Vizio Elevate Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Nov 17, 2020 at 08:03 am
Vizio Elevate Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
6.3
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.4
Music
7.6
Movies
Channels
5.1.4

The Vizio Elevate soundbar is a 5.1.4 setup with a unique design. The sides of the bar automatically rotate when you watch Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content, which can help create a wide soundstage for an immersive listening experience. Thanks to its dedicated satellite speakers, it has a good surrounds performance, too. While its bass-heavy sound profile isn't ideal for everyone, there are some sound customization features available, and lots of connectivity options to help you use the bar as a hub between devices.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The Vizio Elevate soundbar is satisfactory for mixed usage. You can use it to watch Dolby Atmos content, and its satellite speakers help create an immersive surrounds experience. Thanks to its dedicated center channel, it can reproduce dialogue in TV shows and audiobooks clearly, too. However, its bass-heavy sound profile may not be ideal for neutral sound, but fortunately, there are some customization features available.

Pros
  • Four EQ presets.
  • Wide, focused soundstage.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Some distortion at max volume.
6.3 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Vizio Elevate soundbar is acceptable for dialogue-heavy content like TV shows. Thanks to its dedicated center channel, it can reproduce voices clearly and accurately. There are a dialogue enhancement feature and an auto-volume mode to enhance your listening experience. You can also stream podcasts and audiobooks to the bar using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Chromecast built-in. However, while it can get loud, there's some compression at max volume.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in compatibility.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Some distortion at max volume.
7.4 Music

The Vizio Elevate soundbar is decent for music. Its bass-heavy sound profile adds an extra boom and punch to your music, which is ideal for fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop, but may be overwhelming for some listeners. Fortunately, there are a few EQ presets to help you customize its sound. Its impressive soundstage also helps you feel immersed in your music.

Pros
  • Four EQ presets.
  • Wide, focused soundstage.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.6 Movies

The Vizio Elevate soundbar is good for movies. It supports Atmos content, and it comes with dedicated satellite speakers to help create a more immersive surrounds experience. It has a wide and focused soundstage, too. While its bass-heavy sound profile can add boom and punch to action-packed scenes, it may be overwhelming for some listeners.

Pros
  • Four EQ presets.
  • Wide, focused soundstage.
Cons
  • Some distortion at max volume.
  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.3 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.4 Music
  • 7.6 Movies

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Vizio Elevate is a high-end 5.1.4 model from Vizio's 2020 lineup. It comes with unique rotating speakers on the left and right sides of the bar, which the manufacturer claims create a wider soundstage for a more immersive listening experience. Its main competitors are the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers, the JBL Bar 9.1, and the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch Soundbar.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Vizio Elevate has a very unique design. The bar can rotate its left and right sides upwards when you play Atmos or DTS:X content. You can also set these portions to face upwards instead of outwards at all times.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer sits on four small pegs, and the driver is located underneath. It's mostly made of melamine with a plastic plate on top.

Design
Style - Satellites

This setup comes with two satellite speakers. There's an aluminum grille on the top and the front, and the rest of the speaker is made of plastic. They're designed to be placed vertically.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 48.1" (122.2 cm)
Bar Height 2.7" (6.8 cm)
Bar Depth 6.5" (16.5 cm)

The Vizio Elevate is a large, wide soundbar that won't fit between the legs of most 55" TV stands. Fortunately, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't block your TV screen unless it sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width 10.9" (27.6 cm)
Sub Height 15.5" (39.4 cm)
Sub Depth 13.8" (35.0 cm)

The subwoofer is quite tall, and it's a bit bigger than a standard desktop PC.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width 2.9" (7.3 cm)
Sat Height 5.9" (15.1 cm)
Sat Depth 3.7" (9.4 cm)

The satellites aren't very big, but they need to be wired to the subwoofer, which limits where you can place them in your room.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
Universal (holes on underside)

The back of the bar has two openings for inputs and the power cable. There are also universal mounting holes on the underside so you can wall-mount it.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The port is located on the back of the subwoofer, and there are also connections for the power cable and the satellites.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
Universal (holes on back)

On the back of the satellites, there are ports for the power cable that connects to the subwoofer. There are also universal holes so you can wall-mount them.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Vizio Elevate has an impressive build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, and there's an aluminum grille on the front of the bar that helps protect the drivers. The subwoofer is mostly made of melamine with a plastic top. Like the bar, the satellites have an aluminum grille to protect the drivers, and plastic sides and rear. The materials feel durable and solid.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
5.3 ft (1.6 m)
Digital Optical Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)

  • Remote control with 2x AAA batteries
  • Stereo RCA to 3.5mm audio cable
  • 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Optical cable
  • 2x Satellite Speaker audio cables
  • 2x Power cables
  • 4x Wall mount screws
  • Wall-mount template
  • 2x Wall-mount brackets (Satellite speakers)
  • 2x Wall-mount brackets (Soundbar)
  • 4x Cable ties
  • Manuals

Sound
7.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-1.35
ST Std. Err.
3.45 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
27.1 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
9.3 kHz

The Vizio Elevate has a decent stereo frequency response. It has a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra boom and punch to audio, which should please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. However, it may be a bit overwhelming for some listeners. Fortunately, there are four EQ presets to help you customize its sound.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
8.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
1.88 dB

The Vizio Elevate has an impressive stereo soundstage. The sound seems to be a bit wider than the bar itself, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it sound wider than that. Also, the focus of the sound is good, so objects in the soundstage like voices and footsteps seem to come from an accurate, pinpoint location.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
97.2 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
2.25 dB

The Vizio Elevate has very good stereo dynamics. It gets very loud, which is great for parties, but there's a bit of compression when you play it at max volume.

7.7
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.34
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.36

The Vizio Elevate's stereo THD performance is good. At normal listening volumes, there isn't a lot of distortion present. However, there's a jump in THD when you play it at max volume, but this may not be noticeable with real-life content.

9.0
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
-0.02
C Std. Err.
2.63 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
92.3 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.44
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.47

The Vizio Elevate has an outstanding center channel performance. This 5.1.4 setup has a dedicated center speaker, which helps to produce clearer and more accurate dialogue. It has a neutral, balanced sound profile, so audio from movies and TV shows is accurately reproduced.

7.5
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Discrete
Rears
No
Sr Slope
-0.84
Sr Std. Err.
5.19 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
92.0 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.23
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.35

The Vizio Elevate has a good surrounds performance. It has dedicated satellite speakers, which helps create a more immersive listening experience. The bass-heavy sound profile adds an extra boom and punch to action-packed scenes in your favorite movies.

5.8
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar & Satellites)
H Slope
-1.48
H Std. Err.
4.78 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
84.6 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
2.21
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.34

This soundbar has a middling height performance. It uses up-firing speakers on the bar and the satellites to bounce sound off the ceiling, creating the illusion of sound coming from above you. This bar also rotates its left and right sides upwards automatically when playing Atmos content, and you can disable this feature. However, it still doesn't sound as real as discrete down-firing speakers.

7.4
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
Yes
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

This soundbar comes with decent sound enhancement features. There are four EQ presets to help you customize its sound: Movie, Music, Direct, and Game. There's also a dialogue enhancement feature that can help make voices sound more clear and crisp. You can adjust the sides of the bar to UP, WIDE, or AUTO, and the AUTO setting automatically moves them up when you play Atmos or DTS:X content.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
2
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
2
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No

The Vizio Elevate comes with lots of inputs, including HDMI ports that let you use it as a hub between different devices. There are two AUX ports: one for analog audio, and a second that can only be used with voice assistant speakers.

9.2
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Yes
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
Yes
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Yes
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Yes
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

This soundbar supports most audio formats via its ARC port, including Dolby Digital and DTS formats commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
Yes
5.1 PCM
Yes

This soundbar supports all of the sound formats that we test for through its Full HDMI port. You can listen to Dolby Digital and DTS content, which is commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

Like most soundbars, the Vizio Elevate supports Dolby Digital and DTS via its Optical port. These formats are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

9.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
Yes
Apple AirPlay
No

The Vizio Elevate has incredible wireless playback capabilities. You can stream content from your phone or tablet to the bar wirelessly using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Chromecast built-in.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes

This soundbar can passthrough the highest bandwidth signals, so text looks crisp and clear when you use it as a hub between your PC and your TV.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the bar; however, you have to wire the satellites to the sub.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Partial, wired to wireless sub

The satellites need to be wired to the wireless subwoofer.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The Vizio Elevate doesn't have a display, however, on the side of the bar, some vertical lights display and flash depending on the setting you adjust. There's also audio feedback when you change the EQ presets.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The Vizio Elevate has some physical controls that let you adjust the bar's basic functions. You can turn the bar on and off, select the input, activate Bluetooth pairing mode, and adjust the volume.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

There's a small remote that lets you control the bar's functions. It also has a display screen, which has better visibility than other Vizio models like the Vizio SB36512-F6.

Additional Features
App
App Name Vizio SmartCast
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Yes

The Vizio SmartCast app acts as the soundbar's remote, and you can use it to control all of the bar's settings. You can also use it to check for updates, view system information, and run a speaker test on specific channels.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Vizio Elevate has an Eco Power Mode that turns off the soundbar after a period of inactivity. However, if you don't enable this feature, the soundbar always stays on. Also, there's HDMI CEC support, so you can control some of the bar's basic functions using your TV remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Vizio Elevate soundbar comes in one color variant: Black. You can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another variant of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Vizio Elevate soundbar is a 5.1.4 setup with a unique design that allows you to rotate the left and right sides of the bar to create a wide, focused soundstage. It supports Atmos and DTS:X content, which is ideal for movie fans. However, its bass-heavy sound profile isn't as neutral or balanced as some of the other bars we've tested, and it lacks a room correction feature, which is a bit disappointing for its premium design. If you're looking for more soundbars, check out our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best 5.1 soundbars.

Sonos Arc

The Vizio Elevate is a better soundbar than the Sonos Arc. The Sonos has a bright sound profile that lacks a bit of bass, especially compared the Vizio's bass-heavy sound. The Vizio supports DTS and DTS:X content and it has a Full HDMI In port that supports 4k passthrough, unlike the Sonos. However, we tested the Sonos as a standalone bar, so you can check out the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers to compare its performance with its full setup.

JBL Bar 9.1

The JBL Bar 9.1 is a better soundbar than the Vizio Elevate. The JBL has a better-balanced, more neutral sound profile, so it's suitable for lots of audio content. It also comes with a room correction feature and it's compatible with Apple AirPlay, unlike the Vizio. However, the Vizio has a dialogue enhancement feature, which the JBL lacks. The Vizio also has a unique design with left and right sides that rotate upwards to create a wider soundstage.

Vizio SB46514-F6

The Vizio SB46514-F6 is a better soundbar than the Vizio Elevate. The SB46514-F6 has a more neutral, balanced sound profile, and it has a better performance with its height channels. However, the Elevate has a better soundstage performance, and it comes with a dialogue enhancement feature. The Elevate also supports DTS:X content, which some listeners may prefer.

Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers or the Vizio Elevate. The Sonos is better-built, has a more neutral sound profile, and comes with a room correction feature. However, the Vizio comes with EQ presets, unlike the Sonos. The Vizio also supports DTS and DTS:X content, and it has a Full HDMI In port, so it supports 4k passthrough, unlike the Sonos.

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