The 5 Best Sony TVs of 2021

We've got the scoop on the brand's best tubes

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The Rundown
The sound and color are outstanding, offering the closest you’ll get to a movie theater in your home.
Best for Small Rooms:
Sony XBR49X900F at Amazon
If you’re looking for Sony’s best comb0 of size and quality, you won’t do any better than the Sony X900F 49-inch 4K smart LED TV.
The sleek, stylish design is what you’d expect from a incredible piece of 8K-optimized tech.
It's built around Sony's X1 Extreme processor for faster picture rendering and smoother upscaling.
This TV, like others on this list, is built around the AndroidTV operating system.

Sony is one of the most trusted brands in electronics, so it’s no surprise that their TVs are some of the best on the market. Since releasing its first TV in 1960, the company has led the way in television innovation ever since. If you’re in the market for a new Sony TV, we’ve rounded up some of our top pics of both 4K and 8K Sony models, offering streaming, video game compatibility, and smart functionality, like voice controls. You can also pick from a variety of screen sizes, from as small as 43 inches to the standard 55 inches, and as big as 75 inches. That's enough range to cover your living room or bedroom no matter the size of space you're working with.

Whether you’re looking to set up a home theater in your basement or simply need to upgrade your TV to a newer or larger model, make sure to read our guide to Smart TVs before diving into our reviews of some of the best Sony TVs on the market. 

Best Overall: Sony 55" A8H Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Android TV

What We Like
  • Competitive pricing for an OLED TV

  • Impressive color and rich blacks

  • Lot of customization options

What We Don't Like
  • No HDMI 2.1 option

  • Design isn’t as sleek as it could be

For a true home cinema experience, you can’t look past the Sony Bravia A8H 4K UHD OLED TV. OLED TVs have been some of the best on the market for years, but their high price point made them out of reach for many. We’re now finally starting to see more affordable OLED options, with the A8H one of the top options on the market. 

The sound and color are outstanding, offering the closest you’ll get to a movie theater in your home. You’ll benefit from state-of-the-art features, including the X1 Ultimate Picture Processor, Dolby Vision, Pixel Contrast Booster, Acoustic Surface Audio, and X Motion Clarity, all working together to create a premium product. It also wins points for its smart home compatibility, with Google Assistant built in and support included for Alexa and HomeKit. 

The navigation and UX couldn’t be easier to use, and you’ve got plenty of options to personalize your screen. While it’s a fantastic purchase for just about anyone, it may not be ideal for hard-core gamers, as it’s lacking HDMI 2.1. Otherwise, we really love this one. 

Best for Small Rooms: Sony XBR49X900F 49" 4K Smart TV

What We Like
  • 4K UHD

  • Full array dimming

  • IMAX enhanced audio

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Picture quality is altered at an angle

Even if you have a small room, there’s no need to sacrifice on quality. For smaller viewing spaces, one of the best Sony options is the X900F 49-inch 4K smart LED TV. It packs a huge punch for a smaller model, but won’t overwhelm your apartment or family room.

The TV uses Sony’s HDR X1 Extreme processor, X-Tended Dynamic Range, and X-Motion Clarity, which are responsible for the X900F’s impressive contrast and color saturation, plus its low blur rate during action shots. The sound quality is just as strong as the picture, thanks to the inclusion of IMAX Enhanced audio, designed to replicate the immersive IMAX theater experience in your own home. It’s not overbearing—it creates a perfect surround sound system.

As with most new Sony TVs, you can also enjoy the convenience of Android TV and Google Assistant. One last tip—consider where in your home you’ll be placing your TV, as viewing abilities can be altered if you’re watching from an angle. Otherwise, we recommend it highly. 

"HDR-supported content will be bright and vibrant, creating an immersive experience for entertainment consumption, especially if you plan to use the TV for gaming." — Zach Sweat, Product Tester

Sony XBR49X900F 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Lifewire / Zach Sweat

Best Splurge: Sony 75" Class Z8H Series LED 8K UHD Smart Android TV

What We Like
  • Epic sound quality

  • Screen looks great from any angle

  • Stunning 8K picture and video quality

What We Don't Like
  • High price means 8K tech still isn’t easily accessible

  • Privacy concerns around the built-in mics

If you’re been waiting to upgrade your TV until you could get your hands on an incredible piece of 8K-optimized tech, then the Z8H is for you. If your budget allows, this TV has some fantastic improvements over Sony’s previous 8K model, the Z9G, making now the right time to invest. 

The sleek, stylish design is what you’d expect from a premium product and the design is improved with framed tweeters, placed on each side of the TV. Along with the woofing speakers, the ZBH can produce unique vibrations and sounds unlike most of its competitors.

When it comes to performance, the color and imagery are world-class, especially when displaying bright HDR video. It also displays black space equally well, perfect for sci-fi and outer space scenes. Although it’s still got a way to go, we’re excited to see 8K technology becoming more and more accessible for home film enthusiasts. 

Best OLED: Sony XBR-65A8G 65-Inch Bravia OLED TV

Sony XBR-65A8G 65 Inch TV: BRAVIA OLED
What We Like
  • Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant compatible

  • Dolby Vision/IMAX Enhanced

  • Lots of options to customize 

What We Don't Like
  • OLED screens are prone to burn-in damage

  • Pricey

Looking for a new OLED TV? If so, the Sony XBR-65A8G 65-Inch Bravia could be just what you need. Thanks to OLED, which uses over 8 million self-illuminating pixels to create images, this model wows with impressive 4K HDR video and amazingly smooth motion processing. Thanks to the inclusion of Sony's X1 Extreme processor, you also benefit from lightning-fast rendering and even non-4K video will still look great on the screen. 

Sony pulled out all the stops with this TV, including Sony's Triluminos technology, Dolby Vision HDR support, and IMAX Enhanced programming for superior color saturation, detailing, and contrast, which make images really come to life. Sony's Acoustic Surface technology is also included, an innovative feature which actually turns the TV screen itself into a sound-emitting device, giving a more dynamic audio experience. 

Occasionally, OLED screens can suffer from burn-in damage, especially if you’re watching repetitive screens, like news feeds. However, if you’re set on an OLED, this is one of the best TVs you’ll find, Sony or otherwise. 

Best Smart TV: Sony X800H 43-Inch 4K UHD TV

Sony X800H 43 Inch TV
What We Like
  • Extremely accurate colors

  • Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant compatible

  • Dolby Vision support

What We Don't Like
  • No Mac/iOS support

  • Black hues lack depth

It’s no secret that smart TVs and streaming are the way of the future, with more and more of us ditching cable subscriptions in favor of online services like Netflix. If you’re upgrading to a smart TV to enjoy streaming, the Sony X800H may be just what you need. With Android TV and connectivity for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, it’s easy to use your TV hands-free or use it to play music or start playing your favorite show. 

You’ll also see your shows and games in as much detail as possible, thanks to Sony’s X1 HDR processor. This feature removes excess noise and gives you incredibly lifelike video. The color and saturation on the X800H are fantastic as well, standing out for its bright and accurate color portrayal. It also uses Dolby Vision and Triluminos display technologies to ensure detail and color really pop. However, black hues don’t seem to have the same richness as other colors on the screen. 

Even if you’re new to smart TVs, the control panels are intuitive and you’ll quickly learn how to make best use of your new device. 

If you’re looking for a stunning OLED picture, you can’t go wrong with the Sony Bravia A8H. With amazing color and contrast, a reasonable price, and plenty of useful features, it’s the best all-rounder for most home entertainment needs. However, if an LED model is more your speed, check out the X900H series. It impresses with killer surround sound, quick response times, and a stunning and vibrant picture quality. Both models also come with Android TV and are perfect for those who are after a smart, hands-free TV. 

About Our Trusted Experts

Katie Dundas is a freelance writer and journalist who has been writing about smart and home technology for several years. She is a fan of Sony products and has a Sony Bravia KDL 50W800C television at home. 

Zach Sweat is an experienced editor, writer, and photographer. He tested the Sony X900F 49-inch TV on our list and discovered its particular benefits for gaming.

FAQs

Does Best Buy repair Sony TVs?
If you have a Sony TV that's broken or not working right, you can get it repaired at Best Buy. If your TV is smaller and under 42 inches you can take it to a local Best Buy to get it repaired. Best Buy will repair it even if you didn't buy it at Best Buy. For a bigger TV that's 42 inches and larger, you can call their home repair and schedule an appointment if you're a Total Tech Support member or have Geek Squad Protection.

Where can you find the best deals on TVs?
If you're looking for good deals on TVs, a good time to buy is right before the Superbowl which tends to have lots of sales. Another good time is during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Those are some of the biggest shopping events of the year, but even if they've passed you may still be able to find a deal on Best Buy which frequently has weekly sales. Be sure to take a look at our roundup of TV deals on Best Buy.

Where to recycle TVs?
If you need to recycle a TV don't just throw it in the trash since it's electronic waste. Take a look at our article for the different ways you can recycle and donate an old TV. Your choices include electronics manufacturers recycling management company, environmental health and safety online, 1-800-Got-Junk, CallRecycle, and Recycler's World.

Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

 Lifewire / Zach Sweat

What to Look For in a Sony TV

Since its founding in 1946, Sony has made itself into a reputable name in electronics, and when they introduced their first smart televisions in 2007, they were no exception. Their lines of smart TVs give you tons of features to choose from: from voice-enabled remotes and preloaded apps, to screen mirroring and some truly impressive audio and video technology, Sony smart TVs are some of the best available on the market. Sony has also introduced a line of OLED panel televisions which use cutting-edge image technology to give you the most lifelike picture available. 

Some Sony models also use something called Acoustic Surface Technology, turning the entire screen into a speaker for clear, crisp audio. Many models available from Sony use proprietary programming and technology like Motionflow XR to render images and master audio to create a more cinematic experience in your home theater. Whether you want to watch the big game with friends, have family movie night on the weekends, or are looking for the ultimate gaming TV, there is a Sony model to suit.

LED vs. OLED

LG was the first company to introduce OLED technology in 2012, with Sony quick to follow. An OLED panel uses several layers of organic substrates and filtering layers to produce millions of bright, lifelike colors. These types of screens also have millions of individually lit pixels to produce minute detailing and deep, inky blacks for enhanced contrast.

Since they use edge lighting rather than traditional backlighting rigs, OLED televisions can be made much thinner than their LED and QLED cousins. This gives each OLED television a sleek, modern look that will complement almost any home decor. All of this amazing technology comes at a price though; OLED televisions can run upwards of thousands of dollars depending on screen size and other optional features. 

"As every LCD has a blacklight, all will experience some level of visible light behind the picture. OLEDs don't have these backlights, as each individual organic LED pixel emits its own light. Combined with higher contrast and movie theater-like HDR experience, this greatly enhances the viewing experience." — Michael Helander, President and CEO of OTI Lumionics

Sony still offers LED models at more affordable prices for budget-conscious customers. You can still find excellent 4K UHD resolution and picture quality in these kinds of televisions, but detailing and contrast pales in comparison to their OLED counterparts.

One advantage traditional LED televisions have over OLED models is that they don't carry any danger of image burn-in. Burn-in happens when a screen projects the same image over a long period of time, creating a "ghost" image when switched off. This usually happens with headline tickers on news channels or score and stat blocks when watching sports. Under normal circumstances, burn-in isn't much of a concern, but if you plan on watching a lot of 24-hour news channels or sports, it's something to be aware of.

Acoustic Surface Technology

Along with OLED panels, Sony further reduces bulk in their high-end televisions by using their Acoustic Surface Technology. This system forgoes traditional speakers in favor of very small vibration units mounted behind the screen which track objects on the screen and produce audio accordingly. Not only does this allow for incredibly thin televisions, it also vastly reduces the latency between audio and video; it creates nearly-simultaneous video and audio output, giving you the most accurate audio and a much more immersive experience. 

Since the sound units are behind the screen and must vibrate to produce sound, it's natural to worry if this technology will distort the picture or cause visual problems. However, these actuators are designed to vibrate on an almost microscopic level, virtually eliminating image distortion. With Acoustic Surface Technology, you won't need expensive, external audio equipment to get great 3D sound, though you can utilize Bluetooth connectivity to enhance this feature with satellite speakers and subwoofers.

Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

 Lifewire / Zach Sweat

Screen Resolution

Sony, along with other television manufacturers, have begun to offer 4K TVs at more and more affordable prices as the technology becomes cheaper and easier to produce. Televisions that use 4K resolution give you four times the resolution of full 1080p HD models, creating more colors, enhanced contrast, and better detailing. As more and more people buy 4K TVs, streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video have started offering a slew of movies and shows in 4K in order to take full advantage of the technology. Streaming services are still finding ways to reliably provide UHD content without requiring ridiculously fast internet speeds or exceptionally high data caps. Sony, along with LG, have also released a line of televisions that can produce 8K resolution.

Models with 8K resolution give you four times that of 4K and 16 times that of 1080p HD. That may sound impressive, but the visual difference between 8K and 4K isn't nearly as dramatic as that between 4K and 1080p. For an 8K television to look its best, the television would need a native refresh rate of 120Hz (120 times per second) to eliminate motion blur and muddy details. Televisions with 8K resolution are also extraordinarily expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars; this places them well out of reach of average consumers and even some businesses, making it difficult to justify upgrading your home theater with this new technology. While it's tempting to splurge on an 8K TV to future-proof your home theater, the lack of viable content and rapidly shifting technology makes a 4K model much more attractive as a choice.

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