TCL's TVs Could Soon Get Wireless Audio Support After it Joins WiSA

Mike Wheatley

The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association has moved a step closer to its goal of making wireless audio a standard feature on all TVs.


The association has just convinced Chinese TV brand TCL to sign on as its newest member, following in the footsteps of LG, Microsoft, B&O and Harman Kardon.

WiSA is an industry organisation that has developed a specification for hardware and software that enables the wireless delivery of 24-bit, 48kHz/96kHz digital audio with support for up to 8 channels, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

The WiSA standard was first announced way back during the 2013 Consumer Electronic Show show, but the technology hasn’t seen much adoption in the TV industry thus far. The lack of adoption is quite odd when one considers the level of interest in wireless audio in general, driven by devices such as Amazon’s Echo speaker and an array of Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Still, things are finally beginning to pick up steam. LG announced last year that its high-end 2019 TVs will support WiSA. This will enable LG’s TVs, when connected to a USB dongle, to transmit audio wirelessly to WiSA-compatible surround speakers. With TCL joining the fray, it’s likely that some of its future TVs will also offer the same capabilities.

“New Association members will help develop and manufacture additional high-performance products as adoption of WiSA Ready platform continues momentum,” WiSA announced.

The idea of wireless TV audio isn’t new, but implementing it has been a problem due to issues such as latency, a fragmented ecosystem, and limited support for high quality audio formats.

WiSA reckons its solved these problems however, claiming that its system has less than 5 milliseconds latency for 24-bit uncompressed audio in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It recently announced a new “WiSA Ready” certification program for members whose products are compatible with the standard. Those products include TVs and also games consoles, speakers and more.

“This new program simplifies consumer set-up and reduces costs by replacing AV receivers with a low-cost USB accessory,” WiSA said.