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If you haven’t purchased a television for a few years, you may be surprised to learn that a 55-inch TV is currently considered medium or even small. In the last few years people have been paying perfectly decent budget 55-inch TV — and half that . At the high end of this market, just about has a 55-inch size, and it’s often the smallest in the line.for — we’re talking $300 for a
Many of these TVs come with all the bells and whistles, including , HDMI ports, and even to go with a or . Oh, and most of them are smart, which gives you access to all of your beloved streaming content without using a second device., , ,
TL; DR: The 55-inch size offers more choice than any other. As such there are a lot of quality options. Let me help you decide by listing my favorites.
The list below represents the best TVs I’ve reviewed in CNET’s test lab ( ), where I compare the pros and cons side-by-side to see which are most worth buying. Here are my latest recommendations for the best 55-inch TVs, periodically updated. Keep these points in mind as you look over my choices:
- Looking for a different size? Check out our comparisons of , , and .
- The images below are generally of 65-inch TVs since that’s the size we review at CNET. But the review still applies to the 55-inch version.
- Don’t see what you’re looking for below? Here are , with more coming soon.
No TV I’ve ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The 2020 TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to and well-implemented that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It’s also a solid choice for gamers with a new THX mode that combines and high contrast. As if that’s not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.
What’s that you say? You just want the best TV, money no object? Here you go. In my side-by-side tests, the 2020 LG CX is the best TV I’ve ever reviewed, with world-beating contrast, perfect off-angle viewing and excellent uniformity. If you can afford it, this is the 55-inch TV to get.
Aside from the TCL 6-Series above, this is the runner-up for best TV for the money. The TCL has a better picture and better smart HDTV system so it’s a superior TV overall, but it’s also a couple hundred dollars more expensive. If you can’t afford the 6-Series, this Vizio is a very good runner-up.
With overall image quality on par with the TCL 6-Series above and a price that’s not that much more expensive, the X900H’s suite of connections is actually better than the TCL. It’s the most affordable TV with full 4K/120Hz HDMI input capability.
Roku is our favorite platform for streaming apps and apps like Netflix, and it’s even better baked into the TV. This TCL 4-Series can’t beat any of the models above on image quality — its 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) compatibility don’t do anything to help the picture or color– but it offers a fine viewing experience for most people, especially at this price.
Other stuff to know
I’m sure you’d be happy with any one of the TVs above, but a new 55-inch TV set can be a big investment, so maybe you’re looking for a bit more information. Here’s a quick and dirty list.
- In my opinion, bigger is better. Big TVs are cheaper than ever, and your money is best spent on large screen sizes rather than a slight upgrade in image quality or resolution.
- If you don’t like the way the built-in smart TV system interacts with your streaming apps, you can always add a media streamer. After all, there are more streaming services with more amazing content than ever before (have you started . yet?!) Streamers are cheap and easy to use, and they receive updates more frequently than most smart TVs. See our picks of
- Most built-in speakers sound terrible, so it’s worthwhile to pair your new set with a soundbar or other speaker system. Good ones start at around $100. .
Got all that? Great! Now grab your remote control and settle in for some high-end TV viewing.
Looking for even more info? Here’s everything to know about.
More TV recommendations