Vizio entered the sound bar market last year with the VSB210WS showing that the upstart TV manufacturer's trademark mix of "good-enough" performance and affordable pricing works in the home audio market, too. The VHT210 is Vizio's latest sound bar model and though it's not quite as cheap as last year's model ($270 list price), it still has a lot going for it.
Its design is one of the best we've seen, with both the sound bar and wireless subwoofer boasting a compact design that won't dominate your living room. Its sound quality isn't the best we've heard--it doesn't get quite as loud as some competitors--but it does handle stereo music better than most sound bars we test. Our major disappointment with it was its connectivity; the VHT210 has only two inputs, compared with many competitors, like the Sony HT-CT150 and JVC TH-BA1, that have more ports.
That being said, if you've got a simple home theater setup and style is a priority, the Vizio VHT210 is a savvy choice.
The idea of the sound bar is to shrink the home theater down to a single enclosure, but even by those standards, the VHT210 is compact. The sound bar itself is just 31.5-inches wide by 4-inches high by 3.13-inches deep. At 4.6 pounds, it feels incredibly light when you pull it out of the package. It has a familiar cylindrical shape that sits on two silver, built-in legs.
The VHT210's biggest weakness is its paltry connectivity options. With just two inputs (one optical digital, one analog stereo), the VHT210 will likely suffice only for relatively simple home theaters. You can connect more devices by using your TV as a switcher if it has an audio output, but that's not always an option.
The VHT210 can be wall- or shelf-mounted with the supplied bracket; we went with the second option. Unlike a lot of trendily thin sound bars that are easily tipped over, Vizio's angled, metal brackets provide a stable footing for shelf-mounting.
The remote control included with the sound bar flaunts its minimalism. It has a power button up top, volume control in the center, and mute at the bottom--that's it. We're always asking for simpler remotes and the VHT210 actually gets it right. Even better, you can slide out the bottom of the remote to reveal a few more controls, includes treble, bass, and subwoofer adjustments, SRS controls, and input buttons. The glossy finish collects fingerprints and the slide-out action could be a little smoother, but those are nitpicks on what's an excellent overall remote.