Soundbars with true Dolby Atmos surround sound have historically been a rich man’s game, often costing well over $1,000. Vizio’s new 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos soundbar undercuts similar competitors by hundreds of dollars, so we spent some quality time with the system to find out if it can hold its own with the top-rated competitors.
One could say Vizio’s motto has long been “Anything you can do, we can do cheaper.” It’s worked out pretty well for the brand’s TVs — including the feature packed (and gorgeous) Vizio P-series — and it’s also a pretty good way to win the soundbar war. The company’s latest effort on that front is a 5.1.4 Atmos soundbar, which goes by the title “Vizio Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos,” or the exceedingly long model number, SB46514-F6.
Bad names aside, the SB46514 offers a powerhouse of features, including discrete surround sound and four upfiring drivers to closely model Samsung’s popular HW-K950 and HW-N950 bars, both of which helped set the standard for potent Atmos sound in an all-in-one solution. The twist? At $1,000, Vizio’s version undercuts those rivals by as much as $700. We spent some quality time with the bar to find out if Vizio’s new Atmos value proposition delivers.
We’re used to some heavy lifting when it comes to Atmos bars, but the SB46514 wins the prize for most awkward gear-drag. This thing is heavy, so lift with caution. Opening the L-shaped box is also an awkward affair, flush with foam packaging, a sizable accessories box, and plenty of flaps and inserts to unpack.
It didn’t take long to discover what was weighing down the package, as we nearly slipped a disk pulling out the massive subwoofer block, outfitted in Vizio’s signature black-and-silver color scheme, including a layer of black grill along the top and front matched by slick aluminum slabs at the sides for some impressive style. A sizeable bass port sits at the backside next to inputs for the included satellite speakers (more on that below), and a power port.
The pint-sized satellites and soundbar are similarly adorned, the latter of which spans a healthy 46-inches across and bears a rubberized control pad on top. Riding in the package are a litany of cables and other accessories, including power cables for the bar and sub, connector cables for the dual surround speakers, multiple digital and analog connection cables (including HDMI), and the same recycled remote packed with virtually every Vizio bar, complete with basic navigation keys and a Casio-style digital menu screen.
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