New Panasonic 4K OLED ditches front-firing speakers for something even better

Panasonic LZ2000 TV on counter in stylish home
(Image credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic has entered the big leagues in terms of screen size with its new 2022 flagship, the LZ2000 OLED TV – it's the first time the TV manufacturer has offered a 77-inch OLED.

Unveiled at CES 2022, the new Panasonic flagship offers everything we loved about last year's JZ2000, with a 4K HDR panel, OLED picture quality, HDMI 2.1 specification, and more.

Panasonic has, though, previously been largely content to stick to standardized 55-inch and 65-inch TV sizes for its OLEDs, alongside a 48-inch OLED in the entry-level JZ980. However, the TV maker is now expanding into larger sizes, even if it currently stops short of the 83-inch or 88-inch OLEDs being offered by the likes of LG and Sony.

It's not just size that Panasonic is focused on, though. The LZ2000 builds on the audio evolution of last year's model, which added side-firing speakers for a three-dimensional sound, alongside having Dolby Atmos support, a sound system tuned by Technics, and both front-firing and upward-firing drivers, to create an all-in-one home cinema system unmatched by other screens.

This year's flagship goes one better, wholly replacing the set's front-firing speakers with a new "beam-forming technology" speaker array which can better direct sound towards the viewer; there's a Pinpoint mode that can focus audio at a specific spot in front of the TV, while an Area mode emits sound in a larger space. A third and final Spot mode offers something in the middle, while focusing most of the volume at a specific seat.

We don't have a price for the LZ2000 yet – Panasonic says pricing will be confirmed "closer to on-sale date in summer 2022," so likely somewhere between June and August. You can be sure it'll be pricey, though, as last year's JZ2000 started at £2,699 for the 55-inch size, going up to £3,499 for a 65-inch model.

Panasonic tends to launch its flagship model for the year first, before gradually unveiling step-down models later, so we may have to hold on for a month or two before we see what's in store from what we presume will be the LZ1500, LZ1000, and LZ980 OLEDs, or Panasonic's LCD models. For now, though, we've seen the best that Panasonic has to offer for 2022.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.