VIZIO SB362An-F6 36″ Sound Bar Review


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VIZIO SB362An-F6 Experience & Conclusion

Sound Bar Test Experience

Setup and configuration were surprisingly easy, perhaps because VIZIO designed this 36″ sound bar for the masses, and not everybody has a lifetime of experience with home theater equipment.

I typically use a 5.1 configuration for my home theater system, with a dual 6″ driver center channel, two large tower speakers with 12″ woofers for the front channels, a pair of 6″ speakers for side channels, and a 12″ subwoofer. While space consuming and expensive, this configuration does faithfully recreate the theater experience. So how well could VIZIO’s sub-$100 36-inch 2.1 channel sound bar compare to this? The answer is: quite well, actually.

Admittedly, the 3-inch “build-in dual subwoofers” were no match for a trio of 12″ speakers that frequently try to shake my house from it’s foundation… but they sure did try! The nearby devices did rattle as the base tones hit, and to my surprise, these ‘little’ subs were quite effective at reproducing lower frequency sound without distortion. They may not punch you in the gut, but your ears won’t bleed, either.

I connected SB362An-F6 two different ways for comparison: TosLink optical digital, and analog RCA. While I could not tell the difference using movies and music as a reference, digital will reproduce the signal more accurately than analog. Additionally, I decided to try this sound bar as a center channel replacement. While capable of working in this capacity, there are some considerations. For 7.1 and 5.1-channel audio, using this VIZIO sound bar as a center channel works really well. However, if the source is stereo, your other (front and side) speakers may create an echo.

VIZIO 36-Inch 2.1 Sound Bar with Subwoofers Review

VIZIO SB362An-F6 Conclusion

After two-dozen hours with the VIZIO 36” 2.1 Sound Bar with Built-in Dual Subwoofers, I found that this model (SB362An-F6) performed surprisingly well when compared to my other more expensive sound bar, as well as my large 5.1 speaker system. Most impressive is the large sound coming from a relatively small speaker package.

In terms of appearance, it seems that VIZIO’s sound bar strikes the ideal balance of design and features. I like my speakers to blend in with their surroundings, and not stand out like a centerpiece. SB362An-F6 is small enough to hide below a 40″ or larger television, or discreetly mounted on a wall.

VIZIO has given special consideration to the construction of this sound bar, and it shows. Especially durable, I would expect it to survive the prying fingers of young children as well as careless adults. If the product happens to fail, non-commercial users receive one year of warranty coverage, while commercial users have 90-days.

Functionality is one area where the VIZIO 36″ 2.1 sound bar really sets itself apart from your average speaker set. While there’s plenty of utility in the driver arrangement complete with separate treble and bass tuning, there are also features such as DTS Virtual:X that projects room-filling sound. Other features, such as DTS TruVolume that flattens the various sound levels, or Energy Star that powers down the system after inactivity, are also quite handy.

As of July 2018, the VIZIO 36” 2.1 sound bar with built-in dual subwoofers was available for $98 (Walmart). Relative to the price of other sound bars, that’s a legitimate bargain as this model (SB362An-F6) is packed with value.

VIZIO 36-Inch 2.1 Sound Bar Exposed Speakers Detail

In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the SB362An-F6 sound bar performed in all of my movie and music tests. Sound reproduction was reasonably faithful to their original frequency tones, and the drivers were tight enough to avoid distortion at high volume. For less than $100 you absolutely cannot go wrong. Recognizing outstanding quality and value, Benchmark Reviews awards VIZIO’s 36” sound bar with our Golden Tachometer.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+ Very affordable low price
+ High volume sound without distortion
+ Features DTS Virtual:X and DTS TruVolume
+ Digital, analog, and Bluetooth connectivity
+ Designed for wall mount or table placement
+ Remote control ‘learning’ features
+ Treble and bass sound tuning
+ Full-feature side panel controls


– It doesn’t lay golden eggs?


  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.25
  • Value: 9.25

Final Score: 9.15 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.


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