It’s a big thing time to upgrade your home theater for a great Friday TV and sound bar. If you haven’t gotten into today’s 4K TV, or you’re still listening to your favorite movies through the built-in TV speakers, there are great reasons to upgrade. Today’s home theater technology now has better lighting, sharper resolution, and surround sound for less money than ever before. Go ahead, turn your living room into a mini cinema.
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The U8H (8/10, WIRED recommends) is one of the best TVs for the money. It has a bright Mini-LED light for deep blacks and a fast refresh rate for gaming with the latest consoles or PC. The only downside? Some slightly weaker feet mean you’ll have to have a decent TV.
If you want a big screen but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, Hisense is a good brand to look at. I love this quantum-dot-enabled LED, which has brighter colors than the screen you might have at home right now.
The TCL 6-Series is one of my favorite TVs every year. It has an amazing image for the money – it even has Mini-LED backlighting – and it has one of the best options, thanks to the built-in Google TV. The only thing you don’t like is the wide legs, so be sure to put it on the wall or buy a pedestal.
LG OLEDs have the best black levels on the market because each pixel on the screen acts as its own black light. This model has more vibrant colors than before, and is the perfect size to use as a large computer monitor when you’re not streaming your favorite shows. It does 120 frames per second in 4K, so it’s very smooth with the latest gaming consoles and PCs. The 48-inch model also retails for $1,040 ($157).
This is a TV that is truly designed to hide from view. It comes with a new matte finish that makes it look like paintings when not in use, allowing it to blend in with the most luxurious living rooms. Photo quality is solid, but you pay extra for the party trick (not much these days).
LG remains the only company that makes large OLED panels, which means it has a huge advantage in offering consumers the cheapest options. This is its entry-level OLED, with black levels as perfect as the others, and it supports Dolby Vision HDR. It only has a 60-Hz refresh rate, which makes it slower than other gaming models.
Sony has the best images on the market, made better by the OLED panel provided by LG for this display. If you’re after the best movie viewing experience for the money, look no further. The only downside? It has side legs, which I hate. Just mount it on the wall or buy yourself a pedestal with the money you saved here.
This is one of the best TVs I’ve ever seen (8/10, WIRED recommends) in bright spots. The giant, pedestal-mounted screen is so bright it almost hurts your eyes, and it has a very wide viewing angle that makes it great for large rooms. The backlight system is also excellent, making this TV great for watching dark content.
This isn’t as good as other 65-inch Samsung TVs listed, but it’s still affordable. The pedestal mount makes it very easy to place it on existing TV stands, and the standard dot and ultra viewing angle coating make this TV usable in bright, large rooms.
Sound bars and speakers
Read our Best Soundtracks guide for more details. We also have a Soundbar Buying Guide to break down some of the rules and what to expect.
The Beam (Gen 2) is the Goldilocks of Sonos sound bars. It’s not the most powerful of the brand, but it’s the best choice for sound and size in most living rooms. Beam supports Dolby Atmos and voice assistants (Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri); works faster than its predecessor; and it’s stunningly beautiful, whether it’s on your shelf or hanging on the wall. Read our Sonos guide for more.
If the Beam is the best Sonos soundbar for most people, the Arc (9/10, WIRED Recommends) is an upgrade option. Our choice for a home theater setup, the incredibly powerful Arc delivers deep bass and rich sound. In some rooms, the sound can bounce off the walls enough to mimic a decent surround sound system. This sound bar is the most expensive in the Sonos line, so it’s a great opportunity to upgrade and save some money in the process.
I’m usually not a big fan of expensive bars that don’t come with a subwoofer, but the Bose Soundbar 300 has pretty strong bass, and built-in Alexa makes it easy to play Spotify and set the time when you’re indoors. living room.
The Roku Streambar is a great compact option if you want to upgrade your TV’s sound and its ability to play your favorite movies. This small sound bar has a built-in Roku interface, making it a good solution for all small spaces.
This is a great way to get surround sound in small living rooms or apartments. Editor Julian Chokkattu likes that you can use the HEOS app to pair it with other streaming speakers, but what he likes is the chat button, which makes it easy to hear what people are saying on the screen.
JBL makes great soundbars, especially at the entry level. I like this 2.1 option, which has a cool design that sets it apart from other cheap bars. With a whopping 300 watts of total power, it outperforms the most affordable options.
The Polk Signa 4 (7/10, WIRED recommends) can easily fill an entire room with rich, Dolby Atmos-powered sound. It comes with three different sound modes, including a night mode that dims your subwoofer so you don’t end up bothering the neighbors.
This isn’t the latest Dolby Atmos soundbar from Vizio, but we like it (8/10, WIRED recommends), and it’s a good choice if you’re on a tight budget and want something with dedicated surround speakers and a subwoofer. You won’t fill a large room with sound, but you will easily soften a living room or small space.
If your goal is to intentionally disturb your neighbors, you couldn’t do better than this speaker system. WIRED reviewer Jaina Gray spent more than a year with this beast, which includes two subwoofers and side and rear speakers, to ensure your entire room shakes with earth-shattering sound. If you want, at least.
Shipping Equipment Deals
Read our Guide to Alternative Streaming Tools.
Roku regularly makes our top picks for streaming devices, and the Roku Ultra is one of the most powerful. While it’s not an ideal stick that plugs directly into your TV, this box has the most powerful processor in a streaming box, so you won’t see any lag even when playing 4K HDR.
Besides introducing the world to streaming sticks with the original Chromecast, Google took its sweet time finally delivering one with a remote control. Now, Chromecast with Google TV (8/10, WIRED recommends) is one of our favorites. If you use an old TV and don’t need 4K, you can also grab the HD version for $20 ($10 off).
If you’re big on the Amazon ecosystem, then the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the perfect choice for you. It has a faster processor than its siblings and supports Wi-Fi 6, making it the best performing Fire TV stick. However, if you don’t need the extra power, you can also pick up a 4K Fire TV Stick for $25 ($25). And if you haven’t upgraded to 4K yet, you can save even more by going with the HD-only Fire TV Stick Lite for $15 ($15).
Hulu has a pretty wide collection of movies worth watching, and right now you can get a year of the ad-laden version of the service for $24, or $2 a month. It usually costs $8 a month, or $96 for a full year. Unfortunately, this deal is only available to new subscribers, or returning subscribers who canceled more than a month ago. The discount also doesn’t apply to the ad-free version, which is great.
Black Friday Retailer Sale
Want to search the market yourself? Here are a few of the top retailers participating in Black Friday sales.