If you've begun your search for a new TV, you've for sure come across the four-letter acronym QLED tacked on to the end of several TV models from brands such as Samsung, Hisense, TCL, and Vizio. If you've found yourself asking if QLED is any good, or if it's better than its main competition, OLED, then take a minute and read our explainer on the two top TV technologies. If you're ready to see what the best QLED TVs on the market are right now, then forge ahead.
In short, though, "QLED" (Quantum Light-Emittinfg Diode) is a backlighting technology that uses something called quantum dots, a layer of supercharged nanoparticles that emit incredible amounts of colored light when energy is passed through them (check the FAQ below for more). The result is a TV picture that is bright (typically brighter than OLED panels), does well in daylight-filled rooms, and has impressive color and contrast. QLED branding has been mostly associated with Samsung, who has taken things even further with its QD-OLED tech, which attempts to get the best of the QLED and OLED worlds.
If you like your TV to be bold in every way, a QLED TV is a fantastic choice for picture tech, but with so many options out there, it can be tough to choose the right set for your home. That's why we've gone ahead and created this roundup of the best QLED TVs right now.
65-inch Samsung QN90B
The best QLED TV
- Powerful brightness and rich colors
- Four HDMI 2.1 inputs
- Excellent gaming features
- Sleek and intuitive smart TV interface
- Some issues with light blooming
- No Dolby Vision support
Samsung has been the undisputed champion of QLED technology for several years now, and if you're looking for one of the best QLEDs that money can buy, look no further than the amazing QN90B.
Available in several sizes (from 43 inches to 85 inches), the muscle behind the QN90B's incredible visuals goes to Samsung's Neo Quantum Processor 4K and Quantum Matrix Technology, a combination of clarity and contrast picture engines that deliver chart-topping peak brightness levels and stellar color brightness, too. And while the QN90B does a great job at making all sources look great, it's HDR-viewing (the QN90B supports HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG formats) that truly puts the TV over the edge.
Do keep in mind that because we're dealing with mini-LED lighting here, light blooming can be a little bit of an issue during significantly dark scenes in movies and shows, a minor blip in an otherwise perfect picture.
The QN90B is also a solid TV for those of us looking to future-proof our AV systems. With all four HDMI inputs (each capable of 4K/120Hz) classed as 2.1 ports, you'll be able to wire up all your go-to streaming devices and next-gen gaming consoles for years to come. The QN90B also includes a number of gaming must-haves, including NVIDIA G-Sync, AMD Free-Sync, and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support.
In terms of sound, thanks to HDMI eARC, Dolby Atmos enthusiasts will be able to use the QN90B as a gateway to one of the most immersive surround sound codecs available. And if you're not using an AV receiver or soundbar to experience your audio, the QN90B's Object Tracking Sound+ does a decent job at creating a balanced and believable soundstage right from the TV speakers.
Behind the scenes, Samsung's calling card Tizen OS is the brains behind the user interface and the QN90B's smart TV features, allowing access to an immense library of apps, games, and screen mirroring options for mobile devices.
Visually stunning and feature-rich, the Samsung QN90B is our favorite QLED TV, and we'll be singing its praises for some time.
65-inch Samsung QN900B
The best 8K QLED TV
- Capable of 8K resolution
- Four HDMI 2.1 inputs
- Enhanced clarity and contrast picture engines
- Great smart TV platform
- No Dolby Vision support
- Not practical for some viewers
In the world of consumer tech, hardware often arrives at the party far earlier than software and content. And in the case of the Samsung QN900B, the early bird is the TV's 8K panel.
As of yet, 8K resolution is a picture standard we're still working towards. Yes, you can find some 8K videos on YouTube and Vimeo, but that's about it for now. That being said, the QN900B is going to look amazing, no matter the source you're pumping into it. In fact, you can think of this set as an elevated version of the QN90B.
With the QN900B, you're getting everything that makes the QN90B a phenomenal set, from four HDMI 2.1 inputs to stand-out gaming features and HDR support, but with a little extra push in the clarity and upscaling departments, thanks to Samsung's Neural Quantum Processor 8K and Quantum Matrix Tech Pro.
The QN900B also touts Samsung's Infinity Screen, a near bezel-less design that accentuates just how gripping the picture actually is. At around $3,500 for the 65-inch (also available in 75- and 85-inch sizes), the QN900B may not be the QLED for everyone, but when it comes to 8K, we can't think of a better choice.
55-inch Hisense U8H
The best QLED for brightness
- Intensely bright
- Class-leading black levels
- Impressive HDR imaging
- Vibrant, accurate Color
- Surprisingly Good Sound
- Quirky user interface
- Some bugs
Hisense continues to chart its course as one of the best TV brands in the world of TVs, and with the release of the mini-LED powered U8H, the company has set the bar high for its budget brand competitors.
Simply put, it's hard to beat the kind of brightness, colors, contrast, and motion that the U8H is capable of, and even when compared to some of the best TVs from the likes of Samsung, Sony, and LG, the U8H still delivers some of the highest numbers we've seen in a QLED. We're talking close to 2,000 nits for specular highlights in HDR, with a sustained output of around 1,500 nits. Believe us, that's pretty astonishing.
Out of the box, we did have a few qualms with some of the default picture settings, and while the Google TV user interface is fairly easy to navigate and customize, we found it difficult to use when trying to access some of the TV's basic picture settings. But when you consider the TV's two HDMI 2.1 inputs, 120Hz refresh rate, and VRR and Free-Sync Premium support, it's almost like the value never ends.
75-inch TCL 6-Series (R655)
The best big-screen QLED
- Punchy HDR brightness and color
- Minimal backlight blooming
- Good motion resolution
- Great viewing angles
- Intuitive Roku interface
- Requires adjustment for best picture
- Struggles to clean up low-quality content
When it's a large screen that you're seeking, the 75-inch TCL 6-Series is an excellent option, especially if you're looking to save a few bucks. A solid foe to the Hisense U8H, the all-new TCL 6-Series is available in three different sizes — 55-, 65-, and 75-inch options — but it's the latter that truly catches our attention. Simply put, if you're looking for a large screen, this is a surefire contender.
Powered by the Roku TV OS for all things smart TV and user interface-oriented, those familiar with the look and feel of Roku's platform will feel right at home, with a minimal learning curve for first-time users. You'll have access to a number of popular apps (billed as Streaming Channels), from Netflix to Disney+, with the ability to mirror content from your mobile devices, too.
And in terms of picture quality, the TCL 6-Series rocks a mini-LED powered 4K screen, complete with four HDMI inputs, a 120Hz refresh rate, and excellent gaming perks, too (including VRR and AMD Free-Sync Premium Pro support). It's not the brightest or most colorful set we've ever laid our eyes on, but the TCL 6-Series delivers the kind of image that most viewers will be glad to write home about.
65-inch TCL 6-Series (R646)
The best budget QLED TV
- Bright, vivid picture with deep blacks
- Very good color accuracy
- Zippy mini-LED backlight control
- 4K 120Hz capable for gaming
- High value
- Glitchy operation
- No input button on remote
In 2021, TCL introduced mini-LED backlighting on the 6-Series, proving that the miniaturized light sources can make a big difference in contrast, black levels, and detail. And based on our hands-on experience with the R646, we love the end result.
Brightness soars with this TV, especially when it comes to peak nit output. The vivid visuals are present when it comes to color brightness too, making for a budget QLED that is packed with lots of punch and kick in the picture department, and for a relatively low price.
The 6-Series is also optimized for gaming, with its four HDMI inputs supporting 4K/120Hz, making this a blistering-fast choice for PS5 and Xbox Series X enthusiasts. In terms of overall picture upscaling, the 6-Series doesn't touch the kind of cleanup powers you'll find on higher-priced sets from Samsung and Sony, but for those of us that plan to do most of our TV-watching with Netflix and other mainline streaming apps, the TCL 6-Series (R646) is an excellent budget option.
55-inch Sony Bravia X95K
The best not-quite QLED alternative
- Rich, vibrant color
- Vivid HDR highlights
- Superior highlight and shadow detail
- Excellent Sound
- Some slight blooming/halo
- VRR disables local dimming
If you're looking for Sony's best picture, and don't want to invest in the expensive but stunning QD-OLED A95K, the X95K QLED is a second-best that looks and feels like a lot like its much more expensive older brother.
And while Sony doesn't claim to use quantum dots (they call their tech Triluminos Pro) and doesn't market their TVs as QLEDs, they compete right alongside the TVs on this list that are marketed as QLED. So, if you're considering a "QLED" TV based on the idea that they are top-tier LED/LCD TV performers, then you should also be considering this Sony option, never mind that it doesn't have QLED printed on the box.
That brings us back to the X95K. Incredible color accuracy and saturation is the name of the game here, with the X95K capable of delivering some very lifelike visuals, one of Sony's many calling cards over the last decade or so. And with its incredible mini-LED backlighting and whip-fast dimming zones, the X95K punches high above its weight. You're also working with four HDMI inputs (4K/120Hz), one of which features eARC support for all our Dolby Atmos diehards out there.
Even from a sound perspective, the X95K achieves a much bigger and more balanced sense of soundstaging than 2021's X95J model. Of course, no TV can deliver the full gravitas of a soundbar or dedicated surround-sound system.
Off-angle viewing with the X95K is okay, although some color highlights and overall contrast tend to take a hit, but this is rather par for the course when it comes to any kind of LED-powered set. And seeing as this is a Sony, the user interface and smart TV features are powered by Google TV, a quick and intuitive platform that connects you with all your favorite streaming apps and even allows you to mirror content from your phone to the X95K.
Frequently Asked Questions
The "Q" in QLED stands for quantum dot, a nanoparticle that emits light when energized. Quantum dots can be tuned to emit specific wavelengths of light, so TV makers add green and red quantum dots in a layer over their blue LED backlights, which creates a much purer white light than a single LED backlight can create on its own. With a pure white backlight, the TV's color filters can produce much more accurate colors, leading to significantly better picture quality than regular LED TVs.
UHD stands for ultra-high definition, also known as 4K. It's a description of resolution, or the number of pixels that make up an on-screen image. It can refer to the resolution of a specific piece of content (many streaming services offer movies in UHD) as well as the native resolution of a TV. QLED refers to the kind of display technology a TV uses (see above). QLED TVs come in various native resolutions, from HD to 8K, including UHD.
It depends. Right now, QLED TVs are capable of getting brighter than OLED TVs, which deliver better black levels and contrast. We feel that OLED TVs still produce a better overall picture quality, but if your viewing area is especially bright, or if you want a really big screen, QLED models might be a better choice for you.
Once again, it depends on your particular situation. For instance, if you want a TV for your patio, where it will experience partial or full sun, an OLED TV simply won't get bright enough to compete with all that daylight, and a QLED TV is definitely superior. On the other hand, if you can darken your media room whenever you want, an OLED TV will still deliver the deepest blacks and highest contrast.
Finding the right QLED TV for you is all about balancing size, picture quality, features, and price. First, figure out your budget, then prioritize the rest of your list. If getting the biggest TV for your money is the top priority, you'll be able to find 75-inch and larger models from brands like TCL, Vizio, Hisense, and LG that are still quite affordable. If picture quality matters more – especially when viewing HDR material – you should choose a model with a very high peak brightness. If gaming is a top consideration, make sure you find a model that's equipped with VRR, ALLM, and 4K at 120Hz for the best possible experience.
Samsung has two flagship QLED models depending on whether you want 8K resolution. The QN900B is the company's top 8K model, and the QN90B is its top 4K model.
Yes, but picking the right model is key. You'll want to look for a TV that has the latest HDMI 2.1 features, like VRR, ALLM, and 4K at 120Hz. Another feature that gamers will appreciate is support for AMD's FreeSync or Nvidia's G-Sync, which are two proprietary VRR technologies used by game consoles like the Xbox Series X and many gaming PCs.
No. Burn-in is a permanent form of image retention caused by leaving the same image on a TV for many hours at a time. In OLED TVs, this can cause individual pixels to age prematurely, leaving the "shadow" of some parts of the image on screen even after the image has changed. Because QLED TVs use a backlight for their brightness, their pixels aren't susceptible to this kind of uneven aging.
Theoretically, a QLED TV will outlast an OLED TV, at least in terms of maximum brightness, because OLED pixels lose their ability to produce brightness at a faster rate than a QLED TV's backlight. But you would likely have to keep your TV on for eight hours a day, seven days a week, for many, many years before this difference became noticeable. That said, a QLED TV should last a decade or more as long as none of its individual components fail -- something that can be hard to predict even for the best TVs.
QLED prices, much like OLED prices, are dropping all the time. A few years ago, you'd need to spend well over $2,000 for a 65-inch QLED TV. Today, you can find them for less than half that price.
Definitely. If you have a choice between a standard LED TV and a QLED TV, the QLED model will deliver brighter, more accurate colors, which should yield a better image overall. And as QLED TVs become the norm for non-OLED models, you won't have to pay much of a price premium to get one.
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