A Sound Stand That Passes The Bar.…
© 2015 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The day of the bulky CRT television receiver or monitor has long passed. If you don’t have projection TV, most of us don’t, then you probably have some form of a flat screen. They come on all sizes and shapes that can easily be hung on the wall or tabletop mounted. The problem is sound quality and sound dispersion.
There are several ways to improve a flat screen’s sound quality with a sound bar being the most popular, but perhaps not the most practical. Sound bars are long and can be heavy making them more difficult to place or wall mount. Some come with wireless subwoofers that enhance the bass, but take up even more space. So, is there an alternative?
The Vizio S2121w-DO is a 2.1 Sound Stand with a built-in subwoofer. It’s a tabletop unit that is designed to accommodate flat screens up to 55” and sixty pounds. This makes it possible to place the flat screen on top of the Sound Stand thus minimizing space requirements.
If you have a wall mounted flat screen the Sound Stand still works well since it takes up so little space and still offers great sound.
(TIP: Always place the base of the flat screen in the center of the Sound Stand. This is where the interior supports are positioned and will prevent possible damage to the Sound Stand and the set itself.)
The Sound Stand offers an analog input with RCA jacks and an analog input with a 3.5mm jack. A digital optical input and a digital coaxial input are also provided for connection to your flat screen. In addition it does accept Bluetooth connectivity making it possible to listen to smartphones, tablets or MAC/PCs as well. Since it does have analog inputs you can easily add a satellite radio receiver, CD player or Internet radio to the mix. This makes for a nice home theater system in places like the bedroom, den or screen room. The specs are quite impressive too, and include Dolby Digital, dts TruSound, dts Studio Surround and dts TruVolume and a sound pressure level of 101db with a frequency response of 55Hz – 19Khz. Led indicators on the front panel show sound level and input selection. The power requirement varies from 100-240vac, 50/60Hz, making it a true worldwide product. Power can be set to shut off automatically after five minutes of silence.
(TIP: TruVolume automatically regulates sound levels such as blaring commercials; TruSurround HD make the sound more realistic; dts Studio Surround is a simulated surround sound effect; Dolby Digital is a surround effect to enhance cinema sound.)
However, don’t expect true surround sound that can only be attained with a five (5:1) or seven (7.1) speaker array.
(TIP: You can improve on a surround sound effect by keeping the sound level of the flat screen “on”, but at a much lower level than the Sound Stand. Since most flat screens tend to disperse sound from the sides or rear, the sound will bounce off the wall and somewhat create a wrap around effect.)
The 14 controls are self-explanatory and are activated by the supplied remote. Four basic controls are duplicated and accessible on the side panel of the unit. The response time to a newly selected input is somewhat slow. This is typical of many digital devices and can’t be avoided in the Sound Stand.
In general, the Vizio Sound Stand is a nice practical solution to improving sound quality in small areas. Since it has speakers on three sides and a subwoofer on the bottom it can reproduce a powerful clean sound for such a small box and it comes with all the cables. What I wish they had included, however, are selections for recreating the sound effect of various venues such as theater, arena, concert hall and clubs, but then again this is something that is also lacking with most sound bars.
GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★
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Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.