The Vizio SB3621n-E8 soundbar is the perfect solution for anyone looking to upgrade their sound but, lack the space for a full 5.1 setup. It delivers an audio experience that far surpasses anything coming out of the speakers built-in to televisions. It manages to do this while not breaking the bank, too, with an MSRP of $149.99.
It Looks Classy
The first thing that stands out about this soundbar is that it doesn’t look or feel cheap. It has a nice black and silver color scheme that lends it a stylish and modern flair. There’s a noticeable heft the moment you pick it up and, feels like a device that is sturdy and won’t break down if you try to move it.
Another nice touch is that it’s possible to wall mount the soundbar portion. It comes with a nice guide that will help you align it properly beneath your television. This is incredibly helpful for users who are pressed for space. Just be mindful that it won’t include all of the necessary hardware, so be sure to have some extra screws ready.
The only real point to nitpick is that the area that surrounds the speakers is wrapped in a fabric mesh. It picks up dust easily and does look like it’s more susceptible to wear and tear. A nice aluminum wrapping would’ve been a better choice, however considering the price point it’s an understandable compromise.
It Brings the Boom
A 5-inch wireless subwoofer is included, which gives you maximum flexibility in where you can place it to get the best out of it and the room it’s in. The lows can get seriously low with this unit. Explosions in movies rattled my bedroom and made the experience a lot more immersive. It also made music feel more rounded out and full. Big time bonus point for this!
The soundbar itself also has bass control that you can adjust as you see fit, so you can make minute changes on the fly depending on what you’re watching.
It Does Music, Too!
The biggest revelation is that music sounds really good, far better than I thought it would. Most soundbars can do a decent job with television and movies but, tend to fail on the music front. I listened to a variety of music and it all sounded pleasing. From Rock to Hip Hop to House music, it never felt dull or as if something was missing.
Lots of Connections
Despite its compact size it packs plenty of connection options. There’s an optical port, 3.5mm jack, RCA (digital) and USB. If you need wireless connectivity for your mobile devices that it has you covered with Bluetooth 4.0. I’ve been able to hook up devices using every one of these connections, so I can get great sound no matter what I’m using.
The one hiccup I have run into is while using Bluetooth. It doesn’t fare so well when using streaming music services such as Amazon Prime Music. The sound kept cutting out and made it impossible to enjoy. I think this is more of a limitation with Bluetooth than an issue with this soundbar, though. Streaming music worked fine with the physical connections.
One of the features this speaker system boasts is a simulated surround sound called TruSurround. It does a nice job of giving the audio a much wider sound stage, however this does come at a cost. When using this mode whatever you’re listening to can seem hollow compared to when it’s turned off. Personally, I still enjoy using this mode despite the drawback. How useful this feature is will come down to personal preference.
Not so User Friendly
The biggest disappointment with this soundbar is the user interface and how it communicates what it’s doing. In order to change the settings you will need to become accustomed a set of cryptic LEDs. Be prepared to refer to the manual constantly when wanting to make changes. This is undoubtedly a cost saving measure, but surely the engineers at Vizio can come up with something a bit better.
This soundbar is worth every penny. It’s night and day when compared to my television speakers. The best part is that this speaker can be purchased for even less. You can find it at Costco for $129.99 and can even get it for less than that. I got lucky and found it on sale for $99.99, which is a steal. If you know someone with a Costco membership, go that route. Although even for full MSRP this is still a great addition to any home theater setup!