The Vizio Elevate's Rotating Speakers Are a Clever Dolby Atmos Solution
Dolby Atmos soundbars have a problem: They struggle to simulate height. Regardless of how many drivers a speaker has or how fancy its room-tuning audio is, you can tell the sound isn’t coming from above you. That kind of sucks when you have a fancy home theater setup but the spaceships on-screen don’t sound like they’re zooming over your head. But the Vizio Elevate is a bit different: Of all the Atmos-compatible soundbars I’ve tested recently, it comes closest to creating the ideal three-dimensional sound bubble.
There are a few reasons for that. First, the Vizio Elevate is a 5.1.4 system. If you’re unfamiliar with home theater numbering conventions, this means the Vizio Elevate has five ear-level channels (the soundbar itself counts as three, plus two rear speakers), one subwoofer, and four upward-firing channels. Including two upward-firing rear satellite speakers is going to get you more immersive sound than the typical 3.0 or 3.1 soundbar setup, and adding in a subwoofer is also going to give explosions and bass more oomph. But that’s not what’s clever about the Elevate: At each end of the soundbar, the speakers rotate up. They don’t do it all the time, but when you’re playing Atmos or DTS:X content, you can actually watch as they turn to face the ceiling. It’s cool as hell.
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