No home entertainment system can deliver an extraordinary experience without proper sound quality, even if you have the best picture quality from your TV. Like in a movie theater or a stadium, sound plays an important role in immersing the audience. TVs are getting thinner and thinner, and this means less space for proper speakers. Despite this, modern high-end TVs can get loud, some of them have decent bass and deliver clear and understandable dialogue, but the sound quality is still nothing compared to a proper sound setup. If you want the TV with the best sound, we suggest you check our recommendations for the best soundbars.
We've tested more than 100 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the TVs with the best sound you can buy. Make sure to check out recommendations for the best TVs, the best outdoor TVs, and the best smart TVs.
The LG G1 OLED is the best sounding OLED TV we've tested. It's an impressive OLED TV with a unique design. Instead of a stand, it comes with a special wall mount that lets it sit perfectly flush against the wall. Despite the thin profile, it has a good frequency response with better bass than most TVs, and it gets very loud, with a well-balanced sound profile. There's some distortion, even at moderate listening levels, but it's mainly in the bass range and not noticeable with dialogue.
If you don't like the sound on this TV, LG also sells a GX soundbar meant to sit flush against the wall. If you decide to use it with an external soundbar or home theater system, it supports eARC, so it can passthrough high-quality audio from most connected sources, but it doesn't support DTS, which is a bit disappointing. It's also compatible with certain Bluetooth surround speakers, and it has an Auto Volume Leveling feature, so you don't have to deal with blaring commercials or quiet dialogue.
Unfortunately, there's a slight chance of permanent burn-in with OLED TVs. This is a cumulative effect that can occur if the TV is exposed to static elements, like if you plan on using it as a PC monitor or always watch the same network channel with a bright static logo. It uses LG Display's new evo panel, allowing it to get brighter than most OLEDs, especially in HDR. Combined with its excellent color gamut, it delivers an amazing HDR viewing experience. All in all, this is an amazing TV no matter how you use it.
If the lack of DTS support, which is still the main audio track on lots of movies, bothers you, check out the Sony A90J OLED instead. It's a high-end OLED TV in Sony's lineup, and it delivers nearly identical picture quality to the LG G1 OLED but has a slightly worse frequency response. It has less deep bass, and there's a strange dip in its frequency response between the bass and mids. Dialogue is clear and fairly well-balanced, though, and it gets very loud. It also has a unique feature that allows you to use the TV's speakers as the center channel in a surround sound home theater setup. It delivers exceptional OLED picture quality thanks to the near-infinite contrast and perfect black levels. Motion looks smooth as it has a nearly instantaneous quick response time, and it removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies.
If you want the TV with the best sound with an OLED panel, you can't go wrong with the LG. If you care about DTS support, check out the Sony TV instead.
The TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED is the best sounding TV with an LED panel that we've tested. Having an LED TV is good if you're worried about the burn-in risk associated with OLEDs, so you can constantly watch your favorite news or sports channel and not worry about damaging the screen. It has a decent frequency response with a well-balanced sound profile that delivers clear dialogue. It gets very loud, with very little distortion, even at max volume.
If you're planning on using an external soundbar or home theater system, it supports eARC audio passthrough and all major formats, including DTS, meaning you can get the best sound possible from any external source. Looking at the picture quality, it performs well in dark and bright environments because it gets bright enough to fight glare from bright sources and displays deep blacks in dark rooms. It has a Mini LED local dimming feature, but it doesn't seem that effective at improving the picture quality in dark scenes.
Unfortunately, it's not a good choice to watch DVDs because it has trouble upscaling 480p content properly. Still, it doesn't have any issues with content from cable boxes, Blu-rays, or native 4k content, which is great. It also has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out from the sides. Overall, it's the best sounding TV in the LED category that we've tested.
If you have a wide seating arrangement, look into the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED. It has worse dark room performance than the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED because its IPS-like panel has low contrast, and the local dimming is mediocre. However, it has wide viewing angles, and the image remains accurate when viewed from the side. Its speakers sound similar to the TCL, and it has better bass, but you still won't get the true rumbling and thumping you'll get with a subwoofer. It has many gaming-friendly features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and low input lag. However, it's not a good choice for dark room gaming, and the local dimming feature performs worse in Game Mode.
If you want a TV with the best sound and a LED panel, the TCL is a great choice. If you prefer something with wider viewing angles, check out the Samsung.
The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 is the best sounding TV we've tested in the budget category. It's a good overall TV with a few extra gaming features, a nice touch to a budget-friendly TV. It's well-built and is available in a wide range of sizes, so you can get the one you prefer. Our unit has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest, but this also varies between units.
It has decent speakers with a well-balanced sound profile and minimal distortion at moderate listening levels. However, there's more distortion at its max volume, but since it gets loud, it's unlikely you'll have it at this volume anyways. If you want to connect a receiver, it has eARC support that can pass both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X signals. It also has ARC support, but we had issues with the optical connection on our unit, but this might vary between units.
Sadly, although you can cast anything you want from your phone using the Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay support, the built-in SmartCast interface isn't the best operating system. It feels laggy at times, and you can't download any extra apps besides the pre-installed ones because it doesn't have an app store. If that isn't an issue for you, it's the best TV with sound in the budget category that we've tested.
If you don't want to buy an external streaming device, check out the Hisense U6G. It doesn't have gaming features like VRR support that the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 has, but it uses Android TV as its smart interface, which has a ton of apps available for download. It also has better picture quality because it gets brighter, and the local dimming feature performs better, so it's a better choice for both dark and bright rooms. However, sound quality isn't as good because there's more compression and distortion, and the sound profile isn't as well-balanced at the max volume, but it's still good enough to listen to the dialogue. It supports Dolby Digital and DTS formats for ARC and optical passthrough, but sadly it doesn't support eARC.
If you're on a budget and want the TV with the best sound, the Vizio is a good choice. If you prefer better picture quality and better smart features at the cost of lesser sound quality, then look into the Hisense.
Mar 31, 2022: Replaced the LG C1 OLED as 'Cheaper Alternative' to the LG G1 OLED with the Sony A90J, as it supports DTS. Removed a few Notable Mentions that are no longer relevant, and added the LG C1 OLED as a Notable Mention.
Feb 02, 2022: Replaced the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED with the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED because the R646 is available again; added the TCL 6 Series/R648 2021 8k QLED, LG NANO75 2021, and the Hisense U6GR to Notable Mentions.
Dec 06, 2021: Replaced the Samsung TU7000 with the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 because it has better speakers, and added the Hisense U6G as 'Better Smart Features Alternative'; replaced the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED with the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED because the R646 is hard to find; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Oct 08, 2021: Replaced the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED with the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED, as the 2021 model is a significant improvement overall at about the same price as the 2020 model. Refreshed the text throughout.
Aug 11, 2021: Replaced the LG GX with the newer LG G1; added the Sony A90J and Hisense U6G to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best sounding TVs to buy for most people with different tastes. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), 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 TVs, sorted by their sound quality. 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. Keep in mind that no TV can deliver the sound quality of a dedicated sound system or a soundbar.