Every 4k TV comes with HDR support. Unfortunately, support simply means that the TV can accept HDR metadata and it doesn't necessarily mean that it will display the HDR content as intended. 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 80 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 recommendations for the best 4k gaming TVs, the best TVs, and the best HDR gaming 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 when it comes to HDR content. It's very well-built with a sleek design that should look nice in any setup, and the stand can even be raised 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 should 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. All things considered, it's the best HDR TV in the OLED category.
If you don't want to spend a ton of money, then 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. The C1 has more gaming features too 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, it's expensive so if you want to spend less money or want the best 4k HDR TV for gaming, then 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 a ton 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 a bit between units.
The TV uses Mini LED backlighting, allowing it to get extremely bright in HDR, so small highlights really pop the way the creator intended, even 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 black levels further.
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 of it 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 and the best HDR TV for gaming with an LED panel that we've tested.
If you want something that costs less, then look into the Hisense U8G. It doesn't get as bright as the Samsung QN90A QLED because it doesn't have Mini LED backlight, but it's still bright enough to make highlights stand out in HDR. It also displays a very wide color gamut, has fantastic contrast, and local dimming helps it display deep blacks, so the Hisense delivers nearly the same excellent HDR performance as the Samsung. The Android TV interface is user-friendly and the app store has a bunch of apps available to download. Unfortunately, even though the gradient handling is good, it's still worse than most 10 bit TVs, so you may notice banding in scenes with similar colors.
If you want the best 4k HDR TV in the LED category, the Samsung is an excellent choice, but if you want something cheaper that's a bit less bright, but still great, then look into the Hisense.
The best HDR TV in the budget category is the Hisense U6G. It's a great overall TV that delivers impressive performance for watching HDR content, and despite its low price, it has a few features to improve the user experience. It supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats, so you won't have to worry about the format your favorite HDR content is in before streaming it.
It performs well in dark rooms because it has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio, and the decent full-array local dimming feature improves the picture quality in dark scenes. Black uniformity on our unit is excellent with minimal blooming around bright objects, and the gradient handling is great. It displays a wide color gamut, and although its HDR brightness is just okay, it's enough to deliver a great HDR experience, and it's better than most budget options. Even in well-lit rooms, it has excellent reflection handling and gets bright enough to combat glare. Like the Hisense U8G, it comes with Android TV, and the Google Play Store has a ton of apps you can download.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel TV, so it's not the best for watching content in wide seating areas. Also, the color temperature on our unit is noticeably warm, giving the image a red tint, but this can vary between units. If these minors issues don't bother you, it's the best HDR TV that you can get for a low cost.
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.
Jan 22, 2021: Renamed the Hisense H8G to 'Brighter Alternative' from 'Android TV Alternative' to better reflect user needs; no changes to picks.
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.