You know it when it happens. Your TV is too darn old and it’s time for a change. Good news is, it’s actually a great time to need a new TV, with the best OLED TVs being so much more affordable compared to just a few years ago. That’s right, OLED TVs are no longer exorbitantly expensive panels. Sure, they still aren’t cheap, but you can now get a massive OLED screen for around the same price as the most expensive iPhones (sometimes, even cheaper).
If you’re interested in buying an OLED TV, then you already have a good idea of what makes them superior over traditional LED panels. From the perfect-looking blacks and insane contrast levels to the vibrant colors and extra-wide viewing angles, OLED TVs just produce an overall better picture and create a much more satisfying viewing experience, whether you use them for high-end TVs or high-end monitors.
Due to these characteristics, the best OLED TVs tend to provide excellent picture reproduction across the board. Seriously, you can hardly go wrong with any of the options here as far as image quality is concerned, especially since most OLED panels out there are sourced from just a couple of companies (LG and Samsung, as far as we know). What sets different OLED TVs apart, though, are the accessory features that come with each one, such as motion processing, video upscaling, and audio quality, as different TV manufacturers have their own version of each technology for their own panels, with some being better than others in various regards.
Of course, even the best OLED TVs aren’t immune from the potential downsides of the technology. In particular, OLEDs are widely believed to be more susceptible to issues such as image retention and burn-in, all while having shorter lifespans compared to their LED counterparts. However, the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this regard, which is why OLED TVs have become more popular than ever.
These are the best OLED TVs to bring stellar visuals to your home entertainment.
LG A2 OLED
If you want the most affordable path towards a premium OLED TV in your home, LG’s entry-level range is the way to go. It gets the same gorgeous OLED panel with its deep blacks, bright colors, and incredible contrast, albeit with a slower 60Hz refresh rate, lower brightness, and an older HDMI standard. What you do get is a 4K OLED TV with superb HDR support (HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HLG), excellent color accuracy (130 percent of the Rec. 709 color space in Standard Mode), and seamless upscaling from 1080p. Suffice to say, the video quality is mostly as good as LG’s more expensive OLED panels, although darker scenes might not be as clear on occsasion due to the limited brightness. The audio is handled by 20-watt down-firing speakers that produce clean and clear audio in nearly every scene, only struggling at the uppermost extreme of the volume range with very little distortion even then. If you like watching concerts and other videos with bass-heavy sounds, though, you might want to go with a soundbar instead, as it’s sadly lacking in that department. All LG TVs in the list use the outfit’s webOS system, giving you a clean and well-organized interface for accessing its various smart features.
LG’s upper-midrange C Series has consistently been the most popular in the OLED TV category among industry professionals and consumers alike, largely because of its excellent balance of features and price. That continues with this year’s C3 model, which delivers the impeccable blacks, detailed colors, and striking contrast everyone expects from the best OLED TVs. It uses the outfit’s evo OLED panel, which delivers nearly quadruple the brightness levels you can get from the A2, so you get absolutely stunning visuals, no matter what kind of movies or shows you’ve got playing. Just make sure you get out of the default picture mode if you want the best visuals, as the default one is set to optimize power use and doesn’t quite deliver the most vibrant hues. Where it does falter is the 40W 2.2-channel audio, which is largely good but remains lacking at the lowest and highest ends of the frequency range. Most people should be fine sticking with it for their daily viewing, although more discerning listeners will probably find it quite uninspired. It supports 120Hz on all four HDMI inputs, by the way, making it an excellent TV for gaming.
Many consider the S95C as the single best OLED TV in the market today. We can’t disagree. You get all the things that have made today’s crop of OLED panels so good, from the deep blacks and rich colors to the wide viewing angles. It boasts astonishing brightness that clocks in at over 1,300 nits at its peak, which is pretty incredible for an OLED TV and a significant upgrade from its S95B predecessor, while delivering the best color saturation and accuracy you’ll get compared to any other TV in the list. Upscaled videos from 1080p also look amazing on this panel, with the pictures looking perfectly balanced while retaining nuanced details, while the 144Hz refresh rate makes it suitable for gaming even on a PC, complete with support for AMD’s FreeSync Premium. The only notable omission is Dolby Vision, so keep that in mind if you watch a lot of content that uses it. If you want premium looks to go with your premium OLED TV, Samsung has made this especially slim by offloading a fair amount of components onto the separate One Connect box, the outfit’s proprietary cable management solution.
Among all the 4K OLED TVs in the list, LG’s flagship is the only one that can really rival the S95C’s brightness, making it the best choice if you prefer LG’s streamlined webOS interface. It doesn’t quite beat Samsung’s best OLED, but it definitely matches up quite nicely, giving you all the brightness you need to complement the panel’s intense colors and even more intense blacks. As with other LG TVs, it doesn’t have HDR 10+, but gains Dolby Vision, so it should handle those thrilling HDR effects we all like quite nicely for most movies and shows. Suffice to say, everything you’ll watch will look amazing on this TV. Oh yeah, gaming should be positively good on this TV, too, as it supports HDMI 2.1 on all ports, with the gamer-friendly 144Hz frame rate that comes with it. Audio is much better than the previous two LG TVs in the list, as this one houses a 4.2-channel 60W speaker system. Personally, the sound is good enough that we probably won’t bother with a separate soundbar, although more audio-inclined TV owners might not be as generous, since it lacks the really deep bass and really high treble that soundbars tend to handle very well. This TV is designed to be wall-mounted, by the way, which is why it comes with lowered sections in the rear for routing cables, allowing you to hook up everything you need while keeping it flush against the wall.
Sony’s best 4K TV is, of course, a part of our list, although it’s, technically, not a pure OLED TV. Instead, this panel uses a mix of quantum dot and OLED, which, Sony claims, allows it to deliver the widest range of colors on an OLED TV. The measurements support this, by the way, as it posts nearly 152 percent color coverage in the Rec. 709 color spectrum, which is downright unreal. Peak brightness hits around 1,000 nits, so it doesn’t quite measure up to the brightness of LG’s or Samsung’s best OLED TVs, although the insane color coverage paired with this still impressive brightness does create for really vibrant pictures that make us want to keep watching the most colorful scenes on it. Does it better pictures? It will probably be a matter of opinion, but we definitely find ourselves more drawn towards it when it comes to images with plenty of colorful details. It runs Google TV as its smart interface, so you get arguably the best UI available out there, while the free two-year membership to Sony’s Bravia Core streaming service and detachable webcam (so you can take video calls on the TV) definitely make for nice add-ons that make it feel like really good value. Aside from TVs, Sony also makes pretty good audio devices, so it’s no surprise they have the best-sounding TV in this list, which makes use of two 20W actuators, two 10W subwoofers, an audio processing chip, and the outfit’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which, apparently, uses the screen itself as a speaker. Yes, that sounds nuts, but the TV also sounds incredibly good.