If we look back, Dolby Atmos-equipped soundbars have been around since 2016. But it barely performs to its potential unless the OEMs add in the requisite components. The Vizio Elevate is another tryst towards excelling in the same direction. Still, it has something different from anything we have seen – it packs in motorized speakers that revolve, and they work amicably well.
The package doesn’t come cheap either. It falls in the flagship category and has stiff competition to topple. There is Sonos Arc, a simple yet elegant offering, there is Samsung HW-Q950T, which offers a similar configuration, but you will have to shell twice the amount. Not only does it have a versatile setup, but it also comes with a wide array of support, both in terms of audio codecs and connectivity.
The Vizio Elevate soundbar looks impressive by every stretch on paper, but does it convert to real-life performance? Let us find out. This is our Vizio Elevate Soundbar review.
Click to buy VIZIO – Elevate™ 5.1.4 Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer and Rotating Speakers for Dolby Atmos / DTS:X – Charcoal Gray from Bestbuy.com now!
List of specifications
|Product Dimensions||48 x 2.6 x 6.5 inches (Soundbar) |
2.8 x 5.9 x 3.7 inches (Satellites)
10.8 x 15.6 x 13.8 inches (Subwoofer)
|Weight||5.6 kg (Soundbar) |
1 kg (Each Satellite)
11.7 kg (Subwoofer)
|Amplifier output||Unspecified by the manufacturer|
|Wireless Audio Protocol||Bluetooth (Version Unspecified) |
|Audio Decoding Codecs||DTS Digital Surround |
Dolby Digital Plus
|Subwoofer and Satellites Types||Wireless|
|Connectivity||1 x Optical In – Audio |
2 x HDMI In – Audio/Video
1 x HDMI Out – Audio/Video
2 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm – Audio (second for voice assistant speakers only)
1 x USB – Updates only
- Satellite speakers are a rarity
- Wide and well-balanced soundstage
- A wide array of connectivity options
- It doesn’t handle peak volume levels very well
- Lacks graphic EQ
What’s in the box?
- Vizio Elevate soundbar
- Remote Control
- 2 x AAA batteries
- HDMI Cable
- Optical Cable
- 3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio Cables
- Stereo RCA to 3.5mm Audio Cable
- 2 x Power Cables
- 4 x Wall-mount Brackets for satellites
- 2 x Wall-mount Brackets for soundbar
- 4 x Wall-mount Screws
- Wall-mount template
- 4 x Cable Ties
- 2 x Satellite Speaker Audio Cables
- User Manual
Design and build
The Vizio Elevate comes with a lot of accessories and in a single color – black. Speaking of the main bar, the company has opted for a unique design. Its left and right parts can swivel upwards when you play a surround sound format. The design is all plastic, but there is a two-tone finish to give the bar a classy look. It is part gunmetal and part vinyl.
The bar spreads 48 x 2.6 x 6.5-inches and weighs a suitable 5.6 kg. Given its width and the swiveling speakers, it can be difficult for users to accommodate it below a 55-inch TV. The back of the bar has two openings, one for the inputs and the other for the power cable. The wall mounting holes are on the underside, giving the bar a clean and unobtrusive look.
The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the bar and sits with the drivers underneath. The material is mostly melamine with a plastic plate on top. You will find the port on the back of the subwoofer, and you will also find inputs for the power cable and the satellites. The subwoofer spreads 10.8 x 15.6 x 13.8-inches and weighs 11.7 kg. It has a larger footprint than most other soundbars that we have come across, which means that it is easily recognizable wherever you place it.
Also, there are two satellite speakers as part of the package. Each of them stretches 2.8 x 5.9 x 3.7-inches, weighs 1 kg, and is meant for vertical positioning. The speakers have a plastic body and aluminum grille covers on the top and front, which give them the requisite finesse.
Unfortunately, they cannot be connected wirelessly and require a wired connection with the subwoofer. These have ports on the back for supplying them with power and also have universal holes for wall-mounting.
Overall, we are mighty impressed with how well the Vizio Elevate looks and feels.
We were disappointed as Vizio skipped on a display with the Elevate soundbar. But given its unusual dimensions, we can perceive its addition to be a bit more complicated than usual. The company gains back some points by adding a vertical array of lights. These flash whenever you change specific settings.
There are some physical buttons on the bar’s side to let you control its essential functions. It has the Power On/Off, Select Input, Bluetooth, and Volume Up/Down options.
The soundbar package also has a palm-sized remote control, letting you control all the bar’s functions. The Vizio bar also has support for a companion app, the Vizio SmartCast. It can look for updates, handle all the settings, and perform additional tasks too.
There is an Eco Power Mode for managing uptime. If the user turns it on, the bar will switch itself off within minutes of inactivity. HDMI CEC is on board, too, letting you manage all the essential functions using any universal remote.
There are a plethora of physical connectivity options present on the Vizio Elevate. The back of the device packs two HDMI Ins, HDMI Out, USB for updates, two Analog Audio in ports, and an Optical In.
The wireless connectivity of the bar is no slouch either. You get Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 4, and Chromecast built-in, but it skips Apple AirPlay support. It allows you to connect most PDA devices conveniently with your bar and stream content.
Given the slew of options, audio codec support is top-notch too. It supports most formats, including the likes of Atmos and Dolby Digital. The soundbar also has 4K Passthrough and HDR10 Passthrough, i.e., you can stream the highest quality content via it.
Overall, we have little to complain about here and would happily move over to the next segment.
The Vizio Elevate is a 5.1.4Ch configuration with an external subwoofer and two rear speakers. The versatile range of accessories allows it to account for an immersive listening experience. Add to it the vast array of connectivity options, and there is nothing much to comment about the part visible to us.
Talking of the sound, it is suitable for mixed usage. It may disappoint purists out-of-the-box as it opts for a bass-heavy profile. Thankfully, there are enough customization options to let you tweak the output and achieve the outcome most desirable to you.
The soundbar has a wide soundstage, more expansive than the physical body of the bar. It doesn’t do anything to extend it further, but it has got great focus. While watching Interstellar, we could accurately pinpoint the source of the sound.
The Vizio Elevate has a dedicated center channel, which accounts for clear audio that is crisp and well-balanced. The soundbar is a treat for podcasts and other dialogue-based content lovers. Also, it has a high loudness quotient allowing it to cater to the noisy audience or a large hall with ease, but you will have to deal with some compression creaking in at the higher volume levels.
The Vizio bar has higher-than-average surround sound performance, thanks to the dedicated rear speakers. Given the impetus on bass-heavy profile, it becomes a treat for action lovers and gamers. It also augments the overall movie-watching experience and makes it more immersive.
As for sound enhancements, the soundbar has an acceptable array of it. It comes with four EQ presets, dialogue enhancement, subwoofer level, bass, and treble adjustments. You can also adjust the surround and height changes and improve the sound output. One gripe that we have with the soundbar is the lack of room correction, which can deter people from buying it.
Even though the Vizio Elevate has an average height performance, its overall performance is rock solid. The accessories are not for a gimmick, there are decent sound enhancement features, and it holds its own across content types.
The Vizio Elevate has a lot going for it. But the competition is not far behind and several soundbars are capable performers in the price range. It follows a bass-heavy profile, which may not cater to many, but there are many adjustment options to compensate for it.
Here is how it stacks up against the competition –
JBL Bar 9.1
The JBL Bar 9.1 is a better performing bar than the Vizio Elevate soundbar. It gets a more neutral sound profile, has room correction, and caters to a broader customer range. It also has support for Apple AirPlay, which the other one doesn’t have. Get JBL Bar 9.1 from BestBuy.com here.
The Vizio Elevate hits back with a unique design and rotating speakers, wider soundstage, and better surround performance. It also has a dialogue enhancement feature for more crisp output.
The Sonos Arc alone pales in comparison to the Vizio Elevate in most circumstances as a solo bar. Add a subwoofer and a satellite speaker to the mix, and that has us talking. The combination offers several advantages, such as room correction and a more neutral sound profile. Sonos Arc is available at BestBuy.com!
The Vizio bar hits back with DTS support, Full HDMI In port, and supports 4K Passthrough. It also has EQ presets, albeit not a graphic one.
The Vizio Elevate looks different but gets the job done
There are very few caveats in the Vizio Elevate if you are willing to accept its bass-heavy nature. It is suitable for mixed usage, can reproduce dialogues well, and has a sturdy and eye-catching design. It also gets a wide range of connectivity options. The best part is that you get all the wires in the package without Vizio charging a penny more (no pun intended!).
The dedicated satellite speakers and their ability to get loud for most scenarios is another reason to buy it. But it doesn’t come cheap and has competition that pips it in performance. But if you are sold on getting something that does most things well and can differentiate itself from the rest, it is a good buy.