If you’ve been waiting for killer soundbar deals to get on the Dolby Atmos gravy train, check out this system from big-ticket retailer Best Buy. For Cyber Monday, the company’s ad — a complete home theater audio system — for $300. That translates to savings of $200.
This Vizio system-in-a-box is a 5.1.2 channel setup, where you’ll get the soundbar with its five overall speakers (two are upfiring), a wireless subwoofer, and two rear satellite speakers. This was one of our favorite new soundbars when it first launched. Ryan Waniata of Digital Trends had high praise in his review as it trimmed the fat from both the price tag and the sides of the previous model’s soundbar without sacrificing speaker count.
The Vizio SB36512-F6 is considered an “affordable” entry-level soundbar system, but at a usual $500 (and a whopping $700 when it first debuted), it isn’t exactly cheap outside of this Cyber Monday sale. But why does it cost so much? You can thank Dolby Atmos for that. This audio technology picks up metadata embedded in your favorite films and shows to alter the sound in line with the director’s vision. It’s a surround sound technology, but more than just pushing out all the audio in all the directions, Dolby Atmos uses a set of upfiring drivers alongside the forward-facing ones to create a 3D soundstage.
The film studio adds audio information in post, which is like an instruction manual for Atmos kits. It tells the system where to place each individual sound. The result is a movie experience where you feel surrounded by the action. When a car comes racing down the street from behind the frame and then off into the distance ahead, you’ll hear its noise move from back to front in your home theater accordingly.
More than theater-level sound, you’re getting Bluetooth, meaning you can connect your smartphones and use it for music while you thrash about the house. Have more than one Vizio SmartCast device? You can sync them all up and enjoy multi-room wireless audio. There’s even Wi-Fi (or Ethernet) streaming with Chromecast support if Bluetooth is too spotty for you.
The Vizio SB36512-F6 features a simple remote and on-unit buttons for managing sound settings, but with Google Assistant integration, you can just as well use your voice. There’s a lot to like here, and we doubt you’ll find it this cheap months from now. Best Buy is also throwing in four months of Apple Music for free if you pull the trigger on this Cyber Monday deal.
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