Vizio SB3651-E6 SmartCast Sound Bar review: The high-tech feature set comes with a few sonic tradeoffs

This 36-inch soundbar delivers true 5.1-channel surround sound, but you’ll need to hear it to decide if Vizio made the right compromises in its effort to hit this price point.

Vizio delivers true 5.1-channel surround sound in a streamlined footprint and at a very low price point.

There’s simply no substitute for a surround-sound system with discrete speakers. The problem is, many consumers can’t tolerate the aesthetic compromises or setup hassle that can come with it. While traditional soundbars are pleasing to the eye and simple to configure, they just can’t recreate the audio magic that discrete speakers can deliver.

That’s where Vizio’s 5.1 Smart Cast Sound Bar System comes (look for model number SB3651-E6, which is how I’ll describe it from here). This system consists of a 36-inch soundbar; a compact, wireless subwoofer; and two satellite surround speakers. Audio voodoo need not apply.

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