The Vizio SB4551-D5 5.1 Sound Bar System and More...

Vizio SB4551-D5 Slim Sound Bar Home Theater System
Vizio SB4551-D5 Slim Sound Bar Home Theater System. Image provided by Vizio

Sound Bar Plus

In conjunction with the unveiling its 2016 P-Series 4K Ultra HD SmartCast TV Line, Vizio also unveiled the first of its Sound Bar product line, the SB4551-D5.

In keeping with previous sound bar products, the SB4551-D5 combines the sound bar with both a wireless subwoofer and two additional surround speakers. Previously, I reviewed their S4251w-B4 and S5451w both of which feature sound bars as a centerpiece for a 5.1 channel home theater system.

Vizio SB4551-D5 - Core Features

1. The centerpiece of the SB4551-D5 system is a thin profile 45-inch Sound Bar that can be wall or shelf mounted and visually matches well with 55-inch and larger TVs.

2. The sound bar provides Dolby Digital and DTS, decoding, and additional audio processing, as well as Wireless Bluetooth built-in for access of audio content directly from compatible portable devices.

3. The sound bar section of the SB4551-D5 also features built-in access to internet streaming content via Ethernet connection or Wifi and is also GoogleCast and multi-room audio enabled (compatible Vizio wireless speakers available).

4. Physical audio connectivity includes Digital Optical/Coaxial and Analog Stereo audio connections.

5. Also included: One HDMI connection for access to audio, as well as pass-through for video.

6. The SB4551-D5 also includes a Wireless Slim Profile Subwoofer that can be mounted vertically or horizontally. The subwoofer is only 3-inches wide in the vertical configuration or 3-inches high in the horizontal position. The horizontal configuration allows users to place it under a couch, which is great for those low-frequency effects.

7. To round out the speaker portion of the system, two Surround Speakers are included that physically connect to the subwoofer. In other words, although the subwoofer receives audio signals wirelessly direct from the sound bar, the surround sound signals, although also sent wireless, are sent to the subwoofer, which then transfers the audio signals to each surround speaker via a physical speaker connection. You could say that the SB4551-D5 is a "semi-wireless" sound bar/home theater system.

8. For basic control, a wireless remote is included, but an added bonus that provides additional content management and operational control support is provided by Vizio's SmartCast App that can be downloaded to any compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.

My Impressions

Having had a chance to hear a preview demo of the SB4551-D5 system at Vizio's offices in Irvine, Ca, it sounds very good, considering the thinness of the sound bar and very compact size of the surround speakers. Also, with the subwoofer placed under a couch, the bass was quite effective - the couch providing good transfer of those low-frequency vibrations.



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