An excellent budget sound bar, if it fits Video
An excellent budget sound bar, if it fits Video Transcript
Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET. And today, we're taking a look at the VIZIO S4221w-C4. This is a 2.1 sound bar system and is currently selling for $250. The Vizio style doesn't stand out much, but that's generally a good thing when it comes to sound bars. There's a large black speaker grill on the front with a thin strip of silver running along the bottom. On the far left, there's a series of LEDs that do give you a good job of visual feedback on the volume level. The included subwoofer is wireless, which means you have some flexibility on where you place it-- although you'll typically get the best sound quality if it's within a few feet of the sound bar. One drawback to the design is that it might block your TV's remote sensor if you place it in front of your TV. It's a significant problem as you'll find yourself holding the remote in the air, angling to get the remote signals to your TV. If you're considering the sound bar, your best bet is to find your TV's remote sensor, and break out a tape measure to figure out if the 3.74-inch high cabinet will get in the way. The included remote is excellent. It has a substantial feel and a minimalist selection of buttons that fall easily under your thumb. Even better is the built-in display, which lets you look at the remote right in your hand rather than squinting across the room at a tiny display on the sound bar. On the back, there are four inputs-- optical, coaxial, mini-jack, and analog. That should be enough for all your gear as long as you're using your TV to switch between devices. There's also built-in Bluetooth, which means you can wirelessly stream audio from the vast majority of smartphones and tablets. For sound quality, we had resident audiophile Steve Guttenberg give the system a lesson, and he was pretty impressed, especially for the price. The Vizio's DTS TruSurround mode help to create a wide sound stage on most movies, and the subwoofer was able to get deep while staying well-defined. It even held its own with stereo music, which is typically tough for sound bars. Now, overall, it wasn't quite as good as the Sony HTCT260, which is our favorite pick at this price, but it was a very close match between the two systems. So, all together, there's just not much to complain about on the S4221W. It sounds great, it looks good and it offers all the features I consider important for a budget sound bar. My only hesitation is that the design will block your TV's remote sensor and many setups. But if you can get around that quirk, it's an awfully good valuue for $250. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this the VIZIO S4221w-C4.
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The SanDisk Sansa Clip+ is an excellent successor to the line, offering a fitness-friendly design with a built-in belt-clip, a simple interface, solid sound quality, and plenty of handy features--all for an ultralow price. It's an unbeatable value
The LG VX3450 is a great basic phone with a compact and attractive design. Its excellent sound quality and intuitive controls make it one of the better basic phones.
Pioneer's VSX-1012-K is an excellent AV receiver with built-in AirPlay and top-notch sound quality, but Denon's AVR-1912 is just a little better.
The Vizio XVT3SV series' excellent picture quality, thoughtful design, scads of features, and reasonable price combine to make the best value among high-end LED-based LCD TVs today.
The Vizio VHT510 adds rear speakers to the traditional sound bar design, resulting in outstanding sound quality at an affordable price, although we would have liked more inputs.
The Harman Kardon SB 16 features a premium price tag and some remote control quirks, but its excellent sound quality and exterior design make it worth the extra cash.
Vizio S4221w-C4 Review
The good: The Vizio S4221w-C4 delivers excellent sound quality for a budget sound bar/subwoofer system. It has a stylish, refined design, plus an excellent remote with a built-in display. There's also integrated Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming from most smartphones and tablets.
The bad: The sound bar may block your TV's remote sensor when used in the tabletop position. And, as you'd expect, it won't compare to some higher-priced systems when it comes to sound quality.
The bottom line: The Vizio S4221w-C4 is an excellent budget sound bar, with great sound quality, an excellent remote, and built-in Bluetooth, but its design won't work in every setup.
Vizio S4221w-C4 Specs
Part number: S4221w-C4
- Product Specifications