The LG B2 series is the company’s step-up OLED TV line, adding on gaming-friendly features such as 120Hz, VRR, ALLM, and FreeSync Premium to the impressive basic picture quality also found in the entry level LG A2 series. Like the A2 TVs, B2 sets have limited brightness compared to the best OLED models, and the built-in sound quality is just so-so. But if you want an affordable OLED TV for watching movies that’s also got game, the B2 series is the one to buy.
Deep blacks and detailed shadows
Affordable for an OLED TV
Limited brightness compared to top OLED TVs
Unimpressive audio performance
Plastic table stand
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LG B2: Two-minute review
The LG B2 series is the company's step-up OLED offering from its entry level A2 OLED TVs. It provides the same basic picture quality as the A2 series, but does it one better by offering a comprehensive set of gaming-related HDMI 2.1 features such as 120Hz, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), auto low latency mode (ALLM), and more.
Like the LG A2, LG’s B2 series TVs have limited peak brightness, making them a better option for rooms where you can carefully control lighting conditions. Otherwise, they deliver the same deep, detailed shadows, punchy HDR highlights, and excellent image uniformity you can expect from the best OLED TVs, even the pricier models. Color rendition is also a B2 series strong point, though you will need to spend time making adjustments to get it to look its best.
The B2’s webOS 22 smart TV interface is the same as you’ll find on other 2022 LG TVs. Like other smart TV interfaces that aren’t created by Roku or Apple, it has a busy appearance, though it can be edited and customized to a degree, and allows for separate profiles to be created for multiple family members. Both Alexa and Google voice assistant support is built-in, and there’s support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Homekit.
The B2’s ultra-slim panel and bezel give it an appealing “all-picture” look, though the set’s plastic stand reveals its budget TV status. LG’s innovative magic remote is easy to use once you get the hang of it, and the on-screen point-and-click and scroll functions are preferable to attempting to identify and locate control buttons in a dark room as you would with a regular remote.
Audio performance is passable, with clear dialogue when using the B2’s built-in speakers. There’s also a bit of a sound “bubble” when you activate the set’s AI Sound Pro mode, which strives for a virtual 5.1.2 Atmos presentation. But this is a TV ideally paired with one of the best soundbars, and even a basic one will prove beneficial.
The B2 is a great choice for gaming, with its extensive HDMI 2.1 feature set rivalling what you’ll find on the best 120Hz TVs. It has a Game Optimizer mode and a Game Dashboard menu to directly access settings and GeForce Now and Utomik cloud gaming are available in the webOS 22 smart interface. The B2’s measured input lag is very low, further cementing its position as a serious gaming TV option.
There’s no question that the B2 series is a great value, especially if you’re interested in using it for gaming with a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X console. If not, the A2 series will a more sensible option if you’re simply looking for a good, cheap OLED for watching movies.
LG B2 review: price and release date
- Release date: March 27, 2022
- OLED55B2: $999 / £1,199
- OLED65B2: $1,399 / £1,599
- OLED77B2: $2,099 / £2,899
As LG’s step-up budget OLED series, the B2 TVs are positioned between the entry level A2 and the more advanced LG C2 series models, with the latter featuring the company’s OLED Evo tech. Screen sizes are limited to 55, 65, and 77 inches. The B2 series is not sold in Australia, where the CS series (not available in the US) occupies a similar step-up budget TV slot.
LG B2 review: features
- WebOS 22 smart TV interface
- Dolby Vision and Atmos
- Great HDMI 2.1 support
LG’s B2 series features the same webOS 22 smart TV interface found in the company’s other OLED models. Here you’ll find all the top streaming apps, including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, and Hulu. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control is built-in, and there’s both HomeKit support and AirPlay 2 for streaming from an Apple device.
The B2 series features LG’s α7 Gen 5 AI Processor – the same one found in LG’s entry-level A2 series OLED models. This provides features such as dynamic tone mapping and AI 4K upscaling of HD sources, along with 5.1.2-channel sound upmixing of non-Dolby Atmos sources. There’s high dynamic range support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG formats, as well as Dolby Vision IQ, which processes programs with HDR to optimize pictures for your room’s lighting conditions. Filmmaker mode is also onboard for those who want an accurate-looking picture without having to fuss with settings.
Four HDMI inputs are provided on B2 TVs, with two supporting HDMI 2.1 features like 4K 120Hz, VRR, ALLM, FreeSync Premium, and one supporting enhanced audio return channel (eARC). There’s also an optical digital output plus an RF input (we have a guide to the best indoor TV antennas, if you need one).
The overall feature package here is great for the price – particularly the gaming-related ones. When you consider that the step-down A2 series is priced fairly close to the B2 series models, the step-up in features you get here makes it worth the extra spend.
- Features Score: 4.5/5
LG B2 review: picture quality
- Rich color reproduction
- Deep blacks with detailed shadows
- Limited brightness for an OLED TV
Like other OLED TVs, the B2 series delivers “near-infinite” contrast, with a black level that hovers just above 0 nits. The area where it differs from higher-end OLED models is peak light output: we measured 554 nits in the calibrated Cinema (HDR) picture mode, and 568 nits in Standard (HDR) mode.
Those numbers are essentially the same as what we measured on LG’s A2 OLED, though larger models in the C2 series, and also the mid-range Sony A80K OLED, provide higher peak light output. The upshot here is that the B2 will be the best match for rooms where you can dim the lights rather than one where overhead lamps will be continuously turned on or there'll be lots of bright sunlight.
Coverage of DCI-P3 color space when displaying 4K HDR was 98.8% – an excellent result, and another match for LG’s A2. When measured using Portrait Displays’ Calman color calibration software, color accuracy in Filmmaker mode was a bit off, with an overly warm, reddish cast to images, but the set’s advanced picture adjustments allow for that to be corrected.
Sizes available: 55, 65, 77 inches
Screen type: OLED
HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Audio support: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital
Smart TV: webOS 22
HDMI ports: 4 (2x HDMI 2.1)
Once all adjustments were complete, the B2’s vibrant, detailed picture made it a pleasure to watch all manner of movies and TV shows with. Viewing the opening scenes from Top Gun: Maverick, where Maverick (Tom Cruise) flies at Mach 10 speed, becoming the fastest man alive, and then pushes for… Mach 11, the dark scenes in the control tower where the flight team monitors his progress showed deep, pure-looking blacks, along with eye-popping highlights in the display monitors lining the space.
When watching 1899 on Netflix, the B2’s ability to flesh out shadows in the gloomy quarters of the ship proved a revelation. Having previously binge-watched the first few episodes of this show on an ultra short throw projector, I had no idea how much detail was contained in the blacks, but the B2 revealed it in a way the projector proved incapable of.
Brighter and more color-filled images like those from Elvis also fared well on the B2, with the reds and greens in the scenes that take place in an Elvis TV Christmas special originally shot during the 1960s looking rich and appealing. Skin tones came across as natural, and the B2’s image had an overall clean, detailed look that let it stand tall against the best 4K TVs. The B2’s handling of motion was also impressive: watching a challenging scene from the recent James Bond film No Time to Die where a camera pans slowly over a craggy hilltop, the image for the most part came across as solid and detailed.
It should be noted at this point that all viewing was done in either dim or dark room lighting conditions. With overhead lights turned on, the B2’s picture lost some of its dynamic impact. That’s not to say it looked dull, but compared to LED-backlit – and particularly mini-LED backlit – LCD TVs, which can hit a peak brightness of 2,000-plus nits and also generally have a high average brightness level, the B2’s performance was relatively lackluster in these other conditions. Something like the Samsung QN85B remains a better way to watch in bright rooms.
- Picture quality score: 4/5
LG B2 review: sound quality
- AI Sound Pro mode best for general use
- 5.1.2-channel sound upmixing
- Thin sound quality with most modes
B2 series sets feature two downfiring speakers, with each getting 10 watts of power. There’s Dolby Atmos support, and the set’s α7 Gen 5 AI Processor serves up virtual 5.1.2-channel sound when LG’s AI Sound Pro mode is active. AI Sound Pro will also upmix regular stereo soundtracks for a virtual 5.1.2 presentation.
Most of the B2’s sound modes imparted a thin, edgy quality that could be grating after a few minutes of viewing, though the dialogue in all modes was clear. Movies benefitted from AI Sound Pro’s virtual Atmos presentation, however, with the sound extending beyond the limits of the TV’s screen. Of the set’s various presets, this provided the most well-balanced sound and is the one we’d recommend leaving on.
With the B2 basically matching the entry level A2 series in terms of audio specs, we weren’t surprised to find the sound lacking bass and becoming congested in movie scenes with intense action. The bottom line here is that this is a TV that will greatly benefit from a soundbar. Even the addition of a basic 2.1-channel one will make for a more immersive movie viewing experience.
- Sound quality score: 3/5
LG B2 review: design
- Sleek design with ultra-thin bezel
- Plastic support stand
- Magic Remote with on-screen point-and-click controls
B2 series TVs have the same ultra-thin panel as other OLED models, along with an ultra-slim bezel and small footprint stand. The look is a 'mostly picture' one and it should fit in with most viewing environments.
One complaint I have about the B2’s design is its stand, which is made of a somewhat flimsy plastic that seems out of step with the rest of the TV’s design. With a budget TV you have to cut corners somewhere, and the stand is clearly where cost-savings were targeted. Even so, it does a good job of holding the TV upright, though there’s no variable height option to accommodate a soundbar. If you want something more fancy and flexible, LG has an optional Gallery stand for installation in places other than a TV console or a wall.
The Magic Remote that comes with LG TVs is a unique handset with point-and-click and scrolling capabilities. Using it is a very different experience than you get with regular remotes and, once you get the hang of it, it seems in many ways superior. There’s a built-in mic for Alexa or Google voice commands, and there are also quick buttons to access the Netlix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus services.
- Design score: 3.5/5
LG B2 review: smart TV & menus
- webOS 22 interface
- Google Assistant and Alexa voice control built-in
- No ESPN Plus app
LG’s webOS 22 smart TV interface is fairly busy, though you can edit the arrangement of apps that line up horizontally across the screen. You also have the option to create multiple user profiles so that family members can sign in and get a personalized smart TV experience. A picture mode lets you display art when the set isn’t showing video. This isn’t the same “ambient” setting you get with the company’s G2 series “gallery” TVs, which can operate in low-power mode, but it’s a welcome feature nonetheless.
One thing that annoyed me during setup is that I needed to input an email address (a social media account is another option) to create my user profile – a necessity to personalize the smart interface. I was also disappointed not to find the ESPN Plus app, which is one that many US sports fans will be looking for.
Given the streamlined nature of LG’s Magic Remote, making any picture adjustments will involve digging through a few menu layers. Fortunately, you get the option to customize all picture modes for standard and high dynamic range sources, and you can also apply a set of picture adjustments across all inputs.
- Smart TV & menus score: 3.5/5
LG B2 review: gaming
- 4K 120Hz, VRR, ALLM, FreeSync Premium support
- Low 9.1ms input lag
- Game Optimizer mode with Game Dashboard
The B2 series’ main claim to fame is that it’s the least expensive OLED TV line to offer gamer-centric features like 4K 120Hz, Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode, and FreeSync Premium. Those are key differentiating factors between it and the slightly less pricey A2 series, and a major reason why you’d buy a B2 set instead.
Other B2 gaming features include a Game Optimizer mode with a Game Dashboard menu, GeForce Now cloud gaming, and HDR Gaming Interest Group (HGiG) support.
Input lag in our tests was extremely low. Using a 4K test meter, it measured 9.1ms in Game Optimizer mode, a level of performance that ranks the B2 series among the best gaming TVs.
- Gaming score: 4.5/5
LG B2 review: value
- LG’s least expensive 120Hz OLED
- Limited brightness compared with step-up C2 series
- OLED TVs more expensive than QLED TVs
The B2 series is a fantastic value. What you're getting here is a TV that looks great with movies, delivering deep blacks, rich color, and well-balanced HDR highlights. But its full suite of gaming features, including 120Hz and VRR support, is what puts it over the top value-wise, making it a great, feature-packed TV that’s also affordable.
Do you get more for your money by stepping up to LG’s C2 series OLED models? Absolutely. C2 series sets provide all the same features as the B2 series, but offer improved picture brightness and better audio performance. As we head into 2023, when new LG OLED models will be introduced, there’s only a $300 / £200 price difference between the 65-inch B2 and C2 series models, so the C2 is worth it if you have the extra money.
Another option is to buy an A2 series model. Both the B2 and A2 series offer identical video and audio performance, so if you have no use for the B2’s gaming features, you could save some money by opting for a less expensive A2 series TV.
- Value score: 4.5/5
Should I buy the LG B2?
|Features||Feature-packed, with HDMI 2.1 ports that support 120Hz and VRR.||4.5/5|
|Picture quality||Great picture quality, though with lower brightness than step-up OLEDs.||4/5|
|Sound quality||Passably good sound with clear dialogue, though lacking bass impact.||3/5|
|Design||Sleek design and cool remote, but with plastic stand||4/5|
|Smart TV and menus||webOS 22 is an acquired taste, but gets the job done.||3.5/5|
|Gaming||A full suite of gaming features make the B2 an excellent budget TV for gaming.||4.5/5|
|Value||Fantastic overall value given the combination of features and performance.||4.5/5|
Buy it if...
You want an affordable OLED TV
With deep, rich blacks and an ultra-wide viewing angle, OLED TVs offer many picture quality advantages, and the B2 series offers them at a reasonable price.
You want a great TV for watching movies
The B2 series will satisfy movie fans with its deep shadows and impressive overall performance.
You want a great TV for gaming
The B2 series offers up a full range of HDMI 2.1 features like 120Hz and VRR support, making them perfect TVs for gaming with a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
Don't buy it if…
You plan to watch in a bright room
The B2 series TVs have limited brightness compared to QLED TVs and even higher-end OLEDs, making them a lesser choice for sports or other daytime viewing.
You don’t want to add a soundbar
The B2’s built-in audio is passably good, but loud action movies will be better served by a set with more advanced speakers or, better yet, a soundbar.
You’re not into gaming
The B2’s picture quality is mostly identical to what you get with LG’s entry level A2 series, so if you’re not interested in gaming – the B2’s main advantage – buy an A2 instead.
LG’s entry level A2 series offers nearly identical performance to the B2 series, but omits gaming features. A budget option for anyone seeking a great TV for watching movies.
LG’s upper mid-tier C2 OLED models should deliver a similar level of performance, but with better brightness. C2 prices are several hundred more, but worth it depending on your needs.
Like LG’s C2, Sony’s mid-level A80K OLEDs offer a great mix of performance and gaming features for roughly the same price, though the A80K series isn’t as bright as C2 sets.
Al Griffin has been writing about and reviewing A/V tech since the days LaserDiscs roamed the earth, and was previously the editor of Sound & Vision magazine.
When not reviewing the latest and greatest gear or watching movies at home, he can usually be found out and about on a bike.