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Best TVs for 2018

Our expert's top picks, plus some shopping tips

In this article: Our list of best TVs for 2018 (updated 10/23/18):

  1. Samsung UN55NU8000
  2. LG OLED55C8PUA
  3. Sony XBR-65X900F
  4. Samsung QN65Q9FN
  5. Sony MASTER Series XBR-65A9F

... plus some shopping tips.

To create this list of the best TVs, we factored in customer ratings and our proprietary customer satisfaction data.


Samsung UN55NU8000

Samsung UN55NU8000 — Jump into 4K and HDR

The UN55NU8000 doesn't use the quantum dot technology found in Samsung's pricier QLED models, but its crisp, colorful images will make your current TV pale in comparison. The screen's excellent native contrast produces a punchy picture with deep blacks. We've pointed to the popular 55" model here, but models in this series range from 49" to 82".

The NU8000-series TVs are also easy to set up and use. The slender OneRemote automatically detects, identifies, and controls your connected devices and content. Use the OneRemote's microphone to access Bixby, the TV's built-in intelligent voice assistant. Bixby makes it easy to change channels or search for content, using only your voice.

Picture Features

  • HDR Plus (supports HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG formats)
  • 120Hz refresh rate for smooth, blur-free motion

Smart TV Features

  • built-in Bixby intelligent voice assistant
  • OneRemote with built-in microphone for voice control

What our customers say

Read all of the Crutchfield customer reviews.


LG OLED55C8PUA

LG OLED55C8PUA — One of the best TV pictures you'll find

LG's OLED TVs are universally considered to offer some of the best picture quality available — at any price. The 55" OLED55C8PUA is one of LG's lowest-priced OLED TVs for 2018, and the lowest-priced model to feature LG's powerful Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor. It improves noise reduction, sharpness, color, and motion.

The 65" version is an equally great performer. If picture quality is your top priority, these OLEDs deserve your consideration.

Picture Features

  • self-illuminating OLED screen with pixel-level dimming produces infinite contrast and absolute black
  • 10-bit panel can display over one billion colors
  • supports HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG formats

Smart TV Features

  • motion-sensing Magic Remote with voice control
  • built-in Google Assistant; lets you control basic TV functions with spoken commands, and works with Amazon Alexa-compatible and Google Home-compatible voice control assistants

What our customers say

Read all of the Crutchfield customer reviews.


Sony XBR-65X900F

Sony XBR-65X900F — A great all-around performer and customer fave 

Sony's X900F series is sure to be included on a lot of "Best TV Value" lists for 2018. The 65" XBR-65X900F's full-array LED backlight with local dimming produces excellent contrast and black levels. The picture looks great in dark rooms, and the TV's high peak brightness is good enough for even bright rooms. With screen sizes ranging from 49" to 85", there's an X900F to fit nearly any room.

Sony's Motionflow™ XR 960 with 120Hz refresh handles motion better than most of the competition. This is an outstanding TV for watching any kind of sports.

The XBR-65X900F's advanced voice control capabilities include built-in Google Assistant. It can control basic TV functions, operate connected smart home devices, and do other voice control tricks with Google Home- or Amazon Alexa-compatible voice assistants.

Picture Features 

  • supports HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG formats
  • 120Hz refresh rate for smooth, blur-free motion
  • 10-bit panel can display over one billion colors

Smart TV Features

  • voice remote with built-in microphone
  • built-in Google Assistant; lets you control basic TV functions with spoken commands, and works with Amazon Alexa-compatible and Google Home-compatible voice control assistants

What our customers say

Read all of the Crutchfield customer reviews.


Samsung QN65Q9FN

Samsung QN65Q9FN — Samsung's "best of the best"

The QN65Q9FN is Samsung's flagship 65" TV for 2018. Connoisseurs of picture quality are thrilled that Samsung has returned to a full-array local-dimming (FALD) backlight design. It's the gold standard for LED backlighting, producing remarkable contrast and black levels.

The QN65Q9FN also uses Samsung's most advanced quantum dot color technology. It not only displays a wider range of colors than competing models, it also maintains full color accuracy and saturation at any brightness level. That's a rare feat, and one you'll appreciate most when watching HDR-enhanced 4K content.

Want a larger screen? Samsung also makes a 75" version.

Picture Features

  • Full Array Elite direct-lit LED backlight with ultra-precise local dimming (nearly 500 independent zones)
  • QLED quantum dot color for increased color range
  • Ultra Black Elite anti-reflective screen reduces glare and deepens blacks
  • HDR Plus (supports HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG formats)

Connections

  • all A/V connections are on the supplied outboard One Connect switching hub, simplifying hookup (especially for wall-mounting)
  • One Invisible Connection: 16.4-ft. ultra-thin cable to connect hub to TV (carries signals and power)

What our customers say

Read all of the Crutchfield customer reviews.


Sony MASTER Series XBR-65A9FSony MASTER Series XBR-65A9F — Winner of the 2018 "TV Shootout"

The 14th annual "TV Shootout" took place recently in New York, and the panel of industry experts voted Sony's 65" OLED XBR-65XA9F the winner. Its lifelike picture is modeled on that of Sony's $45,000 professional mastering monitors, used in many Hollywood post-production suites.

The XBR-65A9F's screen has 8.3 million pixels that can brighten, dim, or power off completely. And each pixel is precisely controlled by the Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate — Sony's most powerful video processor ever. It's able to make precise adjustments to the color, contrast and sharpness of individual elements in each video frame, creating a more natural looking picture.

If you like watching Netflix, you'll love the XBR-65A9F's Netflix Calibrated Mode. It works with the set's built-in Netflix app, and lets you enjoy the same picture quality at home that Netflix's producers see on their evaluation monitors.

Instead of those typical tiny TV speakers, the XBR-65A9F uses the entire screen to generate sound. Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+™ technology uses three actuators on the back to send vibrations through the screen to produce sound. Effects and dialogue track the on-screen action, creating an even more immersive experience.

Sony's MASTER Series OLED also comes in a 55" version.

Picture Features 

  • self-illuminating OLED screen with pixel-level dimming produces infinite contrast and absolute black
  • Pixel Contrast Booster enhances color contrast in high-luminance scenes
  • Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate includes powerful real-time image processing for ultra-detailed pictures
  • supports HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG formats

Smart TV Features

  • voice remote with built-in microphone
  • built-in Google Assistant; lets you control basic TV functions with spoken commands, and works with Amazon Alexa-compatible and Google Home-compatible voice control assistants

What our customers say

Read all of the Crutchfield customer reviews.


TV buying tips

As long as you stick to major brands, it's almost impossible to buy a bad TV these days. Choosing the model that's best for you mostly comes down to how you'll use it, and what your room is like.

Screen size and viewing distance

What's the best screen size for your room and viewing distance? A TV with 4K screen resolution has a much finer screen than an HDTV, which means you can get a bigger screen or sit closer to it, and still see a smooth picture with excellent detail. For tips on choosing the right screen size for your room, see our TV sizes and viewing distance article.

If you're considering an 80" or larger screen, you may be a candidate for a home theater projector.

Screen resolution

4K Ultra HD TVs have four times the picture detail of HDTVs, and are well established at this point — nearly all our customers choose them. The price gap between 4K and HD sets has narrowed so much that we currently carry only a few small-screen HDTVs.

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

HDR is an even newer TV picture improvement than 4K, and probably more noticeable. To see the added detail of 4K, you have to sit closer to the screen than many people are used to. But the more vivid color and contrast of HDR-enhanced content is easily seen.

There are three flavors of HDR commonly supported by 2018 TVs: HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Virtually all current 4K TVs support HDR10, while support for the other two formats is limited, but growing. Lots of streamed 4K content has HDR10 and/or Dolby Vision, while HLG is an up-and-coming format aimed mostly at live broadcasts.

LED-LCD or OLED?

Most shoppers look first at LED-LCD TVs, because there are tons of models to choose from covering a wide range of sizes and prices. But if picture quality is your top priority, you owe it to yourself to check out OLED TVs, too.

OLED prices have plummeted over the past two years, but they still cost more than LED-LCD TVs. But only the very top LED-LCD models come close to matching the picture quality of OLED.

For an in-depth comparision, see our OLED vs LED TV article.

We can help you choose

For more shopping tips, see our complete TV buying guide.

Have questions? Call, email, or chat with us today.

Our expert Advisors know the gear inside and out. Your Advisor can send specific Crutchfield pages to your screen, saving you a lot of browsing time. You'll get a shopping cart loaded up with everything you need for your new home theater.

Free lifetime tech support is included with your Crutchfield purchase.

Last updated 10/23/2018

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