Monday, May 29, 2023

Vizio Elevate Review: a rotating soundbar

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I watch so much many movies and shows when test televisions, sound bars, and various other home theater toys that I’m starting to get jealous of for the perfectly sculpted worlds they contain. Science fiction doors open with puffy whispers; stereos are perfectly embedded in custom walls; and the showers are each the size of a single garage, with matching steam nozzles.

The Vizio Elevate is one of the few soundbars that gives me that tangy James Bond feeling. One moment the rounded speakers on either side of the bar are pointing at you, and the next – precisely when you select a movie or show that supports Dolby Atmos – they spin skyward, turning into front-height channels. of the system 5.1.4.

It’s very polished and sounds good; it is definitely worth considering replacing a traditional surround sound system under $ 1000. But if I’m being honest I would buy the Elevate because of the rotating speakers. They are a shining example of innovative design in a sea of ​​black rectangles. Every time I see them move, I feel happy. Isn’t that what big purchases like this are for?

Surround sound bar

Photography: Vizio

Even home theater nerds have aesthetic lounges, it turns out, and this is a place where Atmos soundbars like this shine. They allow you to enjoy quality surround sound in spaces that would otherwise not be suitable for running wired speakers, or for extra large setups like you would find at a local McMansion.

The Elevate is sleek and looks great. The system consists of a sound bar, an 8-inch subwoofer, and two wireless surround speakers small enough to fit anywhere in most rooms. I highly recommend the rear speaker stands so that your Atmos height channel is from equal distances left and right.

A typical problem with speaker sets like this is getting them close enough to the jacks. If you make the surround speakers wireless, they still need a power outlet, which often defeats the purpose. The Elevate’s wireless speakers come with very long Vizio’s proprietary cables that connect to the subwoofer – I prefer that to extension cords, although you may still need them to power the subwoofer if not. not near an outlet.

Once you’ve set up and plugged in the Elevate, the speakers will pair automatically and you can adjust the settings as you like on the included remote. This year, Vizio fixed one of my biggest pet peeves: the remote now has a backlight! Changing settings in dark rooms is now a snap.

Photography: Vizio

Most of us will be using the included HDMI ARC port, which sends signals back and forth from your TV digitally. I plugged it directly into the OLED vision I was doing some testing and it worked right away. The Elevate also has optical, RCA and 3.5mm connections, as well as built-in Bluetooth and Google Chromecast. It will also go through Dolby Vision and HDR10 + video signals, if needed.

In addition to acting as a 5.1 or 2.1 system for old movies, TV shows, and music, the Elevate is ready to take on surround formats based on DTS: X and Dolby Atmos objects. The soundbar recognizes if it is receiving this signal and mechanically rotates the front left and right pilots skyward so they can join the pilots above the rear wireless speakers to give you four full height channels. These channels allow the soundbar to bounce sounds off your ceiling so that they sound as if they are above you.


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