TCL Roku TV Alto R1 Wi-fi Soundba

RRP $ 179.00

“Roku and TCL are teaming as much as make the sound of your Roku TV a easy plug-and-play expertise.”


  • Simple setup with only one cable

  • No further distant controls required

  • Good audio high quality

  • The voice enhancement and quantity management options are good


  • No Dolby Atmos

  • Solely works with Roku-enabled TVs

  • No audio enter connectors

When constructing a house theater, one of many first issues you are able to do after selecting a TV is including a sound system. One of many best methods to do that is to purchase among the finest sound bars on the market. Let’s face it, the built-in audio system in TVs will not fill the house and can enable you immerse your self in your favourite motion pictures. Roku is aware of this and is dedicated to enhancing your audio expertise whereas protecting setup easy. At CES 2021 in January, Roku introduced a partnership with TCL to launch a wi-fi soundbar for Roku-enabled TVs.

The brand new Excessive R1 is the outcome.

This new soundbar is designed to work seamlessly with Roku televisions and is just about easy to arrange. The place extra residence theater sound methods because the naked minimal require connecting a cable to your TV – the one cable wanted to arrange the Alto R1 is the one which provides energy. A part of the particular sauce that makes this minimalist strategy attainable is Roku’s proprietary Wi-Fi audio streaming expertise. What sounds good in principle, how does it look in actuality? Comply with us and I will reply precisely that query.

Can it actually be that easy?

The back and connections of a TCL Roku TV Alto R1 Wireless Soundbar.Chris Wedel / Digital Developments

Unpacking the Alto R1 Soundbar solely consists of the 31.5-inch speaker, wall-mounting {hardware}, papers, and an influence twine. No further cables are included as none are required as the one connection on the soundbar is for the ability twine.

My skepticism grew once I started to assume that pairing the soundbar with the TV could not be that straightforward. So I turned on my 65-inch TCL Roku TV and plugged the Alto R1 into the wall socket. To pair the soundbar with the TV, press and maintain the Residence button in your Roku distant for five seconds, choose Set Up Units, then choose Wi-fi Soundbar. After that, the TV and Alto R1 acknowledged one another and the soundbar processed an over-the-air software program replace.

Including the soundbar to my Roku TV could not have been simpler. There is no such thing as a must handle further cables or distant controls. The TV will mechanically know the Alto R1 is paired, and if the quantity is adjusted utilizing the Roku distant, the adjustments will probably be made by the soundbar reasonably than the built-in TV audio system. I take advantage of a Caavo Management Heart to handle my residence theater and after making a number of changes, I managed the quantity for the newly paired soundbar.

Options and sound high quality

TCL Roku TV with an Alto R1 wireless soundbar.Chris Wedel / Digital Developments

In use, the Alto R1 is simply as easy because the setup. It is a two-channel, 120-watt soundbar that’s totally managed by the Roku distant and your TV. Nevertheless, that’s not an issue. When you simply need to improve the sound of your Roku TV or use it to play music out of your phone through bluetooth, this soundbar can do it for you.

When you will not discover fancy options like Dolby Atmos and digital encompass sound in choices just like the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), the Alto R1 has a few methods, like the flexibility to carry the dialogue of every part you see extra into focus and mechanically decrease the quantity of commercials. There may be additionally a bass enhance characteristic and quantity management choices inside the sound settings that may be accessed by urgent the star button on the Roku distant.

Along with skepticism concerning the simplicity of organising the Alto R1, there have been doubts concerning the audio high quality and the way in sync it will be with the on-screen content material. For the reason that soundbar is totally wirelessly linked to my TV, I anticipated a delay in what I noticed on the display screen and once I would hear it. To my delight, I did not discover it within the slightest.

Roku remote control. Chris Wedel / Digital Developments

Roku makes use of Wi-Fi as a substitute of Bluetooth to deal with connectivity, which tremendously reduces latency and will increase info capability. I’ve seen 4K HDR motion pictures, stay soccer matches, and common TV packages, and all of it labored splendidly. In fact, even with bass enhance enabled, the Alto R1 will not compete with a setup with a devoted subwoofer, however it will not strive both.

I’ve a comparatively massive rectangular front room, so it is troublesome to fill it with balanced audio. The sound setup I normally use is a Vizio soundbar with two wi-fi satellite tv for pc audio system and a wi-fi subwoofer – and it really works. After I first began utilizing the Alto R1, I lowered my expectations for a full-fledged audio expertise. However surprisingly, the wi-fi soundbar did job.

The sound was crisp and the voice enhancement options did job. There was no distinction between day and evening, however there was sufficient enchancment when it was on that I can safely say it was price having. The soundbar is rated for 43-inch TVs and over, and I feel in most conditions the Alto R1 will make most customers fairly completely satisfied.

Our opinion

TCL Roku TV Alto R1 soundbar under a television on a media stand. Chris Wedel / Digital Developments

I might like to say that the Alto R1 will probably be an excellent alternative for anybody who simply desires higher sound for his or her residence theater and does not need to make an enormous fuss – and I nearly can. I nearly say as a result of it is solely true when you’ve got a Roku TV. Now, you do not have to have the very best Roku TV, however you do want a TV with a Roku inbuilt. So if you happen to’re utilizing one of many many nice Roku streaming gadgets that you just plug into your TV, you will not have the ability to use the Alto R1.

Roku and TCL had a transparent concentrate on what the Alto R1 can be good at – easy set-up course of and ease of use. For these two factors, the 2 corporations did a improbable job with this product. Shifting from the prepared to make use of state to utilizing the soundboard could not be a lot simpler. The Alto R1 does not promote cutting-edge options and even these which can be changing into commonplace amongst different merchandise like Dolby Atmos and digital encompass sound. By together with choices like these, the opposite by-product can be a rise in price, and at $ 180 it is laborious to argue what the Alto R1 brings to the lounge.

Is there a greater various?

There are lots of soundbars on the market that provide a full characteristic set however are inflated to cost. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re prepared to pay slightly extra however don’t need an excessive amount of extra, then the Yamaha YAS-209 tops our listing of the very best sound bars underneath $ 500 at round $ 350. This soundbar not solely affords a wider soundstage with help for DTS Digital: X, a digital 3D encompass sound profile, but additionally brings a quiet rumble to your favourite packages due to a separate subwoofer. It will not be fairly as straightforward to arrange because the Alto R1, and it’ll price you a number of {dollars} extra, however the Yamaha YAS-209 affords a extra immersive residence theater audio expertise.

How lengthy it can take?

TCL and Roku have each been within the residence audio and video scene for some time and convey that have to the Alto R1 soundbar. Each corporations have additionally executed job supporting their respective merchandise, and because of the Alto R1’s Wi-Fi connectivity, the soundbar can obtain OTA software program updates to make sure it has a protracted life.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, if you happen to’re somebody who desires to be engulfed by what you see from each angle, this isn’t the soundbar for you. Whereas the Alto R1 does a stable job of manufacturing good audio with just about zero latency, it isn’t a encompass sound system. It’s because it’s restricted to 2 channels and doesn’t have the flexibility to duplicate 360 ​​diploma audio. Nevertheless, in case your purpose is to get the sound approach past what your TV has inbuilt, aren’t spending some huge cash on it, and have a Roku-enabled TV, then the Alto R1 is price contemplating.

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