VIZIO products are like the gold standards of affordable living room entertainment. The company is best known for their inexpensive but highly capable TVs. Their 4K displays also serve as proof that VIZIO is also capable of offering something more premium without asking too much money. VIZIO also has a pretty diverse lineup of sound bar systems with the most basic model priced as low as $99. The VIZIO SB4051-C0 is one of the company’s more premium models but still manages to be more affordable than the competition yet still packing a nice punch.
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About the VIZIO SB4051-C0
The SB4051-C0 is part of a trio of 5.1-channel sound bar systems. This particular sound bar system falls in the middle of the pack with the main unit measuring 40 inches wide. This makes the model suitable for 47-inch TVs or larger. Obviously, the VIZIO looks and works best with VIZIO TVs like the VIZIO M49-C1. Unlike the cheaper VIZIO sound bar systems, the main unit, rear satellite speakers and subwoofer each have a metal grille with a nice black powder coating along with aluminum caps with the iconic VIZIO logo. This premium design should match quite well with other TV brands, too.
The entire sound bar package costs $350 but the stuff included in the package highlight the amazing value. It comes with coaxial, analog and optical audio cables along with an HDMI cable so you definitely won’t need anything else for installation. Rubber feet and wall-mount brackets are included as well although you still need to buy the fasteners separately if you really want to wall mount the sound bar. In addition to the usual digital and optical ports, the VIZIO SB4051-C0 also has a USB port and an HDMI in and out with ARC support.
Every sound bar priced above $300 is expected to have a Bluetooth streaming feature. Unsurprisingly, the SB4051-C0 has it, too. Like a growing number of sound bars, it is aptX enabled which means that the audio quality is high if you are streaming music from a device that supports aptX as well. There are no fancy apps to install on your smartphone or tablet since Bluetooth transmits whatever audio is playing on the device. The VIZIO SB4051-C0 can also play back audio from a flash drive via USB but the strangest thing is that it can only read WAV files. It is much better to consider Bluetooth rather than converting your favorite lossless albums to WAV format.
The IR remote that comes bundled with the package is quite unique, too. It has a very basic set of buttons and a small calculator-like display on top serving as a status indicator. This explains why the sound bar unit itself lacks its own status display.
The SB4051-C0 makes a big play on DTS technologies and that predictably benefits the movie lovers. It supports the usual DTS Digital Surround to take advantage of the 5.1-channel setup along with more advanced ones, including DTS Circle Surround and DTS Studio Sound. DTS Studio Sound is perhaps the biggest deal here because it enhances the dialog and the bass. In fact, the bass might be a bit too deep for some folks even with the subwoofer turned all the way down. Still, the subwoofer is a fantastic companion and it can wirelessly connect to the rest of the sound bar system with a maximum distance of 60 feet. Dolby Digital is supported as well.
• Great overall audio quality for the money.
• Ready for modern Blu-ray titles, thanks to DTS and Dolby Digital support.
• Design matches premium TVs like VIZIO’s own M-series TVs.
• All the cables you need are included in the box.
• Bass might be a bit too powerful for certain types of music.
• USB port can only play back WAV files.
It is hard to find any serious flaws with the VIZIO SB4051-C0 if you are an average consumer. With a low asking price, premium design and far better audio quality than many available 2.1-channel sound bars, the SB4051-C0 is a great long-term audio enhancing investment.