Vizio sb3851-d0 Review

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VIZIO SB4051-D5 Smartcast 40” 5.1 Slim Sound Bar System

Do you want to improve the sound on your TV? A sound bar offers a great way to enhance the sound on your TV, and that too without occupying any space. A sound bar is very easy to set up and it has a better sound quality as compared to the speakers. Vizio SB3581-D0 is a sleek and stylish sound bar and it is available at a very affordable rate too. Vizio is a big brand and is famous for manufacturing superlative televisions, but their line of audio gear is also of very good quality.

The audio gears manufactured by this company are known to deliver high performance, and they complement the TV sets. Vizio SB3581 is a simple sound bar but still delivers an amazing and immersive experience of surround sound. This is an in-depth review of Visio SB-3581 and will help you make an informed decision if you want to buy it.

Table of Contents


VIZIO SB3851-C0 38-Inch 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Satellite Speakers (Certified Refurbished)

The [reviewengine_link id=”1172″ url=”″]Vizio SB3581-D0[/reviewengine_link] is 38 inches in length and it is perfect for any size of TV. It is very versatile and if we talk about its overall size, it is considered to be in the middle. It can easily fit under a 65-inch screen and will do equally well beneath a 49-inch screen because it’s very versatile. The feature that enhances the look of the soundbar is the presence of the satellite speakers. These satellite speakers connect to the back of the subwoofer and there are cables provided that can easily let you place them far from the subwoofer if you want to. These cables are available with the purchase and they are necessary for connections.

Vizio SB3581 is not just a soundbar; it is a whole system of components that work together to boost the overall sound system, where the two satellite speakers and the wireless subwoofer play an important role. Overall it has a minimalist design with the discreet controls present at the top and vertical lights present on the left of the bar. The controls are present in the form of five buttons and they are clearly marked so that you don’t face any difficulty operating them. The series of vertical lights indicate the status of the soundbar.

The subwoofer is quite small, and you can easily hide it anywhere in the room. It has a silver top and the body is just like a small black box. The ports and controls are present at the back of the box that includes a pairing button and a power switch. The ports are used to connect to the satellite speakers and for that, you are provided with the cables. The cable is long enough so that you can place the speakers far from the subwoofer. The size of the speakers can be compared to that of a soda can and they mimic the subwoofer’s style.

The body of the soundbar is made up of fabric mesh and the ends are covered with silver caps that have a Vizio logo in the center. Apart from the two satellite speakers, you’ll find a remote control, a coaxial cable, a stereo RCA cable, an HDMI cable, and a digital optical cable in the package. There is enough gear provided to mount the soundbar on the wall too. The cables are provided to connect to the ports in the soundbar. There are five ports on the back of the soundbar which include HDMI in/out, digital coaxial in, auxiliary audio in, optical audio in, and an Ethernet port.

You can easily control the sound using the control buttons (volume up and down, Bluetooth), the remote control, or the Vizio SmartCast app. There’s a music section in the SmartCast app too which you can try if you’re a music lover. The good thing is that, when most of the WiFi devices have recognized the soundbar, they’ll consider as a Google Cast system and you’ll be able to stream audio through YouTube, Pandora, or Spotify using a single button.




VIZIO SB3851-C0 38-Inch 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Satellite Speakers (Certified Refurbished)

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Sound quality:

The sound produced by Vizio SB-3581 is quite fair and clear. If we compare it to the top-notch soundbars such as Klipsch or Yamaha, there are many features which are still lacking. The sound gets a bit distorted or crackled on high volumes and they don’t have that immaculate highs and lows. However, we still consider the soundbar as a well-performing one as it is very cheap compared to those high-end soundbars that will cost you hundreds of dollars.

The SB3581 can handle different types of content from basic radio talk to rap and rock, and even loud, intense action scenes easily. Hence it is very versatile and capable of playing many different types of audio. If you can control the bass well, you’ll notice that the highs and lows get quite immaculate. The Vizio soundbar is equipped with two 2.75’’ full range drivers that are designed for each channel. Also, there are two 2.5’’ high-efficiency drivers that are meant for each satellite. The frequency response of the system is 50-20 KHz and it supports Dolby Digital, DTS truVolume technology, and DTS Studio sound. The soundbar is equipped with an audio capability and delivers a game impression of 5.1 surround sound.

The purpose of the soundbar is actually to enhance the sound of the TV in the environment, and not act as a multi-speaker surround setup. Such soundbars are meant for small apartments because home theatres aren’t useful in small houses. Though it takes some time for the user to adjust the right sound and observe clarity, but then it is quite easy to operate. After you’ve found out the right sound settings, you’ll get clear and pleasing surround sound as you need it. The two sound speakers provide a good soundstage whether you’re playing a game, listening to music, or watching a movie.

For this price, the sound is good and if you’re on budget you’ll be pleased by the sound quality. If you’re thinking to upgrade the sound on your TV, this soundbar will prove to be an immediate improvement.

Sound customization:

There are many options available for customizing the sound, which includes treble, bass, subwoofer level, and surround balance. You can customize the sound using these options via the remote control or the app. This means that you can create any type of sound you want to, but you’ll need a lot of practice for that. Some people appreciate if the soundbar is finely tuned straight out of the box, but don’t expect this sound bar to be so. You will need to work carefully on it if you want to achieve your desired sound level.

The remote allows you to adjust the treble and bass levels only, and the app allows you to adjust the balance and the surround sound volume. There are multiple sound modes too, such as movie mode, music mode, night mode, and the truvolume mode. The night mode allows you to enjoy the sound at lower bass frequencies while the truvolume mode dampens loud noises. Overall the Vizio offers enough EQ adjustments which allow you to achieve nice and clear sound which you’re longing for.

Ease of use:

Vizio’s best feature is its ease of use. The sound bar is not only easy to set up, but it’s also very easy to use. The subwoofer gets paired easily with the soundbar as it is wireless, and the satellite speakers are also installed without any difficulty even though they are wired. The pairing thing will be done in a single try as compared to other sound bars where you’ll have to try multiple times to pair them. The Vizio SB3581-D0 has a very simply designed remote and there are LED indicators that allow you to check the settings you have chosen.

The Vizio app makes the use even easier as it allows you to further customize speaker systems. The app also allows you to stream audio through WiFi instead of Bluetooth. If you want to use Bluetooth for streaming, you can easily do that too if the Bluetooth connection is strong enough.


Vizio’s setup is a breeze, and even if you’re a novice at installations, it won’t cause you any trouble at all. There are many ports available which you can use and connect to the TV in an instant. If you don’t want to connect to the WiFi, you can use the Ethernet input or the USB port for connecting. Mostly the HDMI ARC input is chosen for connecting the soundbar to the TV. Connecting the external speakers is also quite simple as the soundbar creates its own wireless network. You just have to set the subwoofer into the pairing mode and it will pair itself with the speakers.

Once you’ve set up the whole thing, making it deliver sound is a matter of minutes. Also, the app is available on Android and iOS both, so you can do anything to make your setup easier and better. You can easily set up the sound bar, listen via Google Cast, and even sort out the multiroom systems using the smart app. While most sound bars are easy to setup, Vizio SB3581 is way easier to set up as compared to other sound bars presently on the market.


Sound bar packaging is quite unique, and anyone can tell a sound bar exists inside the box. The box is usually elevated from one side and is steeper at the other end. The Vizio’s sound bar is also oddly shaped but it offers smooth access to the device. You just have to open one side of the box and pull out the subwoofer straight out. Next, you have to lift the thinner end which allows easy access to the soundbar and all the accessories. There are a lot of packaging materials such as cardboard spacers, which keep the device intact and safely placed. It won’t take much time to take the whole thing out of the box and start using it.


VIZIO SB3851-C0 38-Inch 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Satellite Speakers (Certified Refurbished)

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Vizio SB-3581 comes with a lot of accessories and that helps the user to set up and use the device easily. It also comes with a bunch of cables, the details of which are mentioned earlier in the design section. The cables are long and thin, and they will allow you to connect the sub and satellite speakers. However, the presence of too many wires and cables can be a bit frustrating, but if you plan wisely you can easily hide them and make sure they don’t come in your way.

Among the accessories, you’ll also find some Velcro strips that will help in managing the cables. There are mounting kits provided too for the satellite speakers and the soundbar both. The remote control is amazing, and it communicates a lot of information to the user. It has a small LCD on the top which allows the user to adjust the settings according to the lights present on the front of the sound bar. Though the remote looks a bit difficult to use at first, but once you start using it, you’ll feel it’s very easy to control.

What we like:

  • It has a slim and sleek design.
  • It offers excellent value for money.
  • It is very easy to setup and use.
  • There are loads of accessories available with the purchase.
  • The remote control is amazing.
  • The sound quality is good.
  • It offers true surround sound.
  • It is very affordable.

What we didn’t like:

  • The subwoofer is a bit weak.
  • The bass is unfocussed.
  • There is slightly middling sound.


The Vizio SB3581-D0 is a good quality sound bar with an amazing surround sound and is very affordable too. It comes neatly packed in an attractive box and allows you to set it up easily and use it instantly. It is overall a solid sound system that can improve the sound quality of your TV and make your audio experience better than ever. Though there are some weaknesses too, but the price at which it’s available is matchless. If you’re tight on budget, this sound bar will definitely make your day with its good sound quality.