If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Vizio is one of the premiere names in home theater systems, and for good reason: the brand is known for its reliable LED-backlit televisions, like the Quantum Series LED 4K TV and the stunning picture quality of its OLED 4K TV. But sound bars and subwoofer surround systems are another area in which the California-based company really shines. Vizio has quickly become known in the audio industry, and among satisfied customers, as a serious contender for home theaters, with numerous options to fit varying sizes of rooms and budgets.
What Kind of Sound Systems Does Vizio Have?
Since modern televisions have gotten progressively slimmer, there’s a decreasing amount of room inside for quality speakers. That’s where a sound bar can change everything. Even a basic bar will outperform the audio from your TV’s speakers, bringing instantly powerful sound to your home setup.
Vizio offers multiple options for full home audio sound systems, that all create immersive surround sound for your room, assisted by a strong wireless subwoofer and surround speakers. These all have the traditional 5.1 setup.
If you don’t have the space (or budget) to buy a full sound system, you can always go for something more compact, like Vizio’s all-in-one soundbar, which Best Buy currently has on sale for $149. Either way, you’ll want a bar that has Bluetooth connectivity and WiFi to wirelessly connect multiple devices to the sound system.
Same goes for HDMI too. It’s an excellent format that carries both sound as well as video, and some Vizio units feature more than one port to make sure all your devices are centrally connected. Vizio also has sound bars with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, which means even more immersive, cinema-quality sound. HDMI eARC inputs, meantime, will provide additional high-quality audio pass through. Though you’ll still be able to have awesome audio without them, these formats pick up on encoded signals in various media and boost the surround experience to new heights.
What Are the Best Vizio Sound Bars and Systems?
We had a chance to review some of the best Vizio sound bars and sound systems and we were impressed by not only the clarity and attention to detail these systems deliver, but the power of the drivers as well. The subwoofers were also surprisingly powerful, with even the small ones able to pack a decent punch of bass into the mix. As expected, newer blockbuster action flicks, like recent Marvel releases, sounded dazzling from all directions, but even older movies had us hooked like never before. A solid surround system really changes everything that you watch and listen to, bringing out the smallest sonic nuances in current movies and shows, and breathing new life into your all-time classics.
There are a number of great Vizio sound systems on the market, and we’ve selected a few of our favorites here to help you get started on choosing the right bar and accompanying system for cinematic sound right at home.
1. Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 Home Theater Sound Bar
Vizio’s latest sound bar speaker system feels like watching your favorite films for the first time again, with audio technology that helps to highlight dialogue and effects in an engaging new way.
With 18 total speakers built into this beast of a set, and a 30Hz–20kHz frequency range, the audible details are supremely crisp and pure, picking up on things in movies that you may have seen hundreds of times but never noticed before. You’ll also gain a new respect for sound mixing in media too, hearing the subtleties in the surrounding satellite speakers, and the little intricacies happening all around that make you really feel like you’re there.
Each end of the bar features two rotating speakers that can be adjusted up and down remotely (or automatically when it senses Dolby Atmos), to find the exact sweet spot for the size and shape of your room.
The eight-inch subwoofer is seriously powerful, reaching down to the bassy depths of 30Hz without getting muddy and murky. Even at a low setting, you’ll feel it. And thanks to so many different settings, including a Night Mode that’s designed to not disturb your neighbors, you can still get the most out of it even living in a small apartment. Plus it’s wireless without having to connect to WiFi, and links itself to the bar as soon as it’s turned on for the first time.
Setup was simple right out of the packaging, and the system was up and running soon afterwards. Vizio includes all the cables you need too, neatly separated out in its own accessories box, and labeled to avoid any confusion.
Ports are plentiful here, with a total of three HDMIs (including eARC), an Optical, two AUX jacks and a USB. The satellite speakers are conveniently compact, with drivers that point both in and up, and an anti-skid mat on the bottom. Connecting them to the subwoofer is effortless, and they can be placed in full view or hidden far behind you thanks to the extra long wires.
The Vizio sound bar can be controlled via voice commands from any of the major AI assistants, and is quick to pair up with any nearby Bluetooth devices, as well as your favorite music streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora. There’s also a designated AUX port for a smart speaker, a nice touch nowadays to know Vizio hasn’t forgotten about people who still prefer the old-school way of wiring things up.
The set also includes a sleek and small remote with an LCD display, which easily lets you control most every setting and adjustment from the sofa, and can audibly announce which input is selected. For a visual cue, the bar features a minimal but clear light meter, marking how high or low the current setting is at. The display is backlit too, so you won’t have to go digging for it in the dark during movies.
We absolutely loved this system, and not just for the latest and greatest blockbuster movies – the Elevate had us re-visiting films that had won awards for sound, and playing old video games too, just to experience them again in a whole new way. This set makes old favorites fresh, bringing out a revived appreciation for all types of media, while remaining ready to handle the most modern sound tech. The Elevate includes Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, to lose yourself in cinematic surround sound.
It’s also Vizio’s most-awarded system, even snagging the CES Innovation Award at CES 2020. And if you’ve already got a Vizio OLED TV, this fits perfectly on the curved stand, making the setup even more pleasing to your eyes as well as ears.
2. Vizio V-Series 5.1 Channel Sound Bar System
With a smooth and minimalist design, Vizio’s V-Series 5.1 system delivers rich and vivid sound with a relatively small footprint.
Buttons on the 36-inch bar are conveniently located on top, making it easy to control volume, input source, Bluetooth, and powering the unit on and off. There’s an HDMI Arc input, as well as a spot for an optical cable, and older TVs with RCA hookups are still compatible too. Auxiliary and Bluetooth capabilities make connecting an AI assistant like Alexa, or devices like phones, tablets, even an external turntable, fast and easy.
The included subwoofer instantly adds thunderous bass without taking up much space, and is wireless from the bar while maintaining a strong and unbroken connection. A five-inch driver underneath will shake the floor even at moderate settings, and is also fully adjustable.
Two small but mighty satellite speakers add an additional layer of depth from the back of the room, can be mounted with the included hardware, and extra long cables allow for perfect placement to get that just-right surround feel.
This set comes with all the cables you’ll need, and the color-coated setup is incredibly simple right out of the box.
3. Vizio M-Series 5.1.2 Sound Bar System
Vizio’s M 5.1.2 system is a high-fidelity setup that fits into smaller spaces without cutting corners on quality.
Virtual DTS:X brings 3D cinema sound from every direction (including simulated from above), and 4K Dolby Vision pass-through with HDMI ARC allows for cutting-edge modern audio through a strong and solid signal.
The bar packs powerful drivers, along with two mountable surround speakers that include adjustable volumes to supply mid-range audio from behind through an RCA connection.
Don’t be fooled by the smaller-sized subwoofer either – the six-inch driver packs plenty of pounding punchiness to fill the low-end of the sound spectrum in your favorite music, games, shows and movies. Plus it connects wirelessly to the bar, blending surround sound effects seamlessly, while letting you place it anywhere to experiment with the best results.
Dialogue is especially detailed and defined, coming through loud and clear, with just the right amount of relying on the sub to round it out without muddying it up. Cables come neatly organized and separated in their own box, including optical, HDMI, and an efficient remote with a little display and a ton of EQ and setting options.
4. Vizio 36-Inch Sound Bar 2.1 System
Even with a smaller–sized ‘woofer, you’ll still get immersive and immense sound from this 36-inch sound bar and sub system.
Vizio sticks with the sleek aesthetic on the bar here, with no logos or insignias on the front face. Clickable buttons are easy to reach on top of the unit, with HDMI, auxiliary, and optical inputs on the back, along with secure Bluetooth compatibility.
Just like the bigger Vizio setups, this one is also DTS Virtual:X capable, coloring the room with 3D audio that instantly enhances whatever you’re watching. A remote is included, and though there’s no LCD screen, it still offers up options to control everything, letting you know the current levels through minimal dotted lights on the left side of the bar.
The subwoofer is compact with a clean aesthetic, and its five-inch driver supplies deeply rich bass – a nice surprise for its size, every time.