Vizio SB36514-G6 Home Theater Sound System review: Impressive sound, but we had Chromecast issues

    With its wi-fi {surround} audio system and subwoofer, and 4 up-firing drivers for peak results, the $700 Vizio SB36514-G6 Home Theater Sound System delivers wealthy, detailed, and punchy audio, full with 3D object-based Dolby Atmos help. The soundbar’s simple setup is a serious plus, together with a beneficiant assortment of included cables and mounting equipment.

    That mentioned, I had bother connecting the Vizio SB36514-G6 to Wi-Fi utilizing my iPhone working iOS 13, and the Chromecast audio-enabled soundbar additionally had issues (in my Brooklyn house, not less than) sustaining a strong Chromecast connection. Vizio says a firmware repair for the iOS 13 points is incoming, and hopefully it’ll easy out the Chromecast kinks, too.


    As you may discern from its title, the Vizio SB36514-G6 is a 5.1.4 system, which suggests it gives 5 normal {surround} channels (left, middle, proper, left {surround}, and proper {surround}), low-frequency results for deep bass, and 4 peak channels (left, proper, left {surround}, and proper {surround}).

    The left, middle, proper, and left and proper peak channels are powered by three front-firing and two up-firing drivers within the soundbar cupboard, whereas a six-inch driver within the wi-fi subwoofer handles the low-frequency results. Last however not least, every of the 2 {surround} audio system has one front-firing driver and one up-firing driver.

    Those 4 up-firing drivers are essential if you wish to hear the peak results of Dolby Atmos, a 3D object-based audio format that makes Atmos-encoded film and TV soundtracks sound like they’re coming from all instructions, together with over your head. The up-firing drivers in Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars, together with the SB36514-G6, are designed to ship audio peak cues by bouncing hold forth your ceiling. (If you will have a Dolby Atmos A/V receiver and discrete loudspeakers, you would possibly bodily mount a few of them in your ceiling). For the most effective outcomes with this speaker, you’ll need a flat ceiling that’s between 7.5 and 12 toes excessive; vaulted ceilings gained’t minimize it, sadly. If you don’t have the right ceiling for Dolby Atmos, Vizio has an alternative choice for you, which we’ll cowl in a second.

    Measuring 36 x 2.5 x 3.2 inches, the soundbar can sit immediately in entrance of your TV, whereas the 11.5 x 11.5 x 7-inch subwoofer can go just about wherever within the room. For my testing, I positioned it subsequent to the couch that’s going through my 55-inch LG C9 OLED TV, which made it simpler to attach the 2 flanking {surround} audio system.

    Inputs and outputs

    The Vizio SB36514-G6 comes with a typical array of ports for a soundbar: An HDMI enter sits in a rear cavity on the left facet, together with an HDMI-ARC (Audio Return Channel, for sending audio out of your TV to the soundbar), ethernet, and a USB Type-A port that helps WAV and MP3 playback (no video codecs, sadly).

    vizio sb36514 g6 soundbar left ports Ben Patterson/IDG

    The Vizio SB36514-G6 connectivity choices embrace HDMI-ARC, an HDMI enter, +ethernet, and a USB port that helps WAV and MP3 audio information.

    The cavity on the right-hand facet of the soundbar has a Toslink optical port for digital audio, a 3.5mm jack for analog audio, and the ability port.

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