3 Great TV Deals If You Have a Sound Bar

Subpar sound keeps these sets buried in our ratings, but all are wise options when paired with a sound bar

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Over the past several years, we've seen an increase in the number of TVs with satisfying picture quality but less-than-stellar sound. (Blame it on the super-thin designs.)

Because we factor sound quality into our testing, these sets often suffer in our ratings. But if you own a sound bar speaker, a TV with great picture quality and poor sound can be a great deal.

To find a few such hidden gems, we scoured through the larger-sized sets in our latest ratings (available to subscribers). The three smart TVs below are all well-priced and offer very good or excellent picture quality. Pair them with an external speaker and you get an entertainment system the whole family will enjoy.

And, by the way, if you're in the market for a new sound bar speaker, we recently picked three winners that cost $200 or less.

Check Out Our TV Ratings and Buying Guide
If you're a subscriber, you can get detailed test results for these and 200-plus other models in our ratings. The TV Buying Guide is available to everyone.

lThis 55-inch 4K UHD TV—basically the warehouse club version of the 55UH6150, which we also tested—now sells for about $550, a good price for major-brand 4K TV this size. While its sound quality is only fair, it delivers very good high-definition picture quality and excellent UHD performance, plus a wider-than-average viewing angle for an LCD set. It has the company's webOS 3.0 smart TV platform, and while the TV comes with a conventional remote control, you can buy and use LG's point-and-click Magic Remote control as an option.

Like a number of other Vizio sets in our ratings, this 60-inch 1080p LCD TV delivers excellent high-definition picture quality and lots of worthwhile features, but only fair sound. The set has a full-array LED backlight and it comes with the older Vizio Internet Apps Plus smart TV platform, which many may prefer to the new SmartCast system. When you need to connect other gear, you can use one of the three HDMI inputs.

This 65-inch 4K UHD TV from Sony would have scored higher in our TV ratings if not for its fair sound quality. What you do get is very good high-definition picture quality, excellent UHD performance, plus a wider-than-average viewing angle for an LCD model. This model supports the HDR10 high dynamic range format, and like other Sony XBR sets this year it uses Google's Android TV smart TV platform.

James K. Willcox

I've been a tech journalist for more years than I'm willing to admit. My specialties at CR are TVs, streaming media, audio, and TV and broadband services. In my spare time I build and play guitars and bass, ride motorcycles, and like to sail—hobbies I've not yet figured out how to safely combine.