Pioneer vs. Vizio 5.1 vs. Energy Elite - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-02-2013, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I've narrowed my soundbar search down to 3 respected soundbars and need some opinions on the Pioneer (Andrew Jones) vs. Vizio 5.1 vs. the Energy Elite.

Background: Most of my soundbar action will be for Sports and Blu Ray Movies, less for straight music streamed or otherwise. TV is a Panasonic 65VT50.

I know that Vizio 5.1 won Best of 2013 CES and Pioneer is a CNET editor's choice, so both would probably be very good choices.

I checked out all 3 at Best Buy and the Audio Specialist in Magnolia was heavily pushing the Energy Elite, though I had not heard much about it until that point.

All 3 are around the same price $300, and I'd love some opinions from owners of all 3, especially if you've compared them before and had to decide.

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-02-2013, 02:06 PM
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If you want the most accurate sound, Pioneer.

If you want a more expansive experience via wider sound stage and true surround, Vizio.

Have not heard the Energy nor have I seen it reviewed in any major publication or on-line, so you are on your own with that one.

If you are dealing with BB, put both on a credit card, take them home. Plug one in and use it for a few days, then the other. Which ever one leaves you feeling most satisfied, keep. The other, return.

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-02-2013, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Would you say that the Vizio's 2 additional speakers make a huge difference?

My instinct is to lean toward Pioneer as they are known for audio, though it really seems to be a toss up with the Vizio, particularly given the Pioneers recent bluetooth connectivity issues....
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-03-2013, 12:03 PM
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And, presumably, the larger 54 inch 5.1 Vizio will be coming out soon. I'm anticipating that the new model will have a different sound.

Possibly the 3.1 version of the 54 inch model will give a sense of the quality of the larger model.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-03-2013, 03:36 PM
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I have owned one Vizio and had a more recent in my home. A recent review of six soundbars, including the Pioneer, had the Vizio as the lowest cost and overall winner and this was the 2.1 only soundbar. Reviewers liked the wider sound stage.

I still prefer the Pioneer for sonic accuracy. My soundbar has replaced a pair of very expensive Infinity speakers, amplifiers and dedicated CD player, over $ 3,000 worth of sound system and it was not much of a let down. My only complaint with the Pioneer is the lack of much sound stage and depth of the image. Other than that, the Pioneer has nearly the same sonic signature of my previous reference system. My requirements were different than most as I was looking for a sound bar to enhance television, which this does quite nicely, but also to listen to classical music.

I have received an early Christmas present of a 2-cd set of Handel's Messiah performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormancy. I owned this years ago on vinyl and my wife and I plan on setting aside at least two hours Sunday afternoon to listen to this. With any previous soundbar, including two that have passed through my home that cost in the neighborhood of $ 2,000.00, I would have given you my "Yeah, rihgt" look if someone suggested I listen to a wonderful performance of a great piece of music being played through a soundbar.

Sitting about 15' from the soundbar, the Pioneer sounds like a very good monophonic speaker (although I can still hear both channels). My preference is good mono (or stereo) over okay sounding multi-channel.

And if you value a surround experience, the rear speakers from the Vizio really do work. To my ears, this works much better than psuedo surround as practiced by Bose and Yamaha.

David Freeman
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