The Best OLED TVs of 2021 Have Unbeatable Picture Quality

best oled tvs
Courtesy of LG
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If you’re looking to upgrade your home theater and picture quality is one of your top priorities, then an OLED TV is the perfect choice. In fact, we’ll go even further than that. So long as you have the budget for a premium OLED TV, these devices are your only choice. The best OLED TVs use fancy technology like organic color substrates and individually lit pixels to deliver the sharpest detailing and richest colors you can get at home.

Right now, Sony and LG have a corner on the OLED TV market, with each brand having its own 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 that’s 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 of 2021. Before investing in an expensive new LG or Sony TV, be sure to check out the shopping guide and FAQ below.

  

Why Invest in the Best OLED TVs?

Movie and TV buffs will love the fact that OLED TVs have tons of 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.

If you’re also looking for the best of the best when it comes to audio quality, 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 take advantage of mobile device connectivity and virtual assistant capabilities to turn your new OLED TV into a true entertainment powerhouse. By using Google Assistant or Alexa-enabled devices, you can use just your voice to 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 right now 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.

  

1. LG C1 Series OLED TV

BEST OLED TV OVERALL

Last year, we named the LG CX OLED TV the best all-around OLED you could buy thanks to its infinite contrast ratio and eye-popping colors. However, in 2021, a new LG OLED has taken the crown. In 2021, there’s a clear choice for #1 when comparing the best OLED TVs: the LG C1 Series.

The new C1 from LG is the best OLED TV you can get your hands on. It packs 8 million self-lit pixels into screens ranging from 48 to 83 inches, giving you the sharpest details and contrast and richest colors available for home entertainment. The 4th generation a9 processor works with machine-learning algorithms to analyze shows and movies scene-by-scene for the best native and upscaled 4K resolution money can buy.

You’ll also get Dolby Vision IQ HDR and Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound for a more immersive cinematic experience at home. The voice-enabled remote works with both Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free controls over your TV and connected devices, and the Magic Tap feature lets you instantly share content from your smartphone or tablet by touching it to your TV.

ON SALE!
LG c1 Series, best oled tvs of 2021 Courtesy of Amazon

LG C1 Series OLED TV 65-Inches

$1,871.99
  

2. Sony Bravia XR A90J

RUNNER UP

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.

sony A90J TV, best oled tvs of 2021 Sony

Sony Bravia XR A90J

$3,198.00
  

3. LG A1 OLED TV

BEST OLED UNDER $1,000

While OLED televisions are still more expensive than their LED and QLED counterparts, the 48-inch A1 from LG is an excellent option for anyone looking for an upgrade on a budget. If you don’t mind having a smaller screen, this is the best OLED TV under $1000. (It’s also one of the only OLED TVs under $1,000.) Even with the smaller screen size, you can get some of the best picture quality available. Plus, it has all of the features you’ve come to expect from smart TVs like preloaded streaming apps, Bluetooth connectivity, and plenty of inputs to connect all of your playback devices and game consoles.

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lg a1, best oled tvs 2021 Courtesy of Amazon

LG A1 OLED TV 65-Inches

$1,596.99

  

4. Sony Bravia A80J OLED TVs

BEST SOUND

If sound quality is number one on your must-haves list when shopping for a new TV, look no further than the A80J from Sony. This model uses Sony’s proprietary Acoustic Surface Audio+ tech to turn the entire screen into a speaker. This gives you better video and audio syncing as well as sound that better fills your entire space. And coupled with Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound, you’ll get 3D audio without the hassle of setting up extra speakers and subwoofers.

sony bravia a80j, best oled tvs 2021 Courtesy of Amazon

Sony Bravia A80J OLED 65-Inches

$2,198.00
  

5. Sony A8H OLED TV

BEST FOR STREAMING

This 2020 OLED TV is still available in 2021, and even though it’s been eclipsed by the new line of Sony OLED TVs, it’s still a great option for anyone looking to save a few bucks. This TV has built-in sensors that monitor ambient light and noise in your living room or home theater to automatically adjust picture and sound settings for the perfect viewing experience. And with both IMAX Enhanced and Netflix Calibrated modes, you’ll be able to watch your favorite classics as well as the hottest new releases just as their creators intended. The suite of preloaded apps means you’ll spend less time setting up your home theater and more time enjoying movie nights with friends and family.

Sony A8H Bravia OLED 65" TV Amazon

Sony A8H OLED TV 55-Inches

$999.97

Sony A8H OLED TV 65-Inches

$999.97
  

6. LG B1 OLED TV

BEST OLED FOR GAMING

If you’ve managed to get your hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X, or even if you didn’t and just want the best OLED TVs for gaming, the B1 from LG has you covered. It works with both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate technology to work with your console and prevent annoying screen tearing and input lag that can mean the difference between winning and losing. It also works with both Google Assistant and Alexa for hands-free controls over your TV and consoles. And the 120Hz native refresh rate means you’ll get buttery smooth motion without any annoying blur.

lg b1, best oled tvs 2021 Courtesy of LG

LG B1 (65-Inch)

$1,796.99
  

7. LG G1 Series OLED TV

BEST DESIGN

If you think the G1 from LG looks like it belongs in an art gallery, that’s because it was designed that way. The TV is made to look like a framed piece of art that you would find in a high-end gallery, and you can either upload your own images or use the gallery store to purchase and download images of fine art to turn your new TV into a slideshow. You also have the option of either flush wall mounting for a clean, off-the-floor setup or a sleek tripod stand so you can move your TV around to suit your space.

LG G1 EVO OLED, best 65-inch tvs 2021 Courtesy of LG

LG G1 Series OLED TV

$2,346.99
  

8. LG Signature OLED R Rollable TV

MOST FUTURISTIC

If you’ve got tons of cash to burn and care more about what your TV looks like when it’s not being used than how great it makes old episodes of Seinfeld look, the new Signature OLED R from LG is perfect for you. This model retails for a whopping $100,000 and requires a special inquiry to purchase, but the rollable OLED screen that disappears into the ultra-modern base will make you feel like you’re truly living in the future. It only comes in a 65-inch screen size, so if you were hoping to get a massive screen to justify the price, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

We know that not many people have $100k to drop on a new TV, and this is more of a flex than a viable option for your living room. Still, we couldn’t resist adding it to our guide to the best OLED TVs.

lg-signature-rollable-tv Courtesy of LG

LG Signature OLED R

$100,000.00
  

9. LG WX Wallpaper OLED TV

ULTRA-THIN

The full package in LG’s OLED line, the W9 is equal parts amazing picture, sound and design. The display is literally 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 thing 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 2021

LG WX OLED TV Courtesy of LG

LG WX Wallpaper OLED (65-Inch)

$3,999.99

LG WX Wallpaper OLED (65-Inch)

$3,999.99
  

10. LG Z9 OLED

BEST BIG SCREEN

At nearly $30,000, the LG Z9 is downright decadent, but it does offer some things that no other TV on this list can boast. For starters, it comes in an 88-inch size, which if a 77-inch TV is too small for you for some reason, you now have options. Secondly, it offers 8K resolution which would be great if there was actually any 8K content to watch with it. But we do really love its design, which has an integrated stand that gives this monolith of a TV some airiness. It could also function as a console for your receiver and gaming consoles too, if you were motivated to use it as such. But still, given the price and the fact that this is the 2019 model, this really for those who absolutely need massive TV with a striking design.

If you’re looking for one of the greatest TVs known to man, then act fast. There are only a handful of these $25,000 OLED TVs left for sale right now.

LG Z9, best OLED TV Courtesy of Amazon

LG Z9

$19,897.00

LG Z9

$29,999.99
  

11. 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 when it comes to 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.

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Vizio OLED-H1 Courtesy of Best Buy

Vizio OLED-H1 (55-Inch)

$1,199.99

Vizio OLED-H1 (65-Inch)

$1,799.99
  

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.

What is OLED technology?

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.

How Is an OLED TV different from an LED TV?

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.

What are the advantages of OLED TVs?

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.

Why are OLED TVs so expensive?

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, 2021 might be the year when you see prices really start to drop 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.

Is an OLED really worth it?

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.

What is the best OLED TV?

Last year, we named the LG CX Series OLED the best TV of 2020 (and for the first half of 2021, 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.

  

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