You could call it a revolution or a trend, but something exciting happens at the end of the home cinema budget. In the past, you had to spend a lot of money to do a great job. But thanks to brands like Elac, Pioneer and Vizio, you don't have to spend thousands – you hardly have to spend hundreds.
The sound of the Vizio SB3621n-E8 is not only compact at $ 150, but also extremely affordable. We would praise this soundbar system, even if it was twice as expensive. It's definitely the most affordable, best-sounding soundbar we've heard so far.
There are no "features" worth mentioning, just a wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth, but at this price you don't actually need anything else. The Vizio SB3621n-E8 is, alongside the Chromecast Audio from Google, one of the best offers for home theaters. You can even pair the two, connect them to a TCL Roku TV, and have a really cool wireless AV streaming system for around $ 500.
Stand next to Yamaha, JBL, Zvox and Polk: The Vizio SB3621 is now the ideal soundbar if you pay less than $ 300. This is the first soundbar that we have ever rated, which has been awarded five stars and which easily deserves the award of our editorial team.
36 inches handsome
Given its crazy affordable price you'd expect something wrong with the Vizio, right? Maybe the submarine is made of plywood or the remote control seems to come from a chewing gum machine. But no, you would not guess how cheap the soundbar was because of its build quality.
Place the Vizio soundbar next to the similarly expensive oneand there is no competition at all. The JBL looks inexpensive, but the Vizio conveys a calm sense of style. As the model number suggests, this is a 36-inch soundbar that is relatively compact and, due to its height of 2.1 inches, is unlikely to interfere with the operation of your remote control.
The top of the device has a minimum of controls. We found that they can be a little sluggish, but they are very useful if you lose the remote control. At the very front of the bar is the dreaded "display" from Vizio: the volume indicator is useful enough, but the points used for the input selection are almost impenetrable. The remote control is a little confusing too, but at least it's a real wand and not a plastic credit card like any other remote control for the price.
The supplied wireless sub has no influence on the quality. It's a well-built black and silver shoebox that comes with a ported 5-inch woofer. This device helps the entire system to ramp down to the claimed 50 Hz, which is sufficient for a system of this size and price.
In terms of connectivity, the Vizio has two digital inputs – one coaxial and one optical – plus USB (for WAV playback and oddly not MP3) and a 3.5mm jack. The soundbar also includes a Bluetooth connection. It decodes both the vanilla versions of Dolby and DTS Dolby Digital and offers DTS sound modes instead of decoding, which is a bit strange.