It doesn't matter if you're a movie enthusiast or a sports fan; image quality is usually your top priority when finding the best TV for your needs. However, no home entertainment system can deliver an extraordinary experience without proper sound quality. 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 the technical limitations, 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 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 the 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 nearly infinite contrast, perfect black uniformity with no blooming, and impressive accuracy out of the box. 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. 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. If you don't like the sound on this TV, LG also sells a GX soundbar meant to sit flush against the wall. All in all, this is the OLED TV with best sound that we've tested.
If the seamless 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. Brightness can vary a bit, unfortunately, as only some units come with the improved evo panel. Its speakers aren't as good as the G1, as it has less deep bass, but that's not expected from a TV anyways. The C1 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're concerned about burn-in or simply prefer LED TVs, the best TV for sound quality is the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED. The built-in speakers have a decent frequency response, with a well-balanced sound profile and clear dialogue. It's very loud, with just a bit of compression at higher volume levels. Like most TVs, it has okay bass but can't deliver much thump or rumble in the low bass. There's very little 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 an outstanding contrast ratio, one of the best we've ever tested, as well as good black uniformity, so it's a great choice for watching movies in a dark room. It has an impressively wide color gamut for HDR content and high peak brightness that should make HDR content pop. It's also excellent for gaming, with support for the latest gaming tech, including HDMI 2.1 support and variable refresh rate technology, for a nearly tear-free gaming experience.
Sadly, it doesn't upscale 480p content, like DVDs, very well, and there have been a few reports of issues with the new Google TV interface. Despite its flaws, this is a very good flagship 4k TV from TCL 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 LED TV with the best sound that we've tested.
If you have a wide seating arrangement, then check out the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED. It uses a different panel type than the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 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 uses Mini LED backlighting, allowing it to get very bright, 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 120fps. 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 TV with best sound in the budget category that we've tested is the Samsung TU7000. It's an entry-level 4k TV that surprisingly has decent built-in speakers, and it won't cost you too much either. In terms of its speakers, it has a decent frequency response with a well-balanced sound profile, and there isn't much distortion, even at loud listening levels.
It's a simple TV with decent picture quality and performs best in dark rooms. It has a VA panel with an excellent native contrast ratio that displays deep blacks, and the black uniformity is outstanding. However, it lacks a local dimming feature to further deepen any blacks. It upscales lower-resolution content, so it's a good choice for watching DVDs or cable TV. If you want to connect a receiver, it has eARC support, and it can accept Dolby Atmos via TrueHD signals, which is a great addition to a budget-friendly option. Lastly, the built-in Tizen OS is easy to use, with a ton of apps available.
Unfortunately, it doesn't get bright, so it's not an ideal choice for use in well-lit rooms. It also fails to display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough in HDR to make highlights stand out, so HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR. It also has narrow viewing angles, so you lose image accuracy when viewed from the side. Regardless of these small issues, the Samsung is the TV with the best sound that you can get at a low cost.
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.
Feb 16, 2021: Updated text for clarity; updated Notable Mentions to reflect market availability.
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.