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The 5 Best Sounding TVs - Spring 2020
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Best Sounding TVs
249 Televisions Tested
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Picture quality has historically always been the most important characteristic of a TV. It doesn't matter if you're a movie enthusiast or a sports fan; image quality is the first priority when choosing a TV. However, no home entertainment system can deliver an extraordinary experience without proper sound quality. Just like in a movie theater or a stadium, sound plays an important role in immersing the audience in the action. Although TVs don't have the most complete sound systems, there has been significant progress in that area. Modern TVs can get loud, have decent bass, and deliver clear and intelligible dialogue. If, however, you want the best sound to accompany your great TV, we suggest that you buy a dedicated sound system or a soundbar (see our recommendations for the best soundbars).

We've tested more than 70 TVs and below are our recommendations for the TVs with the best sound you can buy in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best TVs and the best smart TVs.


  1. Best Sounding TV: LG E9 OLED

    Test Methodology v1.4
    9.0
    Mixed Usage
    Type OLED
    Sub-Type
    WRGB
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 55"

    The LG E9 OLED is the best sounding TV we've tested so far. It can get fairly loud thanks to its embedded soundbar and can deliver a good amount of body and punch to its bass. However, there's no thump or rumble so it can't deliver the experience of a movie theater. Dialogue, however, is clear and understandable even at higher volumes, which is great for open spaces. Like all OLEDs, it has excellent picture quality with wide viewing angles. It delivers perfect blacks in a dark room, so watching movies is a remarkable experience. HDR content is displayed full of rich, saturated colors and highlights that pop, thanks to the wide color gamut and good HDR peak brightness. Motion handling is excellent thanks to the nearly instantaneous response time, and gamers will appreciate the remarkably low input lag and support for HDMI Forum variable refresh rate for nearly tear-free gaming experiences.

    Unfortunately, just like all OLEDs, this TV has the risk of temporary image retention and permanent burn-in. It's unlikely that this will be an issue for most people who watch normal, varied content, though. The TV is equipped with support for HDMI 2.1 which currently doesn't add much but makes the TV future-proof.

    Overall, it's a remarkable TV delivers excellent performance and good sound quality.

    See our review

  2. Less Expensive Alternative: LG C9 OLED

    Type OLED
    Sub-Type
    WRGB
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 55"

    If you like the performance of the LG E9 OLED but want to spend less and get similar overall performance with similar sound quality, then check out the LG C9. This TV doesn't have a premium design like the other LG, but it's still a remarkable TV and delivers excellent picture quality. Its stand is designed to direct the sound out of the front towards the audience and has a decent overall sound quality. It delivers clear and well-balanced dialogue and can get fairly loud, but just like most TVs, it can't deliver good sub-bass, so it lacks thump or rumble, often found in movies and video game effects.

    For the best sounding TV, get the E9; otherwise, the C9 will cost you less and will deliver similar overall performance.

    See our review

  3. Best Sounding LED TV: Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED

    Test Methodology v1.4
    8.8
    Mixed Usage
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 55"

    If you're concerned about the risks of image retention or permanent burn-in on OLED TVs, then you should go with the Samsung Q80/Q80R, the best sounding LED TV we've tested so far. It has a decent sounding frequency response, though it doesn't have enough bass to produce a rumbling sound. Dialogue sounds clear and there's very little distortion, even when playing at a loud volume. 

    On top of having a decent sound reproduction, this TV can also deliver a stunning picture quality. With the help of its local dimming feature, its VA panel has an impressive contrast ratio to produce deep blacks when viewed in the dark. It is, however, lower than most TVs with the same type of panel. This is largely due to its 'Ultra Viewing Angle', which improves viewing angles at the cost of contrast ratio. Motion handling is outstanding, and the TV's input lag is also remarkably low to provide a responsive gaming experience. There's support for FreeSync variable refresh rate and it has an 'Auto Low Latency Mode', which triggers automatically when a game is launched from a compatible console such as the Xbox One, saving you the trouble of having to change picture mode each time.

    If you want the best sound without adding a soundbar to your setup, consider this TV.

    See our review

  4. Less Expensive LED Alternative: Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019

    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 65"

    If you have a limited budget, then go with the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019. Its frequency response isn't as good as the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED's, but it can get extremely loud with very little distortion. This TV also uses a VA panel with exceptional contrast ratio, but the most notable feature is the TV's incredible peak brightness, as it's able to make small specular highlights pop in HDR content. Unfortunately, like most VA panels, viewing angles are rather poor, so it isn't ideal for large rooms or if you tend to watch at an angle. Additionally, while input lag is low and the panel has a 120Hz refresh rate, there's no support for any variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing.

    Overall, the Samsung is a better sounding TV and has more features, but if cost is a concern, the Vizio is a great alternative.

    See our review

  5. Best Sounding Budget TV: Samsung RU7100

    Test Methodology v1.4
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 55"

    The best sounding TV in the budget category is the Samsung RU7100. You won't get the perfect blacks you'll get on an OLED or the brightness you'll find on LEDs. This is a good TV overall, with decent picture quality. It has a high native contrast ratio and can deliver deep blacks in a dark room, but lacks a local dimming feature to further improve the quality. It can't get very bright and it's more suitable for an average lit room. It has a remarkably low input lag, great for gaming, but motion isn't as crisp as on higher-end models which might disappoint sports fans. This TV has decent sound quality, can get fairly loud, and will be okay for most uses. Unfortunately, just like most TVs, it lacks thump or rumble in the sub-bass range and a bit of punch and body to its bass. On the upside, dialogue is well-balanced and clear.

    Unfortunately, this TV has poor viewing angles and you have to sit straight in front to enjoy the most accurate picture, so it isn't your best choice for watching the big game with a group of friends.

    Overall, it's a good TV for most uses and delivers decent sound quality.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG E8 OLED: The LG E8 is an excellent TV overall, but is becoming hard to find get this over the LG E9 if the price is right. See our review
  • Sony A9F OLED: The Sony A9F is an excellent OLED TV with the screen serving as speaker. The LG E8, however, is less expensive with similar performance. See our review
  • Sony A8F OLED: The Sony A8F is an excellent OLED TV with decent sound quality. Very expensive. See our review
  • Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED: The Samsung Q90 is one of the best LEDs we've tested, but the Q80R is almost as good and less expensive. See our review
  • LG C8 OLED: The LG C8 is an excellent TV overall. Get this if you can find it at a good price. See our review
  • Vizio P Series Quantum 2018: The Vizio P Series Quantum 2018 is an excellent TV. Get this if you can still find it cheaper than the P Series Quantum X 2019. See our review
  • Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED: The Samsung Q900 is an excellent 8k LED TV with decent sound quality. If 8k is what you're looking for, get this. See our review
  • LG B8 OLED: The LG B8 is an excellent OLED TV; very similar performance to the LG C8, but with a narrower stand and less expensive. See our review
  • Sony X900F: The Sony X900F is a very good TV, but the Vizio P Series Quantum is better. See our review
  • Samsung NU6900: The Samsung NU6900 is a good TV with decent sound. Get this over the RU7100 if you can find it. See our review

All Reviews

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 with their sound performance. 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.

Recent Updates

02/26/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.

01/06/2020: Replaced the LG E8 OLED with the LG E9 OLED and the LG C8 OLED with the LG C9 OLED and changed some text to enhance clarity.

10/31/2019: Replaced Vizio P Series Quantum 2018 with Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019, the Samsung NU6900 with the Samsung RU7100, and made changes to text for clarity.

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