The Vizio V Series V51x-J6 is a budget-friendly 5.1 soundbar and the next generation of the Vizio V Series V51-H6. It's one of the few setups in its price range that includes discrete satellites, which you can place around your couch to get a more immersive surround sound. Its subwoofer is a little smaller than its predecessor, but it's still designed to pack a punch with sound effects and bass-heavy tunes. Plus, you can plug in a voice assistant device to control the bar with your voice, which is a cool touch.
The Vizio V51x-J6 is satisfactory for mixed usage. Out-of-the-box, dialogue in TV shows and podcasts is clear and accurate in the mix, and voices and other instruments in your favorite music are even and balanced. There's a little extra punch in the bass range, too, that adds some excitement to the mix. It's a great choice for 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital, too, thanks to its discrete satellites. However, without Atmos support, you can't take advantage of some of the most immersive formats on the market.
The Vizio V51x-J6 is great for dialogue-centric content like TV shows and podcasts. Since it's a 5.1 setup, there's a discrete center channel that's designed to improve vocal reproduction. Dialogue is clearly reproduced, so it's easy to follow the action on-screen. Plus, its dialogue enhancement tool is on hand in the event that you want to make voices more crisp. However, if you want to stream podcasts to the bar, you're limited to Bluetooth connectivity.
The Vizio V51x-J6 is good for music. Out-of-the-box, voices and lead instruments in your favorite tracks are reproduced with clarity, making it suitable for listening to lots of different genres. There's a little extra punch in the high-bass, too, which adds some excitement to the mix. You can even customize its output by adjusting its bass and treble. That said, there's a touch less low-bass compared to last year's model, which is disappointing if you love to feel the rumble in genres like EDM and hip-hop.
The Vizio V51x-J6 is fair for movies. It's one of the only bars in its price range that comes with discrete satellite speakers, which are a great tool for enhancing the cinematic feel with your favorite movies. Sound effects stretch into the space around you, just like in the movie theater, and dialogue and other effects are clearly reproduced. That said, you can't take advantage of the most immersive height formats like Dolby Atmos, which is disappointing if you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms.
This soundbar comes in Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.
If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Vizio V51x-J6 is a 2021 soundbar that's the next generation of the Vizio V Series V51-H6. It lets you plug in a third-party voice assistant-enabled device so you can control it with your voice. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, and it lacks a Full HDMI In port.
The Sonos Arc is a bit better for mixed usage than the Vizio V Series V51x-J6. The Sonos is better built and supports Dolby Atmos content. It also comes with a room correction feature and offers a better soundstage performance. Its voice assistant support is built into the bar, while you'll have to purchase a separate third-party device to use voice assistants with the Vizio. That said, the Vizio comes with EQ presets.
The Vizio M Series M51a-H6 is a better soundbar than the Vizio V Series V51x-J6. The M Series supports Dolby Atmos content and offers a better surround performance. It also reproduces a more extended low-bass. Unlike the V Series, it comes with a Full HDMI In port that supports high-quality passthrough. However, only the V Series comes with an AUX In port for voice assistant-enabled devices.
The Vizio V Series V51x-J6 is a better soundbar than the Vizio V Series V21x-J8. The V51x-J6 comes with discrete satellite speakers, so it offers a better surround performance. It also has a more neutral sound profile, and it has less compression at max volume. Thanks to its 5.1 setup, it has a better center channel performance, too.
The Vizio V Series V51x-J6 is better than the Sony HT-S400. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with discrete satellites, unlike the Sony, so it has a better surround sound performance. It reproduces more low-bass to add more punch to action-packed scenes. There are more sound enhancement features, as well as DTS support, which the Sony soundbar lacks. For a similar price, you can get a lot more from the Vizio model.
The Vizio V Series V51x-J6 is a bit better for mixed usage than the LG SP7Y. The Vizio comes with discrete surround speakers, so it offers a better surrounds performance. Also, it reproduces a more extended low-bass, and you can connect voice assistant-enabled third-party devices via its AUX In port. That said, the LG is better built, with a better soundstage and a Full HDMI In port.
The Samsung HW-Q950A is a better soundbar than the Vizio V Series V51x-J6. The Samsung is an 11.1.4 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content and offers built-in voice assistant support, unlike the Vizio. It's better-built, with better soundstage and surround performances. It also comes with more sound enhancement features, like room correction and a graphic EQ, and it can get louder.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar is a simple soundbar. It's mostly plastic, with a thin fabric fitted around the front and the sides. Like the Vizio V Series V51-H6, the control buttons are on top of the bar.
The sub is mostly melamine and sits on four plastic pegs with rubber grips. There's a port on the back, and the speaker is underneath.
The satellites have a similar design to those of the Vizio V Series V51-H6. They're mostly plastic, and there's fabric on the front and the sides. They don't have a power cable, so you only need to wire them to the sub to get them to work.
This soundbar is a touch wide, so it doesn't fit between the legs of most 55-inch TV stands. That said, it's not very tall, so it shouldn't block your screen unless your TV sits flush on your table.
The sub is a bit smaller than the sub for the Vizio V Series V51-H6. It's shorter in height than the average desktop PC, so you should have lots of flexibility when placing it in your setup.
The satellites aren't very big. That said, you need to wire them to the subwoofer to get them to work, which may limit where you place them in your setup.
The back of the bar has two openings for the inputs and the power cable. You can also wall-mount the bar using the universal holes on the underside and the included wall-mount brackets.
There's a port on the back of the sub. You can also find an input for the power cable and the jacks for connecting the two satellites.
The backs of the satellites have an input for the cable that connects them to the sub. You can also wall-mount them using the proprietary holes and the included wall-mount brackets.
This setup has a decent build quality. The bar and the satellites are mostly matte-textured plastic, while the subwoofer is made of melamine. Overall, the materials feel solid and durable. However, the fabric covering the front and sides of the bar and satellites seems like it could rip or get dirty easily, so you should take caution when handling them.
This soundbar has a good stereo frequency response. Overall, it has a pretty even response, especially in the mids, which is where most voices and lead instruments are reproduced. The bar is suitable for listening to most types of audio content as a result. Plus, there's a little extra punch and thump in the high-bass range to help bring genres like EDM and hip-hop to life. However, compared to last year's Vizio V Series V51-H6, there's a little less low-bass in the mix, so you feel less rumble with certain tracks.
With its bass set to '-3', this soundbar offers a more neutral, balanced sound profile suitable for lots of different types of audio content without overwhelming listeners who don't like a lot of extra punch in the bass range.
This soundbar has a decent stereo soundstage performance. The soundstage is perceived to be a little bit wider than the bar itself, though it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. Also, its focus is decent. Sound objects like voices and instruments seem to come from a pinpoint location most of the time, though they may jump to a more general area sometimes.
The bar gets loud without a lot of compression at max volume, so you can crank up the volume to fill large spaces and crowded parties without distorting your audio.
This soundbar has a decent stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, distortion falls mostly within good limits, so audio reproduction is largely clean and pure. There's a small jump in distortion at max volume, especially in the bass range. However, distortion is really hard to hear with real-life content, so you're unlikely to have an issue unless you're a really astute audiophile.
This 5.1 setup has a discrete center channel, which is designed to improve the quality of vocal reproduction in your audio. This channel's frequency response is really even, too, especially in the mids where voices are reproduced. As a result, dialogue is clear and accurate in the mix.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar has a fair surrounds performance. It comes with two discrete satellite speakers, so surround objects like voices are clearly and accurately represented in the sound image. Audio seems like it's coming from all around you, rather than just from speakers placed in front of you. That said, the frequency response is quite bass-heavy, so your audio content may be boomy or muddy. If you want a soundbar with a better surrounds performance, check out the Vizio M Series M51ax-J6.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar has a decent selection of sound enhancement features. Unlike more premium setups on the market, it doesn't have a room correction tool, so it sounds a bit different depending on the acoustics of your space. That said, you can make up for it a bit with its bass and treble adjustments. There are also some EQ presets to customize its sound: 'Direct', 'Game', 'Movie', and 'Music'. You can also set its 'Surround' feature to 'On', 'Off', 'Front', and 'Dual' for a more immersive sound.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar comes with some physical inputs. There's an AUX port, which is handy if you want to wire older devices to the bar to playback audio. However, it lacks a Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it as a hub between different devices. We don't consider it to have a true HDMI Out port since it lacks a Full HDMI In, and you can't plug in two HDMI devices at the same time.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar has good audio format support via ARC. It supports Dolby Digital content, which is the most common surround sound format for streaming platforms and Blu-rays. However, it doesn't support lossless or object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content via Optical. You can often find these formats on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar has a great latency performance. It has fairly low latency via ARC and Optical, so the audio you hear should mostly be in sync with the video you see. As a result, it's suitable for watching videos and movies over this connection. However, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.
You can wirelessly stream audio from mobile devices like your phone to the bar via Bluetooth.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar lacks a Full HDMI In port, so it doesn't support high-quality passthrough.
The sub connects wirelessly to the bar. You only need to plug it into a power outlet to get it to work.
You have to wire the satellites to the subwoofer to get them to work. However, they don't need to connect to the bar or a power outlet.
This soundbar doesn't have a display, though it does have a series of vertical lights on the left side that flash depending on the settings you adjust. Also, when you select one of the EQ presets, there's some audio feedback.
On top of the bar, there are physical controls that let you power the bar on/off, change the input, activate Bluetooth pairing mode, and adjust the volume.
The remote is fairly simple and lets you control the bar's settings. However, it isn't a universal remote, so you can't use it to control your TV.
The Vizio V Series 5.1 Soundbar doesn't have built-in voice assistant support. However, there's an AUX In port on the bar that lets you plug in a voice assistant device like an Amazon Echo. We don't consider this built-in support since you need to purchase a third-party device to get it to work.
There's an eco-power mode that powers down the bar after a period of inactivity. You can enable this feature by pressing and holding the power and volume buttons for five seconds. It also supports HDMI CEC, so you can use your TV remote to control some of its basic functions.