Our VIZIO 29-inch SB2920 soundbar review will explore the features and drawbacks of the aforementioned audio device. The advent of high-res, high-definition televisions ushered in a new trend: Mediocre internal speakers.
Those of us that are old enough to remember our old-timey televisions remember the thundering resonance of the CRT box at high volume. We’ve now swapped the rumble of the bulky tube for the ultra-thin design, the peerless picture quality and the underwhelming sound of modern TV sets.
This drives many TV owners to shop for audio devices that upgrade the sound quality of their entertainment nooks. For the buyers who are in the market for a budget soundbar, the 29-inch Vizio SB2920-C6 promises to render great sound on a budget. Does it deliver? Let’s jump into our VIZIO 29-inch SB2920 soundbar review and take an in-depth look at how this soundbar performs.
VIZIO 29-inch SB2920 soundbar review part 1: Unboxing
The Vizio 2920-C6 impresses right out of the box. Maybe it’s because the soundbar ships with a fully functional set of mounting gear, complete with a mounting template. You will also find the usual accompaniments: A pair of AAA batteries, a remote and a power adapter. Vizio also provides a nice selection of input cables, namely:
- Digital optical audio cable
- RCA-3.5mm cable
- Coaxial audio cable
The SB2920-C6 has a simple, compact design that allows it to disappear into your entertainment rig. At 29 inches long and a height of only three inches, the soundbar sits low enough to allow a clear line of sight between the remote and the IR sensor on your TV. Unless your TV sits flush on the tabletop.
This nifty soundbar is an oblong affair covered in black cloth on the front and top surfaces. You’ll notice a column of LEDs on the left end of the soundbar. There’s also a set of useful controls on the top surface of the 2920-C6.
Vizio adds its signature look with silver side-covers that carry the Vizio logo. Like most soundbars, the inputs of the Vizio SB2920-C6 are at the back, which is housed in black plastic.
Inputs and connectivity
Being a budget soundbar the Vizio 2920 only has a limited selection of ports. Apart from a power port, the 2920 also has a USB port, an optical port, a pair of RCA ports and a coaxial port for ‘legacy’ devices. Don’t expect any HDMI ports or the audio formats that they support.
However, the soundbar does have Bluetooth capability, allowing you to channel audio from any Bluetooth-enabled devices. Our VIZIO 29-inch SB2920 soundbar review is just getting started.
Setup and ease of use
Budget soundbars are often plug-and-play rigs that are easy to set up. The only part that requires a smidge of effort is mounting the SB2920 on the wall, which is actually not that hard. The instructions and mounting template that come with the mounting gear have you covered.
Once the soundbar is in place, you simply connect the TV via the input port of your choosing and turn on the power. The TV will automatically detect the Vizio SB2920-C6 and redirect sound to its speakers.
The controls at the top of the soundbar allow you to select inputs, adjust the volume and turn the Bluetooth on or off. The remote has similar controls, as well as special keys that allow you to adjust the bass and treble levels. It would be nice if the Vizio SB2920-C6 had a digital display, but you’ll have to settle for a column of LEDs instead. The user manual will tide you over until you learn to decode the different LED combinations.
VIZIO 29-inch SB2920 soundbar review: Sound
The most important performance metric for audio equipment is sound quality, which is a function of hardware. The number, specification and orientation of individual speakers play a big role in the performance of a soundbar. Let’s take a look at what this 29-inch 2.0 channel Vizio soundbar is working with.
1. Channels, sound stage and virtual surround sound
The Vizio SB2920-C6 is a 2.0 channel soundbar, which means it comes with a pair of internal drivers but no accompanying subwoofer. In contrast, a soundbar with two channels and a subwoofer is denoted as a 2.1 channel soundbar.
The Vizio 2920-C6 has a pair of forward-firing, 2.5-inch full-range stereo speakers. Vizio manipulates the directionality of the two drivers to create virtual surround sound. It’s worth mentioning that you can connect a subwoofer to the soundbar via the subwoofer output, which you’ll find at the back of the soundbar along with the other ports.
2. Frequency range and sound reproduction
This soundbar produces sound frequencies that only go as low as 70Hz, which is pretty high for bass. It can also go as high as 19KHz. Because of the comparatively high-pitched bass, the Vizio SB2920-C6 is limited in its ability to produce rumbling movie effects and thumping music. So it’s a good thing that it comes with a subwoofer port that allows you to add an external source of bass. On the treble side, the soundbar does well. It has enough of a frequency range to perform accurate reproduction of higher-frequency input signals.
Little known fact: It is not the size of the frequency range that matters most. It’s what the soundbar does with it.
Luckily, the Vizio 2920-C6 puts its hardware and frequency response to good use. The soundbar produces crisp sound that defines and highlights all the different elements in a particular piece of audio. The 2920-C6 even manages to create convincing bass, and that’s before you connect a subwoofer.
3. Peak volume and distortion
It’s easy for a soundbar to render accurate, defined sound and moderate volume. At peak volume, a little distortion is expected. The guys at Vizio stand by this soundbar and they advertise a distortion of less than one percent at maximum volume.
The Vizio 2920-C6 reaches a peak volume of 95dB, which is pretty loud for such a small device. At this volume, the different bass elements in your favorite song remain distinct; with only the slightest loss of detail. There is even less distortion in the treble frequencies.
4. Audio format support and audio presets
The soundbar supports WAV audio format, as well as several DTS formats. It does not come with pre-calibrated presets like movie mode or dialog mode. Neither does it have an inbuilt equalizer. That said, the Vizio SB2920-C6 does allow you to adjust the treble and bass levels with the help of dedicated remote buttons. We’ll wrap up our VIZIO 29-inch SB2920 soundbar review by going over the pros and cons of this device.
- Good build quality
- Robust Bluetooth connection
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to install and use
- No digital display, which means you’ll need to learn how to divine a column of LEDs
- Like many budget soundbars, the Vizio 2920-C6 has a limited number of ports
- No support for varied audio formats like Dolby
- At three inches high, the soundbar may obstruct the IR sensors of TV sets with short legs
VIZIO 29-inch SB2920 soundbar review verdict: A soundbar that’s worth every penny
The Vizio SB2920-C6 will meet your expectations and surpass them. Its design and build quality belong to a more expensive model. The sound that comes from this soundbar is impressively loud and detailed.
While you can find a high-end soundbar with better performance, the Vizio SB2920-C6 does punch above its weight. Click here to read what owners of this soundbar have to say.