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CES 2019: TCL tries again at launching sound bars

TCL has announced two new sound bars for 2019 which come with or without a wireless subwoofer.

tcl-alto-7

The TCL Alto 7+ with wireless subwoofer.

TCL

We found out at CES 2019 that, after a false start 12 months ago, TCL is finally launching two new sound bars -- the smaller Alto 5 for TVs 43-inches and larger, and the Alto 7 for TVs 55 inches and above.

The sound bars offer "specialized sound modes" in addition to "precision playback for any TV as well as music from your smartphones, tablets and laptops". Each bar will be also available in a Plus version which includes a wireless subwoofer. 

  • TCL Alto 5: Bluetooth and optical
  • TCL Alto 5+: Bluetooth, optical and wireless sub
  • TCL Alto 7: Bluetooth, HDMI and optical
  • TCL Alto 7+: Bluetooth, HDMI, optical and wireless sub

While a splashy announcement for TCL's Roku smart sound bar last year was followed by 12 months of silence, it seems that TCL might release something this time around. I asked Roku about the TCL smart sound bar at an event earlier this year and a company representative answered with "we're really proud of our partnership". Roku released its TV Wireless Speakers instead.

TCL is now one of the most popular television brands in the US but it took several years to get there, having launched in 2013. Can the company translate this success to the already-crowded headphone and sound bar markets? The TCL Alto 5 and 7 Sound Bars will be available this Spring with pricing to be announced.

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