The best OLED TVs you can buy

Read full story

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

LG

  • The LG C8 is the best OLED TV you can buy because it shows off how powerful OLED technology is with excellent black levels, an attractive design, and a slew of features.

OLED TVs have been very popular among home theater enthusiasts for the past few years, and the continually dropping price point of this premium product means there's never been a better time to invest in one. If you want the best streaming, gaming, and movie watching experience, there's no substitute for an OLED TV.

OLED stands for "organic light emitting diode," and while that just seems like technical jargon, it has serious implications for your TV watching experience. Instead of using a traditional backlight, OLED screens use a carbon-based film between two conductors that creates light when an electric current passes through. That means when there's black in an image, the TV won't display light at all, making for the highest dynamic range of any TV technology.

Like any high-end technology, though, there's a lot of confusion surrounding what you should buy. LG, Samsung, and Sony each have their own marketing lingo, which makes it difficult to know if you're even buying an OLED in the first place.

We've scoured the internet and tested some of the premium options on the market so you can find the best OLED TV in our buying guide

Here are the best OLED TVs you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

{{}}

View As: One Page Slides

The best OLED TV overall

The best OLED TV overall
Why you'll love it: With a reasonable price tag and excellent image processing, the LG C8 is the best bang for your buck in the OLED TV market.

Based on buyer reviews, commentary by experts online, and my own hands-on testing, the LG C8 is where you should look first if you want to invest in an OLED TV. It includes the best features from LG's TV line while maintaining a reasonable price tag. As the mid-tier option in LG's line-up, it's also the centerpiece of most sales.

OLED TVs also rely on processing power, and the C8 is no slouch in this regard. It uses the a9 processor, which is the same processor used in LG's super expensive W8 series of TVs. The processor provides the C8 TV with the best color accessory and sharpness. LG's C8 even earned an "excellent" rating from Consumer Reports for its picture quality.

The C8 also supports HDR content which, unlike with many cheaper TVs, isn't just a flat marketing point. The TV supports HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor, meaning you can take advantage of just about any HDR content that's available. It's great future proofing, as HDR content is ever growing.

When dropping this kind of money on a TV, though, none of that should come as a surprise. The C8 may differentiate itself with excellent image quality, but the ThinQ AI is what sets it apart from the pack. It integrates with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can watch anything just by yelling at your digital assistant from across the room.

Furthermore, the C8 comes with Gallery Mode, which will cycle paintings and photographs across the screen to avoid the dreaded OLED burn-in. It's also got Dolby Atmos support and access to nearly every streaming platform available — though HBO is oddly omitted.

Pros: Excellent image quality, ThinQ AI, relatively inexpensive

Cons: No HBO support

Buy the LG C8 55-inch OLED TV on Amazon for $1,897 (originally $1,996.99)

The best OLED TV for less than $1,600

The best OLED TV for less than $1,600
Why you'll love it: LG cut some corners to bring the B8 to a lower price point, and while it's not as good as our top pick, it gets damn close for about $300 less.

The LG B8 is mostly the same TV as the C8. Like its more expensive sibling, it uses LG's WebOS, supports a range of HDR content, and comes with the same integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The only thing that's different is the image processor.

It uses the now dated a7 processor, which LG only uses in this TV. While it would be great to say there isn't a difference between this processor and LG's flagship one, there is. The higher-end a9 processor helps bring colors to life more and bumps up the sharpness, but only by a thin margin.

In a side-by-side comparison with other LG OLEDs, the a9 processor reigns supreme. However, when put against competitors, the a7 still shines. The difference between the two is really splitting hairs. The a7 processor helps the B8 beat out TVs that are double its price.

Believe it or not, the largest difference between the B8 and C8 is the stand. LG opted for the narrow, angled stand seen on 2017's C7 instead of the wider, curved version seen on the C8. When put on a wall, though, the B8 and C8 look identical.

Pros: Cheapest true OLED TV on the market, Google Assistant integration

Cons: Older image processor, no HBO support

Buy the LG B8 OLED TV on Amazon for $1,597 (originally $1,796.99)

The best high-end OLED TV

The best high-end OLED TV
Why you'll love it: Sony may not have the chops to compete with LG's inexpensive OLEDs, but it pulls ahead in a high-end market with the excellent app support and truly impressive audio quality of the A9F Master Series TV.

Sony TVs have always had one word associated with them: expensive. The A9F Master Series is no exception to that, touting a price tag that's around $1,200 more than LG's competing top-tier OLED TV. Even so, Sony justifies the price with a unique spin on built-in audio and a wide range of applications.

TV speakers are notoriously bad, but you should listen to the A9F before blowing money on a speaker system. Sony essentially turned the TV into a soundbar, utilizing the surface area of the panel to distribute sound throughout the room. It's called "Acoustic Surface Audio+," and it's impressive.

There are six actuators behind the panel that pour sound into the room, with two dedicated woofers handling the bass. It sounds so good that I recommend using the A9F as a center speaker while connecting other bookshelf speakers for a surround setup, which Sony, thankfully, supports.

You're paying for that tech, mostly. The image quality is about on par with LG's mid-tier OLED TVs, despite Sony's new X1 Ultimate image processor. The colors and sharpness are mostly the same, though Sony falls behind LG when fast-paced action is on screen.

Movie watchers will be fine with either TV, but gamers should seriously look twice at the A9F. It makes a perfect pairing with the PS4 Pro, handling the detailed and chaotic graphics of AAA games with grace. The PS4 Pro supports 4K HDR gaming, too, which the A9F can handle.

Pros: Excellent audio quality, wide app selection, great gaming experience

Cons: Expensive, not the best movie watching experience

Buy the Sony A9F Master Series OLED TV on Amazon for $4,498

The best curved OLED TV

The best curved OLED TV
Why you'll love it: While not a true OLED TV, the Samsung Q7C is the closest you'll get with a curved TV.

Calling Samsung's Q7C an OLED TV is cheating a little bit, as QLED, which the Q7C is, isn't technically OLED — despite Samsung's attempts to make you think so. OLEDs inherently don't need a backlight, which helps them achieve the deep blacks they're known for. QLEDs, on the other hand, need one.

While not technically an OLED, a Samsung QLED is the closest you'll get if you're on a budget. Plus, the Q7C is one of the few curved TVs on the market. The curve is subtle, but enough to wrap around your peripheral vision if you have the right room size. You won't notice it much, otherwise, thanks to Samsung's bezel-less design.

In addition to the sexy exterior, Samsung has some accessories to clean up your entire TV setup. Despite the curved design, the Q7C can be flat mounted against any surface using Samsung's No Gap wall mount. There aren't any connections to plug into the TV itself, either, so this system works.

Samsung instead has a box that houses all of the TV's connections, so only a single cable runs to it. In a home theater, for example, you could house your Blu-Ray player, game console, and streaming box in the back of the room and only run a single connection to the TV.

App support and ease of use are about on par with the LG range of OLED TVs. The simple, curved remote supports voice commands and can automatically integrate with other devices. As long as your device is on the compatible list, OneRemote, as Samsung calls it, is a simple, universal remote that doesn't require any programming.

Pros: Bezel-less design, excellent universal remote, great image quality

Cons: Not technically an OLED

Buy the Samsung Q7C OLED TV on Amazon for $1,498 (originally $1,999.99)

The best OLED TV for large rooms

The best OLED TV for large rooms
Why you'll love it: With perfect black levels, a bezel-less design, and great audio quality, the Sony A1E is the perfect 77-inch OLED TV.

Sony TVs are more expensive than their LG counterparts, despite delivering around the same image quality. However, the A1E is unique in that it offers supreme OLED image quality in an absolutely massive size.

It's one of the few 77-inch OLED TVs on the market that's shy of $10,000, giving LG's $15,000 W8 a run for its money. As is expected from Sony, the image quality is breathtaking. The X1 Ultimate image processor looks good in 55-inch models, but the extra screen real estate really makes it shine.

That image can be fully appreciated, too. Sony's A1E has a bezel-less design, meaning all you'll see is what's on screen. There isn't even a stand to contend with. Sony opted to use a massive kickstand to support the TV instead. That, combined with the bezel-less design, make the image look as if it's floating.

The kickstand is more than just a support. Like Sony's other OLED TVs, the A1E utilizes the entire panel as a speaker. Unlike Sony's other OLED TVs, though, the subwoofer isn't directly behind the picture. There's a dedicated woofer built into the kickstand that provides the best bass response out of any TV on the market.

Pros: Great black levels, unique kickstand design, 77-inch model available

Cons: At nearly $8,000, the A1E is one of the most expensive TVs on the market

Buy the Sony A1E OLED TV at Best Buy for $7,999 (originally $9,999.99)
Add Comment()

Comments ()

X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.