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Vizio's new soundbar rotates its speakers for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X content

Richard Lawler
Senior News Editor
Vizio

Vizio isn't just the brand that makes cheaper TVs with high-end features, over the last few years it's increasingly become known for offering a number of excellent home theater audio options too. For CES 2020 its soundbar lineup is getting a rebranding to match the popular M-Series and V-Series 4K televisions it sells, while a new premium soundbar is made to match the new OLED TVs it just announced.

The Vizio Elevate Sound Bar (shown above) has 18 total drivers, with a pair of channels in the main soundbar that point forward when playing stereo or 5.1 audio, but automatically rotate up to increase height effects when they play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X encoded audio. It's made to work on its own with any TV, or to dock "seamlessly" with the Vizio OLED TVs. There's also a wireless 8-inch subwoofer and two satellite surround speakers that add p to 107dB of output. Like everything else Vizio is announcing today, there's no word on a price or release date.

Other than that model, instead of simply branding its soundbars by size and speaker configuration, they now have M-Series and V-Series names just like its midrange 4K TVs (the Elevate has a P-Series model number, P514a, just like the high-end TVs). The M-Series and higher models with Atmos and DTS:X will have HDMI 2.1 inputs along with eARC support, so that you can pass through uncompressed Dolby and DTS Audio from built-in TV apps.

Vizio soundbars

The 2020 soundbars also have automatic signal detection and switching through the analog or Bluetooth 5.0. Interestingly, Vizio says that support for a voice assistant of choice may be sold separately, so we'll see which ones are included by default and which ones end up as premium add-ons when these ship. Either way, when you talk to them, now the soundbars will lower the volume, and then return to the original volume after you're done interacting. Also, some models will have backlit remotes.

According to Vizio CTO Bill Baxter, "we're providing new levels of audio performance and ease-of-use to every price point."

Vizio M-Series All-in-one soundbar

One entirely new product is the M-Series All-in-One Sound Bar (above), which improves your home theater without taking up any extra space. There are dual subwoofers built into its wave-shaped body, while DTS Virtual:X tech simulates surround effects.

If you want true surround sound, the M-Series 5.1 and 5.1.2 will be the midrange options available for you, both with Atmos and DTS:X support. The 5.1.2 system includes two upfiring speakers to give you overhead sounds, even if they don't rotate on command like the Elevate's setup.

Finally, the V-Series is represented by a 2.1 system that brings stereo sound plus a wireless subwoofer, and a 5.1 soundbar that adds a center channel plus satellite surrounds. We don't know the exact price, but they'll still provide an upgrade over most built-in TV speakers without asking a lot in price or setup space.