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Vizio releases two new sound-bars: How do they compare to Sonos and Dolby Atmos?

How do Vizio’s newest sound bars stand up to other top devices?

Vizio recently announced two new sound bars, set for release on Aug. 3. The Vizio M-Series Elevate has speakers that rotate to optimize sound quality, and the Vizio M-Series All-In-One features a low-profile design and budget price. Still, how will these speakers stand up to favorites like the Sonos Arc and other Dolby Atmos sound bars?

Everything you need to know about the Vizio M-Series Elevate

Vizio’s Elevate sound bar debuted at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. The Elevate was the first sound bar to feature auto-rotating speakers, meant to enhance audio quality by rotating to face the ceiling when playing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are audio codecs that simulate sound moving around you. Vizio’s rotating speakers aim to make the most of these audio codecs by bouncing sound off your ceiling. The original Elevate sound bars also turned the speakers forward to enhance standard surround and stereo audio.

The M-Series Elevate is a more affordable version of the company’s original Elevate sound bar, featuring the same rotating-speaker technology as its predecessor. Unlike the 2020 model, this budget sound bar doesn’t spin its speakers forward to enhance stereo sound. Still, the upward-facing speaker configuration is sure to enhance DTS:X content. You can change the speaker’s LED lights between eight colors.

It features 13 speakers, including separate tweeters and woofers. The included wireless subwoofer is a more compact, rounded take on the one that came with the original Elevate.

Everything you need to know about the Vizio M-Series All-In-One

The All-In-One is similar to Vizio’s M21D-H8R sound bar, except it features DTS:X and Dolby Atmos support. Like the M21D-H8R, it has six internal speakers, including separate tweeters and woofers. At around $200, it’s an excellent way to get Dolby Atmos sound on a budget.

Sonos vs. Vizio

Like the Vizio M-Series speakers, most Sonos sound bars are compatible with Dolby Atmos content. They are designed to pair with other Sonos speakers to enhance their surround sound capabilities and can typically pair with non-Sonos speakers, although it isn’t as straightforward.

Sonos sound bars can be controlled via remote, and in many cases, by the new Sonos voice assistant. Many Sonos speakers aren’t compatible with DTS:X and are often more expensive than Vizio’s M-Series speakers. Still, Sonos is one of the most popular sound bar brands out there.

Vizio sound bar FAQ

Are sound bars as good as surround sound systems?

A. Surround sound systems generally provide a more immersive experience, but they can be costly and take up a lot of space. Sound bars aim to simulate a surround sound experience by bouncing sound off your walls and ceiling, but the results aren’t quite the same. Still, many prefer sound bars, as they take up less space and are a significant step up from TV speakers.

What is the difference between Dolby Atmos and DTS:X?

A. Although they’re similar in many ways, there are a few key differences worth understanding. DTS:X supports higher bit rates and lets you manually adjust sound objects, meaning you can make dialogue louder. This is great for movies where you feel the music and sound effects tend to overpower the characters’ conversations.

Dolby Atmos is more common than DTS:X, with some streaming services and television channels supporting it. Luckily, Vizio’s newest sound bars support both, so you can try them and figure out which you prefer.

How large should your sound bar be?

A. Many prefer to buy sound bars roughly the same size as their TV. Still, this is mostly for aesthetic reasons. Compact sound bars can outperform larger models, depending on the number of internal speakers and overall build quality.

Best Vizio sound bars

Vizio M-Series Elevate

This sound bar is an ideal way to enhance Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content. It includes a wireless subwoofer and two additional speakers. The auto-rotating speakers have colored LED lights, giving them a stylish look. 

Sold by Amazon

Vizio M-Series All-In-One Sound Bar

This budget model is compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The speakers and subwoofers are internal, making this an excellent pick for those looking to save space.

Sold by Amazon

Vizio Elevate

The Elevate sound bar was the first to include auto-rotating speakers. It’s relatively large, but has 18 internal speakers, including tweeters and woofers for top-notch sound. Some felt the setup process was cumbersome, but most had no issues when they set the sound bar up using Vizio’s SmartCast app.

Sold by Amazon

Vizio M21d-H8R Sound Bar

This features six internal speakers optimized for 4K HDR content. Many were impressed with how loud it gets. The “night mode” feature is ideal for using it when other members of your household are sleeping.

Sold by Amazon

Best Sonos sound bars

Sonos Arc

This pairs with other Sonos speakers quickly and offers top-notch Dolby Atmos sound. It has 11 drivers, and the TruePlay feature allows you to find the best settings for your home. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Sonos Voice Control.

Sold by Amazon and Sonos

Sonos Beam

This sound bar is compact and affordable compared to other Sonos speakers. It can connect to other Sonos speakers and produces crystal-clear dialogue. You can control it with touch or voice controls.

Sold by Amazon

Sonos Immersive Set With Beam

This set includes the Sonos Beam, two SL external speakers and a wireless subwoofer. The SL speakers can be used by themselves to listen to music.

Sold by Sonos

Other Dolby Atmos speakers worth checking out

Bose Smart Sound Bar 900

This has a sleek design and is available in black or white. Many were impressed with this sound bar’s powerful bass. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and can connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect.

Sold by Amazon

TCL Alto 8i Dolby Atmos Sound Bar

This affordable sound bar has two built-in subwoofers. It’s compatible with Roku remotes, eliminating the need for multiple remotes.

Sold by Amazon


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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.