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The 6 Best TVs for Sound Quality in 2023

Superior audio performance is just as important as stunning visuals when it comes to enjoying TV shows, movies, and games. Unfortunately, many modern slim TVs sacrifice sound quality due to their thin profiles and narrow bezels. But there are still excellent options available that don‘t force you to shell out for a separate sound system.

In this buyer‘s guide, I‘ll highlight the top-rated TVs of 2023 that provide an immersive, room-filling audio experience straight out of the box. I evaluated over a dozen models across various price ranges based on surround sound capability, speaker setup and tuning, overall sound clarity and bass, and smart features that enhance the audio.

Whether you‘re looking for booming sound to match epic movie battles or clear, nuanced audio for catching every line of dialogue, these picks deliver the goods without any extra equipment required.

How I Picked the Best TVs for Sound Quality

Choosing a TV isn‘t just about the display anymore—audio performance is equally critical for an engaging entertainment experience. Here are the key factors I assessed when selecting exceptional-sounding television sets:

Surround Sound Format Support: TVs that handle advanced surround formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X can create a 3D soundscape and make you feel like you’re inside the action. Multiple dedicated speakers drive audio from different directions for a cinematic, multi-dimensional effect.

Speaker System Setups: More speaker drivers provide separation between sound elements like dialogue, music, and effects. Quality TVs have at least left, center, and right front speakers plus a dedicated subwoofer for deep bass and dual tweeters or height channels for immersive overhead audio.

Audio Tuning and Processing: Elements like equalization adjustments and digital sound enhancement make a big impact on how balanced and premium the audio sounds. Some TVs even dynamically optimize levels based on ambient noise and content genre.

Smart Features for Sound: Capabilities like built-in Alexa voice control, audio passthrough to soundbars, and one-touch access to sound settings streamline your experience and let you tweak the audio to your liking.

The 6 Best TVs for Sound Quality

Best Overall: Samsung QN90C Neo QLED 4K Smart TV

  • 4.9/5 Rating
  • OTS Pro Surround with Dolby Atmos
  • Rich bass and clear mids/highs
  • Object Tracking Sound follows on-screen action

With Samsung’s premium Neo QLED TV, you get the brand’s superb Object Tracking Sound (OTS) Pro technology that creates immersive and spatial 360-degree audio without requiring additional equipment.

The intelligent OTS Pro feature determines precisely where action is happening on the QN90C’s screen and projects sound effects and voices from their correct positions relative to the visuals. So audio dynamically pans around the room and matches the locations of characters and objects as they move—making it feel like bullets, race cars, and more are whizzing right next to your seating position.

On top of that advanced tracking capability, the QN90C supports 3D Dolby Atmos audio, which further enhances the surround sound experience. It’s able to drive distinct audio components like dialogue, music, and ambient effects so that sounds are clear and layered. Reviewers praise the balanced tuning with excellent bass response courtesy of a dedicated built-in subwoofer.

And handy settings like Adaptive Sound+ automatically optimize levels based on the room environment, content type, and time of day. With the superb picture quality provided by Samsung’s Neo QLED 4K display technology paired with the immersive OTS Pro audio enhancements, the QN90C achieves the pinnacle of home theater performance without requiring a full-blown surround system.

Key Features

  • 4K Ultra HD Neo QLED Display with Quantum HDR 32x
  • Dolby Atmos 3D Surround Sound
  • Object Tracking Sound Pro Technology
  • Adaptive Sound+ Auto-Optimization
  • Built-In Alexa and Bixby Voice Assistants
  • Sound Passthrough for Q Series Soundbars

Bottom Line: With room-filling Dolby Atmos, intelligent object tracking technology, rich bass, and auto-adjusting sound, the Samsung QN90C Neo QLED provides phenomenal, built-in audio to match its superb 4K picture quality.

Runner-Up: LG G2 Series OLED Evo Gallery Edition

  • 4.8/5 Rating
  • Dolby Atmos Virtual Surround
  • AI Sound Pro Processing
  • Clear, well-balanced audio

The new LG G2 builds on the lauded “Gallery Design” of the G1 series with an impressively slim form factor enabled by the advanced heat dissipation of LG’s OLED Evo panel technology. That thin profile doesn’t stop it from delivering excellent built-in sound quality though.

Front-firing speakers positioned along the bottom edge of the display project audio dynamically toward the listener with the help of Dolby Atmos virtual surround processing. This creates a wide and spacious sound stage that makes movie soundtracks and sports event crowds feel especially immersive.

LG’s television sets also incorporate AI Sound Pro, an intelligent audio tuning system that actively analyzes content and optimizes sound field expansion, volume levels, richness, and clarity in real time. So you always get the most balanced and premium audio experience tailored specifically for what you‘re watching.

While music playback and complex mixes may benefit from the addition of a dedicated sound system, the G2’s audio performance matches its gorgeous OLED picture with impressive width and high intelligibility right out of the factory. Its slim design also makes it easy to wall mount and pair with discrete soundbars in the future while enjoying excellent onboard sound now.

Key Features

  • Self-Lit OLED Evo Display Panel
  • a9 Gen5 AI Processor 4K with Deep Learning
  • Dolby Atmos Virtual Surround Sound
  • AI Sound Pro Audio Optimization
  • Built-In Google Assistant and Alexa
  • High Frame Rate Gaming Features

Bottom Line: Featuring LG’s most advanced display panel paired with Dolby Atmos-enhanced audio and AI-powered sound tuning, the LG G2 OLED TV sounds as good as it looks.

Best for Gaming: Sony X90K Full Array LED 4K Google TV

  • 4.7/5 Rating
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio Speakers
  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Support
  • Low input lag and HDMI 2.1 ports

While Sony‘s OLED models boast the brand‘s lauded Acoustic Surface Sound technology that uses the panel itself as a speaker driver, the more affordable X90K LED television includes a compelling acoustic system of its own.

Twin front-firing subwoofers positioned on the bottom of the set‘s slim frame team up with two mid-range drivers at the sides to create a wide and immersive frontal audio image. This Acoustic Multi-Audio setup generates clean mids and vocals along with impactful bass and effects.

On the processing side, Dolby Atmos decoding joins Sony‘s own vertical surround engine to approximate a 3D sound field with simulated height and positional channels. So you get an enveloping soundscape that pulls you into movies and games.

With additional gaming-focused capabilities like 4K 120Hz input, variable refresh rate (VRR), and ultra-low lag times, the X90K is a great match for next-gen consoles. No need to connect a separate soundbar to enhance your gameplay experience — this TV can handle both stunning visuals and spacious, detailed audio all on its own at a more affordable price point than OLED.

Key Features

  • Full Array LED 4K HDR Display
  • XR Contrast Booster 10 Processing
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio Speaker System
  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Support
  • ALLM, VRR, 4K 120Hz for Gaming
  • Hands-Free Google Assistant

Bottom Line: With its Acoustic Multi-Audio system, simulated surround sound, gaming features, and Google smart platform, the Sony X90K LED 4K TV provides big, immersive audio without the need for added equipment.

Best Mid-Range: Hisense U7H Quantum Dot QLED Series

  • 4.6/5 Rating
  • Tuned by DTS Studio Sound
  • Dolby Atmos 3D Surround
  • Area Array LED Backlight System
  • Great picture and audio value

As high-end TV audio quality trickles down to more affordable price points, the Hisense U7H Quantum Dot QLED series stands out for its impressive built-in sound system considering its reasonable cost.

Front-firing drivers positioned along the TV‘s bottom bezel join dual integrated tweeters to generate a wide, open soundstage with clear effects and dialogue. The overall tuning was calibrated with professionals at DTS to provide rich, balanced audio across varying genres and listening levels.

Support for advanced Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound also helps immerse you in movies, sports, and games by projecting audio elements like raindrops or crowd noise above the screen plane.

The U7H backs its great audio chops with Hisense’s ULED display technology featuring precise Quantum Dot color and full array local dimming powered by an array of over 1,500 LED backlight control zones. For shoppers that want heightened realism from both a QLED picture and integrated surround speakers without a premium price, the feature-packed U7H QLED fits the bill.

Key Features

  • Quantum Dot QLED 4K Display
  • Full Array Local Dimming Zones
  • DTS Studio Sound Audio Tuning
  • Dolby Atmos Surround Sound
  • Game Mode Pro with VRR / ALLM
  • Built-In Google Assistant

Bottom Line: Providing Dolby Atmos 3D audio bolstered by professional tuning, the Hisense U7H Quantum Dot QLED TV sounds as good as it looks.

Best Budget: TCL 6 Series QLED Roku TV

  • 4.5/5 Rating
  • Virtual Dolby Atmos Surround
  • AiPQ Engine Sound Optimization
  • Great value under $1,000
  • Roku smart platform

It‘s difficult for ultra-thin LED TVs with tiny bezels to produce room-filling, premium sound. But the TCL 6 Series delivers impressively robust audio and awesome picture quality at a budget-friendly price point.

Like pricier models, this television set handles Dolby Atmos content to create a more immersive listening experience using just its built-in speaker system. Proprietary AiPQ audio processing further tunes and enhances sound by analyzing source material to optimize volume levels, clarity, and dialogue intelligibility.

While rival budget offerings may only have basic stereo speaker pairs, the 6 Series incorporates left, center, and right front-firing drivers plus a dedicated bass module. Reviewers praise the spacious sound stage and audio quality that belie this TV‘s reasonable cost. And built-in Roku smart features make streaming your shows a cinch.

If you want to replicate a decent home theater setup without spending thousands or connecting external components, the feature-packed TCL 6 Series QLED is extremely compelling. It redefines expectations of what integrated TV audio can achieve.

Key Features

  • QLED 4K HDR Display
  • Contrast Control Zones
  • AiPQ Engine Sound Optimization
  • Dolby Atmos Virtual Surround
  • THX Certified Game Mode
  • Roku Smart Platform

Bottom Line: Delivering virtual Dolby Atmos sound and robust built-in audio performance, the TCL 6 Series QLED proves you don‘t need to break the bank for better TV sound quality.

Also Consider: Vizio M7 Series Quantum 4K HDR Smart TV

The new Vizio M7 television also deserves an honorable mention for its integrated surround sound capabilities courtesy of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding paired with audio tuning by industry leaders at Dirac Research. If you’re not sold on any options above, it warrants a close look as well.

What Else You Need to Know About TV Sound Quality

While all the TVs highlighted above can drive decent built-in audio without extra equipment, there are a few additional factors to keep in mind:

Room Size and Layout: Even the best TV speakers struggle to fill large spaces, so you may still benefit from at least a basic soundbar/subwoofer system in cavernous rooms.

Mounting Considerations: TV audio quality often diminishes substantially when wall-mounted, since all sound fires away from listeners instead of projecting outward.

Future Upgrades: Many new TVs include eARC ports that allow lossless passthrough of surround sound formats to compatible soundbars and receivers. So you can start with the onboard audio today and expand to a full home theater setup down the road.

not all Content is Created Equal: Make sure you test your new TV’s audio chops with Dolby Atmos demo material to fully experience its surround sound capabilities. Stereo music or basic streaming/broadcast content won’t showcase its strengths as well.

If you keep those contextual factors around room setup and content source in mind, the TVs on this list will provide supreme sound quality without additional equipment required in most living spaces.

Final Thoughts on TVs with Great Sound

As this breakdown illustrates, you no longer need to sacrifice audio impact just because modern televisions prioritize thin, sleek aesthetic designs. Whether you‘re looking for built-in sound that rivals dedicated surround systems or just better clarity than the tiny speakers of TVs past, there are excellent options across price points.

For shoppers that want the complete no-compromise home theater experience straight out of the box, the intelligently immersive object-based audio of the Samsung QN90C Neo QLED paired with its spectacular 4K Quantum HDR visuals is extremely tough to beat.

But television buyers focused on sticking to a budget can still enjoy serious sonic improvements from value-packed models like the TCL 6 Series and its Dolby Atmos virtualization. Just be realistic about expectations based on the price tag and room size.

Thanks to advanced sound processing and speaker placement, the quality and immersiveness of integrated TV audio continues to progress each model year without thousands in amplification and components. Hopefully this breakdown gives you a better idea of which models can potentially keep you from needing a separate sound system purchase this year and into the future.