The In-Depth Buyer's Guide 2019

Best 4K Projector

Top 10 Reviewed 4K Projectors


9.8 out of 10

Future proof your home theater with one of our top 4k projectors for 2019.


We are in another new year, and the best 4K projectors of 2019 are just starting to grab the attention of home theater enthusiasts who want to take their movie watching experience up to the next level. But with a product category that’s so new, how can you know what features to look for in a 4K projector, and which unit is ultimately right for you, your home theater setup, and the types of content you plan on enjoying the most?

As always, that’s what Gadget Review is here to do. We’ve taken care of the heavy lifting with our latest roundup of the best 4K projectors in 2019, so keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this evolving technology and what it can do for you!


Test Results and Ratings

- August 2019

How We Decided


4 main factors come down to picking the top 4K Projectors

​​Lumens
Brightness


​Frame Rates
30 frames/sec


​​Brands
4K content

$750-$6000
Value

The Best Balance of

Price and Power

 Sony VPL-VW365ES 4K 3D Projector

9.8
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • The “Reality Creation” engine makes upscaled content look better than ever.
  • SXRD panels produce beautiful blacks
  • 1500 lumen rating won’t be great for brighter rooms

Why We Like It: When writing this list, we were on the lookout for Sony’s best offering that struck a nice balance between cost, features, portability and performance. Even though the VPLVW365ES may not have all the bells and whistles like the 665ES, it’s able to pack in most of what we love about that unit all while coming in at around $5,000 less.

Best 4K Projector for the

Money

 Sony VPL-VW350ES 4K 3D Projector

9.7
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Actually affordable for the average consumer
  • 1500 lumen rating
  • HDR
  • Contrast ratios could be better
  • Lighter black levels

Why We Like It: The 350ES shares the same lumen rating with the 365ES at 1500, however in tests the blacks were shown to come off just a little bit lighter than we liked due to its weaker contrast ratio. All that aside, when you consider it’s nearly half the price of the next pick on our list, it’s easy to forgive those slight missteps to make this the best budget 4K projector you’ll find on shelves.

Best 4K projector

Sony VPL-VW665ES 4K 3D Projector

9.4
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Stunning picture quality
  • Best brightness of the bunch
  • Higher cost could be prohibitive to some buyers

Why We Like It: With an 1800 lumen rating, HDR-compatibility for true color representation, and a 300,000:1 contrast ratio, the VPL-VW-665ES produces the richest colors, deepest blacks, and smoothest motion of any other 4K projector around.

So Which 4K Projector is Right For You?


While we wished there were more models out there that we could use to crown the best 4K projector of 2019, there’s no denying that everything Sony is offering today can still project an image that’s off the charts in terms of quality, color richness, and the overall experience of seeing 4K blown up to real home theater proportions.

Whether you opt for the 350ES, 365ES, or 665ES, you’re guaranteed to have a movie watching experience unlike anything else out there today. If you’re on a budget the 350ES will get the job done, and if you want to splurge on the best of the best the 665ES is lying in wait. No matter what, the 4K revolution is coming, and these are the projectors that will keep you prepared no matter what movies, games, or TV shows you throw their way.

Features to Look For

The devil is in the details folks.

1

Display Size

With standard 4K TVs, it can be difficult to appreciate the increased pixel count when a screen is any smaller than at least 60″ across.


With 4K projectors however, the average screen size will often hover anywhere between 80″ – 140″ across, meaning every pixel has the opportunity to shine in its ultra-high resolution glory.


Make sure to check the screen size-to-distance ratios on your projector before settling on your final pick.

2

Price

Look, there’s no getting around it so we’re not going to mince words here: 4K projectors are a serious investment, reserved for only the most home entertainment-obsessed individuals out there.


So think again if you’re looking for a best 4k projector under $5000. And keep dreaming if you’re looking for a best 4k projector under $2000. It’s just not gonna happen, at least not any time soon. 


On average a 4K projector will cost a whole heck of a lot more than its 1080p counterpart, averaging anywhere from $8,000 on the low side up to $15,000 for the premium option.

3

Throw Distance

Just as you would with a standard 1080p projector, one of the first moves you need to make before even considering a 4K projector is to measure the throw distance to be sure there’s enough space between where you plan to mount your projector and where the screen will eventually sit.


The market for 4K projectors isn’t big enough for short-throw models to be a thing yet, so all the models we’ve listed here only use standard lenses to get the image from the unit onto the screen wherever it is in the room.


To make things easier, you can use a calculator like the one found here to decide which throw distance is right for you.

4

Mounting Position

This should be a big concern for prospective 4K projector buyers, because unlike their 1080p cousins, 4K projectors can often be extremely heavy, bulky, and hard to mount.


If you do intend on mounting it, be sure you’re putting it on a wall-mounted arm or shelf that’s rated to hold the poundage of the projector you want to buy.


Some of the projectors we’ve listed here are just over 30lbs at stock, which means that unless you’re confident in your construction abilities it’s probably smarter to find a stable surface to place the projector on rather than hanging it from the ceiling or a wall like you would in classical setups.

5

Fan Noise

If you thought regular 1080p projectors were loud, just wait until you hear what kind of noise a 4K projector puts out.


With more four times the amount of pixels to push out, 4K projectors need heavy duty fans to cool off their bulbs and internals.

6

Screen Quality

Last, there’s the quality of the screen you’re going to use to project the image onto.


If you’re going to splurge on a 4K projector, the last thing you want is for that beautiful, crisp image to be ruined by a sub-par wavy screen made out of budget materials. So be willing to spend and get what will hopefully be the best 4k projector screen for your home theater setup.


If you can afford it, try and get an electronic tensioned screen. These screens last longer because you’re not constantly pulling them up and down every time you’re done watching a movie, and are able to stay flatter over time thanks to the tensioned wire wrapped around the edges.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid

answers

No 4K content or devices

Not enough throw distance

Key Factors to a Good 4K Projector

​While all the projectors we have listed here are considered “good” by anyone’s standards, there are a few key aspects you should keep an eye out for when shopping around

  • Frame rates
  • Brightness
  • Brand

With 4K every little detail of your media that might otherwise be obscured by 1080p resolution becomes a lot more vivid when you up the ante, which means you’ll want a device that’s at least capable of displaying at 30fps (frames per second), but optimally you’ll want to shoot for 60fps if you can get it.

Who Contributed to this Review

​Conner Flynn

Editor

​Jordan Goodson

Contributor

​Josh Noriega

Editor

​Kyle Schurman

Editor

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