93

TCL Alto 8+ Review

True Score

79
77
2

Experts

84
836

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The budget TCL 8+ boasts clear dialogue delivery, reliable connectivity, sufficient loudness, and voice control access, making it fairly suitable for dialogue-heavy TV shows and movies. But the relatively flat soundstage, unconvincing surround sound, and similar-sounding EQ presets make it subpar for immersive viewing.

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Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The TCL Alto 8+ is an entry-level 2.1-channel soundbar released back in 2020, offering built-in Amazon Fire TV for television lovers. Unlike most of the best speakers, it offers access to Amazon Fire TV streaming media.

A well-balanced sound profile is great for all content types. However, this system doesn’t support Dolby Atmos and downmixes surround sound to stereo, so the narrow 3D soundstage will disappoint some movie enthusiasts.

Sound enhancement features like equalizer presets and the dialogue enhancement feature optimize music and movie content.

This system has a rich range of connectivity options that include optical, combined HDMI ARC+Out, full HDMI in, and USB. It streams via Bluetooth, but doesn’t have Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay.

Like most soundbars in its price range, you don’t get advanced features like a mobile app and built-in voice assistants with this model. The integrated subwoofer lacks that deep, extended low bass that many music and movie enthusiasts crave.

However, it gets really loud, achieving a top SPL of 90.6 dB. Explore more about the TCL Alto 8+ below, and see how it compares with the best-rated soundbars on the market today.

Consensus

our Verdict

The TCL Alto 8+ has a built-in subwoofer and connects reliably via HDMI ARC, optical cable, and Bluetooth, but it misses out on full HDMI In input.

Audio delivery is without disturbances, and the tested latency is excellent (43ms through ARC and 52ms through Optical).

The slightly wide soundstage and downmixed stereo surround present mediocre immersion, and the sound lacks low bass for action scenes.

However, it can get loud, and dialogue is accurately reproduced, thanks to the well-balanced mid and treble frequencies.

The voice remote eliminates taxing menu-hopping, and though boasting a sturdy build, the soundbar’s glossy coating makes fingerprints visible, and the outer fabric feels flimsy.

You get responsive input commands, but the three EQ presets sound similar, and there’s no app for accessing controls.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Reliable wired and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Crackle-free audio
  • Clear dialogues
  • Gets fairly loud
  • Voice-control-enabled remote
  • Sturdy build

Reason to Avoid

  • Fairly flat soundstage
  • Inaccurate surround sound
  • Lacks low-bass
  • Glossy finish causes fingerprints
  • EQ presets sound similar
  • Lacks app compatibility

TCL Alto 8+ Review Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth4.8"
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement FeatureYes
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
HeightHeight2.6"
Number of Audio ChannelsNumber of Audio Channels2.1
SubwooferSubwooferIncluded
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Atmos
Voice AssistantVoice AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Yes
Wall MountableWall MountableYes
WeightWeight7 lbs
WidthWidth39.4"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth, HDMI, Wireless
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer ConnectivityYes
Works WithWorks WithAmazon Alexa, Bluetooth, Google Assistant, Remote Control, Wi-Fi

All Specs

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Product Comparison

TCL Alto 8+ Review

Samsung HW-Q70R

Samsung HW-Q70R Review

True Score

79
79
82
NR

Ranking

#

93

/

149

#

90

/

149

#

45

/

149

#

/

149

Market Context

The TCL Alto 8+ is an entry-level 2.1-channel soundbar released back in 2020, offering built-in Amazon Fire TV for television lovers. Unlike most of the…

The TCL Alto 8+ is an entry-level 2.1-channel soundbar released back in 2020, offering built-in Amazon Fire TV for television lovers. Unlike most of the best speakers, it offers access to Amazon Fire TV streaming media.

A well-balanced sound profile is great for all content types. However, this system doesn’t support Dolby Atmos and downmixes surround sound to stereo, so the narrow 3D soundstage will disappoint some movie enthusiasts.

Sound enhancement features like equalizer presets and the dialogue enhancement feature optimize music and movie content.

This system has a rich range of connectivity options that include optical, combined HDMI ARC+Out, full HDMI in, and USB. It streams via Bluetooth, but doesn’t have Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay.

Like most soundbars in its price range, you don’t get advanced features like a mobile app and built-in voice assistants with this model. The integrated subwoofer lacks that deep, extended low bass that many music and movie enthusiasts crave.

However, it gets really loud, achieving a top SPL of 90.6 dB. Explore more about the TCL Alto 8+ below, and see how it compares with the best-rated soundbars on the market today.

Equipped with a dedicated subwoofer, the TCL Alto 7+ produces deeper bass, making it a better choice for movies and music than the TCL Alto…

Equipped with a dedicated subwoofer, the TCL Alto 7+ produces deeper bass, making it a better choice for movies and music than the TCL Alto 8+, which doesn’t have the sub. It also has a better center channel and surround performance. That said, the TCL Alto 8+ has built-in Amazon Fire TV and supports the Dolby Digital Plus, unlike the TCL Alto 7+. Check out our TCL Alto 7+ review to learn more.

While the Roku Smart Soundbar has a built-in Roku media player, the TCL Alto 8+ has a built-in Amazon Fire TV 4K. It also features…

While the Roku Smart Soundbar has a built-in Roku media player, the TCL Alto 8+ has a built-in Amazon Fire TV 4K. It also features built-in Wi-Fi and a mobile app, unlike the TCL Alto 8+.

With the 3.1.2 setup, the Samsung HW-Q70R supports Dolby Atmos and offers a more immersive 3D soundstage than the TCL Alto 8+. It also has…

With the 3.1.2 setup, the Samsung HW-Q70R supports Dolby Atmos and offers a more immersive 3D soundstage than the TCL Alto 8+. It also has a more neutral sound profile out of the box and produces deeper extended low bass than the TCL Alto 8+. However, the TCL Alto 8+ has a built-in an Amazon Fire TV player, unlike Samsung HW-Q70R.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depth

4.8"

3.9"

3.9"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

Yes

Yes

Energy Star Certified

No

No

No

HDMI ARC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Height

2.6"

2.5"

2.8"

Number of Audio Channels

2.1

2.1

Subwoofer

Included

Included

Optional (sold separately)

Dig Deeper

TCL Alto 7+ Review →

Roku Smart Soundbar Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

77

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

84

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

79

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

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Rating

    70
    The TCL Alto 8+ is mediocre for mixed usage. Out-of-the-box, it has a well-balanced and… Read More

    By:

    John Panoryios
  • Consumer Reports
    40.86

    Category Trust Rating

    NR
    A full featured sound bar with 2.0 non-surround channels, WiFi audio and video streaming capability,… Read More

    By:

    Unknown

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