TCL’s new soundbar may be the answer if you want to improve the audio experience on your second guest bedroom’s Roku TV. The Roku TV Wireless Soundbar (introduced at CES 2021 as the Alto R1) is TCL’s concept of a $179.99 audio drop-in solution that only works with Roku TVs and not any other Roku streaming box.
The item is bare bones in terms of soundbars, with no HDMI or audio connectors. TCL claims that this is by design for a clutter-free entertainment center, with only the power connection to route — all other functions are wireless utilizing Wi-Fi 802.11ac. This soundbar, which is part of the company’s “Roku TV Ready” collection, utilises the current Roku TV remote and allows you to pair the soundbar wirelessly using the Roku TV setup menus.
In terms of features, the Roku TV Wireless Soundbar is a 2.0 channel device that produces “studio grade” audio with a maximum output of 120W. Multiple EQ settings are accessible in the TV sound settings menu, and the soundbar may be updated with software. Expandability includes the Roku Wireless Subwoofer for 2.1 audio, however Roku’s own wireless speakers aren’t supported. The soundbar also contains wall mount hardware and Bluetooth 5.0 for streaming from cellphones.
TCL also sell additional “Roku TV Ready” soundbars with subwoofers and HDMI, such as the Alto 6+ for $129.99, which can also use the wireless speaker set for complete surround sound. If you can figure out how to connect one HDMI wire, this is probably not for you. However, if your TV setup is especially sophisticated, or if you simply want to fulfill the very minimal needs for enhanced audio without going to great lengths, this is a cost-effective match for your Roku TV set. Best Buy and Amazon have it on sale for $179.99 right now.