Pros + Sound quality is great
+ Very easy to set up
+ Distinct, controllable, dialog channel
+ Wireless connection to rear of room
+ Excellent value
Cons - Setup is the lack of additional inputs
Summary Many reviewers note the problem with the LEDs going out but don't go into too much depth about the importance of the LEDs, which made the decision to buy this product somewhat of a risk for me. Therefore, I would like to focus the first part of my review on that aspect of the product.Update Link
I've had my 510 for about 2 weeks now and have mostly loved it. The LEDs work flawlessly for me (so far), but what are they really for? What's the big deal with whether or not the lights work? Okay... There are 2 areas of the lights; one area (on top) that tells you what "audio mode" you're in, and a second area that tells you volume and balance (whether bass is high/low, whether the center channel is louder relative to the rear, etc).
The lights on top tell you what signals you have. If you receive a Dolby signal, the light on the left--directly underneath the DTS/Dolby logos--will come on and it will be blue. In the user manual, this light is referred to as being "Position 1". If you receive a DTS signal, the light under the DTS/Dolby logo will be orange. If you don't receive a Dolby or DTS signal, that light just won't be on. I would imagine that if you didn't have that light on, it would be annoying because you wouldn't know (unless you've got the ears of a bat) for sure whether you're getting a true HD signal.
However, I don't have animalistic ears so I pretty much rely on that light to tell me whether I've got HD audio. The great thing about this setup though is that even without the Dolby/DTS, the sound is fantastic. That's where SRS comes in, which basically simulates surround sound. You have 3 different versions of SRS, each of which have very specific functions.
First there's SRS TruVolume, which is supposed to maintain consistent volume levels when, for instance, changing channels. You know how the volume for a TV show will be comfortable, but then the volume in the commercial blasts you off the couch? SRS TruVolume is supposed to prevent that. (For the record, I don't watch much TV and when I do I just use the TV speakers at a low level anyway, so I can't write on the efficiency of the TruVolume feature). You'll know if you have TruVolume on when the Blue light comes on right below the SRS logo (which Vizio refers to as "Position 3").
Next there's the SRS TruSurround feature, which will simulate an HD surround sound even if there's not a true HD audio source. Here's what I love about this system, and why I probably wouldn't care if the lights failed. Even though I don't have the most sensitive ears, I can tell a significant improvement in surround sound quality when the SRS TruSurround is turned on. You hit the SRS TSHD button on your slide-out remote and you've got instant HD audio. If your lights are working however, you'll know you have this feature when the light in Position 2 (in between the Dolby and SRS logos) turns blue.
Finally with SRS, you have SRS WOW HD which is mainly for listening to music. Currently I'm listening to a fairly rocking KT Tunstall track through these speakers and it sounds like she's putting on a show right in my house--it's truly that clear. Doing a blind test (ie: if the lights weren't on) you can still figure out which setting (Off, TruSurround, or WOW HD) is turned on. When off, the music sounds flat. When Tru Surround is on, the music pretty much only comes out of the front channel speaker and the instruments get drowned out by the vocals. With WOW HD, it sounds like a live concert setup; it just sounds natural is the best way I can describe it--it's perfectly balanced.
The next set of lights come from behind the soundbar foam (or whatever the technical term for the fabric that covers speakers is called). If all volume and balance settings are factory default, you'll have something that looks like this: " ( o )". If you turn up the volume, it'll look like: "(((o)))" and so on and so forth. You can also adjust the bass, treble, subs, center, and rear channels. If you want more sound from the center channel, hit the right button and you'll end up with something that looks like: " o )". Or if you want less from the center, "( o". When it's even, it'll look like "( o )".
These lights are probably more important than the orange and blue LEDs because the changes are much more subtle--except for the volume levels, which are quite noticeable. Having these lights work will let you know exactly where the levels are. However, even with the lights letting me know where the levels are, I still rely more on my own hearing to figure out where I want the sound to be. When I hit the up/down buttons enough to where it sounds good to me, I stop. The light indicators are nice and I hope mine don't quit, but it won't upset me too much if they fail.
All in all, I'm very impressed with the quality of these speakers. Whether I'm watching a blu-ray disc, a movie on Netflix or Amazon VOD, and whether I have a true-HD (Dolby or DTS) source, I feel like I'm in the middle of the shot. Everything sounds crystal clear, from all speaker channels. The only negative about this setup is the lack of additional inputs. Otherwise, it's nearly perfect.
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Updated on Oct 1, 2011
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Pros Easy setup, wireless subwoofer, GREAT Audio quality!
Cons Wish the rear speakers came with a stand.
Pros No wiring, sound WAS great till it stopped working
Cons Unit last about 6 months and they are made in China
Summary I got the Surround sound system for my brithday and it worked great for 6 months then the light bar stopped working ( i could live with that) than the unit wouldn't turn on, we call support and followed the instructions the tech gave us, still didn't work so they said"sent it to them", screw that, we brought it back to price club and got the same set up ( no questions asked), we set it up and it worked great for 8 months. We just returned the second one because it was doing the same thing, We called Vizio and they said they would send us a new one.
We returned the unit back to Price Club again and didn't want a new one, at present we are looking for the same surround sound system without the problems.
FYI, we have 8 Vizio TV monitors that work great for years with no problems and will buy more as long as they are made in USA not like the sound system which was MADE IN CHINA.
Pros @Quality of Surround Sound
@Semi-Wireless Satellite Speakers
@Very Easy to set up
@Perfect Match with my both 32" and 58" TVs
Cons @Blue Big sound level bar lights
@Blue Big sound level bar lights stop working within 2 weeks
@No sound output after 3 months when I change the source or channel in the TV/cable box
@Source lights are too small to figure out your source
Summary I sold my Onkyo HT System because my wife HATES all the wires and what not. So when I found this Visio system @ Costco, I was super happy. It was about $300 inc. taxes.
I set up this system in no time. I was very satisfy with this system until those blue sound level lights went out. Once those indicators were gone, it's impossible to know the volume/bass/treble levels. I was so impress with the sounds and style that I decided to keep it. After couple of months, when I changed the channels, I didn't hear any sound. In order to make it work, I had to turn it off and turn it back on. It was super annoying. After that my excitements turned in to disappointments. Luckily Costco is very good if I want to return anything...so just last month, I returned the entire system.
I also noticed that Costco stop selling this system. However there is a new Visio Sound-bar model. This new model doesn't have those big sound level lights. Now I am thinking of buying this new model once they come up with satellite speakers. :)
"Great Surprise"on by Kaicanoe
Pros Loud clear bass, wonderful speaker clarity.
Cons Need better instructions for setting the sound levels
Summary I was very surprised to get such great sound from the unit. Setting it up took a while, but once I found what levels I think I wanted, it sounds very good. I've had it since January 20th, 2011 now & was waiting for the blue light ((())) indicators to go, but, no, they still work just fine.
I have it hooked up to my TV optic laser as I also have my DVR & USB player hooked up to it. So, any sounds going into my TV come out to feed the unit. It is just wonderful. Watched the HBO Treme movie series....would not be the same with out this sound system.
It is set up on the wall, under my wall mounted TV, ear level as I sit down, with the Bass & rear speakers on the opposite wall, 15' away, and, they are on a shelf 2' above my head..at a 7' height.
It sure can rock the place. Really got my money's worth.