We've bought and tested more than 60 Sony TVs. The best Sony TVs are generally a pretty safe bet when looking for the best TV for your needs. They tend to have great picture quality, a few extra features, and good color accuracy. Their high-end and mid-range models compete well with other brands, although at a price premium, but sadly, they don't offer many budget-friendly options.
Note: Since new TVs tend to launch at very high prices, it's unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until later in the year. Because of this, some of the 2021 models remain as picks in our recommendations.
The best Sony TV we've tested is the Sony A90J OLED. It's the flagship 4k TV from their 2021 lineup that's packed with features, and its OLED panel delivers amazing overall picture quality. While Sony is known to make both great OLED and LED TVs, if you want the best overall performance, it's best to stick with an OLED like this one. It delivers deep blacks thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, and there isn't any blooming around bright objects, making it a fantastic choice for watching movies in dark rooms. It also supports Dolby Vision, which is important for watching HDR content, and it gets bright enough to make some highlights pop in HDR. Sony released the Sony A95K OLED in 2022, which is an even higher-end model with a QD-OLED panel that's supposed to get even brighter, but we have yet to test it.
Like most Sony TVs, the out-of-the-box accuracy is excellent, so you won't need to get it calibrated for an accurate image, and it doesn't have any upscaling issues. It also has a wide viewing angle that makes it ideal if you want to use it in a wide seating area as everyone sees an accurate image, and it has fantastic reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room. Sony also has a cheaper OLED model, the Sony A80J OLED, but it doesn't get as bright.
While Sony's high-end TVs are OLEDs, you can get their LED models in the upper mid-range category if you don't want to spend tons of money on an OLED. If that's the case, the Sony X95J is the best upper mid-range Sony TV we've tested. Like the Sony A90J OLED, it's a high-end TV from their 2021 lineup, offering great overall performance and impressive picture quality. While it doesn't deliver the same perfect blacks as the A90J, it gets even brighter, so it's the better choice for well-lit rooms, and highlights pop for HDR. It still has a high contrast ratio, thanks to its VA panel, and its excellent local dimming feature helps improve the picture quality in dark scenes.
Sony also included its wide viewing angle technology to help improve the viewing angle, which is ideal for wide seating areas but comes at the cost of lower native contrast. If you don't need the wide viewing angle and you want a higher contrast for an LED TV, the Sony X90J is a good, cheaper choice, but it doesn't get as bright, so the X95J still delivers the best HDR experience.
If you want something cheaper, Sony also offers a mid-range lineup that includes the Sony X85J. If you're looking for something in this price category, you're going to have to sacrifice picture quality, but the X85J still has many of the same features as the higher-end models. It sits below the Sony X90J in the 2021 lineup, and it's a good TV available in a wide range of sizes, from 43 to 85 inches. The overall picture quality is good as it displays deep blacks thanks to its fantastic native contrast ratio, but unlike the higher-end LED TVs, it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve the contrast. It's the trade-off of getting a cheaper TV, but it's only a concern if you want the best image quality possible for watching HDR. Even at that, the X85J gets bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR.
If you're a gamer, you'll be happy to know it still has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and a 120Hz refresh rate. It's ideal if you want to use it for gaming with the PS5 or Xbox Series X, as it can take full advantage of their capabilities. The newer version of this TV, the Sony X85K, even improves on its gaming performance, but it still costs more, so it's worth getting the X85J while you can find it cheaper.
While Sony doesn't offer truly budget TVs like other brands, and you can find some cheaper TVs elsewhere, they do have a few models that are cheaper than the rest, like the Sony X80K. It's their entry-level TV in their 2022 lineup, so you can save a bit of money if you want to give up all the gaming and other higher-end features like local dimming. However, its picture quality isn't nearly as good as the Sony X85J, especially in dark rooms, because it has a different panel type with a low native contrast ratio that results in blacks that look gray. Instead, it has a wide viewing angle that makes the image remain accurate when viewed from the sides, which is ideal for wide seating arrangements.
Since this TV doesn't look good in dark rooms, it's best to use it in a well-lit environment because it has decent peak brightness and decent reflection handling, so it performs well with a few lights around. Like most Sony displays, the out-of-the-box accuracy is excellent, and it comes with the same great Google TV interface, making it easy to stream your favorite content, and you won't have to use an external streaming device.
Samsung TVs have a picture quality comparable to Sony TVs, and in general, they're pretty competitive with each other. A big difference is that Samsung has better gaming performance, but if you don't need that, either brand is a good choice.
Sony and LG each make OLED and LED TVs. LG is the dominant OLED brand for OLEDs because they have better gaming performance and generally cost less. However, Sony's LED models are far better than LG's because they get brighter, have better uniformity, and usually have better contrast.
As a rule of thumb, it's pretty hard to go wrong when buying a Sony TV, especially if you don't need it for competitive gaming. Their more entry-level offerings aren't great, but any of the high-end LED and OLED models are a safe bet. Their Google TV smart platform offers tons of apps to download with an easy-to-use interface. You might pay a slight premium over competing models, but you'll usually end up with a good TV.
Sony doesn't release as many TVs as most of their competition, and some flagship models tend to stay on the market for longer. They mainly focus on mid-range to high-end TVs, with very few budget models. They announced most of their 2022 lineup at CES in early January 2022. It's an impressive lineup, with multiple high-end models that take advantage of the latest technology, including their first QD-OLED TV, the Sony A95K, and their first two Mini LED TVs: the 8k Sony Z9K and the 4k Sony X95K. All their mid to high-end models use the same processor, the new Cognitive Processor XR, but the entry-level Sony X80K uses the older X1 Processor and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. Sony has also refreshed the remote on their high-end models, including a "Find Remote" feature that works through the TV's built-in voice assistant.
Their product naming is easy to understand, and the 2022 lineup follows the same naming convention as in past years. If the model starts with A, it's an OLED; if it's X, it's an LED, and their Z Series is 8k. Next comes the model number, and the higher the number, the better. Lastly, the suffix letter indicates the year. So, for example, the Sony X800H is an entry-level LED model from 2020, while the A90J is a high-end OLED model from 2021.
Since 2021, all their TVs share the same model number worldwide, making it easy to identify models if you're shopping from a different region. That's not to say they're completely identical, though, as there are some slight regional differences, and not all models are available worldwide.
Sony has traditionally used Android TV as its smart operating system, and as of 2021, they've started to use Google TV instead. It's pretty much the same as Android, with a redesigned look and a few extra features. Those who already have Google or Android-based devices should already know how to navigate the interface, while there might be a small learning curve for others. The great thing about Sony TVs is that they have Google Chromecast built-in, so you don't have to buy an external device to cast compatible content from your phone or tablet. If you already have other Google devices, like Google Nest speakers, they'll easily connect with the TV, and you can ask your speaker to play content directly on the TV.
The interface is clean and pretty simple to navigate. It's divided into multiple rows, and each row presents content from different apps. These rows can be customized to your liking or even disabled completely. The interface isn't very fancy, which makes it much easier to navigate.
While Android TV occasionally didn't have any ads and there was a way to disable them, Google TV pushes ads, and there's no way to disable them. You'll see suggested content directly on the home page, and often it'll be the first thing you'll see with a large banner in front. You can opt out of suggested content, but that just means you'll see untargeted ads instead.
As expected, Google TV offers access to the Google Play Store, which has a massive selection of apps to download, even more so than competing brands. You shouldn't have any issues finding your favorite streaming apps.
One area where Google TV excels is voice search, which gives you access to Google Assistant. Press the Google Assistant button on the remote and say what you’re looking for, and Google TV will deliver suggestions from the Play Store, YouTube, and relevant results from downloaded apps. It’s a convenient way to navigate content quickly, and it's often much faster than using the remote. You can also use it to change certain settings, like asking it to switch inputs or increase the brightness.
Sony released a redesigned remote in 2022. Unlike their past models, it doesn't have a Numpad anymore and instead has a '123' button that brings up a virtual Numpad on the screen. However, it still has the same quick-access buttons to popular streaming services and has a button to quickly bring up Google Assistant. While most models ship with this remote, there are some models available from some retailers that have a higher-end version with backlighting.
Aug 16, 2022: Renamed category names to reflect how users are looking for Sony TVs; renamed the A90J to 'Best Sony TV' and the X95J to 'Best Upper Mid-Range TV'. Replaced the Sony X90J with the Sony X85J and renamed to 'Best Mid-Range TV'; replaced the Sony X80J with the X85K because it's cheaper and easier to find; updated the Lineup and Smart Features sections.
Apr 11, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity.
Feb 10, 2022: Added the 2022 lineup information and refreshed the text throughout.
Dec 13, 2021: Restructured article to reflect user needs; renamed the Sony A90J to 'Best For Movies' and the X95J to 'Best For TV Shows'; added the Sony X90J as 'Best For Gaming' with the Sony X91J as a larger alternative.
Oct 18, 2021: Replaced the Sony X90J with the Sony X95J because it's better overall; removed the Sony X750H as 'Best Budget' because it's hard to find for a low cost, and added the Sony X80J as 'Best For PC'.
While they tend not to be the cheapest available, Sony produces great TVs. They'll generally be quite versatile, which helps to make them suitable for most people. The smart features can take a bit of time to learn for some people, but the overall package offered by their TVs is still better than average. At this point, it's fairly safe to say that their overall reputation holds, and rare are the people that will find themselves disappointed by purchasing one of their TVs.