WHAT TCL Alto 7+ 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar
WHAT IT DOES This 36-inch-wide sound bar features a wireless subwoofer and two speakers to offer enhanced sound to your television.
AVAILABLE FROM tclusa.com
WHAT'S HOT This inexpensive system is very understated in its design. There is a row of buttons on top to adjust sound and input settings, and it has its own remote control. Ports on the 7+ can connect to your TV via HDMI-ARC (audio return channel), optical input, 3.5mm aux-input and Bluetooth for streaming audio from your phone. There is no HDMI input, so you can’t connect a Blu-ray player or game console to the sound bar, but that’s not surprising for a sub-$200 system.
The Alto 7+ ships with every cable you’d need to set it up, a nice touch for an inexpensive sound bar.
The remote has some buttons that are not on top of the sound bar. The extra remote buttons allow you to change from three presets to adjust the sound for news, movie and music and to play, pause and skip music tracks if you are playing Bluetooth audio. The 7+ can be wall-mounted if you already have your TV up on the wall.
WHAT'S NOT Occasionally when the TV is paused long enough to go to sleep, the sound is absent when the TV gets started back up. The TV has to be turned off and on to get the sound back.
Also, there isn’t an adjustment for the subwoofer level, which would be nice to turn down when sounds get a bit thumpy (that’s not really a technical term).