There are a lot of soundbar options available to the market, but not all of them feature 5.1, decent sound, wireless speakers (outside of power) and carries a good price on top of it. VIZIO pulls it off with the S4251w-B4 5.1 Soundbar.
This system delivers a decent amount of sound to it which conquers the other options within it’s price range. The audio is clear, crisp and although it doesn’t have a perfect range to it….it’s also only $299. It’s really had to argue with a price like that. Typically even brands like Samsung (which we are big fans of usually) don’t offer a good option at that price.
It supports general stereo (and can upscale it with Dolby Prologic), Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround decoding, plus DTS Tru Volume and DTS Circle Surround audio post processing.
The speakerbar system can fill just about any small to mid-size living room (even larger). The rear speakers and sub are wireless and only require a power outlet to be near by. All of this works right out of the box with no receiver required. Like any soundbar, it connects directly to the TV. The rear speakers connect to the sub via wire which you position behind with the rears so no wires are seen, and the sub connects all 3 wirelessly to the bar. .
The best environment for this system is a room where you either don’t need the larger sound of a full-out system and/or don’t want the footprint of such a system. The bar looks nice sitting/hanging below your favorite TV and allows you to experience movies and games at a level much higher than what your TV can provide by itself.
It comes with a remote but you can toss the remote behind the TV or a nice storage space as the speaker bar can be taught to receive volume commands from your TV’s remote. It also turns itself on and off automatically with the TV, so that you never have to worry about anything but volume.
The only issue with any remote (regardless which remote you use), is that it does seem to rely on line-of-sight. If you don’t have a completely direct shot with the remote, it doesn’t always want to respond. This can get a little annoying if the soundbar isn’t completely exposed near the sensor. In most scenarios, this shouldn’t be a problem, but for some households with decor-hungry dwellers, this may become a threat.
On top of that, it also supports Bluetooth, allowing you to connect your favorite wireless devices (that support Bluetooth) to it for audio playback.
It wound up winning “Best of CES” in 2013 (yes, we are a little late in reviewing this), and for good reason. Like I pointed out, the price is great for what you get.
The total width of the bar itself is 42-inches. We do NOT recommend slapping this on an over-sized TV (anything more than 60-inches) as it will obviously dwarf the massiveness of what the TV is trying to deliver. Of course, if you were building out a room large enough to handle such a TV, you wouldn’t bother trying to fill it with just a soundbar solution anyway.
You can find more information below including specs, a video presentation by Vizio, additional images and MOST important, how you can win it!
It is a great soundbar solution if you are looking to stick within the $300 range and have the right room to fill with it. It sounds great for the price and is very user friendly. We decided to give it a 7.5 out of 10 (if you narrow it down just to it’s price range, you could consider it 8/10).
Like any digital home audio device, we always recommend upgrading it’s firmware to the latest version. Since the soundbar doesn’t connect directly to the internet, you will have to consult the instructions or call Vizio’s great customer service that should be able to walk you through it.
|Sound Bar Size:||42″|
|Sound Bar Speakers:||Left & Right Channels (each) – 2x
3” mid-range drivers, 1x ¾” tweeters
Center Channel – 2x 2.5” full range
|Surround Speakers:||Left & Right Surround Channels
(each) – 1x 2.5” full-range driver
|Subwoofer Speakers:||6.0” Subwoofer|
|Sound Pressure Level:||102dB|
|Sound Bar Frequency:||90Hz – 20KHz|
|Subwoofer Frequency:||50Hz – 90Hz|
|Audio Decoding Technology:||Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround|
|Sound Enhancement Technology:||DTS TruVolume, DTS Circle
|Wireless Range (Subwoofer):||60’ Line of sight|
|Sound Bar Buttons:||Power, Input, Bluetooth, Volume Up,
|Power Input:||120V 60Hz|
|Installation:||Table top and wall-mountable|
|Analog Audio Input:||1 x Stereo RCA|
|Analog Audio Input:||1x 3.5mm stereo mini jack|
|Digital Audio Input:||1x RCA (Coaxial)|
|Digital Audio Input:||1x Optical (Toslink)|
|USB Input:||1x USB (for .WAV audio Playback)|
|Sound Bar w/ Feet
|Sound Bar w/ Feet
|42.32”W x 3.74″H x 3.15″D|
|Satellites:||3.18”W x 7.42”H x 2.77”D|
|Subwoofer:||6.93”W x 12.52”H x 15.86”D|
|Packaging:||44.5”W x 10”H x 18.6”D|
|Sound Bar, Wireless Subwoofer, 2 x Rear Satellite Speakers,RCA
Cables for Satellite Speakers, Display Remote, RCA to 3.5mm Audio
Cable, Digital Coaxial Cable, Optical Digital Cable, Wall mounts, Quick
Start Guide, Sound Bar Power Cable, Wireless Subwoofer Power
Want to know how you can win the soundbar? Simply like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter and then click on “contact us” above. For the subject enter “VIZIO 5.1 Soundbar Giveaway” and include the link to your Facebook or Twitter profile in the body along with your name, phone number and address. We will be announcing the winner on Twitter and Facebook next week, and you will be notified by email. Good luck!
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.