Vizio makes UK debut with Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 soundbar

posted on Wednesday, 26th June 2019 by Steve May

home cinema  Soundbar  Dolby Atmos 

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Leading US ‘challenger’ brand Vizio has launched in the UK with a Dolby Atmos soundbar. The mid-size SB36512 is a 36-inch model that promises a 5.1.2 listening experience. It ships with wireless subwoofer and wired rear speakers.

The company, based out of Irvine California, has partnered with Exteris and is targeting various channels to market, from online through to independent electrical retailers. Exertis will hand both UK and EU distribution. The company says it is planning to bring the brand first to the UK, and then major European territories.

Retailing for £600, the eight channel soundbar was unveiled at Dolby’s London HQ, where Inside CI had a demo, alongside two other models yet to be cleared for European distribution, including the US flagship SB465.4, which has upfiring Dolby-enabled rear speakers, as well as upfiring drivers on the bar itself.

Mitch Li, VP of Audio, said the decision to launch with the 36-inch model rather than the larger premium model was down to the perceived size of the market for bigger-screen soundbars.

36inch Bar In Environment Crop (1)

The SB36512 soundbar features two angled Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers. To help cope with various ceiling heights, the Atmos output and can increased by as much as 6dB to ensure an immersive listening experience. There’s no room calibration required from the soundbar beyond that. It’s designed to be plug and play.

The driver array comprises a left front mid-range woofer, left front height speaker, a mid-range centre channel, right front height speaker and right front mid-range woofer. The wireless subwoofer has a 6-inch driver.

The soundbar offers Bluetooth 4.1 support and has Chromecast built-in with voice-control support for Google Assistant.

The SB36512 is the first in a line of soundbars expected to launch in the UK. Next up will most likely be a more compact model, the SB36312-G6. In the States, Vizio claims the number 1 soundbar market position. Since launching into the sector in 2009, it has sold over 9.6 million soundbars.

Craig Cahill, director of corporate development, told Inside CI that Vizio currently has no plans to enter the TV market in the UK.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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