If you’re looking for a nice middle-of-the-road soundbar that would give you a good listening experience but is not a big investment, then this VIZIO V51x-J6 review is for you. The device features 6 full-range speakers and a wireless subwoofer, providing immersive sound for movies, music, and games. So what else can such a unit offer, and can the surround sound be so affordable? I have the answers for you.
Build and design
The whole set is super minimalistic, and there’s everything you need. The VIZIO soundbar has a classic design similar to many others on the market. The wireless subwoofer is not too big, and it’s not very noticeable on the floor. It is of medium size and blends in well. The only thing I didn’t like about it is that the power cord plugs into the front of the subwoofer look not very nice.
The wired speakers are light but well-designed. The only thing that was a bit disappointing was how the back of the speaker mounting brackets were designed. It doesn’t allow the speakers to sit flush against the wall and project sound in an omnidirectional way.
The remote is good overall, and a great feature is a small display to help guide you through menus. Is it convenient? Undoubtedly!
Setup and connectivity
Once I set up the surround speakers, connected them to the subwoofer, and plugged the power in, everything connected without any issues. So, the setup process is straightforward.
For a streamlined TV interface, there’s an HDMI ARC port, which enables single simplified wiring between a compatible display. Unfortunately, additional HDMI inputs are not available. Beyond HDMI, conventional digital optical input is included. There’s also an analog 3.5mm auxiliary jack that offers legacy device support as well. So, comprehensive digital entertainment gear is all covered.
However, not everything is perfect with HDMI in this model. Many users note that the HDMI interface does not work with some TV models. But having checked its work on TVs of 2 different brands I did not find such a problem. However, the ARC connection failed a couple of times when I turned off the TV. When I turned it back on, there was no sound, and I had to reboot the soundbar. In this case, the solution might be to connect the soundbar with an optical cable.
You won’t find a Wi-Fi option here, but integrated Bluetooth (4.1 version) connectivity allows cable-free music streaming from services like Spotify on your smartphone or tablet – excellent for casual background enjoyment. No delay in audio with the Bluetooth wasn’t noticed.
Features and specs
The sound enhancement technology presented in V51x-J6 is DTS TruVolume and DTS Virtual:X. In addition, Dolby Audio finishes the full spectrum of surround sound. Speaking of modes – dedicated audio profiles like Movies, Music, and Dialogue maximize the preservation and articulation of content-specific dynamic ranges and frequency responses. Letting you adjust the listening experience perfectly to what’s playing. Far better than one-size-fits-all presets. I would like to emphasize the improvement of dialog quality when watching movies. V51x-J6 did an excellent job of clarifying dialogs with the help of a special enhancement function. For this, it gets an extra point from me.
As for the virtual assistant feature (i.e., Google Assistant, Alexa), it only works if you have a device connected that has the assistant built-in (i.e., Google Nest speaker/hub, Alexa Echo, etc.). So, the assistant-enabled feature for this model feels misleading to me in this way.
I’d say this is quite a good surround sound for a small room that you can get with V51x-J6. The music EQ setting sounds good. It doesn’t increase the treble like many EQ presets do on other equalizers. The bass is punchy and not overpowering despite its size. Sometimes, I noticed the deep bass in voices to the subwoofer, but any type of musical or cinematic style bass sounds didn’t sound localized, which is great.
Supporting DTS:X definitely helps remove the “localization” of the speakers. To be honest, I think when DTS:X is enabled, it only uses it on the soundbar and subwoofer while watching 5.1 content and not the satellite speakers. Of course, there should be a clear understanding that V51x-J6 offers just virtualized surround sound and a flat soundstage as a result. Still, the difference in audio quality with this equipment is extremely improved.
- Built-in channels: 5.1.
- Amplification type: active.
- Output power, W: 50.
- Separate speaker connections: yes.
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: no/yes.
- Multichannel surround: yes.