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Published May. 17, 2022

As a leading manufacturer of smart TVs and soundbars, Vizio stands out from the pack with an emphasis on products with functional design and ease of setup combined with cutting-edge features and competitive pricing. The best Vizio soundbars come in a variety of sizes and configurations to meet the needs of the smallest and largest home theaters alike, and because each model includes everything that you need to get started from cables to mounting hardware, Vizio soundbars are an ideal choice for pulling off a home theater upgrade with minimal fuss. From the most compact single-unit soundbars to multi-speaker surround sound systems with Dolby Atmos support, this list of the best Vizio soundbars will point you in the right direction for your home theater upgrade no matter what type of space you’re working with.

How we chose the best Vizio soundbars

Vizio’s soundbars cover a lot of ground with their designs and have a little something for everyone. To narrow down the options, we combined our own personal experience with the opinions of trusted peers and online user impressions. Here are some of the key criteria we looked at when compiling our list:

The best Vizio soundbars offer some degree of surround sound processing, whether through Dolby Atmos or DTS:X/Virtual:X—object-based surround that assigns each sound a height as well as a horizontal location in a 360-degree sphere around the listener. Our list contains three Dolby Atmos-ready soundbars that have the up-firing speakers to bounce tones off the ceiling/walls for the optimal audio experience, while the remaining two offer surround sound simulation. Helping facilitate the processing of the latest surround sound formats are HDMI ARC/eARC interfaces for connecting soundbars to smart TVs, and every soundbar on this list includes one of the two. Some of these soundbars include additional HDMI inputs to connect external devices to the soundbar (such as Blu-ray players and gaming consoles) to play audio before passing video to the TV. So don’t forget compatible HDMI cables!

If you’re adding a soundbar to your television, the overall size of the product is key to determining whether it belongs in your space. We selected Vizio soundbars from every part of the size spectrum, from the ultra-compact V20-J8 to the multi-component Vizio Elevate. In addition to how components connect, Vizio’s soundbars come with varying levels of wireless connectivity. All of the soundbars on this list are Bluetooth compatible, but only the Vizio Elevate has Wi-Fi and Chromecast capabilities. Unfortunately, none of Vizio’s soundbars offer native Apple AirPlay support but you can easily circumvent this if you have an Apple TV in your home cinema setup.

Things to consider before buying one of the best Vizio soundbars

Do you use Chromecast?

Many of Vizio’s soundbars aren’t Wi-Fi enabled and won’t work with Chromecast as a result of this. If you use Chromecast to stream content from your devices, you’ll need to go right to the top of Vizio’s product line and consider the Vizio Elevate. If Chromecast and Wi-Fi compatibility aren’t important to you, any of Vizio’s other soundbars are worth a look.

How big is your space?

No two home theater environments are the same, and you’ll want to consider the size of your TV and your room before choosing a Vizio soundbar. If you have space for a full surround sound system with a subwoofer and satellite speakers, the 48-inch-wide Vizio Elevate and the 40-inch-wide Vizio M512a-H6 are the best Vizio soundbars with surround sound currently available. If you don’t have space for all that but still want the bass response of a subwoofer, the Vizio M215a-J6 is a nice compromise. For all other spaces, the all-in-one design of the Vizio M21d-H8R is a sleek and compact soundbar option.

Do you need Dolby Atmos support?

Dolby Atmos is a cutting-edge directional audio format that aims to provide greater height and immersion to cinema soundscapes, and while many of the best new soundbars are compatible with Atmos, some are not. If you’re looking for the best Vizio soundbar with Dolby Atmos, the Vizio Elevate will provide a top-of-the-line experience and the Vizio M512a-H6 is a good runner-up. If you don’t have the space for a full surround sound setup, the Vizio M215a-J6 is a Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbar-and-subwoofer package that offers a good approximation of surround sound without extra speakers.

Are you looking for a system that can grow with you?

While Vizio is very good about offering many tiers of soundbars, their systems aren’t upgradeable or available piecemeal. This means that if you buy an all-in-one Vizio soundbar like the Vizio M21d-H8R, you won’t be able to add a subwoofer or rear speakers after the fact. For this reason, Vizio’s soundbars aren’t quite as flexible as some of their wireless surround sound competitors, such as Bluesound or Sonos.

Best Vizio soundbars: Reviews & Recommendations

Best overall: Vizio Elevate

Why it made the cut: Vizio’s flagship soundbar system offers some of the best Dolby Atmos performance in its class and offers extensive connectivity options.

Specs

  • Width: 48 inches (soundbar), 10.8 inches (subwoofer)
  • Channels: 5.1.4
  • Connectivity: HDMI eARC, Optical, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 2 x HDMI In

Pros

  • Adaptive rotating speakers switch between enhanced height and focused sound
  • Full-featured kit includes a wireless sub and two satellite speakers
  • Thoughtful design features including a backlit remote and Chromecast

Cons

  • Satellites must be wired to the subwoofer
  • No Apple AirPlay or built-in voice assistant support
  • Has EQ, but lacks custom room-based calibration features

The Vizio Elevate is the best Vizio soundbar overall thanks to its top-of-the-line feature set, build quality, and overall value factor. Featuring a 340-watt amplifier, an 8-inch wireless subwoofer, and two satellite speakers, the Elevate excels at playing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content thanks to its 18 drivers total, which deliver a 30Hz – 20KHz frequency range and pump out significant low-end rumble within a wide, immersive soundstage. The Elevate stands out from other soundbars in the market in part thanks to its unique auto-rotating adaptive speakers at each end, which can pivot upward to reflect sound off the ceiling and add height to your audio or pivot fully forward to add width. The system also features two HDMI inputs with 4K passthrough and a dedicated HDMI eARC port to allow for high-quality connections to all your devices.

The Elevate offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and it also has built-in support for Chromecast, but it’s unfortunately incompatible with AirPlay and lacks built-in voice assistant support (though it accepts commands via Bluetooth). It does, however, include a dedicated AUX port for plugging in a separate smart speaker so users can take advantage of Elevate’s added volume. As far as EQ goes, the Elevate offers four presets, as well as some basic treble and bass controls for finetuning, but there’s no advanced room-specific calibration option. The unit’s satellite speakers also have to plug directly into the subwoofer, which may limit users’ placement options depending upon their space.

Best with surround sound: Vizio M512a-H6

Why it made the cut: The Vizio M512a-H6 is a well-rounded 5.1.2 soundbar with surround sound and a competitively priced option for entering the Dolby Atmos ecosystem.

Specs

  • Width: 40 inches (soundbar), 8.3 inches (subwoofer)
  • Channels: 5.1.2
  • Connectivity: HDMI eARC, Optical, Bluetooth, HDMI IN

Pros

  • Competitive Dolby Atmos and true surround sound performance
  • 4K HDMI passthrough and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Customizable sound includes EQ presets, night mode, and dialogue enhancement

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi, AirPlay, or Chromecast
  • Satellites require a subwoofer connection
  • 11 speakers compared to the Vizio Elevate’s 18

If you’re looking for a true surround sound system with Dolby Atmos but don’t want to shell out on the top-of-the-line Vizio Elevate, the M512a-H6 is a fantastic alternative that packs similar features in a slightly smaller form at around half the price. It includes two satellite speakers and a 6-inch wireless subwoofer to complement a 40-inch central soundbar with up-firing speakers for added dimension and immersion. In total, 11 drivers deliver a 45Hz – 20kHz frequency range. Like the other soundbars in Vizio’s product line, the M512a-H6 is Bluetooth-enabled and features a smart speaker auxiliary input in lieu of built-in virtual assistant support. It has a single 4K passthrough-capable HDMI input and an HDMI eARC port, as well as an optical audio input.

Just like the Elevate, the M512a-H6 uses satellite speakers that must be wired up to the subwoofer and, like all Vizio soundbars, the unit doesn’t support AirPlay. On top of that, the M512a-H6 lacks Chromecast and Wi-Fi compatibility, so you’ll need to look to the Elevate if that’s a feature you require. The unit features seven fewer speakers and two fewer channels than the more flexible Elevate but, overall, the M512a-H6 offers terrific surround sound and Dolby Atmos performance for its price.

Best for music: Vizio M215a-J6

Why it made the cut: The M215a-J6 is a powerful and compact Atmos-ready soundbar system that’s perfect for adding volume and sub-bass to small and medium spaces.

Specs 

  • Width: 36 inches (soundbar), 8.3 inches (subwoofer)
  • Channels: 2.1
  • Connectivity: HDMI eARC, Optical, Bluetooth, HDMI IN

Pros

  • 2.1-channel system is Dolby Atmos and DTS:X ready
  • HDMI input with 4K passthrough at 60 frames per second
  • Compact design with wireless subwoofer

Cons

  • Not expandable via satellite speakers
  • No Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or AirPlay support
  • More suitable for small and medium spaces

If you’re looking for the best Vizio soundbar for living room dance parties, the Vizio M215a-J6 is an affordable and powerful 2.1-channel option that saves space while delivering loud volume and enhanced low-end to your entertainment center. It’s compatible with cutting-edge audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and it offers Bluetooth connectivity for wirelessly streaming audio from your devices. Its wireless subwoofer measures only 8.3 inches in width, which allows for strategic placement within your space, and though the M215a-J6’s connectivity is limited, it does include optical audio and HDMI eARC ports, as well as a single HDMI input with 4K passthrough.

As a strictly 2.1-channel system, the M215a-J6 relies upon DTS Virtual:X tech to simulate the acoustics of a true surround sound cinema system. Because of this, and the fact that it can’t be expanded with satellite speakers, this soundbar should be looked at as a noticeable upgrade over simple stereo or Bluetooth party speakers. Unfortunately, the M215a-J6 isn’t compatible with Chromecast or AirPlay and, like the Vizio Elevate, the M215a-J6 opts for including a smart speaker input in lieu of built-in virtual assistant support. If you’re looking for Wi-Fi or Chromecast support, you’ll have to spring for the bulkier Elevate system. But if you want more bounce to the ounce without spending buckets of ducats, the M215a-J6 is a best buy.

Best for TV: Vizio M21d-H8R

Why it made the cut: This sleek all-in-one soundbar features dual subwoofers and a short 2.2-inch body, making it a good choice for use in smaller spaces.

Specs

  • Width: 36 inches
  • Channels: 2.1
  • Connectivity: HDMI ARC, Optical, HDMI In

Pros

  • Sleek and compact design fits below TVs
  • DTS Virtual:X surround simulation enhances stereo content
  • Built-in dual subwoofers

Cons

  • No Dolby Atmos support
  • Can’t be upgraded with a subwoofer or satellite speakers
  • Introduces slight audio latency over ARC and optical

If you’re short on space or would just prefer a single-piece unit to one with a wireless subwoofer or other external speakers, the M21d-H8R is the best all-in-one Vizio soundbars. It measures 36 inches wide and only 2.2 inches high, which allows it to fit easily beneath most flatscreens, making it a solid intermediate step between stock TV speakers and a fully fleshed-out audio setup. While it doesn’t produce quite the same level of rumble you can find from a dedicated subwoofer unit, the M21d-H8R features 6 drivers including two built-in woofers that work admirably to push out low-end and low-mid frequencies (delivering a 50Hz – 20KHz frequency range in full). This 2-way 2.1-channel system also lacks Dolby Atmos support and instead mixes down all surround content to stereo, but it aims to compensate by using DTS Virtual:X tech to simulate surround sound.

The M21d-H8R offers no AirPlay, Chromecast, or Wi-Fi support, but users can connect to it via Bluetooth. It’s still a great stripped-down unit with some modern features; for example, it has a single HDMI input that offers 4K passthrough at 60 frames per second. Like the other soundbars in the Vizio product line, the M21d-H8R also has a dedicated smart speaker input that offers compatibility with virtual assistants. In some cases, the soundbar’s ARC and optical ports have been known to introduce slight playback latency, so the soundbar is best paired with devices that offer some amount of latency compensation if that’s important to you.

Best budget: Vizio V20-J8

Why it made the cut: This stripped-down Vizio soundbar offers good bang-for-your-buck thanks to features like Bluetooth, EQ presets, virtual surround sound, and HDMI ARC connectivity.

Specs 

  • Width: 24 inches
  • Channels: 2.0
  • Connectivity: HDMI ARC, Optical

Pros

  • Uses DTS Virtual:X surround sound simulation
  • Virtual assistant support via smart speaker input
  • Compact 24-inch width

Cons

  • Barebones design with no HDMI input
  • Small size lacks volume and stereo width for larger spaces
  • Bass response is somewhat lacking

The V20-J8 is one of the best budget Vizio soundbars because it packs the bare necessities into a compact 24-inch-wide format, making it a good choice for adding increased volume and legibility to your programming in small spaces. It uses a single HDMI ARC port and an Optical port for making connections to your TV, but it also includes Bluetooth connectivity for streaming audio from your smartphone or other devices. The V20-J8 is limited to two full-range speakers/channels (delivering ​​a 70Hz – 20kHz frequency response) and doesn’t offer any surround sound capability, but it employs DTS Virtual:X tech to enhance stereo content and simulate the effects of surround sound within its limited stereo design. Like Vizio’s more expensive soundbars, the V20-J8 offers a smart speaker input for compatibility with virtual assistants.

Being a budget soundbar, the V20-J8 does lack features like an HDMI input, which would allow users to run their devices through the soundbar en route to the TV. It also offers no expandability with extra speakers like subwoofers or satellite speakers, so what you see is what you get. It doesn’t offer the best bass response due to its small size and lack of built-in subwoofers, so if you want to make a small upgrade to your sub-bass without adding an entire separate subwoofer, you might want to spring for the Vizio M21d-H8R above. Additionally, it’s not wide enough to throw out significant stereo effects, so it should really be seen more as an affordable enhancement on your TV’s built-in speakers than an immersion-altering audio system.

FAQs

Q: How much do Vizio soundbars cost?

Vizio soundbars cost anywhere from the ballpark of $100 for single-piece units up to around $1,000 for full multi-speaker surround sound systems.

Q: Which brand of soundbar is the best?

While not as expensive or expansive as flagship offerings from Sony, Sennheiser, and others, Vizio is one of the best approachable brands thanks to its relatively affordable all-in-one surround sound packages that feature cutting-edge audio technologies like Dolby Atmos and 4K passthrough at the top of their product line. When in doubt, you can match your soundbar to the brand of TV you own for maximum compatibility and performance.

Q: Is a Vizio soundbar worth it?

Vizio soundbars are definitely worth it and offer great value when stacked up against other brands thanks to their functional designs. The Vizio Elevate is one of the best soundbars overall in its product class and offers premium functions like Dolby Atmos and 5.1.4-channel audio at a fair price.

Q: What is a good soundbar for a Vizio tv?

In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to match the brand of your TV with the brand of your soundbar. If you’re looking for a standalone soundbar without a subwoofer or satellite speakers, the Vizio M21d-H8R and the Vizio V20-J8 are good options. If you’re considering a full surround system, the Vizio M512a-H6 offers a good price-to-performance ratio, while the Vizio Elevate sits at the top of the product line. If you want something in between, the Vizio M215a-J6 is the best Vizio soundbar with a subwoofer.

Q: How to reset Vizio soundbar?

To perform a power cycle or soft reset on your Vizio soundbar, unplug the soundbar from AC power and hold down the power button for five seconds before reconnecting it and powering it on. To factory reset a Vizio soundbar, consult your soundbar’s manual; each individual model has its own specific hard reset procedure.

Final thoughts on the best Vizio soundbars

The best Vizio soundbar overall is the Vizio Elevate, which delivers top-of-the-line Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback and Chromecast compatibility. If you don’t need Chromecast and you’re looking to save a bit of money and space, the Vizio M512a-H6 is one of the best Vizio soundbars with surround sound in the mid-tier range. The best Vizio soundbar with a subwoofer is the Vizio M215a-J6, which supports Dolby Atmos and offers 4K passthrough, while the best all-in-one Vizio soundbar is the Vizio M21d-H8R thanks to its well-rounded sound and integrated subwoofers. 

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