Although perhaps better known as creators of superlative televisions, VIZIO also have a nice line in audio gear. While they’ve yet to plunge headlong into full, surround home theater, the Californian company certainly knows what it’s doing. It’s their soundbars that they are best known for, with models that not only complement their existing range of TVs, but just about any setup. It’s not an easy position to take – soundbars are often the subject of scorn from audiophiles, especially those who are fully committed to 5.1 or 7.1 sound – but it’s one the company has gone all in on, and with an SB3851 soundbar system in our testing room to get to grips with, we were looking forward to finding out if the approach had paid off.
5.1 soundbars are quite rare, making this model something of an outlier. It comes in multiple sizes and configurations, more of which can be seen on VIZIO’s site. Consequently, the SB3851 is actually a system of multiple components, not just the soundbar. In addition to that, you get a little bruiser of a wireless subwoofer, and two dinky satellite speakers. We’ll get to those. Let’s talk about the soundbar first.
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