My current living room setup is a Onkyo 7.1 surround sound system. I’ve had it for years, and was quite proud of how I set it up. I had so many things going into the receiver. I had all of my video signals going into the TV and then had all audio going into my receiver and then into the speaker system. It was a setup I was quite proud of and still am today. But the amount of wires I had to install around my house just isn’t as clean for today’s 2014 aesthetics design and feel. I need something better, something wireless but it still has to look and sound good. It is time to take a look at the Sound bar. I will say I’ve avoid the sound bar, because I would here so much that you can’t get good surround sound performance from a bar. It has a stigma attached to it and I just wanted to avoid all of this. So now was the time to finally see.
I first seen the Vizio Sound bar devices at CES 2013 and they were nice looking. The unit I would be reviewing was their 54″ 5.1 Sound bar System. This includes the Sound bar, a sub-woofer, and two back speakers. The design of this system does look good. It definitely will achieve any aesthetics goal you are trying to accomplish. And if you are an owner of a Vizio M-Series HDTV, this unit will match nicely with it giving you a complete and stylish home entertainment package.
If the look caught your attention, the sound will cement your attachment to these speakers. I personally know this as after using it, I didn’t want to give it up! As mentioned above I didn’t believe I could get true surround sound from a bar, but this changed when I heard this system. I first heard it at during a demo at CES 2014. I was genuinely impressed by the sound I heard and the quality. But this was a demo. The room I bet was tuned and design to make the speakers sound great, acoustics and all lol. How would it really measure up in my living room.
I set this up over a weekend where I had my nephew over, so he was my first test subject. I let him hear my current set up before taking it apart and then once I set up the Vizio, I turned on the TV and looked for some source material to demo. Funny enough whenever I do a Vizio demo where they show off a sound bar, the demo content always is Sherlock Homes Game of Shadows. And what do you think was on when I turned on my TV, yup lol. It was passed the scene they normally show so I skipped back and then paused. I looked at my nephew and then press play…Watching his facial expressions as he watch the scene and heard the audio was priceless. He then looked at me as a big explosion happened and literally the couch rubble just like a movie theater. That why these has been my experience since reviewing it.
No matter what I was watching, TV show, movie, sporting event; the Vizio 54″ 5.1 Sound bar System made it sound wonderful. TV scene with action and drama came more alive as the surround sound pulled you in. Big booms and rumbles made the couch vibrate a little making you feel it when it happened. It was awesome to experience. But at the same time it wasn’t all about rumbling and big surround. From the sound bar the dialog was crisp and clean allowing me to not miss when someone was talking over the explosions and what not. I was apart of the action, but could make out everything anyone said. Great sound all around, so much so that I’ve gotten quite attached to this system!
The out of box experience was simple and easy. That box though. That has to be one of the most unique boxes I’ve seen for a device. Stay tuned to our Instagram page as I’ll put a picture of it later on there. But besides the unique box, setting it up for easy and smooth. My set up before was to have all the video signals go into the TV, and all the audio signals into the receiver of my old system. Now using mostly HDMI, I just had everything plugged into the TV and only like one cable from the TV to the sound bar. This covered the whole setup as the back speakers plugged into the sub-woofer but wireless the whole system talk to each other to get the sound to those back channels.
I will no go on record and say the sound bar has come of age, or that EVERY sound bar system will sound great. But with confidence I say that this Vizio 54″ 5.1 Sound bar System impressed me enough to want to keep it and it’s performance matched with Vizio’s always spot on pricing makes for a great combo. The same way they do with their TVs. Recommendation is high for this one!