Consumer electronics manufacturer VIZIO took to CES 2019 to announce no fewer than five new additions to its home audio lineup for 2019, with notable features including Chromecast, Google Assistant, and Dolby Atmos for more connected and immersive sound experiences. Meant to cover an assortment of cost brackets and entertainment setups, the highlight of the company’s announcement includes two new VIZIO Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos in 36-inch 5.1.4 and 3.1.2 formats. As the branding implies, both of those support Dolby Atmos with as many as 10 channels of audio capable of being delivered from nearly any direction when paired with appropriately formatted media on a TV or streaming media service. That’s enabled by the soundbar-centered systems’ inclusion of four upward-firing speakers that reflect sound off of a ceiling as well as front left and right channels.
A completely separate channel placed front and center is used for dialogue. The VIZIO 3.1.2 Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos features a slim-form subwoofer that can be placed behind or under a couch. The more powerful VIZIO 5.1.4 Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos takes things up a notch to include additional rear surround sound and a six-inch subwoofer. Both Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker systems can also take advantage of Chromecast capabilities via the same free SmartCast Mobile app used to control VIZIO televisions. That enables direct audio casting that’s more reliable than Bluetooth and without interruptions that can inevitably happen when streaming from a mobile device. Bluetooth is included as part of the package too for those without access to Chromecast-compatible applications or streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, or YouTube Music. As with prior Dolby Atmos offerings from VIZIO and from many others at this year’s event, Google Assistant support is enabled for additional interaction options via voice commands.
More budget-friendly options from VIZIO’s 2019 lineup
On the more affordable end of the spectrum, VIZIO has also announced a new 20-inch 2.0 channel Sound Bar better suited for small areas but lacking support for the abovementioned features. Bluetooth is still included with all of VIZIO’s offerings and the 20-inch model will pack two full-range stereo speakers with integrated deep bass modules. Following the same trend are two more Sound Bar systems in 36-inch 5.1 channel and 2.1 channel configurations, meant for larger areas without the added cost currently associated with Dolby Atmos. Each can drive sound at up to 100dB with a subwoofer included that registers bass as low in tone as 50Hz. The subwoofers are built on a similar slim-style design to the above-mentioned Atmos-enabled system and each of the two systems features integrated DTS Virtual:X technology.
Coming this spring
Each of VIZIO’s new home audio equipment will feature a plug-and-play design intended to be extremely easy to set up and use. That should only be made better by support for Google Assistant and Chromecast in the more expensive variants but they all should also offer reasonably good sound quality in a similarly sleek modern aesthetic. Exact release dates haven’t been revealed via the CES announcement but the company has said all of its new 2019 home audio lineup should be available in the spring of this year. Pricing information is even more elusive but will almost certainly match each speakers capabilities stepping from the most affordable option up to the VIZIO 5.1.4 Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos in 36-inch.