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The best TVs you can buy: Expert tested

We tested the best TVs from Samsung, Hisense, and more that offer great balance between cost and premium features.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
Samsung S95D | Best TV overall
Samsung 77-inch OLED TV S95D (2024)
Samsung S95D
Best TV overall
View now View at Samsung
Hisense U6K | Best budget TV
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Hisense U6K
Best budget TV
View now View at Best Buy
Sony A95L | Best OLED TV
Sony A95L 65-inch Google smart TV
Sony A95L
Best OLED TV
View now View at Walmart
Samsung QN90D | Best TV for gaming
Samsung 8K QN900D TV with ZDNET on display.
Samsung QN90D
Best TV for gaming
View now View at Samsung
TCL QM8 | Best big-screen TV
A TCL QM8 TV showing the start screen for the game Hades
TCL QM8
Best big-screen TV
View now View at Amazon

Whether you're looking to upgrade your home theater setup with a high-end screen or pick up a budget-friendly TV for your bedroom, there are tons of high-quality options to choose from. The best TVs you can buy right now offer a great balance between features, screen size, connectivity, and, of course, price. 

Big brands like Samsung and Sony offer premium models with features like object tracking sound, OLED panels, and cloud gaming support. And smaller brands like Hisense and TCL offer more mid-range and budget-friendly options that still provide core features like 4K resolution and HDR support to give them great value for the money. 

Also: The best sound systems you can buy

What is the best TV right now?

My fellow ZDNET experts and I had the opportunity to go hands-on with TVs from Samsung, Sony, TCL, and more. And my choice for the best TV overall is the Samsung S95D for its object tracking sound, excellent picture quality, and integrated security chip. You can keep reading below to find out more about the Samsung S95D as well as my other top picks for the best TVs you can buy.

The best TVs of 2024

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Up to 144Hz refresh rate
  • Dolby Atmos and Object Tracking Sound+
  • Anti-glare screen coating
Cons
  • Expensive at larger screen sizes
  • No Dolby Vision support
More Details

The Samsung S95D is the brand's latest iteration of their OLED lineup, and it offers plenty of reasons to upgrade. Along with signature OLED picture quality, you'll get a base refresh rate of 120Hz that can be bumped up to 144Hz for gaming or smoother action during fast-paced movies, shows, or sports broadcasts. It works with both Dolby Atmos and Samsung's object tracking sound technology to create 3D virtual surround sound without the need for extra speakers or sound bars. 

Read more: Samsung's S95D OLED is the best TV of CES 2024 and the best in the world right now 

You'll also get built-in voice controls via Alexa, Samsung's Bixby, and Hey Google for hands-free use of your TV. ZDNET's editor-in-chief, Jason Hiner, got to check out the Samsung S95D for himself at CES 2024, and he not only named it the best TV of CES, but the "best in the world right now." He was very impressed by the anti-glare coating of the screen, which helps boost visibility in brighter rooms. He also praised the color accuracy and crisp text the QD-OLED panel can produce. And verified reviews from Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung's own site agree that the picture quality is some of the best on the market and highlight that the TV's quality is well-worth the price.

Samsung S95D specs: Screen size: 55-77 inches | Panel type: OLED | Refresh rate: Up to 144Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: OLED HDR Pro | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ | Voice controls: Alexa, Bixby, Hey Google

364260866-1344922819425935-2221304656116979321-n
Artie Beaty/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Budget friendly at any size
  • Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos support
  • Voice controls
Cons
  • No HDMI 2.1 support
  • Only 60Hz refresh rate
More Details

If you're looking for an amazing TV that isn't going to break the bank, the Hisense U6K is a great option as either a budget-friendly main screen or cheap secondary TV for your bedroom or kids' playroom. With screen options from 55 to 75 inches, and each size retailing well under $1000, you'll get plenty of bang for your buck. 

Read more: This 65-inch Hisense TV is $230 off, and I highly recommend it 

The Hisense U6K has a base refresh rate of 60Hz, making it perfect for both streaming and casual console gaming. And with support for both Dolby Vision IQ HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, you'll get more accurate colors, bolder contrast, and sharper detailing alongside rich, virtual surround sound for a more immersive experience. ZDNET writer Artie Beaty was able to try out the Hisense U6K, and while he was disappointed it doesn't support HDMI 2.1, he praised the TV for its quick and simple setup process as well as the audio quality even at lower volumes. Verified customer reviews from Amazon and Best Buy agree that the picture quality is crisp and has great contrast, and that the TV has a great balance between cost and value. 

Hisense U6K specs: Screen size: 55-75 inches | Panel type: Mini LED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision IQ | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google 

Sony A95L 65-inch Google smart TV
Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • IMAX Enhanced mode
  • Updated QD-OLED panel
  • Object tracking sound
  • AirPlay support
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No G-Sync or FreeSync support for console gaming
More Details

While OLED TVs are already considered the crown jewel of any home theater, the Sony A95L manages to stand out even more. It's built with an all-new, QD-OLED panel to produce a brighter picture than previous models as well as a wider range of colors for more lifelike images. The integrated speakers work with both Dolby Atmos and Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology to turn your entire screen into a speaker that creates sound which follows the on-screen action. 

Read more: I saw Sony's latest TV lineup, and the A95L is its new crown jewel

The Sony A95L also supports Apple AirPlay, letting you share media from your Mac or iOS devices right to your TV. And with the IMAX Enhanced mode, movie buffs can watch new blockbusters and old Hollywood classics as their creators intended. ZDNET's Rebecca Isaacs got to see the Sony A95L in-person, calling it "Sony's new crown jewel" for its incredible picture quality.

Sony A95L specs: Screen size: 55-85 inches | Panel type: QD-OLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Acoustic Surface Audio+ | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Up to 144Hz refresh rate
  • AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support
  • Dolby Atmos and Object Tracking Sound+
  • Up to 98-inch screen size
Cons
  • No Dolby Vision support
  • Cloud gaming services require extra subscriptions
More Details

The QN90D is one of Samsung's latest additions to their Neo QLED TV lineup, and it's an excellent choice for both PC and console gamers. It is available in screen sizes from as small as 43 inches for use in shared spaces or as a monitor to as large as 98 inches for the ultimate gaming screen. It also has a base refresh rate of 120Hz that can be pushed to 144Hz, making it great for both console and PC gaming.

The QN90D supports both Dolby Atmos and Samsung's object tracking sound technology for 3D virtual surround sound that follows the on-screen action. This aims to give you a more immersive experience without the need for a headset or expensive, extra speakers. A dedicated gaming dashboard lets you have access to cloud gaming services like Xbox GamePass while also monitoring picture and audio settings to catch issues in real-time before they can ruin your game. And with support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro VRR technology, the TV will automatically adjust its refresh rate to match your PC or console, preventing annoying screen tearing and stuttering.

ZDNET's Jason Hiner was able to get up-close and personal with the QN90D at a Samsung event, and was impressed with how bright the screen could get as well as the high-quality picture. He also praised the inclusion of Samsung's Knox security chip for better online privacy. 

Samsung QN90D specs: Screen size: 43-98 inches | Panel type: Neo QLED | Refresh rate: Up to 144Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Neo Quantum HDR+ | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ | Voice controls: Alexa, Bixby, Hey Google

A TCL QM8 TV showing the start screen for the game Hades
Taylor Clemons/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great picture quality
  • Up to 98-inch screen size
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Decent audio quality
Cons
  • Expensive, especially at larger screen sizes
  • No VRR support for gaming
  • A bit heavy and cumbersome to set up
More Details

If you're looking for a quality big-screen TV for everything from watching local news to streaming new movies and console gaming, the TCL QM8 is a great option. It's available in screen sizes up to an impressive 98 inches, which means you can get a truly cinematic experience right in your own home. The updated QLED panel is capable of producing bold, bright colors, deep contrast, and sharp detailing that makes everything from old cartoons to the latest triple-A video games look amazing.

Read the review: TCL QM8 hands-on review

Along with a great picture, you'll also get a 120Hz native refresh rate for smoother playback of fast-paced scenes. And Dolby Atmos helps to boost dialogue and create more immersive audio for streaming movies and shows as well as when playing video games. I got to test the TCL QM8 myself, and I absolutely loved how well the upscaling worked for older TV shows like Teen Titans as well as the high refresh rate for playing games like Hades.

TCL QM8 specs: Screen size: 65-98 inches | Panel type: QLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

What is the best TV?

My choice for the best TV is the Samsung S95D for it's exceptional picture quality thanks to the updated QD-OLED panel and anti-glare coating. It also features virtual surround sound via Dolby Atmos and Samsung's Object Tracking Sound+ technology to give you a more immersive experience without having to set up extra speakers. And the base refresh rate of 120Hz can be bumped up to 144Hz for console and PC gaming or smoother action during fast-paced movies, shows, and sports broadcasts.

Best TV

Starting Price

HDR/Audio

Screen size

Samsung S95D

$4600

OLED HDR Pro/ Object Tracking Sound+, Dolby Atmos

55-77 inches

Hisense U6K

$600

Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos

55-75 inches 

Sony A95L

$5000

Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos/Acoustic Surface Audio+

55-77 inches

Samsung QN90D

$2000

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

43-98 inches

TCL QM8

$1000

Dolby Vision IQ, DTS Virtual: X

65-98 inches

*MSRP at time of writing. Please note that actual prices may vary on retailer, screen size, and available promotions or discounts.

What is the right TV for you?

After determining your budget, it's important to ensure that your new TV will fit comfortably in your space. Start by measuring the distance (in inches) between your couch and where the TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a stand. Divide that number in half to find the ideal TV size for your room. For example, if your couch is 120 inches (10 feet) away from your TV, the recommended TV size for your room would be about 60 inches.

Additionally, it's a good idea to consider accessibility features such as voice controls, screen readers, and closed captioning to ensure that everyone can enjoy the entertainment. These features can provide an enhanced viewing experience for those who are hearing or visually impaired, and they can be especially helpful for households with young children or elderly family members.

Buy this best TV...

If you need...

Samsung S95D

A high-quality TV for all your entertainment. The Samsung S95D has one of the best OLED panels you can buy right now, and it's expert calibrated for color accuracy to give you more lifelike images.

Hisense U6K

A budget-friendly TV. The Hisense U6K offers Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support along with built-in Alexa controls and and updated QLED panel for a price that won't break the bank.

Sony A95L

An OLED TV. The Sony A95L is the newest OLED model from the brand, offering an updated OLED panel, an anti-reflection screen coating, and Acoustic Surface Audio+.

Samsung QN90D

A TV for gaming. The Samsung QN90D has a base refresh rate of 120Hz that can be pushed to 144Hz for gaming. You can also get access to cloud gaming services like Xbox GamePass and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro VRR technology.

TCL QM8

A big screen TV. The TCL QM8 features a bright screen that is great in almost any lighting environment, and it produces bold, bright colors for great picture quality.

Factors to consider when choosing a TV:

While shopping for a new TV for your home theater or a second screen for your bedroom, there are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Price: Not all budgets are created equal. And if you're working with a limited budget, that shouldn't mean you have to settle for a sub-par TV. Each TV model on this list has been chosen across a variety of price points to help accommodate different needs.
  • Screen size: The most important factor to consider, after price, when shopping for a new TV is whether or not it will fit into your space. Each best TV on this list was chosen because they are available in a wide variety of sizes to suit different rooms.
  • Picture and audio quality: A new TV doesn't mean much, even if it costs an arm and a leg, if it doesn't provide a great picture and clear audio. Each TV on this list has been ensured to support various HDR codecs, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision as well as enhanced audio software like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, and object tracking sound.

How did we choose these TVs?

While testing and researching each TV featured on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind:

  • Brand integrity: While it's tempting to snap up that ultra-cheap TV from a smaller or unknown brand in order to save money, you may end up paying more in the long run. And you could run into customer service issues when trying to make a return or troubleshoot an issue. Each TV on this list was chosen from a trusted brand with verified customer service options.
  • Smart features: Customers have come to expect smart features like streaming apps and virtual assistants as-standard in their TVs. Each model on this list was chosen because it offers a host of features like preinstalled streaming apps, virtual assistant support, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Reasons to upgrade: Brands may release model updates almost yearly, but they don't always give you a real reason to upgrade. Each TV we chose offers upgraded panels, brighter pictures, and in some cases better online security.

Which is better: Roku or Android TVs?

IT depends on your personal preference. Both platforms have pros and cons. Roku TVs tend to be some of the most affordable on the market while still providing a great streaming experience via a suite of preloaded, popular apps. Roku TVs also have a simplified home menu with your most-used apps and HDMI-connected devices in one easy-to-navigate hub, so you never have to scroll through confusing menus or memorize input locations. The downside? They often don't have native voice control or support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. 

Android-based televisions are a bit more expensive, but you get more features, like built-in voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, support for variable refresh rate technology, as well as Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound processing. 

When comparing Roku and Android-based TVs, consider your must-have features so you can choose the model that best fits your needs and budget.

What size TV do I need?

The best way to find your ideal TV screen size is to measure the distance (in inches) between your couch and where the TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a dedicated stand. Next, divide that distance by two. So if your couch is 120 inches (10 feet) from where the TV will be, the ideal size would be 60 inches. 

You can always go a bit bigger or smaller depending on your budget and what's available, but you don't want to go wild and get a huge screen if you don't need to. Not only do you run the risk of having your new, expensive TV not fit your space, but a screen that's too big can overwhelm a room and even cause motion sickness. On the other end of the spectrum, while smaller screens tend to be more affordable, a TV that's too small for a room can make the space feel cavernous and force everyone to crowd around in order to see.

Is it worth buying an 8K TV?

As of right now, we're inclined to say no. Not only are 8K televisions very expensive, but there isn't any 8K content available over broadcast, streaming, or gaming outlets to justify buying one. A conservative estimate would say that 8K streaming and gaming will be available within the next five years or so -- and it will require a very fast internet connection to handle the bandwidth needed to consistently stream in ultra-high definition. 

If you've always been an early adopter of tech, want to get a jump on future-proofing your home theater, and have extra cash to spend, you might get more value out of an 8K television than someone who just wants to watch Succession on HBO Max.

If you're looking for an 8K panel, I personally recommend checking out the Samsung QN900C. I had a chance to check it out, and during my initial testing, I really, truly enjoyed the display.

What's the difference between OLED and QLED?

OLED and QLED panel types use the same basic component to create images on screen: a power source, a light source, and a color source. The key differences are exactly how these panels get power, light, and color. 

A QLED screen, mostly seen in Samsung, TCL, and Hisense models, uses a modified LED panel and a "quantum dot" screen to create images. The "quantum" in QLED seems to be more of a catchy marketing term than an allusion to actual quantum tech, but it does give you enhanced color and detailing over a regular LED display. 

An OLED panel, found in LG, Sony, and Vizio TVs, uses an array of mini LED lamps that are individually lit along with organic substrates for color. The individual LEDs allow for true blacks to create stunning contrast and make colors pop. It's an expensive technology to produce, so OLED TVs are pretty pricey. But if picture quality is your top priority, it's a worthwhile investment. 

What is the best TV for a living room?

The best TV for a living room can vary depending on the size of the room and your budget. However, some of the best options available include the Samsung QN90B, the LG C2, and the Sony X80K. These TVs provide excellent picture and sound quality, a range of features, and a variety of screen sizes to suit different room types.

Do I need a soundbar or can I rely on the TV's built-in speakers?

It really depends on your preferences and the TV model you choose. Some TVs have excellent built-in speakers that provide ample sound quality for most viewers, while others may benefit from a separate soundbar or audio system for a more immersive audio experience. If you're a movie or gaming enthusiast, you may want to consider investing in a soundbar or dedicated audio system to complement your TV.

Also: The best soundbars

Other TVs we have tested:

Aside from the above top picks, ZDNET staff has also went hands-on with a few noteworthy options perfect for watching movies, TV shows, or playing games.


View at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon
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