Back in January at CES we'd heard that Vizio, which is known for its bargain-price TVs, was looking to make a play in the home audio arena--and soon it will. Slated for a September release, the company is putting out a faux-surround system that includes a slim sound bar and wireless subwoofer for $299.
While its features don't quite match those of the Samsung HT-X810T that we recently reviewed, Vizio is pointing to that product as an indication of how good a deal its sound bar will be. The Samsung, which has a built-in DVD player and stereo Bluetooth along with a wireless sub, carries a list price of $699, though Buy.com has it for $582.94 with shipping. In other words, the Vizio is almost half its price.
The big question, of course, is whether Vizio's sound bar is any good (we haven't heard it yet). If it is, you can expect to see increased pricing pressure in the hot single-speaker (or 1.1 if you count the sub) surround category. For better or worse, a lot people these days simply don't want to go to the trouble of setting up a multi-speaker system that delivers true surround sound.