|Every man or gal cave needs a surround sound system|
For the last seven years, I have used an old JVC 5.1 surround sound unit that had a receiver with an upconverting 5 carousel DVD player attached to it and a ton of wires. With most modern consoles offering their own upconverting DVD drives, Blu-Ray drives, and digital streaming boxes, such as the Roku, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire, the receiver and cables were overkill for my entertainment center and living room. In an effort to simplify things, I started to look towards soundbars, but I did not want "virtual" surround sound. In my years of experience, of trying and testing out virtual systems, none have ever come close to replicating a true 5.1 system. Sure, having a simple bar with one or two wires sounds great, but if I am stuck with 2.1 sound, I will stick to my TV speakers. To add insult to injury, some of these 2.1 systems are ridiculously expensive.
Enter the Vizio S4251w "wireless" surround sound system. After playing....err testing all of the available surround sound systems at my local Best Buy, and finding them either too complicated, or too limited for their respective prices, I literally stumbled onto this sound bar on my walk towards the exit. It had almost everything that I was looking for in a sound bar. Plus, it was priced at just under $300. Lucky me!
|The are few connection ports, but for most these will suffice.|
|The remote houses the system display|
|Sound Bar Size:||42"|
|Sound Bar Speakers:||Left & Right Channels (each) – 2x 3” mid-range drivers, 1x ¾” tweeters|
Center Channel – 2x 2.5” full range drivers
|Subwoofer Speakers:||6.0” Subwoofer|
|Sound Pressure Level:||102dB|
|Sound Bar Frequency:||90Hz - 20kHz|
|Audio Decoding Technology:||Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround|
|Sound Enhancement Technology:||DTS TruVolume, DTS Circle Surround|
|Wireless Range (Subwoofer):||60' line of sight|
|Sound Bar Buttons:||Power, Input, Bluetooth, Volume Up, Volume Down|
|Remote:||Yes – Display Remote|
|Power Input:||120V 60Hz|
|Installation:||Table top and wall-mountable|
|Package Contents:||Sound Bar, Wireless Subwoofer, 2 x Rear Satellite Speakers, RCA Cables for Satellite Speakers, Display Remote, RCA to 3.5mm Audio Cable, Digital Coaxial Cable, Optical Digital Cable, Wall mounts, Quick Start Guide, Sound Bar Power Cable, Wireless Subwoofer Power Cable|
|Analog Audio Input:||1x Stereo RCA|
|Analog Audio Input:||1x 3.5mm stereo mini jack|
|Digital Audio Input:||1x RCA (Coaxial)|
|Digital Audio Input:||1 x Optical (Toslink)|
|USB Input:||1x USB (for .WAV audio Playback)|
|Sound Bar w/ Feet (rubber pads):||8.9lbs|
|Sound Bar w/ Feet (rubber pads):||42.32"W x 3.74"H x 3.15"D|
|Satellite Speakers:||3.18"W x 7.42"H x 2.77"D|
|Subwoofer:||6.93"W x 12.52"H x 15.86"D|
|Packaging Dimensions:||44.5"W x 10"H x 18.6"D|
Audio quality has mostly positive reviews on the net, and I will adhere to the majority on this one. While I am sure that it will not match high end sound equipment, I find that for the price, this system sounds great. Of course, the better your source material, the better it will sound on the bar. The old rule of crap in, crap out still applies here. Everyone but the most serious of audiophiles will most likely be satisfied. After pairing my Nexus 5, streaming and playing music from Google Music was quick, easy, and painless, and sounded great. Be aware that there is no HDMI input on this system. You will need an optical cable (included) to get the best sound from your equipment. In my case, all HDMI connections went to my TV, which in turn passed all sound through the optical cable to the soundbar. It keeps your set up very clean and clutter free.
There is an included USB port which for some reason only plays .wav files. I understand that this audio format offers the best digital sound quality, however, most people have .aac and .mp3 files. I'd wager that there are more people carrying .flac, or .ogg files than there are people with .wav files on their thumb drives. Perhaps Vizio doesn't want to pay any extra licensing fees due to the cost of the system? Maybe they figured that just about any device that you connect to this system will be able to play these types of files already. It's not a deal breaker, but just a curious omission.
For the price/performance, this is the system to beat. Whether for a college dorm, or a family living room, this is a great system with a clean setup and awesome amount of features for the price. The included mounts and audio cables just sweeten the deal even further.
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