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Vizio Soundbar Troubleshooting & How to Guide

Vizio Soundbar Troubleshooting & How to Guide

Vizio soundbars are one of the best in the market at moment. They feature a stylish design and pack some amazing features to liven up your home theater setup. But as great as they are, these soundbars are not immune to issues, and you will need to resolve whatever problem your device might have if you want to continue enjoying it.

The good news is that many of these issues can easily be fixed, without the need to incur costly expenses. With this simple troubleshooting and how-to-guide, learn how to fix common issues with the Vizio soundbars.

How to Connect a Vizio Soundbar to a TV

If your Vizio soundbar has an optical digital audio output, you can connect a TV via this digital connection: To do that:

  1. Power off both the soundbar and TV.
  2. Connect one end of the optical (S/PDIF) cable to the optical jack on your soundbar.
  3. Turn on the power to your sound bar and the TV.
  4. Select the optical input by pressing INPUT on the top of your soundbar or by pressing OPTICAL on the remote control.

Another option is to connect the soundbar to a TV using an analog connection: For an analog connection:

  1. Power off both the soundbar and TV.
  2. Connect one end of the audio cable (white and red connectors) to the analog audio output on your TV.
  3. Turn on power to your soundbar and TV.
  4. Choose the associated input by pressing INPUT on the top of your soundbar or by pressing IN on the remote control.

How to Program Vizio TV Universal Remote to Control Vizio Soundbar

If you own a Vizio TV with a universal remote, you can program a device button (AUX or AUDIO) to control your soundbar. If your remote uses a 5-digit programming code, use code 31517. If your remote uses a 4-digit code, use 1517.

To set the universal remote to control the soundbar volume instead of the TV volume:

  1. Press and hold the SETUP button on the remote until the light flashes twice.
  2. Press 9, 9, 3. The light flashes twice.
  3. Press the device button (DVD, TV, CABLE, etc.). The light flashes twice. The Volume buttons on the universal remote now control the soundbar while using the device you choose.

How to Reset a Vizio Soundbar

To reset a Vizio soundbar to factory default settings:

  • Press and hold the Bluetooth and Volume Down (-) buttons for 5 seconds. This will erase all settings and preferences that you have set.
  • For some models (including VIzio 5.1 sound bar), press and hold power, volume up, and volume down for 10 seconds to return your soundbar to factory default mode.

Vizio Soundbar Wont Turn ON

If the soundbar is not turning on, most likely it is not getting power. Confirm whether your Vizio soundbar is getting power, and if not, follow these instructions to troubleshoot:

  • If you recently experienced a major power surge in your home, or if you have a large number of devices connected to an AC outlet that shares a circuit breaker with a large number of other devices, try resetting that circuit breaker in case it was tripped.
  • Press the power button on the top of your sound bar or on the remote control. If using a remote, try moving closer to the device and ensuring that there are no objects between you and the front of the soundbar.
  • Check the power cord for damage. Replace the cable if it has cuts or other forms of physical damage.
  • Check to ensure the power cord is securely connected to the electrical outlet and on the back of your sound bar and subwoofer.
  • Make sure all the power LEDs on the power adapters are glowing green.
  • Verify that the electrical outlet is working correctly. Plug a different device into the outlet to confirm.

Vizio Soundbar Lights Flashing Up and Down

When you increase the volume on the soundbar, the number of lit blue bars increases. When you decrease the volume on the soundbar, the number of lit blue bars decreases. When the volume is muted, the blue bars flash.

Vizio Soundbar Blinking with No Sound

If the soundbar is blinking with no sound, it is because it is not connected to a source device. You can connect the source device via Bluetooth or wired connections.

If there is still no sound even after successfully connecting the soundbar to a TV or other source device, try out the following to fix the problem:

  • Press Volume Up on the remote control to increase the volume. You can also use the volume button on the top of your soundbar.
  • Press MUTE on the remote to ensure the soundbar is not muted.
  • Press INPUT on your remote or on the top of the sound bar to choose a different input source.
  • If there is no audio when using either of the digital inputs, try setting the TV output to PCM. If this doesn’t work, try connecting directly to your Blu-ray/other source, some TVs don’t pass through digital audio.
  • Confirm that the audio output setting in your TV is set to FIXED or STANDARD. It may be set to VARIABLE audio output which shouldn’t be the case.
  • If you are using Bluetooth, make sure the volume on your source device is turned up and that the device is not muted.

If there is no sound from satellite speakers the wires may have come loose during shipment or on setup. Try to remove and re-insert the wires, or change the wires by following these steps:

  • Remove the back panel cover from the back of the satellite speakers.
  • Carefully pull on the plug containing the speaker wires to remove unplug it from the speaker.
  • Loosen the screws in the plug and remove the speaker wire.
  • If you have to change the speaker wire, you can insert your own bare wire cables into the plug. Make sure you correctly match left and right.
  • Tighten the screws in the plug.
  • Securely re-insert the plug containing the speaker wires.

If still there is no sound from the satellite speakers, the soundbar may be in SRS WOW HD mode. If the light under the SRS logo is orange, SRS WOW HD mode is on. Press the SRS TSHD button on the remote to turn it off.

Vizio Soundbar Bluetooth Pairing Not Working

Make sure you are following the correct pairing procedure.

To pair Vizio soundbar SB3821 with a Bluetooth device:

  1. Press and hold the Bluetooth button on the soundbar or Bluetooth button on the remote for 5 seconds. When the soundbar is in Bluetooth pairing mode, the LED indicators on the display panel on the front of the soundbar will light sequentially from the bottom to top and back again. Once the device is paired, the LED indicators will stop flashing.
  2. You can now search for the soundbar (VIZIO SB3821) using your Bluetooth device.
  3. Play audio from your Bluetooth device. Volume can be controlled on your source device and the soundbar.

If your soundbar is not pairing, it could be because of the distance or obstacles between the device and the soundbar.  Make sure you keep your device within 30 feet of your soundbar.

If the Bluetooth sound quality is less than optimal, try the following:

  • Move the source device closer to the soundbar if you hear any breakup or disconnect while streaming music from your device.
  • Be sure there are no solid obstructions in the line-of-sight between the sound bar and the source device.
  • Turn off or move other wireless devices to improve Bluetooth range.

Vizio Sound Bar Remote Troubleshooting

Issues with the remote could be because of dead batteries, not pointing it properly to the soundbar, or the button may not be supported. Try the following things to see if your remote works:

  • Replace the remote batteries with new ones.
  • When pressing a button, point the remote directly at the center of your sound bar.
  • If you are using a Bluetooth connection, some of the buttons on your remote may not be supported by the streaming application. For example, Pandora doesn’t support the Black button.

Vizio Soundbar HDMI ARC Not Working

If you have connected your Vizio soundbar to TV using HDMI ARC but it is not working, it could be because of a number of reasons.

Check this too: Vizio TV How To and Troubleshooting Guide

As a first step to resolving the issue, start by making sure both the soundbar and TV are ARC compatible. If one of these is not ARC compatible even if it has a HDMI port, you will not be able to connect them together.

Then proceed to the following troubleshooting instructions:

  • Disconnect any other devices connected to your TV, leaving only the soundbar. This will prevent other HDMI CEC devices from causing any issue.
  • Make sure you have a working HDMI cable. Try using another cable if you suspect the cable might be the problem.
  • Make sure you are using the right HDMI ARC port. Your Vizio soundbar may have several HDMI ports, but not all are ARC.
  • Enable CEC on the TV. Look for CEC settings under menu. Run a scan from your TV and check if the soundbar displays or not.
  • If the issue doesn’t resolve, try updating both the TV and soundbar firmware to the latest version. Outdated software versions can cause connectivity issues.
  • If even after trying the above instructions you still can’t get HDMI ARC to work, reset your Vizio soundbar and TV, and try again.

Pro Tips: Sometimes HDMI ARC issues arise from using a cheap substandard HDMI cable. Ensure that you get a quality cable (not necessarily the most expensive.) In most cases, the original cable that shipped with the soundbar or TV should suffice

Vizio Soundbar Crackling Noise

Crackling noise from your Vizio soundbar could point at a connection problem. Check the wire connections if they are loose and make sure they are tightly connected. Try using a different audio cable as sometimes the cable could be damaged.

Another possible cause is interference from nearby electronic devices.  Turn off any nearby electronic devices that may be interfering with the speaker sound.

Here are other troubleshooting steps you can try:

  • Lower the volume if the last volume setting was too loud.
  • Plug the power cord into a different wall AC outlet.
  • Use a different audio input into the Vizio soundbar. If the audio plays fine while the cables are connected, the issue is likely with the previous input you were using on the speaker.

How to Do a Vizio Soundbar Firmware Update

When there is a new Vizio soundbar firmware update, your soundbar will automatically download it for you. However, you need to have your soundbar connected to the internet using the Vizio SmartCast App.

To connect your soundbar to the intern through the Vizio SmartCast app:

  1. Download the Vizio SmartCast mobile app on your phone or tablet from the iOS app store or Google Play Store.
  2. Put your soundbar into WiFi setup mode by pressing the Menu button on the Vizio soundbar remote. Use the arrow keys to toggle to the WiFi setup option.
  3. Use play/pause buttons to select WiFi setup. Press Play/Pause button again to confirm your selection.
  4. When in pairing mode, the soundbar LEDs at the front will begin to cycle.
  5. On the Vizio SmartCast app, scroll down and tap on “Devices Settings” on the home screen.
  6. Tap on “Add New Device” and follow on-screen setup instructions.
  7. Your Vizo soundbar is now connected to the internet.

To update Vizio soundbar firmware from Vizio SmartCast app:

  1. On the Vizio SmartCast mobile app, go to Settings> System> Check for updates.
  2. Select “Yes” to confirm your choice to check for updates.
  3. The soundbar will power off when an update is available. It will download the new firmware and install it automatically.
  4. Once completed, the power LED will remain on and the SmartCast app connection will be restored.

If you have not setup your Vizio soundbar and paired it to the Vizio SmartCast App, you can check your firmware version by pressing and holding the volume + and volume – buttons on the soundbar. The front LED lights on the soundbar will blink to indicate the version or it may speak the version number.

You can also update the firmware manually if your Vizio soundbar is not downloading the update through the SmartCast app.

To update your Vizio soundbar firmware manually, you will need a computer, a USB flash drive, and an internet connection. Then:

  1. Go to the official Vizio support page for soundbars.
  2. Enter the model number of your Vizio soundbar.
  3. When an update is available, it will show up in the search results. The download link will be indicated in the support article.
  4. Click download to get the latest version of the firmware.
  5. Extract the zip file you downloaded from the Vizio support website.
  6. You will need to use an empty USB flash drive with at least 2GB of storage space formatted in FAT format.
  7. Copy the extracted files to the root directory of your USB drive. Do not put the update files inside a folder.
  8. Power on your soundbar and place it on input with no audio coming from it. Then insert the USB flash drive into the USB slot on the back of your soundbar.
  9. Two flashing lights will initially show up on your soundbar indicating that a firmware update is in progress. More lights will flash as the update progresses.
  10. Once the update is finishes, the lights will stop flashing and your soundbar will turn back on.

Vizio Soundbar Subwoofer Troubleshooting

If you are getting perfect sound from your Vizio soundbar but nothing from the subwoofer, try moving the subwoofer closer to the soundbar, keeping in mind that, if it is a wireless subwoofer, it needs a clear line of sight to the soundbar. Also, ensure that the subwoofer’s volume is turned up with your remote.

If the subwoofer has a blinking light in a LONG OFF, SHORT ON pattern, it shows there is no communication between your soundbar and the subwoofer. To clear the problem, you need to pair the subwoofer with the soundbar:

  1. First confirm that the power switch is in the ON position. Press and hold the Pairing button on the back of the subwoofer for 5 seconds. The LED on the back of the subwoofer will start to blink.
  2. Press and hold the Power button (or INPUT button for other models) on the top of the soundbar for 5 seconds. The LED indicators on the front will flash 3 times. The subwoofer is now linked with the soundbar.

Vizio Soundbar Subwoofer Fast Blinking Light

If the orange light on the subwoofer is blinking fast, the subwoofer is paired but has no audio input. Select a different input source by pressing IN, OPTICAL, or iPod on the remote control or INPUT on top of your soundbar.

Vizio Soundbar Sound Fades In and Out

If the sound from your Vizio soundbar fluctuates, this can be caused by a conflict between the connected device and the soundbar.

Check this too: Best Soundbar Without a Subwoofer

To fix the problem, try turning off the TVOL and TSHD or try to change the TV/cable box audio setting to fixed or standard. Pressing the TVOL button enables/disables TruVolume. Pressing TSHD button enables/disables DTS TruSurround.