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The 4 Best Vizio Soundbars of 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Vizio Soundbars

We've currently tested 20 Vizio soundbars. The brand makes a wide variety of soundbars with a good price-to-performance ratio. Their products often don't look or feel as premium as models from competing brands; however, you still usually get a good amount of features, like sound customization options, different wireless playback options, and even Atmos support. While their soundbars tend to sound well-balanced, some models handle stereo dynamics better than others. That said, they still tend to provide good value for the price. Below, you'll find the best Vizio soundbars we've tested.

Updates

Best Vizio Soundbars


  1. Best Vizio Soundbar

    The best Vizio sound bar we've tested is the Vizio Elevate. This premium 5.1.4 setup offers a unique design with sides that automatically rotate upwards when you watch Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content. As a result, audio stretches all around you when you watch your favorite movies, with a wide soundstage that makes it feel like you're sitting right in the middle of the action from the comfort of your couch. Its subwoofer adds the rumble in action-packed scenes. Its rear speakers have up-firing drivers, making it seem like sound effects come from all around you. For example, helicopters on screen seem like they're flying right overhead from one pinpoint location to another. That said, you have to wire the rear speakers to the subwoofer to get them to work, adding a lot of extra cables to your living room.

    The bar's versatile performance makes it a great choice for listening to music and TV shows. Out-of-the-box, you get a bass-heavy sound that brings the energy to bass-centric genres like hip-hop and EDM, so you feel the thump and rumble while voices and lead instruments remain clear and detailed in the mix. There are some sound enhancement features to help you adjust its sound to your liking, though it lacks room correction like some of the more premium bars on the market. As a result, its sound can vary from room to room, but you can always use its bass and treble adjustments to get the best possible sound.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Vizio Soundbar

    If you're looking for a more affordable alternative, check out the Vizio M Series M512a-H6. It's a versatile 5.1.2 soundbar, making it a great choice for everything from music to movies to TV shows. It's also one of the only bars in its price range that offers discrete rear speakers, improving its surround sound performance by bringing a more clear and real feel to your favorite movies. Like the Vizio Elevate, it supports many different audio formats commonly found on streaming platforms, including Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital. The resulting sound is quite immersive, with a wide and expansive soundstage that brings the action right to your living room—though it lacks rotating sides and doesn't have up-firing drivers on its satellites, so it's not quite as great as the Elevate.

    Still, for its price, it's a solid option. Music and TV shows are accurately reproduced, too. Its dedicated subwoofer reproduces the thump and rumble in the bass range with accuracy and detail, and vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix. You'll find a similar selection of sound enhancement features as the Vizio Elevate, with bass and treble adjustments that let you control the bar's sound. It's a great mid-range pick that can please lots of different listeners.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Vizio Soundbar

    If you're on an even tighter budget, consider the Vizio V Series V51-H6, the best Vizio sound bar under $250 we've tested. This 5.1 setup is the more affordable alternative to the Vizio M Series M512a-H6, and its versatile performance ranks it among the best budget soundbars we've tested. Whether you're listening to music, movies, or TV shows, it does a really good job. Its subwoofer brings a touch of extra boom in the bass range, so you feel the excitement in action-packed scenes and get clear voices and instruments in the mix. It has a similar selection of sound enhancement features compared to other Vizio models; you can choose between bass and treble adjustments as well as EQ presets if you want to change up its sound.

    However, like most bars in its price range, you won't find Dolby Atmos support, so you can't take advantage of the full immersive experience with object-based formats. Still, it can playback 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital. Its two rear speakers offer a more clear and real representation of sound effects in the space around you—for example, cars in a chase scene seem to race right past you in time with the action on screen. It's a decent performance, but its soundstage isn't quite as wide as the Vizio Elevate or the Vizio M Series M512a-H6, so you don't get that same cinematic feel.

    See our review

  4. Best Vizio Soundbar Without Speakers

    If you don't have space in your living room for satellite speakers, check out the Vizio V Series V21-H8 instead. It's a simple, budget-friendly pick that fits easily into your existing space. Given its 2.1 setup, it's ideal for listening to stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows. Its dedicated subwoofer adds lots of thump and punch to your audio, so you get a bass-heavy sound out-of-the-box. Still, you don't have any trouble following the dialogue in your favorite shows, and instruments in music are clear and present in the mix. If you prefer a more neutral sound, its bass and treble adjustments let you customize its performance with ease.

    This bar also supports 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and DTS, commonly found on many streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs. Since it's a 2.1 setup, it has to downmix this content into stereo to play it. That means it doesn't sound as clear or real as our top picks. Sound effects seem like they're coming from a speaker placed in front of you, and the action doesn't expand around you. If you want a better surround sound performance, it's worth upgrading to a setup with rear speakers like the Vizio V Series V51-H6, but if you want a simple bar to enhance vocal-centric TV shows, the V21-H8 remains a good choice.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Generally good value for the price. Vizio is well-known for delivering the latest technology at a reasonable price, and their soundbars are no exception. The brand makes some of the best 5.1 soundbars we've tested, especially for the price.
  • Balanced sound signature. All of the Vizio soundbars we've tested sound well-balanced. Their 5.1 models produce a very good amount of thump and rumble without drowning out voices or sound effects in the higher frequencies. Their 2.0 models sound brighter since they lack bass, but they still produce a fairly neutral and even response in the mid and treble ranges for a reasonably well-balanced sound profile overall.
  • Build quality not quite on par with more premium brands. Although this won't come as much of a surprise given the pricing of most Vizio soundbars, it's still worth noting that even their pricier options don't look as well-built as competing models from other brands. On the upside, Vizio's cheaper models do feel better built than what some budget brands provide.
  • Inconsistent stereo dynamics performance. While some of Vizio's soundbars can get plenty loud without much compression, other models tend to compress at higher volumes or simply don't get very loud. There doesn't seem to be a correlation between price and performance with stereo dynamics, either. This inconsistency isn't ideal since it makes it hard to know whether or not you can expect good dynamics from future releases.

Vizio makes a ton of different soundbars at various price points. In general, they provide pretty good value for the price, especially if you find an older model on sale. Other popular brands like LG or Samsung tend to follow a pretty tight yearly release schedule, discontinuing prior years' models not long after the new ones come out. However, Vizio is a bit more like Sony in that their soundbars tend to stay on the market for longer. It's not uncommon to see models that are two or even three years old that are still available for purchase. It makes it possible to find some really good deals, especially on models that are soon to be discontinued. While their products tend to look and feel cheaper than competing models from other brands, it's a pretty minor sacrifice for the solid performance you generally get in exchange.

Lineup

Vizio's naming strategy hasn't changed much since they launched their first soundbar, the VSB210WS, in 2009. They use a combination of letters and numbers to designate the soundbar's size and the number of channels. They also add a letter at the end to indicate the release year, starting with the letter 'A' in 2012. 'B' covers both 2013 and 2014, while 'C' is used for 2015, 'D' for 2016, and so forth up to 'J' for 2021.

For example:

  • The SB36512-F6 is a 36-inch soundbar with 5.1.2 channels, released in 2018.
  • The SB3820-C6 is a 38-inch soundbar with 2.0 channels, released in 2015.
  • The SB2020n-G6 is a 20-inch soundbar with 2.0 channels, released in 2019.

Recent Updates

  1. Nov 04, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

  2. Jul 08, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

  3. Mar 10, 2022: No changes in picks after verifying their accuracy and availability. Minor updates to the text for clarity.

  4. Dec 10, 2021: Replaced the Vizio M Series M51a-H6 with the Vizio M Series M512a-H6 as 'Best Under $500'.

  5. Aug 12, 2021: Added the Vizio V Series V21-H8 as 'Best 2.1'. Minor updates to the text for accuracy.

Conclusion

Vizio is best known for their competitively-priced TVs, and their soundbar division follows suit. They have a wide range of soundbar models at various price points to satisfy all kinds of users. Most of their products provide very good value for the price, and their soundbars are no exception. It's possible to find surprisingly fully-featured models at a relatively low price point, especially when there's a sale. However, their products usually don't look or feel very high-end. If you're not picky about build quality, Vizio soundbars are worth considering.

Test results

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