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The best 55-inch TV to buy in 2021

55-inch TVs are one of the most popular sizes, which means you’ve got plenty of options available to you when you’re shopping for a new set-up. To help you find the right 55-inch TV for your specific needs, we’ve gathered a list of the best 55-inch TVs on the market right now, covering everything from the best QLED and OLED sets to those with the best sound and 8K support.

You don’t need to drop thousands on the latest 2021 models to get a decent viewing experience; there are some fantastic deals on 2019 and 2020 models as newer sets become available, and with a growing number of TVs supporting 4K formats, the entry price point for a decent 4K TV has lowered significantly, but there’s still a lot you need to consider when you’re making a purchase.

Do you want an OLED, QLED or are you happy with an LED TV? If you’re using your TV for gaming, does it support newer gaming features such as AALM and eARC? And for a home cinema set-up, have you weighed up the pros and cons of choosing a set with its own version of HDR or something that supports the likes of Dolby Vision? We’ve covered all of these key points and more in our list below.

Best 55-inch TV: Sony Bravia AG9

The Sony Bravia AG9 55-inch TV.

This was selling for just under £4000 two years ago, and despite its age, Sony’s flagship OLED model is still one of the best 55-inch TVs you can get for less than £1500. It’s got a super crisp picture thanks to its 4K picture processing and phenomenal upscaling, while Sony’s upgraded Acoustic Surface+ also makes the AG9 one of the best-sounding TVs you can get your hands on too, especially when you’re drawing on the support from Dolby Atmos.

Four HDMI ports support Ultra HD HDR and are equipped with HDCP 2.3, the only downside is the AG9 doesn’t support HDR10+. Input lag is pretty impressive if you turn on the game mode, but there are better choices if you want a dedicated gaming TV, but the image processing on the AG9, along with its luminance, colour range, beefy bass and reasonable price tag, makes it our top pick for the best 55-inch TV you can get your hands on right now. Basically, it ticks all of the boxes you need it to.

Best 55-inch OLED TV: Panasonic TX55HZ / LG BX

The Panasonic TX55HZ 55-inch TV.

Fantastic motion handling, Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ support, low input lag, as well as enhanced audio return channel (eARC) and auto low latency mode (ALLM) for gamers; there’s a lot to love about Panasonic’s HZ1000, especially as they’ve knocked the price down from its launch price of £1999. If you want the best picture possible, we’d recommend using HDR10+ and playing with the settings rather than relying on Dolby Vision alone, as it’s not the best use of Vision we’ve seen, and you’ll get a brighter and more defined picture through customisation.

This is still one of the best OLED TVs you can buy, although it is missing some newer features such as high frame rate (HFR) and variable refresh rate (VRR), and its Smart features aren’t as impressive as its rivals, but, considering you can get all of the apps you need one your PlayStation or Xbox consoles anyway, you probably won’t be using them much anyway. Considering the HZ1000 is only housing a 30W speaker system, it’s more than capable of delivering quality audio but does struggle with bass at higher volumes – so we’d recommend pairing this up with one of the best soundbars, such as the excellent HW-Q9000T.

As you’ll struggle to find the Panasonic HZ1000 in the US, the LG BX shares many of the same features and is a fantastic alternative.

Best 55-inch QLED TV: Samsung Q80T / Q80A

The Samsung Q80T QLED 55-inch TV.

Now available at nearly half the cost of its initial launch price, the Q80T is a decent mid-range 55-inch TV boasting a FALD panel with 50 dimming zones and a lot of colour detail. All of your standard connections are here: four HDMI ports that support eARC, HFR, ALLM and VRR, although it’s worth noting you’ll have to rely on Bluetooth if you’re using headphones as there’s no headphone port. While the Q80T delivers a vibrant 4K picture through HDR10+ and quality upscaling with impressively low input lag, there’s no support for Dolby Vision.

There’s no Dolby Atmos either, but Samsung does use its own equivalent: Object Tracking Sound (OTS), which delivers a sense of satisfying spacial movement through a 60W system. Honestly, for a mid-range QLED TV, you can’t get much better than the Q80T. Our only criticism is it’s a little bulkier than other QLEDs on the market. Other than that, the Q80T is a solid choice if you’re looking for a quality 4K 55-inch TV for under £1000.

Best budget 55-inch TV: Samsung TU7020 / TU8000

The Samsung TU7020 55-inch TV.

A quality 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TV with impressive upscaling, low input lag through its gaming mode and support for HDR10+ all for just £429? Yes, please. The TU7020 is affordable, easy to set up and ticks all of the boxes you’d want from a low-cost gaming and general-use TV. There’s a wide colour range and the upscaling from the Crystal Image 4k processor brings up everything on your screen in glorious detail.

Obviously, there are some compromises with a TV this cheap, such as the limited number of HDMI ports (two) and slower connection speeds through Wi-Fi due to its now-outdated Wi-Fi 4 support. You may experience some changes in colour detail and display as well if you’re viewing this TV from wide angles. But, all of that said, this is still a quality TV at a very, very reasonable price. The only thing to note is that this has been cheaper before. Argos had it at £399 in their Black Friday sale in November last year, but this is still the best budget 55-inch 4K TV six months later.

Best 55-inch TV for sound: Sony Bravia AG8 / Sony A8H

The Sony Bravia AG8 55-inch TV.

Right, before we mention the AG8 it’s worth noting that its successor, the AG9, does deliver better sound than its predecessor, but we’ve already included that as our best 55-inch TV pick, and this is slightly cheaper and shares many of the sound features included in the AG9, namely Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio, which essentially turns your screen into a speaker by using actuators at the back of it. This means the audio is delivered relative to where the sound is coming from on the screen: left, right or centre. Sound travels superbly through this feature, even in larger rooms.

While the AG9 is more powerful than the AG8 when it comes to sound (four 20W channels rather than two in the AG8), it’s honestly pretty hard to tell the difference unless you’re an audiophile. Both TVs sound incredible, and the quality of sound they deliver means you won’t miss the absence of a soundbar. If sound is your focus and you don’t want to shell out for a soundbar, grab the AG8.

We couldn’t find any AG8s in stock in the US, so we’ve linked to the next best thing: the A8H.

Best 55-inch TV for gaming: LG C1 OLED

The LG C1 OLED 55-inch TV.

Also named the best 4K TV for gaming by the team at Digital Foundry, the 55-inch LG C1 is fully optimized for gaming, with four 2.1 HDMI ports for 120fsp sessions, low input lag and quality motion handling making it the perfect choice to pair with your Xbox Series X or PS5. Colour accuracy is consistently excellent, regardless of which angle you’re viewing the TV from, and the DolbyVision and HDR10 support is a big bonus, although there’s no HDR10+.

One of the stand-out features of the LG C1 is its 120Hz Black Frame Insertion (BFI) which enables better motion processing of fast-moving objects on the screen – perfect for frantic first-person-shooter games. Add to that the C1’s new Game Optimiser menu, which lets you toggle gaming-specific features such as VRR so you can adjust the picture processing depending on the style of games you’re playing, and it’s clear that this is a TV that has been built to cater for the needs of gamers. All of the features included in the LG C1 means it will surely stand the test of time for many years to come.

Best 55-inch 8K TV: Samsung Q700T / Q900R

The Samsung Q700T 55-inch TV.

We’re still a few years away from 8K becoming the norm, but if you fancy making your foray into the glorious world of 8K early, you can’t go wrong with Samsung’s 55-inch Q7000. It’s one of the most affordable 8K TVs on the market with four times the resolution of standard 4K, boosted with upscaling from Samsung’s Quantum Processor. It’s also capable of delivering monitor-like performance thanks to its support for AMD FreeSync and VRR, making it perfect for PS5 and Xbox Series X owners. Input latency is super low too at just 9.7ms and there are four HDMI ports and two USB ports for connectivity.

Like all Samsung TVs, there’s no Dolby Atmos support, but Samsung delivers its only version of 3D spatial audio through OTS+. Whether you’re using this as part of a home cinema set-up or want to future proof your gaming set-up with an 8K TV, the Q700T delivers true-to-life colours in incredible detail.

There aren’t any Q7000s in stock in the US, so we’ve provided a link to a later model, the 55-inch Samsung Q900R.

As we get closer to the announcement of this year’s Amazon Prime Day, you can expect to see discounts on many of the best 55-inch TVs, so be sure to follow Jelly Deals on Twitter to keep up with the latest discounts on TV, tech and games.

All prices correct at the time of publishing. Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.