The 3 Best Vizio Soundbars of 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Vizio Soundbars

We've currently tested eleven Vizio soundbars. The brand makes a wide variety of soundbars that generally have a good price-to-performance ratio. Their products often don't look or feel as premium as models from competing brands, but 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 quite well-balanced, some models handle stereo dynamics better than others. That said, they still tend to provide good value for the price.

Updates

Best Vizio Soundbars


  1. Best Vizio Soundbar

    8.2
    Mixed Usage
    8.5
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    8.1
    Music
    8.0
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1.4

    The best Vizio soundbar we've tested is the Vizio Elevate. This 5.1.4 setup offers a unique design with sides that automatically rotate upwards when you watch Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content, which helps create a wide, focused soundstage to really immerse you in your audio. It's impressively well-built, with a slightly bass-heavy default sound profile that adds extra thump and punch to your mix. You can also use the bass and treble adjustments, as well as the four EQ presets to tweak its sound profile more to your liking, which can be handy if you prefer a more neutral sound. This bar gets loud, and it offers incredible wireless playback capabilities, so you can wirelessly stream audio from your phone to the bar over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in. There are also two Full HDMI In ports that let you use the bar as a hub between your different devices, and you can also use it to passthrough the highest bandwidth signals.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't come with a room correction feature, so it can sound a bit different depending on the room you use it in. It also lacks more premium sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ, which can be disappointing if you want more control over its sound profile. Also, while this bar gets loud enough to use at crowded parties, there's some distortion present at max volume. That said, this bar offers an incredible mixed usage performance, and it ranks among the best soundbars we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Vizio Soundbar Under $500

    8.2
    Mixed Usage
    8.6
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    8.0
    Music
    8.1
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1

    If you're looking for a soundbar for under $500, the best Vizio soundbar we've tested is the Vizio M Series M51a-H6. This 5.1 setup has a very neutral, balanced sound profile out-of-the-box that makes it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, and its dedicated subwoofer adds a little extra thump in the bass range. It also comes with two dedicated satellite speakers that offer a good surrounds performance, and objects like voices and footsteps are clearly and accurately represented in the surround stage. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content too, which is great for movie lovers. If you want to customize its sound profile, there are some EQ presets as well as bass and treble adjustments available. Also, it comes with a Full HDMI In port, so you can use it as a hub between different devices, and it can also passthrough the highest bandwidth signals.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar lacks some more premium sound enhancement features like room correction, so it may sound a bit different depending on the room you're using it in. It also isn't as well-built as the Vizio Elevate, and its soundstage performance isn't as impressive, which can be disappointing if you really want to feel immersed in your audio. While it supports Dolby Atmos content, its performance with its front-firing speakers isn't the most impressive, either. However, if you're looking for a bit more affordable 5.1 setup, its versatile performance makes it a solid choice.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Vizio Soundbar

    7.6
    Mixed Usage
    8.3
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.8
    Music
    7.1
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1

    The best Vizio soundbar in the budget range that we've tested is the Vizio V Series V51-H6. This 5.1 setup comes with a dedicated subwoofer and two satellite speakers to help immerse you in your audio. Out-of-the-box, it has a very neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, and the sub adds a little extra thump in the bass range. You can also choose between four different EQ presets or use the bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound more to your liking. It gets pretty loud, too, so it's also suitable for listening to music at parties and in large rooms.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, which can be disappointing for some movie fans. It also lacks some more premium sound enhancement features, like room correction or a graphic EQ. It doesn't come with a Full HDMI In port, either, so you can't use it as a hub between different devices or for high-quality passthrough. Also, while its build quality is decent overall, the thin fabric covering its front and sides seems like it could rip or get dirty easily, which is a bit disappointing. That said, thanks to its versatile overall performance, this soundbar ranks among the best budget soundbars we've tested.

    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 seen, especially for the price.
  • Balanced sound signature. All of the Vizio soundbars we've tested sound quite 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 do sound a bit 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 shouldn't come as too 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 at all. There doesn't seem to be a correlation between price and performance when it comes to 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. This makes it possible to find some really good deals, especially on models that are soon to be discontinued. While their products do 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 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 'G' for 2019.

For example:

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

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 14, 2021: Replaced the Vizio SB36512-F6 with the Vizio Elevate as 'Best'. Added the Vizio M Series M51a-H6 as 'Best Under $500'. Replaced the Vizio SB2020n-G6 with the Vizio V Series V51-H6 as 'Best Budget'.

Conclusion

Vizio is best-known for their competitively-priced TVs, and their soundbar division follows suit. They have a wide range of different soundbar models at various price points to satisfy all different 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. That said, if you're not picky about build quality, then Vizio soundbars are definitely worth considering.

Test results

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