TCL Unveils Dolby Atmos On A Budget In Five New Soundbars

TCL Alto 9 720x480 Alto9 RAYDANZ hero

TCL has announced no fewer than five new soundbars available now or on the way for 2020 and catering to a range of price brackets. Specifically, those are the TCL Alto 9+, ALTO 8I, Alto 6,  Alto 6+, and Alto 3.

Each of the new expansions to TCL's audio lineup is Roku-ready. That means that they are tested and certified to work with Roku TV. But the most compelling of the new soundbars are arguably the new TCL Alto 9+ and Alto 8I. Both soundbars are Dolby Atmos-ready. So sound doesn't just come from the front. It arrives via virtually simulated overhead directions as well.

The TCL Alto 9+, pictured above, takes things a step further than its 2.1 Channel Dolby Atmos counterpart too. It ships with 3.1 Channel Dolby Atmos. With RAY DANZ acoustic engineering technology, it packs a dedicated center channel. That's separate from the high-power bass on offer from its dedicated subwoofer. That's in addition to its ability to beam sound waves "toward reflector units" for a wider soundstage from 360 degrees.

Thanks to iOS and Android, TCL Alto 9+ is also Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 ready. Conversely, the TCL Alto 8I ships with dual-integrated subwoofers.

So what about the remaining TCL soundbars?

The TCL Alto 6, Alto 6+, and Alto 3 soundbars are geared much more toward the budget end of the spectrum. But they deliver audio quality nonetheless, according to TCL.

To begin with, the TCL Alto 6 and Alto 6+ are 2.0 and 2.1 Channel soundbars, respectively. They bring "bolder sound to any room of the house" but they aren't at all equal. Both are Bluetooth-enabled for easy listening at any time without even having to turn on the TV. But the TCL Alto 6+ ships with both included Dolby Digital decoding for better power and clarity and a dedicated bottom-firing wireless subwoofer.

The TCL Alto 3, on the other hand, is all about adding clear, clean volume to simple home theater setups. That means it's a straightforward compact, Bluetooth-enabled design, ideal for smaller spaces.

Pricing and availability

In terms of pricing and availability, TCL says the Alto 9+ will work best with TVs at 55-inches or larger. And it's already available now for just $299. The TCL Alto 8I will work with TVs in the same size range but costs just $179 when it becomes available next month.

For TVs at 40-inches or larger, TCL Alto 6 and Alto 6+ start at $79 when they go on sale at the end of the month. The subwoofer-enabled Alto 6+ from TCL will cost a bit more at $129.

Finally, TCL says the Alto 3 will work best with TVs at 32-inches or larger. It'll go on sale in October for an affordable $59.