What We Like
- Simple and convenient design.
- Solid performance for the money.
- Wireless subwoofer with a great range.
What We Don’t Like
- It doesn’t dig as deep in the lows as we would like.
VIZIO has been one of the staple brands in the entry-level segment. Their ability to offer great value for the money made them fairly popular. Because of that VIZIO SB3821-C6 is one of the hottest soundbars available under $200.
When you dwell into affordable soundbars, the design is usually not an area where you will see too much great solutions. many brands are trying to come up with products that look provocative, which appeals to some users.
However, most of us still like the simple, clean design. VIZIO understands this pretty well. SB3821-C6 is one of the cleanest and sleekest looking soundbars in its segment. It features black grille and black panels wrapped all the way around the bar. Only the side panels are finished in a brushed aluminum texture, giving you some contrast. This applies to the subwoofer as well.
In terms of shapes, VIZIO stuck with the good old cuboid. The Boxy may not be the most outlandish style out there, but it’s clean and most practical. Mounting this soundbar on the wall, or piece of furniture is extremely easy. Since the woofer is wireless, you don’t have to worry about cables disrupting your setup.
When you are discussing affordable soundbars and features, the best you can expect are the essentials. This segment is such that you generally don’t see too many advanced technologies. VIZIO SB3821-C6 packs two 2.75″ drivers combined with a compact 5″ woofer.
Combined, they can give you some 100 dB of max SPL. Handling that power is the job of Dolby Digital decoder as well as DTS TruSurround and DTS TruVolume. All in all, a pretty light package. However, the best feature this VIZIO soundbar brings you is the wireless subwoofer. That is something that is usually reserved for more expensive models out there.
In terms of the I/O cluster, there’s a set of analog and digital inputs. We are talking stereo RCA, 3.5mm stereo as well as coax RCA and Toslink optical input. VIZIO ships these soundbars with a simple, lightweight remote that allows you to control all of its functions.
For what is essentially a 2.1 system, VIZIO SB3821-C6 works pretty well. Those two drivers do a decent job at covering the high and mid portions of the frequency range, while the 5″ woofer takes care of the rest. Naturally, since the woofer is smaller than your average one, it won’t dig as deep into the low frequencies.
You are looking at 50Hz at best. Thanks to all of the Dolby features, dialogues in movies sound very clean. You can discern voices even when the characters are whispering, while a sudden change from quite to loud noises is handled fairly well.
When you turn on some music, you will really feel the lack of bass and the overall limitation of this system. Even so, compared to most of its direct competition, VIZIO SB3821-C6 packs a rather balanced performance that justifies its reputation. A budget soundbar system doesn’t really get much better than this.
VIZIO’s ability to give us the best bang for the buck has been proven once more. SB3821-C6 might be simple, but it offers enough of a good performance where you can enjoy your favorite media in a better way.