If you seriously love movies but can't quite justify turning your living room into a full-on cinema, a 65-inch TV is the way to go. This is the size at which you get serious cinematic impact but, thanks to stylish chassis, slim bezels and neat features, the best modern 65-inch TVs aren't the eyesores that their predecessors were.
65-inch TVs tend to be cheaper than their smaller siblings on a price-per-inch basis, too, so they are better value in that respect.
It's not as if all 65-inch TVs are great, though. We have reviewed endless TVs at this size, and for every one that knocked our socks off, there have been several that have left us feeling cold. It's a particularly volatile minefield at the cheaper end of the market, where the larger size tends to exaggerate picture flaws that smaller sets can get away with; but spending more isn't a guarantee of quality either.
Before you get all panicked about the potential pitfalls of picking the perfect 65-inch TV, allow us to step in and guide you. We have tested every set that matters and eliminated the also-rans, and we present to you only the finest 65-inch TVs that money can buy, whether you are working to a tight budget or have money to burn.
Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets', even cars) for over 15 years. He's tested every type of TV and is an expert on the 65-inch size bracket, which we view as the sweet spot for most buyers.
The quick list
You can see a quick breakdown of all the TVs in this list with a short summary of what they are best at and why we think they are worth your money in the table below. If you want more detail use the jump links to quickly get to the TVs specific entry where we fully explain why it made the list.
Sony's A80L OLED is the surprise package of 2023 so far and the TV we most readily recommend thanks to its awesome performance-per-pound credentials.
Best for gaming
Best for gaming
It's facing fiercer competition than ever and isn't a massive step on from its predecessor, but the LG C3 remains the best gaming TV at its size.
The best 65-inch TVs in 2023
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.
Below you will find full write-ups for each of the best 65-inch TVs in our list. We have tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.
The Sony A80L is the TV surprise of the year. It's based on 'traditional' OLED technology (i.e. it's not a QD-OLED or MLA model) so we broadly thought we knew what to expect, but it stunned us during our extensive test by offering a picture performance with a near-perfect balance of the spectacular and the subtle. It sounds good by TV standards, too, and the feature set will be strong enough for all but the most hardcore of gamers.
The A80L looks very similar to the A80K it replaces – which is fine, but the design is starting to look a little bland. It's a little thicker than rivals such as the LG C3, but partly that's down to its actuator-based sound system, which vibrates the whole screen in order to generate sound.
Around the back are four HDMI sockets, two of which are HDMI 2.1-specified and support 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM. One of these is also the eARC port, so if you use that to connect a soundbar or AVR you will have just one left for a games console or gaming PC. The TV also lacks support for Dolby Vision gaming, despite Dolby Vision being present for movies and TV shows.
The seemingly effortless way that the A80L combines the spectacular with the subtle is quite extraordinary. The neon lights and holographic billboards of Blade Runner 2049’s downtown LA pop from the overall gloom of the city in brilliant fashion, but skin tones are handled with realism-boosting nuance and the seemingly hundreds of slightly different shades of grey that make up the bark of the tree at Sapper Morton’s farm are made clear to see.
The TV’s ability to recreate subtly different shades doesn’t come at the expense of dynamism, and contrast extremes such as the intro text at the start of the film emerge brightly from the pure black background. There’s a rare purity to highlights, too, such as Love’s white jacket and the light panels above her head in the records room of the Wallace Corporation.
All of these qualities combine to make an image that is brilliantly solid and has a lovely three-dimensional feel. On top of all of this, detail is also outstanding, with clothing textures, skin imperfections and complex patterns all rendered crisply but without artificial definition.
Through our extensive suite of tests, our only complaint is that a bit of dark detail is missing when watching SDR content.
In terms of sound, the A80L is a bit bass-light, but that does mean that it stays composed even through our Blade Runner 2049 stress test. That slight lack of bass depth aside, the A80L sounds really rather good by TV standards. Put it in the Cinema sound mode and the spaciousness of the delivery is very impressive, yet this spaciousness combines with the sort of focus that can really only come from having the sound literally coming from the screen.
While flagship sets with discrete speaker systems will sound even better, for a step-down model the A80L sounds very impressive. This should be a strong consideration for anyone with this sort of budget who is determined not to combine their new TV with a dedicated sound system.
Read the full Sony A80L review
|Picture||A brilliant performance that combines the spectacular with the natural||★★★★★|
|Sound||Really good sound for a TV but deeper bass would be nice||★★★★☆|
|Features||Generally good, but only having two HDMI 2.1 ports is disappointing||★★★★☆|
Best for gaming
The 65-inch take on LG's C3 earned just the four stars, but that was for a very good reason: it wasn't a big improvement on the C2. This allowed rivals such as the Sony A80L to gain ground. But if it's gaming we're talking about, LG's effort is the better bet.
That's because, like the 42-inch model above, it has four HDMI 2.1 ports, meaning you can plug in multiple gaming consoles at once while still using one socket for a soundbar via eARC. Also like the 42-incher, it supports all the usual gaming features these ports allow (VRR, ALLM) along with rarer standards such as HGiG and Dolby Vision gaming (which the Sony doesn't support).
The other reason for its four-star review? Its high launch price. But that's since come down significantly. Even the fact it is similar to the C2 it replaces isn't really a big drawback, seeing as the C2 was a multi-Award winner.
The C3 retains the elegant design of the C2 but adds a new processor for even better visuals and more advanced audio upmixing. The webOS 23 operating system is simpler than last year's version too, and easier to navigate, and it brings a more sophisticated Game Optimiser menu complete with a dedicated sound sub-menu.
Picture quality is refined, subtle and plenty detailed, and that goes for games as well as movies and TV shows. Some highlights are a little brighter than the C2's, and there's a healthy amount of shadow detail throughout. The sound is still a poor relation to the picture, but that's easily fixed with a decent soundbar. If you want gaming on a big screen, this is the TV for you.
Read the full LG OLED65C3 review
|Picture||Balanced, authentic picture quality||★★★★★|
|Sound||Rivals offer punchier audio||★★★☆☆|
|Features||Flawless gaming specs||★★★★★|
TCL has been pretty forthright in recent times about its belief that LED – especially Mini LED – is the future of TV, rather than OLED, and the C845K is the brand's latest attempt to put its money where its mouth is.
TCL's flagship model (for the UK and Europe) for 2023, the C845K features a Quantum Dot display with a Mini LED backlight that boasts (in the case of the 65-inch model tested) 576 separate dimming zones and a peak brightness figure of 2000 nits. These are huge numbers for a TV at this price and dwarf those of many TVs costing vastly more.
Of course, specification is only part of what dictates a TV's performance, but the C845K backs up its attention-grabbing numbers with an equally attention-grabbing performance.
Its pictures really do jump off the screen with an intensity far beyond anything else we have seen at anything like the same price. In fact, they leave the vast majority of much more expensive mid-range and even a few really premium TVs looking dull by comparison. Including, as TCL would want it to, OLED models, with even the latest MLA and QD-OLED sets falling some way short of the sort of brightness the C845K can achieve.
There is a slightly cloudy look that can sometimes appear with shots and scenes that contain a bold mixture of very bright and very dark content, as the local light controls wrestle with achieving the best balance of local contrast and HDR brightness, but this is fairly rare and subtle enough to not be a major distraction.
Despite the occasional misty moment, the C845K’s black-level performance is actually excellent for such an affordable TV. The C845K can achieve this, too, without crushing out shadow details from dark areas.
The C845K delivers outstanding sharpness and clarity with native 4K sources, and while its motion handling with 24p sources isn’t quite as refined and natural with or without processing active as the best rivals, it is fairly free from unwanted side effects and still looks natural enough to leave you immersed in what you are watching.
As hoped, the C845K’s colour performance is mostly a riotous success. Combining Quantum Dots with so much brightness and such surprisingly effective light controls allows TCL’s flagship to deliver spectacularly vibrant and rich-looking pictures that vividly unlock the wide colour capabilities usually baked into HDR content. Just as importantly, though, TCL’s processing is refined enough to deliver tones across such a broad palette with impressive subtlety.
The C845K's stunning brightness and colour vibrancy contribute to an excellent gaming performance, and it also supports next-gen gaming specs including 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM over two of its four HDMI sockets.
While not quite as exceptional as its pictures, the C845K’s sound is still much better than we would expect with such an affordable TV. It goes loud, for starters, sounds open and spacious while keeping dialogue focused and clear, and has surprisingly deep, solid bass. There's a small amount of distortion at the bottom end from time to time and effects-heavy soundtrack moments can get a little cluttered, but the TCL sounds much better than most TVs at this level and many from a few levels above.
Read the full TCL C845L review
|Picture||Incredibly bright and vibrant, but also subtle when required||★★★★★|
|Sound||The C845K sounds excellent by the standards of TVs at its price||★★★★★|
|Features||QLED, Mini LED, great gaming specs and the Google TV platform||★★★★★|
Best for sound
If you want a 65-inch TV but don’t fancy a separate sound bar or speaker system then the Panasonic TX-65LZ2000B is the one to get. While its giant speaker bar isn’t exactly subtle, we found its inbuilt audio system is one of the best we have experienced during our tests, with it offering truly impressive Atmos virtualisation.
In fact, our testers found that it offers the most spacious soundstage available on a TV’s inbuilt speakers, beating even the Sony A95K we compared it against.
Watching Unbroken the audio held a true sense of direction as the fighter jets strafed across the screen. We were equally impressed with how it handled Blade Runner 2049 with Joi’s disembodied voice in K’s apartment being entirely spatially separated from K’s own voice, creating a wonderfully immersive home cinema experience.
If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, it also delivers excellent picture quality. The key words we use to describe the Panasonic TX-65LZ2000B’s picture are balanced and authentic, with it delivering a wonderfully “as the director intended” look to all the movies we threw at it.
Whether it was Blade Runner 2049 and No Time to Die, to TV shows The Book of Boba Fett and Slow Horses or Foo Fighters horror film Studio 666, the Panasonic TX-65LZ2000B delivered a balanced, controlled and accurate picture. Skin tones are particularly impressive; whether it's Daniel Craig’s bronzed body in the latest Bond or Gary Oldman’s pallid complexion in Slow Horses, everything just looked right on the Panasonic.
HDR performance is also excellent, with the TV offering enough maximum brightness to deliver a compelling picture. In fact, our only minor quibble is that, though it's good, the HDR performance wasn’t quite as punchy as the A95K when we ran them head to head, with the Sony proving a smidgeon brighter during our checks.
Read the full Panasonic TX-65LZ2000B review
|Picture||Beautifully balanced and true to the creative intent||★★★★★|
|Sound||Impressive Atmos but some slight bass buzz||★★★★☆|
|Features||Good, but not best in class for apps or gaming specs||★★★★☆|
How we choose
How to choose the best 65-inch TV for you
Size really does matter with TVs and going big on a 65-inch screen can often be worth sacrificing a little bit of picture quality and next-gen display tech for those few extra inches of screen real estate. But once you have committed to a screen size what else should you consider when weighing up features and price?
The type of display you choose will have a huge bearing on your TV's picture performance. Without a doubt, OLED has become the premium TV technology of choice, thanks to its perfect blacks, extraordinary contrast and exceptional viewing angles. QLED, which combines LED (or Mini LED) backlighting with ultra-vibrant Quantum Dots, is a strong alternative, though, largely thanks to being capable of greater brightness and punchier colours. Meanwhile, standard LCD TVs (often, confusingly, sold as 'LED' TVs on account of their LED backlights) are more variable in overall quality but, if you shop carefully, can offer excellent bang for your buck.
But visuals aren't everything and it's important to decide if want to combine your new TV with a dedicated sound system. We always recommend doing so, as most TVs sound passable at best, even at the high-end. But if you are determined to keep things neat and rely on the in-built speakers, check our reviews to make sure that they are good – there's little point in a great picture if the accompanying sound is rubbish.
If you're a gamer, it's also worth considering the next-gen gaming features of your prospective new TV. Xbox Series X and PS5 gamers can gain a competitive advantage on certain games if their TV supports 4K 120Hz, while VRR support can result in a smoother gameplay experience. ALLM, meanwhile, simply ensures that you automatically get the best visual experience from both games and movies / TV shows. If you are a more casual gamer or not a gamer at all, you can pretty much disregard these features, and doing so will likely save you a lot of cash.
How we test
How we test TVs
Testing a TV is a long and complex process because a modern TV simply does so much. Not only does it need to handle a variety of content resolutions – standard-definition, 1080p, 4K and sometimes 8K – and both standard dynamic range and high dynamic range (the latter in a number of formats), all of which need to be specifically tested, is also has a sound system with various advanced settings and a full smart platform. A TV is an all-in-one device in the best sense, but that also makes it a challenging review proposition.
As part of our testing process, we manually check that every major app – from Netflix to All 4, Prime Video to Spotify – is not only present but also outputting in the video and sound formats that it should. Just because there's a Disney+ app doesn't necessarily mean it's working in Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos. In fact, in many recent cases, it hasn't been.
We also connect both a PS5 and Xbox Series X in order to establish which advanced gaming features are and aren't supported, and on which of the TV's HDMI ports. Is 4K 120Hz supported? How about VRR? Is there a Dolby Vision game mode? Is there an HGiG preset for more accurate HDR tone mapping? We check all of these things and measure input lag using a Leo Bodnar device.
We then test the TV's picture quality using a vast variety of content, from old DVDs to the latest 4K Blu-rays and plenty of streamed movies and TV shows in between. Every TV is tested against the best model at its price and size – we have a stockroom packed full of Award-winners for this very purpose.
We don't accept the out-of-the-box settings that a TV comes in either. While we intentionally don't go down the route of professional calibration (you shouldn't have to have your TV professionally calibrated in order to get the best out of it), we do spend hours adjusting settings using a mixture of test patterns and real-world content until we are sure we're getting the best out of a TV so that it has the best chance to shine.
While we almost always advise that a new TV is combined with a dedicated sound system such as a soundbar or AV amplifier, many people still prefer to stick with their flatscreen's built-in speakers. So we thoroughly test these too, using a wide variety of movie and music content and with great attention spent to the TV's many processing modes and individual settings.
We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Reading, where our team of expert reviewers do all of our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. What's more, all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.
The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years of experience reviewing, testing, and writing about consumer electronics.
From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.