Many soundbars are out on the market today, and finding the right one can be difficult and exhausting. TCL’s 8i soundbar solves that problem. It does not require a base and is excellent for someone looking for a low-cost and sleek design.
TCL 8i Soundbar Review: If you’re looking for an affordable and elegant soundbar, the TCL 8i model is worth consideration. Read on to learn more about the soundbar, what it can do and where it’s at in terms of pricing to decide if it’s right for you.
- 1 List of Specifications
- 2 What’s Good?
- 3 What’s Not-So-Good?
- 4 What’s inside the box?
- 5 Design and Build
- 6 Subwoofer
- 7 Controls
- 8 Connectivity
- 9 Performance
- 10 Competition
- 11 The Value-for-Price Proposition Is High Enough For Us To Recommend The TCL Alto 8i Soundbar
- 12 FAQs
- 13 Conclusion
List of Specifications
- Channel Configuration 2.1
- Dimensions of the product 39.0 x 2.5 x 5.2 inches
- Weight 2.90 kg
- Amplifier output NA
- Wireless Audio Protocol Bluetooth
- Dolby AtmosDolby digital Audio decoding codecs
- Dolby Digital Plus
- 5.1 PCM
- Satellites and Subwoofer Type None
- Connectivity 1x Optical In-Audio
- 1 x HDMI In
- 1 x HDMI Out/In – Audio/Video
- 1 x 1/8 inches / 3.5 mm – Audio
- 1 x USB Audio/Video
- It has a clean and straightforward design language
- There are three preset EQ settings.
- You can adjust most aspects to achieve the sound you want
- It can’t handle maximum volume well
- Low-bass is not a priority
What’s inside the box?
- TCL Alto 8i Soundbar
- AC Power Cord
- Optical Cable
- HDMI ARC Cable
- Remote Control
- 2 x AAA Batteries
- Wall-mounting Template
- 2 x Wall-mounting Template
- 2 x Wall Anchors
- 2 x Wall-mounting Brackets
- 2 x Wall-mounting Screws
- Manual for the User
Design and Build
TCL Alto 8i is minimalistic in design. The bar’s exterior is made of plain, black plastic. It feels sturdy and has a thick fabric cover that is a dust magnet. Along with regular drivers, the bar has two subwoofers.
TCL Alto 8i bars measure 39.0 x 2.5 x 5.2 inches and weigh 2.90 kg. It’s not too wide, so it should fit comfortably under 55-inch TVs. It’s also not very high, so your TV viewing experience won’t be affected if it’s on the table.
The bar’s back will have universal holes that can be used for wall mounting. There is also a cutout to accommodate power cables and ports.
TCL Alto 8i does not include a wireless subwoofer or satellite speaker. Instead, it opts to have two subwoofers directly in the bar.
There is not much to be said. The bar feels solid and well-built. It is also compact enough to be used in most situations.
The soundbar speaker features two subwoofers that are built into the system. The subwoofers produce a deep sound and a powerful bass. Although you’ll probably feel it more than hearing it, it is still not as good as dedicated subwoofers.
For those who don’t care about a loud bass, the TCL Alto 8i bass is quite good. However, we recommend a separate sub to supplement those who want more thunder.
TCL Alto 8i soundbar is simple, but it does the job well. The bars front-middle has a five-character LED display. It displays user changes, including volume levels, inputs and bass, audio format, and EQ. A white dot appears on display and lights up when the soundbar has been turned on. It flashes when the soundbar is in sleep mode.
Five buttons are located at the top of this bar. There are five buttons on the top of the bar: Power, Inputs, and Bluetooth. The Power button doubles down, allowing you to enter Sleep mode by short pressing it and Standby mode if you long-press it.
The package includes a basic remote that keeps the simplicity of the box. All controls are contained in a standard package. TCL also adds a Night Mode, something we haven’t seen in other manufacturers.
Although it is a novelty addition, it balances volume levels between different programs when activated. The dimming setting is also activated.
The TCL Alto 8i soundbar does not come with an application. It also lacks a Power Saving Mode, allowing you to activate it manually. It supports HDMI CEC, which will enable users to control certain functions using a universal remote.
The TCL Alto 8i is a budget offering with many input ports, unlike most. The TCL Alto 8i has a full HDMI In, HDMI Out/Out, ARC, Optical IN, USB, and a traditional 3,5mm jack slot. You can connect your phone, tablet, or other PDA device to the Aux port. The HDMI port allows the soundbar to connect the computer and TV conveniently.
The soundbar supports Bluetooth wireless playback. This soundbar does not support Chromecast or Wi-Fi.
Dolby Atmos is the most popular audio codec. The soundbar also supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digi Plus, and Dolby Digital Plus. It can’t mix every high-quality codec because of hardware limitations.
A 4K Passthrough feature is another surprising price-saving option. It supports HDR10 and can stream the best quality content.
TCL Alto 8i has a 2.1Ch configuration and two subs. Roku TV compatibility means that you have more space for streaming. The sound quality is loud and bright, which can disappoint those who prefer neutral sounds. The mid-range is more balanced, and EQ presets allow you to tweak the output.
The overall sound profile is loud and punchy, emphasizing the treble. Subwoofers are not used as the low-bass is missing, which causes listeners to notice the lack of thump or rumble in their output. This is especially evident when you play bass-heavy content like EDM or action games.
The bar’s width limits the soundstage. Unfortunately, it isn’t good at focusing. This means you’re more likely to hear the sound from one side of the speaker than pinpointing its exact location. This takes away some performance points.
TCL Alto 8i’s 2.1Ch configuration means it misses a channel in the center channel. Instead, it uses the right and center speakers to reproduce dialogues. They sound a little muddy.
Although the bar can handle loud volumes, it cannot handle much higher volume. It would help if you stuck to volume levels of 80 percent. There are enough compression artifacts and pumping to be audible to users.
Surround sound is not enhanced by hardware. The software does not offer any tricks, which results in sub-par surround sound performance. We can only call the software passable because of its boomy sound profile.
TCL Alto 8i comes with a horrible selection of sound enhancement options. Three presets for EQ are available: Music, TV, and Movies. You can also adjust the sound output with the treble or bass controls.
To enhance your movie-watching experience, the bar includes Dolby Virtual Surround. It is the best soundbar to improve dialogue to improve the overall sound quality.
TCL Alto 8i soundbar performs well. Although it is acceptable for mixed usage, we wish the dialogue performance was better. You get what you pay, and there are very few complaints once you see the final product.
TCL Alto 8i is under $200 and comes with built-in subwoofers. It is one of the most affordable bars on the market. There are also many other options. This is how it compares to its peers.
- TCL Alto 9+
The TCL Alto 9+ 3.1 soundbar is more expensive than the TCL Alto 8. The 9+ comes with a wireless subwoofer and has a neutral sound profile. The 9+ offers more wireless options and better center channel performance.
TCL Alto 8i delivers more bang for your buck and a wider soundstage.
- Sony HT-X8500
The Sony HTX8500 has a 2.1Ch configuration and also supports Dolby Atmos. The Sony HT-X8500 is better than the TCL Alto 8i, with a neutral sound profile and better center performance. It has a dialogue enhancement feature that improves voice quality and height performance. The TCL is also the best in terms of sound enhancement.
The soundstage is better on the TCL soundbar, and the build quality is also slightly better.
Maybe you need to see this article TCL Soundbar Review 2022: Is It For You?
The Value-for-Price Proposition Is High Enough For Us To Recommend The TCL Alto 8i Soundbar
A few years back, the sub-$200 range was void of any notable soundbars. This is now the opposite.
TCL Alto 8i’s sound profile is uneven and may disappoint purists. Although the loudness is adequate, compression artifacts can affect the performance.
The TCL Alto 8i bar is a decent value for money if you consider everything. It has many input ports, and three EQ presets. You can also manage bass and treble. The sound was still a little bright, even though you can lower the latter. We had no complaints and would recommend the proposition as a viable option.
What is an 8i soundbar, and how do you define it?
TCL’s 2020 soundbar lineup includes the TCL Alto 8i, a 2.1 soundbar. It’s similar to other 2020 TCL soundbars, such as the TCL Alto 6 and TCL Alto 8; it is advertised as Roku TV Ready, which means that it can be connected to your Roku TV easily. It supports Bluetooth streaming and Dolby Atmos, but it also has two internal subwoofers.
What is the wattage of TCL Alto 8i?
TCL Alto 8i 2.1 Channel Dolby Atmos Sound Bar With Built-in Subwoofers & Bluetooth – TSC8111, 260W, 39.4 inches, Black – Refurbished
Is TCL soundbar Bluetooth?
TCL’s brand new soundbar could be the solution for you if you want to improve the audio experience of your Roku TV’s second home theater. … You can stream music from your smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0. The soundbar even has wall mount hardware to make DIY projects more accessible.
The TCL 8i is a soundbar that delivers good value for those who are not necessarily interested in more features but simply want a basic soundbar to sit on the home theater wall and fill the room with some great-sounding music. There are some minor shortcomings, but you’re getting more than enough features to make it a great purchase for its price point.
Hooke Audio hopes that this TCL Alto 8i soundbar review was helpful and answered any questions you had about the soundbar and its performance.