TCL Q6510 soundbar review: Affordably add 5.1 surround sound to your home theater

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Decent sound doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are some very nice options in the home theater audio space that can and do deliver great sound that rivals your TV speakers for an affordable price. The TCL Q6510 is one of these options, and while its stature isn’t that of a more expensive soundbar. Its sound output is better than TV speakers and does elevate the users’ home theater experience.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Are there better sounding soundbars on the market? Yes, of course there are. But most of the really amazing sounding soundbars are going to cost you multiple times more. The TCL Q6510 comes in at an easy $299 with sales happening consistently. Let’s jump into the full review of the TCL Q6510 soundbar.

The Quick Take

TCL Q6510 soundbar review: Affordably add 5.1 surround sound to your home theater

The TCL Q6510 paired with the TCL QM8 is a perfect match, but the Q6510 works great with other brands as well.

The TCL Q6510 produces a great 5.1 surround sound experience, especially in mid-sized rooms with lower ceilings. In larger rooms with very tall ceilings, the sound is still good, but it does lose some of its punch. That doesn’t make it bad, this is normal for even premium soundbars. It’s just something to be aware of.

The quick take here is that for the sub $300 price tag, this soundbar is really a huge improvement over most built-in TV speaker systems. If you’re looking to not spend too much cash but still get an enjoyable home theater sound experience over your TV speakers, then the Q6510 is a great option. My only real complaint is I wish the satellite speakers were wireless, but given the price point, I understand why they are not.

Specifications

The TCL Q6510 has the following features and specifications:

  • 5.1 Channel Q Series Sound Bar
  • 430 Watts Total Audio Power
  • 2 Rear Speakers for True Surround Sound
  • Built-in Center Speaker for Clear Dialog
  • Built-in Tweeters
  • Wireless Subwoofer with 6.5” Bass Driver and Bass Boost
  • Auto Room Calibration – AI Sonic
  • Dolby Audio and DTS Virtual: X
  • HDMI Input with ARC
  • Elegant Q Series Design with 36” Width Bar
  • Bluetooth
  • Roku TV Ready
  • Digital Optical Audio Input
  • USB Audio Playback
  • AUX Input
  • Free HDMI Cable Included
  • Free Wall Mount Included
  • Model: Q6510
  • Sound Bar Length: 35.4″
  • Description: 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Surround Speakers
  • Number of Channels: 5.1
  • Dolby Processing: Dolby Digital (Dolby Audio, Dolby Digital+)
  • DTS Processing: DTS Virtual:X
  • EQ Settings: Music, Voice, Movie, Sports, Game, Standard
  • Audio Power: 430W
  • Total Speakers: 8
  • Tweeters: Yes
  • Multi-purpose LED Indicator: Yes
  • Wireless Subwoofer: Yes
  • Driver Dimensions: 6.5″ Speaker
  • Power Button: Yes
  • Connections:
    • HDMI: Yes
    • Bluetooth: Yes
    • Optical Digital Audio: Yes
    • USB Playback: Yes
    • 3.5mm Aux line-in: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Input: No
  • Roku TV Ready: Yes
  • IR Pass-through: No
  • Warranty Info: Yes
  • Wall Mount Template: Yes
  • Quick Start Guide (QSG): Yes
  • User Manual (Online): Yes
  • Power Cord Type (Sound bar): Yes (Detachable, 59″ / 1.5m)
  • Power Cord Type (Subwoofer): Yes (Detachable, 59″ / 1.5m)
  • HDMI Cable: Yes (59″ / 1.5m)
  • IR Pass-through Cable: No
  • Wall Mount Kit: Yes
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Remote Control Battery: AAA x 2
  • Product & Package Dimensions:
    • Sound Bar Size (W x H x D): 35.4″ x 2.7″ x 3.9″
    • Soundbar Weight: 5.1 lb
    • Subwoofer Size: 9.8″ x 14.4″ x 8.7″
    • Subwoofer Weight: 12.3 lb
    • Package Size (W x H x D): 38.4″ x 10.7″ x 17″
    • Total Package Weight: 24.4 lb

What’s In The Box

  • TCL Q6510 soundbar
  • Subwoofer
  • Satellite Speakers
  • Remote Control with batteries
  • Wall Mount Kit
  • Wall Mount Template
  • HDMI Cable
  • Power Cords
  • Quick Start Guide and Documentation

Design

TCL Q6510 soundbar review: Affordably add 5.1 surround sound to your home theater
The kit

The TCL Q6510 design isn’t anything earth-shattering, it is your basic soundbar design with materials that do feel a bit on the cheap side. Though considering the price point, it is understandable why the feel is less than premium. But still, the build quality is good, the materials may be more affordably sourced, but it is put together nicely.

The front of the TCL Q6510 has a fabric material that is grey/black, typical for most soundbars. The enclosure is a dark gun metal color and looks like metal, but it is plastic. There isn’t much on the sides and bottom, and the inputs are located on the back. The top houses the button controls, which consist of:

  • Power
  • Source
  • Bluetooth
  • Volume Down
  • Volume Up

The back inputs include:

  • Power
  • Optical
  • USB
  • HDMI
  • AUX

The TCL Q6510 subwoofer is equally simple, with the same sort of materials and a few connections on it for power and satellite speakers. Those satellite surround speakers are also simple and match the look of the soundbar and subwoofer.

Overall, this is a simple design. It’s not ugly or anything fancy, it just is and won’t look out of place in your home theater setup.

Ease of Use

TCL Q6510 soundbar review: Affordably add 5.1 surround sound to your home theater
Soundbar

Setting up the TCL Q6510 is as easy as plugging it into the wall and your TV, and off you go. You can download the TCL app and get some EQ settings and control through your smartphone, but I did not find that necessary. There are options for sound on the remote to help enhance bass and treble as you see fit.

My only beef was with the satellite speakers because they are wired, you have to plug them into the sub and find a way to get the wires hidden so that you can place them behind you. It’s a bit of extra work, but worth doing to keep your wires hidden.

Overall, operation of the TCL Q6510 is straightforward and if you enable CEC on your television, you can control the soundbar with your TV remote, Apple TV remote, Roku remote, or any other remote connected to the TV. So you don’t really need the remote unless you want to make adjustments to the sound profiles.

Sound

Sub

The sound from the TCL Q6510 is actually very impressive for this price point and for the size of the soundbar. There is a decent amount of depth and space to the sound and the bass, mids, and treble were all fairly balanced and represented the content well.

There are eight total speakers on this setup, with the 6.5″ sub and the center channel. That is pretty impressive for such a compact soundbar, and the sub comes with a bass boost, for those who want a bit more rumble in their movie night.

The Q6510 does peter out a bit in larger rooms with tall ceilings, but a lot of soundbars of this size do that. The Q6510 would do fine in any moderate sized living room with lower ceilings. Not that it sounds bad in bigger rooms with higher ceilings, it just loses some punch in those sorts of rooms.

Movies and games are more immersive with the TCL Q6510, and the surround effect works well enough. Sure, there are other more expensive options, but the sound here is more than acceptable for the price of the soundbar. Because I review home theater equipment for a living, I can tell the differences between this soundbar and other, more expensive options. But for the average user, this is going to enhance your sound experience greatly.

Surround Speakers

Overall, if you’re coming from no soundbar and only TV speakers. You will hear a noticeable improvement and be very pleased. If you’re coming from a soundbar with no sub or surround speakers, then you will also experience an improvement. I wouldn’t expect that anyone is downgrading from a more premium option, so that is irrelevant.

Price/Value

The TCL Q6510 is priced at $299.99 and is often on sale at Best Buy and Amazon. As of the publishing of this review, Best Buy has this soundbar listed for $199.99 on sale. The $299.99 price is a fair price, but the $199.99 sale price is a steal and well worth your two hundred bones.

Wrap Up

Not everyone wants to spend $1000 on a soundbar, even if the sound is astonishing. The good news is, soundbars like the TCL Q6510 are getting better every year. And thought they are not in the same league as soundbars far more expensive, they are a fantastic option for those seeking an excellent improvement over stock TV speakers at an affordable price.

TCL Q6510

$299.99

Design

9.0/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Sound

9.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Slim design, easy to move around
  • 5.1 surround sound
  • Adds to the movie experience
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Price is easy on the wallet, especially when on sale

Needs work

  • We wish the surround speakers were wireless, though we know that would add to the cost
  • Materials used for construction feel a bit cheap, but at this price point it is understandable
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