Best TVs for sound quality – Which? test lab round-up [updated]
A recent survey of Which? members showed that nine in 10 people count sound quality as an important factor when considering buying a new TV. So why is finding a set with great sound quality such a challenge?
The main reason is space. As TVs have become thinner and thinner, it has become harder for manufacturers to insert speakers large enough to deliver good sound. Sometimes sound processing software inside the TV can partly make up for this, but it’s a tall order. Adding a sound bar, or hooking your TV up to hi-fi speakers, can improve things but if you just want a TV with good sound supplied, we’ve picked out the best models for sound quality from our latest tests below.
Click through for the full reviews of each TV on the links below, or see our Best Buy TVs to find an all-round great model. Though sound’s important it’s not everything and our TV tests look at every aspect of how you’ll use your TV.
Under £500 – Samsung UE40ES5500
This TV is from Samsung’s mid-range selection and shows hints of the style, and a few of the features, of its high-end LEDs. We found sound quality to be suprisingly good for such a slim TV.
The built-in speakers cope well across the whole frequency range, and even if the bass is a bit flabby and the high-end slightly tizzy, there’s plenty of clarity and detail.
Full Samsung UE40ES5500 review - find out if the picture quality could match up to make this model a Best Buy.
Under £800 – Samsung UE40ES68000
This TV is the full package on paper. A top-end model from Samsung with a Full-HD 1080p screen and smart, and 3D TV features. As with the ES5500 above, this model impressed us for sound despite it’s slimline nature.
It delivers a big sound with plenty of high-quality bass, a smooth tone with great detail and clarity, though the sound at the high-end can be a bit harsh. There’s a wide stereo sound and nice dynamics.
Full Samsung UE40ES6800 review – find out how this TV rates for picture quality and its smart TV features.
Under £1,500 – LG 47LM860
If you’re looking for a premium TV experience this 47-inch LG could well be on your list. It has an almost frameless design and a full-HD screen, as well as 3D and smart TV features.
It produces better than average sound – the tone as a whole is very likeable, with lots of high-frequency detail and good dynamics. The low end can be a little unrefined and thumpy but overall for such a thin TV the effect is not bad.
Full LG47LM860 review – if you plan to spend this much on a TV, make sure you know if it makes it as a Best Buy.
Under £2,000 – Loewe Connect ID 40 DR+
This Loewe TV costs a packet, so can it live up to the picture and sound quality you’d expect for this price? Well, we found the sound to be good quality and it sounds natural too. It has good detail, definition and clarity on all the tracks we tested it on.
This 40-inch TV is a smart TV and you can watch in 3D if you wish. It also has a handy built-in PVR feature with 500GB of storage and a choice of Freeview and Freesat HD tuners.
Full Loewe Connect ID 40 DR+ review – was the sound the best thing about this TV? Find out here.
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