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The best 55-inch TVs: The Goldilocks of screen sizes

55-inch TVs are some of the most popular on the market, and for good reason: like their 65-inch counterparts, they're best suited for a wider variety of room sizes and types while providing a great balance between features and value. Top brands like LG, Sony, and Samsung, as well as smaller brands like TCL and Hisense have excellent 55-inch models available to suit just about every entertainment need.
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Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer on

A 55-inch TV is a great choice for most shoppers, since (like their 65-inch counterparts), they're almost guaranteed to be a perfect fit for just about any space. They're especially great for apartments that may be on the smaller side, giving you plenty of screen space to see details of shows and movies without feeling overwhelming. 

Big brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony have both mid-range and high-end models with premium features like object tracking sound, support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and OLED panels while smaller brands like TCL and Hisense have more budget-friendly options that offer essential features like pre-loaded streaming apps and support for third-party voice controls like Alexa and Hey Google. 

To help you find the best 55-inch TV that fits both your budget and your entertainment needs, I've gathered up a list of the best ones available to buy and broken down their features. You can keep reading below to find your dream TV.

Also: Best TV 2022: Budget-friendly to big-screen opulence

Samsung Q80A

Best overall

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Samsung

Panel type: QLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Quantum 12X | Operating system: Tizen 

The Samsung Q80A made our top pick for the best 65-inch TV, and the 55-inch version is just as great. It features a 120Hz refresh rate and support for upscaling non-4K content to give you the smoothest, clearest picture possible. The speakers work with object tracking sound to follow the on-screen action for a more immersive experience while also using integrated sensors to automatically boost dialogue and volume to balance with ambient sound. The voice-enabled remote works with Samsung's Bixby, Alexa, and Hey Google for hands-free controls, and the pre-loaded suite of apps lets you start streaming your favorite shows and movies right out of the box. Console gamers will love the dedicated game view mode, which allows you to monitor refresh rate, input response times, and Bluetooth peripheral settings on-the-fly so you can catch issues before they ruin your stream or online match. 

Pros:

  • Great picture
  • Object tracking sound
  • Dedicated game mode

Cons: 

  • No Dolby Vision/Atmos support

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

Best for streaming

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Amazon

Panel type: LED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 60Hz | HDR: HDR10, HLG | Operating system: Amazon Fire TV 

The 43-inch version of the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series was our streaming TV pick for our list of best budget TVs, and the 55-inch version packs all of the same great features into a slightly bigger package. It uses the Fire TV platform to give you access not only to Prime Video, but a whole suite of apps like Disney+, Netflix, and Spotify to let you start streaming right out of the box. You can also download Alexa Skills to turn your TV into the ultimate entertainment hub, check the weather, and even play games. The voice-enabled remote works with Alexa for hands-free controls, while the dual integrated speakers use Dolby Digital Plus to provide clean, clear audio for shows, movies, and music. 

Pros:

  • Alexa skills
  • Voice controls
  • Great picture and sound

Cons:

  • No Dolby Vision/Atmos support
  • Only 60Hz refresh rate
  • No Hey Google support

LG C1

Best OLED

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LG

Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 | Operating system: webOS

The LG C1 is our top pick for the best OLED TV, and the 55-inch version is still one of the best OLED TVs you can buy. It works with a fourth generation a9 processor to provide stunning native and upscaled 4K resolution, while Dolby Vision and HDR10 give you enhanced contrast and detailing for more lifelike images. The voice-enabled remote works with both Alexa and Hey Google for hands-free controls while the 120Hz refresh rate ensures buttery smooth video playback for shows, movies, and games. Speaking of games, console gamers can take advantage of the C1's support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync VRR technology to prevent screen tearing and stuttering that can ruin both online matches and solo missions. Sports fans will love the sports alert feature that keeps you up-to-date on scores, stats, and league standings, making it a perfect choice for anyone obsessing over their March Madness brackets or fantasy football team. 

Pros:

  • VRR support
  • Dolby Vision/Atmos support
  • Excellent picture quality

Cons:

  • Expensive

Sony A80J

Best sound

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Sony

Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 | Operating system: Google TV 

If sound quality is your top priority when shopping for a new TV, the Sony Bravia XR A80J is the best choice. It uses Sony's acoustic surface audio+ technology to turn the entire screen into a speaker for near-perfect audio and video syncing. Tiny actuators behind the OLED panel work with Dolby Atmos for rich, clean sound that follows the action on screen for a more immersive experience. With AirPlay and Chromecast support, you can stream music from your iOS or Android mobile devices for more ways to listen to your favorite music while you clean or share photos and videos with friends and family. The voice-enabled remote works with both Alexa and Hey Google for hands-free controls while the Google TV operating system gives you access to hundreds of apps like Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video for all of your entertainment needs.

Pros:

  • Immersive audio
  • Dolby Vision/Atmos support
  • Excellent picture

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No VRR support

LG NanoCell 75 Series

Best under $500

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LG

Panel type: LED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 60Hz | HDR: HDR10, HLG | Operating system: webOS 

For anyone wanting to stick to a more modest budget when shopping for a new 55-inch TV, the LG NanoCell 75 Series is a great option since it retails for under $500. And just because it's on the more affordable end, that doesn't mean it skimps out on features. It supports both Hey Google and Alexa for hands-free voice controls as well as HDR10 for enhanced detailing in both native and upscaled 4K content. The dedicated filmmaker mode analyzes shows and movies scene-by-scene to enhance color and contrast so you can see them how their creators intended. You can also set up a custom home audio system by connecting up to 2 Bluetooth speakers to your TV for room-filling sound that will boost your experience while watching movies, sports, or TV shows. The 86-inch version made our list of the best gaming TVs, and this version is just as good; it supports Nvidia G-Sync VRR technology to prevent screen tearing and stuttering while the dedicated game mode lets you monitor frame rate, input lag, and Bluetooth peripheral settings in real-time so you can catch issues before they can ruin your gaming session. 

Pros:

  • VRR support
  • Great price
  • Dedicated game and film modes

Cons:

  • No Dolby Vision/Atmos support
  • No AirPlay/Chromecast support

How did we choose these 55-inch TVs?

Aside from screen size, I chose a variety of models at different price points to help find options to fit almost any type of budget. I also looked for features that have come to be expected as standard for home entertainment, such as: HDR support, streaming capabilities, 4K upscaling, and voice controls.

Which 55-inch TV is right for you?

Once you've hammered out a budget, the best 55-inch TV for you is the one that checks the most boxes on your "must-have" features list. Do you prioritize picture quality over everything else? You should go for an OLED model from LG or Sony. What about sound quality? Sony's A80J and A90J models along with Samsung's Q80A and Q70A TVs feature the ability to turn the whole screen into a speaker and object tracking sound, respectively as well as support for Dolby Atmos. What if you just want to watch the latest Netflix originals? You should choose a moderately priced TV with a preloaded suite of apps that includes Netflix so you can get started right out of the box.

55-inch TV

Price

HDR

Refresh rate

Samsung Q80A

$897.99

Quantum HDR 12X

120Hz

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

$369.99

HDR10, HLG

60Hz

LG C1

$1196.99

Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10

120Hz

Sony A80J BRAVIA XR OLED

$1398

Dolby Vision, HDR10

120Hz

LG NanoCell 75 Series

$496.99

HDR10, HLG

60Hz

Is a 55-inch TV too big for a bedroom?

That depends on how big your bedroom is. The best way to find out is to measure the distance (in inches) from where the TV will be wall mounted or placed on a dresser or stand to where you will be either sitting or lying in bed, then divide that distance in half. So if your bed is 110 inches (not quite 10 feet) from where your TV will be, a 55-inch TV will be just about perfect. It will also be fine if your bed is a bit further or closer than that, but you want to make sure the room is big enough that a 55-inch screen won't feel overwhelming. Or worse, make you motion sick.

Is it better to wall-mount my TV, or place it on a stand?

If your bedroom, living room, or home theater is short on floor space, a wall-mounting bracket is a good way to go. This gives you more options for placement, as long as you have enough wall space to accommodate the TV. If you're renting or aren't comfortable with putting anything other than picture frames on your walls, a dedicated stand is your best bet.

What is a good budget for a 55-inch TV?

It depends on a lot of factors, including what brand of TV you want and what the panel type is. Models with LED or QLED screens will be much more affordable than their OLED counterparts, since those cost less to produce. Options from bigger brands like LG, Sony, and Samsung will also tend to cost more than those you'd find from Hisense or TCL. Since pretty much all new TVs feature streaming capabilities and smart features like voice controls or Bluetooth connectivity, it all comes down to if brand loyalty is a factor for your decision making and how flexible your budget is. You can find great 55-inch TVs for around $500 as long as you don't mind that they aren't going to be anything super fancy. If you want all the bells and whistles, you'd better be prepared to pay at least $1,000 to get your dream TV.

Are there alternative 55-inch TVs worth considering?

There are about as many 55-inch TVs available to buy as there are customers wanting to purchase them. Every brand has multiple options for the 55-inch screen size, and here's a short list of other models I thought were great choices:

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