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Home theater systems & soundbars

Vizio S3821w
Approximate retail price:
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Summary: A 2.1-channel soundbar.
Dividing line
Community icon6 people have reviewed this model.
Type: Soundbars
About - Vizio S3821w

A 2.1-channel soundbar that features a two-channel front speaker array and a wireless active subwoofer. This model provides decoding of standard digital-audio signals.

About This Brand

Leading LCD TV brand Vizio now offers 2.0-, 2.1-, and 5.1- wireless sound-bar speaker systems that complement its TV line.

Features & Specs - Vizio S3821w
info Video player disc capacity NA
info Active subwoofer Yes
info Wireless subwoofer Yes
info Receiver OSD No
info Auto speaker calibration No
info Plays 3D Blu-ray discs NA
info Analog to HDMI video conversion NA
info 3D capable HDMI switching NA
info FM tuner No
info AM tuner No
info Internet streaming access No
info Stereo analog audio (in/out) 2/0
More features and specs
Additional Information (The information below has been supplied by an external source.)
General Information
Manufacturer Vizio, Inc
Manufacturer Website Address
Product Model S3821w-C0
Product Name 38" 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
Product Type Speaker System
Packaged Quantity 1
User Reviews - Vizio S3821w
User Reviews
Already own it? Write a review
(14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)
Great Product for the Price.
Easy Set Up
Improves Tv Experience
Low Cost
More Than You Pay For
Confusing directions
Best Uses
I have a hearing loss, and my greatest difficulty is hearing conversation clearly on my new flat panel TV. Since many sound systems are nearly as expensive than the TV itself and I wasn't sure it would be worth it, I've been reluctant to spring for the extra cost. When I read the review of this system, and found it at Costco for even less that the Consumer Reports suggested price, I decided the give it a go and am I ever glad I did. I can now hear conversations, even on programs like Grey's Anatomy (All the actors are mumblers) and now the music comes across beautifully.<br /><br />Obviously, I'm not an audiophile, but, I do enjoy music, and now, love hearing every bit of the dialogue. The only reason I didn't rate it five stars this that this is obviously not a high end system: it doesn't pretend to be one and shouldn't be rated as one. It is worth what you pay for it though, and much more. I would definitely recommend it to others.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
Bottom Line
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
(13 of 15 customers found this review helpful)
Only One Glitch...
Easy Set Up Connections
Easy to set up
Few Wires To Run
Lots Of Wires Included
Remote Is Simple
Sounds Great
A Remote&mdash;just What I Need
No HDMI connection
Oh Joy&mdash;another Remote
Online Support So-so
Best Uses
Movie night
tv watching
Video Games
First, I bought the next model up (S4251w-B4) which adds 5.1 surround and a pair of satellite speakers which plug into the wireless bass module, but my comments apply to this model, too.<br /><br />The box is huge and oddly shaped, but it's easy to unbox and setup. <br /><br />Once setup it sounded great. I agree with CU's assessment. It cost far less than similar systems from other manufacturers, but it really added to our movie- watching experience in a 14 x 20 foot room. It felt as if we had to turn it up fairly high to really get a theater-like feel, however, but once we found the volume level we wanted, it sounded powerful and immersive.<br /><br />I'm a little nervous about the lifespan of some of the materials used. Speaker housings are plastic, the screening material feels like it will tear easily, and the sub woofer feels fragile, similar to laminated particleboard Ikea uses for furniture, but thinner. <br /><br />The simple remote lets you do stuff like choose an input, adjust volume/mute, but also is used to adjust sound parameters. Ours has a small LED screen, but the S3821 does not. It has a nice soft-touch backing. Volume buttons are horizontal, a bit unintuitive, but no biggie.<br /><br />The one glitch we had was with source connections. Our system is wired with HDMI. The soundbar does not offer HDMI input, and you could run into an unexpected issue because of it. I first tried to use the recommended connection, a Toslink digital out port, to connect to our older Sony LCD flatscreen, but got no sound. After doing some forum digging, I discovered that some TVs—even newer ones—turn off the Toslink digital output if the source signal is via HDMI. Technical reasons.<br /><br />This is not the fault of the soundbar, but it may affect your purchasing decision. Know that if your TV does not support digital pass-through, you will need to use another connection, perhaps analog. That was a bit of a bummer, but I got it working after scratching my head for an hour.<br /><br />Still, good value and sounds great so far.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
Bottom Line
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)
Good customer support, poor product.
Usa Based Support
Product does not work
Best Uses
Drove 75 miles to purchase based on Consumer Reports review. Got it hooked up and the wireless subwoofer would not pair to the sound bar. To Vizio's credit, they have US based customer support with reps that speak English - a huge plus in my opinion. No waiting on hold either. The problem is that the rep couldn't help me get the product to work. They will replace the system - going to try to get the retailer to exchange it first. That means another 150 miles round trip. Doesn't sound too good without the subwoofer, can't say how it will sound with it. Bottom line - good support, but poor quality control.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
Bottom Line
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
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