Sound bars are great if you’re looking for better sound from your TV, but don’t want to spend the extra time and money for a home theater system. The only problem is that, compared to a full system with an A/V receiver, sound bars don’t really do much when you’re not using your TV.
Vizio is looking to change that with its new SmartCast line of sound bars, announced on Tuesday. Not only do these pack all the features you’d normally see in a quality sound bar, but they also add in a little something extra: music streaming over Wi-Fi using Google Cast. Throw in Bluetooth and the SmartCast app that can turn any mobile device into a remote, and these sound bars start to seem like something special.
“The new Vizio SmartCast sound bar lineup was designed not only to accompany big screens to create an immersive home theater experience, but also serve as a great home audio source,” Vizio chief technology officer Matt McRae said in a statement.
“The Vizio SmartCast app allows consumers to seamlessly Cast and control their music right from their mobile device across a variety of configurations. Coupled with the collection’s sleek industrial design, the Vizio SmartCast audio solutions are a must-have addition to any home.”
Depending on the model, the new SmartCast line of sound bars come in channel counts ranging from 2.1 to 5.1. The flagship 45-inch slim sound bar measures 2 inches high and 2 inches deep, and comes with rear channel satellite speakers as well as a compact 3-inch subwoofer that can be stowed under a couch. Vizio claims this system can reach up to 104dB SPL (Sound Pressure Level), with bass reaching as low as 30Hz.
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All nine new models in the Vizio SmartCast line are available now via the company’s website. Prices range from $180 for the most affordable 38-inch model up to $500 for the top of the line 45-inch, 5.1-channel model.