113

Vizio M21D H8R Review

True Score

73
69
3

Experts

88
1,697

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The Vizio M21d-H8R offers great sound customization with EQ presets and dialogue enhancement. However, it falls short in bass performance and exhibits compression at higher volumes. While it has connectivity issues and latency problems, it’s reasonable for the price.

Product Snapshot

Overview

Announced as an entry-level soundbar in mid-2020, the Vizio M21d H8R is a very uncomplicated sound system with a bare-bones setup. Even though it doesn’t include a subwoofer, it ships with a HDMI and Digital Optical Cable for added convenience.

It doesn’t support Dolby Atmos content, and its soundstage doesn’t compare to what the best speakers have to offer, but users will still have an accurate idea of where object sounds are being projected from.

The soundbar also gets loud enough for group listening, and it has four Equalizer presets to choose from for a small level of sound customization. Its port selection may not be as rich as that of highly ranked soundbars, but most users should be content with its three HDMI ports, single Optical Audio In port, and AUX port.

The soundbar is also limited to Bluetooth connectivity, and not Wi-Fi, Spotify or Apple AirPlay.

Consensus

our Verdict

The Vizio M21d-H8R soundbar offers Bluetooth connectivity but disappoints with latency issues, especially when supporting specific audio formats, like ARC and Optical In. With its versatile and slightly boomy sound profile, it caters to lots of audio content.

The EQ presets and dialogue enhancement feature enhance listening experiences, but the weak low bass and compression at high volumes are notable drawbacks. It struggles to deliver the deep rumbles during action-packed scenes. The soundstage isn’t wide, but it’s focused and accurate.

Control-wise, the included remote control is straightforward and effective for controlling settings easily. It has a good build quality a durable fabric covering. While it offers EQ presets, it lacks a full graphic EQ, limiting your ability to fine-tune the sound. Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn’t support smartphone app control.

Reason to Buy

  • Neutral, versatile sound profile for various audio content
  • EQ presets for sound customization
  • Dialogue enhancement feature for clear vocals
  • Good build quality with durable construction
  • Bluetooth compatibility for wireless streaming
  • Fair stereo soundstage with good focus
  • Multiple inputs, including 3.5mm AUX and HDMI.

Reason to Avoid

  • Weak low-bass reproduction
  • Compression at maximum volume
  • Downmixes surround content into stereo
  • Lack of Dolby Atmos support
  • High latency via ARC and Optical In
  • Limited soundbar control over subwoofer and side speakers’ volume
  • Incomplete seamless integration with voice assistants

Vizio M21D H8R Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth5.5"
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement Feature
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
HeightHeight2.3"
Number of Audio ChannelsNumber of Audio Channels2.1
SubwooferSubwooferBuild-in
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Voice AssistantVoice Assistant
Wall MountableWall MountableYes
WeightWeight5.53 lbs
WidthWidth36"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer Connectivity
Works WithWorks WithAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri

All Specs

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Product Comparison

Vizio M21D H8R Review

True Score

73
78
73
83

Ranking

#

113

/

148

#

54

/

148

#

106

/

148

#

14

/

148

Market Context

Announced as an entry-level soundbar in mid-2020, the Vizio M21d H8R is a very uncomplicated sound system with a bare-bones setup. Even though it doesn’t…

Announced as an entry-level soundbar in mid-2020, the Vizio M21d H8R is a very uncomplicated sound system with a bare-bones setup. Even though it doesn’t include a subwoofer, it ships with a HDMI and Digital Optical Cable for added convenience.

It doesn’t support Dolby Atmos content, and its soundstage doesn’t compare to what the best speakers have to offer, but users will still have an accurate idea of where object sounds are being projected from.

The soundbar also gets loud enough for group listening, and it has four Equalizer presets to choose from for a small level of sound customization. Its port selection may not be as rich as that of highly ranked soundbars, but most users should be content with its three HDMI ports, single Optical Audio In port, and AUX port.

The soundbar is also limited to Bluetooth connectivity, and not Wi-Fi, Spotify or Apple AirPlay.

The Vizio M21d H8R’s 2.1-channel setup doesn’t allow it to compete with the Vizio V Series V51-H6’s 5.1-channel configuration, and this is because the V51-H6…

The Vizio M21d H8R’s 2.1-channel setup doesn’t allow it to compete with the Vizio V Series V51-H6’s 5.1-channel configuration, and this is because the V51-H6 includes a subwoofer and two satellite speakers.

The Vizio M21d H8R gets significantly louder than the Sony HT-X8500, so its a better pick for playing audio content for a large crowd. However,…

The Vizio M21d H8R gets significantly louder than the Sony HT-X8500, so its a better pick for playing audio content for a large crowd. However, the Sony soundbar supports various types of Dolby content through its Full HDMI In port, while the Vizio M21d H8R does not.

The Vizio M21d H8R doesn’t ship with any satellite speakers or subwoofer, and as a result, its surround sound performance is outmatched by the Vizio…

The Vizio M21d H8R doesn’t ship with any satellite speakers or subwoofer, and as a result, its surround sound performance is outmatched by the Vizio M Series M512A-H6. Also, the M512A-H6 is capable of Dolby Atmos support, while the M21d-H8R is not.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depth

5.5"

3.18"

2.62"

3.54"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

Yes

Yes

No

Energy Star Certified

No

No

n/a

No

HDMI ARC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Height

2.3"

2.24"

3.87"

2.24"

Number of Audio Channels

2.1

5.1

2.1

Subwoofer

Build-in

Included

Build-in

Included

Dig Deeper

Vizio V Series V51-H6 Review →

Sony HT-X8500 Review →

Vizio M512A-H6 Review →

Score Card

E

Expert Score

69

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

88

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

73

Any product with a True Score below 60 is a Total Dud

Expert Score Breakdown

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Score

    68
    The Vizio M Series 2.1 Soundbar is alright for mixed usage. It has a pretty… read more

    By:

  • CNET
    54.51

    Category Trust Score

    79
    Impressive sound from a single unit, Great for TV shows and music, too, Two HDMI… read more

    By:

  • Consumer Reports
    40.86

    Category Trust Score

    NR
    “No bottom line found for this product” read more

    By:

Customer Score Breakdown

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