Over the years, VIZIO has entered the consumer electronics market and has made a considerable impact. Their product lines tend to tout impressive specifications coupled with a sleek design and affordable pricing.
This review will look at the new VIZIO 32″ 4.1 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer (SB3241n-H6). Priced under $200, this surround sound system is geared for entry-level usage and pairs well with their cheaper television offerings.
VIZIO did send over a sample SB3241n-H6 for evaluation purposes. However, all opinions are our own without outside influence or bias playing a role in this review's outcome.
Pricing & Availability
The SB3241n-H6 is priced at an MSRP of only $199.00 (before any tax and shipping fees). This is a very affordable price-point, especially for a 4.1 surround sound system.
From an availability standpoint, the SB3241n-H6 is carried by most major electronics retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon & VIZIO's online store. For the holidays, it appears VIZIO has dropped the price of this model to just $128 (before tax and shipping), which is a bargain.
This makes this affordable surround sound system relatively easy to get your hands on and potentially allows you to score an even better deal if you have loyalty points or a rewards card with any of these retailers.
Design & Build Quality
Despite this soundbar system being catered to the lower end of the consumers' budgets, VIZIO has done an excellent job making the components look sleek and appealing.
Each of the included speaker enclosures is crafted from durable plastic with a matte black finish that looks great. Another benefit to this color scheme is that it does a good job hiding dust or fingerprints compared to a glossy finish.
In front of the soundbar and rear speakers, you'll find mesh covering the internal speaker drivers. Unlike some of the more expensive systems, the coverings are made of a fabric mesh and not a metal or aluminum grill.
Overall, the components feel relatively decent in your hands in terms of weight and substance, but it would probably be easy enough to guess their budget focus from a first time inspection.
The included remote is sufficient with no real complaints. Like other VIZIO surround systems that we've tested, it has a similar look with a slightly larger size. It features the signature LCD strip at the top, as well as a variety of control buttons.
Features & Specifications
From a technical standpoint, the SB3241n-H6 offers some competitive features for sure a low price-point. Keep in mind, this is a 4.1 surround sound system compared to the more common 5.1 configuration, with the difference being a lack of a center speaker.
The main soundbar is 32 inches long with two internal speakers. On top of the soundbar, there are some physical buttons for audio control. In terms of connectivity, there is built-in Bluetooth, a 3.5mm stereo mini jack, optical jack, USB, RCA (coaxial/SPDIF), and an HDMI Arc port.
Included with the soundbar is a wireless subwoofer and two rear speakers (left and right channels), which attach to the subwoofer via included cables. The soundbar and the speakers are wall mountable. The subwoofer is designed to be kept on a flat surface such as the floor or a TV stand.
For the price, it lacks some of the advanced audio formats. However, it supports DTS TrueVolume and DTS Virtual:X, which provides a better surround sound listening experience for supported content.
Performance & Function
I've had the opportunity to test dozens of surround sound systems over the years. Much like most consumer electronics, you must consider many factors when evaluating the performance of the surround sound system, including the price.
For a sub-$200 system, I'd consider the SB3241n-H6 to perform decently. It improves the standard audio performance from an entry-level television, but it doesn't surpass my price-point expectations.
Straight out of the box, the audio tuning likely won't be the best fit for your needs. I found that adjusting aspects like the treble, bass, and dialogue levels made for a better listening experience overall. This will likely vary from user to user.
With a sound pressure level of 96dB, the SB3241n-H6's maximum volume is on the lower end of the spectrum. Again, this is expected at the budget pricing. Even still, the audio levels should be sufficient for most consumer at-home usage.
In the end, VIZIO's 32″ 4.1 Sound Bar is a solid entry-level surround sound system for those on a tighter budget. There are some compromises in terms of build quality, features and performance, but we can't complain at such an affordable price.
If you are scavenging together enough money for an entry-level sound system for your home theater, then the SB3241n-H6 is one to consider. However, if you can wait a little longer and save up, I'd recommend stepping up to one of VIZIO's higher-end 5.1 surround sound models for only a bit more at just under $250.