Are you looking to get the richest and most accurate colors and contrast levels out of your TV? Then it sounds like you should invest in an OLED screen. With the official moniker of “Organic Light Emitting Diode,” OLED TVs negate an LED backlighting system entirely in favor of self-illuminating pixels that can power on and off individually, delivering perfect blacks and truly arresting colors.
Right now, Sony and LG have a corner on the OLED TV market, with each brand having its proprietary blend of tech that goes into their models, which unfortunately means that you’ll have to pay a premium to get one; especially if you want a bigger screen. However, if you’re willing to compromise on screen size or don’t mind a model a year or two old, you can find more affordable OLED TV options.
In this shopping guide, we’ll compare the top OLED TV models for 2022. Before investing in an expensive new LG or Sony TV, check out the shopping guide and FAQ below.
Why Invest in the Best OLED TVs?
Movie and TV buffs will love that OLED TVs have many ways to make everything from Old Hollywood classics to the latest Marvel blockbusters look amazing. Many models have 120Hz refresh rates or motion-smoothing software built in to eliminate blur and image tearing so you never miss a second of any scene. This is also great news for console gamers who play fast-paced action shooters like Call of Duty. Newer OLED TVs also work with variable refresh rate technology like G-Sync and FreeSync to work with your console and other devices for optimal frame rates; you can also get a TV with specific game modes that let you monitor things like input reaction times, frame rate, and even white balance so you can catch problems and adjust settings on-the-fly before they ruin your online match or stream.
Suppose you’re also looking for the best of the best when it comes to audio quality. In that case, OLED televisions offer some great sound technology like Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound, object tracking sound, and in Sony’s case, ways to turn the entire screen into a speaker for truly room-filling audio. With Bluetooth connectivity, you’ll be able to set up a fully wireless home audio configuration with satellite speakers, sound bars, and subwoofers to bring the experience of seeing a movie in a theater to your living room.
You can also use mobile device connectivity and virtual assistant capabilities to turn your new OLED TV into a true entertainment powerhouse. Using Google Assistant or Alexa-enabled devices, you can queue up Spotify playlists for parties or quickly search for new shows and movies to binge on your weekend off. LG TVs have the Magic Tap feature, which lets you instantly share media from your smartphone or tablet by touching it to the TV; this is great for getting everyone to finally see your favorite TikToks or videos you took of your cat without having to crowd around your phone.
We’ve rounded up the best OLED TVs available from LG and Sony and broke down their features to help you decide which model best suits your space and entertainment needs. You can check them out below and choose the best OLED TV for you.
How We Chose the Best OLED TVs
Regarding vetting and testing OLED sets, we here at SPY have specific criteria that these TVs need to meet to be included in our roundups. Here are some of the details we’re paying close attention to.
- Picture Quality: Yes, going OLED guarantees you’ll be seeing color volume and contrast levels better than any TV you’ve owned before, but our idea of the perfect panel is one where the manufacturer amps things up with additional picture tech in the form of upscaling, quantum dots, and boosters. Referring to the latter, we expect all OLED sets to be capable of the bare minimum of today’s leading specs — specifically, 4K/120Hz. But we also want these TVs to have digital motion boosters for added blur reduction and 4K upscaling that makes even the oldest films look brand new (or as new as can be).
- Inputs: With HDMI 2.1 being the current standard for most TVs, we expect most of our OLED sets to have one or more of these HD inputs for future-proofed gaming and UHD content. Additionally, at least one HDMI input must be an eARC or ARC input that can send audio from the TV into a compatible audio system. We also want to ensure our chosen OLEDs have enough inputs for whatever components and consoles you need connected.
- Smart Features: From webOS to Google TV and beyond, each of our chosen OLED TVs is equipped with the best smart TV platforms. Whether you’re looking to watch HDR Netflix movies or use Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri to control your smart lights and locks, you should expect your smart OLED to handle all your streaming and web-connected device needs.
1. LG C2 Series OLED TV
Building upon the rock-solid foundation of the 2021 LG C1 Series, the 2022 C2 is one of the brightest and beautiful OLED TVs we’ve ever seen. Combining the strengths of the a9 Gen 5 processor, newly-engineered Evo panel, and Brightness Booster Max, the C2 delivers maximum backlighting more on par with QLED performance while maintaining phenomenal contrast and color depth.
From movie fanatics to esteemed gamers, the C2 is built to last. This is because of features like the TV’s four HDMI 2.1 inputs for future-proofed UHD and gaming peripherals, as well as NVIDIA G-Sync, FreeSync, and VRR capabilities for whatever high-octane PS5 and Xbox Series X titles are on the horizon. In a nutshell, you’re looking at an OLED tailor-made to handle the most kinetic content, reducing lag and tearing to minimal levels and delivering 4K resolution at a blistering 120Hz.
2. Sony Bravia XR A90J
For hardcore Sony fans, the A90J is the perfect upgrade for your home theater. This OLED TV features tons of proprietary tech like Sony’s Cognitive Processor and Contrast Pro to give you stunning colors, contrast, and detail that is great for movie lovers, TV buffs, and console gamers. You’ll get Dolby Vision HDR, an IMAX Enhanced mode for audio and picture, and a Netflix Calibrated mode, so everything from classic TV shows to the hottest action blockbuster films look amazing.
3. Samsung OLED S95B
It’s been a long time since Samsung released a true OLED TV, with the brand best known for its QLED sets in recent years. But in 2022, Samsung is finally stepping up to the plate with the phenomenal S95B. Available in 55- and 65-inch sizes, the S95B uses an OLED panel on top of Samsung’s tried and true quantum dot lighting, with the result being classed as a QD-OLED — and boy does this TV get bright!
Working in near-perfect unison, the OLED screen lands the colors and contrast, while the quantum capabilities lend amazing new depths to the average HDR experience. Simply put, movies and shows encoded for HDR have never shined so brightly and looked so rich.
Beyond its lighting capabilities, the S95B is also a pro when it comes to 4K upscaling and future-proofed inputs, thanks to its HDMI 2.1 inputs, 120Hz refresh rate, and Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ for tackling the most adrenaline-packed action flicks and video games are in your arsenal.
4. Sony Bravia A95K OLED TVs
When it comes to audio engineering, Sony is one of the top brands in the OLED marketplace. This is thanks to a divine combination of Acoustic Surface Pro+ and simulated Dolby Atmos capabilities. The former uses two onboard actuators to emit pulse-pounding sound from the TV’s entire screen. At the same time, the latter allows the A95K to act as a powerful virtual surround system when watching Dolby Atmos movies and shows. This is on top of two powerful subwoofers for filling out all the low-end frequencies.
Available in 55- and 65-inch sizes, the A95K is also amazing when it comes to bringing home that amazing OLED picture, thanks to cutting-edge tech like Sony’s XR Triluminos Max color grading, the Cognitive XR processor for powerful 4K upscaling, and XR OLED Contrast Pro for dialing in the brightness and black levels.
5. LG B2 OLED TV
BEST FOR GAMING
When tackling all your gaming needs, you want a TV built to handle lightning-fast motion for both online matches and single-player campaigns. Look no further than the LG B2, an awesome OLED engineered for everything your next-gen systems need for optimal performance. We’re talking about HDMI inputs that deliver 4K at up to 120Hz (only two HDMI 2.1 inputs), NVIDIA G-SYNC, FreeSync, and VRR, along with LG’s built-in Game Optimizer for bringing home the action and keeping your gameplay free of pesky motion blur and frame drops. Compared to some higher-priced models, the B2 (available in 55- 65- and 77-inch sizes) is also a bit more affordable.
6. LG G2 Series OLED TV
The LG G2 Gallery Edition combines the brightness and color depth of LG’s award-winning lineup of flagship TVs with an amazingly thin design that hugs your wall like a picture frame. The end result? Movies, TV shows, and photos that look and feel like living, breathing works of art. Rocking LG’s a9 Gen 5 processor and powerful OLED Evo screen, you’re also getting excellent 4K upscaling and intense lighting power.
Essentially, you can take all the best parts of the aforementioned LG C2 and add in the incredibly pleasing wall-art aesthetic. It’s one of LG’s best, and we’re giving it two huge thumbs up.
7. LG WX Wallpaper OLED TV
The full package in LG’s OLED line, the W9 is equal parts amazing picture, sound and design. The display is as thin as a hardback book cover. There’s no panel connected to the back — simply a flat piece of glass. LG is able to accomplish this by moving the WX’s brains down into the included Dolby Atmos soundbar, which means that you’re also getting significantly better audio. And when it comes to image quality, you’re getting the same performance as you’d get from the LG CX and BX models. What we don’t love as much, however, is the price. But for those who deeply care about interior aesthetics and plan to wall-mount their TV, this is the best-looking solution.
Read More: The Thinnest TVs For Sale in 2022
8. Vizio OLED-H1
BEST BUDGET OLED TV
If you’re looking to save a little bit of cash but still receive top-shelf performance, the Vizio H1 OLED TV is a worthy contender for affordable OLED TVs. It may not have the same low input lag as the CX or high-end features such as Filmmaker Mode, Dolby IQ or a smart TV interface that’s as easy to use, but the average consumer would be hard-pressed to notice the difference between the two TVs. Considering this Vizio OLED-H1 is a few hundred dollars cheaper than what you’ll typically find the LG CX selling for (when it’s not on sale), those extra features might not be worth the added cost for some.
Everything You Need to Know About OLED TVs
There are few things more complicated than trying to figure out the difference between TV display technologies. And OLED is one of the most complicated technologies when it comes to understanding the benefits. Here is a quick primer on how the best OLED TVs work.
OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. Where as typical LEDs are not made of organic material (aka non-carbon based), OLEDs are made from substances which glow when electricity is passed through them. These OLEDs have most notably found their way into various displays, such as phones, tablets, laptops and TVs.
With most non-OLED displays available today, there are two main components responsible for generating the picture you stare at: the LCD panel and the LED backlights.
The LCD panel (short for liquid crystal display panel) is what contains your standard RGB pixels that will form a picture when light is passed through them in a specific manner. The LED backlighting is what illuminates this picture and makes it visible to you. Some TVs will have a ring of LEDs around the edge of the TV that light up the picture, while higher-end TVs will have a full grid array that can make specific “zones” of your TV glow while leaving others dark.
The best OLED TVs takes this latter idea further as there is no difference between the LED and the pixel. They are one and the same. This means that you can illuminate each individual pixel and have an insane amount of control over which parts of the screen are full of brilliant color, and which parts are full of stark black nothingness.
As a TV technology, the best OLED TVs set themselves apart because of their ability to deliver contrast ratios with infinite blacks. It’s able to do that because of its ability to illuminate each individual pixel, which means that the black pixels in a given scene are not lit up at all, but rather turned off. This can not only make your picture look more striking, but also can offer up a greater level of detail than your standard LED TV.
OLED TVs can be lighter, thinner and more flexible than your typical LED TV, and they can also consume less power (since the black areas of the screen simply have their pixels turned off). Furthermore, OLEDs have great viewing angles, which is key if you’re watching something with more than a couple of people.
The best OLED TVs are expensive for two reasons: First, they currently offer the best picture quality you can find in a TV right now. Secondly, the technology has only existed in TVs for less than 15 years and uses components which aren’t easily sourced.
While the cost has progressively come down over the years, 2022 is still the year to see prices drop a little more on OLEDs. While LG has dabbled with a budget-oriented OLED TV in the form of the BX OLED TV, companies like Vizio have introduced new models which have driven the price for an OLED down below $1500. While it’s unlikely OLEDs will fall to the same low prices as LED TVs anytime soon, it’s clear they’re becoming more accessible than ever.
Well, it depends. If you are someone who watches visually-stimulating movies and TV shows,, buying one of the best OLED TVs could be the best decision you ever made.
If you are a serious gamer, the colors and contrast that you can get from an OLED will only make games such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey pop that much harder as you play them.
If you are someone who watches a lot of sports, many of the best OLED TVs come with a true 120Hz refresh rate, which makes fast-paced action look way, way better on an OLED.
That said, if you spend most of your time watching the news or reality TV, the extra cost of an OLED may not provide the same sort of benefit. Likewise, if you tend to do most of your TV watching in a bright room, you might be better served by an LED TV since it gets brighter and is less prone to having the picture wash out.
In 2020, we named the LG CX Series OLED the best TV of 2020 (and still for the first half of 2022, too). However, the new LG C1 Series is the new king of the hill in this product category. The C1 Series make it easier to stream photos and videos from your phone to your TV, and it still boasts the unbelievable picture quality, sound and smooth motion you expect from a flagship OLED TV.