VIZIO S5451w-C2 Soundbar System
By Daniel Kumin
October 30, 2014

VIZIO’s new S5451w-C2 (what a mouthful) soundbar system is a case in point. The soundbar itself is an ultra-slim, ultra-wide 54 inches—a breadth that just happens to match that of most current-generation, slim-bezel 60-inch TVs, including Vizio’s own, as well as many older, thicker-edged 55s. And since 60 inches is the new 50, much as 55 used to be the new 42, this should make it one hot ticket indeed.

The best news is that those who punch it will receive a true 5.1-channel system. There are discrete left, center, and right 3-inch full-range drivers (plus dual oval passive radiators) in the bar itself—“full-range” here being a term of art for one-way, tweeter- and crossover-less deployment. Packed with the soundbar are a pair of small, single-driver surround speakers (with similar 3-inch drivers) and a wireless 8-inch subwoofer that also houses discrete amp channels, with wired outputs for the surrounds. All are bundled into a singular, python-swallowed-a-capybara carton, one of the cleverest origami creations I’ve encountered in consumer electronics packaging.

The Verdict: This VIZIO is a large, affordably priced, true 5.1-channel soundbar system that actually plays loud, with respectable bass extension and very presentable sound.

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