A sound investment
If OnePlus is going to upset the TV market in the same way it has the smartphone one, it needs a unique selling point. And an Amazon India listing of the product has given us a big clue of what that might be: sound.
The listing states that the 55in QLED 4K set will come with eight Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers with a total output of 50 watts. For avoidance of doubt, that’s quite a big upgrade on your average TV’s speakers that will typically have two speakers with 10 or 20 watts each.
Eight discrete speakers means that OnePlus TV will be able to create the kind of soundscape that Dolby Atmos requires, although whether it’ll be good enough for audiophiles is an open question.
Like smartphone cameras, quality is about more than just numbers. The speakers will need to be well integrated into the TV chassis and tuned right to offer sound that would make you forego an external speaker setup or soundbar. And if we are reducing this to just numbers, while 50 watts is certainly a lot for a TV set’s built-in speakers, it’s still pretty reedy in the world of external setups. Some soundbars can output up to 500 watts, for example.
Still, some people don’t want the fuss of setting up external speakers for their TV, either for cost reasons or to keep the space required to an absolute minimum. For them, having above-average sound quality built into the TV frame will be a decent selling point – provided it is up to snuff, of course. We won’t know for sure until we get within earshot.
Although the Amazon India listing is live, there’s no indication of price or release date, with just an option to receive updates on the page. The TV is rumoured to launch in India this month before making its way to the US, Europe and China. As to when, that all depends on local partnerships, according to the company: “We are also working hard to launch OnePlus TV in North America, Europe and China regions as soon as we establish partnerships with most of local and regional content providers.”
Fingers crossed it won’t be too long a wait.