Vizio is one of the oldest players in the soundbar arena. Its ardent fans find it synonymous with value-for-money products. It has a myriad of soundbars across all price segments, but we consider the midrange being its forte. When most tech companies are losing their essence, Vizio has again proved its humbleness – by launching the Vizio V-Series V51-H6.
Listed at USD 250 and packing an exceptional 5.1Ch (for the price) configuration, we have been tempted to get our hands on Vizio V51-H6 since it launched. Now that it is here, let us understand if the company has been able to replicate the spec sheet in real-life performance.
Click to buy Vizio V51-H6 Soundbar from Bestbuy.com
This is the Vizio V51-H6 soundbar review.
List of specifications
Table Of Content
|36 x 2.24 x 3.18 (Soundbar)
4.72 x 2.24 x 3.19 (Subwoofer)
|2.20 kg (Soundbar)
|Wireless Audio Protocol
|Audio Decoding Codecs
Dolby Digital Plus
|1x Optical Audio In
1 x HDMI In
1 x Optical Audio In
1 x USB
- Dedicated surround speakers
- Balanced sound with a wide soundstage
- Best in the price range for action movies and bass-heavy content
- Limited wireless connectivity
- Surround sound performance could have been better (given the configuration)
What’s in the box?
- Vizio V51-H6 Soundbar
- 2 x Surround Speaker
- 1 x Subwoofer
- 2 x Surround Speaker Audio Cable
- 4 x Cable Ties
- 2 x Power Cable
- Wall-mount Template
- Wall-mount Brackets with Screws
- Optical Cable
- HDMI Cable
- 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm RCA Cable
- 2 x “AAA” Batteries
- Quick-Start Guide
Design and build
The Vizio V51-H6 is a simple soundbar mostly made of solid plastic with a thin fabric covering its front and sides. It stretches 36 x 2.2 x 3.2 inches and weighs a paltry 2.2 kg. It is not too broad or tall and should fit most 55-inchers easily. The bar’s back has two openings for the input ports, with the wall mounting holes placed underneath.
The Vizio V51-H6 package has a wireless subwoofer. It is 8.3 x 9.8 x 8.3 inches with a body made of plastic. The company has given a delicate touch to it by adding four plastic pegs with rubber grips. The back of the subwoofer has a port with a port for the power cable and two jacks for connecting the satellites.
The Vizio V51-H6 comes with two satellite speakers made of plastic with fabric covering the sides and front. It stretches 4.7 x 2.2 x 3.2 inches and can be easily placed anywhere in your room. At its back, there is a connection for the cable and a wall-mount option (bracket to be purchased separately).
The Vizio V51-H6 soundbar has a decent build quality with a solid-feeling plastic body. The design is well thought out, except for the fabric being prone to ripping.
The Vizio V51-H6 doesn’t come with a display. It, instead, has a set of vertical lights placed on its left front side. These light up depending on the settings you choose. On the bar’s top, you will find five buttons to control its essential functions. The lineup includes a Power On/Off, Change Input, Bluetooth On/Off, and Volume Down/Up toggles.
Also part of the package is a remote control with Vizio branding and a display screen. It houses the toggles for managing all the functions of the soundbar. The buttons felt finicky, and the overall footprint could have been shorter.
Alongside, the Vizio V51-H6 soundbar comes with a Power Saving Mode, which switches off the bar after twenty minutes of inactivity. It is a nifty little addition that we see in most soundbars nowadays. It also lets you use your TV or any other universal remote to control its primary function (due to the HDMI CEC addition).
The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the main bar. It has three input ports – one for the power cable and the other two for connecting the surround speakers. The satellite connects wirelessly to the subwoofer and doesn’t require any independent power source to keep themselves running.
The connectivity options on the Vizio V51-H6 are decent. You get two housings at the back of the bar sporting an Optical Audio In, an HDMI ARC, a traditional 3.5 mm AUX port, and a USB for files. There is no Full HDMI or eARC on board, which directly reflects the audio codecs it supports.
As for wireless connectivity, the Vizio V51-H6 soundbar only has support for Bluetooth. It doesn’t have Chromecast built-in or AirPlay, which means you can only use Bluetooth to connect to PDA devices and stream content from them.
Due to the bar missing out on HDMI eARC, there is no Atmos support here. Otherwise, it supports Dolby content letting you use it for Blu-ray and gaming consoles. The Vizio bar also misses out on an HDMI In port, making it incompatible for 4K Passthrough.
The Vizio V51-H6 soundbar is a 5.1Ch setup that packs in a lot for the price it demands. The package comes with a subwoofer and two dedicated satellite speakers (unlike the gimmicky up-firing speakers in most soundbars). Right out of the box, it sounds well-balanced with a slight V-shaped representation.
Due to its versatile configuration, it offers excellent stereo frequency response. The balanced sound approach further enables it to cater to all the content types with ease. The subwoofer adds the requisite boom to make the overall content funkier and more comfortable to the ears.
Talking of soundstage, it is about as wide as the bar. There are no side-firing speakers to enhance the width, but the focus is on point. We could accurately pinpoint the location of the sound rather than from a general area. The bar can also get decent loud and cater to large rooms or crowded places efficiently. Its excellent stereo dynamics performance ensures minimal distortion, even at higher volume levels.
The Vizio V51-H6 soundbar has a dedicated center channel. It, combined with an impetus on a neutral sound signature, ensures that the bar reproduces dialogues impeccably well and accurately. Unfortunately, surround sound performance is not the same story. Even though the dedicated satellite speakers ensures that the competition falls pale in comparison, the extra harp on bass makes the output feel muddy.
Talking of sound enhancements, we do not have room correction on board, but Vizio has packed in commendable features otherwise. You will find dialogue enhancement and four EQ presets – Movie, Music, Direct, and Game. Also present is a TruVolume option, which ensures consistent sound levels irrespective of the content you play. It also has individual toggles for bass, treble, surround sound, subwoofer level, and virtual surround adjustments.
Overall, we were quite impressed with what Vizio has been able to pack in here. The Vizio V51-H6 is an absolute bang for buck product. Other than an underwhelming surround sound performance, we are absolutely in awe of what they have created.
The Vizio V51-H6 soundbar is a neutral-sounding bar with an excellent impetus on the bass front. It doesn’t support Atmos and has decent input ports. Wireless connectivity is not its forte, but you cannot complain given its price tag. Even though it is versatile, some bars give it a tough competition.
Here is how Vizio V51-H6 stacks up against the competition –
The Vizio SB36512-F6 is similar to the Vizio V51-H6 soundbar but steers clear in the performance department. The former supports Atmos and better input compatibility. It has 4K Passthrough and Wi-Fi too.
The Vizio V51-H6 races ahead by having a dialogue enhancement feature. It also packs in actual satellite speakers, which SB36512-F6 doesn’t have, but the real-life performance is not significantly different.
The Vizio V51-H6 soundbar overshadows the Samsung HW-Q60T in the raw specs and performance too. The former makes for a more immersive experience because of the presence of two satellite speakers. It also has a more neutral and likable sound out-of-the-box.
The Samsung bar wins some points back by offering a better overall build, a graphic EQ, and more versatile connectivity choices. The presence of Full HDMI In means, it also had more comprehensive input support.
A tempting offer that packs in a lot
A soundbar cannot replicate the performance of a full-fledged home theatre, and given the price tag of Vizio, we do not own the right to expect it too. But for what it is worth, the Vizio V51-H6 offers a stellar package. It has a full 5.1Ch configuration, complete with a dedicated subwoofer and two satellite speakers.
The soundbar can get loud too, and holds its own even when you push its volume higher. We also know Vizio products for their longevity, and this one doesn’t seem to be any different. If you are looking to upgrade your TV sound and want something versatile, the Vizio V51-H6 is probably your best bet.
Click here for VIZIO – 5.1-Channel V-Series Soundbar at Amazon.com