A special sound bar from TCL, which although it has a 3.1 channel format, uses a studied acoustic lens architecture in its cabin to achieve the desired.
This is a thin 58 mm thick implementation. and 1.05 meters long, with a gray finish and a 6.5-inch wireless subwoofer. Basically the electronics and speakers of the sound bar are in the middle of it, the rest of the length left and right, is occupied by the waveguides of the audio lenses.
Under the hood there are four speakers, three of which are oval (44 mm x 74 mm) and a 1.2-inch soft dome tweeter. The oval speakers are arranged as follows.
One together with the twitter that form the main channel (ie two streets), while the other two, one on each side, are placed (offset) on the left and right side. They “see” through the acoustic lenses that amplify and scatter their sound in space to achieve the Dolby Atmos experience without speakers / speakers that point to the ceiling.
The final sound is properly configured by Ray.Danz processors. There is HDMI 2.0 input and output, as well as optical input and analog mini jack, plus a USB port for playing files (MP3, WAV and FLAC). Of course, Ray.Danz is networked, dual-band Wi-Fi only, no cable Ethernet socket.
In addition it provides Bluetooth 5.0, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. The latest system with the help of the Google Home application will help us to install the sound bar on our home network, which supports multiroom bands and voice digital assistants. There are four equalization profiles to choose from such as Movie, Music, TV and Boost, and it also provides bass and treble adjusters.
We will also find HDMI ARC to drive the audio bar with audio from the TV. Its power is 4x30Wrms and the subwoofer 150Wrms. In general, this is a different design approach from the competition that with smart audio solutions offers the desired result without raising its costs.
When we choose TV and Boost then we take emphasis on the edges of the band, making the sound bar play more “live”, while in the Movie position we have a strong bass presence. Especially the subwoofer shows that it has power and energy reserves, but also a relatively controlled low. When we select Surround Off then only the side channels work, ie those that “see” the audio lenses.
The sound is then focused, lively, direct and projective. The high ones do not provoke with their “shine”, while a rather wide scene is created. The sound bar sounds bigger than its size and this is the success of its design.
A lot depends on where we sit in the space, okay Ray.Danz is not for huge living rooms since we got the best result from a distance of three meters. In surround listening the sound becomes more intense, free and nervous, without this meaning that it does not give the desired result.
TCL’s first Dolby Atmos sound bar is the subject of an audio study on how the manufacturer managed to “get” such a good result without many speakers.