124

TCL Alto 5+ Review

True Score

75
73
2

Experts

80
9,497

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Expert Rankings

The TCL Alto 5+ is a pocket-friendly pick that will appease bass lovers that don’t mind compromising on poor wireless connectivity, lack of surround sound, or a limited port selection. It is mainly for bass lovers on a budget.

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Product Snapshot

Overview

The TCL Alto 5+ is an entry-level sound system that was first launched in early 2019. The soundbar includes a subwoofer, which adds a distinct level of bass depth to its sound profile that some may consider more than necessary.

The sound system also has a small soundstage, but its sound projection is still accurate and well spread out. The Alto 5+ also misses out on support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital Plus content, which are features that are very hard to miss among the best speakers in the market.

Even though the Alto 5+ does not have a discrete center channel, it can still reproduce vocals accurately when listening to dialogue-focused content, courtesy of its dialogue enhancement feature.

Unfortunately, while the best soundbars can connect to devices through Wi-Fi, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, and Bluetooth, the Alto 5+ is limited to Bluetooth connectivity.

Consensus

our Verdict

The 2.1-channel TCL Alto 5+ soundbar delivers a largely bass-heavy output because of its capable subwoofer and a well-balanced mid-range for clear vocals.

Its sound profile makes it ideal for movie-watching or enjoying TV shows. The well-constructed soundbar also has a compact, space-saving design, but it doesn’t get as loud as others, and its surround sound performance is limited due to a lack of Dolby Atmos support and a narrow soundstage.

Ports are limited to an Optical Audio In and a 3.5mm Aux port, and wireless connectivity is restricted to Bluetooth.

On the upside, its tested 41ms latency is quite low, allowing for in-sync audio-visuals, and overall, it is a basic pick that caters most to movie lovers who don’t mind missing out on a surround sound experience.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Great build quality
  • Subwoofer offers a thumpy bass output
  • Compact size and sleek design
  • Bluetooth pairing works well for music
  • Subwoofer adds depth to audio experience
  • Three EQ presets for different content types

Reason to Avoid

  • Wireless connectivity is limited to Bluetooth
  • Doesn’t get as loud
  • Poor surround sound performance
  • Lack of independent subwoofer volume control
  • EQ presets might not suit all preferences
  • No on-screen display for sound settings

TCL Alto 5+ Review Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth3.3"
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement FeatureYes
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCNo
HeightHeight2.6"
Number of Audio ChannelsNumber of Audio Channels2.1
SubwooferSubwooferIncluded
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Digital
Voice AssistantVoice AssistantNo
Wall MountableWall MountableYes
WeightWeight9.5 lbs
WidthWidth31.5"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer ConnectivityYes
Works WithWorks WithBluetooth, Wi-Fi

All Specs

Test Results

Low End Roll Off (Hz)63.496
High End Roll Off (Hz)15,565.829
Max Volume Test (db)92
Latency (ms)
THD @ 80dB0.86

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Product Comparison

TCL Alto 5+ Review

TCL Alto 5 Review

True Score

75
62
79
79

Ranking

#

124

/

149

#

145

/

149

#

90

/

149

#

83

/

149

Market Context

The TCL Alto 5+ is an entry-level sound system that was first launched in early 2019. The soundbar includes a subwoofer, which adds a distinct…

The TCL Alto 5+ is an entry-level sound system that was first launched in early 2019. The soundbar includes a subwoofer, which adds a distinct level of bass depth to its sound profile that some may consider more than necessary.

The sound system also has a small soundstage, but its sound projection is still accurate and well spread out. The Alto 5+ also misses out on support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital Plus content, which are features that are very hard to miss among the best speakers in the market.

Even though the Alto 5+ does not have a discrete center channel, it can still reproduce vocals accurately when listening to dialogue-focused content, courtesy of its dialogue enhancement feature.

Unfortunately, while the best soundbars can connect to devices through Wi-Fi, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, and Bluetooth, the Alto 5+ is limited to Bluetooth connectivity.

The TCL Alto 5+ is a 2.1-channel sound system, while the TCL Alto 5 is a 2-channel soundbar. This difference is because the 5+ ships…

The TCL Alto 5+ is a 2.1-channel sound system, while the TCL Alto 5 is a 2-channel soundbar. This difference is because the 5+ ships with a subwoofer, while the Alto 5 does not. The Alto 5+ also gets slightly louder than the Alto 5. Feel free to learn more about the Alto 5 through our TCL Alto 5 review.

While the max volume on the TCL Alto 5+ is about 92 decibels, the TCL Alto 7+ gets much louder than that, peaking at 99.6…

While the max volume on the TCL Alto 5+ is about 92 decibels, the TCL Alto 7+ gets much louder than that, peaking at 99.6 decibels. The Alto 7+ also features a HDMI ARC port, which is missing on the TCL Alto 5+.

The TCL Alto 5+ does not have as many sound enhancement features as the Samsung HW-R550, which has an auto-volume setting and a night mode…

The TCL Alto 5+ does not have as many sound enhancement features as the Samsung HW-R550, which has an auto-volume setting and a night mode to keep the noise from sudden action scenes low. The Samsung soundbar also offers a graphic equalizer, which the Alto 5+ does not.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depth

3.3"

3.3"

3.9"

38"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Energy Star Certified

No

n/a, No

No

Yes

HDMI ARC

No

No

Yes

Yes

Height

2.6"

2.6"

2.5"

10.7"

Number of Audio Channels

2.1

2.1

2.1

Subwoofer

Included

Optional (sold separately)

Included

Included

Dig Deeper

TCL Alto 7+ Review →

Samsung HW R550 Review →

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  • Save $20
    $99.99
    $79.99

    Availability

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

73

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

80

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

75

Any product with a True Score above 70 is a Mixed Reviews

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Rating

    63
    Sub-par for mixed usage. The TCL Alto 5+ has a very bass-heavy and dark sounding… Read More

    By:

    Jean-Simon Bonneterre
  • IGN
    48.75

    Category Trust Rating

    87
    A great, low-cost soundbar and a worthy upgrade for your stock TV speakers. Read More

    By:

    Unknown

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