Vizio's New True 5.1 Soundbar S4251W - Page 27 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Soundbars > Vizio's New True 5.1 Soundbar S4251W
FreeBaGeL's Avatar FreeBaGeL 07:46 PM 06-21-2014
Will this work without the satellite speakers hooked up? Or will it try and send the rear sounds to the satellites, then since they're not hooked up you end up not getting that sound at all?

I'd just buy the 4221 but the 4251 is actually quite a bit cheaper right now through the end of the day. If it works just as well as the 4221 when the satellites aren't hooked up that would save a few bucks.

kpiskin's Avatar kpiskin 07:47 PM 06-22-2014
Yes you can just use the sound bar, the sound bar with the subwoofer or all four speakers.
reaperman's Avatar reaperman 07:35 PM 06-24-2014
I have this unit coming ups in a couple of days. Does anyone know if the sub woofer work I do under my bed about 10 feet away. And how long is provided optical cable, thanks.
Citivas's Avatar Citivas 07:51 PM 06-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by reaperman View Post
I have this unit coming ups in a couple of days. Does anyone know if the sub woofer work I do under my bed about 10 feet away. And how long is provided optical cable, thanks.
The subwoofer doesn't need line of site and 10 feet is fine. Is your bed fairly tall? It would be too tap to fit under my bed, or a typical one that has a box spring.

The optical cable is probably 6', maybe 5'. Super thin and not durable but gets the job done.
sethsez 08:28 PM 06-24-2014
Sorry to repeat the question, but can anyone confirm if they get distinct left and right surround channels with test audio?

Here's some links to some tests:

http://www.demo-world.eu/trailers/re...nnel_check.jpg
http://www.mysurround.com/en/info-test
http://www.wooferbasstest.com/downlo...1ch-sound-test

Each of these just play a sound effect out of one speaker at a time. With a true 5.1 setup playing these properly, there should be no crossover between any of the channels until the end when they all play at once. On my setup (and apparently I'm not alone here) the front three channels work fine, the sub works fine, but the surrounds are combined, and that's with a direct optical connection from a source that works perfectly on my other 5.1 setup and which lights up the Dolby sign on the soundbar. I'm wondering if this is an issue with our setups we're not seeing, if it's a problem that affects some of these, or if it's just an inherent part of how this works.
reaperman's Avatar reaperman 08:33 PM 06-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citivas View Post
The subwoofer doesn't need line of site and 10 feet is fine. Is your bed fairly tall? It would be too tap to fit under my bed, or a typical one that has a box spring.

The optical cable is probably 6', maybe 5'. Super thin and not durable but gets the job done.
Can it be laid on its side, I have about a foot of clearance?
naustin's Avatar naustin 11:04 PM 06-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by reaperman View Post
Can it be laid on its side, I have about a foot of clearance?
I doubt that would work. The speaker on the side needs some room to vibrate.
sethsez 11:32 PM 06-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sethsez View Post
Sorry to repeat the question, but can anyone confirm if they get distinct left and right surround channels with test audio?

Here's some links to some tests:

http://www.demo-world.eu/trailers/re...nnel_check.jpg
http://www.mysurround.com/en/info-test
http://www.wooferbasstest.com/downlo...1ch-sound-test

Each of these just play a sound effect out of one speaker at a time. With a true 5.1 setup playing these properly, there should be no crossover between any of the channels until the end when they all play at once. On my setup (and apparently I'm not alone here) the front three channels work fine, the sub works fine, but the surrounds are combined, and that's with a direct optical connection from a source that works perfectly on my other 5.1 setup and which lights up the Dolby sign on the soundbar. I'm wondering if this is an issue with our setups we're not seeing, if it's a problem that affects some of these, or if it's just an inherent part of how this works.
Quoting myself just to follow up on this... I called Vizio and asked about this behavior. Long discussion short, yep, this is working as intended. A mono signal is sent to the surrounds and then expanded to cut down on latency since it's a wireless connection. Because of this, using a true 5.1 signal is only somewhat better than using fake surround processing: it doesn't simulate what gets sent to the surrounds, but it still simulates what happens there.

Unfortunately for me, that means I'm going to be returning it. I really do like how it sounds on a technical level (at least as far as soundbars go), but I find fake surround effects using real surround speakers to be more distracting than involving, and that's the entirety of how this particular unit works. A shame, but hey, I'm glad it fits the bill for some people, even if it doesn't for me.
Shockwave199's Avatar Shockwave199 12:08 AM 06-27-2014
That's pretty interesting actually. I'm amazed you got someone at vizio technical enough to answer the question. I've sat in 5.1 surround systems and I've sat in this vizio 5.1 system. Whatever is going on, I like it a ton. One persons distraction is another persons involvement! I'm immersed in the sound stage, convincingly so. I just got done watching Pacific Rim and for most of the movie I was like, wow, lol. It can even make a so-so movie fun, lol! The Avengers blew..me..away. Anyway, good luck getting something just right for you.
sethsez 12:34 AM 06-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave199 View Post
I'm amazed you got someone at vizio technical enough to answer the question.
That was definitely part of the "long discussion short." To their credit, the people who didn't know what was going on didn't try to BS me.

But yeah, I really like how it sounds in every other sense, and for some movies it doesn't bother me (ambient sound isn't really affected at all), but when I see a car driving in from the right and hear it driving in from directly behind (and my other system confirms it's the soundbar and not just a bad mix), I find it disconcerting. Hell of a soundbar otherwise, though, so enjoy it!
Shockwave199's Avatar Shockwave199 03:15 AM 06-27-2014
What's interesting is that I haven't run into that situation yet. In your example, I hear the car driving in from the right. And not always from the rear. If the car drives in from behind the right shoulder to in front of me, the right rear is more involved until the car is more forward. I don't get just a mono faux stereo split from the rear. At least I don't perceive it that way. I get right side left side information depending on the action. The only time I sense the most stereo involvement overall is the musical soundtrack part of the movie when it takes over and even that has instrument panning and fires all around depending on the mix. Other than that the rears are directional and have always fed me placement appropriate information. The very best movies I've listened for it believe it or not, is animated, such as cloudy with a chance of meatballs, monsters University, Franken weenie, etc. The action in that material really puts the sound stage to the test. The only thing I wish I could have is my rears a bit higher and a bit further back. Sometimes they are a bit too directional, but that's mostly in the seats outside of center in my den. Aiming the rears universally for seating and to widen the bar R/L without pulling it apart took some time. But as always, the best seats are center for sure.
sethsez 12:23 PM 06-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave199 View Post
What's interesting is that I haven't run into that situation yet. In your example, I hear the car driving in from the right. And not always from the rear. If the car drives in from behind the right shoulder to in front of me, the right rear is more involved until the car is more forward. I don't get just a mono faux stereo split from the rear. At least I don't perceive it that way. I get right side left side information depending on the action. The only time I sense the most stereo involvement overall is the musical soundtrack part of the movie when it takes over and even that has instrument panning and fires all around depending on the mix. Other than that the rears are directional and have always fed me placement appropriate information. The very best movies I've listened for it believe it or not, is animated, such as cloudy with a chance of meatballs, monsters University, Franken weenie, etc. The action in that material really puts the sound stage to the test. The only thing I wish I could have is my rears a bit higher and a bit further back. Sometimes they are a bit too directional, but that's mostly in the seats outside of center in my den. Aiming the rears universally for seating and to widen the bar R/L without pulling it apart took some time. But as always, the best seats are center for sure.
Do you still get fully discrete sounds with the test audio I linked a bit higher on this page? Ideally they should all present six sound effects with absolutely no crossover... if you get that in the surrounds I'd be very interested, it might signal that something actually is messed up with mine.

Incidentally, Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs was the movie I decided to inaugurate the soundbar with, and it's what first made me notice the issue.
Shockwave199's Avatar Shockwave199 02:34 PM 06-27-2014
I'm on my tablet and can't seem to get the files you posted. I just played cloudy DVD and I seem to get discrete but it's very tough without actual speaker file tests. I can play system tests via youtube but I don't think that's giving true results.
sethsez 06:27 PM 06-27-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave199 View Post
I'm on my tablet and can't seem to get the files you posted. I just played cloudy DVD and I seem to get discrete but it's very tough without actual speaker file tests. I can play system tests via youtube but I don't think that's giving true results.
Yeah, you can't get 5.1 over Bluetooth and Youtube downmixes everything to stereo.
jimmy311page's Avatar jimmy311page 12:29 AM 07-01-2014
Like a true *******, I purchased this knowing nothing about it. I have a ps4, Xbox one, and a dish hopper. Is there a way to have more then one of these hooked up at once? All three only have optical out from what I can see. #dumbass
Citivas's Avatar Citivas 08:07 AM 07-01-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy311page View Post
Like a true *******, I purchased this knowing nothing about it. I have a ps4, Xbox one, and a dish hopper. Is there a way to have more then one of these hooked up at once? All three only have optical out from what I can see. #dumbass
This sound bar is really optimized for connecting all those devices directly to your TV then using the Optical or Digital Coax out to the sound bar and letting the TV pass the audio. The downside is some TV's downgrade the audio output to 2.1 instead of 5.1. Vizio TV's and some Sony's do not downgrade. Not sure about the rest.

An possible alternative for either your PS4 or XB1 is to use the HDMI out to the TV and use the AV cable out (if either still have one like the 3 and the 360 did) to use just the red/white RCA cables to send sound to the sound bar as a second source.

The third option is to get a splitter.

Fourth option is to return the sound bar and get one that does HDMI switching. But to get one with at least 3 HDMI inputs that doesn't suck sound-wise will be far more expensive than this sound bar.
Shockwave199's Avatar Shockwave199 08:19 PM 07-01-2014
You can try this

http://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-TOSLINK...cable+solitter

Make sure it's the 3 in 1out version.
tiki master's Avatar tiki master 12:07 AM 07-03-2014
Has anyone noticed that the top of soundbar gets pretty warm on one spot near the left after it's been used for awhile?
Bond 007's Avatar Bond 007 05:07 AM 07-03-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiki master View Post
Has anyone noticed that the top of soundbar gets pretty warm on one spot near the left after it's been used for awhile?
Most likely where the amp is located.
tiki master's Avatar tiki master 04:09 AM 07-05-2014
So I have a ps3 connected via HDMI to my e series vizio tv that passes 5.1 through optical. Then I have my sound bar connected to the tv via optical cable. Everything works fine except that I get a few second delay when navigating my ps3. Basically, if the audio from the source has stopped (say a paused movie, or inactivity on the ps3 home screen) and then you start the audio source up again, there is a significant (2-3 second) delay during which time the video plays but there is no sound. The sound then fades back in (in sync with the video, so it's not a sync issue) and continues on as if it never happened. After a period of inactivity there is also an audio delay on the clicking noises when I'm navigating the crossbar media center on the ps3 home screen. The issue is always reproducible. I tried the firmware update by following the directions posted on Vizio's site but I wasn't getting the same results that they said I should be getting. Like I don't think the firmware successfully got installed on the sound bar. So my question is if anyone else has noticed the audio delay on the ps3 and if this firmware update fixed the problem? Also if someone updated the firmware on this bar, how did you do it?
sethsez 12:03 AM 07-06-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiki master View Post
So I have a ps3 connected via HDMI to my e series vizio tv that passes 5.1 through optical. Then I have my sound bar connected to the tv via optical cable. Everything works fine except that I get a few second delay when navigating my ps3. Basically, if the audio from the source has stopped (say a paused movie, or inactivity on the ps3 home screen) and then you start the audio source up again, there is a significant (2-3 second) delay during which time the video plays but there is no sound. The sound then fades back in (in sync with the video, so it's not a sync issue) and continues on as if it never happened. After a period of inactivity there is also an audio delay on the clicking noises when I'm navigating the crossbar media center on the ps3 home screen. The issue is always reproducible. I tried the firmware update by following the directions posted on Vizio's site but I wasn't getting the same results that they said I should be getting. Like I don't think the firmware successfully got installed on the sound bar. So my question is if anyone else has noticed the audio delay on the ps3 and if this firmware update fixed the problem? Also if someone updated the firmware on this bar, how did you do it?
That's just how this bar works, if there's a period of silence it'll take a second or two to kick back in. It's unrelated to the previous firmware issue, which would completely mute the sound bar and require you to turn it off and on again.
tiki master's Avatar tiki master 01:52 AM 07-06-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sethsez View Post
That's just how this bar works, if there's a period of silence it'll take a second or two to kick back in. It's unrelated to the previous firmware issue, which would completely mute the sound bar and require you to turn it off and on again.
That's a flaw that I think requires a new firmware upgrade. I followed the instructions provided by Vizio to install the firmware update but I could not successfully install it onto the bar. Any tips on how to install it? Thank you for clarifying though.
Detonation's Avatar Detonation 07:10 AM 07-08-2014
So I can get the well reviewed 2.1 Vizio soundbar (S3821w-C0) for $130 right now, or this 5.1 version (S4251w-B4) for $250 or possibly a little less. Do you think it's worth the extra $100+ for the rear speakers and larger soundbar? This is for my bedroom where I'll be doing gaming (Xbox One) and movie/tv watching (Uverse)
tiki master's Avatar tiki master 11:13 AM 07-08-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Detonation View Post
So I can get the well reviewed 2.1 Vizio soundbar (S3821w-C0) for $130 right now, or this 5.1 version (S4251w-B4) for $250 or possibly a little less. Do you think it's worth the extra $100+ for the rear speakers and larger soundbar? This is for my bedroom where I'll be doing gaming (Xbox One) and movie/tv watching (Uverse)
I personally would get the 5.1 system. I upgraded from a Yamaha yas-101 2.1 system which was great, but this 5.1 Vizio makes everything, including video games, so much more immersive due to the rear speakers. Also look around for cheaper prices. I know that Sam's Club had it for $218, but I'm not sure if that price is still valid.
codispdp 09:29 AM 07-09-2014
I presently have a 55 inch Samsung Smart TV with a Samsung soundbar with wireless sub woofer. I have it connected using the optical cable on the TV and when I turn the TV on the soundbar automatically comes on.

Will this Visio soundbar do the same? and aslo can a non-visio TV remote be programmed for volume?
S14Silvia's Avatar S14Silvia 12:37 PM 07-09-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Detonation View Post
So I can get the well reviewed 2.1 Vizio soundbar (S3821w-C0) for $130 right now, or this 5.1 version (S4251w-B4) for $250 or possibly a little less. Do you think it's worth the extra $100+ for the rear speakers and larger soundbar? This is for my bedroom where I'll be doing gaming (Xbox One) and movie/tv watching (Uverse)
It's a steal at $170 - TODAY ONLY: http://sellout.woot.com/offers/vizio-42-5-1-bt-soundbar-w-wireless-sub-3
S14Silvia's Avatar S14Silvia 12:40 PM 07-09-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiki master View Post
That's a flaw that I think requires a new firmware upgrade. I followed the instructions provided by Vizio to install the firmware update but I could not successfully install it onto the bar. Any tips on how to install it? Thank you for clarifying though.
Same issue here. Check this thread: Update Vizio 5.1 bar firmware
tiki master's Avatar tiki master 01:44 PM 07-09-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by S14Silvia View Post
Same issue here. Check this thread: Update Vizio 5.1 bar firmware
Thanks for the link.
JD4L's Avatar JD4L 11:58 PM 07-09-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sethsez View Post
That was definitely part of the "long discussion short." To their credit, the people who didn't know what was going on didn't try to BS me.

But yeah, I really like how it sounds in every other sense, and for some movies it doesn't bother me (ambient sound isn't really affected at all), but when I see a car driving in from the right and hear it driving in from directly behind (and my other system confirms it's the soundbar and not just a bad mix), I find it disconcerting. Hell of a soundbar otherwise, though, so enjoy it!
Did you make sure to change everything from PCM to bitstream? When I play a game or something and like a grenade goes off behind me to my left I only hear it from my rear left speaker
rrollens's Avatar rrollens 06:21 PM 07-14-2014
Any idea when other retailers like Costco and Sam's Club will be selling the 5451?
Tags: Vizio S4251w B4 5 1 Soundbar
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