The 5 Best 4k HDR Monitors - Spring 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best 4k HDR Monitors
186 Monitors Tested
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The amount of monitors that support HDR is growing, but they still lag behind TVs for HDR performance. Supporting HDR is one thing, but you also need the monitor to display a wide color gamut, get bright, and have a good local dimming feature so that HDR looks like the creator intended. If you're looking for a new monitor, though, and HDR is important to you, then there are still a few choices out there. Although most of them have low native contrast and can't get as bright as TVs, they still offer a different experience from monitors that only support SDR.

We've tested more than 15 4k HDR monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best ones available for purchase. Check out our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best 4k gaming monitors, and the best multimedia monitors.


  1. Best 4k HDR Gaming Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQ

    8.6
    Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    144 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    Adaptive Sync

    The ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQ is the best 4k HDR monitor for gaming we've tested. It's an excellent gaming model that delivers a smooth and responsive gaming experience thanks to its low input lag, quick response time, and 144Hz refresh rate. It has an IPS panel with decent viewing angles, and it provides good visibility in bright lighting conditions. The build quality is great, and the stand allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments.

    It has decent HDR peak brightness, but bright highlights are only noticeable if you're in a dark room. The many additional features can enhance your gaming experience. Shadow Boost makes objects more visible in dark scenes, and you can add a virtual crosshair, frame rate counter, or timer on the screen. In addition to having a flicker-free backlight, it has a blue light filter that can help reduce eye strain. It has a good HDR color gamut with excellent coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space.

    Unfortunately, you need a graphics card that supports Display Stream Compression over a DisplayPort connection to achieve the full 144Hz refresh rate because there's no HDMI 2.1 port. Even though it has a local dimming feature, it's edge-lit and performs terribly. It produces a wide range of colors. However, it doesn't display dark shades well due to its IPS panel's mediocre contrast ratio which makes blacks look gray. All in all, it's still one of the best HDR monitors we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Cheaper Alternative: LG 27GN950-B

    Size 27"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    160 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    If you want something cheaper, then check out the LG 27GN950-B. It's similar in performance to the ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQ, and though highlights get brighter in HDR on the LG, there's more variation in brightness between different content, which could be distracting. It has a higher 160Hz refresh rate that you can only achieve over a DisplayPort connection and with a graphics card with Display Stream Compression. If you can do that, it has very quick response times for smooth motion, low input lag, native FreeSync support, and G-SYNC compatibility. Sadly, like the ASUS, the LG has an IPS panel with a low contrast ratio, and even though it has an edge-lit local dimming feature, blacks look gray when viewed in the dark.

    If you want the best HDR monitor for gaming, you can't go wrong with the ASUS. If you want something slightly cheaper, check out the LG.

    See our review

  3. Best HDR Monitor For Dark Rooms: LG OLED48CXPUB

    8.4
    Mixed Usage
    8.1
    Office
    8.7
    Gaming
    8.4
    Multimedia
    8.1
    Media Creation
    8.7
    HDR Gaming
    Size 48"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    120 Hz
    Pixel Type
    OLED
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best HDR monitor that we've tested is the LG OLED48CXPUB. This is a TV that we tested as a monitor; you can read our TV review here. It's a 2020 model that you can still find, and the price keeps dropping, which is great. Since it's not a typical monitor, it has many different features, and it doesn't have a stand, so you can't easily adjust it.

    What sets it apart from other monitors is that it has an OLED panel that can turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio. This means that blacks look deep and inky, and there's no blooming around bright objects, which is fantastic for a dark room viewing experience. For HDR content, it supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but not HDR10+. It displays a wide color gamut and has decent HDR brightness, which is better than most monitors but may not still be enough to make highlights stand out. 

    Sadly, OLEDs like this one risk permanent burn-in, which could be problematic if you constantly have static elements on the screen, like taskbars or UI elements. However, we don't expect this to be an issue if you're using it to stream movies and you don't have it on the same webpage all day. If this isn't an issue for you, it's one of the best 4k HDR monitors we've tested.

    See our review

  4. LED Alternative: Philips 436M6VBPAB

    Size 43"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    VA
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    If you're concerned about burn-in on the LG 48 CX OLED, then check out the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB. It's a 43 inch VA panel monitor with an exceptional contrast ratio, which means that it can produce deep blacks for a good dark room viewing experience. It has a great color gamut and gets brighter to make highlights pop in HDR, but it has a terrible edge-lit local dimming feature that can be somewhat distracting in dark scenes. Sadly, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, and response times are only decent. On the upside, it has features that the LG lacks, like a USB-C port with DisplayPort Alt Mode and Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes.

    Overall, the LG is a better choice for dark rooms because it can produce perfect blacks with its near-infinite contrast ratio. If you're worried about burn-in, you should go with the Philips because it has an LED panel, which appears to be immune to burn-in.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget 4k HDR Monitor: LG 32UL500-W

    7.5
    Mixed Usage
    7.5
    Office
    7.4
    Gaming
    7.6
    Multimedia
    7.7
    Media Creation
    6.8
    HDR Gaming
    Size 32"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    VA
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best HDR 4k monitor in the budget category that we've tested is the LG 32UL500-W. This massive 32 inch monitor feels incredibly immersive, and it has a good contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it well-suited for dark rooms. The ergonomics are bad, though, so it's best to VESA-mount it if you better adjustability.

    Despite being a budget monitor, the 32UL500-W has excellent DCI P3 coverage, the color space used in most HDR content. It handles gradients superbly, which means you shouldn't see any banding in HDR content. The response times are decent, which results in reasonably clear images in fast-moving scenes. Although it has a VA panel, the viewing angles are pretty decent, so images look reasonably accurate when viewed from the side.

    Unfortunately, it lacks a local dimming feature, which we expect of a budget monitor, and it doesn't get very bright, so highlights don't pop the way they should. If you plan on gaming, it has FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. There are no USB ports, but it does have built-in speakers. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, and there's also a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain. Overall, it's a good monitor that won't break the bank.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG 32UD99-W: The LG 32UD99-W is a good monitor overall, but it has mediocre ergonomics, and glare might be an issue due to its sub-par reflection handling. Also, its HDR peak brightness is mediocre. See our review
  • Dell S3221QS: The Dell S3221QS performs better than the LG 32UL500-W, but it's more expensive. See our review
  • Dell S2721QS: The Dell S2721QS is a great budget 4k monitor and performs better than the LG 32UL500-W, but it might be hard to find, and the price has increased. See our review
  • Dell U2720Q: The Dell U2720Q is a good 4k monitor mainly designed for office use. This means it doesn't have gaming features, and its HDR performance is limited. See our review
  • BenQ EW3270U: The BenQ EW3270U is a good low-cost 4k option with a 32 inch screen like the LG 32UL500-W. It doesn't get very bright in HDR and has terrible ergonomics. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jun 15, 2021: Updated intro and text for clarity; added the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q and BenQ EW3270U to Notable Mentions.

  2. Apr 16, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the LG 32UL500-W because the Dell is hard to find and the price has increased.

  3. Feb 16, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Removed Acer Predator X27, added Philips Momentum 43M6VBPAB.

  4. Dec 18, 2020: Removed BenQ EW3270U, Philips 436M6VBPAB, LG 32UD99-W, and BenQ EL2870U. Added LG 48 CX OLED, ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQ, LG 27GN950-B, and Dell S2721QS.

  5. Oct 20, 2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 4k monitors that support HDR. They're adapted to be valid for most people. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price, and feedback from our visitors.

If you would prefer the make your own decision, here is the list of all of our 4k monitors that have HDR10 support. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

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