Vizio wasn’t exactly a household name a decade ago, but now after just about nine years in the business, Vizio has one of the most amazing success stories in consumer electronics history. They have achieved milestones after milestones in their short history and the most notable one would be how they overtook Samsung as the number one shipper of LCD TVs. After setting a foothold in the LCD TV market, they have started broadening their business and one of their branches includes soundbars. The latest Vizio product to grace the market is the Vizio VHT210 soundbar. Priced at $270, this surround bar is priced competitively, so let’s find out if it’s worth the money.
Speaking of design, this surroundbar would definitely win many fans as it’s epitome of what a soundbar should be like as it’s a compact offering and that’s exactly what we are looking for. If you have a great LCD TV at home, then the Vizio VHT210 will just slot in rather than dominate the living room. It measures only 31.5 inches wide, 4 inches high and only 3.13 inches deep. Adding to that, it tips the scales at only 4.6 pounds making it small and light, a perfect combination the way we see it. On the top of the unit you will see some buttons that are there for you to adjust things like volume and also change between inputs. In all it has got a cylindrical shape and it has silver legs that are built into the body. Meanwhile on the front is the matte-gray speaker grille covering almost the entire real estate on the front if not for the thin silver rectangle atop it.
What’s impressive with this surround bar is the fact that Vizio has made the subwoofer to be small as well. At 11.18 inches wide by 13 inches high and 11.86 inches deep, it must be one of the tinier wireless subwoofers we have seen by far. In terms of build quality, it doesn’t exude class as it feels rather cheap when you pick it up but design wise it’s still good. Instead of the usual LCD screen we see with soundbars of late, the VHT210 has instead got a few lights behind the speaker grille that will light up when you adjust the volume. When you change between inputs, these lights come on as well; there are three lights, and one each for each input. However, you would have to know beforehand which light refers to which input as there’s no other way to find out. The sound bar also comes with a remote control and it’s really easy to use as well as there are not too many buttons to confuse you. All you find are your power button right at the top, and the volume control placed in the middle above the mute button. But wait, there’s more as you can slide out the bottom part of the remote and you get more serious controls like controls for your subwoofer or things like treble, bass, SRS controls and also buttons to choose between inputs.
What you pay for is what you get with the Vizio VHT210. For starters, there is no video pass-through which means any video connections you would like to make would have to go directly to your HDTV. So, it might be a good idea to get a good universal remote to go with this surroundbar unless you are cool with switching between multiple remote controls. The Vizio VHT210 sound bar uses SRS audio technologies like TruSurround HD, TruVolume and WOW HD. They have their own functions like the TruSurround HD and WOW HD are both technologies created to produce virtual surround effects. TruVolume on the other hand gets rid of that annoying volume spikes you get when commercials are being aired by keeping your volume consistent.
This sound bar also comes with Vizio’s very own HD Wireless Audio technology. This is a proprietary wireless audio standard for other products Vizio will be releasing later on this year. What this means is that your Vizio VHT210 will be able to sync with things like a wireless iPod dock for instance. Moving on to connectivity options, this surround bar definitely disappoints as there are only two inputs. One is an optical digital input while the other is the analog stereo input. So this sound bar will only do for a simple home theater system. This is quite a downer but if you are up for it, maybe you can use your TV as a switcher, provided it has an audio output.
Setting up the Roth Audio Bar 1 Soundbar
Finding a location for this surroundbar shouldn’t be too much trouble as it is really compact and will sit just fine in front of your TV set. Once that’s done, you can move on to setting the inputs. So as mentioned earlier, there are not so many inputs or just two inputs to be exact. Setting up is really easy, it’s a matter of picking the right input and you can’t go wrong. Finally, you have your wireless subwoofer which can obviously be placed anywhere, given that it connects wirelessly to the soundbar. Vizio VHT210’s subwoofer can go anywhere within 60 feet from the soundbar, so we are sure you’ll find a spot for this baby.
In terms of audio performance, we found that this soundbar is able to produce clear voice dialogue and when needed, the subwoofer kicks in to provide good bass. However, we feel like the SRS TruVolume didn’t work too well. This is especially apparent when the ads have too much volume fluctuation. Playing movies that had Dolby Digital content were good as the SRS TruSurround HD technology kicked in. We also found that the sound bar was able to provide us with a wide sound stage and even more impressive is that you get the same audio quality throughout.
Pros and Cons
The Vizio VHT210 soundbar is pretty good looking and what tops it off is the fact that it’s light and compact. The wireless subwoofer works well in sync with the soundbar. We also loved the compact remote control.
Sound quality was only average and there were very limited connection options. There is no HDMI or any video switching option.
The sound bar is definitely a value buy as it offers average quality for a good price. Add on the good looks and small size, you have a bargain here with the Vizio VHT210 sound bar.