Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

Best TVs for sound

By Ben Stockton

From screechy soundtracks to muffled dialogue, we’ve heard it all. If you want a great TV experience without needing a sound bar, check out this round-up of the best sounding sets.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

There’s more to a TV than picture quality. And we believe you shouldn’t need to buy a sound bar or surround sound system to get a great experience from your brand new TV.

Perhaps you don’t have room for a sound bar or simply don’t want to spend yet more money after buying a new TV. Here, we round up the TVs that not only have the best sound quality, but also still deliver the same great picture and easy-to-use smart-TV platform as all of our Best Buy sets.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a £1 trial to Which?.

Best TVs for sound

Today's best price £998.99
Which? score 78%
Reviewed Oct 2016
Best Buy
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

Deservedly top of the range, this was one of the best TVs we saw in 2016. It may not have a mammoth screen, but this is 49 inches of near perfection.

Today's best price £1,299.90
Which? score 78%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Best Buy
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

Matching almost-impeccable sound with very good picture quality, this TV comfortably surpasses the Best Buy cut-off. With both premium features and performance, this is a TV worth blowing the budget on.

Today's best price £2,499.00
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Jun 2017
Best Buy
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

It's arguably the best TV we've heard in a long time. To match the stunning picture quality, you get crystal clear audio with an unrivalled richness. This is one wish-list TV worth splashing out on.

Today's best price £1,499.00
Which? score 75%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

This huge 65-inch TV fully justifies it's price tag. That added size brings a rich sound that is matched with sensational picture quality and a host of premium features

Not found the set for you? Browse all of our TV reviews

And here are three TVs to avoid

TV sound quality varies wildly, and modern flatscreen TVs have a poor reputation when judged against their boxy CRT predecessors. But recent years have seen some TVs deliver quality sound despite their ultra-thin profile. That said, poor-sounding TVs are still easy to find – here are some of the worst we’ve seen in the Which? test lab.

TVs with poor sound

Typical price £379.00
Which? score 44%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Don't buy
Picture quality:
3 out of 5
Sound quality:
1 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

There are innumerable issues with this 49-inch TV that go well beyond the rather average picture quality – namely the very poor sound, alongside smaller things such as the lack of connection options. All these problems add up to a Don’t Buy.

Today's best price £199.99
Which? score 43%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Don't buy
Picture quality:
3 out of 5
Sound quality:
1 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

Picture quality is pretty average overall and ease of use is far from perfect. The smart-TV features are disappointing and awkward to use, and the sound is plain awful. We’ve seen worse, but you wouldn’t have to look hard to find better.

Typical price £799.00
Which? score 43%
Reviewed Oct 2016
Don't buy
Picture quality:
3 out of 5
Sound quality:
1 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

This 55-inch premium 4K TV goes head to head with the big brands. But dreadful sound and meerly mediocre picture quality means it comes crashing back to Earth with a Don’t Buy bang.

Should I buy a sound bar or surround sound system?

If your TV sounds great on its own, is there really any point splashing out on a sound system, too? Logic tells us that a sound bar – something specifically designed for sound – should sound better than a TV, which has many other functions. But that isn’t always the case.

We put the best and worst TVs, sound bars, surround sound systems and hi-fis through the same sound-quality test to find out whether it’s ever worth buying an additional sound system.

We found that a TV rated five stars for sound quality will actually sound worse when hooked up to a one-star sound bar. But if you’re looking to take your TV experience to the next level, the best sound bars will always improve TV sound quality.

The graph below shows the results of our tests. We asked our listening panel to score each five-star product out of 10, using the same tracks on each.

Interestingly, the hi-fi system we tested blew the sound bar out of the water. So if you already have a decent hi-fi in your living room, you’re best off simply connecting it to your TV.

While our listening panel didn’t prefer the sound of the home cinema surround sound system, it of course has a unique selling point: true surround sound. But keep in mind that well-balanced, crisp and detailed sound is what matters most, regardless of what type of system you’re using. 

So unless you particularly value the idea of sound effects coming from all directions, you can save money (and space) by repurposing your hi-fi system or going for a sound bar. For more help deciding which is best for you, check out our sound bar vs home cinema and surround systems guide.

SHARE THIS PAGE

Related products

See all televisions