TCL debuts 2024 soundbars with auto-calibration and Dolby Atmos

Mike Wheatley

At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, TCL North America unveiled a host of new soundbars that will make up its 2024 range, including a new Dolby Atmos model that will rival premium offerings from LG, Samsung Electronics and Sony.


Soundbars are fairly simple devices and so it’s no surprise that brands have failed to innovate the technology much beyond what is already on offer. As a result, many companies are instead looking at expanding TV and music audio performance in other ways, with Sony’s 360 external speakers and Apple’s HomePod being two examples. However, TCL is a brand that’s becoming increasingly renowned for coming up with extremely capable devices that rival the highest end products of more premium brands, but go on sale at much lower prices. So if the company can do this in the soundbar segment too, its newest products could be a very compelling offering for many consumers.

After all, TCL’s higher-end TVs are more than a match for the very best Samsung Neo QLED TVs, for example, but they are much more affordable. It’s for this reason that TCL has managed to emerge as one of the world’s best-selling TV brands, surpassing LG Electronics in terms of units shipped and even gaining on Samsung.

TCL’s range of 2024 soundbars vary from 2.0 to 7.1.4 channels, and feature up-firing units in both the soundbar itself and also the rear speakers. They also have side- and front-firing speakers built-in to deliver impressive surround sound, the company promised.

There will be four soundbars on offer – the TCL Q85 with 7.1.5 channels (pictured above), the TCL Q75 with 5.1.2 channels, the TCL S55 with 2.1 channels and the TCL S45, with 2.0 channels.

The flagship offering in the range is the TCL Q85, and it supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X surround sound, with the company’s proprietary Ray Danz acoustic wave-guide reflector technology, which helps to create a more immersive soundstage, the company said. Other features include automatic room calibration, wherein the soundbar’s sound output is fine-tuned for the living room it resides in. There’s also a new TV as “Centre Channel Mode”, which is similar to what has been available in Sony’s soundbars for some years already. With this mode switched on, the TV outputs sound alongside the soundbar, focusing on dialog. Meanwhile the soundbar will give prominence to other parts of the audio, creating a more dramatic and immersive soundscape.

TCL said the Q75 is essentially a step-down version of the Q85, without the rear speakers, while the S55 and S45 are entry-level models that come with and without a separate subwoofer. The good news is that they still support the new room calibration and TV centre channel capabilities, and provide support for Dolby Atmos. However, the effect won’t be as great as it is on the more expensive soundbars.

Just as with its new 2024 TVs, the company has not yet announced any information on pricing or availability, but they’ll definitely go on sale later this year.