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Vizio M-Series Elevate Dolby Atmos Soundbar evaluation (M512E-K6)

Vizio M-Series Elevate Dolby Atmos Soundbar evaluation (M512E-K6)


Vizio M-Series Elevate Soundbar (M512E-K6)

Vizio M-Series Elevate Soundbar (M512E-K6)

MSRP $800.00

“The M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 is a scintillating Dolby Atmos system at a sweet price.”


  • Super-easy setup
  • Sleek design
  • Robust sound
  • Big soundstage


  • Height results want somewhat enhance

Type “Dolby Atmos soundbar” into your search engine of selection and put together for frustration. Ranging from as little as $350 all the way in which as much as $2,000, these one-box options range drastically each in value and functionality. Some programs include {surround} audio system, some don’t. Some include a subwoofer, and a few don’t. Some are simple to arrange, and a few aren’t. What are you supposed to purchase? If solely there was a Dolby Atmos soundbar system that ticked all the best containers: Easy setup, nice sound, affordable value.

The Vizio M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar system does precisely that. Read on to seek out out why Vizio’s newest sonic triumph makes an entire lot of sense for an entire lot of individuals.

Video evaluation

Out of the field

The solely factor I don’t like in regards to the Vizio M-Series Elevate is its packaging. To be honest, I typically dislike most soundbar surround-system packaging. But there’s one thing in regards to the gobs of tape and far-too-numerous cardboard tabs on Vizio’s soundbar programs that rubs me the improper method. They are a ache within the rear to open. But if you may get previous that first arduous step, it’s nothing however easy crusing from there.

It’s uncommon that I’ve a lot to say about how a soundbar system appears to be like, however one of many Vizio M-Series Elevate system’s finer attributes is that it’s a fairly sleek-looking little system. The soundbar is low-slung with rounded-off edges and coated in high-quality material. The {surround} audio system are equally low-profile in stature, thus could be simply positioned in a room with out being an eyesore. The included wi-fi subwoofer is equally modern and compact, with an unassuming oval form that, at first blush, doesn’t scream subwoofer.

Close up view of the fabric covering on the Vizio M-Series Elevate Soundbar (M512E-K6).
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Along with the speaker elements comes nearly every thing one must get the system linked and operational, all tucked into one equipment field. There are two energy cords — one for the soundbar, the opposite for the subwoofer — two exceedingly lengthy {surround} speaker cables with color-coded RCA jacks on both finish, aremote management with batteries, wall-mounting {hardware} with a wall-mount template, and a inexperienced color-coded HDMI cable. You received’t discover a digital optical audio cable or analog audio cables within the field — although the soundbar does assist these connection choices — however I’ve acquired no gripe with that since most folk will need to join this soundbar through HDMI for Dolby Atmos audio. Besides, who amongst us doesn’t have a bin filled with cables we don’t use?

Setup and connections

Setting up a {surround} sound system doesn’t get a lot simpler than it does with the Vizio M-Series Elevate. The again of every {surround} speaker has a color-coded RCA jack that matches up with jacks on the again of the wi-fi subwoofer. Connect the supplied color-coded RCA speaker cable between the 2 elements, plug the subwoofer into an influence outlet, and the again half of the system is able to go.

When I powered the system up, it was instantly able to go.

For the soundbar, solely two connections must be made: HDMI and energy. The inexperienced color-coded HDMI cable goes into the corresponding inexperienced port on the again of the soundbar, after which into an HDMI port marked ARC or eARC on the again of a TV. There is an HDMI enter on the again of the soundbar must you need to join a supply on to the soundbar and cross the sign alongside to the TV, however for most folk, the only setup can be to let the TV be the connection hub and permit audio to circulate to the soundbar from the TV.

There is one facet of setup with which I really feel Vizio might do a greater job, particularly for homeowners of Vizio’s personal M-Series Quantum X (MQX) TVs. Thanks to little “nubs” on an MQX TV, the M-Series Elevate can truly be hooked up to the TV’s legs. This isn’t coated within the soundbar’s handbook, neither is it apparent within the TV handbook. It could be completed, although, and supplies the sleekest setup. Otherwise, people will want a beneficiant quantity of depth on their media stand to accommodate the depth of the TV together with the depth of the soundbar. Of course, in case you’re wall-mounting, none of that may be a concern.

Port selection on the back of the soundbar.
Riley Young/Digital Trends

There are sync buttons on the again of the M-Series Elevate soundbar and subwoofer for linking the 2 collectively, however I doubt you’ll want to make use of them. When I powered the system up, it was instantly able to go.


Having management over each channel in a Dolby Atmos {surround} system is essential to getting the absolute best sound out of quite a lot of setup conditions. Some people might want to place the {surround} audio system very near their seating space, others might want to place them far-off. Sometimes the left speaker will must be positioned farther from the listening space than the best or vice versa. Some folks might have bigger rooms that want extra bass output, others might have to trim down the subwoofer to work higher in a smaller area. Without unbiased channel management, none of that is potential. Thankfully, the Vizio M-Series Elevate affords all of the granular controls wanted to dial issues in.

The device for these changes is the included distant management, which incorporates a small LCD display screen on the prime. Levels for proper, left, middle, {surround}, {surround} stability, peak, and subwoofer are included. There are additionally broad treble and bass changes out there, in addition to a number of EQ presets and a dialogue degree adjustment. Everything you want is right here.

Remote control for the Vizio M-Series Elevate Soundbar (M512E-K6).
Riley Young/Digital Trends

For fundamental quantity management, a TV’s distant will work simply tremendous, because the M-Series Elevate will gladly take its directions from a TV, supplied the TV has HDMI CEC turned on in its settings menu.

Since I linked the M-Series Elevate to a brand new Vizio MQX TV, I didn’t must do something to get the optimum sign despatched to the soundbar, however some people might have to tinker with their TV’s audio output settings to make sure the HDMI ARC is turned on and that it’s sending a bitstream (not PCM) sign to the soundbar.

Some Vizio TVs additionally permit fast entry to some audio settings changes in their very own audio menus, permitting customers to stash the soundbar distant after setup has been accomplished.

Sound high quality

I’ve been testing Vizio soundbars for a number of years now — most not too long ago the M-Series All-in-one, the M-Series 5.1.2 (non-elevate) Dolby Atmos soundbar, and the unique P-Series Elevate Dolby Atmos soundbar — so I had a very good really feel for what to anticipate going into my analysis of the M-Series Elevate. Still, this soundbar system managed to shock me just a few instances.

Perhaps probably the most outstanding factor in regards to the M-Series Elevate system is that its subwoofer performs much better than I anticipated. Given its diminutive measurement and fairly cheap-feeling cabinetry, I anticipated the type of bass efficiency that I discover extra annoying than helpful. Instead, what I heard was downright respectable for a system of this measurement and price. The low finish had loads of punch and rumble with out sounding tubby or simply … noisy. Is it high-quality, audiophile-approved bass efficiency? Absolutely not. But I can consider a number of soundbar programs that had far worse-sounding bass coming from a lot bigger subwoofer containers. It’s laborious to not see Vizio’s design right here as one thing of a win.

The M-Series Elevate was at all times intelligible and, at instances, flat-out pristine.

I used to be additionally involved that the system would lean too laborious on the subwoofer, provided that the entire different audio system had been very small. It’s not unusual for these one-box options to require the subwoofer to cowl frequencies nicely into the midrange, at which level finding the supply of the sound (the subwoofer) turns into very simple. For instance, with poorly designed programs, one may hear the upper frequencies of a deep voice coming from the soundbar, with the decrease frequencies very clearly coming from wherever the subwoofer is positioned within the room. This will not be fascinating.  With better-designed programs, the voice ought to appear to come back from the middle of the soundbar, with maybe an omnipresence that doesn’t appear to come back from any specific place. The Vizio M-Series pulls off this sonic trick nicely.

Since we’ve moved on to speak of voices (see what I did there?), I’m completely happy to report that dialogue readability with the M-Series Elevate was at all times intelligible and, at instances, flat-out pristine. The M-Series Elevate might use pretty small drivers inside, however they definitely don’t sound small. In truth, not as soon as did I’ve to make use of the dialogue degree adjustment characteristic. And past the meat of the vocal vary, the midrange response was typically open and uncontested, enhancing the perceived readability of the system.

Treble frequencies additionally got here by means of with readability, cleanliness, and simply sufficient element to make me grin whereas watching motion pictures for which the sound foley artists little question had fairly some enjoyable creating sound results for easy actions like opening a door or strolling throughout a dusty picket ground. I felt just like the creak of squeaky door hinges and the crunching of grit underneath a cowboy boot had been palpable. That’s fairly spectacular from a soundbar that’s priced nicely within the midrange territory.

The back of the subwoofer component of the Vizio M-Series Elevate Soundbar (M512E-K6).
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Aside from spectacular constancy for the worth, I additionally loved the seamlessness with which {surround} results handed forwards and backwards from the soundbar to the {surround} audio system. At instances, I felt utterly encircled in {surround} sound, with audible results coming from factors within the room wherein there have been no audio system. Part of that’s owed to the M-Series Elevate soundbar’s surprisingly extensive soundstage, which is additional enhanced by the truth that the Dolby Atmos “height” drivers are literally aimed on the listener when something aside from a Dolby Atmos observe is being plated.

But what about when the M-Series Elevate goes into Dolby Atmos mode? What then? Well, that will get its personal part.

Dolby Atmos high quality

At some level, I’ll pen a diatribe on the dilution of the Dolby Atmos model. But for now, please permit me to easily spell out what sort of Dolby Atmos impact the M-Series Elevate can ship.

In quick, it’s much better than no Atmos in any respect. While the M-Series Elevate doesn’t fairly ship the “dome of surround sound” I hope for any time I take heed to any Dolby Atmos-enabled product (and it may be argued that isn’t what I ought to be anticipating, I suppose), the system does supply noticeable peak results and a a lot bigger soundstage than programs that don’t have any up-firing drivers in any respect.

Perhaps I’m spoiled by the marginally costlier (albeit much less modern, in case you ask me) P-Series Elevate soundbar, however I feel that having 4 peak audio system (5.1.4) is basically important for convincing dome-like Dolby Atmos sound. There had been instances after I was auditioning the M-Series Elevate after I wasn’t completely positive I used to be listening to something out of the Atmos audio system, which had been turned upward to fireplace off my ceiling. Now, to be clear, the area wherein I auditioned this method has acoustic drop ceiling tiles, which aren’t optimum for refracting sound. Still, I’ve auditioned many Dolby Atmos programs on this area and heard barely extra convincing results. I’ll additionally level out that the popcorn ceilings and vaulted ceilings discovered in lots of properties throughout North America are additionally not splendid for refracting sound again down towards the listener. With that in thoughts, I’ve a baseline expectation for Dolby Atmos, and hope for it to be met.

A close up of the Vizio M-Series Elevate Soundbar (M512E-K6) on a media stand.
Riley Young/Digital Trends

The M-Series Elevate acquired there, however solely simply. At one level, I backed each channel however the peak channels all the way in which down and jacked the peak channels all the way in which as much as get as clear a presentation of the Atmos results as I might. They had been there, and so they had been pretty loud, however they appeared like they had been coming from the bar greater than the area above me. Still, when mixed with the remainder of the audio system in a balanced method, they clearly added a way of depth, peak, and realism that went lacking after I backed the peak channels all the way in which down.

All of this to say that whereas the M-Series Elevate won’t ship probably the most jaw-dropping Dolby Atmos results particularly, however its general presentation remains to be fairly jaw-dropping, and the peak channels are definitely doing their fair proportion of labor. Without them, the system wouldn’t sound practically as strong.

The backside line

Sure, this was a fairly lengthy evaluation for a soundbar, however to be honest, I gave up the products on the very starting: The M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar programs ticks all of the containers at a really approachable value that’s solely going to get extra enticing over time. If you’re in search of an excellent-sounding soundbar system with a tasty sprinkling of Dolby Atmos results, you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a sleeker, easier-to-use, extra potent-sounding system for the cash. The Vizio M-Series Elevate presently defines the entire “bang for the buck” idea.

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