Summary – VIZIO SB3851 Review
The VIZIO SB3851s is a really good 5.1 surround sound home theater system that supports wireless music streaming. It is a complete 5.1 channel surround sound system that includes a 38” sound bar with left, right and center channels, as well as two rear satellite speakers to get the surround sound effect. The powered subwoofer has a wireless connection to the soundbar while the satellite speakers are wired to the subwoofer. The surround sound speakers are capable of producing an incredible 100 dB of room filling crystal clear sound with less than 1% total overall distortion. It also supports built-in Bluetooth connection which allows you to stream music from your wireless music sources. The VIZIO comes with premium Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround decoding which provides high quality sound audio processing for the best performance. The satellite speakers are also small enough for you to mount them on the walls using a wall bracket. Overall, the VIZIO SB3851s deliver really crisp sound performance and are ideal for those looking for an entry-level home theater system with wireless music streaming.
The Pros & Cons
The Pros. The VIZIO SB3851s support wireless music streaming which is definitely an added plus. It also supports DTS Digital surround sound encoding for high quality audio processing. The two rear satellite speakers that come with the VIZIO SB3851s are rear mountable which is an added plus. Setting up the SB3851s is also easy and relatively straightforward due to the wireless pairing between the sound bar and the subwoofer.
The Cons. The bass response from the subwoofer, while decent, is not the best that we have heard. The sound bar is only 38” long which may affect the level of sound dispersion that you normally get with a true 5.1 surround sound setup.
Setup and Design
The sound bar on the VIZIO is paired to the wireless subwoofer which reduces the amount of wiring that you need to use to set up the system – they combine to bring crystal clear booming sound to your home environment. The wireless subwoofer is connected to the rear satellite speakers which you can position around you to create rear sounding channels for an immersive listening experience. It also connects easily to your TV receiver and the sound bar works very well with the left, center and right channels pre-built inside the sound bar. The setup on the VIZIO is extremely intuitive and easy – connecting the VIZIO to the TV and placing the sound bar and subwoofer took a couple of minutes with the wireless pairing.
The sound performance of the VIZIO is very good and provides great sound for watching TV with the sound bar placed right on the front. The sound feels clear with impactful bass that goes really deep; the subwoofer feels extremely powerful and will easily fill up a large room when deep low-end frequency response. The sound bar is able to produce very detailed stereo sound – you can actually hear details in the music that you might not have heard before, such as background conversations and the sound of debris flying all over after an explosion. Listening to music on the VIZIO was also quite a good experience and vocal performances sounded really crisp and clear, with very good music separation that distinguishes between subtle notes in the music. The subwoofer provides exceptionally good bass and can really make your entire room shake with an immersive low-end sonic boom. If you are looking for the best home theater system to watch TV and movies, the VIZIO is a really good choice.
The entire system comes with detailed instructions on how to set up the surround sound speakers and pair the subwoofer to the sound bar. Because the sound bar and the subwoofer connect wirelessly to a TV or Bluetooth source, the only wires that are required are for the satellite speakers. It also comes with a very convenient remote control which you can use to configure the volume controls and adjust the bass and treble outputs. The speakers have a very sleek and modern looking aesthetic appeal and blends in easily into your TV area. The sound bar and the rear speakers are of very compact size and the rear speakers can be easily mounted on a wall. The speakers also come with optical, coax and RCA cables which are included with the home theater system for easy setup.
The VIZIO SB3851s is a really solid home theater system for your TV and supports wireless streaming via Bluetooth – it represents great value for money and ideal for entry-level home theater system setups. They are extremely easy and convenient to set up, and come with practically everything that you need to get the surround sound speakers running. We would also recommend getting a receiver to connect these surround speakers to your TV or wireless music source. The sound performance of the VIZIO system is top-notch, with crisp vocals, deep stunning bass and detailed sound that flow naturally from the sound bar to the rear speakers. The sound bar looks very sleek and modern and easy to setup, and pairs wirelessly to the subwoofer. It also comes with a nice remote control where you can adjust the bass and treble settings at a touch of a button. Overall, the VIZIO SB3851 is a really good home theater and sound bar speaker system combination that delivers the bang for the buck.
Be sure to check out our top picks for the best home theater systems that deliver a superb home audio listening experience for movies and TV.