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To find the best 3D projector, we spent a lot of time researching and defining the top features to consider during your purchasing process. Once you know these considerations, you can make a well-informed decision that meets your home entertainment needs. As you start to consider the wide variety of 3D projector options available to you, we recommend restricting your search to options with a minimum of 1080p resolution and at least 3,000 lumens of brightness. Additional features and functionality to consider would be 4K resolution, adjustability options, and low input lag for gaming. The best projector that you purchase should also be easy to use and easy to install.
After spending over 20 hours analyzing customer reviews and product specifications across the industry, we’ve chosen the BenQ TK800 for our top pick spot for the best 3D projector. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about the best projectors on the market today.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This 3D DLP projector is Gadget Review’s top pick for its bright and colorful display, 4K resolution, and excellent overall performance with high-action scenes. The projector also features a low input lag for gaming and solid sports modes.
The BenQ TK800 3D DLP projector offers the best overall performance with both 3D and 2D content. The projector has excellent bright-room performance with 3,000 lumens of lamp brightness. This is plenty of brightness for use in rooms with any kind of ambient light. The TK800 projector also offers excellent colors that are vivid and accurate, with 92% Rec. 709 color space. The picture is also incredibly detailed with both 4K ultra HD resolution and 1080p resolution when in 3D mode. Be aware that you might experience some rainbow effects with this BenQ DLP HD projector, due to its 4K color wheel, but it is minimal overall. Although, you may want to take a look at our BenQ HT3050 3D DLP home theater projector review before ruling out any other BenQ models.
If you’re a gamer, you’ll also enjoy using the BenQ TK800 4K Pro UHD projector. For a projector, it features a decent input lag at 44ms. But it really shines when it comes to motion handling and high-action scenes. The TK800 has both Sports and Game modes that create smooth, judder-free images for a more immersive experience. This powerful projector is easy to use and easy to install, as well. It features automatic keystone correction and a user-friendly interface. If there were one thing we could change about the BenQ DLP HD projector, it would be the fan noise. It can get a little noisy, even on Eco mode, which was disappointing. This option also provides plenty of connectivity options, including USB ports and HDMI ports. Compare this to the best short throw projector that offers a sheer number of cutting-edge functions and features.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: With cutting-edge triple-laser light technology, a high native contrast ratio, and a short-throw configuration, this 3D projector brings a lot to the table. Plus, with onboard speakers and Dolby Digital Atmos technology, you’ll get an immersive entertainment experience.
The AWOL Vision is an excellent addition to our lineup of the best 3D projectors, featuring the newest features and technology to create a super crisp and amazingly detailed picture. This option is, by far, the best 4K 3D projector your money can buy. For starters, the already great 4K resolution is made even better with HDR10 support and ALPD 3.0 technology, which increases lighting efficiency and brightness. The AWOL Vision LTV-2500 also features an amazing 2,000,000:1 native contrast ratio, which is even better than a movie theater’s native 2,000:1 contrast ratio. Plus, this projector requires less maintenance overall with its triple fine laser lighting technology. If you want a much brighter projector with excellent performance, then you need to go through the best NEC projectors.
The AWOL Vision LTV-2500 is a short-throw projector, which means you’ll only need mere inches between the unit and your screen for it to create a screen size of up to 120 inches. This 3D DLP projector is also designed incredibly well with a low-profile body that won’t obstruct your view. With built-in stereo surround Dolby Atmos speakers, you won’t need to connect to an external sound system unless you want more power.
This 3D projector also features a user-friendly interface and the capability to use streaming devices like Google Chromecast, Roku TV, Amazing Fire TV Stick, or Apple TV with the included HDMI ports to watch your Netflix and Hulu shows. You’ll also get a USB port for even more variety in connectivity. Gamers will also be interested in the best projector for gaming that offers a stunning 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for better differentiation between lights and darks.
Alternatively, if you’re unsure which projector will fit your needs, you’ll find our article that covers how to choose a projector and the best way to get started.
Award: BEST FAST PERFORMANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a 4K gaming projector with a low input lag and fast refresh rate, this unit is the projector for you. It also creates a stellar 3D picture quality and can even play 3D games, if that’s something you want.
The Optoma UHD50X offers tons of features and functionality that should spark even the most hardcore gamer’s interest. It’s one of the fastest 4K, 3D gaming projectors because of its blazing fast 16ms of input lag at 1080p resolution and 26ms at 4K resolution. While this may not seem fast if you’re used to gaming monitors, this is one of the most minimal lag times you’ll find on a projector. It also features extra-smooth 240Hz of motion handling. This means every one of your games will be clear, detailed, and smooth, even if you enjoy sports, FPS, and racing games. You can also play games in 3D if you have 3D-compatible games in your library.
You’ll also get an extra bright viewing experience with this Optoma 3D projector because of its 3,400 lumens of lamp brightness. This makes it an excellent choice for both bright rooms like living rooms and dark rooms like home theater rooms. Plus, with a wide variety of adjustability, you’ll be able to install this projector more precisely. The projector has a 1.3x optical zoom, 40-degree keystone correct, and 5-15% vertical tilt, which is much more adjustable than you get with other options. The only design features we wish were improved with the Optoma UHD50X are the internal speakers and the included remote control, which is a little flimsier in build quality. And for a more immersive experience in terms of audio, this is one of the best 4K projectors on the market today. Although, there are other brands that can compete with Optoma, like the finest LG projectors, which have bright viewing and smart connectivity features.
Award: BEST FOR BRIGHT ROOMS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This 3D projector creates bright and colorful displays with its 3,000 lumens lamp and Image Enhancement technology, making it an excellent choice for bright rooms. Plus, it features good onboard audio and 4K enhancement technology.
With 3LCD lighting technology, the Epson Home Cinema 3700 creates large displays with extra brightness and vivid colors. This unique three-chip design means the projector is able to match its color brightness to its white brightness so you get a consistent, even display. Plus, it features proprietary technology called Epson Image Enhancement that sharpens details and refines smoothness in high-action scenes. This is a 1080p 3D projector, but it also features a 4K enhancement to simulate higher resolution by shifting pixels diagonally.
When it comes to Epson’s design, you get plenty of adjustability options. It features incredibly handy vertical and horizontal lens shift, plus a 1.6x optical zoom so you can get the most precise picture thrown onto your display. We were also impressed with the overall build quality here. It’s a durable, well-made product that will last you a long time. The integrated 10W speakers could use a little work, but they do fine in a pinch. Overall, we’d recommend connecting to a home theater sound system, though. You may also want to consider the best outdoor projector that’s good enough to use on its own, so you won’t need to connect an external audio solution to enjoy your outdoor viewing party.
Award: BEST FOR LARGE DISPLAYS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you want the biggest 3D display with the best colors and brightness your money can buy, don’t look past this projector. With a short-throw configuration, an extra-bright lamp, and super-accurate colors, this unit is a perfect choice for those who want to go big without decreasing image quality.
The ViewSonic PX703HDH is a DLP 3D projector that can display pictures up to 300 inches in total screen size, corner to corner. You cannot go wrong with this projector if you’re looking for the biggest, most immersive cinematic experience. It features a full 1080p resolution that creates detailed images, but it really shines when it comes to its color accuracy and performance. The ViewSonic 3D DLP projector uses proprietary SuperColor technology to create a cinematic experience with impressively accurate color reproduction. This feature, combined with a 12,000:1 contrast ratio and 3,500 lumens of lamp brightness, creates an amazing picture quality that will leave you wanting more. Unfortunately, the ViewSonic 3D DLP projector doesn’t include frame interpolation for picture smoothing, but this is only really noticeable in fast-moving scenes and shouldn’t become too big of a problem.
When it comes to design and usability, this great ViewSonic model is a short-throw 3D DLP projector that requires minimal spacing to create large displays. It features a relatively compact projector body with easy-to-use buttons on top of the unit. Of course, you also get a remote control with your purchase for adjusting settings from a distance. It offers flexible connectivity options with HDMI ports so you can hook up your Blu-ray player and MHL compatibility for connecting streaming devices via HDMI cable. Plus, with included USB ports, you can connect flash drives for more versatility. You’ll also get a wide optical zoom at 1.3x, keystone correction, and focus controls for even more installation flexibility. And if you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, consider the best cheap projector.
Award: BEST COLORS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a projector that can produce the best when it comes to colors, we recommend this model. It also features good Frame Interpolation for smooth motion handling and MHL compatibility for mobile devices.
The Epson Home Cinema 2040 is a 3LCD projector, meaning it features a unique lighting bulb that creates stunning and accurate colors. For starters, the 3LCD bulb eliminates rainbow effects that are commonly seen in color-wheel projectors. It also features a deep 35,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for darker blacks. Combine all of these features with a high-quality 1080p resolution, and you’ll be fully immersed in your movies and gaming experiences. We were also impressed that the Epson could project images up to 300 inches in display size.
Setting up and using the Epson Home Cinema 2040 is a breeze, with easy-to-read instructions and user-friendly interfaces. However, we were a little disappointed in the lack of adjustability when it comes to projector positioning. You’ll get keystone correction and focus controls, but no lens shift or vertical shift options. As such, you’ll be more restricted in placement. However, 2040 does feature plenty of connectivity options for Blu-Ray players and gaming consoles, including an MHL-enabled HDMI port so you can connect to streaming devices and mobile devices. And just in case you own an iPhone, you’ll definitely love the best iPhone projector that also includes a sturdy tripod, which you can use to set the projector up virtually anywhere with ease.
With that said, not everyone owns an iPhone. In that case, you’ll want to check out the leading smartphone projectors to use instead.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This powerful projector features a very high-quality design that encourages a crisp, color-accurate, and bright display. It also operates quietly so you’re not overwhelmed by fan noise during quiet scenes.
The Optoma HD142X offers superior quality in design over other projectors. Every piece of the projector is designed with premium movie-watching experiences in mind. For starters, this is a durable projector that also looks sleek and attractive. The black color will blend in well with your home theater setup and it even features legs to keep the body of the projector from constantly touching the shelf where you have it placed. It also features a super quiet fan that operates at around 23 decibels on average. This means you won’t be annoyed with a noisy fan blowing noises during quiet moments in your movie. You’ll also get a good amount of adjustability options ranging from focus to keystone correction and optical zoom.
You’ll also be impressed with the HD142X’s overall performance when it comes to picture quality. While this isn’t a 4K Pro UHD projector, it still offers stunning full HD resolution on both 2D and 3D content. The picture is crisp and clear, but it’s also incredibly detailed. With a high dynamic contrast ratio of 23,000:1 and 3,000 lumens of brightness, you’ll be able to see clearer details in every scene. The Optoma HD142X does particularly well with colors, too, especially when it comes to flesh tones and dark scenes. We also recommend the best 4k projector, which has an incredible 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, keeping bright and dark screens clear and detailed.
Award: Best on a Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re on a budget but you need a solid projector for business presentations, 3D movies, or casual viewing experiences, look no further. This model is extra bright with a 3600-lumens lamp and is also very easy to install or adjust as needed.
The BenQ MW535A is a professional 3D projector that’s perfect for use in presentation settings, but also at home for your home theater projector needs. It’s a fairly compact projector that’s easy to take with you and it offers a ton of adjustability options so you can get it set up just the way you want it without too much effort. For starters, this foremost BenQ projector features vertical keystone correction and 1.2x optical zoom. Plus, you’ll get three adjustable feet so you can adjust the high to get the right angle. The projector even includes a super helpful Wall Color Correction functionality that adjusts the display colors for a clearer picture on walls that aren’t standard white.
This 3D business projector also works well for watching movies. While it doesn’t offer full HD resolution, you’ll still get a 1920×1000 resolution, which will produce a high-quality image. The projector produces accurate colors and a fairly decent contrast ratio at 15,000:1. We wish the contrast ratio were higher, as you can see some disappointing black level performance in dark scenes, but it still works well overall. The BenQ really shines with its 3,600 lumens of brightness since it can operate well in both dark and well-lit rooms. And if you’re looking for a good model for use at your workplace, consider the best business projector that offers a long-lasting performance that you can rely on in any business scenario.
Award: BEST QUIET OPERATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This high-end 3D projector features an amazing design that leaves no detail behind. From an ultra-quiet fan to dynamic lamp control to smooth Motionflow technology, you’ll get a stellar picture without the noisy fan getting in your way.
The Sony VPL-HW45ES is one of the more high-end 3D projectors you can buy, and it really shows in the overall design and build quality. For starters, this is also one of the quietest projectors out there at only 22 decibels, with a unique front-facing fan design that allows you to install the projector nearly flush to the wall without having to worry about exhaust problems. This attention to detail is also present throughout the entire projector. It features a wide, 1.6x optical zoom and both horizontal and vertical lens shift for flexible installation.
This Sony model also offers a high level of quality when it comes to the picture it can produce. While the projector doesn’t feature 4K UHD resolution, it still performs well with its 1080p resolution, especially when watching 3D movies. The Sony features a dynamic lamp control technology that is meant specifically for content from 3D sources to increase brightness in order to produce cinema-level quality when wearing compatible 3D Active shutter glasses. And with Sony’s Reality Creation technology, you’ll get a picture with extremely detailed color and high resolution. And this model will even work better with the best projector screen that has the vinyl screen material that makes your colors shine in ways you never thought possible.
Award: BEST ADJUSTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This projector gives you tons of adjustability options, including vertical keystone, horizontal/vertical lens shift, motorized 2.1x zoom, and the option for 4K enhancement. Plus, this option creates a stellar image quality with incredibly vivid and accurate colors.
The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 3D projector offers the best of both full HD and 4K worlds. It straddles the line between full HD and Ultra HD in an effortless way, giving you so many good features it’s nearly impossible to list them all. For starters, the 5040UB creates an amazingly crisp and detailed picture. While it only offers a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, the included 4K enhancement-mode simulates UHD resolution that’s nearly indiscernible from native 4K. Plus, the projector includes the DCI-P3 color gamut, which offers more colors over standard sRGB options.
Where the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB really shines, though, is in its overall adjustable. The glass lens is built to enhance 4K performance and offers a whopping 2.1x optical zoom range. You’ll also get a motorized lens shift for both horizontal and vertical directions. The projector also features vertical keystone correction. With all of these adjustability options, you’ll be able to get the most precise picture possible for a much easier installation process. The projector has a couple of different modes, too, like most projectors. But the only disappointing mode here was the Fast mode, which doesn’t decrease input lag for gaming, so it seems kind of pointless. Compare this to the best ceiling-mounted projector that allows you to easily invert the screen for ceiling orientation directly from the menu.
The first point of business for finding the best 3D projector was to find products that offered reliable and cinema-like 3D performance. Ultimately, you want to purchase a projector that invokes the same feelings you got the first time you saw a 3D film in the movie theater. All of the projectors we included on our list feature Active shutter 3D. We awarded bonus points for options that feature accurate colors from a wide color gamut and crisp details via either 4K or 1080p resolution.
Next, we considered the overall lamp brightness. 3D performs better with brighter lamps, so we preferred projectors with brightness ratings at 3,000 lumens or higher. We gave extra points to models with higher ratings. We also ranked options higher if they offered longer lamp lifespans so you won’t have to purchase replacement bulbs on a regular basis.
Finally, we considered the overall adjustability and build quality. Installing a projector can get complicated without adjustability functions like keystone correct, tilt controls, and lens shift. We gave projectors more points the more adjustability features they included. We also only included the options above if they were durable and high-quality.
Active vs. Passive 3D Technology It may come as a surprise to learn that there are two different types of 3D display technology: active vs. passive. Active 3D is the first generation of three-dimensional displays, and it uses battery-powered 3D Active shutter glasses that create an LCD shutter effect to sequentially display frames in 3D. Passive is a newer type of technology that uses polarization in both the display and the active shutter glasses to display the 3D effect. As you’re searching for a good 3D projector, passive 3D technology is hard to find, since it usually involves dual projector setups and expensive silver screens. The vast majority of projectors only offer active 3D. However, be aware that if you do want a passive 3D projector, 4K resolution, and affordable 3D glasses, you’ll need to hunt extensively for the right components.
Resolution Most 3D projectors can only display 3D content in 1080p, also known as full HD resolution. However, when not playing 3D movies and video games, you can still project content in 4K UHD resolution. When looking for the best 3D projector, 4K resolution is a huge selling point, but not a necessity. In contrast to 4K TVs, 4K Pro UHD projectors are still relatively expensive, especially when compared to 1080p options. As such, we’ve included both 1080p and 4K Pro UHD projectors in our ranking and research above.
Brightness Your projector’s lamp brightness is also an important consideration to make during your buying process and is measured in ANSI lumens. The exact amount of brightness you’ll need to get depends on the use case for your projector. For use in bright rooms, we recommend purchasing a projector with a higher lumens rating. For use in dark rooms, not as much is needed. However, in general, we recommend purchasing a 3D projector with at least 2,500 to 3,000 lumens of brightness.
Accessories Since 3D content requires the use of 3D glasses, you may be able to find projectors that include these accessories with your purchase. This is nice to have, but definitely not a common occurrence. As such, you may also need to spend some time finding the best 3D Active shutter glasses to accompany your 3D projector. In general, we recommend purchasing the glasses that the projector manufacturer recommends, and oftentimes, the manufacturer will produce their own 3D glasses.