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 best sound, we suggest you check our recommendations for the best soundbars.
We've tested more than 90 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 is the TV with best sound in the OLED category that 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 flush against the wall. Despite the thin profile, it has a good frequency response with better bass than most TVs, and it gets loud with a well-balanced sound profile. However, there's some distortion when listening at its max volume, but not everyone may hear it.
Like all OLEDs, it delivers impressive picture quality, with near-infinite contrast, perfect black uniformity with no blooming, and impressive accuracy out of the box. 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 still use it with an external soundbar or home theater system, it also supports eARC, so it can passthrough high-definition audio from the native apps or any connected sources.
Unfortunately, OLEDs can suffer from permanent burn-in. 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 the OLED TV with best sound that we've tested.
If the unique design of the LG G1 OLED doesn't matter to you, then check out the LG C1 OLED instead. It's a lower-end model in LG's 2021 lineup but delivers nearly identical picture quality, but it doesn't get as bright because it lacks the new LG evo panel. Its speakers aren't as good, as it has less deep bass, but that's not expected from a TV anyways. It still delivers exceptional OLED picture quality thanks to the near-infinite contrast and perfect black levels. Motion looks smooth as it has an extremely quick response time, and it removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies. Sadly, our unit has bad out-of-the-box accuracy, but this can vary between units.
If you want the TV with the best sound with an OLED panel, you can't go wrong with the G1, but if you want something cheaper, then check out the C1.
If you prefer LED TVs, the best TV for sound quality is the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED. The built-in speakers have a well-balanced sound profile with clear dialogue, and they get nice and loud. While the bass is just okay, and the speakers don't get low enough to produce a booming bass sound, the TV still has one of the best frequency responses we've tested. There's very little compression at higher volumes and almost no distortion, which is great.
Aside from having good-sounding speakers, the TV has a lot to offer at a price that won't break the bank. It has a fantastic contrast ratio, meaning it can produce deep blacks, and it also gets bright enough to combat glare in most lighting conditions. It has an impressively wide color gamut for HDR content and high peak brightness that should make HDR content pop. Its response time is great, resulting in smooth motion during fast-moving content. It supports VRR, but without any HDMI 2.1 inputs, it only works up to 60Hz with a 4k image.
Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, but that's expected of a VA panel. The local dimming feature also leaves a lot to be desired, resulting in noticeable blooming around bright objects. Despite its flaws, this is a very good flagship TV with features and specs you'd expect to find on much more expensive models. If you're looking to go without a dedicated sound system, this is the TV with the best sound that we've tested.
If you have a wide seating arrangement, check out the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED. It uses a different panel type than the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED, so it has a lower native contrast ratio, but the wide viewing angles mean the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. It gets very bright in SDR, and combined with its good reflection handling, visibility shouldn't be a problem in well-lit rooms. It's packed with gaming features like HDMI 2.1 and VRR support, so you can easily play 4k games at 120 fps. The sound is decent and produces a lower bass than most TVs. Unfortunately, even though it has a full-array local dimming feature that improves the contrast, there's still too much blooming around bright objects.
If you want the best TV for sound quality in the LED category, you should be happy with the TCL. Otherwise, the Samsung is a good alternative with wider viewing angles.
The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 is the TV with best sound that 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 out there. 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, then 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 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.
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'; updated Notable Mentions based on changes and market availability.
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.
Jun 15, 2021: Replaced the LG CX and the Samsung Q80T with the newer LG C1 and Samsung Q80A; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Apr 16, 2021: Added Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED 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.