Vizio's past soundbars have gotten rave reviews from S+V (and almost everybody else), but the company's latest models seem to blow those older models away. The showcase model is the S4251w-B4 (the middle bar in the picture), which costs $329 yet includes full 5.1 sound with wireless surround speakers and subwoofer. DTS 5.1 decoding is included. Vizio also demoed a $99 32-inch model that delivers amazingly deep bass for such a slim bar, thanks to a couple of passive radiators tuned to very low frequencies. There was also a 54-inch 5.1 model (no price yet) that includes HDMI input and what I'd consider a "real" sub: an 8-incher that shook the seats in the demo room at the Wynn Hotel. All models also include Bluetooth wireless for streaming from smartphones as well as a slick new remote. "We feel the performance of these will challenge the A/V receiver paradigm," product manager Jason Wehner said. None of the audio press I talked with afterward disagreed.
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