LED TVs can't achieve as good a picture quality as OLED TVs (check out our article about OLED vs LED) but they still generally offer much better value. You get more choices for sizes and brands (only LG and Sony sell OLEDs in the United States, and in a small range of sizes). Because of that, most of the TVs we review are LED LCD TVs. Without further ado, here are our recommendations for the best LED TVs for the first few months of 2017.
Best LED TV
If its price doesn't phase you, the Sony X930E is the best 4k LED TV for most people. It has a great contrast ratio and handles motion very well, and it is by far the brightest we've tested.
Picture quality on the X930E is excellent. At 1442 cd/m2 in a real scene, it is simply a massive step ahead of any other TV tested. The X930E is staggeringly bright, and its ability to light up highlights that bright allows it to produce an excellent HDR picture. It's not only good for HDR; motion and input lag are also great, so sports and video games are crisp and clear on this TV.
It has a few downsides: its viewing angle is particularly narrow, but that's expected of VA Type LED TVs. It also doesn't reach quite as high of a color gamut as competing TVs, but this is overall minor and doesn't stop this TV from being our top pick for an LED TV. However, since it's just been released, it still quite expensive.
For a more reasonably priced TV, the X930E's little brother, the Sony X900E, is a fair bit cheaper. It doesn't get quite as bright and doesn't have as nice of a design, but it otherwise performs similarly and should please most buyers looking for a high-end LED TV.
For an even better value in the high-end, look for the Vizio P Series 2016. It doesn't get quite as bright, but it still has a very comparable picture quality thanks to its excellent local dimming feature. Movie watchers will be pleased with this TV, and it performs best in a dimly lit environment.
Best mid-range LED TV
Minus the limited HDR performance, the Vizio M is very similar to the higher end Vizio P, so at its price point, it is quite a bargain for the picture quality you get.
It has a very similar local dimming feature that greatly enhances the picture quality of most content, and it has a very good handling of motion and low input lag, so it's also an excellent choice for gamers. However, it has the same downsides, so don't expect to enjoy watching it from a steep angle. Overall, it is still an excellent LCD TV for the money that will please more budget conscious buyers.
It can only be found in a limited set of sizes, but if you're looking for something more HDR focused, you should get the Sony X800D. It cannot get much brighter than the Vizio, but it is capable of displaying 10 bits of color depth as well as a much wider color gamut.
If you're not interested in HDR, get the X700D instead of the X800D. It's limited in functionality in that aspect, but it's an excellent LED TV for sports and our most recommended IPS TV. It doesn't lose much picture quality at an angle and gets quite bright, so it won't have any issues being watched in bright living rooms. It can technically only be found in 49" and 55" sizes, but the X750D at 65" is practically the same TV.
Best budget LED TV
If you can still find it, the Hisense H8C is the best budget LED TV you can buy. It doesn’t look as good physically as our top choices, but the picture quality is quite similar to the Samsung KU6300. It has very good contrast and better than average handling of motion, and it sports a slew of features, including some basic HDR support. It doesn't have a very wide viewing angle, but most people looking for a less expensive 4k TV will be more than pleased with the H8C.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best LED TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of LCD TVs that didn't make the cut:
- Samsung KS8000. Almost out of stock everywhere now, very good TV if you can find it. See our review
- LG UH8500. Great TV and an improvement over the equivalent model from last year, but priced too high for what it is. See our review
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of LED LCD TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.