Alongside all-new TVs with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, VIZIO announced earlier today new offerings being added to its sound bar lineup. From sound bars to premium Dolby Atmos home theater systems, the company is striving to have an option for each segment of the market.
Unsurprisingly, each one of VIZIO’s new and upcoming products is sold at a compelling price point, with cost-conscious solutions ranging from $70 to $700. Unlike its TVs, none of the announced audio systems are compatible with AirPlay 2, but it does appear that everything works with Chromecast.
A wide variety of VIZIO sound bars
For folks looking to boost audio in a den or bedroom, VIZIO has made a new 20-inch 2.0 sound bar. Of all the new VIZIO sound bars, it’s the most affordable, making it a great way to boost audio quality while on a budget. This doesn’t have a dedicated subwoofer, you’ll need to opt for the new 36-inch 2.1 sound bar system to gain that. As the name implies, it’s a much larger form-factor, but your ears are very likely to appreciate the upgrade.
“From versatile sound bars designed to improve audio quality in smaller rooms, to premium models featuring Dolby Atmos that are designed to deliver immersive, multi-dimensional sound at a great value, we’ve ensured there’s a solution to suit any user’s audio entertainment needs”, said Bill Baxter, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO.
Next up is the 36-inch 5.1 sound bar system, which aims to bring a much better surround sound experience to your space. Whether you opt for the 2.1 or 5.1 system, both feature slim subwoofers made to easily fit underneath or behind a couch, allowing improved audio while maintaining a clean-looking space.
We’ve saved the best for last with the new high-end systems. Both of VIZIO’s 3.1.2 and 5.1.4 premium home theater sound systems sport Dolby Atmos, bringing the some of the latest and greatest audio technology to your living room. Both configurations feature upward-firing speakers that deliver up to 10 channels of audio.
As mentioned earlier, every one of VIZIO’s new systems support Chromecast. This means that users can quickly fling audio from apps like Spotify, TIDAL, and more.
Pricing and availability
According to VIZIO, four out of five of today’s announced audio products should be available for purchase soon. The base 20-inch 2.0 sound bar is readily available at Walmart with a price of $68, undercutting MSRP by about $2. We could not locate listings for the 36-inch 2.1 sound bar system, but once it drops, expect pricing to be $149.99. The same is true for VIZIO’s Dolby Atmos 3.1.2 and 5.1.4 offerings which the company plans to sell for $469.99 and $699.99, respectively. The $249.99 VIZIO 36-inch 5.1 sound bar system is planned for release sometime later this year.
Having used various sound bars over the years, I’ve been quite happy with VIZIO’s previous generation home theater sound systems. The company’s commitment to providing a stellar audio experience at a compelling price point is sure to keep high-end alternatives pushing the envelope.
That being said, sole support for Chromecast in the new VIZIO sound bars is disappointing and a reason for folks in other ecosystems to look elsewhere. While Chromecast popularity has certainly grown by leaps and bounds, AirPlay 2 is much more desirable for folks using Apple gear.