When it comes to gaming, OLED TVs are among the best options for chronic TV gamers. Aside from their amazing color representation and sharpness, OLED TVs have enormous contrast that allows you to see more of any game you’re playing — so your game characters don’t just disappear in a gray shadow.
While the first generation of OLED TVs had burn-in and high input lag issues, manufacturers have worked hard to correct these issues in newer models, especially those produced in 2016 or later.
Best OLED TVs for Gaming: Our Top 5 Picks
With more-than-countable options available on the market, choosing the right OLED TV for gaming can be a huge challenge if you’re not in the know.
To help you make a well-informed buying decision, we scoured the market and compared several OLED TVs with the aim of selecting the most suitable ones for gaming. Our comparison was based on input lag, contrast, future-proof features, performance, durability, brand trust, and buyer reviews.
Here are our top 5 picks.
1. LG CX
The LG CX is an upgrade to the C9 which was released last year, donning new features while maintaining its position as the company’s most affordable OLED TV. Admittedly, it lacks some premium features that were saved for its more expensive siblings but it does offer the best compromise of price and performance.
The LG CX is a new model for a new year, but the design is anything but new. It takes on a lot of traits from its predecessor, sporting a slim profile, thin bezels running around the edge and angled stand protruding along the bottom edge of the set. However, its design isn’t curved like the C9 as this TV is flat, with a chunky weighted section that sticks out of the set. This bulge houses all the driving circuits, inputs/outputs ports, and more.
The connections are partitioned into two with the first being on the back of the TV, comprising one HDMI port, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, an optical audio port, and antenna plugs. The rest of the ports are located on the left side of the TV so you can access them if you choose to wall-mount the set. They include three HDMIs, composite video/audio, a 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB sockets. As per usual, this TV comes with LG’s ‘Magic Remote’ which has remained unchanged for some time.
The CX is feature-packed to offer value for money. Being a smart TV, the CX runs on the latest version of webOS, which is exclusive to only TVs launched this year. Unfortunately, previous models will not receive that update. The OS platform means you will be able to access all your favorite media apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and more. In the area of voice assistants, you are presented with the choice of using Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant to control your TV.
Furthermore, you can leverage the Apple Homekit feature to interact with your TV set if you own an Apple device, or you could even do the same thing with your voice using Siri.
Impressively, the CX also comes with Filmmaker mode that makes it possible for you to watch movies exactly the way they were shot. There’s also the Sports Alert feature that notifies you of the commencement of matches as well as the results of your favorite teams.
Display & Performance
The OLED display is powered by the new a9 Gen 3 processor and over 8.3 million pixels and the result is a superb picture with wide viewing angles, inky blacks, and an outstanding HDR performance.
For HDR content, the peak brightness is around 740 nits but for HDR, the screen drops its brightness to 100 nits. This is to ensure that the response rate is within acceptable ranges.
In addition, the TV comes with the HDR Gaming Interest Group (HGiG) setting, to ensure deliver accurate luminance and color accuracy for gamers. The input lag of the CX in game mode is around 13ms, which is one of the lowest you can find on a 4K TV at the moment.
If you used last year’s model of LG’s affordable 4K TV, the C9, it’s unlikely that you will miss anything in terms of hardware in the CX as they’re virtually the same. Nonetheless, this model comes with AI sound Pro to detect and enhance dialogue so you never have to miss a word from a movie anymore and Dolby Atmos to deliver enveloping sounds.
- New a9 Gen 3 processor
- Dolby Vision HDR
- No far-field voice control
2. Sony A8G
The Sony A8G is one very good OLED edition, offering superb contrast, true-to-life colors, and fantastic motion handling. It delivers a fantastic overall level of display with a nice set of features – all at an unbeatable price.
The A8G isn’t one of the high-end 4K TVs but its design and style reek of premium quality that’s associated with such TV sets. Although the panel itself measures just a quarter of an inch deep, it is encased in a minimalist frame with a crescent-shaped stand.
The bezel on the front is minimal with the bottom edge of the featuring another slim strip of metal that houses the logo, the LED indicator, and a remote sensor. While the TV comes in two variants measuring 55-inches and 65-inches, the OLED panel on both is just a quarter of an inch thick.
On the rear of the TV is a rather chunky section around the bottom, which measures 1.8 inches in depth and it houses all the connections. Here you will find three HDMI ports a USB port, an Ethernet port, an optical audio output, an antenna/cable connector and a 3.5mm RS232-C port.
The rest ports are positioned on the left side of the set and they include one HDMI port, two USB ports and 3.5mm ports for composite video and audio input. Also sitting close to the range of connections is a physical power button and volume rocker.
All of Sony’s 4K TVs come with the Android TV smart platform and the A8G uses the latest version at the time of its launch, which is the Android Oreo. The smart OS scores points on usability and offers an enormous selection of apps and download selections.
As expected, there are several streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, Vue, Hulu, and more. Even more, it is compatible with Chromecast as well as Google Assistant voice support.
Display & Performance
As stated earlier, the A8G uses a 4K OLED screen that is able to render high dynamic range (HDR) content in Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG. In other words, this TV can handle pretty much any content given to it and deliver a stunning display regardless of its nature, thanks to its 8 million individual pixels. This set comes equipped with the company’s X1 Extreme processor which combines with the 4K X-Reality PRO technology to transform your content.
As far as performance goes, the A8G reveals real stunning details, textures and colors in a way that only a few 4K TVs can. It replicates true black levels for darker scenes and excels at motion handling so you can watch every moment of the content without any blur. With an input lag of 39.9ms in Game mode, this TV set is a decent choice for gaming.
A nice TV shouldn’t excel at pictures that it compromises on its audio and the A8G doesn’t disappoint as it makes use of Sony’s Acoustic Audio technology that appears to come from the middle of the screen to cast a wide soundstage. In this department, this TV set gets a pass mark.
- Amazing 4K HDR performance
- Ultra-customizable picture
- Great motion processing
- Outstanding low motion blur
- Fairly expensive
- IR remote could be better.
3. LG C9
The LG C9 offers a truly smart TV experience that can rival TV’s twice its price. This midrange 4K TV boasts an impressive image quality, a decidedly sleek design, and a performance that’s a notch higher than its contenders.
One thing that’s common to all TVs from LG is that there’s seldom a drastic change in appearance. Design-wise, the C9 doesn’t stray from its predecessor, the C8 as it sports the same sleek and minimalist approach that sees a dark metallic trim run around the screen. The sloped stand in the middle of the display that fires sound at the listener on the previous model also makes it to the new. It extends back several inches to serve as a solid footing for the slim TV.
To make the C9 more stable, Sony adds a hefty chunk of the box on the rear of the TV that houses a few things like the ports, speakers, power supply, and other depth-eating components. All the basic connections you’d expect from a mid-range TV are present: four HDMI ports, an Ethernet port, three USB ports, an antenna/cable connector, an optical audio output and a 3.5mm port for audio and composite video. For wireless connectivity, there’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to enable you to stream content from your mobile devices wirelessly.
Arguably, webOS is the smart TV platform to beat and the C9 boasts the latest iteration of webOS. Things are largely the same as the OS is still snappy, intuitive, and packed with apps, although there have been a few tweaks to make it better. You still get access to popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and YouTube among several others.
All the apps support Dolby Vision and Atmos so you get the highest quality of video and audio from the services. Also, you can access Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa by pressing the mic button on the remote. Another interesting feature it is its WISA compatibility that makes it possible to connect your home theater system with your TV or any other source component.
Display & Performance
The LG C9 sets a high bar for OLED quality, delivering incredibly inky blacks and superior contrast ratios. Its default mode is a feast for the eyes, so you can expect to get bright punchy images and colors that pop.
Overall, the pictures are clean and highly detailed; largely as a result of a technique that LG applies called ‘dithering’. In a nutshell, the technique involves adding noise to the image to mask unsightly issues of the display.
Going further, the performance of the C9 is powered by the A9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor, managing the new smart features while also enhance the picture quality through better noise reduction and superb noise upscaling.
The result of the processing is staggering lifelike pictures with impressive colors and super-rich details. Even more impressive is the fact that this TV has an input lag of less than 14ms, which is about as low as it can currently get.
The C9 packs a 40-watt speaker and a 20-watt woofer into its slim chassis, to deliver really loud sounds and bass levels that are better than what most TVs offer. The hardware is supported by the inclusion of Dolby Atmos to add weight and dynamism to the sounds while the AI feature analyzes sounds from the TV and optimizes it for clarity.
- Perfect blacks
- Ideal for gaming
- Lovely, subtle design
- Wide viewing angles
- Powerful smart TV platform with Google Assistant
- Risk of burn-in
4. LG B9
The LG B9 is a budget OLED TV made in conjunction with Philips. It combines the old and the new, using the same panel as higher models, which explains why it delivers full and colorful pictures. The compromise is on its processor, which is what makes it affordable.
At first glance, the LG B9 could easily be mistaken for its predecessor as they share a lot in common. For instance, both TVs have a minimal bezel hugging the OLED panel and slim rear.
However, the B9 is different in that a brushed metal panel runs around the display, starting supper thin at the top and then increasing in thickness around the bottom. Another difference is that the stand comes in sharply-angled trapezium shape. In terms of built quality, the TV is well constructed and doesn’t feel fragile at all.
Like other TVs from LG, the connections of the B9 are housed in two panels, located on the backside and on the left side. In all, you will get four HDMI 2.0 inputs, three USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, optical digital audio output, RF (antenna input), and 3.5 headphone jack. The package ships with LG’s Magic Remote (batteries included).
Keeping with the tradition, the B9 benefits from LG’s webOS, which is exceptionally easy to use and customize. The platform supports the top streaming services most viewers look out for including Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Rakuten, and Netflix.
Furthermore, this model gets a comprehensive voice recognition feature called ThinkQ. With this system, you can interact with Alexa and Google Assistant without the aid of any external device. Also noteworthy is the fact that the B9 is one of the few TVs that get built-in Dolby Atmos decoding and the company’s AI sound feature.
Display & Performance
As stated earlier, the B9 uses the same panel found in higher models like the C9 and B9, but with the A7 Gen 2 processor. The chipset brings images to life to guarantee a spectacular, life-like experience in every scene. It also carries a native 4K resolution and supports high dynamic range sources in the baseline HDR10 and premium Dolby Vision. .
Moving on, the B9 also does very well at gaming as it features the NVIDIA G SYNC COMPATIBILITY, which combines perfect blacks and vivid colors with a very low input lag of 12.8ms to take gaming to the next level. Also, the ‘Screen Shift’ feature helps to reduce the risk of image retention due to the static elements of gaming graphics.
The B9 uses a dedicated speaker system with a healthy 40-watt power for sound output and the audio quality is quite good. It ticks off the boxes of loudness and being punchy. It boasts Dolby Atmos for virtual surround mode but the performance is mediocre.
- Outstanding contrast-rich picture quality
- Gorgeous high-end design
- Good smart system
- Low input lag
- Some slight black crush
- Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) can be distracting
5. Sony A9F
Sony’s top-of-the-line A9F is one of the best OLED TVs in the market, earning the “king of screens” title. This stunning television blows away the competition by offering an incredible immersive content consumption experience.
Much like its predecessor, the A9F adopts the lean-back design, putting the display at an angle. It tilts back by about 5-degrees, supported by a kickback stand that incorporates electronics, audio system, and connectivity. The front view of the TV is almost all screen, except for thin bezels around the display and a small white LED at the bottom.
Coming to the connectivity options, the A9F comes with two sets of connections, with the left side featuring an HMDI port, two USB ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 3.5mm composite video input, a 3.5mm infrared receiver port and a range of wire connectors on the left. On the back, the inputs consist of three more HMDIs, a UBS port, Ethernet, optical audio output, a RS-232C port and an antenna/cable connector face downward.
Like many other Sony TVs, the A9F ships with the newest version of Android’s smart OS codenamed Oreo. The interface has been decluttered and rationalized to make it fast, reliable, and easy to use. Streaming services include Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, plus YouTube and a bunch of other diversions – all of which support playback.
As a smart TV, the A9F boasts a range of nice built-in features including Google Chromecast so you can stream content from your mobile device to the TV. There’s also Google Assistant, which you can access via the remote to control the TV and other smart home devices.
Display & Performance
The A9F uses a masterful OLED display that comes with over 8 million self-illuminating processors and supported by the new X1 Ultimate processor. The chipset brings advancements in HDR and SDR processing while a new pixel panel booster further lifts color and contrast. The HDR support covers HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision without a struggle.
With regards to motion handling, the A9F puts up a brilliant performance as it reduces bluer and judder in a way that only a few TVs can. Gaming on this TV is something many gamers will be pleased to do as the input lag measures 27.5ms, which is decent for a modern TV.
As per usual, the sound is delivered from the panel’s surface, thanks to its Acoustic Surface technology. The A9F actually has three actuators vibrating glass plus two standalone woofers behind the panel, which results in impressive sound output with clear dialogue and a wide soundstage.
- Fantastic picture quality
- Impressive upscaling
- The acoustic surface produces good sounds
- Android Oreo smart platform
- Lean back design
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Image credit: Tom’s Guide