The Best 4K Projectors of 2021

Bring the box office home with the best 4K projectors.
The Best 4K Projectors of 2021
Image credit: Alex Litvin (Unsplash)

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While televisions are common in living rooms, projectors are increasingly popular for watching movies at home. Indeed, there’s almost nothing more magical for movie lovers than enjoying cinematic treasures on a massive 100-inch or larger screen. 

Thanks to technological advancements, it’s never been easier or more affordable to own a projector. Whether you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line cinema-grade projector or want to enjoy big-screen gaming, there’s an option for you. 

Earlier, we assisted you in selecting the best projectors for work-from-home meetings and cinematic experiences. Now, we’re here to help you pick out the best 4K projector for your home!

Best 4K Projector Overall: Xgimi Horizon Pro ($1,699)
Best 4K Home Theater Projector: BenQ HT5550 ($2,532)
Best Budget 4K Projector: AAXA 4K1 ($850), also at other retailers
Best 4K Projector for Gaming: Optoma UHD38 ($1,399), also at other retailers
Best Short Throw 4K Projector: BenQ TK700STi ($1,699)
Best Ultra-Short-Throw 4K Projector: Optoma CinemaX P2 ($3,200), also at other retailers
Best Native 4K Projector: JVC NX7 ($8,975), also at other retailers

Best 4K Projector Overall: Xgimi Horizon Pro ($1,699)

Best 4K Projector Overall: Xgimi Horizon Pro ($1,699)
Image credit: Xgimi

There’s a lot to like about the Xgimi Horizon Pro. With dual 8W Harman Kardon speakers onboard, the Horizon Pro features best-in-class audio. 2,200 ANSI lumens of brightness hold up even under settings with a decent amount of ambient light. Android TV 10 comes built-in for streaming from apps such as Hulu and YouTube. 

Loads of image adjustments like auto focus as well as auto horizontal and vertical keystone foster a user-friendly experience. 3D compatibility offers a means of watching your favorite 3D Blu-rays. The Xgimi Horizon Pro is an awesome 4K projector that’s easy to set up, has lots of smart features, and houses premium sound that can’t be beat.

Best 4K Home Theater Projector: BenQ HT5550 ($2,532)

Best 4K Home Theater Projector: BenQ HT5550 ($2,532)
Image credit: BenQ

Providing 100% DCP-P3 and 100% Rec.709 color coverage, the BenQ HT5550 is an excellent 4K home theater projector. Colors are extremely accurate and there are great black levels as well as contrast. A slew of ports including a pair of HDMI inputs, an Ethernet jack, 12V trigger, three USB headers, 3.5mm headphone out jack, and RS-232 port let you hook up pretty much any devices you can think of. 

Various installation features such as a two-dimensional lens shift and 1.6x zoom make setting it up a breeze. Using pixel-shifting technology, the HT5550 achieves a 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160. Its 1,800 lumens should be able to withstand some ambient lighting. 

For HDR content, the BenQ HT5550 supports HDR10 and HLG. Its 3D capabilities, decent brightness, flexible installation options, and fantastic image quality make the HT5550 a solid choice for home cinemas.

Best Budget 4K Projector: AAXA 4K1 ($850)

Best Budget 4K Projector: AAXA 4K1 ($850)
Image credit: AAXA

Priced under $1,000, the AAXA 4K1 (also at other retailers) is a good budget 4K projector. Its LED light source delivers 1500 LED lumens for an exceptionally vivid picture that can handle moderate amounts of ambient lighting. Using pixel-shifting, the 4K1 can produce a 3840 x 2160 true 8 million-pixel on-screen image. 

A pair of HDMI ports, a USB host, RCA A/V input, microSD card slot, and headphone-out jack let you connect an array of different devices. Its picture quality is fantastic and the LED light source can last for up to 30,000 hours. An electronic focus simplifies the setup. At 3.8 pounds and with dimensions of 3.27 x 2.83 x 0.94 inches, the AAXA 4K1 is compact and easy to tote around.

Best 4K Projector for Gaming: Optoma UHD38 ($1,399)

Best 4K Projector for Gaming: Optoma UHD38 ($1,399)
Image credit: Optoma

With input lag as low as 4.2ms at 1080p or 16ms in 4K and a high refresh rate of 240Hz, the Optoma UHD38 (also at other retailers) is the best gaming projector available. 4000 ANSI lumens of brightness hold up even with the lights on. If you want to hook up a next-gen game console like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, the UHD38 is a good option.

Black levels are pretty solid with dynamic black technology, and its high 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio means the Optoma will work wonderfully for movies as well as games. ±40-degree keystone correction and a 1.1x zoom allow you to easily mount the UHD38. 

Inputs and outputs are plentiful with two HDMI ports, an Ethernet jack, VGA, USB host, 3.5mm audio out jack, and an RS-232 port. Capable of high refresh rate, low input lag gaming as well as displaying movies with lush detail thanks to its 8-segment color wheel, the Optoma UHD38 brings your games to life on the big screen.

Best Short Throw 4K Projector: BenQ TK700STi ($1,699)

Best Short Throw 4K Projector: BenQ TK700STi ($1,699)
Image credit: BenQ

Capable of producing a 100-inch image from about six-feet away from the screen, BenQ’s Tk700STi is a short-throw gaming projector. It can handle 4K 60Hz 16ms gaming in 4K or 1080p gaming at 240Hz with just 4.16ms of input lag.

The 3,000 ANSI lumen light source is bright and colors are extremely accurate thanks to its 96% Rec.709 color coverage. As such, the TK700STi is suitable for movies just as well as gaming. It’s even bundled with a streaming stick that includes Android TV. There’s a set of HDMI ports including one with eARC, an RS-232 port, USB header, and audio output jack. With pixel-shifting, the TK700STi can produce a 4K HDR image.

Best Ultra-Short-Throw 4K Projector: Optoma CinemaX P2 ($3,200)

Best Ultra-Short-Throw 4K Projector: Optoma CinemaX P2 ($3,200)
Image credit: Optoma

For a large screen in a small space, the Optoma CinemaX P2 (also at other retailers) is an ultra-short-throw projector. Its small throw ratio allows the CinemaX P2 to cast a 100-inch or larger image just a few inches from the screen. 

Using pixel-shifting technology, the P2 creates a 4K image. Its 6-segment RGBRGB color wheel offers accurate colors while a laser light source delivers high 3,000 lumens of brightness alongside a 30,000-hour lamp life. 

A built-in 40W soundbar with two full-range drivers and two subwoofers provides robust sound quality. And smart home integration with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant or IFTTT support let you connect the P2 with your smart devices. Everything from 4K HDR videos to 3D movies and casual gaming looks stunning on the CinemaX P2.

Best Native 4K Projector: JVC NX7 ($8,975)

Best Native 4K Projector: JVC NX7 ($8,975)
Image credit: JVC

While many 4K projectors utilize pixel-shifting to create a true 4K on-screen image, the JVC NX7 (also at other retailers) instead includes a native 4K chip. Therefore, it can create a 4096 x 2160 image without pixel-shifting technology. At 1,900 lumens, it’s modestly bright. And it’s easy to connect with a pair of HDMI ports, an RS-232 port, Ethernet jack, and USB header. 

With outstanding color accuracy, the NX7 is a cinema-grade projector with best-in-class contrast and black levels. It can handle HDR10 and HLG. 3D content looks great too. With its LCoS projector technology, the NX7 ushers mind-blowing, lifelike visuals into your home theater.

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