It's very similar to the 2018 C8 and B8.

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
Inf : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

This TV has an infinite contrast ratio, as its emissive technology allows it to turn pixels off individually. This results in perfect blacks when viewed in the dark.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature since it doesn't have backlights. OLEDs can dim pixels individually, so bright objects and subtitles are displayed perfectly, without any blooming or brightness changes.

7.1
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
335 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
447 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
444 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
398 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
330 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
157 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
430 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
426 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
382 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
317 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
151 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.072

Update 06/06/2019: We've retested the SDR peak brightness of the C9 with the firmware update 03.60.02. There are no significant changes in brightness from our previous measurements.

The C9 OLED has good peak brightness with SDR content. Small highlights are brighter than on the C8 or B8, but this results in a more aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL), which dims the screen significantly when larger areas of the screen get bright.

The C9 has a new Peak Brightness setting, which adjusts how the ABL performs. Setting this to 'Off' results in most scenes being displayed at around 303 cd/m², unless the entire screen is bright, in which case the luminosity drops to around 139 cd/m². Increasing this setting to 'Low', 'Med', or 'High' increases the peak brightness of small highlights. If ABL bothers you, setting the contrast to '80' and setting Peak Brightness to 'Off' essentially disables ABL, but the peak brightness is quite a bit lower (246-258 cd/m² in all scenes).

Unlike most TVs, the C9's peak brightness was measured with the pre-calibration settings, due to an oddity with the 100% window.

These measurements were taken in the 'Expert (Dark Room)' Picture Mode, with OLED Light set to '100', Contrast set to '90', Peak Brightness on 'High'.

7.3
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
726 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
855 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
845 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
530 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
301 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
145 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
814 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
802 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
506 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
286 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
138 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.109

The C9 has very good HDR peak brightness.There's quite a bit of variation in brightness when displaying different content, mainly due to the aggressive ABL. This is especially noticeable in content with large bright areas.

The HDR brightness measurements were taken in 'Cinema' mode, with OLED Light set to '100,' and Peak Brightness on 'High.' Different picture modes and color temperatures will produce different results.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
0.989%
50% DSE
0.128%
5% Std. Dev.
0.499%
5% DSE
0.102%

Excellent gray uniformity. There's very little dirty screen effect, which is great for sports fans. Uniformity of near-dark scenes is even better, which is great. Like previous OLED TVs, there are some very faint horizontal and vertical lines noticeable in a pitch-black room when displaying near-black scenes.

8.8
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
49°
Color Shift
31°
Brightness Loss
67°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
67°

The LG C9 has excellent wide viewing angles. Brightness and black levels remain good even at extreme viewing angles, but colors begin to shift at moderate angles.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.249%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Since OLEDs can turn pixels off completely, black uniformity is virtually perfect, which is great for watching in a dark environment.

9.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.4%
Indirect Reflections
0.2%
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.2%

Reflection handling is outstanding. Its anti-reflective coating has a slight purple tint, though it's common among high-end TVs. You shouldn't have any issues in most well-lit rooms, but the TV's brightness may not be able to overcome glare if the TV is placed opposite a window.

7.6
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.46
Color dE
2.11
Gamma
2.17
Color Temperature
5,929 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

Before calibration, the LG C9 has good color accuracy. There are some inaccuracies with a few colors, though they're hard to notice. However, pure whites have a yellowish tint.

Overall, it follows the gamma target well, but some near-black details are crushed. This can be seen in the spike at the beginning of this higher resolution gamma plot. Increasing the Brightness setting does help compensate for this a bit, but doesn't completely correct it.

If you want a TV with better out-of-the-box color accuracy, check out the Sony A8H OLED.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.44
Color dE
0.91
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6,539 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

After calibration, this TV has nearly perfect accuracy. The white balance dE and color accuracy are both extremely good, and any remaining inaccuracies are completely unnoticeable.

The TV features an auto-calibration feature. This feature still requires a licensed copy of CalMAN, and a colorimeter.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

This TV upscales 480p content well, with no obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content is upscaled well, with no strange artifacts. There's a new AI upscaling feature, as well as the existing Super Resolution feature found on older LG TVs. Visually, we didn't notice much difference between them with our test patterns, but for some content, it might make a difference.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Although this TV uses an RGBW pixel structure, there are no issues displaying 4k content, as each pixel has all four sub-pixels.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This TV doesn't support an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Like all other OLEDs, the C9 uses 4 sub-pixels, but all 4 are never used at the same time. This image shows the red, white, and blue sub-pixels. You can see the green sub-pixel in our alternative pixel photo.

8.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
97.21%
DCI P3 uv
98.68%
Rec 2020 xy
71.57%
Rec 2020 uv
75.53%

The C9 can display a wide color gamut, which is great for watching HDR content. It can display almost the entire DCI P3 color space and has good coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

In 'Cinema' mode, the TV follows the target PQ curve very closely but has a sharp roll-off at the TV's peak brightness, so some bright detail may be crushed. In 'Game' mode, the EOTF is nearly identical.

With the 2019 version of the CalMAN software, it's possible to customize the TV's EOTF. We didn't test this out, but you can find out more about this feature here.

If you find HDR too dim, check out our recommendations here.

7.3
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
84.6%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
46.8%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
61.7%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
34.4%

This TV has decent color volume, very similar to the C8. Although it has an excellent color gamut, it loses volume at the top. The WRGB pixel structure allows it to produce bright whites, but colors aren't as bright. On the other hand, thanks to the perfect contrast ratio it can produce dark saturated colors with no issues, unlike the majority of LED TVs.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.081
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.091
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.072
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.074

The C9 has excellent gradient handling. There's some very slight banding in some colors, but this shouldn't be very noticeable.

When watching lower-quality content that has lots of banding in it, the Smooth Gradation feature can help to reduce banding, especially when there are large areas of banding. Note that enabling this feature can cause a loss of fine details in some scenes, but it appears to behave differently from the C8 and is a bit more conservative.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00%

The C9 shows some slight signs of temporary image retention, but it's too faint to be detected by our software.

This test is only indicative of short term image retention, and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with longer exposure to static images. We're currently running a long-term test to help us better understand permanent burn-in. You can see our results and read more about our investigation here.

2.0
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Yes

Update 11/01/2019: Updated text to include our stance on burn-in.

Although we don't expect most people who watch varied content to have any issues, OLED TVs, such as the LG OLED C9 do have the possibility of experiencing burn in.

This TV has three features to help mitigate burn-in. We recommend enabling the Screen Shift option, and setting Logo Luminance Adjustment to 'Low.' There's also an automatic pixel refresher that can be run manually if needed.

You can read about our investigation into this here.

Motion
9.8
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
0.2 ms
100% Response Time
2.4 ms

Like all OLED TVs, the LG C9 has a nearly-instantaneous response time. There's some very subtle overshoot in near-black scenes, but this shouldn't be very noticeable.

This extremely fast response time can cause the image to stutter, which may bother some people.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

Update 06/25/2020: We incorrectly stated that this TV was flicker-free, it's not. Although the flicker isn't at all noticeable, there is a slight dip in brightness every 8ms.

The LG C9 doesn't use PWM, as there's no backlight, but there's a slight dip in brightness approximately every 8 ms, which coincides with the TV's refresh rate. This shouldn't be noticeable.

8.7
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The LG OLED C9 has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can improve the appearance of motion.

This option is activated by setting TruMotion to 'User' and toggling the OLED Motion setting. This option can only be turned on or off, and it always flickers at 60Hz. Enabling this option will cause judder when playing back 24p content.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

Update 09/16/2019: We've retested this TV with the same video that we tested the C9 and E9 and found its interpolation behavior to be the same. The text below has been updated.

This TV can interpolate lower frame-rate content up to 120Hz. This introduces an effect known as the 'Soap Opera Effect,' which some people don't like, but reduces the amount of stutter. The C9, unlike many new TVs, continues to interpolate during fast scene changes, which can create a lot of artifacts. This behavior is similar to the B9 and the E9.

See here for the settings that control the C9's motion interpolation feature.

5.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
39.3 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
14.3 ms

Due to the nearly instantaneous response time, 24p motion can appear to stutter, as each frame is held static onscreen for nearly the entire time. This can be especially noticeable in slow panning shots when watching movies.

If this effect bothers you, you can either enable the TV's OLED Motion feature, which can help a bit, or enable the C9's motion interpolation feature.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The LG C9 is able to play 24p content without judder, regardless of the source.

See our recommended settings to remove judder here.

When the TV's BFI mode is enabled, there's always judder with 24p content.

7.6
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes (NVIDIA Certified)
4k VRR Maximum
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
40 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
40 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
40 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI

Update 07/03/2020: We previously reported that the C9 has a VRR minimum of <20Hz. We've retested it and can confirm that the VRR minimum is <40Hz.

Update 11/27/2019: The C9 is now compatible with recent NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics cards, and is officially certified as G-SYNC compatible.

Update 12/12/2019: We retested the C9 with the latest firmware, and it no longer flickers when in Game Mode on an Xbox One with HDR and the variable refresh rate feature enabled.

The LG C9 has a native 120Hz refresh rate, and it supports VRR, which is great. It only supports HDMI Forum's new HDMI-VRR format, which is only supported on new Xbox Ones, or with a recent NVIDIA graphics card. The C9 is officially supported by NVIDIA's G-SYNC compatible mode, which is enabled automatically when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.

Inputs
8.9
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
13.5 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
100.8 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
13.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
13.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
13.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
13.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
50.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
96.7 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
6.8 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
6.6 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
6.3 ms
1440p with VRR
6.7 ms
4k with VRR
15.9 ms
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

Update 05/02/2019: We've retested the input lag of the C9 with the firmware update 03.50.31. The input lag measurements in SDR game and PC modes have decreased.

Update 05/09/2019: Text clarifications added.

Update 05/17/2019: We've retested the input lag on the same firmware (03.50.31) and found the 4k @ 60Hz + HDR input lag is in the same ballpark as the other resolutions (around 13ms). We don't know why our previous measurements were higher, as we did confirm them twice. We've also updated the 1440p @ 60Hz input lag with this latest firmware.

Update 06/01/2020: We've retested the input lag with G-SYNC enabled using the latest firmware (04.70.05) and the score has been adjusted accordingly. Unfortunately, we were still unable to get a 4k @ 120Hz signal, as we needed a HDMI 2.1 source, and we can't retest the TV since we've sold it. The tests were performed on a PC equipped with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 graphics card.

The LG C9 has outstanding low SDR input lag in 'Game' mode. In 'PC' mode, the input lag is higher than the C8, which is somewhat strange. With the latest firmware (05.30.31) we measured a higher input lag with 4k @ 60Hz + HDR signals. This is fine for most people, but may be disappointing for fast-paced HDR games. This is strange, and we expect it to be reduced in a future firmware update. New on the C9 is support for Auto Low Latency Mode.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
No

The C9 can display most common resolutions. To display chroma 4:4:4 properly, the input label must be set to 'PC', and for high bandwidth resolutions like 4k @60Hz + HDR, the HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color setting must be enabled for the port in use.

LG advertises that the C9 supports a 4k @ 120Hz input from external devices, but unlike the Samsung Q90R, it appears that this only works with HDMI 2.1 sources, as we were unable to get it to work.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 3
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (incl. adapter)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

This TV is advertised to support HDMI 2.1, but there weren't any HDMI 2.1 sources when we tested it. We can't test it with an HDMI 2.1 source because we've since sold the TV.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC support
Yes
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
Yes
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
Yes

The C9 supports eARC when connected to a compatible AV Receiver, which allows it to send higher quality DTS:X and Dolby Atmos via TrueHD sound from an external device to your receiver. Like the 2018 LG OLEDs, it also supports DTS and Dolby Digital passthrough to a standard ARC receiver.

When connected to a PC, the PC detected the C9 as a stereo device, so it wasn't possible to send 5.1 or 7.1 audio to the TV without bypassing the PC's autodetection system.

Update 05/24/2019: Retested the eARC passthrough with a different PC, and no bypassing was necessary: the PC still detected the C9 as a stereo device, but the bitstreaming ignored that fact and sent 7.1 TrueHD audio without a problem.

Sound Quality
7.4
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
67.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.67 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
2.74 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
4.94 dB
Max
87.8 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.00 dB

The LG OLED C9 has a decent frequency response. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 67Hz, which is decent, but slightly worse than the C8. This results in a bass that isn't able to produce much thump or rumble but has a decent amount of punch and body. The frequency response above the TV's LFE is well-balanced, which is important for clear dialogue. It can also get pretty loud, without too much pumping and compression artifacts under maximum load.

6.0
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.263
Weighted THD @ Max
3.477
IMD @ 80
10.58%
IMD @ Max
25.15%

Mediocre distortion performance. There's a much higher amount of THD at max volume, but at 80dB it's more reasonable.

Its successor, the LG CX OLED, has better overall speakers.

Smart Features
8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS WebOS
Version 4.5
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
7 s
Advanced Options
Many

LG's WebOS has a clean and user-friendly interface. There aren't any serious issues with its performance, but some apps do hang a bit when launching them. It now includes a Home Dashboard, which is very similar to Samsung's Smart Things system.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

Although we weren't able to take a picture of them, we did see ads during our testing, similar to the ads we saw on last year's SK8000. We were able to remove some of them by disabling the Home Promotion setting, but as ads aren't always visible, we aren't certain if it's possible to entirely remove them.

8.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Average
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

The LG Content Store has a vast selection of apps available. If there's a specific app you want us to check for, let us know in the discussions down below. With a recent firmware update, there's now support for Apple HomeKit and AirPlay 2.

The C9 also supports WiSA wireless speaker technology, although we didn't test this.

9.0
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
Yes
Remote App LG TV Plus

The C9 comes with LG's magic remote, which can be used like a regular remote or as a mouse pointer. It can be programmed to work other devices, even if the devices don't support CEC. There are shortcuts for the most popular streaming apps, like Netflix and Prime Videos, and it has a built-in microphone for voice control. You can use your voice to control the TV, launch apps, or ask general questions like the weather and time.

Smart Features
TV Controls

There's a single button located at the center, beneath the screen. It allows you to turn the TV On/Off, change inputs, volume, and channels. The picture was taken with the stand removed.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Basic user manual
  • Remote
  • Cable management strap
  • Composite breakout adapter
  • Batteries
  • Panel cover
  • Not Shown: Power cable

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 89 W
Power Consumption (Max) 171 W
Firmware 03.50.22

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55" C9 (OLED55C9PUA), and we expect our results to be valid for the 65" (LG OLED65C9PUA), and the 77" (LG OLED77C9PUA) models as well.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG C9 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Size Short Model Code US Model EU Model Notes
55" OLED55C9 OLED55C9PUA OLED55C9PLA  
65" OLED65C9 OLED65C9PUA OLED65C9PLA  
77" OLED77C9 OLED77C9PUB OLED77C9PLA  

The C9 we reviewed was manufactured in March 2019; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: Samsung Q8FN (QN55Q8FN). Bottom left: LG C8 (OLED55B8). Middle: LG C9 (OLED55C9). Top right: Sony Z9F (XBR65Z9F). Bottom right: Sony A9F (XBR55A9F).

The C9 is an excellent OLED TV and outperforms most similarly-priced LED models. See our recommendations for the best OLED TVs and the best smart TVs.

LG CX OLED
48" 55" 65" 77"

The LG CX OLED and its predecessor, the LG C9 OLED, are two very similar-performing TVs. The C9 has better gray uniformity and viewing angles, but that could be due to panel differences. The CX has better built-in speakers and the black frame insertion works at 120Hz, but it causes some duplication in motion. Overall, they're two excellent TVs that should please most people.

LG C1 OLED
48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

All in all, the LG C1 OLED is a step up from the LG C9 OLED. Because most OLED panels perform similarly, you can't really go wrong with the C9, but in the years since its release, LG has improved upon certain things that are apparent with C1, despite the fact that our unit falls short in certain areas like color accuracy and brightness due to panel variation. Most notably, gaming performance is improved on the C1, including better VRR with a wider range, more BFI options, and lower input lag. Still, if you can find the C9, it still offers amazing value.

LG GX OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG C9 OLED and the LG GX OLED are two similar TVs with different designs. The GX is meant to be wall-mounted and comes with a dedicated wall-mount instead of a stand. It also has a wider VRR range, a Black Frame Insertion feature that flickers at 120Hz, and better speakers. On the other hand, the C9 comes with a stand and has better out-of-the-box color accuracy, but this may vary between units.

Sony A9G OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG C9 OLED is slightly better than the Sony A9G. The LG has a lower input lag, which is great for gamers, and supports HDMI Forum VRR for nearly tear-free gaming. The C9 can also get brighter in SDR which, however, isn't that noticeable and could be due to panel variance.

Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

Overall, the LG C9 OLED is better than the Samsung Q90T QLED. Due to OLED's emissive technology, the LG can produce perfect blacks. The LG also has better uniformity, faster response time, and it supports NVIDIA's G-SYNC to reduce screen tearing when gaming. However, the Samsung can get much brighter, it has lower input lag, and there's no risk of permanent burn-in.

LG C7 OLED
55" 65"

The LG C9 OLED is a bit better than the LG C7 OLED. The two TVs were tested under different test benches, but some comparisons can still be made. The C9 has wider viewing angles and lower input lag, and is more future-proof thanks to its input ports. The C9 has 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs, which for the moment doesn't add much if anything at all. When HDMI 2.1 sources become available, the C9 should support a 4k @ 120Hz input, even at full chroma. The C9 also supports eARC and supports the HDMI 2.1 variable refresh rate technology, which is currently only supported by the Xbox One.

LG B9 OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG B9 OLED and the LG C9 OLED have very similar performance. Any differences can be attributed to panel variance, including the slightly less aggressive ABL found on the B9.

LG C8 OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG C9 and LG C8 OLED are extremely similar overall. The C9 we tested had less temporary image retention, but this varies between units, and might not be indicative of the full lineup. The biggest difference between these TVs is the inputs. The C9 has 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs, which for the moment, doesn't add much if anything at all. Once there are HDMI 2.1 sources, the C9 should support a 4k @ 120 Hz input, even at full chroma. The C9 also supports eARC and supports the HDMI 2.1 variable refresh rate technology, which is currently only supported by the Xbox One.

Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
49" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The LG C9 OLED is better overall than the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED. Thanks to its OLED panel, the LG produces perfect blacks, resulting in an unparalleled viewing experience for movies, especially in HDR. The viewing angles on the LG are also much better, and it has a near-instantaneous response time, resulting in clear motion. On the other hand, the Samsung has more accurate colors out-of-the-box and can get brighter. The Samsung also uses an LCD panel that doesn't suffer the risk of permanent burn-in, like the OLED. It's worth noting, though, that this likely won't be an issue for most OLED owners who watch varied content.

Sony A8G OLED
55" 65"

The LG C9 OLED is a bit better than the Sony A8G. The C9 supports many new technologies, including HDMI 2.1 on all four HDMI ports, as well as eARC, and HDMI Forum's new variable refresh rate technology, great for Xbox One gamers. The C9 also has significantly less input lag, which is great for gaming or use as a PC monitor.

Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED
55" 65" 75" 82"

These are two different types of TVs, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The LG C9 is an OLED TV that delivers an outstanding dark room performance thanks to its perfect blacks. The C9 has wider viewing angles and delivers motion with almost no blur, thanks to the nearly instantaneous response time. The Samsung Q80R doesn't have the burn-in risk of the OLEDs and can get brighter, which is great for a bright room. Finally, the Samsung Q80R has low input lag with motion interpolation.

LG B8 OLED
55" 65"

The LG B8 OLED and the LG C9 OLED deliver very similar picture quality overall. The C9 supports some great new features, including HDMI 2.1, eARC, and HDMI Forum's variable refresh rate technology. Although all of these features don't add much now, they do make the C9 a slightly more future-proof choice.

Sony A8F OLED
55" 65"

The LG C9 and the Sony A8F OLED are both OLED TVs and perform very similarly, but the C9 is slightly better overall. The C9 has lower input lag, great for gamers or use as a PC monitor. The C9 also supports some newer technologies, including HDMI 2.1 on all four inputs, eARC, and the HDMI 2.1 variable refresh rate technology. Although some of these features don't add much for now, as there are no sources available, it does make the C9 a more future-proof choice.

Sony A9F OLED
55" 65"

The Sony A9F OLED and the LG C9 are both OLED TVs, and they perform almost identically. The LG C9 is a bit brighter and has slightly less input lag. Although the Sony A9F supports eARC, the LG C9 supports the extra bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 on all four HDMI inputs. Although this doesn't add anything at the moment, once there are HDMI 2.1 sources on the market, this should allow the C9 to accept a 4k @ 120Hz signal, even with a 10 bit, full chroma signal.

LG E8 OLED
55" 65"

The LG E8 and C9 deliver very similar picture quality, thanks to their impressive OLED panels. The C9 is slightly better, though, especially as a future-proof model. The C9 supports HDMI 2.1 on all HDMI ports and supports many new features, including HDMI Forum's variable refresh rate technology, as well as eARC.

LG BX OLED
55" 65"

The LG BX OLED and the LG C9 OLED are two similar TVs. The C9 is better-built because it has a metal stand, it gets much brighter, it has better gradient handling, and it has a lower input lag. However, the BX has better out-of-the-box color accuracy.

Sony X950H
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The LG C9 OLED is a much better TV than the Sony X950H. The LG is an OLED that can produce perfect blacks with its infinite contrast ratio, and its response time is much faster, which results in less motion blur. Also, the LG has lower input lag and it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing when gaming. The Sony has better color accuracy, though, and it can get a lot brighter to make highlights pop in HDR content.

LG E9 OLED
55" 65"

The LG E9 OLED and the LG C9 OLED have very similar performance. The E9 has slightly better sound. Any other differences can be attributed to panel variance, including the slightly less aggressive ABL found on the E9.

Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED
65" 75" 82"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R and the LG C9 use different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The C9 looks much better in a dark room, as the OLED panel delivers a nearly infinite contrast ratio and near-perfect black uniformity. The Q90R is significantly brighter, and the brightness doesn't change as much with different content (ABL). The C9 has better gray uniformity and better viewing angles. The C9 has a risk of permanent burn-in when exposed to static content, but the Q90 doesn't.

Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED
49" 55" 65" 75" 82" 85"

These are two different types of TVs, each with advantages and disadvantages. The LG C9 OLED is an OLED TV that delivers an outstanding dark room performance thanks to its perfect blacks. The LG has wider viewing angles and delivers very crisp motion, thanks to the nearly instantaneous response time. The Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED has a VA panel that doesn't have the burn-in risk that comes with OLED technology and is more suitable for a bright room as it can get brighter overall. The Samsung has a low input lag with motion interpolation, which is great for gaming.

Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED
55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED and the LG C9 OLED are two different types of TVs, each with advantages and disadvantages. The LG has better dark room performance due to the perfect blacks of its OLED panel. The LG also has wider viewing angles, which is great if you have a large room. The Samsung, on the other hand, has an 8k resolution, can get significantly brighter (which is great for a bright room), and doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in.

Sony X900F
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X900F and the LG C9 OLED use different panel types, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The C9 delivers an amazing dark room performance and has a nearly instantaneous response time, which results in extremely clear motion. Unfortunately, it also runs the risk of permanent burn-in, which the Sony X900F is immune to. The X900F can get a lot brighter and can easily fight glare if you'll be watching TV in a bright room.

Sony X950G
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X950G and the LG C9 use different panel types, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The C9 delivers the best dark room performance and has a nearly instantaneous response time, which results in extremely clear motion. Unfortunately, this also comes with a risk of permanent burn-in, which the Sony X950G is immune to. The X950G can get a lot brighter than the C9, especially when displaying large, bright scenes.

Samsung Q9FN/Q9/Q9F QLED 2018
65" 75"

The Samsung Q9FN/Q9/Q9F QLED 2018 and the LG C9 OLED use different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The C9 looks much better in a dark room, as it can deliver perfect blacks and perfect black uniformity thanks to the OLED panel. The Samsung is significantly brighter, suitable for any room, and doesn't have the burn-in risk. The C9, on the other hand, has better gray uniformity and much wider viewing angles. It's also more future-proof, thanks to its HDMI port.

Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED
43" 49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The LG C9 OLED is a much better TV than the Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED. The LG looks much more premium, can get brighter for HDR content, has much better gray and black uniformity, has a wider color gamut, and does a better job at handling reflections. On the other hand, the Q60 has more accurate colors out-of-the-box, and doesn't run the risk of permanent burn-in if displaying static content for extend periods of time.

LG SM9000
55" 65" 75" 86"

The LG C9 OLED is a much better TV overall than the LG SM9000. The OLED looks more premium, has perfect blacks thanks to its individually backlit pixels, a higher peak brightness, much better gray and black uniformity, better viewing angles, better reflection handling, more accurate colors out-of-the-box, a wider color gamut, and much better motion handling. On the other hand, the SM9000 is an LED TV that doesn't suffer the risk of permanent burn-in when watching a lot of static content like the OLED does, though we don't expect this to be an issue for the majority of people.

Sony Z9F
65" 75"

The Sony Z9F and LG C9 use different panel technologies, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The Z9F uses a VA panel and is much brighter than the C9, and the brightness doesn't change as much with different content (ABL). The C9 looks much better in a dark room, as the OLED panel delivers near-perfect black uniformity and an infinite contrast ratio. The C9 has a nearly instantaneous response time, but this results in more noticeable stutter when watching movies. The C9 also has a chance of permanent burn-in when exposed to static content, but the Z9F is immune to burn-in.

Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019
65" 75"

The LG C9 and the Vizio P Series Quantum X use different panel types, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The C9 is better for a dark room, and it has incredibly wide viewing angles. The C9 also has a nearly-instantaneous response time, outstanding low input lag, and some great future-proof features, like 4 HDMI 2.1 ports. As an OLED TV, the C9 does have a risk of permanent burn-in. The Quantum X, on the other hand, is much brighter, and small highlights in HDR movies look much closer to what the director intended. There is also no chance of burn-in with the Quantum X.

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