Dear Fellow AVS Members,
I've gotten so much good information off of this site so I just wanted to return the favor for anyone who may have questions about Vizio's new line of Sound Bars. I'll do a quick review but feel free to ask any questions if you want.
Ok, well my wife and I purchased a new house and since we installed hardwood floors along with lots of windows, a traditional 5.1 system was not going to happen. I had a traditional 5.1 system that I had purchased years ago and loved it but it would not be practical in our new house. So, like lots of people, I started doing research on sound bars and that usually led to more questions than answers. After MONTHS of research, I was leaning towards either the Bose 1SR or Definitive Technology SoloCinema sound bars. I got to hear the Bose at a friend's house and LOVED it. Definitely worth the $$$. However, I liked the design of the DT SoloCinema but it had very few reviews and some of those reviews were questionable on the reliability of the unit. Last thing I wanted was to go thru the hassle of purchasing and installing (wall mounted) only to have to take it down and ship it back. During my time deciding on these two bars, I noticed Vizio released their new line of sound bars. The new bar looks EXACTLY like the DT SoloCinema so I decided "What the heck, I'll go to Costco try it out and take it back if it doesn't pan out". Safe to say I was very impressed with the sound. Ok, now more on the unit:
This unit is a nice unit. Design wise, it looks beautiful. Speakers all look to be high quality and good build. I wall mounted the unit and fired it right up (using optical cable for surround sound) and everything connected automatically. The sound right out of the box is good but if you tweak it, it only gets better. As many reviews have said, the bass is TOO high out of the box so it will most likely need to be adjusted. I use the movies The Matrix, Top Gun, Bad Boys II, and Mortal Kombat as my movies to test out surround sound systems. The stock bass settings were good for these movies but when I turned on just regular cable, the bass was easily heard on commercials and got annoying. Just keep in mind that once you adjust the bass, it will work much better. Also remember that the bass Volume AND Bass Level need to be adjusted. I think some people only adjust one and not the other and find the bass is still too loud. The sound bar itself delivers great sound and crystal clear dialogue (which is very important to us). The only thing lacking in this system is the rear surrounds. I played the movies mentioned earlier and no matter how much I tried to tweak things, they are just puny. The only time I could really hear sound coming from them is when I put them basically about 3 feet away from my head. I don't think I could hook another type of speakers up to the subwoofer but I may try just to see IF I can get better sound. Know what I know now, I may have just been better off with the Vizio SB3821W-C6 sound bar which is basically the same size as this one (38 inches shorter vs 40 inches) and is a 2.1 system and $100 cheaper at Costco.
SOUND: As I stated earlier, the sound from this system is really good. While it won't offer earth shattering sound, it does fill the room with lots of sound and really puts you in the movie. My older 5.1 system would easily blow this out of the water but I also spent about $1,500+ on all the speakers as well so its not a fair comparison. I turned these movies up LOUD and there was no distortion on the speakers what-so-ever. The bass is nice and punchy but can be overwhelming if you don't tweak the settings. Rear surround speakers are lacking HEAVILY so don't expect too much rear sound in movies, especially since the bass will drown them out.
I HIGHLY recommend this system for anyone who is looking to either: #1
) improve the sound over their tv. This will really make the movies come alive and sounds leaps and bounds better than the tiny flat screen speakers #2
). Want the benefit of a 5.1 system without breaking the bank and getting a more expensive unit or running hidden wires to get a traditional 5.1 system. This unit is not obviously going to sound as good as my friend's Bose system but it sounds very damn good and also costs about $1,200 less.