Vizio Elevate soundbar review: This Dolby Atmos speaker could start a revolution

Soundbars capable of reproducing the atmospheric results of Dolby Atmos soundtracks have been about due to the fact 2016, but until eventually now they haven’t been extremely modern. To do the job perfectly, Atmos units need extra speakers to reproduce individuals top results, and ordinarily they’re compact, static drivers aimed at the ceiling. The Vizio Elevate fees a bundle but it attempts one thing radically new: motorized speakers that increase up and revolve in accordance to no matter if you might be listening to new music or a suitable film. The craziest section is, it really operates!

Like

  • Motorized speakers do the job perfectly.
  • Fantastic sound for videos and new music.
  • Lots of connections
  • Features rears and wireless sub.

Don’t Like

  • Not as easy to use as Sonos Arc
  • No Apple AirPlay support
  • Relatively brief surround cables

The Vizio Elevate is highly-priced for a soundbar, but Atmos bars in typical have often tended toward the significant conclusion. The Samsung HW-Q950T comes shut in conditions of specification but that program is also $1,700. The Sonos Arc ($799 at Amazon) features the simplicity of a one bar and includes a voice assistant, but it isn’t going to sound as superior as the Vizio. With its relocating speakers, the Vizio Elevate actually is its own animal.

Newcomers beware however: The Vizio Elevate’s manual set up can be intricate and just isn’t assisted by the confusing remote. Some end users may also locate the wired surround speakers a discomfort based on in which they pick out to area the subwoofer — the cables are almost certainly also brief for big rooms.

The rotating speakers reek of gimmickry, but in observe they do the job perfectly, incorporating oomph to new music and spaciousness to real Atmos soundtracks. If you don’t mind plunking down the revenue for a absolutely showcased, fantastic-sounding soundbar, the Vizio Elevate is a extremely really serious contender. If the Elevate is also abundant for your blood, however, the Vizio SB36512 is our Editors’ Option winner and an fantastic choice at fewer than 50 percent the rate.

Build good quality: A move above


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The Vizio Elevate is a 5.1.four soundbar which features compatibility with both equally immersive criteria: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. In addition to the key speaker itself, the Elevate’s set up includes rears, a big subwoofer and a remote. If you required to deck out the Arc with a related array of speakers, specifically the Sonos Sub and two Symfonisk for the rear channels, it would price tag about $1,700.

The Vizio Elevate may be a plastic soundbar at heart but its layout is… ahem… elevated. The key bar feels strong and comes in a two-tone complete — section thick vinyl wrap and section gun-metal aluminum. This is a major speaker at 48 inches wide and a desk-swallowing 6.5 inches deep. The ends are coated in a matte-black substance, which makes it difficult to see the matte-black controls, but the elevated buttons are really much easier to use by touch. The entrance of the soundbar includes a colored LED that makes it rather simple to convey to which enter you are on, as perfectly as a white LED stage meter.


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The key speaker characteristics a whopping thirteen drivers, like a devoted middle channel and 5 tweeters in full. The swiveling speakers are situated at every single conclusion and rotate when the program detects a Dolby Atmos/DTS:X sign, revealing the Atmos emblem on just one side and DTS:X on the other. 

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The subwoofer is just one of the most significant I have noticed on any program, measuring 11 inches wide by 14 inches deep and 16 inches significant. The rear speakers element both equally forward-facing and upward-firing drivers and are tethered to the sub by a thirty-foot cable (the relationship concerning the soundbar and the sub is wireless). The cable was extended enough to drape at the rear of my couch and along the side of the living house to the sub at the entrance, but the length could be an problem for some installations. 

Vizio claims the program is capable of 107 decibels, and I did locate it was quite loud, so no problems about filling even the most significant living spaces. The Elevate includes a wall-mount bracket in the box (BYO screws, however), and Vizio developed the bar to mate seamlessly with the Vizio OLED Tv set.

A mountain of characteristics

Connectivity is fantastic with two different HDMI inputs, just one of which supports eARC, as perfectly as optical electronic, a 3.5mm analog audio and a 3.5mm “voice assistant” enter, USB and Bluetooth. The Elevate connects to your network by way of Wi-Fi and supports Spotify Join and Chromecast created-in. Unlike the Arc, it lacks Apple AirPlay support but its physical connectivity is considerably improved than the Arc’s.

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The Elevate also lacks a created-in voice assistant, observed on the Arc and other soundbars, but I don’t see this as a big disadvantage. Employing Alexa or Google Assistant on a soundbar can be troublesome as the quantity will mute if it hears the wake word, which indicates you could miss some of your exhibit. If you want to use a voice assistant to listen to new music by way of the Elevate it is really easy to established the soundbar up as the default speaker for an reasonably priced Google or Echo speaker nearby.

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The remote appears like the types that come with less expensive Vizio soundbars but differs in two important aspects. You will find an Liquid crystal display exhibit at the prime, and four buttons which help with set up at the base. Acquiring both equally Result and EQ choices is a small confusing since they accomplish extremely related tasks, and navigating menus by way of the distinct buttons will take a small having utilised to.

Altering the quantity of the subwoofer was easy enough with the Degree button but not every little thing was intuitive, and you will need to know to obtain the Vizio SmartCast application to total the set up of Wi-Fi, for illustration. I also had some challenges updating the firmware from the web-site, but Vizio advised me it was since just one of the information was misnamed and certain me it was now fixed.

In comparison the Sonos Arc was a simple enjoyment to use, set up and update, even though that speaker’s set up does seriously favor iPhone ($599 at Apple) users — Sonos’ TruPlay calibration application is not readily available on Android. I had some challenges with the Arc originally and these have been assisted by employing TruPlay (on an iPad ($300 at Back again Industry)).

Substantial and mighty sound

The Elevate is two times the rate of the existing SB36512, but you are not able to anticipate two times the efficiency. I was not able to take a look at the two products side-by-side, but in my encounter there are often diminishing returns when going from an fantastic, cost-effective speaker to a a great deal a lot more highly-priced just one. 

For these tests I in comparison the Elevate side-by-side against the Sonos Arc, since the two are about the exact same rate. The Vizio acquitted itself extremely speedily with authoritative sound good quality across all types of substance. Unlike the Arc, which performs improved at dwelling theater than new music, the Elevate was equally capable with both equally — a unusual feat among soundbars.

I began my tests with new music, Radiohead’s My Iron Lung to be specific, and I observed that the Arc was not quite as completed as the Vizio. The Arc performed the song at a clear away, a little boxy and distant. By fiddling with the EQ I was ready to improve definition to the percussion, but Thom York still gave the impact he was phoning it in. The Vizio was the reverse, energetic and punchy many thanks to that subwoofer. It was not quite perfect, even though, as I wanted to again off the treble a small, but a great deal a lot more listenable general.

I moved to one thing a lot more ethereal with Yulunga (Spirit Dance) by Lifeless Can Dance, and the Arc improved fairly, with a crispness and presence in the stereo shaker eggs for illustration, even if it was not ready to dig deep on the larger sized drums. The Vizio’s authority was obvious from the initial number of bars of the song. Lisa Gerrard’s voice floated free of the speakers, and the string accompaniment was much easier to listen to. The sub was ready to permit the drums and gong appears absolutely resonate in my screening space.

I moved to videos and Tv set future, starting up with the infamous egg-stealing Chapter ten of the Mandalorian. The episode characteristics a chase scene by way of clouds and an unavoidable canyon run (it wouldn’t be Star Wars if you couldn’t flip your ship vertically or had to contend with guard rails on gang planks). During this scene the Arc was ready to convey a authentic sense of top as the Razor Crest descended into the frosty planet’s ambiance, pursued by two X-Wing fighters.

As wonderful as the Arc sounded, it was the Vizio’s devoted rears and sub which actually assisted anchor the motion. The Elevate’s surround results have been a great deal a lot more pinpoint and the metallic thud of the ship as it skidded across the ground of the icy canyon sounded impactful and terrifying. It failed to have the exact same vertiginous sensation of top as the Arc however.

The sub and rears once again assisted the Vizio convey a sense of house in my future take a look at, the Thanator chase scene from Avatar. Insects buzzed about the listening situation, dialogue was clear and explosions bombastic. In comparison with the Arc, it could from time to time ship an insect-like simply click to my proper that created me think the Elevate’s rears have been by some means still performing, but the sense of surround was a great deal fewer palpable.

The revolution starts in this article

Are revolving, motorized speakers going to become a pattern? Possibly not. The up-firing speakers of the Vizio Elevate insert some effect when in stereo mode it is really not actually enough to justify a opportunity relocating-section weak position down the highway. 

The Elevate may not be as easy to use as the Arc, but it is really the improved performer, and which is actually what matters. The Vizio soundbar is also a improved value, due to its increased connectivity and devoted subs and rears. The Vizio SB36512 still features the ideal value of any Atmos soundbar I have examined, but if you want an upgrade, the nifty Elevate is a a lot more refined and dwelling-theater-all set speaker.