AudioRumble rating 69/100
What We like
It has all the right features.
Good sound for the money.
What We don't like
Not the best quality control out there.
VIZIO’s soundbars have been popular among budget consumers solely because how much value they offer. Same goes for VIZIO SB3820-C6. It is fair to say that this is one of the best soundbars you can get under $100.
Soundbar design isn’t really something many people look into. However, different brands have different approaches. VIZIO defaulted to the most basic and minimalist style possible. Their SB3820-C6 is all block like, very similar to a nicely painted piece of 4×4 lumber. The entire soundbar is wrapped in a decent black fabric that acts as a grille. You will find it everywhere but the ends. These come in form of brushed aluminum panels with VIZIO logo on them.
What makes this design so interesting is the fact that it fits well into just about any interior. On top of that, seeing how most modern TVs are fairly square by default, VIZIO SB3820-C6 doesn’t stand out one bit. In most cases, if it wasn’t for the logos on the side panels, you would hardly notice that the soundbar didn’t come with that TV. Not many brands can say that about their affordable soundbars.
What we are looking at here is a standard entry level surround setup. In other words, the soundbar comes with two speakers which are tasked with handling the soundoutput. The ones VIZIO chose for this build is a pair of 2.75″ full range drivers. One of the features which VIZIO likes to put in the foreground is the deep bass module. In essence, they claim these modules are good enough to eliminate the need for a subwoofer. Whether or not that is entirely true is up for debate, but you do get some advantages in the lower range.
Moving on to other features, we see both Dolby Digital and DTS TruSurround as well as DTS TruVolume as standard. Not that these are rare in this price range, but their presence is absolutely a plus. Lastly, you can use your VIZIO SB3820-C6 as a Bluetooth speaker. In terms of I/O, you get a set of analog and digital audio inputs, a sub output and a USB in.
Performance is where most of the affordable soundbars really get put through their paces. On paper, it all looks awesome, but getting a good sound image requires a bit more than just cool design. What VIZIO SB3820-C6 does great is that midrange response. This is usually where a lot of dialogs in movies are found. You get pretty clear and understandable voice reproduction, which absolutely makes watching movies a fun experience.
In terms of bass boost, there is an obvious enhancement in the lower end response. However, it is fairly limited. With that said, VIZIO’s bass boost modules absolutely help if you are not interested or simply can’t get a woofer for your soundbar. One thing that is worth mentioning is that you can mount the SB3820-C6 pretty much anywhere you want to. This way you get to fine tune the image field with some accuracy.
VIZIO's SB3820-C6 is by far one of the most promising budget soundbars on the market. They've designed it to be simple, versatile and powerful enough to give you a huge upgrade compared to your TV's built-in speakers. With Dolby Digital Surround and a full DTS suite, you will tap into some features that make watching TV a much better experience.
AudioRumble rating 69/100