Vizio SB4021M-A1

The Good The Vizio SB4021M-A1 is an affordable sound bar, with above-average looks, sound, and features. The included remote is a step up over most, with a simple button layout and a substantial feel. Its sound quality is particularly good with movies, especially compared with current alternatives.

The Bad The SB4021M-A1 lacks built-in Bluetooth, which will be more common in 2013 sound bars. And while its overall sound quality is good, it's doesn't compare with the best we've heard over the last year.

The Bottom Line The Vizio SB4021M-A1 hits a nice blend of features, design, and performance for its price, but better sound bars are coming in a few months.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.5 Overall

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Review

Vizio's sound bar is a solid pick -- for now

If sound bars are the ultimate "good enough" home audio solution, the Vizio SB4021M-A1 ($270 street price) feels like the typical good-enough sound bar. It's solid in just about every respect, with a sleek design, a good remote, and above-average sound quality. At the same time, it lacks a single standout quality that would put it head and shoulders above its competitors. It may be easier to enthusiastically recommend a less well-rounded sound bar that either looks or sounds fantastic, but there's something to be said for a balanced product.

The big hesitation about the SB4021M-A1 is its lack of built-in Bluetooth, which is about to become a much more common feature for new 2013 sound bars coming out in the spring. If you need to buy a sound bar now, the SB4021M-A1 is one of the better options currently on the market, but if you can wait just a few months, you'll have a better crop of sound bars to choose from.

Design
Vizio's sound bars have evolved over the years, but with the SB4021M-A1 it's sticking with what works. It looks largely the same as the VHT215 it replaces, with silver edges and angled metal feet on the bottom. It's 40 inches long, designed to complement a 42-inch TV, and its 2.1-inch depth makes it not quite as superslim as some other sound bars, but it's not bulky either. There's a front-panel display that gives handy feedback as to how loud you are or what input you're on, a basic nicety surprisingly missing from many sound bars. The included subwoofer is wireless and compact enough that it won't overwhelm your living room.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $230
  • Brand Vizio
  • Type Sound bar speaker system
  • Speaker Type sound bar
  • Connectivity Technology Wireless
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How To

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