Vizio M512E-K6 Review – M-Series Elevate Soundbar

$498.00 $799.99 SEE AT AMAZON

8.3 Total Score
EXCELLENT

The Vizio M-Series Elevate M512E-K6 is a fantastic soundbar, boasting rich and detailed sound, a sleek design with rotating drivers, and Dolby Atmos at a great price, but we wish it had Wi-Fi support.

PROS
  • Rich, immersive sound
  • Exceptional Dolby Atmos
  • Sleek, innovative design
  • Rotating drivers that swivel up for Dolby Atmos effects
CONS
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Height effects need some boost

With a popping design, a pair of satellite speakers in tow, and motorized drivers upfront, the Vizio M512E-K6 (M-Series Elevate) is more than just a sound-blasting soundbar. Yet, it isn’t a full-fledged 7.1 channel surround setup; but this 5.1.2 Elevate bar rivals some of the best, yet pricier soundbars around. What it is, is a stellar hybrid that offers superior sound and sound effects, delivering audio fidelity comparable to systems costing hundreds of dollars more.

The Vizio M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 is the TV maker’s midrange sound system, only bested by the top-of-the-line Vizio Elevate 5.1.4. The Elevate M512E-K6 is a standout effort in the crowded field of midrange soundbars, packing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X skills that bring blockbusters and dramas alike to life.

With the M-Series Elevate, you’re getting a soundbar system that ticks all the right boxes: Easy setup, great sound, and reasonable price. Moreover, it delivers a more realistic and immersive sound experience than more expensive competitors, such as the Samsung HW-Q900T 7.1.2 Channel Soundbar with Dolby Atmos / DTS and the LG SN10YG 5.1.2 Channel High-Res Audio Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos.

Vizio M-Series Elevate M512E-K6 Review full

About the Vizio M-Series Elevate Soundbar

Here are the main specs on the Vizio M512E-K6:

  • Height x Width x Depth: 2.59 x 41.38 x 4.73 inches (bar), 9.57 x 7.88 x 13.78 (subwoofer)
  • Weight: 8.69 pounds (bar), 8.88 pounds (sub)
  • Speakers/drivers: two 2.3-inch dual drivers (left/right channels) one 2.6-inch dual driver (center), two 2.3-inch drivers (front height channels), five .75-inch tweeters (soundbar), two 2-inch full-range drivers (rear channels), one 6-inch subwoofer driver (subwoofer)
  • Amplification: Not disclosed
  • Wireless connection: Bluetooth (no Wi-Fi)
  • Wired connection: One HDMI eARC/ARC, one HDMI input, one digital optical input, one 3.5mm auxiliary input, one 3.5mm stereo input, one USB input
  • Sound formats: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, DTS Virtual: X
  • Video support: 4K HDR/Dolby Vision passthrough

Measuring 2.59 x 41.38 x 4.73 inches and weighing 8.69 pounds, the M-Series Elevate stretches almost the entire length of a 55-inch TV. Since it’s under three inches tall, however, the soundbar probably won’t block the bottom of your TV screen.

Setting up the M-Elevate is very easy. It comes with a healthy assortment of connections, including optical and 3.5mm inputs, an HDMI input, and an HDMI ARC/eARC connection. Most users who will want to utilize Dolby Atmos will want to simply connect the system via the Included HDMI cable to their TV’s HDMI ARC or eARC port.

Vizio M-Series Elevate M512E-K6 Review side

What we like

Sleek, futuristic design

Having reviewed Vizio’s previous Elevate soundbar lineup, the Elevate P-Series, it’s clear that the same sleek, innovative design spilled into the M-Series too. I particularly liked the way the soundbar’s height channels visually rotate upward to spit out 3D sound once an Atmos signal is detected. They then roll back cleverly for regular content like music or your average movies, then all the speakers are channeled to blast sound to the listening position.

But in some little ways, Vizio tweaked the design of the m-series iteration. Now, when Atmos is loaded, left and right port tubes will extend from their respective ends of the bar and the speakers gently roll upward internally. When the height channels are pointed forward, the tubes will be hidden away, ready for the next opportunity to belt out frequencies off your living room.

The new design is more of a personal preference as to whether spinning speakers or sliding tubes are more of a distraction to your overall viewing experience. That aside, there’s no denying the M-Elevate delivers a delightful experience that accompanies the soundbar transformation right in front of your eyes as it fills out 3D audio.

Perhaps the only issue I have with this soundbar’s design is the lack of a digital display on the front. Yes, the package comes with a remote with a screen that displays pretty much you’d want to see, but a visual display on the soundbar would be better. That would be much better than the audible feedback that pronounces each time you make a change.

Vizio M-Series Elevate M512E-K6 Review woofer

Perfect, Immersive Sound Stage

I’ve been testing soundbars for several years now – most recently the Samsung HW-Q910B and the Samsung HW-Q990C, and the original Vizio P-Series Elevate Dolby soundbar – so with the M-Series Elevate, I had a good feel of what to expect once it was released into the market. Still, this soundbar managed to pull a few surprises here and there.

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the M-Series M512E-K6 system is its subwoofer which sounds far better than I expected. It’s a small box and feels rather cheap than premium boxes from LG and Samsung, I anticipated some middling bass performance. Instead, it churns out bass that’s downright respectable for a system of this size and cost. While it isn’t a high-quality, audiophile-approved bass performance, it is still better than several soundbar systems that have far worse-sounding bass coming from larger subwoofer boxes.

It’s hard not to see Vizio’s design here as a clear winner. Aside from the fantastic fidelity for the price, you’ll enjoy the soundbar’s seamlessness through which surround effects pass back and forth from the surround speakers. The experience is truly immersive, with audible effects coming from points in the room in which there are no speakers.

Part of the experience is courtesy of the M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 soundbar’s incredibly wide sound stage, further enhanced by Dolby Atmos “height” drivers being directed at the listener when anything other than a Dolby Atmos track is being played.

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Fine-tuned Atmos Dolby for less

The Vizio M-Series Elevate comes with a total of 13 speakers, but how it renders Dolby Atmos sets it apart from the competition. The Elevate’s design earned Vizio recognition from the International Forum Design, a German international design competition. The three-dimensional sound delivered by the bar’s roll-up speakers and extendable ports helps create true-to-life acoustics and it’s fantastic for the price.

The M-Series Elevate’s delivery of Dolby is impeccable and makes the whole difference for no Atmos at all. Each time you listen t any Dolby Atmos-enabled product, the system offers noticeable height effects and a much larger soundstage than systems that lack up-firing drivers. I’ve tested many Dolby Atmos systems in this space and heard slightly more convincing effects, but the baseline expectation for Dolby Atmos is well met on the Vizio M-Series Elevate.

As expected, the M-Series Elevate isn’t going to deliver the most immersive Dolby Atmos effects specifically, but its overall presentation is quite fascinating, and the height channels are certainly doing their fair share of work. Without them, the system’s appeal and sound won’t be nearly as robust.

Vizio M-Series Elevate M512E-K6 Review sides

What we don’t like

Wi-Fi isn’t supported

Along with the lack of a visual display on the soundbar itself and the omission of rear height channels, Vizio’s other cost-cutting measure on the M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 was to remove the Wi-Fi capabilities which were part of the P-Series’ feature set. The majority of soundbars in its class come with Wi-Fi capabilities, too. The soundbar still has standard Bluetooth capabilities.

That’s not a major deal-breaker though, since the vast majority of today’s soundbars will be connected to smart TVs. But having the option to stream music from various sources is impressive, and it provides a way to periodically get firmware updates isn’t a small omission, especially at this price point.

Bottom Line

The Vizio M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 offers pretty much what makes the more expensive Vizio P-Series soundbar at a bargain. It sports a sleek, unique design and pairs it with exceptional performance, creating an aura of acoustic excellence not often experienced in this price range. Beyond that, it’s got serious Dolby Atmos at a price that’s well below competing bars, setting itself as an attractive mid-tier option in the 3D-audio market.

For the money, the biggest omission is Wi-Fi and Chromecast streaming, especially since the older flagship version, the Vizio P-Series Elevate soundbar features it. We’ve mentioned the P-Series Elevate too often, it can be found at a discount, and if you can find it at similar or near pricing to the newer model, it is the obvious bar to buy.

If the buck doesn’t stop at Wi-Fi, though, the Vizio M-Series Elevate M512E-K6 is a wonderfully worthwhile option to consider when looking to have immersive, Atmos-enriched sound in your home entertainment setup.

Last update on 2024-06-13 at 08:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

VIZIO M-Series Elevate 5.1.2 Immersive Sound Bar with 13 High-Performance Speakers, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Wireless Subwoofer, Adaptive Height Speakers and Alexa Compatibility, M512E-K6, 2023 Model

$799.99
$498.00
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as of June 13, 2024 8:36 am
Vizio M512E-K6 Review – M-Series Elevate Soundbar
Vizio M512E-K6 Review – M-Series Elevate Soundbar
$498.00 $799.99
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