The soundbar is increasingly gaining traction as the audio setup of choice for aesthetically minded sound junkies. It’s no wonder: discrete designs and all-in-one efficiency keep minimalist media centers clutter free while trumping the tinny transmitters of any TV. Their only shortcoming is a one-dimensional soundfield, often the result of simulated surround. To buck that trend and add essential immersive depth, Vizio has developed a true 5.1 solution that just took home CNET’s Best of CES audio award.
The Vizio 42-inch 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar ($330) combines a right-sized DTS package with a wireless subwoofer and set of rear speakers (that can be placed up to sixty feet away), to create a true surround sound experience. Combine that with up to 102dB of output (with less than 1% Total Harmonic Distortion), and even the discerning ears of audiophiles will prick up. Vizio’s latest also offers up Bluetooth support to enable disconnected content streaming from your favorite handheld and includes a unique Display Remote to make fine tuning listening preferences a couch-bound pursuit. The 42-inch model should hit store shelves this spring, with a 54-inch model shortly thereafter.