Years Say it there is very little reason to spend a ton of money on a TV. Most screens are so good and so cheap that you just don’t need to spend more than $ 1,000 to have a great viewing experience.
Vizio’s latest $ 500 Dolby Atmos sound system does the same with surround sound. The M-Series 5.1.2 does everything I want, from the rumble of seats from the shooting of John Wick to the whistling of the engine behind my head during Formula 1 racing, but it costs much less than most competitors.
If you’ve been dreaming of a theatrical experience at home, but are nervous about the space it will occupy and the holiday fund going bankrupt, this is a great solution. If you don’t spend nights and weekends browsing the r / hometheatre subdivision or buying 4K Blu-ray discs, this $ 500 system is probably all you need.
The atmosphere does not abound
Don’t get me wrong: I adore Dolby’s immersive, object-based audio technology just as much as I adore the next audio nerd. But finding shows mixed in Atmos or DTS: X is harder than you think. Apart from domestic shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime, very little content is mixed using the height channels available for streaming on most Atmos systems, which extend the listening plane from horizontal to vertical for sound effects like rain or wind.
Instead, most surround sound comes in 5.1 format, making the compact Atmos 5.1.2 setting ideal for the vast majority of us. The main bar has a traditional center, right and left channel, but Vizio has packed a few loud speakers when playing Atmos content. Because the height channels come from the front, the rear circles can be lighter and smaller, making them easier to set up. I really like this hybrid setting. You can hear the content of Atmos when it is available, but it is not a central part of the design setting.
Speaking of central subjects, there’s a reason why I haven’t mentioned aesthetics so far. The bar is a black, fabric-wrapped rectangle that fits perfectly under Visio’s new 55-inch M-Series model (shocking!), And the rear circles are equally indescribable. The only special design element is that they sit on the hips, in a hot-dog style, on the rear speaker stands.
The connected subwoofer is a small cube that you can put anywhere, but which I considered most effective next to my mail order couch. It acts as a hub for rear speakers that get their signal from the woofer via a pair of proprietary audio cables. The thin black cables won’t be long enough for the largest living rooms, but they worked well in my medium-sized testing room and I like that they are thin enough to fit under the carpet. You won’t have to spend a ton of time looking for an easy way to hide them if you hate cables.
At the top of the bar are five raised buttons that allow you to turn things on, change inputs, pair with Bluetooth, and adjust the volume. It has two HDMI inputs, although only one eARC port to connect to a TV.
Here’s where I’d usually start talking about how to set up the remote control or customize it. But to be honest, I never touched it. The EARC connection allowed me to adjust the volume and turn off the tape with the TV remote control, otherwise I just used the buttons on the tape. I never unpacked the remote control. He is still sitting, without batteries, in a box.