Final 12 months, Vizio critically impressed us with its Elevate, Atmos-enabled soundbar, so when the corporate introduced its full 2021 lineup, we have been excited to see what it needed to provide. Whereas the Vizio model could conjure photos of reasonably priced TVs, the corporate has a powerful foothold within the audio trade as properly and has been significantly profitable with soundbars.
So, how will Vizio comply with up on the revolutionary, Elevate soundbar that scored a 9 out of 10 on our evaluate and challenges the Sonos Arc for the title of greatest soundbar in the marketplace? Let’s dig in and check out the whole 2021 lineup so you may decide if any of those fashions deserve a spot beneath your tv.
The Elevate Soundbar
The 48-inch, $1,000 Elevate soundbar debuted in 2020, however it’s nonetheless the headliner of the 2021 lineup. The revolutionary design options cellular speaker pods that rotate in actual time, and the route by which they hearth relies upon completely on the audio supply. Briefly, this soundbar was designed to take full benefit of object-based encompass sound applied sciences like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
The accompanying wi-fi subwoofer is a little bit of a behemoth, however that further house is put to good use — housing an unlimited 8-inch driver. The sub can deal with frequencies as little as 30hz and outpaces the remainder of Vizio’s 2021 lineup by way of rumble. All advised, the Elevate system contains 4 audio system (bar, wi-fi subwoofer, two encompass audio system), 18 drivers in a 5.1.4 configuration, and might crank up the amount to the tune of 107 dB.
4 of these 18 drivers are devoted, up-firing audio system, which helps produce a really immersive soundscape. HDMI 2.1. Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) connectivity aids in that division as properly, shuttling lossless audio forwards and backwards between TV and soundbar (extra on that later), and the bar additionally options two separate HDMI 2.1 inputs.
One other cool perk is that (in contrast to the remainder of Vizio’s soundbar lineup), Elevate is Wi-Fi-enabled with help for Chromecast audio.
For 2021, all of Vizio’s soundbars are what the corporate calls “Voice Assistant-ready.” That’s a bit deceptive. Not one of the fashions can act as sensible audio system, nor are you able to management them by way of sensible assistants like Alexa, Siri, and so on. Nonetheless, in the event you personal a sensible speaker like a Nest mini or Amazon Echo, you may join it to a Vizio soundbar by way of Bluetooth or the three.5mm Aux jack. If you do, the soundbars will acknowledge when these assistants are lively and decrease the soundbar audio to be able to work together with them.
Once more, we have been critically impressed by Elevate after we took it for a check run, so it deserves a protracted look if it falls inside your price range.
- 5.1.4-channel Elevate: $1,000, out there now
If the $1,000 price ticket on the Elevate is a bit steep for you, however you need a bit extra efficiency than you’ll discover in Vizio’s budget-friendly V-Collection choices, that is the place you’ll need to look. There are 5 M-series fashions in complete with the ($450) M512a-H6 and M512ax-J6 ($330) on the head of the pack by way of each worth and efficiency.
Each techniques function 4 audio system (bar, wi-fi subwoofer, two satellite tv for pc audio system) and — like all fashions within the sequence — are Dolby Atmos and DTS:X succesful. The M512a-H6, nonetheless, is the one providing that options devoted, up-firing drivers, which offer that further layer of sound info that will help you get probably the most out of object-based audio.
The M215a-J6, at $300 is notable for being one of many least costly methods to expertise digital Dolby Atmos, albeit by a 2.1 channel configuration.
Your entire sequence is Bluetooth-enabled and all fashions save one function one HDMI 2.1 enter, in addition to one HDMI 2.1 out reference to HDMI eARC. The odd bar out is the $150 m21d-H8, which is billed as an “all-in-one” system, which means that there aren’t any stand-alone subwoofers or encompass audio system; the bar itself does all the heavy lifting.
eARC is a giant a part of what differentiates the Elevate and the M-series from the inexpensive V-series choices, that are merely ARC-enabled and don’t function any HDMI inputs. ARC makes use of HDMI 2.0 or 1.4 to relay audio data forwards and backwards between your TV and soundbar however with much less out there bandwidth than eARC, it makes use of lossy compression.
One other differentiator is the LCD-backlit distant, which is included with the Elevate and all M-series fashions, however just one V-Collection mannequin (V51x-J6).
- 5.1.2-channel M512a-H6: $450, out there July 2021
- 5.1-channel M51ax-J6: $330, out there now
- 5.1-channel M51a-H6: $350, out there now
- 2.1-channel M215a-J6: $300, availability TBD
- 2.1-channel M21d-H8: $150, out there now
As we talked about earlier, the V-Collection is the extra budget-friendly choice right here. You don’t all the time have to interrupt the financial institution for nice audio. Although not one of the fashions within the sequence function devoted, up-firing drivers and none are Dolby Atmos-enabled, all are appropriate with DTS Digital:X, which employs digital sign processing (DSP) to supply immersive audio utilizing a smaller variety of audio system (as few as two).
Additionally of word is that Vizio claims to have redesigned its subwoofers for “tighter, extra impactful” sound on the low finish of the spectrum. It is going to be attention-grabbing to see if that pays dividends given the considerably restricted low-end vary of the V-series choices, two of which don’t function standalone subs (V21d-J8, V20-J8).
The 5.1 fashions (V51x-J6, V51-H6) are the cream of this crop right here and embody low-profile encompass audio system along with 4.5-inch wi-fi subs. The $100 V20-J8, alternatively, is the cost-conscious choice. Bottoming out at simply 70Hz, the stand-alone bar will battle to provide the low-end rumble that many dwelling theater fanatics search, however it ought to nonetheless function a considerable (and reasonably priced) improve to your TV’s sound.
V-series bars all function optical, USB, and three.5mm Aux inputs, together with one, ARC-enabled HDMI out connection. None of those bars, nonetheless, function an HDMI enter.
- 5.1.-channel V51x-J6: $200, out there now
- 5.1.-channel V51-H6: $250, out there now
- 2.1.-channel V21x-J8: $150, out there now
- 5.1.-channel V21-H8: $180, out there now
- 2.0-channel V21d-J8: $100, out there now
- 2.1.-channel V21t-J8: $150, out there August 2021
- 2.0-channel V20-J8: $100, out there August 2021
Properly, that’s that. We’ll hold you up to date with information and opinions within the days forward and make certain to check out our Greatest Soundbars for 2021 information in the event you’re available in the market.