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Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Sep 27, 2022 at 12:01 pm
Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 Picture

The Vizio M Series M213ad-K8, also known as the M Series All-in-One (AiO) Sound Bar, is a budget-friendly 2.1 setup released in 2022. It's a standalone bar with a similar design to Vizio M Series M21d-H8R, but it adds support for Dolby Atmos. There are two subwoofers integrated into the bar to improve its bass reproduction. It's one of the only bars in this price range with Dolby Atmos support, although it has to downmix it into stereo to play it.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is decent for mixed usage. This budget-friendly 2.1 bar reproduces voices and lead instruments in your favorite songs with clarity and detail, and dialogue in TV shows is clear and present in the mix. As a standalone bar, it does struggle to reproduce an extended low-bass, which isn't surprising. You notice it most with bass-heavy music genres and action-packed movies. It supports lots of audio formats, but since it downmixes this content into stereo, it's not an impressive choice for surround sound or height content.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Downmixes surround sound to stereo.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is good for dialogue-focused TV shows and podcasts. It's a 2.1 bar, so you don't find a discrete center channel to improve vocal clarity. Still, you don't have any trouble following the dialogue on screen, thanks to its balanced mids that reproduce these frequencies with clarity. You can even use the 'Dialogue' EQ preset to enhance voices in the mix, which is nice. Podcasts and audiobooks are easy to stream to the bar via Bluetooth, but unfortunately, it doesn't support Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Bluetooth compatibility.
Cons
  • Lacks Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in support.
N/A Music

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is fair for music. Its balanced mids mean that voices and lead instruments are clear and present, so the bar's suitable for lots of different genres. There's a little extra punch in the high bass, too, that brings some excitement to the mix. There are two subwoofers integrated into the bar to help with bass reproduction, but as with most standalone setups, it struggles to produce an extended low bass. It's most noticeable in bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, which lack rumble and thump.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Compression at max volume.
  • Lacks low-bass.
N/A Movies

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is okay for movies. It supports many different audio formats, from 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital to object-based formats like Dolby Atmos. You're likely to come across both on streaming services and Blu-rays. However, since it's a 2.1 bar, it has to downmix this content into stereo to play it. As a result, the sound isn't very immersive, and it doesn't seem like sound effects stretch around you. There isn't a lot of bass to bring the rumble in action-packed scenes, either.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Downmixes surround sound to stereo.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Sep 27, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Sep 19, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is available in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is a budget-friendly bar that offers Dolby Atmos support at a more affordable price, like the TCL Alto 8i. That said, since it downmixes this content, it doesn't offer a very immersive sound. It's best suited for those who prefer to listen to stereo content, like music and TV shows, but want the flexibility to enjoy surround sound and Atmos movies every once in a while.

See also our recommendations for the best standalone soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best budget soundbars.

Vizio M Series M215a-J6

The Vizio M Series M215a-J6 is a more versatile 2.1 setup than the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8. They're both Dolby Atmos soundbars, but with different designs. The standalone M213ad-K8 is better suited for those with smaller living spaces. However, the M215a-J6's dedicated subwoofer means it can reproduce a lot more bass, bringing more thump and rumble to bass-heavy music and action-packed movies.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is more versatile than the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8. The V Series looks pretty different than the standalone M Series—it adds a dedicated sub and two satellites to the package. It means that it can reproduce a more extended low-bass and performs much better with surround sound. That said, the M Series' standalone design is ideal for those without a lot of space. It supports Atmos content, too, unlike the V Series.

Vizio M Series M215aw-K6

The Vizio M Series M215aw-K6 is better than the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8. They're both 2.1 setups that support many different audio formats, including Dolby Atmos. However, the M213ad-K8 is a standalone bar. It's a better choice if you're low on space, but the M215aw-K6's added subwoofer makes a big difference in the sound quality, so you feel more rumble in action-packed movies and bass-heavy music genres. If you can find space for the sub, it's the better choice overall.

TCL Alto 8i

The TCL Alto 8i and the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 are both 2.1 soundbars with Dolby Atmos support at a budget-friendly price. The Vizio is better overall, though. It offers more sound enhancement features, like dialogue enhancement, and supports eARC and DTS content, unlike the TCL soundbar. It has lower latency, too.

Vizio M Series M21d-H8R

The Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 is better than the Vizio M Series M21d-H8R. They're both 2.1 budget bars with a similar standalone design, but the M213ad-K8 adds support for Dolby Atmos. Of course, it has to downmix it into stereo to play it, which isn't very immersive-sounding. Still, it adds eARC support, and it has lower latency.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is a sleek standalone bar with a trapezoidal design that resembles the Vizio M Series M21d-H8R. It's made of plastic, and it's wrapped in tight cloth. The controls are on the side of the bar.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

There's no external subwoofer; however, there are two subwoofers integrated into the bar itself.

Design
Style - Satellites
Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The Vizio M Series All-In-One is fairly wide, though it should still fit between the legs of most 55" TV stands. It isn't very tall, so it doesn't block your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Locked

The back of the bar is rather plain, with a small opening for the inputs and the power cable connection. You find the wall-mount holes located underneath the bar. The brackets are included in the box, which is nice.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Locked
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Locked
N/A
Design
Build Quality

It has a good build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and sturdy. It's wrapped in cloth, and the fit is tight, so it doesn't seem like it rips easily when you handle it. It's likely to collect dust over time, though.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
Lock m (Lock ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
N/A

  • Manuals
  • Wall mount template
  • 2x wall mount brackets
  • Remote and batteries (2x AAA)
  • Power cable
  • HDMI cable

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
2.1
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Vizio M Series All-in-One has a decent stereo frequency response. It's fairly balanced in the mids, so voices and lead instruments in music are clearly reproduced, and you don't have trouble hearing dialogue in your favorite TV shows. There's a little extra emphasis in the high bass to bring some punch to the mix. It's suitable for most types of stereo content, including TV shows as well as most music genres.

However, fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM and hip-hop will be disappointed by the lack of low bass. The integrated subs are a nice touch, but they still can't bring as much rumble as setups with a dedicated subwoofer, like the Vizio M Series M215a-J6.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
Lock
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Vizio M Series All-in-One has bass and treble adjustments to help you switch up its sound based on your preferences. However, if you like a more balanced sound, we recommend using its default settings.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The Vizio M Series All-in-One has a fair stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived to be a touch wider than the bar itself, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. Its focus is just okay, so sound effects like instruments in an orchestral recording seem to come from more general areas, as opposed to each instrument seeming like it comes from a specific location that matches where the musician sits on stage.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

The Vizio M Series All-in-One gets quite loud, so you don't have any issues filling a large and open space with sound. However, there's quite a bit of compression when you push it to max volume. As you crank up the volume, you notice more compression and pumping artifacts that lessen the clarity of your audio.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Vizio M Series All-in-One has a good THD performance. At normal listening volumes, distortion falls within good limits, meaning that audio reproduces with purity. Like most bars, it sees a slight jump in distortion at max volume. That said, you might not want to listen at such loud volumes, and even if you do, distortion is pretty hard to hear with real-life content.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is a 2.1 bar, so it doesn't have a discrete center channel. Instead, it uses its left and right stereo channels to mimic a phantom center. Vocal clarity isn't quite as impressive as what you find with bars that have discrete centers. Still, you don't have any issues following the dialogue on screen, as the frequency response is fairly balanced in the mids where most voices reproduce.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One has to downmix 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital into stereo to play them. The resulting sound isn't very clear and real sounding, as sound effects don't seem to stretch into the space around you. Instead, it seems like audio is coming from a speaker placed in front of you.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Vizio M Series All-in-One is one of the few bars in this price range that supports Dolby Atmos content. Atmos is designed to make it seem like sound stretches all around you, above you, and behind you. However, since it's a 2.1 bar, it has to downmix Atmos content into stereo, so you can't take advantage of this technology. Sound effects are clearly reproduced thanks to the balanced frequency response, but you don't get the feeling that they're happening in the space around you. Instead, sound seems focused in the space in front of you. You don't notice a lot of rumble in the bass during action-packed scenes, either.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One has the same selection of sound enhancement features as the Vizio M Series M21d-H8R. It's a budget bar, so you don't have a room correction feature. As a result, it sounds a little different depending on the room you're in. That said, you can account for this a bit using its bass and treble adjustments and its presets: Movie, Music, Game, Direct, and Dialogue. Dialogue doubles as a voice enhancement feature, too.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI ARC
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked

The bar connects to your TV over Optical or HDMI. It also has an AUX VA port, which you can use to connect third-party devices to control the bar with your voice, like an Amazon Echo or Google Nest.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Locked
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X (eARC only)
Locked
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Locked
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Locked
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One supports many audio formats over ARC. You're likely to come across both Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos content on most streaming platforms, while DTS is more common on Blu-rays.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
5.1 PCM
Locked

The bar supports many audio formats over HDMI In. It supports surround sound formats like Dolby Digital as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos. However, it has to downmix this content into stereo to play it.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One can playback Dolby Digital and DTS over Optical. You'll find these formats on many streaming platforms and Blu-rays.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
Lock ms

The Vizio M Series All-in-One has an excellent latency performance. Thanks to its relatively low latency, you don't notice delays between the audio you hear and the visual on the screen, even with lip-synching content. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One lets you wirelessly stream audio to the bar via Bluetooth.

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

The Vizio M Series All-in-One can passthrough some of the highest-quality bandwidth signals, including Dolby Vision Passthrough. Text on the screen appears clear and crisp when you connect the bar between two different devices, like a TV and a PC.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked
Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Locked
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One doesn't have a display. Instead, there are some lights on the front of the bar that illuminate and fade depending on the commands you input. You can see the manual to learn the different patterns it displays. Also, when you change the EQ mode or switch to another input, the bar provides audio feedback.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are some buttons on the right side of the bar. You can use them to power it on and off, change the input, activate Bluetooth pairing, and adjust the volume.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
Locked

It's a simple remote that lets you control all of the bar's features. It has a similar design to other Vizio remotes; however, unlike the Vizio M Series M21d-H8R, there's no display screen included.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One doesn't have built-in voice assistant support. That said, if you own a third-party voice assistant device with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant capabilities, you can plug it into the bar using the AUX VA port. From there, you can control the bar with your voice.

Additional Features
App
App Name Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Acts As A Remote
Locked
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Locked
Casts Device Files
Locked
Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Locked
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Locked

The Vizio M Series All-in-One comes with an Eco Power Mode, and with it on, it automatically powers off after a certain period of inactivity. It supports HDMI CEC, too, so you can use your TV remote to turn it off and control some of its other basic functions.

Discussions