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? And when can we buy this thing?
Today, we’ve finally got some answers as Vizio has dropped (almost) all of the details surrounding its 2021 lineup of soundbars. You didn’t read that wrong. Because these products will be sold well into next year, Vizio has chosen to refer to them as 2021 models, not 2020, unlike most other manufacturers.
Here’s what we know so far.
- P514a-H6: $1,000, available fall 2020
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 multi-channel 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.
That’s 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 (SPL) of 107dB, we expect to be mightily impressed by the Elevate when we finally get it in for a listen.
- V21-H8 2.1 model: $180, available now
- V51-H6 5.1 model: $250, available July 5, 2020
Available in two different 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.
- M21d-H8: $150, available July 26, 2020
Built and priced for those who simply want better TV audio from a single speaker enclosure, the M-Series soundbar 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, 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.
- The best soundbars for 2020
- Samsung HW-Q800T review: Alexa, can you say wow?
- How to know if you’re actually getting Dolby Atmos sound
- Yamaha SR-B20A review: Still good, just less value
- Ultimate surround sound guide: From DTS to Dolby Atmos, every format explained