OLED TVs have the best picture quality available in 2020. If you're watching TV in a dark room, OLEDs can display perfect blacks, which enhances picture quality. They can't get as bright as LED TVs and have a risk of permanent burn-in, although we expect most people not to be affected by this.
We've tested more than 80 TVs in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best OLED TVs to buy. See our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 4k gaming TVs, and the best smart TVs.
The best OLED 4k TV we've tested so far is the LG CX. This is the replacement of the LG C9 OLED from 2019, and it comes with a couple of minor improvements over its predecessor. It still delivers incredible picture quality with its infinite contrast ratio, impressive color accuracy, and smooth motion handling. Like all OLEDs, it doesn't have any backlight, so it doesn't have any issues with blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. The response time is near-instantaneous, which results in almost no motion blur in fast-moving scenes. It has an optional black frame insertion feature that helps improve motion clarity, and it can interpolate lower frame rate content to make motion look smoother.
With its perfect blacks, OLED TVs are made to provide the best dark room viewing experience. However, the brightness on OLED TVs tend to vary a lot depending on the scene, so visibility can sometimes be an issue if you're in a very bright environment. It handles reflections extremely well, though, and it has great viewing angles, allowing you to view from the side without losing image quality. For gaming, this TV has a very low input lag, it has a 120Hz refresh rate, and it supports variable refresh rate, including FreeSync, HDMI Forum's VRR, and NVIDIA's G-SYNC.
Unfortunately, there's always the subject of permanent burn-in when it comes to OLEDs. This happens when the TV is exposed to a static image for an extended period, like a channel logo or a desktop user interface. That said, burn-in shouldn't be an issue if you watch varied content. So if you're on the market for an excellent OLED TV that performs well in any type of content, check out this one.
The best OLED TV for watching movies that we've tested so far is the Sony A8H. While all OLEDs perform very similarly, there are a few things that really sets this TV apart when it comes to movie watching. Like all OLED TVs, it can produce perfect blacks, which is great for dark room viewing, and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR content. It has an impressive color accuracy, so you likely won't need to calibrate it to get a good experience, and its gradient handling is outstanding, which results in less banding when displaying different shades.
When it comes to motion handling, Sony TVs are among the best. The response time is almost instantaneous, as is expected of most OLEDs, and this TV comes with an optional black frame insertion to further reduce motion blur in fast-moving scenes. It can also interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps, which can be useful in reducing stutters in lower frame rate content such as movies. Its input lag is very low if you want to use the TV for some gaming, but sadly, there's no VRR support of any kind.
As with all OLED TVs, the risks of temporary image retention and permanent burn-in are still present, although we don't expect to be a problem for most people. This TV runs on Android, so you also get access to the gigantic Google Play Store, and it also makes the setup process a bit easier if you're already in the Google ecosystem. Overall, if you're looking for an OLED TV mainly for watching movies, this one is an excellent option.
If you're looking for a cheaper option, then check out the Sony A8G. This is the Sony A8H OLED's predecessor, which you can still find at most retailers at a reduced price. It performs very similarly to its successor for the most part, but it doesn't get as bright, so HDR content doesn't look as punchy. Also, its out-of-the-box color accuracy is slightly worse, and it has a much higher input lag that makes it less suitable for gaming. Other than that, this TV delivers the same perfect blacks, its viewing angles and reflection handling are just as good, and it also runs on Android TV.
Overall, if you want a better HDR experience or a lower input lag, go with the A8H; otherwise, the A8G is almost as good and it's cheaper.
The best OLED TV for sound quality that we've tested so far is the LG E9. This is a flagship TV that packs in nearly every feature that LG has to offer. Like most OLEDs, it delivers a stunning picture quality with its infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks.
Its response time is near-instantaneous, and it also has an optional black frame insertion feature to improve motion clarity further. Although it has a glossy screen, it handles reflections remarkably well, and it can get bright enough to combat glare easily and deliver a great HDR experience. In terms of sound, the frequency response is very good. It can't quite produce deep rumbling bass, but there's a decent amount of punch to it, and the overall sound profile is well-balanced. Dialogue sounds clear, and it can get very loud without adding a significant amount of compression artifacts, which is great for large rooms or noisy environments.
For gaming, this TV is well-equipped to deliver an exceptional experience. It has a 120Hz refresh rate, incredibly low input lag, and it has official G-SYNC support. It also works with HDMI Forum's VRR, which is good for those with an Xbox One. Just keep in mind that there's always a risk of permanent burn-in with static content, such as the user interface of a video game. Overall, if you're not looking to add a soundbar or a home theater system to your setup, this TV is a fantastic choice.
07/14/2020: Replaced LG B9 with LG CX, replaced Sony A9G with Sony A8H; minor text and structure changes.
06/04/2020: Replaced the B8 with the C9 as an alternative to the B9.
05/07/2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
12/13/2019: Replaced the Sony A9F OLED with the Sony A9G OLED to reflect market changes.
Currently, only LG and Sony sell OLED TVs in the US, and they all have similar picture quality. Some manufacturers like Philips and Panasonic have produced some OLED TVs that use LG panels, but these aren't sold in the US.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best OLED 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 reviews of OLED TVs. 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.