Best Sony TVs 2024: budget, premium and smart

Best Sony TVs: quick list

4K TV: Sony XR-55X90L

(Image credit: Future / Our Planet II, Netflix)

1. The list in brief
2. Best overall
3. Best premium
4. Best small
5. Best mid-size
6. Best mid-range
7. How to choose
8. How we test

Sony has been a major player in the TV world since the days of the Trinitron, WEGA and Bravia, even developing the world's first OLED model in 2007, and releasing the first Google-powered TV in 2010 – and it continues to push the boundaries with its new telly tech.  

Sony has been consistently impressing us with its TVs in recent months, excelling with everything from its Award-winning step-down OLED, its brilliant Mini LED powered models and even its next-generation QD-OLED, which has earned a place on this list. 

In previous years, we've gritted our teeth at Sony's higher price tags compared to the competition, but in a welcome change, it has priced its recent TVs more aggressively. While they're still more expensive than the equivalent LGs, discounts have been much more noticeable, especially with the A80L which you'll find in the top spot on this list.

Below you'll find the very best TVs from Sony's currently available range, so matter how much space you've got or how big your budget is, there's one here that'll suit your needs. 

The quick list

Best Sony TV overall

It might not have the latest tech, but the A80L is still the Sony TV we'd recommend to most people.

Specifications

Screen size: 55in (also available in 65in, 77in, 83in)
Type: OLED
Backlight: not applicable
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats supported: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: 4
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 71 x 123 x 5.3cm

Reasons to buy

+
Beautifully sharp, detailed and dynamic…
+
…yet also subtle and authentic
+
Impressively atmospheric sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Sound could be bassier
-
Slight lack of shadow detail in SDR

Compared with the QD-OLED and MLA OLED TVs that are now available, the A80L, which is a standard OLED TV (a WOLED to those in the know), seems a little unexciting on paper. In testing, though, it quickly revealed itself to be a TV of very rare talent.

The key to the A80L's success is the delicate, accomplished processing at its core. This processing gently enhances everything you watch but without the enhancement itself ever being noticeable. This enables the TV to be spectacularly dynamic, detailed, sharp and solid while also delivering subtle shading, natural colours and smooth motion.

Sound is very good by TV standards, too. The Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology involves a trio of actuators that vibrate the actual screen in order to make sound, while a pair of more traditional woofers add bass. The actuator system means sound literally comes from the picture, which is great for directness, but the A80L also sends sound out far to the left, right and above the set, creating a soundstage that's very large and atmospheric, and with impressive placement of effects.

Other than a slight loss of shadow detail with SDR content and less bass depth than some rivals, the A80L is a consummate performer. It is also worth noting that it has fewer HDMI 2.1 sockets than LG's OLED TVs have, but that will only be of concern to hardcore gamers.

If it's a Sony TV that you're after, this is the one we'd recommend to most people.

Read the full Sony A80L review

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Sony A80L scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureSharp and dynamic, yet subtle and authentic★★★★★
SoundAtmospheric, but could be bassier★★★★☆
FeaturesJust two HDMI 2.1 sockets costs it the fifth star★★★★☆

Best premium Sony TV

Sony's second-generation QD-OLED is a very special TV indeed.

Specifications

Screen size: 65 inches (also available in 55in, 77in)
Type: QD-OLED
Backlight: N/a
Resolution : 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: 4 (2 x 48Gbps HDMI 2.1)
Gaming features: 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output? : Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 83 x 144 x 3.4cm (33" x 57" x 1.4")

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning brightness, contrast and colours
+
But even-handed and authentic, too
+
Crisp, direct and spacious sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Still only two HDMI 2.1 sockets
-
Some gaming features coming later
-
No UK catch-up apps

If money is no object, the A95L is the best Sony TV around, as was the case with its 2022 predecessor, the A95K. The second-gen QD-OLED screen offers more brightness and vibrancy, while also being more efficient to run. 

Not only is it brighter than most rivals, it packs more detail too, so bright highlights contain delicate colour shading that most TVs will omit. The picture is bursting with texture too, especially within the shadow detail, and this helps give skin tones their realistic feel.

The superb contrast makes for a high degree of three-dimensionality, which, combined with the level of nuance on show, makes for a very solid image. Despite all its fireworks, it never looks anything but authentic – a rare skill in the TV world.

And on the audio side, it's very impressive. The A95K's actuator-based system has been tweaked slightly, but it still vibrates the screen to create sound, allowing effects to be precisely placed within the picture (so dialogue comes from characters' mouths). It's certainly direct, but it also extends the soundstage far beyond the confines of the TV, adding a very welcome sense of space. There's plenty of detail to the sound too, though it's a little light on bass.

Downsides? There are only two HDMI 2.1 ports, so gamers will have to do some port switching when changing between consoles. It also launched without UK terrestrial catch-up apps or Dolby Vision gaming, but both have since been added via updates.

All of which makes for not only the best Sony TV around, but one of the best TVs currently available from any manufacturer.

Read the full Sony A95L review

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Sony A95L scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureStunning brightness and vibrancy but with excellent subtlety and authenticity★★★★★
SoundCrisp, clear and direct, but with impressive spaciousness, too★★★★★
FeaturesGood overall but let down slightly by having just two HDMI 2.1 sockets and no UK catch-up apps★★★★☆

Best small Sony TV

It's more expensive than similarly sized rivals but Sony's 42-inch A90K is a mini marvel.

Specifications

Screen size: 42 inches (also available in 48in)
Type: OLED
Backlight: not applicable
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats supported: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: 4
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 55 x 93 x 5.7cm

Reasons to buy

+
Supremely sharp and detailed
+
Excellent motion handling
+
Solid set of gaming features

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as rich or vibrant as some
-
Occasional black crush
-
LG C2 is even better for gaming

Buying a sub-50-inch TV used to mean losing out on the kind of top-end features that would adorn the bigger models, but Sony, LG and Samsung all now sell smaller versions of their flagship sets – and the 42-inch A90K doesn’t disappoint.

Despite its relatively small screen size you still get four HDMI ports, including two that support 4K/120Hz signals, so you can get the most out of a PS5 or Xbox Series X. The screen has actuators that mean it doubles as a speaker, so while the 42A90K sounds better than most TVs of this size, it could still do with some assistance, with an eARC socket for the addition of a soundbar or AVR. Dolby Atmos is also onboard.

It supports the usual Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG formats of HDR, although as with all Sony TVs HDR10+ is absent, but the Cognitive Processor XR delivers a stunningly solid and deep image for a TV this size. It’s not quite as bright or punchy as LG’s C3, and the price is steeper, but if you’re a Sony loyalist with limited space, the stylish XR-42A90K is the ideal way to fill it.

Read the full Sony XR-42A90K review

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Sony XR-42A90K scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureAmazingly sharp and detailed with superb motion★★★★★
SoundNicely spacious, but struggles with bass★★★★☆
FeaturesVery good, but only two HDMI 2.1 sockets★★★★☆

Best mid-size Sony TV

An astonishingly good mid-size OLED TV from Sony's class of 2022.

Specifications

Screen size: 48in (also available in 42in)
Type: OLED
Backlight: not applicable
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats supported: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: 4
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 62 x 107 x 5.9cm

Reasons to buy

+
Extraordinarily sharp, solid, detailed
+
Effortless naturalism
+
Good HDMI 2.1 feature set

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as bright or insightful as some
-
LG C2 has even better gaming specs
-
Very expensive in the UK

Design-wise, Sony has set out to keep the 48-inch A90K as compact as possible. The display itself is surrounded by a black bezel that’s just 8mm thick at the top and about 12mm on the sides and bottom. The low-profile stand is just 50cm wide and 23cm deep, making it easy to find furniture with the necessary surface area for the TV.

Picture quality is near-flawless. In that regard, this is undoubtedly one of the best 48-inch TVs we've tested. The Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology means the A90K sounds good by the standards of relatively small TVs, but we still recommend that you add a soundbar.

Hardcore gamers may rue the lack of HGiG mode, but the PS5-specific Auto HDR Tone Mapping does mean that gamers on Sony’s console will automatically get a fairly accurate picture performance. 

All in all, the Sony XR-48A90K is a fantastic buy.

Read the full Sony XR-48A90K review

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Sony XR-48A90K scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureSharp, detailed and effortlessly natural★★★★★
SoundClear and detailed, if a little thin at times★★★★☆
FeaturesGamers will be disappointed by only two HDMI 2.1 sockets★★★★☆

Best mid-range Sony TV

Sony’s latest X90 LCD TV could be king of the mid-range.

Specifications

Screen size: 55 inches (also available in 65in, 75in, 85in, 98in)
Type: LCD
Backlight: Full-Array LED
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: x 4 (2 x 48Gbps HDMI 2.1)
Gaming features: 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output?: Yes
Dimensions: (hwd, without stand) 71 x 123 x 5.6cm

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, impactful picture quality
+
Excellent colour balance
+
Generally impressive backlight control

Reasons to avoid

-
Beaten for gaming by Samsung, LG
-
Good but not great viewing angles

TV tech is progressing with such speed that ‘standard’ OLED and QLED TVs are starting to fade into the background as the limelight becomes dominated by QD-OLED and MLA models. But before you go feeling sorry for those plucky OLEDs and QLEDs, spare a thought for their even less glamorous siblings, the standard LCD TVs. No organic materials, no Quantum Dots and no Mini LEDs; surely a ‘traditional’ LCD TV stands no chance?

Sony’s X90L says otherwise. Just as it squeezed seemingly every last drop of performance out of standard OLED technology for its A80L, Sony appears to have squeezed much of the remaining potential out of standard LCD for its mid-range X90L, the latest in a long line of very popular X90 models.

It may not be a glamorous TV, but thanks to Sony’s excellent care and attention, the X90L is a TV that is a genuine pleasure to watch and to live with. If your budget won’t stretch to an OLED (most obviously the A80L), this is a superb option that delivers consistently cinematic and cinematically consistent results. An excellent buy.

Read our full Sony X90L review

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Sony X90L scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureBright, impactful, excellent colour balance★★★★★
SoundPunchy without distortion, but lacks projection★★★★☆
FeaturesAgain, let down by only having two HDMI 2.1 sockets★★★★☆