Vizio's first 2020 soundbars go on sale now starting at $150

The innovative Elevate model with motorized Dolby Atmos drivers arrives this fall for $1,000.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

Vizio has revealed pricing and availability of its 2020 range of soundbars, most of which are shipping now with prices starting from $150. The company makes some of CNET's favorite soundbars for the money, with standout 2019 models like the SB3621N-E8 and SB36512-F6 earning our Editors' Choice award.   Vizio 's new 2020  soundbars  offer updated cosmetics and a host of new technologies, including  HDMI  inputs across the board. The model names are now keyed to the company's TV models and speaker arrays, so they're a lot easier to understand.

The M-Series All-in-One 2.1 Soundbar is an upgrade to the existing Vizio SB362An-F6. It offers a similar Toblerone shape but now comes with a fingerprint-resistant charcoal finish and features an HDMI input. It will be available for $150 from July 26.


The entry-level V series will be available in 2.1 and 5.1 speaker versions -- no Dolby Atmos here -- and comes with a new wireless sub with an "optimized sub driver and cabinet design for tighter, more impactful bass." It also features low-profile rears on the surround model. The Vizio V21 is the 2.1 soundbar, available from today for $179, while the $250 V51 is the 5.1 version that will arrive on July 5. 


The P-series Elevate features mechanically-operated drivers


Meanwhile, the most striking soundbar in the range is the $1,000 P-Series Elevate, which features mechanically rotating drivers which can serve either as height channels (when it detects Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content) or to boost the existing stereo channels. The 48-inch aluminum-bodied Elevate is a 5.1.4 system with dedicated rears and a wireless 8-inch subwoofer that also includes Wi-Fi connectivity and Chromecast built-in for casting music from your devices. It also offers Bluetooth, three HDMI  eARC ports and, for the first time, DTS support. It will be available in the fall.

One of our main criticisms of Vizio soundbars in the past has been the weird, dot-based user interface, but Vizio says the 2020 models offer a "more-intuitive user interface with select models receiving backlit remotes." All of Vizio's 2020 soundbars will include a "voice assistant input" which enables a user to connect an  Amazon Echo Dot , for example, and will "duck" or mute the volume when the Echo is accepting a command.


The company has confirmed that both of the CNET Editors' Choice-winning models mentioned above,  Vizio SB3621n-E8 and Vizio SB36512-F6 , remain in its lineup for 2020.

We look forward to hearing the new models. One issue consumers faced was that the company's $1K soundbars looked like its budget models, and it was tough to differentiate between them. but the new range makes the quality differences clearer. If the company can keep the prices down while maintaining sound quality, it may have some formidable contenders on its hands.