Do you have your heart set on finally experiencing the high-definition splendor of 4K magic in the comfort of your own home? Maybe you’re shopping for a loved one or you just want to make sure you’re getting the best future-proofed technology that’s worth your investment.
Whether you’re a 4K console gamer, a movie lover or a tech geek, choosing to buy a 4K TV can turn up the wow-factor in all of your media and entertainment experiences. Use this guide to find the best 4K TV that has the perfect specifications, quality and price point for your needs.
Last update on 2021-10-18 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose the Best 4K TV
TVs aren’t just TVs anymore. They’re gaming monitors, Blu-ray players, VR screens, internet streamers and so much more. If you’re looking to buy a TV, the one you choose will depend on your preferences for size, features, functionality and picture clarity.
With so many 4K TV options on the market today, it can be difficult deciding which one to spend your hard-earned money on. Here are some easy steps to follow:
- Size. Start by considering how much room you have and the importance of viewing angles in your home to determine the size of your TV. We’ll give you a tip for this below.
- Price. The best 4K TVs can range from under $1,000 to over $4,000, depending on the size and type of screen. Consider how much money you are ready to spend and also keep an eye on bargain deals.
- Screen type. You know you want 4K resolution, but what about the type of screen itself? Your two main options are either OLED or LCD/LED. Each has their pros and cons related to color brightness, contrast and viewing angles; we discuss more below.
- Sound. Do you plan on using an external sound system or are you going to rely on the built-in sound system of the TV?
- Smart features. Almost all 4K TVs have Smart TV. You should start thinking about what types of online features are important to you.
Today 4K TVs are available in nearly all sizes (from 32 to 70 inches and even more). If you have a bigger living room or there will be multiple people viewing the TV, a TV with a bigger screen might be a better choice (65 or 75 inches). However, if it’s just you and your spouse in a smaller apartment, you might look at 4K TVs that are 55 inches or smaller.
There are some techniques you can use to determine what size of TV you should get according to how much room you have for viewing. You can divide the diagonal width of the screen by 0.84 inches to find the location of the viewing area using the angles. Here is a viewing distance calculator to help you out.
It can be tempting to go as big as possible, but remember to consider screen type, HDR, refresh rate and contrast ratio before making your final decision.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a term that you will find on the majority of 4K TVs nowadays.
HDR is a technology that brings a more realistic picture to your TV by showing you a better pallet of colors (Wide Color Gamut) and enhancing the differences between light and dark tones (Contrast Ratio).
- Wide Color Gamut (WCG). Wide color gamut is what makes the colors on your TV truly pop. With WCG, the colors on your TV become richer and more lifelike, making your experience as immersive as stepping into a forest or a battlefield. You may also come across the term “Dolby Vision”, which is a type of HDR that can help the TV portray billions of colors for incredible depth and brightness.
- Contrast ratio. If you want the best possible picture quality, you need a TV that has a high contrast ratio. The contrast ratio is the relationship between the brightest and darkest colors, which together determine the realism and sharpness of the picture. Blacks will appear truly black, rather than dark shades of other colors. Whites will also be truly white and not slightly yellow or pinkish.
If you want the most out of your 4K TV when it comes to color realism and breathtaking vibrancy, finding one with HDR is a must. Therefore, HDR should play a large role when choosing the best 4K TV for your needs.
Picking the largest sizes and resolutions doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a better picture; this just means that you can see all of the little cells more clearly. HDR means that the colors in those cells are more vibrant and lifelike.
Measured in hertz or Hz, the refresh rate of a TV is how quickly it can update the image on the screen. The more times the picture can be updated in a second, the smoother the picture is to the human eye. This is very important in high-octane media such as action movies and video games.
The refresh rate can be important to minimize the motion blur that’s created by your brain anticipating where the picture (or frame) will be next. The more images that are captured and displayed at a high speed will minimize the amount of blur you will see with your eyes.
The screen type you choose will depend entirely on your personal preference and your budget. When talking about new TV screens, there are a few terms you should know:
- LCD. LCD means “liquid crystal display”. This is a type of panel technology that uses liquid crystals to display the pictures on the TV.
- LED LCD. LED means “light-emitting diode”. This is the primary TV display technology that’s on the market today, rivaled primarily by OLED. LED is actually a type of LCD TV, which explains why you sometimes hear LED TVs referred to as “LED LCD TVs”. Essentially, the LEDs are used as a backlight for the LCD. This produces a much clearer, more detailed picture.
- OLED. The “O” stands for “organic”. This type of panel technology uses electrical currents to emit bright lights. OLED TVs don’t need backlighting, so they’re typically thinner and more energy efficient (but also more expensive).
- QLED. The “Q” stands for “quantum”. This type of panel technology uses quantum dots to filter light, offering wider color ranges than normal LCD TVs.
- Curved. If you’ve walked into an electronics store that sells TVs, you’ve probably seen the large curved TVs on display. While these look cool, they’re generally not practical for normal TV use. This is because your viewing angle is really limited and the screen may have distorted reflections if you’re not looking at it in just the right spot. Curved TVs can be good for those who sit close to their screens at the ideal viewing angle.
LED LCD Versus OLED: Pros and Cons
- LED LCD TVs are generally much brighter than OLED TVs due to the backlighting technology.
- LED LCD TVs are usually more affordable and durable than OLED TVs.
- OLED TVs can have better black levels than LCDs, making dark colors truly dark. However, some LED LCD TVs come with local dimming, which helps with displaying dark areas.
- OLED TVs have a better contrast ratio because they can be both extremely light and extremely dark, making the picture seem more realistic.
- OLED TVs can have wider viewing angles that don’t sacrifice color and contrast.
The sound of your TV can be just as important as the visual quality. If you’re investing in a high-quality 4K TV, chances are that you’re also looking into getting an external sound system, such as surround sound or a soundbar. While TVs generally come with built-in speakers, the sound quality can leave you wanting more if you’re relying on the TV alone.
The speakers built into your TV can make a large difference in how you hear the sound. If they are pointed downwards, then the speakers that are facing the viewer through the screen will sound much better and perhaps more realistic. Likewise, if the speakers are facing away from the viewer and bouncing off the wall, it may sound muffled to a slight degree. It’s usually recommended that you get surround sound or a sound bar with your 4K TV.
The majority of new 4K TVs come with built-in Wi-Fi, although there are some exceptions. This means that you can easily enter in your Wi-Fi password and get access to a variety of online services and applications, depending on which TV you have.
With wireless connectivity, you can easily stream movies and TV shows from applications such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. With some TVs, you can even use compatible devices to make calls and voice commands (for example, Amazon Alexa). With some features or simple add-ons, you may be able to stream media from other devices to your TV.
You can also choose to hook your TV up to your router using the Ethernet port; this would require an Ethernet cable, which needs to be bought separately.
Best 4K TVs
High-End Technology that Allows Images to Come Alive!
The A8H Sony Bravia is an OLED Smart TV (65-inch diagonal) with Ultra High Definition, HDR, and 4K capabilities powered by the Sony X1 Ultimate processor. To make things even more interesting, the TV is equipped with Pixel Contrast Booster – a technology that controls over 8 million pixels individually, in order to create more vibrant and deep colors.
The TV features a 2.1 channel acoustic audio surface, which means that the sound comes from the entire screen surface, not just 2 integrated speakers. As such, the entertainment experience is fully immersive and multi-dimensional. In addition, the X-Motion Clarity technology is designed to make sure that fast-moving scenes are clear and bright, so you won’t miss a single beat.
The A8H is a Smart Android TV that works with Google Assistant and Alexa. This means you can use it with voice commands and you can integrate with other smart home devices such as smart cameras and speakers. You can also integrate it with Siri due to the Apple Airplay 2 and Homekit Support.
Sony A8H is not just about movies and news – the TV can also be used with your PlayStation and other gaming consoles for the best gaming experience (due to the Game Mode selection). It also has a Netflix Calibrated Mode, Dolby Vision, and is IMAX Enhanced to make every experience count.
Lastly, the device is ultra-modern looking, with a super-slim one-slate design. The TV has a narrow aluminum bezel, but it blends nicely with the screen in order to create a smooth and solid design.
- Amazing image clarity in motion
- Impressive color depth and representation
- Very easy to setup
- Cool features & a wide range of entertainment possibilities
- Audio quality is very good (you won’t need a surround system)
- Automatic environment settings can be annoying
- The remote control could be better
- The voice commands feature on the TV needs more developing
Full Access to All your Favorite Entertainment Systems
This 65-inch 4K UHD HDR Smart TV, with Alexa built-in, is the perfect way to bring the cinematic experience in your living room. This is possible due to the ultra-fast Crystal processor that turns everything on your screen into a stunning 4K experience.
The colors are vibrant (due to HDR capabilities). The crystal display provides clear and bright images, regardless of the type of content (video games, movies, online streaming, and so on).
The brain of this smart TV is powered by Tizen. This means the menus are easy to understand and control and users have access to a wide range of apps. Furthermore, you can control the TV using voice commands (change channel, play music, search for a movie title, and more) due to the built-in Alexa, Bixby, or Google Assistant AIs.
Lastly, the frame of the TV is ultra-slim, with a narrow bezel around the frame. In addition, it supports several types of connections (wireless, Bluetooth, USB, Ethernet, and HDMI) and can be used with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, and a plain-old internet browser. Of course, you can also use it for video games – the Auto Game Mode automatically recognizes your console and makes the necessary adjustments to create the best experience.
It also comes with an easy to understand and use remote control that automatically detects and controls all compatible connected devices and content.
- Impressive image clarity with any type of content
- 4K AI upscaling
- Access to different intelligent assistants
- Crystal Processor 4K
- Slim profile that integrates well with modern homes
- A wide range of connectivity options
- Ports are difficult to access once the TV is mounted on the wall
- The remote has no backlight
- Voice controls are a bit finicky
All your Devices On One High-Quality Screen
A QLED screen, 4K UHD resolution, Ultra Viewing Angle, and a Quantum Processor 4K – these are some of the great features packed in this TV’s slim profile!
In addition, Q80T is fitted with controlled backlights that adjust to the content in order to deliver rich blacks and details with unparalleled contrast. Also, Quantum Dot technology makes use of over one billion colors upscaled to incredible clarity and creates some of the most amazing image quality available today. And all these are possible due to the very capable and smart 4K processor!
Due to 4K AI upscaling, you can enjoy any content in 4K clarity. The system analyzes the input source and works to reduce noise, restore lost detail, and more. The TV also has Adaptive Picture technology, which adjusts the lighting of the TV to the conditions in the room. This way, you don’t have to play with the settings and you can focus on the content.
The sound quality is impressive due to dedicated up-firing and down-firing speakers. As a result, the audio experience is very close to the 3D immersive audio of cinemas.
Lastly, this TV is equipped with cool technologies like Real Game Enhancer+ (to reduce halo and blur in fast-moving game scenes), Active Voice Amplifier (adapts sound volume according to the level of ambient sound), Multi-View (that allows you to see the TV and the screen of your phone on the same screen), and more.
Overall, the Q80T is a versatile Smart TV, packed with modern technologies, that lets you control and enjoy all your other devices (smartphone, speakers, gaming consoles, and so on).
- Astonishing image quality
- It can connect with multiple voice assistants
- Ultra-slim profile with very narrow bezel
- The experience is fully-immersing
- Packed full of the latest technologies
- Fantastic for a wide range of devices
- The software is a bit clunky
- The remote could be better
LG CX Series
The Real 4K Experience with Deep Colors & Stunning Clarity
The LG CX series is the next step when it comes to home entertainment! This TV can produce natural-looking colors that create an immersive experience – pixels in OLED screens emit their own light, which allows them to create perfectly defined and intense colors. Furthermore, there is no color bleeding in transitional areas. This is possible due to the 8.3 million pixels that can control their own lighting.
LG equipped this TV with its revolutionary a9 Gen 3 AI Processor 4K, meaning that every piece of content is automatically improved. Both image and sound are clearer, smoother, and more dynamic without any effort from your part. This is possible due to several impressive AI technologies such as AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro, and AI 4K Upscaling.
The device is equipped with AI-powered Picture, a technology that creates a truly immersive video experience (powered by high-end technologies like NVIDIA G-SYNC and FreeSync), with less lag, high refresh rates, and smooth & responsive gameplay.
The TV is powered by WebOS (LG’s proprietary operating system) and works great with streaming services. You also get LG’s Magic Remote – remote control with built-in voice and motion control.
- Breathtaking image quality with amazing clarity
- Fantastic color depth & representation
- AI-powered technologies
- 4K upscaling
- It offers an amazing video game experience
- Works with voice assistants
- The software is a bit buggy
- The navigation menu is not very intuitive
A Versatile Smart TV with a lot to Offer
The one-slate design (specific to modern Sony TVs) makes the X950H easy to install and integrate into modern settings. The profile is ultra-slim and the bezel is extremely narrow, so you get to enjoy the image and not the TV frame.
Powered by the X1 Ultimate processor (one of Sony’s pride and joy processors), the TV delivers a wonderful entertainment experience to anyone looking. If you want to see movies, the colors simply come to life and the action is so clear that it feels like you could just walk into the scene. On the other hand, if you’re watching the news or live transmissions, the contrast and clarity settings will be automatically adjusted to fit the content.
The TV also supports a Game mode, where the video content is upscaled in 4k and the action is smooth and extremely life-like.
The screen uses a full array of LED lights to deliver an incredible visual experience, with local dimming and gradation. This way, you get to enjoy each piece of content as its creator intended. In addition, due to X-tended Dynamic Range PRO 6x technology, the contrast is out of this world!
As a Smart TV, the X950H works with Android and connects with Google Assistant so users can use their voice for various commands. It also accepts connection with compatible smart devices, which is a step closer to the home of the future. For instance, you can connect a smart camera using an Alexa-enabled device.
Lastly, Apple users can use the Apple Airplay 2 home kit to customize the TV to their needs. As such, regardless of the smart technology you prefer, this Sony smart TV will adapt in order to make your entertainment experience better.
- Amazing image representation (4K HDR LED)
- Perfect color distribution with amazing contrast
- Compatible With Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple assistants
- Full array LED screen
- Can be used for video games, movies, streaming services, and more
- Wide viewing angle & powerful processor
- The remote control’s design could be better
Extraordinary Color in a Thin Design
If you’re looking for an affordable QLED TV, the TCL 6-Series may be the right option. This is a 4K Roku TV with Dolby Vision HDR Imaging that delivers superior contrast and brighter, incredibly accurate colors.
The smart interface is easy to understand and user-friendly, and the TV supports thousands of streaming channels. Furthermore, content is available not just from streaming sources. You can watch cable or satellite, or even enjoy free over-the-air channels. The TCL 6-Series TV is not pretentious when it comes to the source of your content!
The TV also connects with your gaming consoles and automatically detects when you’re playing. This triggers the Game Mode settings, which make the action smoother and the image more vivid and immersive.
In terms of design, the TV features a brushed metal finish and a FullView edge-to-edge glass display. This makes it look like there is no bezel, which is the ideal design for today’s modern TVs.
- Low profile and thin bezel
- QLED color & image quality
- The image quality approaches lifelike settings
- Due to Roku interface, you have access to different sources of content
- The interface is easy to understand and use
- Auto Game Mode settings
- Dolby Vision HDR
- Great value for the money
- The feet are poorly designed
- There are some problems with quality control
Whether you’re shopping for the best 4K TV, gaming monitor, streaming devices or projectors – quality and personal preference is key. If you want a future-proofed TV with online features and extraordinary picture quality, going 4K is probably a choice that won’t disappoint.
4K entertainment is the future, and the future is now. Stay current with a 4K TVs that works for your lifestyle and budget!