86

Vizio V21-H8 Review

True Score

79
77
4

Experts

85
593

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The budget-friendly Vizio V21-H8 soundbar offers an immersive experience with a boomy sound profile. Clear vocals, audio-visual sync, and four EQ presets enhance dialogue-focused content, however, it doesn’t suport Atmos content and distorts at max volume.

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Product Snapshot

Overview

The Vizio V21 H8 is an entry-level soundbar that was released in mid-2020. It offers four EQ presets to choose from, and even though its soundstage is wide enough for users to enjoy three-dimensional sound, the best speakers in the industry allow for more customization with graphic EQs that have up to 7 presets. Also worth noting is that the V21 H8 supports audio formats such as Dolby Digital and DTS:X, but misses out on higher-end formats such as Dolby Atmos.

The Vizio H8 has a fairly decent port selection, consisting of one Optical Audio In port, one HDMI ARC port, and an Analog AUX port. In contrast, the best soundbars have about three or four HDMI ports, and they allow for wireless playback through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Chromecast, and Apple AirPlay, while the H8 is limited to just Bluetooth.

Consensus

our Verdict

The budget-friendly Vizio V Series V21-H8 soundbar features a boomy sound profile that offers an immersive movie-watching or music-listening experience. Its low latency ensures that audio and visuals stay in sync, and it also reproduces vocals quite clearly, so listeners will be able to hang on to every word when listening to podcasts or other dialogue-focused content.

However, the soundbar has a 2.1 setup, so it’ll have to downmix surround sound content. This also boils over to its soundstage, as its 2.1 channel setup makes it sound only as wide as the bar. Nonetheless, it offers four EQ presets for sound customization, and it is compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri if connected to a third-party device through its AUX port.

Reason to Buy

  • Great sound quality with a boomy sound profile
    • The H8 offers great sound quality with a boomy sound profile, without any distortion, but there are other alternatives that have even clearer vocal and instrumental reproduction.

  • Impressive 50Hz to 20KHz frequency range
    • The H8 has a wide frequency range for accurate sound reproduction and a clean, pure sound, placing it in the top 30% of its category in this regard.

  • Gets as loud as 95dB
    • The H8 gets loud enough to fill most rooms, with a max volume setting of 95 dB. This makes it among the loudest picks in its category, but unfortunately, there is a bit of distortion that occurs when listening at max volume.

  • Great latency for in-sync audiovisuals
    • Video content is very well synchronized with audio content on the Vizio V21 H8, as the soundbar has an impressive 59ms sound latency. This is, however, average compared to other soundbars that it is classified with.

  • Works with smart home services
    • The H8 can be configured to use voice commands issued through voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Siri, but only if connected to a third party device.

Reason to Avoid

  • Limited Wireless Connectivity
    • The H8 soundbar only features Bluetooth connectivity and cannot connect to devices through WiFi.

  • Distortion at max volume
    • The sound gets distorted when listened to at max volume.

Vizio V21-H8 Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement Featurena
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star Certifiedn/a
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
HeightHeight40"
Number of Audio ChannelsNumber of Audio Channels2.1
SubwooferSubwooferIncluded
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound Supported
Voice AssistantVoice Assistant
Wall MountableWall Mountablena
WeightWeight4.6 lbs
WidthWidth36"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer Connectivity
Works WithWorks With

All Specs

Test Results

Low End Roll Off (Hz)62.586
High End Roll Off (Hz)12,901.592
Max Volume Test (db)95.4
Latency (ms)59
THD @ 80dB0.45

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Product Comparison

Vizio V21-H8 Review

True Score

79
83
86
NR

Ranking

#

86

/

151

#

34

/

151

#

10

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151

#

/

Market Context

The Vizio V21 H8 is an entry-level soundbar that was released in mid-2020. It offers four EQ presets to choose from, and even though its…

The Vizio V21 H8 is an entry-level soundbar that was released in mid-2020. It offers four EQ presets to choose from, and even though its soundstage is wide enough for users to enjoy three-dimensional sound, the best speakers in the industry allow for more customization with graphic EQs that have up to 7 presets. Also worth noting is that the V21 H8 supports audio formats such as Dolby Digital and DTS:X, but misses out on higher-end formats such as Dolby Atmos.

The Vizio H8 has a fairly decent port selection, consisting of one Optical Audio In port, one HDMI ARC port, and an Analog AUX port. In contrast, the best soundbars have about three or four HDMI ports, and they allow for wireless playback through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Chromecast, and Apple AirPlay, while the H8 is limited to just Bluetooth.

The Vizio V21 H8 is a 2.1-channel soundbar that gets slightly louder than the Vizio V21x J8; however, the J8 features an AUX port that…

The Vizio V21 H8 is a 2.1-channel soundbar that gets slightly louder than the Vizio V21x J8; however, the J8 features an AUX port that can be used to connect other devices. You can see what else the J8 has to offer by reading through our Vizio V21x J8 review.

The Vizio V21 H8’s surround sound performance is nowhere as good as that of the Sonos Arc, and this is because the H8 is a…

The Vizio V21 H8’s surround sound performance is nowhere as good as that of the Sonos Arc, and this is because the H8 is a 2.1-channel soundbar while the Sonos arc boasts a 5.0.2-channel setup. The Sonos also supports Dolby Atmos and works with voice assistants, two more advantages it has over the V21 H8.

While the Vizio V21 H8 ships with a subwoofer, the Vizio M21d-H8R does not include one, and as a result, the H8’s sound profile has…

While the Vizio V21 H8 ships with a subwoofer, the Vizio M21d-H8R does not include one, and as a result, the H8’s sound profile has considerably more bass depth compared to the H8R. Another difference is that the H8 gets louder than the H8R at max volume.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Yes

Depth

7.68"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

na

Energy Star Certified

n/a

Yes

HDMI ARC

Yes

Height

40"

2.28"

Number of Audio Channels

2.1

2.1

Subwoofer

Included

Included

Dig Deeper

Vizio V21X J8 Review →

Sonos Arc With Sub One Sl Speakers Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

77

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

85

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

79

Any product with a True Score above 70 is a Mixed Reviews

Expert Score Breakdown

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Rating

    70
    The Vizio V21-H8 is decent for mixed usage. On its ‘Music’ preset, this soundbar has… read more

    By:

    John Panoryios
  • Techgear Lab
    85.83

    Category Trust Rating

    64
    While the Vizio V-Series 2.1 Home Theater Soundbar may be the least expensive soundbar in… read more

    By:

    Michelle Powell
  • Tom’s Guide
    66.71

    Category Trust Rating

    80
    Vizio’s latest inexpensive soundbar delivers wide sound, big bass and plenty of options. read more

    By:

    Michael Gowan
  • CNET
    54.51

    Category Trust Rating

    83
    Excellent home cinema sound on a budget, DTS Virtual:X improves immersion, Versatile connectivity, with, HDMI… read more

    By:

    Ty Pendlebury

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