TCL’s range of affordable ‘Roku TV Ready’ soundbars start at $79

TCL has unveiled its latest Alto soundbars, which offer an affordable way of boosting a TV’s built-in sound. With the exception of the $59 Alto 3, all of the soundbars are certified as being “Roku TV Ready.” This means they should integrate seamlessly with TVs running Roku’s TV OS, allowing you to control and tune them with your TV’s remote. TCL’s Roku TV Ready soundbars range in price from $79 to $299.

At the top of the lineup is the Alto 9 Plus, which was first announced back at CES 2020. It’s equipped with Dolby’s Atmos, which adds height to the surround sound experience. However, rather than doing this with traditional upward-firing speakers, TCL says it’s using “virtual height channels” to create the impression of overhead sound, and the 3.1 soundbar also includes a dedicated wireless subwoofer. It supports Bluetooth, and it’s compatible with Chromecast and AirPlay 2 to stream content from your phone. The Alto 9 Plus is available now for $299.

The Alto 8I comes with built-in subwoofers.
Image: TCL

One step down the lineup is the $179 Alto 8I, which will go on sale next month. The compromise here, according to Engadget, is that the 2.1-channel soundbar opts for dual internal subwoofers rather than having a separate unit. You still get support for Dolby Atmos and Bluetooth streaming, however. The soundbar is designed for TV’s that are 55-inches and larger.

The $79 Alto 6 and $129 Alto 6 Plus are slightly smaller, and are designed for TVs that are 40-inches in size or more. Both support Bluetooth, neither have Dolby Atmos, and only the more expensive Plus model comes with a dedicated subwoofer. They’ll be available at the end of the month, TCL says.

The Alto 6 Plus comes with a dedicated subwoofer (pictured), while the