How To Optimize Vizio’s SmartCast Soundbars

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Transform your living room into a home theater with the immersive 3D sound of a Vizio SmartCast soundbar.

Vizio offers a range of excellent SmartCast soundbar models across budget, mid-range, and premium price points. Each provides a significant audio upgrade to your TV with wireless streaming and app controls.

Let’s dive in and explore how to choose the ideal Vizio soundbar for your needs and optimize its setup for engrossing home theater audio.

What Are The Vizio’s SmartCast Soundbar Models

Image displaying a lineup of Vizio SmartCast soundbar models with clear labels

Vizio has a wide selection of SmartCast soundbar models across different price tiers. The SmartCast platform provides wireless control and audio streaming through the SmartCast app.

At the entry-level, the V-Series soundbars deliver core connectivity and audio capabilities for basic TV audio enhancement.

Models like the V21, V29 and V51 offer stereo audio powered by 2-3 drivers, Bluetooth streaming for music, and HDMI ARC to connect to your TV.

In the mid-range M-Series, soundbars add more power, detailed surround sound reproduction, and support for advanced audio formats via Dolby and DTS decoding.

Popular M-Series models include the M21, M51a and M512a, some coming with dedicated subwoofers for added bass.

Through HDMI passthrough and eARC support, the M-Series can transmit 3D audio like Dolby Atmos from TV sources to create cinematic effects. WiFi streaming allows audio casting from music services.

At the top end, Vizio’s premium Elevate soundbar unleashes theater-quality 3D audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

It houses 18 total speakers including upfiring drivers that reflect sound off the ceiling. The rotating center channel allows direct sound when watching TV, and reflects audio when streaming music.

With 5.1.4 channel output, eARC connectivity, chromecast built-in, and compact rear satellites, the Elevate creates immersive cinematic audio.

Setup and placement guidelines

Image depicting setup and placement guidelines for Vizio SmartCast soundbars in various room scenarios

Careful setup and placement is key to optimizing these soundbars for your space. Start by positioning the soundbar centered right below your TV, about 2-3 feet from the bottom of the screen.

Angle it slightly upwards so the drivers point towards your seating area. Leave a few inches of clearance above the soundbar so audio can project unobstructed.

For surround models, place the rear speakers level with your ears to the sides of your seating, angled inwards to create a surround bubble of sound.

Run the surround speaker wires neatly along baseboards using cable tracks. Wireless surrounds just need to be within range of the soundbar’s Bluetooth transmitter.

Place any included subwoofer on the floor near a power outlet, alongside the soundbar. The sub can go on either side based on your room layout.

Avoid putting electronics or furniture right in front that could block sound.

Connecting to TV via HDMI ARC

Image demonstrating the step-by-step process of connecting a Vizio SmartCast soundbar to a TV via HDMI ARC

The best way to integrate your Vizio soundbar with your TV is by using the HDMI ARC connection. This allows TV audio to send directly to the soundbar, and soundbar volume to be controlled by your TV remote.

Simply use the included HDMI cable to go from the soundbar’s HDMI OUT (ARC) port into the HDMI ARC port on your TV.

In your TV audio settings, select its HDMI ARC input as the default output. Then when watching TV, the audio will automatically route through your soundbar over HDMI, powering on both devices in tandem.

HDMI ARC also enables advanced Dolby and DTS surround formats from built-in TV apps to be passed through to compatible soundbars.

WiFi and Bluetooth setup

Image depicting the step-by-step process of setting up WiFi and Bluetooth on Vizio SmartCast soundbars

Vizio SmartCast allows wireless music streaming through WiFi and Bluetooth. For WiFi, open the SmartCast app and follow the on-screen instructions to connect your soundbar to your home WiFi network.

After setup, you can use casting to play audio from Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music and other phone apps through the soundbar’s speakers over the network.

Bluetooth pairing lets you directly stream music from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to the soundbar for personal listening.

Navigate to the Bluetooth settings on your device to pair it with your soundbar listed as an available device. This allows playback from your device’s music library without relying on WiFi.

For reliable casting, use a dual band router close to your soundbar on the 5GHz band. Newer Bluetooth 5.0 soundbars support advanced codecs like aptX for high quality streaming from your device.

Always keep your soundbar and source devices updated to the latest firmware for best wireless performance.

Using Vizio SmartCast App

Image illustrating the usage of the Vizio SmartCast app to control a Vizio SmartCast soundbar

Take control of your audio experience with the Vizio SmartCast app – our visual guide shows you how Vizio’s SmartCast app unlocks full control of compatible soundbars from your phone or tablet.

Download the SmartCast app on your iOS or Android device and launch it. It will automatically find your soundbar on the network.

You can adjust volume, switch between input sources, change sound modes, adjust individual channel volumes, setup surround speaker pairs, push firmware updates and much more.

The app lets you tweak settings to precisely calibrate your soundbar’s audio for your room and seating position.

Stream test tones and place a sound meter at your seat to match levels. Adjust individual channel volumes, EQ, and audio delay to get crystal clear TV and movie soundtracks.

SmartCast receives regular updates from Vizio to add new features and optimize performance.

Always keep the app and your soundbar firmware updated to improve speed, stability and audio capabilities over time. It provides comprehensive control without the original remote.

Tips for optimizing audio performance

Image illustrating expert tips for optimizing the audio performance of Vizio SmartCast soundbars in a home entertainment setup

Here are some expert tips for getting the best possible audio performance from your Vizio SmartCast soundbar:

When watching Dolby or DTS content, enable any audio processing modes on your soundbar like Dolby Audio Processing. This unlocks proper decoding of those surround sound formats for immersive effects.

Use the channel volume controls in the SmartCast app to precision tailor levels of left, center, right, surrounds and height channels based on your seating position.

If dialogue seems slightly off from video, apply small audio delays through the app to perfectly sync the sound.

For highest fidelity sound, connect Blu-ray players, gaming consoles and streaming devices directly to the soundbar’s HDMI input rather than passing through the TV.

Select audio modes like Movie, Music or Game within the SmartCast app for a tuned listening experience optimized for different content types.

Perform precise volume calibration by streaming test tones from the SmartCast app and placing a sound meter at your seating position as a reference point.

Troubleshooting common issues

Image illustrating the troubleshooting of common issues with Vizio SmartCast soundbars, with a person interacting with the soundbar

In the event you experience issues with your Vizio SmartCast soundbar, try the following troubleshooting procedures:

Updating the soundbar firmware through the SmartCast app or by using a USB stick connection can often resolve bugs and connection problems that may arise.

Power cycle your soundbar and TV if you suddenly lose audio from the soundbar while watching TV, to re-initiate the HDMI ARC link.

If surround speakers cut out or have audio delays, re-pair them to the soundbar through SmartCast which usually fixes connection problems.

Spotty WiFi music casting can benefit from repositioning your router closer, adding a range extender, or upgrading to a dual band router for 5GHz performance.

As a last resort if software issues persist, you can factory reset the soundbar using the physical button on the unit, which will erase its configurations and allow you to freshly re-setup the system.

For suspected hardware defects under warranty, contacting Vizio support can arrange for repairs or replacement parts.

Conclusion

In summary, Vizio offers a wide range of SmartCast soundbar models to fit different budgets and audio needs. Proper setup is key – position the soundbar centrally below your TV angled upwards, with surround speakers at ear level.

Connect via HDMI ARC for easy TV integration and access to advanced audio formats. The SmartCast app enables wireless streaming and complete soundbar control.

Optimizing audio means enabling Dolby/DTS processing, precision volume calibration, and device connections directly into the soundbar.

Troubleshoot issues by updating firmware, power cycling, re-pairing surrounds, improving WiFi, factory resetting, or contacting Vizio support.

With the proper configuration, placement and settings, Vizio SmartCast soundbars can transform your TV viewing into an immersive home theater experience.

Dominic

Dominic is the chief editor of the Burton Acoustix blog which writes about acoustics and soundproofing to help readers with their queries and questions they might have with regard to improving any sound or noise issues that they faced in their life.