It doesn’t matter what kind of TV you have: If you’re relying on the integrated speakers, your sound system is terrible. That’s why you can’t understand dialogue and all the music and sound effects sound like they’re played through a transistor radio. The best thing you can do to upgrade your home theater audio is to add a soundbar — and ideally a subwoofer and surround-sound speakers as well. For example: Vizio’s 46-inch 5.1.4 Home Theater Sound System has all the bases covered with a sub, surrounds and upfiring Dolby Atmos speakers. Right now, you can get the Vizio Home Theater Sound System for $580, which is $200 off the usual price at Costco.
Of course, you’ll need to be a Costco member to grab this deal, but the pricing is even better when you consider the fact that it’s still selling for the original $1,000 list price at Vizio and it’s only marked down as far as $703 at Amazon.
There’s a lot to like about this soundbar kit, starting with its Dolby Atmos support. Atmos is the latest surround-sound specification that lets you mount overhead speakers — but unless you’re a dedicated audiophile, you’re unlikely to do that. Instead, Atmos-compatible systems like this Vizio setup include speakers that fire upward, reflecting sound off the ceiling and giving you essentially the same surround-sound experience as if you’d bolted speakers overhead. Vizio packs two upward-firing speakers in the soundbar and another pair in the rear speakers.
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The system also includes a wireless 10-inch subwoofer and a slew of connectivity options such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Chromecast. You can voice-control it via Google Assistant.
Bonus soundbar deal: If you’d like to get a soundbar but don’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars, perhaps consider the Vizio SB3621n-G8, a 38-inch soundbar with wireless subwoofer. It lacks surround speakers and Dolby Atmos, but gives you the substantially better front and center channel sound you desperately need. The Vizio SB3621n-G8 is available at Costco for $130, which compares favorably with its price at Amazon, where a variety of third-party sellers are offering it for $160 or more.
Read more: Best home speakers for 2020
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