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The best 4K projectors in 2023: top home theater buys

If you're looking for the most cinematic viewing experience possible, we’ve got you covered with our round-up of the best 4K projectors.

The best 4k projectors in a grey void.

For the most spectacular cinematic experience, you’ll need one of the best 4k projectors. They offer the big-screen punch of the cinema in your own home and, paired with a killer 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound setup, can transform your home viewing. You may never visit a cinema again.

If there’s one drawback to the world of 4K projectors, it’s the price. Don’t expect to get much (if any) change from $5k/£5k, and that’s without factoring in the cost of a projector screen itself. But if you’re serious about movies and want the ultimate home viewing experience, 4K is the way to go.

The best 4K projectors create an even more immersive experience than you’d get with a combination of the best TVs and the best headphones for films and TV shows. Here are our expert picks.

The best 4k projectors are:

  1. Sony VPL-XW5000ES – best all-rounder
  2. Epson EH-LS12000B – best upscaling projector
  3. JVC DLA-NZ8 – premium option
  4. BenQ TK700STi – best for movies, TV, and gaming
  5. Hisense PX1-Pro – best short throw option

Best 4k projectors: the Sony VPLXW500ES.

1. Sony VPL-XW5000ES

The best entry-level 4K laser projector.

Sony VPL-XW5000ES specs:

Projection system Laser 3LCD
Resolution 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness 2500 lumens
Projection size 50 to 130 inches
Video inputs 2 x HDMI 2.1 (1 with eARC)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 20.5 x 7.6 x 17.6in (52.07 x 19.3 x 44.7cm)
Weight 28lbs (12.7Kg)


  • Detailed 4K images
  • Long-life laser projection
  • Great price for true laser 4K


  • No HDMI 2.1 or 3D
  • No motorized lens control
  • Build quality good, not great

As an entry point into the world of 4K laser projectors, Sony’s XW5000 is quickly becoming the benchmark. Laser projectors offer greater color and brightness uniformity than their LED- and lamp-based cousins, which means better performance but also often means a heftier price tag. Sony’s entry-level laser beamer, though, is considerably less expensive than all but the Epson LS12000B – although that’s because the Epson uses arch pixel-shifting to deliver a faux 4K image, rather than being a genuine native 4K projector.

That’s not to say corners haven’t been cut. Build quality is a touch creaky, and there’s no HDMI 2.1 input, 3D support, or motorized lens control. That said, the thing that matters most – performance – is top-notch. Sony’s X1 Ultimate processor is an absolute peach; motion is smooth, images are pin-sharp, and colors are bright and accurate, with crisp whites and deep blacks delivering a stunning overall picture worthy of any high-end home cinema.

Sony’s ‘budget’ 4K laser projector is about as good as it gets at this price point, and there’s very little to fault, barring the odd cost-cutting detail. Bright, accurate imagery with class-leading image processing and motion handling courtesy of the brilliant X1 processor make this a great choice as the focal point of a 4K home cinema setup.

Best 4k projectors: the Epson EH-LS12000B.

2. Epson EH-LS12000B

The best upscaling laser 4K projector.

Espon EH-LS12000B specs:

Projection system Laser 3LCD
Resolution 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness 2500 lumens
Projection size 50 to 130 inches
Video inputs 2 x HDMI 2.1 (1 with eARC)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 20.5 x 7.6 x 17.6in (52.07 x 19.3 x 44.7cm)
Weight 28lbs (12.7Kg)


  • Super bright images
  • Great color accuracy
  • 4K/120Hz gaming


  • Finicky menus
  • Not true 4K
  • Can struggle with deep blacks

If you want to shave even more off your bill for the best 4K projector, the Epson EH-LS12000B is a solidly built, chunky piece of home cinema kit. First things first, however, this isn’t a 4K projector at all. Its three LCD imaging devices are Full HD and use what Epson calls ‘advanced pixel shifting’ to deliver an image with 4K pixel density.

The best 4K projectors deliver 3,000 to 6,000 hours of life from their lamps, while laser 4K projectors offer up to 20,000 hours, another tick in the box for the laser-equipped LS12000B.

Given the savings, its pixel-shifting tech entails, its obvious rival is Sony’s XW5000, although the Epson is still considerably cheaper than Sony’s true 4K projector. Those savings translate into images that aren’t quite as bright and crisp as the Sony can manage. Some detail is missing from the final result, likely because of the interpolation work done by Epson’s processing tech.

Black levels can’t match the Sony, but the Epson features 3D support and HDMI 2.1 to deliver the 4K/120Hz signals from the Xbox Series X, PS5, and cutting-edge PCs.

It may not be a true 4K projector, but the LS12000B does a creditable job of producing crisp, detailed images that give ‘real’ 4K projectors a run for their money. The savings over a true 4K projector could be used for a top-drawer projection screen and plenty of 4K content.

Best 4k projectors: the JVC-DLA-NZ8


The best premium 4k projector.

JVC DLA-NZ8 specs:

Projection system Laser D-ILA
Resolution 4,096 x 2,160
Brightness 2500 lumens
Projection size 60 to 200 inches
Video inputs 2 x HDMI 2.1
Dimensions (WxHxD) 19.7 x 9.21 x 19.9 (50 x 23.4 x 50.5cm)
Weight 49.5lbs (22.45Kg)


  • Long-life laser light source
  • Phenomenal performance
  • Stunning build quality


  • Very expensive
  • Huge
  • Contrast requires dark room

The JVC DLA-NZ8 may be the best 4K projector money can buy, but it comes with a price tag that could net you a decent-sized hatchback. So, why is it so expensive? Well, JVC is well-known for its projector output, with some of the best 4K projectors on the market already on its roster. This model eschews lamps for a laser light source, which means brighter images and more consistent brightness, not to mention a longer lifespan, with 20,000 hours quoted for laser light sources versus the 3,000 to 6,000 from LED or halogen lamps.

For that outlay, you get a projector that does everything brilliantly – from bright, colorful cinemascapes to dark, brooding scenes – nothing is beyond the JVC’s range. That price point may put it beyond the reach of most, but if you can afford one, you’ll have a home cinema setup that’s about as cutting-edge as they come.

With no obvious competition at this spec and price, endless connectivity options, and stunning performance to match, the NZ8 stands alone.

Best 4k projectors: the BenQ TK700STi.


4. BenQ TK700STi

The best 4k projector for movies, TV, and video games.

BenQ TK700STi specs:

Projection system DLP
Resolution 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness 3000 lumens
Projection size up to 120 inches
Video inputs 2x HDMI 2.0 (with ARC), 1x HDMI for Android dongle
Dimensions (WxHxD) 12.2 x 4.3 x 9.6in (31 x 10.9 x 24.4cm)
Weight 6.8lbs (3.08Kg)


  • Awesome 16ms input lag
  • 60Hz 4K gaming
  • Great color accuracy


  • Some on-screen artifacts
  • Controls can be fiddly
  • Fan can be noisy

At the other end of the spectrum from JVC’s monster laser projector comes the BenQ TK700STi. Who said the best 4K projectors need to break the bank anyway?

The BenQ’s a capable option for TV and film, but it’s also well-suited to gaming, too, and sports an incredible response time of just 16ms at 60Hz – that’s a big deal for a native 4K projector. You can push its refresh rate up to 120Hz, but you’ll need to settle for HD output at that pace.

The TK700 is light and compact, weighing in at just 6.8lbs and measuring 12.2 x 4.3 x 9.6 (W x H x D), which makes it as close to a portable projector as you can get for this performance level. Billed as a short throw projector, it’s actually more of a hybrid standard/short throw, given you’ll need to place it further away from the screen than the Hisense PX1, for example.

It may not rival the more expensive laser projectors here for performance, but you could buy three or more of them for the price of even the cheapest 4K laser projector. It may force you to make some compromises, but the BenQ is a cracking option as an all-round projector you can easily relocate.

Best 4k projectors: the Hisense PX1-Pro.

5. Hisense PX1-Pro

The best short throw 4K projector.

Hisense PX1-Pro specs:

Projection system Triple Laser DLP
Resolution 3840 x 2160
Brightness 2200 lumens
Projection size 90 to 130 inches
Video inputs 2x HDMI 2.1 (eARC)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 20.47 x 6.3 x 12.75in (52 x 16 x 32.4cm)
Weight 20.28lbs (9.2Kg)


  • Great image quality
  • Simple, uncomplicated design & setup
  • Accurate colors


  • Can struggle in bright rooms
  • The contrast could be better
  • It needs a very dark room

The PX1 Pro is an ultra-short throw 4K projector with serious cinema prowess for a reasonable sum. If you’re lacking the space for a bigger projector, the PX1 could be the solution you’re looking for. It can beam a massive image on your wall or screen at close quarters (around a meter away will do it) without losing any of the detail you’d expect from 4K. Color balance is superb, and images are plenty sharp, even at the upper end of the PX1’s imaging capabilities.

The built-in speakers won’t rival a decent soundbar but will get the better of most TV speakers. As a replacement for a decent wall-mounted TV, this does the business, with Android TV functionality as a user-friendly bonus.

Yes, contrast can be an issue in brighter rooms, so you’ll need to ensure your chosen cinema room is as dark as possible to avoid problems. A set of blackout curtains will help here.

The Hisense PX1-Pro is a cracking entry-level 4K projector that’s easy to set up and can rival some of its more expensive rivals for picture quality. And, if you’re short on space, the PX1 is a 4K no-brainer.

Why buy a 4K projector?

The best 4K projectors have much to offer film and TV fans (not to mention gamers). Here are just a few of the benefits.

  • Sharper images: compared to your average home TV, 4K projectors offer sharper, crisper images that deliver detail you won’t pick up from a wall-mounted set.
  • The cinema experience: The best 4K projectors do film and cinematic TV justice. It’s like bringing a cinema into your home.
  • Versatility: While not always the most portable, most projectors can be used in various rooms and even outdoors if you fancy an al fresco summer movie night.
  • Cost: 4K projectors are no longer the preserve of the super-rich. In the past few years, prices have dropped to a much more affordable level. Now, there are options for most budgets.

Long throw vs. short throw vs. ultra short throw projectors

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of projectors you can get:

  • Long throw: Long throw projectors need to be a reasonable distance from the projection surface to create a good image. Around six feet away, to be precise, so you’ll need a fairly big cinema room to make the most of one.
  • Short throw: A short throw projector can create 100-inch images or more from around three to eight feet from the projection surface. They’re an excellent choice for smaller cinema rooms or living rooms where a giant physical screen might overwhelm the rest of the room’s decor.
  • Ultra short throw: Ultra-short throw projectors provide a great alternative to standard TVs. They can sit close to the wall or projection surface and use their wide-angle lenses or mirrors to produce large images with minimal space. Short-throw projectors tend to be laser or LED-based, so they’ll last longer than lamp-based options.

Need some recommendations for what to watch on your new 4k projector? Or lists of the best streaming services, the best TV series, and the best movies will serve you well.