This Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar review explores the features, sound profile, and performance of this general-purpose audio rig. Take a look at the review to determine if the 5.1 channel Vizio V-series is a worthy addition to your entertainment setup.
Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar review: Components and first looks
A 5.1 soundbar setup comprises of the central soundbar unit, a subwoofer, and two satellite speakers. Together, these five components deliver immersive surround sound that expands your viewing and listening experience.
When you take everything out of the box, you should be looking at a sleek main unit with rounded ends. Next, come two satellite speakers that look like mini-versions of the soundbar. Lastly, you should find a subwoofer with raised legs, a rear-facing bass port, and a downward-facing speaker.
The package should also contain a remote, a pair of AAA batteries, power cables, and a small selection of media cables. Lastly, the package comes with basic wall-mounting accessories and a user manual to help with setup.
Design: Main unit and satellite speakers
The main soundbar has a plastic housing with fabric on the front and side faces. At 36 inches wide and 3.2 inches high, the central unit should fit nicely between the TV legs of a mid-sized display. Unless your TV sits flush on your entertainment stand, there’s little chance of the soundbar blocking the IR receiver. You’ll notice that the satellite speakers look just like the soundbar but smaller.
A column of LED lights sit at the left end of the soundbar’s front face. These serve as your user interface, and you’ll need to learn their secret language. The lack of a digital interface is regrettable, so here’s hoping the soundbar makes up for this drawback.
You’ll find a row of controls at the top face of the soundbar and two sets of inputs at the back. The bottom of the soundbar has holes that let you mount the Vizio V-series.
The subwoofer is a foot-high plastic cabinet with a bass port at the back and a downward-firing driver on the bottom surface. Four legs with plastic covers raise the subwoofer off the ground. The cabinet has the same plastic exterior and rounded edges of the soundbar and satellite speakers.
Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar review: Ports and connectivity
The Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar has few inputs, preventing it from doubling as a hub for your devices. You have to make do with a single HDMI port, an optical port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and one USB port. Wireless connectivity comes down to Bluetooth, which connects the subwoofer and the central unit. You can also pair your phone to the soundbar and stream music via Bluetooth.
Note that this soundbar lacks WiFi connectivity and an HDMI-In port for audio pass-through.
The satellite speakers connect to the subwoofer via cable, meaning you have to find an optimal location for the three components. Once you position the hardware, setup is as easy as powering and connecting the different components.
Your TV should auto-detect the main unit of the Vizio V-series and channel audio to the soundbar. It’s worth noting that the optical audio output will not always channel sound from the TV. You may have to go into the display’s audio settings and make a minor adjustment. Between the user manual and Google, the process should take less than three minutes.
Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar review: Ease of use
A user-friendly soundbar comes with a digital interface or a companion app that you can install on your phone. The Vizio V-series 5.1 soundbar is not that device.
Instead, you have to contend with a column of LEDs on the left end of the soundbar. These LEDs shine through the fabric at the front of the main unit, making them easy to see as you sit in front of your TV. Keep the user manual close as you work out and memorize what lights are saying to you. You’ll need to make fast friends with the document until you get the hang of this Spartan soundbar.
Thankfully, the remote has a display screen that lets you track the commands you send to the soundbar. The remote is sparse, with a navigation pad, volume buttons, and additional buttons that mirror those on the soundbar itself. You can use the remote to select inputs, control the Bluetooth connection and select an equalizer preset.
Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar review: Sound quality
The bare-bones features of the Vizio V-series 5.1 soundbar belie an impressive sound profile. This section looks at the sound palette native to this audio rig and the size of the sound stage. We also get to see how well the soundbar supports different audio formats.
1. Frequency range
This is where the value of the V-series soundbar starts to shine through. The audio setup can produce sound frequencies as high as the human ear can hear, which is just under 20 kHz. It goes as low as 33Hz to produce rumbling, subterranean bass that’s fun to experience.
The expansive sound palette makes for distinct audio elements in both the bass and treble ranges. Better yet, the soundbar does an excellent job at producing distinct sound components, even those that are near-identical. This means that you get to pick out individual guitar strings in your favorite treble riff. The resulting sound blend makes up for the bare-bones nature of the soundbar.
2. Equalizer presets
Select one of four EQ presets to change up the sound profile of the soundbar. Music mode does a great job of enhancing different elements of a song and blending them together. On this count, the Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar outdoes itself.
Dialogue mode is equally impressive, thanks to a dedicated center channel that brings voice frequencies to the fore. Game and Movie modes enhance sound effects by leaning on the subwoofer for bass frequencies.
3. Sound stage
The subwoofer and satellite speakers create a surround soundstage that immerses you in whatever world your content creates. The central unit also does an excellent job of producing sound elements that seem to come from different pin-point positions.
- Pleasant design with a solid build
- A selection of four equalizers presets provides a little versatility
- Easy setup
- This 5.1 sound system executes good surround sound
- The Vizio V-series 5.1 soundbar has few input ports
- This soundbar lacks a digital display, and you’ll have to learn to decode a column of LEDs
Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar review verdict: Good pricing, excellent sound quality
This Vizio V-Series 5.1 soundbar review reveals powerful hardware that produces excellent sound at an affordable price. The tradeoff is a lack of features that would make this sound system easier to operate. Are you willing to make the tradeoff? Click here to learn more about this soundbar.