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The best 43-inch TVs: Excellent quality in a space-saving size

You can stream your favorite shows and movies in cozier spots without sacrificing a great picture by choosing the best 43-inch TVs.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Samsung QN90C | Best 43-inch TV overall
A Samsung QN90C TV on a grey background
Samsung QN90C
Best 43-inch TV overall
View now View at Amazon
TCL 43S450G | Best budget 43-inch TV
A TCL 43S450G on a grey background
TCL 43S450G
Best budget 43-inch TV
View now View at Walmart
LG C3 | Best 43-inch TV for gaming
An LG C3 OLED TV on a grey background
LG C3
Best 43-inch TV for gaming
View now View at Best Buy
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED | Best 43-inch TV for streaming
Close-up of the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series QLED. The screen shows a scene from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED
Best 43-inch TV for streaming
View now View at Amazon
Sony A90K | Best 43-inch OLED TV
A Sony A90K on a grey background
Sony A90K
Best 43-inch OLED TV
View now View at Walmart

A 43-inch TV is a great choice for tiny rooms like college dorms, bedrooms, playrooms, or apartment living rooms. With a smaller screen size, they're perfect for tucking away on a shelf, dresser, or dedicated stand and offer more placement options for wall mounting without taking up a ton of space. And just because you can't have a gigantic screen, that doesn't mean you have to give up awesome features.

Brands like Sony, Samsung, and LG have small TVs that still offer the kinds of features you've come to expect for home entertainment, including integrated voice controls, 4K resolution, streaming capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, and screen mirroring. Even brands like TCL and Hisense, while being more budget-friendly, still offer small smart TVs with core features for streaming movies and shows. My pick for the best 43-inch TV is the Samsung QN90C for its Pantone-validated screen, object tracking sound, and support for cloud gaming services like GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass. You can keep reading below to find out more about the QN90C as well as my other picks.

Also: Best 32-inch TV deals right now

The best 43-inch TVs of 2023

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Pantone-validated screen
  • Object tracking sound and Dolby Atmos support
  • Dedicated cloud gaming hub
  • Solar-powered remote
Cons
  • No Dolby Vision support
More Details

Samsung QN90C specs - Screen size: 43-85 inches | Panel type: Neo QLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Neo Quantum HDR+ | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ | Voice controls: Alexa, Bixby, Hey Google

The Samsung QN90C is an excellent 43-inch TV, featuring an updated QLED panel that has been Pantone-validated for color accuracy and uses Samsung's proprietary Neo Quantum HDR+ technology for enhanced contrast and detailing. The integrated speakers work with both Dolby Atmos and Samsung's Object Tracking Sound+ feature to create room-filling, virtual surround sound that follows the on-screen action for a more immersive experience. It also features a dedicated gaming hub that gives you access to cloud gaming services like Amazon Luna, Xbox Game Pass, and GeForce Now. It even has a solar-powered remote to help make your home a bit more eco-friendly.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Under $250
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Chromecast built-in
  • Voice controls
Cons
  • No Dolby Vision support
  • No support for Alexa voice controls
More Details

TCL 43S450G specs - Screen size: 43-85 inches | Panel type: LED | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: HDR Pro | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Hey Google

If you have to stick to a fairly modest budget while shopping for a new 43-inch TV, the TCL 43S450G is a great option. It retails under $250 while still providing native 4K resolution, Dolby Atmos support, Hey Google voice controls, and Chromecast integration. It uses the Google TV platform to give you access to thousands of streaming apps, and with both Bluetooth connectivity and 3 HDMI inputs, you can share media from your mobile devices and connect game consoles or Blu-Ray and DVD players.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • G-Sync and FreeSync support
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • OLED panel
  • Dedicated gaming dashboard
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No cloud gaming support
More Details

LG C3 specs - Screen size: 42-83 inches | Panel type: OLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 | Audio: Dolby Atmos, AI Sound Pro | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

Console gamers looking for a dedicated TV for their gaming space should definitely take a look at the LG C3. It's built with an updated OLED panel for better brightness than the previous generation as well as OLED-signature bold colors and sharp contrast. It also has a dedicated game optimizer that allows you to monitor input response times and refresh rates in real-time so you can catch issues before they can ruin your play session or live stream. The C3 has a native 120Hz refresh rate for smoother action as well as support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync VRR to prevent screen tearing and stuttering. You'll also get support for Dolby Atmos to give you more immersive audio without the need for a headset.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Alexa Skills
  • Tons of preloaded apps
  • Great sound and picture quality
Cons
  • No Hey Google support
  • AirPlay support is spotty
  • Netflix isn't preloaded
More Details

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series specs - Screen size: 43-75 inches | Panel type: QLED | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive | Audio: Dolby Digital Plus | Voice controls: Alexa

I had the opportunity to do some hands-on testing of the 65-inch version of the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, and the 43-inch version is just as solid an option for anyone looking to cut-the-cord or is an avid Alexa user. It uses the Fire TV platform to give you access to the extensive Prime Video catalogue as well as thousands of other apps so you can start streaming right out of the box. You can also add Alexa Skills to your Fire TV Omni QLED, allowing you to do everything from check the weather to play trivia games, turning your new TV into a true entertainment hub.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent picture quality
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Dolby Vision support
  • Acoustic Surface Audio+
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No Dolby Atmos support
  • No VRR support
More Details

Sony A90K specs - Screen size: 42 or 48 inches | Panel type: OLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 | Audio: Acoustic Surface Audio+ | Voice controls: Hey Google

If you're a movie or TV buff, picture quality is top priority, and the Sony A90K gives you some of the best images you can get from a 43-inch TV. It's built with an OLED panel for ultra-sharp contrast, rich colors, and enhanced detailing. It has a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother action while watching sports or fast-paced movie scenes. The A90K also works with Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which uses tiny actuators behind the OLED panel to turn the whole screen into a speaker. This means that you'll get near-perfect video and audio syncing as well as sound that follows the on-screen action.

What is the best 43-inchTV?

My pick for the best 43-inch TV is the Samsung QN90C for its Pantone-validated QLED screen, Dolby Atmos support, object tracking sound, and support for the Samsung Gaming Hub. The Gaming Hub gives you access to cloud gaming services like Amazon Luna, Xbox GamePass, and GeForce Now so you can play your favorite PC games from the comfort of your couch or wherever you travel. It also supports Samsung's Q Symphony feature, which allows you to connect compatible sound bars to use in unison with your TV's integrated speakers for enhanced audio for music, movies, and shows.

Best 43-inch TV

Price

Panel type/refresh rate

HDR/audio

Samsung QN90C

$1198

Neo QLED, 120Hz

Neo Quantum HDR+, Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+

TCL 43S450G

$230

LED, 60Hz

Dolby Vision, HDR10, DTS Virtual:X

LG C3

$1147

OLED, 120Hz

Dolby Vision, HDR10, Dolby Atmos, AI Sound Pro

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

$380

QLED, 60Hz

Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive, Dolby Digital Plus

Sony A90K

$1298

OLED, 120Hz

Dolby Vision, HDR10, Acoustic Surface Audio+

Which 43-inch TV is right for you?

The answer to this question entirely depends on what you want to use the TV for. If you're looking for a simple upgrade, you'll want a TV that offers the same access to your favorite apps as the model it's replacing as well as better picture and sound quality. 

For movie and TV buffs, picture and sound quality are top priority. So you'll want to look for TVs with support for HDR codecs like Dolby Vision or HDR10+ as well as Dolby Atmos for virtual surround sound or object tracking sound for audio that follows the on-screen action. And console gamers will want a 43-inch TV with a dedicated gaming mode that helps reduce input lag and boosts picture contrast, as well as providing plenty of HDMI inputs for multiple consoles.

Buy this best 43-inch TV...

If you need...

Samsung QN90C

A well-rounded 43-inch TV. The QN90C features support for Dolby Atmos and object tracking sound as well as a Pantone-validated screen.

TCL 43S450G

A budget-friendly 43-inch TV. The TCL 43S450G retails under $250 while still providing great features like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, Google Assistant, and Chromecast.

LG C3

A 43-inch TV for console and PC gaming. The LG C3 features a dedicated gaming mode with Dolby Vision HDR and VRR support.

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

A 43-inch TV for streaming movies, shows, and music. The Amazon Fire TV Omni Series uses the Fire TV platform to give you access to the Prime Video catalog as well as thousands of other apps.

Sony A90K

A 43-inch OLED TV. With an OLED panel, the A90K can produce true black, bright white, and bold colors for enhanced image quality.

How did we choose these 43-inch TVs?

While testing and researching each 43-inch TV featured on this list, I kept the following criteria in mind:

  • Picture and sound quality: Whether you're looking for a smaller, secondary TV for your bedroom, or a high-quality 43-inch TV for your apartment or dorm room, it's important to get the best picture and sound you can for your budget. I made sure to include TVs at different price points which support Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR10, and/or Dolby DTS for enhanced picture and sound.
  • Connectivity: If you've cut the cord with your satellite or cable provider, it's important to choose a TV that has a preloaded suite of popular apps. And if you still watch broadcast television or have Blu-Ray/DVD players, game consoles, and sound bars, you'll need a TV with plenty of HDMI inputs. Each TV featured in this article features a preloaded suite of apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video as well as at least 3 HDMI inputs.
  • Price: No two TV budgets are going to be the same, as some may be looking for ultra-low budget models as a temporary solution and others are willing to spend top-dollar to check every box on their "must-have" list. I've done my best to include TVs at budget, mid-range, and premium price points.

Is it worth buying a 43-inch TV?

A 43-inch TV isn't going to work for every person or every space in your house, but it can be a great option if you're looking for a secondary screen in your bedroom or child's playroom, or a smaller TV for apartments and dorm rooms.

A 43-inch TV doesn't mean you have to compromise on must-have features, either. Many new, smaller TVs still offer the same features as their big-screen counterparts, like: voice controls, OLED panels, virtual surround sound, HDR support, and even dedicated sports or gaming modes. A smaller TV is also going to be more budget-friendly, making a 43-inch model a great choice if you're looking to save money on a TV upgrade.

Are the TVs at Walmart the same quality than at Best Buy?

Unless you're talking about TVs from brands you've never heard of, the TVs on offer at Walmart are often the exact same models you'll find at Best Buy and other big tech retailers. Brands often have contracts with multiple retailers to maximize their chances of selling well as well as to increase their market share. 

If you've got your eye on a fancy LG or Sony OLED TV or a big-screen Samsung, the one for sale at Walmart will be identical to the one you buy directly from the brand or at another, tech-focused retailer. The only real differences you'll notice will be in the buying process itself as well as return policies and customer service quality.

How often should you replace your TV?

Televisions used to have a much longer shelf life than they do now (I only very recently trashed the 19-inch Zenith CRT that I'd had since I was about 10 years old), but you can still get a lot of mileage out of yours. Since smart TVs need regular firmware updates, and brands are constantly releasing new models or entirely new product line-ups, there are now limitations for how long your TV will last; this is due to brands dropping support for very old models to help free up resources for new models. 

But don't worry! You can still expect to get at least 5 good years of use out of your new TV, and perhaps as many as 10 years if you keep up with regular firmware updates and don't have any major issues like hardware failure or accidents like flooding.

Are there alternative small TVs worth considering?

There are a lot of options out there if you're in the market for a 43-inch TV. Here is a short list of other small TVs I thought were great choices:

A Hisense A4 TV on a grey background
Hisense/ZDNET

The Hisense A4 is a great option if you have to stick to a very tight budget when shopping for a new 43-inch TV. It retails under $200 while still providing built-in Chromecast, Alexa voice controls, and a dedicated game mode.

A Sony X77L TV on a grey background
Sony/ZDNet

The Sony X77L is a great choice for anyone looking for a smart TV to help them finally cut the cord with their cable or satellite provider. It uses the Google TV platform to give you access to thousands of apps like Netflix and Prime Video as well as Hey Google voice controls.

A Samsung CU8000 TV on a grey background
Samsung/ZDNet

The Samsung CU8000 is a great, mid-range 43-inch TV that's built for entertainment. It works with object tracking sound for more immersive audio as well as Alexa, Bixby, and Hey Google support for voice controls. It's also packaged with a solar-powered remote to help make your home a bit more eco-friendly.

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