The Vizio V51 soundbar range has a new entry: the V51x-J6. This is a soundbar that is one of those unsuspecting pieces of tech that looks quiet - and is anything but.
Perhaps you've heard of the Vizio V51x-J6, especially if you're in the market for a new soundbar - or perhaps your first soundbar. It's the 2021 version of a Vizio V51 soundbar that came out last year - the H6. As far as I know, they're identical. Both offer a central soundbar, a wireless subwoofer, and two wired satellite speakers with an LED-backlit remote. Both offer 5.1 Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround sound (but no Dolby Atmos).
At under $200, this new Vizio V51 entrant is a reasonably priced soundbar, especially when you consider the brand's top-of-the-line Vizio Elevate, which will cost you a cool $1K. And even though it's not the incredibly expensive Elevate, this soundbar puts out fantastic, punchy 5.1 surround sound that will have your home feeling like your local movie theater. So, is the Vizio V51x-J6 worth it? Let's get into it.
Design & Features
Type: Wired central channel, wireless subwoofer with wired satellite speakers
Subwoofer: 4.5" wireless
Output channels: 5.1
The Vizio V51x-J6 soundbar features three main components: a dedicated central channel bar, a 4.5" wireless subwoofer, and two wired satellite speakers. Upon opening the box, it's clear that Vizio is giving you everything to make sure your installation is a breeze: there's an HDMI cable, two power cords (one longer than the other), two lengthy cords for the satellite speakers, remote, optical cable, Velcro zip ties, analog cables, and wall mounting hardware for the surround speakers. That's a pretty generous offering, and it's greatly appreciated as someone who doesn't have a lot of extra hardware lying around.
You can set the Vizio V51x-J6 up however you'd like, but there are two main ways to do it: the central channel bar up front, the surround sound speakers just behind you, and the subwoofer at the back of the room; or flank the soundbar with your surround speakers and place the subwoofer at the front of the room. Vizio promises both setups will offer a premium listening experience, and as an NYC apartment-dweller, having some setup options that cater to various spaces (or lack thereof) is amazing.
The Vizio V51x-J6 subwoofer has a 50HZ frequency response, six speakers in total, 5.1 Dolby Audio, and Bluetooth capabilities - both for the subwoofer and for any sort of audio input.
The performance for the Vizio V51x-J6 can best be summed up by an interaction I had while watching Jackie Brown with my partner. Samuel L. Jackson was on one of his iconic rants from inside his character's beach-front home and in the middle of it I turned to my partner and asked, "Are those seagull sounds coming out of the left speaker?" To which he replied, "yup."
The Vizio V51x-J6 provides immersive sound for watching movies and playing video games - the only issue I ran into was lower dialogue that called for adjusting, otherwise, SFX and music would be far too loud. Also, with the Bluetooth subwoofer, keep in mind that you may encounter connectivity issues if you've set up the subwoofer too far away from the soundbar. With the remote, however, you can completely control the soundbar levels and the subwoofer levels, as well as EQ controls.
This Vizio V51x-J6 pumps out some incredibly impressive sound - worthy of the best gaming headsets, for sure - considering its price point and would make a fine addition to the best gaming TV or best TV for PS5 or Xbox Series X as folks look to get the most out of a new-gen console and setup.
Overall - should you buy it?
If you're looking to up your entertainment set-up's audio game without cracking open your piggy bank, then the Vizio V51x-J6 is the soundbar for you. At under $200 you're getting a soundbar with easy-breezy installation and floor-thumping surround sound. The fact that Vizio gives you free wall mounts for the satellite speakers is a lovely little addition and one that points to the company's desire to make this installation easy for everyone, no matter their home setup.
Whether you're watching a new episode of Loki or galloping across a beautiful field in Ghost of Tsushima, the Vizio V51x-J6 will leave you breathless.