John Lewis 55JL9100 – Sound Quality
Without the inclusion of the integrated sound bar featured in last year’s John Lewis TVs, you won’t be surprised to learn that the 55JL9100’s sound quality isn’t great. That said, audio is better than many affordable, slimline TVs. The speakers are powerful enough to expand the soundstage to accommodate the arrival of an action scene. There’s plenty of detail in the mix, despite the lack of any forward-firing speakers, and voices are always clear, even when you push the sound system hard.
They even take a stab at injecting some bass. Though they don’t try too hard here, making sure that the soundstage doesn’t succumb to the distortions suffered by some TVs that don’t work within their own limitations.
There are certainly TVs out there that deliver more direct, aggressive, expansive sound performances, but for its money the 55JL9100 is very good.
Other Things to Consider
Priced affordably for a reasonably large 55in 4K TV, the 55JL9100 could be a tempting proposition for serious gamers looking for a TV to double up as a gaming monitor.
However, alongside it struggling to handle the very dark scenes often found in modern games, we measured input lag at around 70ms when using the set’s Game preset – even with the Super Resolution processing disabled. This figure is more than twice the amount we’d like to see. Not only did it make us feel as though we were lagging behind our opponents in games, it often gave the sense of “running through treacle”.
Should I buy a John Lewis 55JL9100?
If you’re after an affordable, feature-packed TV for a perpetually bright environment – or else you consider yourself only a casual TV viewer – then the 55JL9100 has some appeal. Its use of the webOS TV platform is attractive if smart TV functionality is high on your wish list, and the John Lewis five-year warranty is undoubtedly comforting.
Serious picture enthusiasts will find the 55JL9100’s problems with dark scenes difficult to accept, however. This is especially true in a year where so many rival TVs – such as the Samsung UE48JU7000T and, as we’ll see in our imminent review, the Panasonic CX700 series – have made such great strides where contrast and black-level depth are concerned.
SEE ALSO: Best 4K TVs for 2015
The 55JL9100 is an affordable 4K TV, offering plenty of features for the money alongside engaging and dynamic pictures. However, its struggle to deliver dark scenes with the consistency and authenticity we’ve come to expect from 4K TVs in 2015 is a major letdown.
How we test televisions
We test every TV we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Smart TV 9
Image Quality 6
Sound Quality 8