Vizio M Series 5.1.2 Soundbar System Review: Affordable Atmos Sound

For many years, I Say There is almost no reason to spend a lot of money on TVMost screens are good and cheap, and you can get a great viewing experience for only $1,000.

Vizio’s newest $500 Dolby Atmos soundbar system has the same surround sound effects. The M series 5.1.2 can meet all my needs, from the rumble of my seat in the gunfire of John Wick to the engine whizzing past my head in the Formula One race, but its cost is much lower than most competitors. .

If you have always dreamed of having a theater-like experience at home, but you are worried about the room it will occupy and the holiday fund that it will go bankrupt, then this is a good solution. Unless you browse the r/hometheater subreddit at night and on weekends or buy 4K Blu-ray discs, this $500 system may be what you need.

The atmosphere is not rich

Don’t get me wrong: I like Dolby’s immersive, object-based audio technology, just like the next audio nerd. But finding programs mixed in Atmos or DTS:X is more difficult than you think. With the exception of home-made shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime, there is very little content that uses highly channel mixes that can be streamed on most Atmos systems, which extend the listening plane from horizontal to vertical for sound effects such as rain or wind.

In contrast, most surround sound uses the 5.1 format, which is why the compact Atmos 5.1.2 setup is ideal for most of us. The main bar has traditional center, right and left channels, but Vizio will install several upward-emitting speakers when playing Atmos content. Because the height channel comes from the front, the rear surround can be lighter and smaller, which makes them easier to place. I like this mixed setup very much. You can hear Atmos content when it is available, but this is not the core of the setup design.

Photo: Vizio

Speaking of centerpieces, I haven’t mentioned aesthetics for a reason until now. The bar is a black cloth-wrapped rectangle, which fits Vizio’s new 55-inch M series model (shocking!), and the rear surround is equally unremarkable. The only special design element is that they sit sideways in a hot dog style on the rear speaker stand.

The connected subwoofer is a small cube, you can put it anywhere, but I find it most effective when placed next to my mail-order sofa. It acts as a hub for the rear speakers, and the rear speakers get the signal from the woofer through a pair of proprietary audio cables. The thin black cables are not long enough for the largest living room, but they work well in my medium test room, and I like that they are thin enough to fit under the carpet. If you hate cables, you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for an easy way to hide them.

Remote work

There are five raised buttons at the top of the bar that allow you to turn on the device, change the input, pair with Bluetooth, and adjust the volume. It has two HDMI inputs, but only one eARC port can be connected to your TV.

This is where I usually start talking about how to set up the remote control or adjust it. But honestly, I have never touched this thing. The eARC connection allows me to use the TV’s remote control to adjust the volume and mute bar, otherwise I only use the bar’s buttons. I never even unpacked the remote control. It still sits in the box and has no batteries.

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