TCL this week unveiled five additions to its affordable Alto sound bar lineup, now featuring Roku TV Ready Certification.

The line’s new flagship Alto 9+ also incorporates RAY·DANZ technology that is said to deliver an enhanced immersive audio experience similar to that found in home theater systems costing much more.

Other TCL sound bar models in the series include the Alto 3is, Alto 6, Alto 6+, and Alto 8i. Suggested retail pricing for the five models will range from $59.99 to $299.99, and most will be available in October.

TCL said all five models are designed to complement, easily connect to and integrate with its extensive assortment of Roku TVs. However, they all will work with other TV brands and models (like TCL’s Android TVs at Best Buy) as well. TCL said cosmetics of the Alto line were designed to seamlessly fit in any home.

First announced in January, Roku TV Ready Certification means an audio component, like these sound bars, can be quickly, easily and automatically setup and integrated with a Roku TV. That makes sense here since the vast majority of TCL’s U.S. TV assortment is Roku TVs. This will setup both the TV and sound bar automatically and seamlessly upon an HDMI connection, and sound settings for the experience will be controlled via the * button on the Roku remote.

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The TCL Alto 9+ ($299.99 suggested retail price) is a 3.1-channel sound bar. It is the first to feature RAY·DANZ technology. The company explained that RAY-DANZ uses uniquely angled speakers to beam sound waves towards reflector units to create an ultra-wide soundstage, relative to most sound bars in this price class. Sound output is balanced to deliver vocal clarity against supporting background sound effects, while maintaining acoustic accuracy.

The new RAY·DANZ acoustic engineering applied in this model arranges sound in a way that rivals high-end home theater systems, according to the company, and provides a dedicated center channel tuned for optimal clarity. The system also presents powerful bass via an wireless subwoofer.

Supporting Dolby Atmos virtual height channels, the sound bar simulates overhead effects to create a 360-degree surround experience without using extra dedicated upward-firing drivers. The sound bar is also compatible with Google Assistant and AirPlay 2, allowing for both iOS and Android device users to easily stream content from their mobile phones and tablets to the TCL Alto 9+ Sound Bar. The unit is said to be ideal for televisions measuring 55-inches and larger.

The step-down TCL Alto 8i Sound Bar ($179.99) features theater-quality audio using a single, slim sound bar with built-in support for Dolby Atmos with immersive surround sound. The compact design is said to deliver deep, rich bass through dual internal subwoofers. The sound bar is said to be suitable for 55-inch and larger television sets.

Available at the end of the month, the TCL Alto 6 ($79) and 6+ models ($129 each) are designed for 40-inch and larger TVs. The 6+ offers big, clear sound from supported Dolby Digital decoding along with deep bass from an included downward-firing wireless subwoofer.

TCL’s new entry Alto 3is ($59) is designed to offer louder volume in smaller spaces. It features a compact size and low-profile design that is optimal for TVs measuring 32-inches and larger and works best in environments like bedrooms, dorms, and smaller apartments. It will be available in October.

By Greg Tarr

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