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An OLED TV is often considered the crown jewel of any home theater or living room. The unique construction of OLED panels features individually lit pixels, which allow the TV to create deep, inky blacks, bright whites, and crisp details. The organic substrates also allow for a wide, vibrant color range for more lifelike images. An OLED TV is a perfect upgrade for movie buffs and sports fans.
If you have your heart set on a Sony TV but don't know which model is right for you or even what the primary differences are between each one -- no worries. ZDNET researched and compared the top five models and even found the best Sony TV overall.Read now
The downside? OLED TVs are more expensive than other TVs on the market since their panels are expensive to produce and the TVs contain fairly new technology. Most models you can find are either from LG or Sony -- Vizio does offer a few OLED models, but they aren't quite the same caliber. Samsung also introduced its first OLED television, the S95B, to compete with LG and Sony for brand dominance.
However, if you're willing to do a little research, you can find a great OLED TV for your budget. I've rounded up the best OLED TVs on the market and broken down their features to help you find the best TV for your entertainment needs.
Also: The 5 best 8K TVs (and why you should ignore OLED options)
Sony A95K specs: Screen size: 65 inches | Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Dolby Vision
With the A95K, Sony has knocked LG from the top spot when it comes to OLED TVs. Designed for movie buffs and binge-watchers, this model features excellent native and upscaled 4K resolution. Plus, it has a whole suite of Sony's proprietary technology, like XR Triluminos Max for a huge range of colors, and XR OLED Contrast Pro to create deep blacks and bright whites for enhanced contrast.
With Dolby Vision support, you'll get incredible detailing for lifelike images. It also has an IMAX Enhanced and Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode to create truly immersive cinematic experiences when you stream from your favorite apps. Plus, Dolby Atmos creates room-filling, virtual surround sound without the need to set up extra speakers. Console gamers will also love how the A95K is optimized for the PlayStation 5, offering 120Hz refresh rates for smooth playback and VRR support to reduce screen tearing and stuttering.
LG C2 specs: Screen size: 65 inches | Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Dolby Vision IQ
In the past, console gamers had to buy expensive monitors to get the most out of their games. But the LG C2 is designed to give the best experience with almost any console. It features four HDMI inputs that all support Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium VRR technology to prevent screen tearing and stuttering. Plus, it provides plenty of inputs for all of your consoles.
Dolby Vision provides enhanced detailing and contrast for lifelike graphics while the 120Hz refresh rate reduces motion blur for clear movement. It even supports cloud gaming via Nvidia GeForce Now, so you can enjoy your favorite PC games from the comfort of your couch. ZDNET's Maria Diaz wrote about the differences between LG and Samsung TVs, noting that LG has become the leading OLED panel manufacturer in the world. This means that its OLED tech is more established and able to provide high-quality images more consistently than other OLED TV manufacturers who got in the game a bit later. So while Samsung's TVs do have awesome gaming features, the picture and sound quality of the LG C2 can't be beaten.
Samsung S95B specs: Screen size: 55 inches | Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Quantum HDR OLED
The Samsung S95B is a worthy OLED TV, and the 55-inch screen size is perfect for the average living room. The OLED panel works with the neural network-assisted processor to analyze shows and movies scene-by-scene with excellent 4K resolution. Plus, the 120Hz refresh rate ensures smoother video playback.
The Samsung S95B has a unique eye comfort mode, which filters out harmful blue light that can cause eye strain. It also has a depth enhancement mode that adds a slight depth-of-field effect to images for almost 3D pictures. And if you ever think that your S95B is losing its edge, you can download the companion app and get professional calibration in under 15 minutes. ZDNET's Kerry Wan got to see the S95B in person when it launched in April 2022 and was impressed with the TV's brightness booster while maintaining signature OLED color accuracy and inky-black contrast. He also noted the S95B's "breathtaking" LaserSlim design, which features a paper-thin screen for an ultra-modern, low-profile look.
The speakers work with Dolby Atmos as well as Samsung's object tracking sound technology to follow onscreen action for an immersive listening experience. The built-in sensors also monitor ambient light and sound, so the TV can boost dialogue volume or automatically adjust screen brightness to suit your environment. And if you have a network of smart speakers in your home, you can connect them to the S95B while streaming music, movies, or shows.
LG G2 specs: Screen size: 97 inches | Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Dolby Vision IQ
The 97-inch LG G2 is the brand's largest OLED TV yet. It uses the same high-quality OLED panels as LG's other updated TVs -- so it provides brighter pictures than previous models, along with a wider range of colors, and a 120Hz refresh rate. The G2 has an art gallery-inspired design, so the flush wall mounting will blend in with your wall art and decor. With Dolby Vision IQ HDR and AI-enhanced audio, you'll also get an immersive cinematic experience when watching movies, TV shows, or even YouTube videos.
The G2 comes with a suite of preloaded apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+, so you can start streaming your favorite videos right out of the box. It even has the LG Channels app, which offers access to over 300 free, live TV channels, so you can stay up to date with news, sports, and entertainment. And if you can't live without your favorite virtual assistant, the LG G2 works with Alexa, Hey Google, and even Siri for hands-free voice control. The downside? The 97-inch LG G2 is astronomically expensive, coming in at around $25,0000. You'll need extra deep pockets (or friends willing to chip in). But if you're determined to have the biggest and best TV for your home theater, it's a worthy investment.
Sony A80K specs: Screen size: 65 inches | Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | HDR: Dolby Vision
Whether you're a movie buff or a hardcore music fan, sound quality is just as important as having a great picture. And the A80K from Sony is an excellent choice for top-tier audio, also making our top pick for one of the best Sony TVs and best gaming TVs you can buy. It uses Sony's proprietary Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which turns the entire screen into a speaker for near-perfect video and audio syncing. And with support for Dolby Atmos, you'll get room-filling, virtual 3D surround sound for an immersive listening experience.
If that's still not enough, you can also connect soundbars, subwoofers, and satellite speakers for a custom audio setup and the ultimate home theater. You can also share music and videos from your mobile devices with AirPlay 2 for more ways to entertain family and friends.
The Sony A95K is the best overall TV based on excellent upscaled 4K resolution as well as Sony's proprietary technology, like XR Triluminos Max and XR OLED Contrast Pro. Plus, Dolby Atmos creates room-filling, virtual surround sound.
Dolby Vision IQ
Dolby Vision IQ
While all OLED models are somewhat pricey, it's still important to finalize your budget. That way, you won't accidentally overspend, and you'll get the best value for your money. Choose a model that not only fits your budget, but one that also offers enough features and a big enough screen size to justify its price.
Choose this OLED TV...
If you're looking for...
A well-rounded device for streaming, gaming, and broadcast programming. It also has IMAX Enhanced and Netflix Adaptive Calibrated modes to boost picture quality.
An OLED TV with a dedicated gaming mode and VRR support. It supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium to suit GPUs from both manufacturers.
A 55-inch OLED TV. The smaller screen still boasts signature OLED picture quality as well as on-the-fly calibration.
A truly large-screen OLED TV. While its price tag places it firmly in the realm of "unobtainable" for most folks, businesses looking to invest in public-facing screens may want to consider the LG G2.
An OLED TV with excellent sound quality. It supports Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound as well as features Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ for near-perfect audio and video syncing as well as sound that follows the on-screen action.
I chose models from LG and Sony that each has desirable specs, like screen size. Plus, my top picks have upscaled features we have come to expect for home entertainment: Contrast boosting tech, VRR support, AI-enhanced processors, HDR support, and adaptive audio.
An OLED TV is a model that uses specialized, organic substrates and individually lit LEDs to create stark contrast, brighter and richer colors, as well as crisper details than what you can get with an LED or QLED television. The technology is best appreciated by movie and TV buffs who want to experience Hollywood classics and the latest blockbusters as their creators intended. OLED TVs are also ideal for console gamers looking to embrace native 4K graphics.
OLED and QLED use different TV technologies, and their main differences include the black levels, color, and contrast. OLED TVs are better at black levels, while QLED TVs are better with brightness and usually cost less than OLED TVs. If you want a more in-depth look at the differences, you can check out our full article. You can also check out our in-depth looks at the differences between OLED and LED TVs or OLED and Neo QLED TVs.
An OLED TV is absolutely worth it if picture quality is at the top of your "must-have" feature list when shopping for a new TV. An OLED panel can create incredibly vibrant colors and crisp details that breathe new life into classic media and show off the technical skills used to create new movies and shows. Even if you aren't a movie buff, you can still get a ton of value out of an OLED TV, since they have a longer lifespan than other models. Also, an OLED TV can sort of future-proof your living room or home theater, since it will take a while for LED and QLED TV models to catch up to the quality you can get from an OLED version.
The technology behind OLED TVs is still new and more complicated than what you'd find in an LED panel. This makes it more expensive to produce, so higher manufacturing costs get passed down to consumers as high retail prices. Thankfully, companies like LG and Sony are finding more streamlined and cost-effective ways to produce OLED panels, making them a bit more affordable than before. However, they are still much more expensive than their LED and QLED counterparts.
Sony and LG used to be the only brands that offered OLED models, but Samsung and even Vizio have started to release their own. Here's a short list of other OLED models that are also worth considering:
This is another great option for a 55-inch OLED TV. The 5th generation a7 processor uses an algorithm to adjust picture and sound settings automatically to create a more immersive experience. It also comes with a suite of preloaded apps so you can get started streaming right out of the box.
The A90K is the smallest OLED TV that Sony has to offer, making it perfect for smaller spaces like apartments, dorm rooms, and bedrooms.
The LG B2 OLED TV also supports Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium VRR technology to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate for ultra-smooth action while the OLED panel creates over one billion colors for more lifelike images.