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Best OLED TVs

Updated October 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 8 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 142 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best OLED TVs

    Last Updated October 2018

    If you’ve been in the TV section of any big box store lately, you may have noticed something amazing: cutting edge TVs are producing a picture that’s brighter and more vivid than ever before. It’s not just hype: new TVs are taking 4K resolutions even further with an exciting new technology: Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens.

    If you thought plain old high definition was impressive, you’ll be floored at the new levels of color, depth, and clarity available from OLED TVs.

    Read our shopping guide for OLED TVs to get a better understanding of what the OLED revolution is all about. Then, check out the matrix above to see which models we recommend most.

    Every OLED TV has a built-in calibration tool for making sure it’s presenting an ideal image for your environment. As soon as you plug in your OLED TV, go through the calibration process – it will account for any lighting issues in your viewing area.

    Why OLED TVs are special

    OLED TVs are the next generation of television, mainly due to the technological advances that power them. There are a few key technologies that OLED is built on that make OLED TVs like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Consider the following.

    • Every pixel is individually lit. On traditional LED panels, pixels are lit in clusters – and light bleeds, which can create inaccurate color reproduction. In contrast, on OLED TVs, each pixel is individually lit, so every pixel has a unique color profile that isn’t sharing lighting with other pixels. The result is a TV picture that reveals stunning clarity.

    • The color black is much deeper. On OLED TVs, when a pixel needs to be black, the TV simply doesn’t light up that pixel. This is a significant improvement over LED TVs, which attempt to display the color black, often resulting in washed out grays. With an OLED TV, blacks are much deeper, creating a more noticeable contrast and realistic look.

    • OLED TVs come with every other premium feature. Features like High Dynamic Range (HDR), Picture in Picture (PIP), increased refresh rates, and the latest smart TV technologies are certainly not unique to OLED TVs. However, because OLED TVs are priced as luxury TVs, they almost always carry a full arsenal of top-tier TV features. Another way to put it: OLED panels are part of the luxury TV experience, and most TVs complete that experience with every feature imaginable.
    DID YOU KNOW?

    OLED screens are also used in some smartphones – and just like their TV counterparts, phones with OLED screens are typically much more expensive than traditional smartphones.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Most OLED TVs include both WiFi and wired Ethernet connectivity for accessing the internet. Most smart TV apps run much faster if you use a wired Ethernet connection.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    In addition to HDR, many OLED TVs support Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision is a competitor to HDR that behaves similarly and enhances the brightness and depth of colors.

    OLED vs. QLED

    A few manufacturers are producing OLED TVs, and others are competing by introducing similar technologies. For example, “QLED” technology has been introduced as a rival to OLED TVs. So how do the two stack up?

    • OLED, short for “Organic Light-Emitting Diode,” is a completely unique TV technology that individually lights and colors every pixel. Instead of relying on backlighting, OLED TV panels are the light source itself – and the difference in picture quality over traditional LED-based panels is astonishing.

    • QLED, short for “Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diode,” is a variation of LED technology used in existing HDTVs and computer monitors. It includes a “quantum dot film” that helps differentiate each pixel being backlit. QLED TVs are a significant improvement over standard LED TVs, but they still rely on backlighting, and they struggle to compete with the color depth and clarity of OLED TVs.
       

    The bottom line: while QLED TVs are a nice upgrade, if you have a choice, always go with OLED. It’s a superior technology both on paper and in practice.

    If you’re not comfortable manually calibrating your OLED TV’s picture, try using one of its built-in calibration profiles. For example, most OLED TVs have pre-set profiles for watching sports or movies.

    Sound advice: OLED TV audio

    While we may be used to TV screens looking brighter and more resolute every year, no one expects their TV audio to compete with a home theater speaker setup. Even soundbars typically sound much better than TV speakers. However, with OLED TVs, many manufacturers are changing their tune and including speakers that can hold their own as home theater speakers. If you’re not sure which of the new options is right for you, consider the following tips.

    • Some OLED TVs include a built-in soundbar. To up the ante on the premium experience of OLED TVs, some manufacturers have designed OLED TVs with built-in soundbars; they also pack the TV’s internal electronics inside the soundbar, so the TV panel itself can be as thin as possible. Soundbars produce decent, but not amazing, audio, so if you plan on upgrading the sound, keep in mind that if you have an OLED TV with a built-in soundbar, you’ll need to keep the soundbar nearby … even if you’re not using it.

    • Some OLED TVs support premium audio formats. As 4K Blu-ray soundtracks are coming with high-end audio, some OLED TVs can actually mimic surround sound with them. No more two-channel TV audio; if you’re curious about what formats like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos sound like, an OLED TV can offer a great introduction.

    • If you’re looking for a true surround-sound experience, plan on buying a third-party speaker setup. Although manufacturers have implemented some respectable upgrades to their TV audio, one thing is still true: no TV speaker can compete with a proper surround sound setup with an audio video receiver and separate speakers. If you’re an audiophile – or you simply want the best sound available – plan on investing in additional gear.
    EXPERT TIP

    Many OLED TVs include a wand-style remote that acts like a mouse on the TV screen and relies on motion as well as buttons for input. If wand-style remotes aren’t your thing, buy a universal remote.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    When you buy an OLED TV, consider using a credit card with price protection. Price protection, in most cases, will reimburse you the difference if you find a lower price on the same TV within 30 days.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    OLED TV prices

    There’s no getting around it: OLED TVs are the priciest sets around. Thankfully, you get what you pay for – and most OLED TVs are worth every penny. As you’re shopping for an OLED TV, keep the following price ranges in mind.

    • In the $1,500 to $1,999 range, expect to see 55-inch 4K TVs and one or two 55-inch 1080p OLED TVs. In terms of picture quality and features, most OLED TVs in this price range are comparable to their more expensive peers, albeit with smaller screens. If you’re thinking of going with a TV that’s 65 inches or larger, you’ll need to spend more, but if 55 inches is just right for you, there’s no benefit to spending more.

    • In the $2,000 to $3,499 range, you’ll find OLED TVs that are between 65 and 75 inches and include all of the features you’d expect at this price point: smart TV functionality, 4K resolution with support for HDR, and of course, gorgeous OLED screens. Unless you need a screen larger than 75 inches, there aren’t a lot of reasons to spend above this range.

    • Above $3,500, most OLED TVs are 70 inches and up with slicker finishes and thinner panels. Aside from the size of the screen and the cosmetics, TVs in this price range don’t offer a lot more than their less-expensive counterparts. If you absolutely must outfit your media area with the largest and best TV available, expect to pay at least this much.

    If you plan on using your OLED TV with a streaming stick or Chromecast-like device, make sure you know where the TV’s USB ports are and that it has enough for your needs. Streaming sticks and similar devices connect to your TV via HDMI, but they require a USB port for power.

    Tips

    When you’re deciding which OLED TV to buy, consider these tips.

    1. If you plan on using an optical cable to connect your OLED TV to a home theater speaker system, consider using an HDMI cable instead. There are all kinds of audio formats when it comes to movie and TV soundtracks, and there are multiple ways to get your TV’s audio to an amplification source like a receiver. The best connection method is an HDMI cable – it will send any audio signal your TV supports. If you use an optical cable, any formats beyond Dolby Digital or Digital Theater Sound (DTS) – such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X – will be unavailable.

    2. Turn off any energy-saving features before watching any 4K or 4K HDR content. Most OLED TVs include features designed to limit how much power the TV consumes; such features are often labeled as “energy saving” or “eco mode.” In some cases, enabling this mode will make the TV less bright to conserve power. In instances where you want to make sure you’re seeing picture quality at its best, disable these features.

    3. Never run any “pixel refreshing” tasks manually unless your TV is exhibiting a problem. Most OLED TVs include pixel refreshing – a process by which pixels are reset – but it runs periodically on its own, so there’s no need to run it manually. If your TV starts to have display problems such as ghosting effects, the pixel refresh function may resolve the issue.

    RELATED: The cord-cutter's secret weapon

    If you’re looking for content that will show off everything an OLED TV can do, use the TV’s built-in YouTube app and search for 4K demo videos. Many of the most popular demos are used in box stores and show everything from abstract art to wildlife.

    FAQ

    Q. Do OLED TV have any “burn-in” issues?

    A. It’s possible but unlikely. If you leave a single, static image on an OLED TV for an extended period of time – around 100 hours or more – that image could leave a permanent mark on the screen known as “burn-in.” However, OLED TVs aren’t as susceptible to burn-in as the plasma TVs of yesteryear, and it’s really only a risk if you leave a program or channel on for hours on end. If your TV stays tuned to one station all day long, it’s possible that the station’s logo in the corner could become permanently emblazoned on your OLED panel. For most viewers, this is solved by varying what appears on the screen and never leaving it on a single screen for too long.

    Q. Can I get 3D TV on an OLED TV?

    A. Yes, you can on legacy models. Most major TV manufacturers stopped including 3D as a feature in 2017, and it can currently only be found on select projectors. If you’re a 3D enthusiast, you’ll need to find an OLED TV manufactured prior to 2017.

    Q. Do I need to buy any special cables to use an OLED TV?

    A. No. While it is true that HDMI 2.0 cables are a required upgrade for viewing 4K content at 60 frames per second (fps), most 4K video content is filmed at 30 fps, which works fine with the older, more common HDMI 1.4 cable standard. Some gaming consoles and PC games support 60 fps, so if you’re a hardcore gamer, you might want to look into upgrading your HDMI cables – but everyone else can keep using the same HDMI cables they always have.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Gadjo
      Gadjo
      Writer
    • Jaime
      Jaime
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
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