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How to Setup Vizio Sound Bar And Hook it Up With Your TV

Vizio has released various versions and models of their sound bars, but they’re pretty much the same when it comes to setup and use. Still, you can get lost in the instructions if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, we’re walking you through the setup with easy-to-follow steps.

Instructions for Vizio sound bar installation

Here’s a video explaining the process:

How To Setup A Vizio Soundbar:

  1. Locate the two analog audio jacks called INPUT1 and INPUT2 on the right side of the rear panel of the soundbar. Plug-in the two analog audio cables to those jacks.
  2. Find the yellow connector labeled SUB OUT in the center of the rear panel and plug-in the subwoofer. If your soundbar has surround speakers, they will be usually connected to the subwoofer through speaker cables.
  3. Plug-in the HD S/PDIF cable inside the S/PDIF input jack found on the left side of the yellow SUB OUT jack. In case you have a non-HD version of the soundbar, you can skip this step.
  4. Plug-in the AC/DC power adapter included in the package into the 24V DC jack. You can find this jack on the left side of the soundbar’s rear panel. Afterward, you can plug the other end of the power adapter into the wall outlet.
  5. Press the power button. It is located on the left side of the soundbar’s top panel. Remember to turn on the speaker bar, too.
  6. Press the Input button and select the input you prefer. This button will come in handy whenever you’re switching between different audio sources. 
  7. Select the Vol- or Vol+ buttons to control the speaker bar volume. There is a Mute button you can select as well.
  8. Press the TVOL button (TruVolume) to turn it on/off. If TruVolume is on, it will maintain a comfortable volume level and prevent sudden bursts of loud audio.
  9. You can also turn the surround sound ON and OFF with the TSHD button.
wall-mounted TV and red chair beside it

Vizio offers different sound bar systems that cater to varying audio needs. Some may have just the soundbar unit while others may have separate speakers you need to place around the room. You may look at the systems options in the catalog so you can select the one that’s best for your setup.

These soundbars feature anywhere between two to five audio channels. They are also optimized for an immersive sonic experience that will transform a common movie or TV show into an immersive watching experience.

Aside from the wired setup, the Bluetooth connectivity feature benefits those who want to go the wireless route with their Vizio soundbar. With Bluetooth, you can program and control a range of tasks remotely, streamline the installation procedure, and keep the house clutter-free. 

Fundamentals of the Vizio sound bars

There are three different soundbar packages from Vizio, which all vary in terms of their functions and size.

Out of these three, the most affordable package is called “Enhanced Sound” system. It provides its users a two-channel stereo sound bar and there is an option available for adding wireless subwoofers.

The other two packages are the Premium Home Theater and the Surround Sound. Both of these packages include rear surround speakers and a single wireless subwoofer.

The basic difference between these packages is that a specific number of audio channels are included in the sound bar itself. But of the two, the “Premium Home Theater” is Vizio‘s high-grade option, which includes a range of powerful extras such as Wi-Fi connectivity.

soundbar for clear dialogues

Set-up

No matter what package you buy from Vizio for your sound bar system, most of the installation steps will be the same, despite possible difference in some of the hardware.

Upon unwrapping the package, make sure it contains all the cables, screws, and mounts as indicated by the catalog or the official product description by Vizio. In case any of these parts are missing, you should directly contact customer service to get the missing parts or replace the unit altogether.

If the parts are complete, you may proceed with deciding where to put the system. Make sure you are settled with the final position of the sound bar, subwoofers, and speakers before you start hooking them up to each other and the television.

If you’re unsure where to place them, we don’t recommend connecting them before you’ve finally decided. That’s because you might risk damaging the hardware when you move around the main pieces after they’re already connected with cable wires.

Once placed, you can connect your TV or other media to the sound bar easily without worrying about the subwoofer.

On the other hand, if your soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer, you’ll have more freedom when it comes to placement, but our experts recommend placing it in the front of the room, where the TV is also located.

Connect the SPDIF cable included in the kit to the optical port at the back of the TV and sound bar. The optical port is usually covered, so it’s easier to spot. After connecting the SPDIF cable, the system will get ready for testing.

Plug the soundbar to a power outlet and then turn it on by using the remote control included. Select the appropriate input source. Next, check the Menu settings by pressing Menu on the remote. Then, select the audio option.

Make sure you disable the TV speakers and make the sound bar your main audio resource.  To check if it’s done correctly, go to the TV settings and raise the volume of the system. You should hear the audio played via the sound bar instead of the TV speakers.

Aside from the SPDIF, you may also connect the sound bar to your TV by using the optical connection. You would have to purchase a separate standard RCA cable for this type of connection though. Rather than selecting the optical input, you should select the Aux as the preferred audio input method.

Pairing A Vizio Soundbar To A Subwoofer

Pairing the subwoofer to the soundbar is simple and straightforward. Press and hold the button labeled “pairing” on the back of the sub. When the light starts to blink, press and hold the power button on the soundbar for 5 seconds.

When the subwoofer is successfully linked to the soundbar, the LED indicator lights on the front panel will blink 3 times.

hand holding remote pointed to netflix

Vizio Soundbar Not Working - Troubleshooting

1. Optical input not working

If the optical input isn’t working, make sure you have inserted the optical cable tightly into each input. Sometimes it just takes some jostling and jiggling to get it to work, but it’s pretty easy to do.

Take a closer look at the power cables to make sure that there are no tears or cuts. Physical damage can also be the cause of the optical input not working. If there is damage, you would need to replace the cables.

2. Static Noise

Static noise can also be a result of the inputs not being secured tightly. Look at the inputs and make sure you have inserted them all the way. You can also check for physical damage as you would in the case of the input not working.

Another possibility is that your input settings are incorrect. Try selecting a different audio input on the remote and see if it makes a difference.

3. Buzzing

If there is a buzzing or humming sound coming from your TV, try turning off the power of all devices and then turn them on again. If that doesn’t work, try turning the devices off again but unplug all the cables this time. Then, replug them in and turn everything on again.

It could also be a case of the backlight. In this case, press the menu button for the TV menu, select “picture”, then find the “backlight” setting and turn it down lower.

4. Crackling

The crackling or even maybe popping sound may be from nearby wireless devices. Move other Wi-Fi devices further away from your soundbar and see if it helps. 

If not, then resetting your soundbar to factory settings is your best bet. Hold down the Bluetooth button and the volume down button for up to 5 seconds. Doing this will erase all your previous settings, though, just something to keep in mind.

5. Blinking with No Sound

A blinking light on a Vizio soundbar most likely means it’s waiting to be paired. Similar to most products, the light is a signifier of it standing by. Power whichever device you want to pair with the soundbar by pressing the “pairing” button.

Want to know how to fix other soundbar issues? Check our guide on troubleshooting common soundbar problems.

Summary

All sorts of soundbar installation methods are available for connecting a soundbar to TV sets. A range of cables can also be used for installation, including a coaxial cable, digital optical cable, or an RCA cable. 

However, the one we recommend the most is the HDMI ARC because you don’t need a separate audio cable to connect the TV and the soundbar. 

Some of the Vizio sound bars also come with a Bluetooth pairing feature for a wireless connection. If your sound bar has Bluetooth, you can use your smartphone to stream music or other content. In addition, some sound bars allow connections to Bluetooth speakers or headsets as well.

For the best home theater experience, make sure to place the sound bar close to your ear levels. However, it should be below the TV so as not to make any obstruction.

When you are not sure about the various ports available on the TV’s back, read the TV manual or user guide before you carry out the soundbar installation. Also, refer to the Vizio manual if you have any specific concerns on settings. The manual is always a great reference on how some things work so you can use your device to the fullest.

If you’re looking for other options, you can find some good ones for cheap with our list of top models under 300 bucks.

Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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