Vizio M-Collection M512a-H6 evaluation: This mid-range soundbar delivers huge, dynamic sound

What Vizio’s mid-range M512a-H6 lacks in Wi-Fi connectivity, it makes up for in huge, thrilling, room-filling sound. Slated to ship in July for a listing worth of $450, this 5.1.2-channel M-series soundbar from Vizio is straightforward to arrange, affords loads of discrete audio changes, and delivers immersive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound courtesy of upfiring drivers.

Now, a sub-$500 soundbar just like the M512a-H6 (which Vizio calls an “M-series” soundbar, sitting between its high-end P-series and budget-priced V-series fashions) will essentially imply settling for some compromises—on this case, no Wi-Fi assist, which suggests you’ll must do with out AirPlay 2 and Chromecast performance, in addition to assist for native audio streaming. The great news is you could add a voice assistant by connecting a wise speaker by way of a 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth, a nifty characteristic that’s new to Vizio’s 2021 soundbars. Should you actually need a Vizio soundbar with Wi-Fi talents, take a look at the $999 Elevate, which connects to Wi-Fi and helps Chromecast streaming.

This evaluation is a part of TechHive’s protection of the most effective soundbars. Click on that hyperlink to learn evaluations of competing merchandise, together with a purchaser’s information to the options it’s best to take into account when procuring.


The Vizio M-Collection M512a-H6 is a 5.1.2-channel soundbar, that means it has bodily drivers for the left, heart, proper, left encompass, and proper encompass channels (the “5” within the “5.1.2” designation), in addition to a wi-fi subwoofer for low-frequency results (the “.1”) and two upfiring drivers for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X top cues (the ultimate “2”).

The principle soundbar unit homes a complete of eight drivers, together with a 2.19-inch full-range driver and a 0.79-inch tweeter for every of the left, heart, and proper channels, whereas the left and proper top channels every get their very own three-inch upfiring drivers.

These two upfiring drivers bounce pontificate your ceiling to supply Dolby Atmos and DTS:X top results, a better and extra reasonably priced different to putting in top audio system in your ceiling. A ceiling that’s too excessive, too low, or vaulted might blunt the effectiveness of the upfiring drivers; in that case, you can activate DTS Digital:X, a virtualized 3D audio mode that doesn’t depend on upfiring or in-ceiling audio system. We’ll focus on Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Digital:X extra within the efficiency part.

Transferring alongside, the wi-fi subwoofer will get a 6-inch driver, whereas the 2 encompass audio system every get a 1.61-by-2.22-inch full-range driver. In all, that’s 11 drivers for your complete system.

Vizio didn’t provide detailed dimensions for the principle M512a-H6 soundbar housing, however measuring it with my tape measure, it got here out to roughly 40 x four x 2.6 inches (WxDxH). That’s comparatively broad for a soundbar, stretching nearly your complete size of my 55-inch LG C9 OLED. And when it’s sitting in entrance of the TV, it’s tall sufficient to dam a sliver of the display. As compared, the 9.92 x 8.Three x 11.69-inch (HxWxD) subwoofer (Vizio did give us the measurement specs for that element) is pretty compact so far as wi-fi subwoofers go.

In addition to merely plunking the soundbar in entrance of your TV, you may also mount it below the TV, and Vizio has helpfully included mounting screws and brackets for each the principle soundbar unit and the encompass audio system, together with a mounting template. You additionally get a beneficiant cable package, together with an HDMI cable (which not all soundbar producers trouble to place within the field), together with an optical cable, a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable, a stereo RCA-to-3.5mm cable, and 4 cable ties.

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