In the UK it is leading the charge with a 36-inch 5.1.2 soundbar supporting Dolby Atmos, priced at £599. The soundbar actually sits in the middle of Vizio8217;s Atmos offering (which has been available in the US for some time) but it8217;s the mid-ranger that the company sees as the most disruptive for the UK market.
Since the company launched into audio in 2009, it has taken the number 1 slot in the US for soundbars, with an approach that8217;s accessible rather than exclusive. These soundbars are designed to be easy to setup and have everything in the box, to give you the instant Atmos experience.
With Dolby Atmos becoming more prevalent in the UK 8211; from BT and Sky8217;s live broadcasts through to a range of programming on services like Netflix 8211; the audio tech has grabbed the attention of the public in recent years.
Where once you8217;d have to spend will over £1000 to get your hands on it, Vizio wants to put Atmos in your house for little over half that price.
The soundbar itself has five channels 8211; left, centre, right and two upfiring speakers left and right to give you that height that is synonymous with Dolby Atmos, while the rear channels complete the immersive surround sound arrangement.
One of the interesting things about the setup of this soundbar is that the subwoofer is wireless, but the rear channels then connect to the subwoofer. The sub contains the amplifiers for those passive rear channels, meaning that there8217;s only one plug for those three speakers. In effect, you8217;ll have to find somewhere to place the subwoofer and then run cables to your rear speakers from it.
The advantage this offers is that you don8217;t need cables running from your soundbar all the way to the back of the room. While some similar systems have wireless rear channels, doing so would drive up the price on this particular system.
First impressions are pretty good. There8217;s certainly room-filling volume and the design and feel of the speakers seems solid enough. We listened to a sample from Star Wars Battlefront on the Vizio soundbar and there is a noticeable sense of immersion that comes with it.
The soundbar also comes with a remote with a small LCD display, and is compatible with Google Assistant for voice control.
So where does this sit in the current Dolby Atmos soundbar market? It8217;s amongst the cheapest soundbar you8217;ll find that has both upfiring speakers (some rivals are virtualised) and rear channels. Often rear channels are what cost you a lot more, but of course you need to ensure that you can correctly place these speakers behind you to create that sweet spot.
The Vizio SB36512 is now available to buy. There will be more Vizio soundbars coming to the UK in 2019, but the full line-up is still to be confirmed. The company is not expected to sell its TVs in the UK.