During its CES 2020 keynote today, TCL announced the Alto 9 Plus Dolby Atmos soundbar, which is among the first to offer full integration with Roku TV televisions. If you own a Roku TV, you can control the soundbar using the TV’s remote, but you can also dig into advanced settings and switch between audio modes through on-screen menus.
A Roku TV isn’t required to use this soundbar, however. It comes with its own standalone remote for any TV you’ve already got in the house.
The Alto 9 Plus uses what TCL calls Ray-Danz reflector technology to provide a wide soundstage that delivers powerful sound across your entire living room. Acoustic reflectors aren’t any kind of breakthrough for speakers, but putting them into a soundbar is a pretty clever idea. Just look at all of the empty space to the left and right of the main speaker array in the middle. Those curved areas are where audio gets reflected and bounced around your room.
The Alto 9 Plus isn’t going to win any design awards; it very much looks like a piece of home theater kit. But the Ray-Danz technology actually works and results in an impressive surround effect that should cover the entirety of most average-sized living rooms. Atmos demo content really did feel like it was coming from every direction, and there’s even a slight sense of audio above you. TCL has built in a dedicated center channel that focuses on voices and dialogue to make sure those never get lost in the mix.
The new flagship TCL soundbar will come with a bundled subwoofer; the company knows full well that’s mandatory for a full, satisfactory sound experience. You can expect the Alto 9 Plus to ship sometime in the coming months.