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Vizio M-Series 5.1 soundbar shows up as a Costco exclusive for $300

Ever since we set our eyes on the cool, auto-rotating speaker pods adorning the ends of Vizio’s new Elevate Dolby Atmos soundbar, we’ve really only had two questions. How much will it cost? And when can we buy this thing?

We’ve finally got our answer: All of Vizio’s 2021 lineup of soundbars are now available, including the flagship Elevate 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos soundbar.

Here’s the full lineup, with prices and availability.

Vizio Elevate

Vizio 2021 elevate soundbar
  • Vizio Elevate — P514a-H6: $1,000, available now

The aluminum-clad Vizio Elevate stole the soundbar show at CES 2020 thanks to its slick design and innovative rotating speaker pods. They switch automatically from front-firing mode when listening to 2-channel stereo or multichannel surround to up-firing mode when the soundbar detects object-based soundtracks in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.

The Elevate is equipped with two HDMI inputs and one HDMI ARC/eARC port for connecting to your TV. We’d prefer to see more inputs, but this arrangement is pretty standard right now for Dolby Atmos soundbars.

What you couldn’t see in previous press photos is that the Elevate isn’t just a tricked-out soundbar — it’s also a full 5.1.4 system with a dedicated 8-inch wireless subwoofer and surround speakers, each with their own built-in up-firing drivers. Also on tap is Bluetooth and Chromecast for wireless audio streaming and Vizio’s new Voice Assistant Input.

These features are a good indication that even with a flagship product like the Elevate, Vizio has maintained its reputation for outstanding value when you consider that similar products from LG and Samsung cost many hundreds of dollars more.

With a total of 18 drivers spread across 10 channels and a maximum sound pressure level of 107dB, we expect to be mightily impressed by the Elevate when we finally get it in for a listen.

Vizio M-Series

Vizio 2021 M-series soundbar
  • M21d-H8: $150, available now
  • M51a-H6: $300, available now as a Costco exclusive

Vizio’s M-Series soundbars are for those who who are looking for very good sound quality and features, but aren’t quite ready to splash out for the Elevate’s higher price.

Released on December 11 as a Costco exclusive, the M-Series 5.1 (M51a-H6) is a 36-inch soundbar with a total of 9 drivers plus a 6-inch wireless subwoofer and two discrete surround speakers that can be placed at the rear of your viewing area. It’s compatible with both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, but with these 3D sound formats, the height channels have been virtualized.

When Vizio advised us of the M51’s availability, was indeed showing the model as available. However, as of December 15, Costco’s site is showing a “product not found” message. Hopefully it’s just a temporary out-of-stock situation.

The highly affordable M-Series M21 incorporates all of its drivers into one slender bar. Inside are six drivers, two of which are dedicated 3-inch subwoofers for deep low-end sound.

Like the V-Series below, the M21 gets dialogue enhancement plus DTS Virtual:X. Its two HDMI inputs support HDMI ARC and Dolby Vision passthrough. Bluetooth, dedicated remote control, and Voice Assistant Input round out the M21’s features.

Vizio V-Series

Vizio 2021 V-series soundbar
  • V21-H8 2.1 model: $180, available now
  • V51-H6 5.1 model: $250, available now

Available in two configurations, both with 5-inch wireless subwoofers, the new V-Series soundbars are for people who want the benefits of surround sound without the extra expense of a full Dolby Atmos setup.

The 2.1 channel V21 provides virtualized surround sound through its dedicated front left and right channels, while the 5.1 channel V51 can do discrete surround via front left, right, and center channels, plus two dedicated surround speakers.

Both models offer dialogue enhancement, Dolby Audio, and DTS Virtual:X for a more immersive surround sound experience. Bluetooth and HDMI ARC connections are standard, as is Vizio’s new Voice Assistant Input.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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