Sony ups its audio-visual game with Inzone brand releases
Sony Electronics has announced a new brand to support its gaming universe. The Inzone line combines the company's expertise in audio and visuals, launching with a 4K monitor and a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
"The market has been expanding with a higher interest in gaming with the spread of esports tournaments and the advancement of gaming entertainment," said Sony's Head of Game Business and Marketing Office, Yukihiro Kitajima. "With Sony's strong history of high-end audio and visual technology products, we believe this new line will offer even more options for those looking to upgrade their current gaming systems."
The company has actually added five products to the Inzone range: two gaming monitors and three headsets. Of the two monitors, the M9 model is the more interesting.
This display offers 4K HDR resolution with a refresh rate of 144 Hz, features full array local dimming for the promise of deep blacks and bright highlights, and boasts a 1-ms gray-to-gray response time. Its height and tilt angle can be adjusted to suit player comfort out front, and rear lighting effects are cooked in too.
The M9 is compatible with Nvidia G-Sync and HDMI 2.1 Variable Refresh Rate for the elimination of screen tearing, stuttering or delay during gameplay. A Game Picture mode optimizes brightness and contrast "to view opponents clearly" while a Black Equalizer brings details out of the shadows. And it's designed to work well with the PlayStation 5 console, coming with auto HDR tone mapping and an auto genre picture mode.
Sony says that gamers can control two PCs from a single keyboard, mouse and headset connected to the monitor. Connectivity shapes up with two HDMI 2.1 ports, plus DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C, USB Type-A and Type-B.
The Inzone M9 monitor goes on sale sometime in the (Northern Hemisphere) summer for US$899.99. A Full HD display with a variable refresh rate up to 240 Hz called the M3 should be available this year for $529.99.
We've been mighty impressed by Sony's noise-canceling wireless headphones thus far, and have high hopes for the Inzone H9 closed-back gaming circumaural cans given that they're built around the same Dual Noise Sensor Technology as the company's acclaimed 1000X-series headphones.
There's a 40-mm dome-type dynamic driver in each earcup for an overall frequency response of 5 Hz to 20 kHz, while ducting around the earcups makes for optimum low-frequency sound reproduction.
The headphones support personalized 360-degree spatial audio activated by the Inzone Hub PC software for much more awareness of what's going on around about than your average stereo cans will offer. Users can also tweak the spatial experience to suit their own hearing profiles via a companion mobile app.
There's a bidirectional flip-up microphone boom with mute function for chats with team-mates, low-latency connection to a gaming rig is via 2.4-GHz wireless, and there's Bluetooth 5.0 in there too for simultaneous pairing to a smartphone.
Plush earpads and a wide, soft headband help with long-haul comfort, and the built-in battery is good for up to 32 hours of per-charge up time with the noise-cancellation tech powered off, or 20 hours with it turned on.
The Inzone H9 headphones are available for pre-order now, and carry a suggested retail price of $299.99.
The $229.99 H7 headphones are essentially the same as the H9, but don't include noise cancellation so battery life increases to 40 hours per charge. And if you'd rather go wired, Sony has that option covered too with the H3 headset priced at $99.99.