Vizio M-Series AiO (M213ad-k8)
“One of the best one-box sound solution we have heard yet.”
- Great fidelity for the worth
- Excellent dialogue clarity
- Wide soundstage
- Ample bass
- Good dynamics
- No perceived Dolby Atmos effects
Repeatedly, Vizio has proved it’s unmatched at making startlingly good soundbars at impressively low prices. The corporate’s latest $180 M-Series All in One soundbar (model number: M213AD-K8 — this is incredibly vital) carries on this legacy. With potent bass, impressive dialogue clarity, and a surprisingly wide soundstage, there perhaps is not any higher all-in-one TV sound solution in the marketplace.
No product is ideal, so now we have just a few complaints to register, but on the entire, the Vizio M-Series All in One soundbar (that’s its name, not only its description) exceeds nearly every expectation. Read on to search out out if this all-in-wonder soundbar could be best for you.
Riley Yong/Digital Trends
An important note
This review applies to the 2022 M-Series All in One soundbar, model number M213AD-K8. We make that distinction because, on the time of publication, Vizio still sells an older version, the M21D-H8, at many popular retailers for under $150, and the 2 are easily confused. The new edition reviewed here adds Dolby Atmos support, unique on-screen control integration with select Vizio TV models, and an updated handheld remote control, and it produces higher overall sound quality.
Definitely double-check the model before purchasing.
Out of the box
Included in a vivid red box with the soundbar is a newly designed handheld remote control, two AAA batteries for the distant, an HDMI cable, and an influence cord, together with basic instructions. This soundbar doesn’t include a digital optical cable, although the soundbar does support that connection. The soundbar also doesn’t include any analog cables for connecting smart speakers or personal audio devices, although the soundbar does offer two 3.5mm analog connections for just such a purpose, — one is even labeled “smart speaker.”
Riley Yong/Digital Trends
The M-Series AiO soundbar features six energetic speakers and two passive radiators. Depending on the soundbar’s orientation, the speakers will fire into the room in one in every of two different directions.
With the soundbar set on a media stand in front of the TV, two tweeters and two midrange drivers fire directly out on the listener — two subwoofers and two passive bass radiators fire upward from the highest of the trapezoidal soundbar.
If the soundbar is mounted to the wall, the 2 subs and bass radiators will fire directly on the listener while the 2 tweeters and two midrange drivers fire at a slight up-angle. Vizio uses a built-in gyroscope and custom digital signal processing (DSP) to change the output of the speakers in order that irrespective of the orientation — on the wall is 90 degrees different than on a stand — the sound seems to return directly on the listener from the soundbar.
It’s value noting that the Vizio M-Series AiO soundbar doesn’t have up-firing Dolby Atmos speakers — although pictures of the soundbar’s subwoofers may lead onlookers to consider it does. In actual fact, Dolby Atmos sound effects are created virtually. In fact, it is a stereo soundbar.
The Vizio M-series AiO soundbar offers one HDMI input and one HDMI eARC port, which might send video and audio signal from the bar’s HDMI input along to a TV, in addition to accept downstream audio from a TV’s ARC or eARC port. Since the soundbar supports eARC and claims to support Dolby Atmos, having a TV with an eARC port is preferred, but not required. Because of its low latency, eARC connections virtually eliminate lip-sync problems, and in some cases, eARC is able to sending a higher-quality audio signal from eARC-enabled TVs.
Riley Yong/Digital Trends
With that said, the soundbar will work just nice using the long-standing ARC format found on most TVs from the past five years. If HDMI ARC isn’t an option, a digital optical or analog audio connection can also be available, though using either of those connections negates a lot of the benefits afforded by this latest model.
Organising the Vizio AiO soundbar itself is a breeze.
The soundbar also supports Bluetooth wireless connections, for streaming audio directly from a smartphone, tablet, or computer, but doesn’t support Wi-Fi connection or built-in apps like Spotify Connect for streaming music. The soundbar can also be not “smart” in that it doesn’t directly support Apple’s Siri, the Google Assistant, or Amazon’s Alexa. Nevertheless, smart speakers supporting those digital assistants could be connected to the soundbar via the aforementioned “smart speaker” port.
Organising the Vizio AiO soundbar itself is a breeze. One HDMI, optical, or analog cable is all that’s needed on the soundbar side. Nevertheless, users will need to make sure that HDMI CEC and HDMI ARC or eARC are enabled of their TV’s audio menus. If an option for turning Dolby Atmos on or off is out there, it ought to be turned on.
To be clear, nevertheless, not all TVs support Dolby Atmos output through their HDMI ARC or eARC ports. Moreover, not all TVs support Dolby Atmos through their built-in streaming apps. Check your TV’s manual for clarification on these points.
Before I get to my impressions of the Vizio M-Series AiO Soundbar, I wanted to clarify what I listen for in a soundbar like this.
With the Dolby Atmos logo printed on the box, I’m naturally interested in how well the soundbar pulls off Dolby Atmos surround sound effects. But before I get there, I listen for general fidelity. Soundbars at this sub-$200 price level often offer poor overall sound quality. So if the soundbar comes off sounding good basically, that’s a terrific start. From there, I listen for dialoguee clarity, because in case you can’t hear the dialogue clearly, then you’ve got failed as a soundbar. From there, I’ll scrutinize the bass output, because while it is a small soundbar, I expect some measure of “ooomph” — otherwise I could be tempted to supply a soundbar with a subwoofer, low-cost as it might be.
Riley Yong/Digital Trends
Then, last within the lineup of considerations, is Dolby Atmos performance. If it says Dolby Atmos on the box, I want to listen to some form of Atmos effect. Otherwise, I’m going to have to present the manufacturer a tough time for printing that logo on the box. Still, at $200, I’ll be tempering my expectations.
This soundbar pulls off some really impressive feats.
With all of that in mind, I gave the Vizio M-Series AiO Soundbar a thorough listen and the very first thing that got here to mind was, “OK, Vizio! I see what you’re doing!”
I’ll cut to the chase: This soundbar fulls off some really impressive feats for under $200. I can inform you without reservation that If I were to buy the M-Series AiO, I’d feel like I got an entire lot greater than what I paid for. Here’s what you’ll get and, just as importantly, what you won’t get:
You’re going to get impressive fidelity. I’m not going to present this soundbar the total audiophile term-laden, surgical dissection treatment. However the proven fact that I could pick it apart at that level says quite a bit about how well the soundbar punches above its weight. Already, I’m impressed.
You may even get excellent dialogue clarity — and I mean excellent at any price. Every line of each movie and TV show I watched was delivered with superb articulation, diction, weight, and most significantly, intelligibility. Huge thumbs-up for this soundbar relating to its virtual center channel performance.
You may even get a respectably wide soundstage. There have been times once I would have believed you in case you told me the sound was coming from the Polk towers speakers which can be placed well to the edges of the TV in my media setup. This soundbar has a powerful width of sound.
You’re also going to enjoy surprisingly good dynamics. There’s this scene early in Netflix’s The Gray Man by which the movie’s audio track does a tough cut from a very quiet scene to a surprisingly loud automotive horn honking because it drives by, and that moment made me jump in my seat a bit since it was so unexpected.
Now, as for bass? It’s a little bit of a mixed bag.
The Vizio M-Series AiO has got big bass. Shockingly deep bass, considering there’s no separate subwoofer. As in impress-your friends-with-the-big-bass-coming-from-the-small-box … bass. It far exceeded my expectations. But at times, it was a bit much. As much as I like moving bass, this soundbar definitely has a high mid-bass peak in its frequency response that makes it sound prefer it’s attempting to sound larger than it’s. Fortunately, the included bass level control allowed me to dial the bass back enough to make me completely satisfied.
No have to run and grab a trashy subwoofer. No thanks.
Riley Yong/Digital Trends
The one not-so-complimentary thing I even have to say concerning the Vizio M-Series AiO is that I don’t feel it delivers on even a baseline expectation of Dolby Atmos. I won’t use this review as a platform for expressing my dismay on the rampant dilution of the Dolby Atmos badge — that deserves its own article — but I’ll say that even my tempered expectations at hearing some kind of virtual height effects were let down. It could surprise you to know, nevertheless, that that is nice with me.
I’m actually completely satisfied that there wasn’t some distracting fake version of Dolby Atmos muddying up the general sound signature. The soundbar sounds great without fake Dolby Atmos. I’m just fearful printing it on the box sets up false expectations. Bottom line: as long as you don’t expect the “dome of surround sound” with which Dolby Atmos is mostly associated, you’ll not be upset with this soundbar.
Vizio did it again. Despite the fact that I had a sneaking suspicion they’d deliver, I used to be still surprised once I reviewed this soundbar. Color me impressed.
The Vizio M-Series All in One Soundbar is a seriously impressive one-box sound solution that completely blows away any TV’s onboard sound quality while handily outperforming most competition found at and just above its price point.
Is there a greater alternative?
Not likely. The one standalone soundbar I’ve heard that may come close is the TCL Alto 8i, however the Vizio M-Series All in One Soundbar has higher fidelity and more bass.
The subsequent most suitable choice can be a 2.1 soundbar that features a wireless subwoofer, and my pick in that sort of product category would even be a Vizio product, the V21-H8.
How long will it last?
Given the Vizio M-Series All in One is outfitted with an eARC port and that soundbars are generally not susceptible to aging poorly, this product should stand the test of time well.
Vizio offers a one-year limited warranty for its products. You may visit Vizio’s warranty information page here.
Must you buy it?
Yes. In the event you’re on the lookout for an inexpensive one-box solution for serious sound enhancement of your TV, that is one of the best option we’ve tested up to now.