Every 4k TV comes with HDR support, but support simply means that the TV can accept HDR metadata. It doesn't necessarily mean that it will display the HDR content as intended with deep blacks and vibrant colors. To reproduce HDR content accurately, TVs must be able to get bright and display more saturated colors than in SDR (check out our HDR vs. SDR article to find out more about the differences with HDR). Good contrast and a full-array local dimming feature are also important for HDR.
We've tested more than 90 TVs under the latest test bench that can display HDR content, and below are our recommendations for the best HDR TVs you can buy. Make sure to check out our picks for the best 4k gaming TVs, the best TVs, and the best 65 inch TVs.
The Sony A90J OLED is the best 4k HDR TV that we've tested with an OLED panel. It's a flagship 4k model from Sony's 2021 lineup, and although most OLEDs deliver similar picture quality, this one stands out with HDR content. It's very well-built with a sleek design that should look nice in any setup, and you can raise the stand to accommodate soundbars.
Like any OLED, it can turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio with perfect blacks and no visible blooming around bright objects. Speaking about brightness, this TV gets brighter than most OLEDs, allowing highlights to stand out in HDR, and it displays a wide color gamut for an amazing HDR experience. It has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, and even though this can vary between units, Sony TVs are known for their great accuracy. Lastly, it has fantastic gradient handling, so you shouldn't notice any banding in scenes with shades of the same color, like in a sunset.
Unfortunately, if you also want to game with it, it doesn't have support for variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies yet, but Sony has said that will come in a future firmware update. Even at that, it has higher input lag than other premium TVs. Also, OLEDs run the risk of permanent burn-in if constantly exposed to the same static elements, but we don't expect it to be an issue for most people. Overall, it's the best HDR TV in the OLED category.
If you don't want to spend a ton of money, check out the LG C1 OLED. Its image processing isn't as good as on the Sony A90J OLED, so it has worse gradient handling and worse out-of-the-box accuracy. It also doesn't get as bright, but its peak brightness is still okay. Some highlights may not stand out as they should, but combined with its perfect black levels, it's still excellent for watching HDR movies. It has more gaming features, as it supports VRR, and you can use the PS5 or Xbox Series X to their full capabilities thanks to the HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4k gaming up to 120 fps. It also has lower input lag for a more responsive gaming experience.
If you're in the market for the best HDR TV with an OLED panel, the Sony provides higher peak brightness and better image processing than the competition. However, if you want to spend less money or want the best 4k HDR TV for gaming, check out the LG.
The best HDR TV in the LED category is the Samsung QN90A QLED. It's a high-end model that's packed with a ton of features and delivers excellent picture quality no matter what you're watching. The built-in Tizen OS offers lots of apps you can download, and it's easy to use. Our unit has fantastic accuracy before any sort of calibration, but keep in mind that this can vary between units.
The TV uses Mini LED backlighting, allowing it to get extremely bright in HDR, so small highlights pop the way the creator intended, more than OLEDs. It displays a wide color gamut thanks to its quantum dot technology, with good coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space. It has a VA panel with a great native contrast, but it's lower than most VA panel TVs because Samsung added their 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology to improve the viewing angles. Still, the full-array local dimming feature does a great job at improving the black levels.
Unfortunately, it only supports HDR10 and HDR10+, and not Dolby Vision. This means that some HDR content from streaming apps like Netflix will be limited to the HDR10 format instead of taking full advantage of the Dolby Vision format. The local dimming also performs worse in Game Mode than outside because it raises the black levels, so HDR picture quality isn't as good while gaming. Still, this is one of the best 4k HDR TVs with an LED panel that we've tested.
If you prefer something cheaper, the Hisense U8G is a good alternative. Although it doesn't have Mini LED backlighting like the Samsung QN90A QLED, it still has impressive peak brightness in HDR, so highlights stand out the way the creator intended. It also doesn't have viewing angle technology, so it has worse viewing angles, but that means it has a higher native contrast for deeper blacks, and the full-array local dimming feature is great. It supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+, so you won't have to worry about which format your HDR content is in, and it displays a wide color gamut. It has great gaming features, but sadly, there are noticeable motion artifacts, like red ghosting, particularly in Game Mode.
If you're looking for the best HDR TV and want an LED panel to not worry about the risk of permanent burn-in, you can't go wrong with the Samsung, but if you want to spend less money, then check out the Hisense.
If you're looking for something on a budget, then the Hisense U6G is the best HDR TV we've tested for your needs. It's great for watching HDR movies, and it delivers excellent picture quality that rivals some more expensive options. Its built-in smart interface is Android TV, which has a ton of apps available to download, making it easy to stream your favorite HDR movies, and it supports HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision formats.
Our unit has decent out-of-the-box accuracy and displays a wide color gamut with fantastic coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content. It has great gradient handling, but there's some banding with darker shades that you might notice in scenes like sunsets. It displays deep blacks in dark rooms thanks to the VA panel's high native contrast ratio, and the full-array local dimming feature does a decent job at improving the contrast in dark scenes, and there's minimal blooming. Its HDR brightness is okay, but some highlights don't pop the way they should.
If you're looking for the best HDR TV for gaming, this one doesn't have any extra gaming features like HDMI 2.1 or variable refresh rate support. Still, gamers should enjoy the low input lag and quick response time for a responsive gaming experience. It also has narrow viewing angles, so it's not a good choice if you have a wide seating arrangement. Regardless, it's the best HDR TV we've tested in the budget category.
Nov 12, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy; added the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021, TCL 5 Series/S546 2021, and the Vizio P Series Quantum 2021 to Notable Mentions.
Sep 13, 2021: Added the Sony A90J OLED as Best OLED for consistency with other articles and moved the LG C1 to 'Cheaper Alternative'; moved the Vizio P Series Quantum X to Notable Mentions because it's hard to find and moved the Samsung QN90A to Best LED; added the LG QNED90, Vizio M7 2021, LG G1, LG A1, and Sony X95J to Notable Mentions.
Jul 15, 2021: Replaced the Sony X90J with the Samsung QN90A because it has Mini LED backlighting; replaced the Hisense H9G and Hisense H8G with the newer Hisense U8G and Hisense U6G; moved the TCL 5 Series to Notable Mentions because it's not as bright as the U6G.
May 17, 2021: Replaced the LG CX and the Sony X950H with the LG C1 and the Sony X90J; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Mar 18, 2021: Reviewed picks for accuracy; no change to recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4k high dynamic range TVs to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our TV reviews, sorted by their HDR movies rating. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.