VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer Review

Living in a small apartment with a big desire for technology and other stuff requires space-saving superpower.

I am a music enthusiast, and it is my ultimate stress reliever, especially after a long day. Although I have iPod and ear monitors almost the whole day, I still want to listen to music when I get home. On special days, I want to watch an entire episode of the TV show I like.

But because of my limited space, I don’t have the liberty to purchase a home theater system. Luckily, there are technology buffs out there who understood my pickle and invented the soundbar.

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VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer

VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer

Our Rating

88 /100

Review Summary

Vizio SB3821-C6 is an affordable alternative to your TVs internal speakers. With its 2.1 channels, Dolby Digital and DTS audio processing, Bluetooth connectivity, you are sure to enhance your listening experience without spending too much.

Recommended for: people who want to save space and money without compromising quality.

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Who is a Soundbar for?​

A soundbar is for people like me who are dissatisfied with their TV’s speakers or other loudspeakers but doesn’t have enough space to accommodate a full surround sound system.

However, if you are more into the real surround sound and space is not an issue, this product may not be for you.​

What to Look for​ in a Soundbar

In case you are really decided to get a sound bar, here are some of the things you have to consider before buying one.

  • Channel. Soundbars usually come in 2 or 5 channels with an addition of subwoofers that makes them 2.1 or 5.1. More recent versions have more than 5 channels. These are specially made to mimic a real surround sound.
  • Size. Depending on your available space and your TV size, your soundbar choice must have a size that’s compatible with these two. For TVs 40 inches or more, a soundbar at least 36 inches is a good match.
  • Placement. Again the size of your place is a significant consideration for this factor. There are soundbars that can be placed table-top, wall-mounted, or built-in. Choose which saves you space the most.

The VIZIO SB3821 C6

From a company that sells and develops consumer electronics at a relatively low price comes a soundbar that is also affordable and still consistent with its job.

VIZIO SB3821-C6 is a 2.1 soundbar system, the older version of VIZIO SB3821 D6. The two are highly similar except that the latter has Google Cast built-in and its design is modified a little bit.

The SB3821-C6 has two full range drivers and comes with a wireless subwoofer with high excursion driver. Its sound pressure can be as high as 100 dB with less than 1% total harmonic distortion. This means that what you hear is pure sound, not noise.

This soundbar is also Dolby Digital and DTS Surround Sound, TruSurround, and Truvolume compatible. In addition, it has built-in digital and analog ports plus USB and Bluetooth connections. Cables for these wired ports are all included.​

However, if you are looking for real surround sound, get a soundbar with more channels or invest in home theater system.

Pros

  • An obvious step up from the TV’s internal speakers.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Has digital and analog ports.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming.
  • Has DTS and Dolby Digital audio processing.

Cons

  • Bluetooth streaming has some lags.
  • No HDMI connection.
  • May not last a long time.

VIZIO SB3821 C6 Features & Benefits

1./ Clear and Crisp Sound​

This soundbar promises a solid sound even at 100 decibels with only about 1% total harmonic distortion. That is as loud as a snowmobile or a motorcycle according to Galen Carol Audio’s comparison chart.

Also, because each of its two drivers is full range, you can hear all frequencies from high to low—50 Hz to 19 kHz.

2./ Wireless Subwoofer

The addition of the subwoofer is good news for bass lovers because it can provide a deeper bass level for a fuller listening experience.

3./ DTS TruVolume and TruSurround​

Another factor that enhances the audio from your media devices is these two. TruVolume enables leveling of the sound coming from TV shows, whose sound volume usually fluctuates.

TruSurround, on the other hand, enables a virtual surround sound that tricks your ears into thinking you are indeed surrounded by sound.​

4./ Analog and Digital Connection Options​

Including these two options allows for more compatibility with different devices such as old and modern TVs, gaming consoles, and the likes.

5./ Bluetooth Connectivity​

This soundbar’s Bluetooth feature further widens the array of devices that can be hooked up to it. Smartphones, tablets, even TVs may be connected as long as they are Bluetooth enabled.

6./ Wall-Mountable​

For space savers like me, having different options where to place the soundbar is a plus. If I decide to get rid of my TV stand and mount the TV on the wall, this soundbar can stay on the wall with it.

Also, because this soundbar is only 3 inches high, it can be placed built-in in the entertainment cabinet.​

7./ Remote Control​

For busy people like us who prefer to lie down after a long day, a remote-controlled soundbar is a blessing. Imagine all the body energy we’ll save and the calories we won’t burn when we don’t need to stand to play music.

VIZIO SB3821 C6 Reviews​

As of this writing, VIZIO SB3821-C6 is highly acclaimed by different reviewers, especially on Amazon. They particularly liked the sound quality and design, which blends with their room’s arrangement. Users are also satisfied with the price.

However, there are also reports that this product doesn’t last long. The good thing about that is in most cases, the company is willing to replace the defective product.​

Questions about VIZIO SB3821-C6 Soundbar​

  • What cables come with the soundbar? The VIZIO SB3821-C6 manual says the box is loaded with the soundbar (of course); the wireless subwoofer (another of course); the remote control; the power cables for the soundbar and subwoofer; coaxial, RCA, and optical cables, wall mounting paraphernalias, and the manual itself.
  • Can you add additional speakers to make it 5.1? No, unfortunately. There are no options for additional outputs.
  • How do you know the sub is connected? Aside from the indicators, that is the blinking light at the back and the lights in front, you can touch your sub to make sure it’s hooked up properly. Play any music and you should feel vibration.
  • Does this work with your TV’s remote? There are some TV remote controls that seem to work fine with this soundbar.
  • Can you get the sub only? As of this writing, there are no listings that indicate you can purchase the subwoofer alone. It really goes with the package. If your sub has completely stopped working despite the magic you have done, you may contact their customer support.

VIZIO SB3821-C6: Alternatives​

If a 2.1 channel doesn’t suffice your listening requirements then you may try these alternatives:

1./ ZVOX SoundBase 350​

ZVOX SoundBase 350 24

​From a company that promises to deliver high quality for a low price is a sounbase that may be a good alternative for the SB3821. Here are the reasons:

  • The cabinet is made of MDF. It is known to last longer than SB3821’s casing.
  • It's 3.1 system means a wider range of frequencies.
  • It's bi-amplified, so there's no need for an external amplifier.
  • It has its subwoofer built-in, which is a space saver.
  • It has aptX codec for better Bluetooth streaming.
  • Also has Dolby Digital decoding.

However, note that this is a soundbase, meaning you can’t mount in on the wall. The only placement choices you have are under the TV or built-in in the entertainment cabinet.


2./ Razer Leviathan - Elite Gaming & Music Sound Bar​

Razer Leviathan - Elite Gaming & Music Sound Bar

Another alternative is from a gaming company, Razer. Razer Leviathan is a good option for these reasons:

  • It has 5.1 channels. Better surround sound experience.
  • Has Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.
  • AptX codec enabled for less latency.
  • Dolby technology compatible.

The downside of this product is it’s made for gaming so it as a bit small for TVs with wide screens. Also, since this was created with gaming in mind, the connections available are limited, mostly for PCs.


​3./ VIZIO SB4051-C0

VIZIO SB4051-C0 40-Inch 5.1 Sound Bar System

From the same maker, Vizio, is another soundbar that may be a good alternative to the SB3821. Here’s why:

  • It has 5.1 channels.
  • Has and HDMI port plus analog and digital ones.
  • Has aptX codec.
  • DTS and Dolby Digital audio processing.

Although this soundbar has what the SB3821 is missing, note that SB4051 is also longer by two inches. Also, it comes with two rear speakers. So if you are after space saving, this may not be a good idea as it occupies more space.


For more soundbar options, check out my previous posts about inexpensive soundbars, soundbars certified by experts, and soundbars with Bluetooth connection.

Conclusion​

Space saving without compromising sound quality is one of the issues a soundbar can solve. And Vizio’s SB3821-C6 can do just that. The 2.1 channel definitely steps up your listening experience compared to the TV's internal speakers. Plus, with DTS and Dolby Digital technologies, the audio outputs are automatically enhanced.

And this soundbar can do all these without occupying much of your room’s space. Plus, at less than $200, this is already a good deal.

Interested to get this soundbar? Click here to find out more.

What’s your experience with Vizio SB3821-C6? Tell us about it.​

Erin Taylor
 

Chief editor of YouthTune, a music adventurer. I love learning about music and audio devices, which I eventually share with others so that they too can go on exploring the melodious world of music.

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