Vizio Elevate Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Mar 15, 2021 at 08:45 am
Vizio Elevate Picture
8.2
Mixed Usage
8.5
Dialogue/TV Shows
8.1
Music
8.0
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 decent 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

8.2 Mixed Usage

The Vizio Elevate soundbar is great 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 accurately, too. However, its bass-heavy sound profile may not be ideal for some types of audio content, but fortunately, there are some customization features available.

Pros
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in compatibility.
  • Four EQ presets.
  • Wide, focused soundstage.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Some distortion at max volume.
8.5 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 is amazing for dialogue-heavy content like TV shows. Thanks to its dedicated center channel, it can reproduce voices clearly and accurately. There's 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.
8.1 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 bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, though it 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
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in compatibility.
  • Four EQ presets.
  • Wide, focused soundstage.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
8.0 Movies

The Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 is very 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
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Four EQ presets.
  • Wide, focused soundstage.
Cons
  • Some distortion at max volume.
  • 8.2 Mixed Usage
  • 8.5 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 8.1 Music
  • 8.0 Movies
  1. Updated Aug 11, 2021: Updated mounting and added Dolby Vision and Atmos video.
  2. Updated Feb 25, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  3. Updated Nov 17, 2020: Review published.
  4. Updated Nov 12, 2020: Early access published.

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. There are ports for connecting satellites on the rear of the sub.

Design
Style - Satellites

The Vizio Elevate comes with two satellite speakers. There's an aluminum grille that wraps around the top and the front, while the rest of the speaker is made of plastic. They're designed to be placed vertically.

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

The Vizio Elevate is a large, wide soundbar that won't fit between the legs of most 55 inch 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
Width 10.9" (27.6 cm)
Height 15.5" (39.4 cm)
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
Width 2.9" (7.3 cm)
Height 5.9" (15.1 cm)
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
Proprietary

Update 08/11/2021: We corrected an error in the review. While we previously reported that the bar has universal mounts, they're actually proprietary mounts since you need to use the included brackets to mount the bar and satellites.

The back of the bar has two openings for inputs and the power cable. There are also proprietary 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 it also has connections for the power cable and the satellites.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Proprietary

Update 08/11/2021: We corrected an error in the review. While we previously reported that the bar has universal mounts, they're actually proprietary mounts since you need to use the included brackets to mount the bar and satellites.

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

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Vizio Elevate has a great 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 with plastic sides and rear. The materials feel durable and solid, and it's better-built than the Vizio M Series M51ax-J6 overall.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
1.6 m (5.2 ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)

  • 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
8.3
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Direct
Slope
-1.18
Std. Err.
3.48 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
25.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.5 kHz

The Vizio Elevate has an impressive stereo frequency response. It has a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra boom and punch to audio, which can 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.

8.5
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Direct
Suggested Bass Setting
-7
Suggested Treble Setting
5
Slope
0.31
Std. Err.
2.33 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
29.1 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Vizio Elevate comes with bass and treble adjustments, as well as four EQ presets that help you tweak its sound profile to your liking. With the bass set to -7 and the treble set to +5, it has an excellent stereo frequency response. The sound profile is very well-balanced, and it can still produce a deep and punchy low-bass, so it's more suitable for fans of a neutral sound.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
1.88 dB

The Vizio Elevate has a great stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived as a bit wider than the bar itself, though it doesn't have any features to make it even wider. The sound is focused, so objects in the soundstage like voices and footsteps seem to come from an accurate, pinpoint location.

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

The Vizio Elevate has very good stereo dynamics. It gets very loud, which makes it suitable for playing music at parties, but there's a bit of compression when you play it at max volume. For a soundbar with a more clean and pure audio reproduction at max volume, check out the Vizio M Series M51a-H6.

7.7
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.34
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. Although there's a jump in THD when the soundbar is used at max volume, this may not be noticeable with real-life content.

8.5
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
0.02
Std. Err.
2.66 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
92.3 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.44
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.47

The Vizio Elevate has an amazing center channel performance. This 5.1.4 setup has a dedicated center speaker, which helps to produce more accurate dialogue. It also has a neutral, balanced sound profile, so dialogue sounds clear and present in the mix.

7.0
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.74
Std. Err.
5.23 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
92.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.23
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.35
7.1 Rears
No

The Vizio Elevate has a decent surrounds performance. It has dedicated satellite speakers, so sound objects like voices and footsteps are more accurately localized. The bass-heavy sound profile adds an extra boom and punch to action-packed movie scenes, although it could be a bit overwhelming to some users.

6.2
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar & Satellites)
Slope
-1.39
Std. Err.
4.66 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
84.6 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
2.21
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.34

Update 08/11/2021:We added a video to show how the speakers move when playing Atmos content.

The Vizio Elevate has a mediocre height performance. It uses up-firing speakers on the bar and 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, the height of sound objects doesn't sound as accurate as discrete down-firing speakers. You can see a video of how the bar rotates here.

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)
1
RCA In
No
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.

7.4
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
70 ms
Optical
60 ms
Full HDMI In
116 ms

The Vizio Elevate has a satisfactory latency performance. It has fairly low latency via its ARC and Optical ports, making it well-suited for watching videos and movies. However, it has high latency via its Full HDMI In port, so it may not be suitable for these uses over this connection. That said, some apps and some TVs compensate for latency differently, so user experience may vary.

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

Update 08/11/2021 We tested the bar and confirmed that it supports Dolby Vision Passthrough.

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. It also supports Dolby Vision Passthrough, which is handy.

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, though the side of the bar has some vertical lights that 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
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Additional Features
App
App Name Vizio SmartCast
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts As A 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 the soundbar off after a period of inactivity. However, you have to enable this feature, so the soundbar always stays on if the Eco Power Mode is off. There's HDMI CEC support, which lets you 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 want to see 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 profile. 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.

Samsung HW-Q950T

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Vizio Elevate or the Samsung HW-Q950T. The Vizio is better built and offers a better soundstage performance. It comes with an auto-volume mode and supports more wireless playback options than the Samsung. However, the Samsung gets louder and offers a better surround performance. It comes with a graphic EQ and built-in voice assistant support. Also, some listeners may prefer that it offers a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box than the Vizio.

JBL Bar 9.1

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

Vizio M Series M512a-H6

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Vizio Elevate or the Vizio M Series M512a-H6. The Elevate is better built and has a better Atmos performance. It supports more wireless playback options. That said, the M Series has a better surround performance. It also has less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner during louder listening sessions.

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is a better soundbar than the Vizio Elevate. The Samsung is an 11.1.4 setup that comes with built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant and offers more sound enhancement features, including room correction and a graphic EQ. It gets louder, too, and it has a better surrounds performance. Its default sound profile is also more neutral than the Vizio, which some users may prefer. That said, the 5.1.4 Vizio is better-built and offers a better soundstage performance.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch

The Vizio Elevate is better than the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch for most uses. The Vizio is a 5.1.4 setup with a better soundstage and more wireless playback options. That said, the Nakamichi has better surround and Atmos performances. It also comes with two subwoofers and four satellites, which help create a more immersive sound.

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.

Vizio M Series M51a-H6

The Vizio Elevate and the Vizio M Series M51a-H6 are both very versatile soundbars, and depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Elevate has a unique design with sides that rotate upwards to create a more immersive listening experience. It's better-built, it has a better stereo soundstage performance, and it supports Wi-Fi and Chromecast built-in. However, the M Series has a better surrounds performance, and there's less compression present when you play it at max volume.

Samsung HW-Q900A

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Vizio Elevate or the Samsung HW-Q900A. The Vizio is a 5.1.4 setup with discrete satellites speakers that offers a better surrounds performance. Thanks to its unique design with sides that rotate upwards, it also has a better soundstage. That said, the 7.1.2 Samsung comes with more sound enhancement features, such as room correction and a graphic EQ. It also has built-in voice assistant support, unlike the Vizio.

Samsung HW-Q850A

The Vizio Elevate is better than the Samsung HW-Q850A. The Vizio has a unique design with sides that rotate upwards, which helps create a better soundstage performance. It gets louder, too, and it has a better center channel performance. That said, the Samsung is better for surround content. Unlike the Vizio, it also has built-in voice assistant support and a graphic EQ.

Vizio SB46514-F6

The Vizio Elevate is a better soundbar than the Vizio SB46514-F6. The Elevate has a more neutral, balanced sound profile, and it has a wider soundstage. Also, it comes with a dialogue enhancement feature and supports DTS:X content. However, the SB46514-F6 has a better surrounds performance.

LG SP9YA

The Vizio Elevate is a bit better for mixed usage than the LG SP9YA. The Vizio comes with discrete satellite speakers, and it offers better soundstage, center, surround, and Atmos performances. It also has a unique design with sides that rotate upwards to enhance its soundstage, which some users may prefer. That said, the LG has a few more sound enhancement features like room correction, and it supports Apple AirPlay.

Vizio SB36512-F6

The Vizio Elevate is better than the Vizio SB36512-F6. The Elevate is better built, and it has a unique design with sides that rotate upwards to help create a better soundstage performance. It even comes with some more sound enhancement features, like dialogue enhancement mode.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Vizio Elevate is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module for most uses. The Vizio supports Dolby Atmos content, and it gets louder. Unlike the Bose, it has a Full HDMI In port as well as some EQ presets to help you customize its sound. That said, the Bose is better built with better soundstage and surround performances. Unlike the Vizio, the Bose has built-in voice assistant support.

Vizio M Series M51ax-J6

The Vizio Elevate is a slightly better soundbar than the Vizio M Series M51ax-J6. The Elevate is better-built, with a unique design that features rotating sides to help create a better soundstage performance. It also comes with more wireless playback support.

Monoprice SB-600

The 5.1.4 Vizio Elevate is a better soundbar than the 5.1.2 Monoprice SB-600. The Vizio has a more unique design, with rotating speakers on each side of the bar, which creates a better height performance. It has a better-balanced sound profile and produces a more extended low-bass. Also, it gets louder with less compression present at max volume. However, the Monoprice has lower latency via the Full HDMI In port, though some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently.

LG SP7Y

The Vizio Elevate is a better soundbar than the LG SP7Y. The Vizio comes with discrete satellite speakers, and it offers better soundstage and surround performance. Unlike the LG, it supports Dolby Atmos content and HDR10 passthrough, and more wireless playback options. It's also better-built and reproduces a more extended low-bass. It gets louder than the LG, too, albeit with more compression at max volume.

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