Sound bars are often thought of as replacements for full 5.1 home theater systems, but the Vizio VHT510 is a sound bar that is a 5.1 home theater system.
Its unique design includes two rear speakers that connect directly to the wireless sub, which means you can stash the sub in the back of your home theater along with the rear speaker--no need to run cables from the front of the room to the back. More importantly, it has outstanding sound quality for a sound bar in this price range.
The VHT510 isn't perfect, as its connectivity options are limited and widespread user opinions indicate a high rate of failure on the front-panel indicator lights. (Vizio says the issue has been fixed and faulty units can be replaced.) And some "style-first" buyers may be turned off by the extra wires required for the rear channels, even if they do offer better sound quality.
Still, the Vizio VHT510 is a downright bargain at its $320 street price, and we think it's an excellent solution for buyers who want the simplicity of a sound bar with a true surround-sound experience.
That's plenty of control for the average user (and even for the advanced user 90 percent of the time), but the remote gets even better by including more-advanced functionality via a slide-out panel. You can switch inputs and make all kinds of sonic adjustments on the fly. We especially appreciated having direct control over the subwoofer level. Plenty of remotes have slide-out panels, but the Vizio's is just done particularly well. Short of buying a universal remote, this is as good as it gets.