Vizio M21D-H8 soundbar overview: Enormous sound, no subwoofer required

In my evaluations, soundbars that embrace subwoofers typically sound higher than standalone soundbars with no subs, for one apparent purpose: extra bass. The subwoofer provides a lot of low-end impression and creates a fuller sound, however these huge bass containers take up a lot of room. What if you would like a speaker that generates a giant soundfield and good bass, however solely makes use of the house in entrance of your TV? The Vizio M21D-H8 makes an amazing case for the one speaker system — it sounds big but stays comparatively compact. 

LikeImpressive sound from a single unitGreat for TV exhibits and music, tooTwo HDMI inputsSupports Dolby Digital, DTS and DTS Digital:X

Do not LikeCosts virtually as a lot as the higher sounding Vizio V21No deep bass to talk of

The Vizio’s sound high quality is a large step above a tv’s, which you’d count on, and set my toes tapping. It sounds good with most films and music and is comparatively straightforward to arrange. In contrast to virtually every other single bar close to this worth the Vizio M21 contains two HDMI ports, which actually boosts its flexibility. And there is Bluetooth streaming your music as properly.

At $150 the M21 is comparatively inexpensive, though it does not ship the visceral bass of as subwoofer-equipped models round this worth, such because the Inventive Stage V2 or Vizio’s personal V21. In the event you’re seeking to ditch the subwoofer, nevertheless, there’s nothing on this worth vary that may problem the Vizio M21 for compact dimension, glorious options and full sound. 

Going to a single bar
Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Soundbars aren’t usually recognized for his or her sleekness however I discovered the Vizio M21D-H8’s trapezoidal design fairly putting. Name it a Toblerone if you happen to like, I definitely do, however Vizio clearly does not care. Whereas it appears just like the SB362An-F6 it replaces, the design has been simplified — the little triangles on one aspect are actually changed by a single Vizio emblem, for instance. On the opposite finish are buttons for quantity, supply choice and Bluetooth.

This sound bar is 36 inches lengthy and is designed to take a seat in entrance of your TV — supplied you have got sufficient clearance for its 2-inch peak — or it may be mounted on the wall (with two keyhole ports) to level outward into your room. It contains six drivers comprising of two woofers, twin tweeters and a pair of 3-inch onboard “subwoofers.” There is no such thing as a subwoofer output, nevertheless, so you may’t add a separate sub later.

The M21 contains a collection of white LEDs denoting quantity and EQ

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The entrance of the cloth-covered cupboard features a coloured LED to indicate the enter in addition to a collection of white LEDs for quantity. It is rather a lot higher than the outdated system, which was just about incomprehensible, however nonetheless not as clear as an precise alphanumeric show, for instance.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The rear has a scooped-out part for the inputs alongside two keyholes for wall-mounting. The most important improve on the unique, and maybe the explanation behind the $30 worth bump, is the addition of two HDMI ports: HDMI in and HDMI ARC. Whereas some folks use their TVs as a swap, the extra HDMI is beneficial if, say, you utilize your good TV for streaming and wish to add a second machine, like a gaming console. The soundbar additionally contains optical audio for hooking up your TV, two 3.5mm analog ports with one for a voice assistant just like the Amazon Echo Dot, and a USB port for taking part in MP3s and WAVs from a thumb drive. 

The Vizio has each Dolby and DTS decoding, which is spectacular for a sound bar at any worth, plus it has DTS Digital:X, which is designed to simulate sound coming from round and above you, and that works particularly properly.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The distant gives highly effective ranges of management for an inexpensive soundbar, with quantity plus two bands of EQ and an enter selector. The again of the distant helpfully features a colour code chart of the inputs.

How does it sound?

The M21’s audio high quality was superb total, though is lack of bass in comparison with subwoofer-equipped models got here by means of in my comparisons. 

As I’ve discovered with earlier soundbars that includes DTS Digital:X, this know-how actually helps fill a room with lifelike sound. Face to face towards a soundbar that does not have it, just like the Inventive Stage V2, the variations are apparent. The Vizio was straightforward to lose bodily whereas watching blockbuster films, whereas the Inventive’s sound all the time appeared prefer it was coming from the cupboard.

The Vizio’s expansive soundstage was instantly apparent throughout the foyer scene in The Matrix. After Neo (Keanu Reeves) journeys the steel detector and decorates the marble-walled room with garlands of lead, a single soldier shouts “Freeze” (1.42:09)  The shout and its gradual decay crammed the room in a means the Inventive could not. But the Inventive was in a position to articulate the explosions and bass-led soundtrack that the subwoofer-less Vizio missed.

In contrast towards the Vizio V21, one other unit with a subwoofer, the M21’s openness and relative lack of bass have been as soon as once more obvious. The M21 sounded extra vibrant throughout the foyer scene, even when it could not match the V21 for impression. That deep bassline popped up once in a while on the one bar when there wasn’t anything taking place, however I heard it full throttle with the V21. 

One factor you do not typically get from a funds soundbar, even one with Bluetooth, is affinity with music, but the Vizio held its personal with a variety of totally different genres. It was in a position to current vocals with convincing articulation, and make the instrumentation coalesce as one unit. 

With the chilliness anthem Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Company, for instance, the Vizio sounded easy by means of the bass and midrange even when it lacked the oomph different soundbars get with a separate sub. On the Inventive Stage V2 music was tight and a bit extra thrilling, though it demonstrated one of many potential weaknesses of those type of methods — the decrease mids appeared to be lacking. In consequence the tune got here throughout as a bit of skinny sounding.

Must you purchase it?

The Vizio M21 is a wonderful single-bar system with loads of connectivity and a classy, refined design. I do know of no different single bar that prices lower than $200 that gives as a lot. 

That mentioned, it is cannibalized by the existence of the corporate’s personal M21: at $150 the V21 is relatively an excessive amount of. Whereas it is recurrently on sale for $120, and is $116.22 at Amazon proper now, a number of locations promote it for full worth. For a similar $150 you should buy the V21, and it comes with a wi-fi subwoofer, so if it is a selection between the 2 get the V21 as an alternative. Equally the $109 Inventive Stage V2 gives a separate sub which additionally lifts its efficiency, and cut price hunters seeking to extract the maximize efficiency for the littlest amount of cash ought to get (the) Inventive.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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