Vizio S4221W-C4 vs Vizio S4251w-B4 vs Sony Sony HTCT260H - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-05-2014, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to add a sound bar to the following setup:

 

Older Panasonic plasma TV - one optical digital out

TiVo Roamio Pro - one optical digital out, component out, and stereo rca out

PS3 - one optical digital out  (and stereo rca out - need to be able to connect PS3 with analog, as well, for Rocksmith)

 

I use the TiVo for everything except for Blu Rays, which I use the PS3 for. 

 

From what I understand, the optical out on most TVs only outputs stereo sound.  If this is the case, then I could only get surround sound from the TiVo OR the PS3, by running the optical cable to the soundbar.

 

So far, I have narrowed my choices down to:

  Vizio S4221W-C4 

  Vizio S4251w-B4 

  Sony HTCT260H

 

The Vizio S4251w-B4 is a 5.1 system, while the other two are 2.1 systems.  Getting decent sound is my primary concern, and I don't absolutely have to have the surround sound.  I am really more concerned about the lack of a center channel speaker than the surround speakers.

 

I wonder if it would be better to go with the Vizio S4251w-B4, manually switching the outputs, when necessary or "settle" for either the Vizio S4221W-C4 or the Sony HTCT260H.  I know that the Sony HTCT260H has the HDMI, but my TV is older so it doesn't support ARC.

 

What do you think would be the best out of these three?  Thanks a lot.

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post #2 of 13 Old 01-05-2014, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I saw some information posted in another thread about an optical audio switch that would let me run all of the necessary outputs into any of the sound bars that I had previously mentioned.  Since the 5.1 system is only $50 more, I will probably end up going with the Vizio S4251w-B4.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-09-2014, 02:53 PM
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Did you end up purchasing the 4251? I've narrowed my sound bar choices to the same three and I'm leaning towards the 4251 as well. Despite the headaches of getting true 5.1, I think it's worth the extra $50. Mind you, if you're willing to wait a bit longer, the new 5451 was just announced so depending on the price, it might be a better option altogether.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-09-2014, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I ended up going with the Sony, even though I think that the Vizio will sound better. I just didn't want to deal with complaining about the volume level, due to the large volume increments on the Vizio. I will let you know what I think of the Sony. It should be in tomorrow.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-12-2014, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I am pretty happy with the Sony soundbar.  It is a huge improvement over using the TV speakers, and for having a smaller speaker in it, the sub puts out good bass.  I don't think that the treble is as bad a a few people have let on, but I still think that the Vizio will sound better, having real tweeters in it. The volume range of the Sony is very adjustable, which was my biggest fear with the Vizio.  If you end up with it, let me know what you think of it.

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post #6 of 13 Old 02-13-2014, 07:42 PM
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Bump

Lol, google search, and you are the thread starter for 2 things I'm interested in.

I'm currently grappling with the same choice. I have a Samsung soundbar+wireless sub right now attached over the top of our Sony W850A with Sewell brackets.
I'm going to move that soundbar to a SamsungTV in another room.
I've also narrowed my choice to the Sony or Vizio 2.1 you have listed.

Are you still happy with your 260H? Is there any way you could take a pic of your above TV setup?

Here's mine:

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post #7 of 13 Old 03-16-2014, 04:51 PM
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I know I am late to the thread but I just returned the sony 260 after spending a week with it and replaced it with the 4221. The sony was ok but the sub was disappointing. The crossover was too high which led to sounds and voices coming from the sub that should have been from the bar only. It sounded bad and it localized the sub. The overall sound was really loose and boomy, just too much bass in a bad way. The vizio sub is much cleaner and punchier, with a lower crossover so it is harder to locate the bass in the room. The volume increments are not an issue for me at all. Vizio is the hands down winner for me.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-16-2014, 05:33 PM
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-17-2014, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancaster View Post

I decided to hold out for this one:

http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-speaker-systems/vizio-s5451w-c2/4505-7868_7-35833918.html

I considered waiting too but I got impatient. There is also a 3851 on the way but no release date announced yet, could be May/June and then another few months for prices to become reasonable.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-22-2014, 08:59 PM
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I haven't tried the sony but i had the samsung f450 for two weeks and enjoyed it a lot. I returned it for the vision 4251 to get the surround experience, i like it so far but it's sound flat compared to the samsung in music. So for movies i would go Vizio, for music Sony or Samsung, vizio dissapointed me on music so far there is no detail.
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-23-2014, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick2099 View Post
I ended up going with the Sony, even though I think that the Vizio will sound better. I just didn't want to deal with complaining about the volume level, due to the large volume increments on the Vizio. I will let you know what I think of the Sony. It should be in tomorrow.
Just to clean up this thread, the volume increment issue is much reduced if you train the soundbar to recognize your TV's IR volume control and then use that to adjust volume. Not sure if it matters what brand TV control is used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123go View Post
I haven't tried the sony but i had the samsung f450 for two weeks and enjoyed it a lot. I returned it for the vision 4251 to get the surround experience, i like it so far but it's sound flat compared to the samsung in music. So for movies i would go Vizio, for music Sony or Samsung, vizio dissapointed me on music so far there is no detail.
Here I'll ask the same question I asked in the other thread you posted this comment in. Were you listinging to a 5.1 music source, because I have noticed the Vizio doesn't do faux 5.1 music too well. The faux 5.1 for TV/Movie isn't too bad, but the music just doesn't sound right.
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post #12 of 13 Old 12-23-2014, 10:06 PM
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well on my ps4 an optical and i set it to PCM cause if i put it on dolby or Dts speakers will only work for games not for USB music ...
so i guess PCM is still true 5.1
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-18-2015, 12:28 PM
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Hi guys

I'd like to piggy back on this post because I'm having pretty much the same question has the tread starter.

I want a bar for my second living room where a computer is hooked up to a small 32 inch tv. Even if the picture is small I still like a good sound. The furniture in that room doesn't really allow for a receiver (damn cabinet have 6 inches tall compartment). soooo pretty much stuck with a soundbar option.

I just came back from futur shop and listened to the vizio s4221 and s4251

Strangelly enough the s4251 seemed to have more bass (as far as I know it's the same sub in both). Anyway, to my hear the 4251 sounded better with music.

I almost bought it even if I didn't sound perfect to me... I was figuring for the price that it would improve my tv sound... but at the cash I felt like I should really try to listen to the s5451 before buying. They didn't have any in store.

Here is my questions... I don't really need the back speakers so is the 4221 and 4251 should have sounded pretty much the same? Was I tricked by some settings at the store?

And most important question... did someone try the s5451 vs the s4251. There is a 200 dollars canadian difference so I'm wondering if the bigger one really sound better or if it's just numbers there...

Like I said... the s4251 seemed good enough for me but I could hear something was a little wrong... i'll take the plunge with the larger one if it does sound better with music... I have no doubt that either would do well for movies because I'm less picky about that.

P.S. please don't bash my english...it's my second langage... working on improving it everyday!
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