Vizio’s first 2020 soundbars go on sale now starting at $150 – CNET

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Vizio

Vizio has revealed pricing and availability of its 2020 range of soundbars, most of which are shipping now with prices starting from $150. The company makes some of CNET’s favorite soundbars for the money, with standout 2019 models like the SB3621N-E8 and SB36512-F6 earning our Editors’ Choice award.  Vizio‘s new 2020 soundbars offer updated cosmetics and a host of new technologies, including HDMI inputs across the board. The model names are now keyed to the company’s TV models and speaker arrays, so they’re a lot easier to understand.

The M-Series All-in-One 2.1 Soundbar is an upgrade to the existing Vizio SB362An-F6. It offers a similar Toblerone shape but now comes with a fingerprint-resistant charcoal finish and features an HDMI input. It will be available for $150 from July 26.

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Vizio

The entry-level V series will be available in 2.1 and 5.1 speaker versions — no Dolby Atmos here — and comes with a new wireless sub with an “optimized sub driver and cabinet design for tighter, more impactful bass.” It also features low-profile rears on the surround model. The Vizio V21 is the 2.1 soundbar, available from today for $179, while the $250 V51 is the 5.1 version that will arrive on July 5. 

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The P-series Elevate features mechanically-operated drivers

Vizio

Meanwhile, the most striking soundbar in the range is the $1,000 P-Series Elevate, which features mechanically rotating drivers which can serve either as height channels (when it detects Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content) or to boost the existing stereo channels. The 48-inch aluminum-bodied Elevate is a 5.1.4 system with dedicated rears and a wireless 8-inch subwoofer that also includes Wi-Fi connectivity and Chromecast built-in for casting music from your devices. It also offers Bluetooth, three HDMI  eARC ports and, for the first time, DTS support. It will be available in the fall.

One of our main criticisms of Vizio soundbars in the past has been the weird, dot-based user interface, but Vizio says the 2020 models offer a “more-intuitive user interface with select models receiving backlit remotes.” All of Vizio’s 2020 soundbars will include a “voice assistant input” which enables a user to connect an Amazon Echo Dot, for example, and will “duck” or mute the volume when the Echo is accepting a command.

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Vizio

The company has confirmed that both of the CNET Editors’ Choice-winning models mentioned above, Vizio SB3621n-E8 and Vizio SB36512-F6, remain in its lineup for 2020.

We look forward to hearing the new models. One issue consumers faced was that the company’s $1K soundbars looked like its budget models, and it was tough to differentiate between them. but the new range makes the quality differences clearer. If the company can keep the prices down while maintaining sound quality, it may have some formidable contenders on its hands. 

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