TCL has now confirmed it is expanding in the US beyond TVs to home entertainment-related audio products. Kicking off that expansion is the launch of two new TCL-branded soundbars, the Alto 5 and Alto 7.
Generally speaking, the two soundbars are in a sense the same soundbar as each one will cater to different consumer needs.
Those with TVs that are 43-inch or larger will likely be better off with the new Alto 5 (a 32-inch) soundbar, while those with a TV 55-inches or greater in size will be better suited to the new 36-inch Alto 7 soundbar.
Besides the size, one of the main differences between the two soundbars is the power output with the Alto 5 listed as a 50-watt solution (25W x 2), compared to the 80-watts on offer with the Alto 7.
Both soundbars come with a number of the same features including Bluetooth (version 4.2) so users can stream music to the soundbar from a smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled device. In addition to three different modes (Movie, Music, and News.) designed to accentuate different elements and provide the best listening experience for each category.
Interested buyers who are looking for something that offers a greater punch will be able to opt for a “+” version of either model. The Alto 5+ and 7+ both come packaged with a wireless subwoofer for extra bass definition. The smaller soundbar package features a 60-watt sub while the larger soundbar comes packaged with an 80-watt sub.
TCL made the announcement during CES 2019 where the company was also demonstrating a number of its latest products. In addition to announcing the new soundbars, it also announced its intention to launch a new 8K TV.
The 8K TV will be brought to market as a collaboration with Roku with the TV running on the latter’s OS.
This is not the first time the two companies have worked together, or even the first time TCL announced a soundbar. As during last year’s CES event TCL announced its plan to release a Roku-powered soundbar.
The Roku soundbar was due to be released in 2018 although it has yet to become available. TCL did not comment on the Roku soundbar or whether it still plans to release it along with these new options.
When the Roku soundbar was initially unveiled, it was marketed as part of the same Alto family as the two soundbars announced today. In fact, it was supposed to be the first of the Alto-branded devices to arrive to market.
The previous 2018 announcement also made reference to TCL’s ambitions to launch both smart and non-smart versions of soundbars. so it still might be the case the Roku soundbar becomes available and if it does before the Spring then it still will have been the first of the Alto family to arrive to market.
At present, TCL has not confirmed pricing for either of the new soundbars or their + versions, but has confirmed they will be available to buy in the Spring. However, the products are already showing up on the company’s website with pricing.
Based on the website listings, the Alto 5 will arrive to market priced at $79.99 while the Alto 7 will be priced at $99.99. Those looking at the subwoofer-included packages will be able to pick up the Alto 5+ for $179.99, or the Alto 7+ for $199.99.