Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.
Is Your Vizio Sound Bar Not Working?
A Vizio sound bar can complement an existing surround sound system or replicate one. This article will cover the following:
- Power problems
- Audio problems
- Resetting factory settings
These issues can often be fixed with a little effort on your part without having to exchange the device or return it to the manufacturer for repairs.
If your sound bar is producing a static sound, check the following:
- The connectors on the audio cables you're using must be firmly pushed into both the Vizio sound bar and also the source of the audio. If the connectors aren't pushed all the way in, you'll likely experience some form of unwanted noise coming through the speaker.
- The audio cables you're using to connect the sound bar to the audio source may be damaged in some way. Replace the cables you're using with different cables to see if that resolves your problem.
- Use a different audio input into the Vizio sound bar. If the audio plays fine while the cables are connected, the issue is likely with the previous input you were using on the speaker.
Won't Turn On
If your sound bar won't turn on, here are a few things you can try to get it working again:
- If you recently experienced a major power surge in your home (such as a lightning strike), 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.
- Check the power cable for cuts or other forms of physical damage. Sometimes people roll over power cables with chairs, step on them, or rest a desk on them accidentally, all of which can physically harm the cable. If the cable is damaged, you'll need to replace it using any standard 24-volt power cable.
- If you're using the remote that came with the Vizio sound bar, try moving closer to the device and ensuring that there are no objects between you and the front of the sound bar. Also, position yourself within 15 feet. Outside of the 15-foot range, Vizio doesn't promise the remote control will work. Finally, try pressing the "Power" button that’s physically located on the sound bar. If the sound bar responds, you have an issue with the remote control. However, if it doesn't respond, consider contacting Vizio about your power issue, as it may be the result of damaged or defective internal components.
If the audio is silent or you're experiencing other audio issues, try the following:
- Make sure the source audio isn't muted on the source device.
- If you can't hear any audio through the sound bar for a source that's connected via an optical cable, make sure the source device is outputting PCM audio. Some other audio types won't play through the sound bar when they're connected via an optical cable.
- Make sure the sound bar is set up to play audio from the correct input where the source audio is connected. To ensure this isn't the problem, scroll through all of the sound bar's inputs.
How to Reset Factory Settings
For other problems you can't seem to solve using other methods, try resetting the sound bar to its original factory settings by doing the following:
- Turn off.
- Disconnect the AC power for roughly ten seconds.
- Reconnect the power cable. The settings on the sound bar will be cleared and the device will be restored to its factory settings. While there likely won't be any changes you notice, minor problems can often be resolved by doing this.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Why does the sound of my Vizio turn off when the channel is changed?
Answer: Whether this happens when you change an over-the-air channel or cable channel, if the sound work sometimes and not others, I wouldn't consider that an issue with your soundbar, but rather with your TV or cable box. I would recommend trying to connect the soundbar to another TV to see if you run into the same issue. That will help you determine whether the problem is your soundbar, or if it's something else.
© 2012 Max Dalton
Daniel Peters on August 20, 2020:
I have one Vizio sound bar and the power light won't shut off does anyone have any idea of what I can do to fix my problem
Bill on June 10, 2020:
Hi. I have 2 VIZIO soundbar/subwoofer sets. One of them has a disfunctioing sound bar although the bluetooth sw works. Is there a way I can get that sub to recieve the bt signal from the functional soundbar? I would like to use both subs simultaneously.
Robert on May 02, 2020:
My SB3621n-E8M went from scratchy to intermittant to silent.
Diana Fox on April 30, 2020:
Thank you so much for your detailed information!
I loved my Vizio soundbar -- but when I bought a new TV, the soundbar quit making sound. Your tip (on PCM audio type) had it fixed in 30 seconds.
All is well again!
Delilah Trujillo on April 15, 2020:
My soundbar will turn on but when its input to the TV it wont play it will just put two dots repeatedly. Can someone help please?
Curt baune on April 04, 2020:
My volume lowers and raise it and will lower again. Is there a board i can get and replace.
Bill saren on February 13, 2020:
Is possible to replace the infrared sensor o my visio sound bar model s4251 w b4 ?
Art on February 06, 2020:
Sound bar won’t come on have checked and reconnected the power cord all connections are in proper place and have undo them and plugged them back in subwoofer works
NEngle on January 26, 2020:
Thank you! Resetting To factory settings fixed our issue immediately!
Gene on December 14, 2019:
My sound bar keeps scrolling up and down, blasting the sound from the TV when it is up. How do I correct this situation?
Cody on December 01, 2019:
My light show up on my sound bar and just go up and down help me
James on November 27, 2019:
Do not buy Vizio soundbars. Purchased from Sam's Club. From day 1 I get a high pitch screeching sound that requires me to unplug the soundbar to get it to stop. This happens every night after it has been on for an hour or so. Contacted Vizio Support, they were less than helpful. Save yourself the frustration and spend the money for a better soundbar.
Nischay Mishra on November 26, 2019:
Hi Max, i bought a Vizio 5.1 soundbar and tried to connect with my LG Webos TV using HDMI-ARC cable, after many efforts I could make soundbar working. I turned on and off couple of times using my LG TV remote and both were functional, then i turned off TV for the night and restarted in next morning, didn’t hear any sound then tried to increase volume but i see a new kind mute icon on my TV like
Cheyenne on November 17, 2019:
My vizio sound bar will randomly turn up and start blasting. Also my back speakers are good for the testing but won’t play
Chuck on June 25, 2019:
I am going to sams with a magic marker and put on the lable do not buy sucks this is the worst thing i bought from them
Carl Mitchell on June 24, 2019:
My lights that show on my sound bar keep scrolling up and down how do I get it to stop
Lou Pope on June 22, 2019:
I have a vsn200 soundbar on a vizio smart tv
It works fine but you have to get real close to soundbar inorder to control volume?
Vizio on May 14, 2019:
Problem: Soundbar will not turn off.
Solution: Using your remote, cycle through the menu to Reset. Select it and it will ask you to confirm. Do that and after the reset completes everything might be working.
Ronald on March 26, 2019:
Vizeo soundbar turns on after tv is turned off
Vkw on March 18, 2019:
I recently moved and am unable to get sound out of my Vizio sound bar. It was working ok before I moved. could it be because it was unplugged for so many hours and it needs to be reset. Has anyone had this problem. I have tried everything to get it to work. I also need a battery for my remote because that is not working either. But you shouldn't need the remote to make it work. Help
Joan on March 17, 2019:
I tried to turn the volume up and the sound got muted. I pressed the mute button to turn it off but nothing happene. Now I have no
Nicknaz49 on February 28, 2019:
Our Vizio Sound Bar #SB3651-e6 back speakers are extremely loud compared to the soundbar. We want to know how to change volume on the rear speakers to balance our sound.
my sound bar turn itself off after every 20 mins or so on February 24, 2019:
my sound bar turn itself off after every 20 mins or so
Billy Setters on November 12, 2018:
I have a vizio sound bar my remote works all settings tell by pights on soundbar but cant get no sound through bar
Bre Dibble on October 29, 2018:
Why does the sound turn all the way up anytine i turn the tv on or if theres a comercial and break in the sound? I ha e the tv speakers off, and the Analoge/ autio set to veriable. Not sure what else to...
jim on September 02, 2018:
Are there fuses inside Vizio's sound bars, my model 2016 sb-3851-do, none of the inlets work except Bluetooth. It's the only way to use it and the voice is not in sink with the tv.
dday07 on July 17, 2018:
I have a philips soundbar with hdmi arc running on wi-fi..I was listening the other day when the volume went out for like 3 seconds..when it came back on my volume sounded lower and there seems to be slight static coming through also..hard to explain but seems like the sound wants to fully break through but can't..any suggestions? Thanks for any reply
Ernie on July 12, 2018:
Having a problem adjusting the bass on my sound bar trued what was in Manuel but didn’t help need some other suggestions
Chandler on May 19, 2018:
Hey my Vizio sound bar keep lighting up what's wrong with it
Dj Hook on May 11, 2018:
Help, my soundbar's subwoofer never comes on unless I push power on the subwoofer button. The soundbar comes on when I turn the TV on but not the Sub. I don't wanna have to get up and push power on the Sub every time.
Coco on March 23, 2018:
I have a samsung smart tv and Vizio Sound Bar system. All worked great for over a yr until yesterday. For no reason I now can’t get TV sound on the Vizio speakers. When I play Spotify on my iPad via Bluetooth it will work. Netflix and chrome cast audio won’t work. I’ve tried everything. Reset Vizio, unplugged and plugged all connections. Checked audio setting on tv and it is PCM. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Greg on March 08, 2018:
Our 38 inch visio sound bar comes on when it wants to after having the t.v. on for hr's never comes on with the t.v. tried everthing to reset the sound bar but still have the problem the sound bar is 2 yrs old
Ryan from Japan on February 25, 2018:
My sound bar sound goes out ( no sounds) whenever I play a game on my PS3. Any suggestions? I’m all ear
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on February 10, 2018:
If you can return it, then do that. If you start tinkering with it and break something on it, then you may be stuck with it.
Joan on February 09, 2018:
My Vizio SB3681 E6 periodically comes back on after I've turned it off. Mainly though, there is VERY soft sound from the rear speakers, and constant soft static. Sound from bar itself is fine. Had some written help from Vizio rep which hasn't worked. Do I have a lemon? I can return it because I bought it a week ago.
Miclidd on January 17, 2018:
My Visio sound bar will not turn OFF even with the power button on the sound bar. If I turn off my Samsung TV and turn it back on the Visio goes to max volume. I’ve unplugged it, reset it to factory still won’t turn off. Remote won’t turn it off either, the auto off doesn’t turn it off either. That flashing light searching for input on the Vizio is pissing me off when I turn off my TV. The volume works to turn it back down when I turn on my TV. Oh and it’s not my TV remote because I’ve even taken the battery’s out of all the remotes and have turned on the TV manually still max volume. It has also gone to max volume for no apperent reason as well. This thing sucks don’t buy!!
Felipe on January 08, 2018:
the vizio sound bar will not power off always lights move from side to side . I tried factory setting and nothing happened lights continue to do as always?
Rick on December 16, 2017:
Can I adjust the bass and treble on my sound bar 2.1 without a remote
Linda on December 02, 2017:
I accidentally touched something on the sound bar remote trying to turn down the volume and now we can't get it to work . Checked the mute on both the bar and tv remote and nothing works . Any thoughts?
Janet on November 05, 2017:
I got a Vizio 28 2:1 hooked up to a RCA tv. The sound is great but the problem is it will go in and out about every 2 or 3 minutes.
Walton cheramie on October 23, 2017:
My Visio sound bar after playing for 5 min which plays great,then all a sudden it starts making cracking noise to the right speaker went ahead change out speaker and still doing the same thing confused
Steve on October 22, 2017:
My Vizio sound bar is less than a year old. It has totally quit working. Have read all the comments and tried the different methods to try to restart it. Also followed the manual’s suggestions as well. No luck. Frustrating as it seems, this is just another poor quality product!
Samuel on October 22, 2017:
Don't buy Vizio sound bars. You can't get parts for them. I know I have tried. I had an RCA connector break on mine, I was able to pull the "daughter" board out that has the two RCA connectors on it. I got a part number from it. Vizio told me they don't sell parts, the three "partner" sites they give you don't sell the parts for sound bars. So if anything breaks - your screwed. I won't be buying another Vizio sound bar...
Max on October 17, 2017:
Unplugging the AC power cord on the back of my Vizio soundbar enabled the settings to be restored. All is back to normal. This was after spending 20 minutes on the phone with the Cox cable. They never offered the unplugging as a solution . Glad I found you.
Rodney on September 20, 2017:
Sound bar stopped working!!
Marcus on May 30, 2017:
I have the 4551 sound bar surround hooked up to a Vizio 65" sound bar works and sounds great, but lately it powers on by itself after shutting off the TV. I will power off the Tv/Sound bar with my cable remote, but 3-5 mins later the sound bar powers back on with cable audio and the tv remains off. Did a full reset and seemed to work, but I just came home to the audio playing again after shutting things off before leaving home. Any ideas?
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Gordon on May 02, 2017:
Im playing music from my phone on my visio sound bar and the volume keeps going up and down by itself. Any ideas?
Bob on March 29, 2017:
I have tried everything and cannot get the sound bar to work. it has power. I used the digital optical cable hooked up from the back of my Sony TV. The connection is good. The soundbar is set to receive the digital optical cable (option 4). Nothing. Nothing is on mute. I tried to set the TV sound from "speakers" to "audio system" Nothing. I switched it back. nothing. Could there be a compatability problem between Sony TV and Visio sound bar?
Shawn Jones on March 19, 2017:
I have an A/V cable connection from my Vizio sound stand to a Samsung 55" smart TV. The problem is, even though I set the audio output on the TV to A/V, TV speakers off, & PCM however the soundstand doesn't output anything. I tried cycling through all it's inputs, I tried restarting both devices, etc. Nothing, no sound.
Ron on March 16, 2017:
The sound from the sound bar went out and we have tried everything. Can't get it to work for hours now.
Nancy L on March 15, 2017:
Vizio Soundbar Model SB3821-D6. Was working great but now every few hours we get a high pitch screetch and we have to unplug and plug back in. Only got it in October. Any ideas?
mike w on February 27, 2017:
sound bar will pass the speaker test but nothing from the tv(no sound) sub woofer or speakers
Robert Martin on February 26, 2017:
Why won't the status lights work on my Vizio VHT210 soundbar. Is it something I can fix myself?
Mark Z on February 23, 2017:
Sharlene, same thing happened to me. Vizio tech support told me to disconnect power cord from outlet and sound bar. Hold on/off switch on sound bar for 30 seconds. Plug back in. Disconnect and reconnect on your device. Worked like a charm for me
Max Thacker t on February 21, 2017:
Vsb207bt vizio sound bar connected to toshiba 50 inch flatscreen with optical output wire
But I don't know what input is in. I push input button and one blue light come on then white light comes on starts going back on sound bar. But I can' get any sound.
Jordan on February 20, 2017:
My Vizio Sound Bar has to be unplugged and plugged back in every time I want to use it, then it works great until I power off my system and I have to unplug and plug it in again. (unplugging directly to sound bar not from wall)
I know it sounds like a simple solution would be don't turn it off, but when I turn off my xbox all devices connected turn off as well. I can turn that off but I'd rather not and I'd like to not always leave the sound bar on. Any thoughts? Is this a power supply issue?
Carrie D on February 11, 2017:
My soundbar is making a clicking sound and everything I have tried doesn't work...click clickclick
Deb M on February 05, 2017:
I turn off my tv and then try to turn off the Visio sound bar, and it won't turn off either by remote or on sound bar button. Was on a chat with a rep for an hour and a half. Very frustrated with this product!!
Moosch on February 02, 2017:
As I see that you keep up to date with posts I figured I'd comment and see if you know how to resolve my issue. Sunday 1/29/2017 we got a vizio sound bar with two surround speakers and a slim style subwoofer. It is 2/2/2017 and we are already having an issue. Every morning the bar essentially has to be 'reset'. When the TV is turned on for the first time of the day it shows a 'retrieving signal' screen. The one you'd see if nothing was connected. The sound bar is on, connections are proper, but it will not show picture or audio, as if nothibg was connected at all. I found that the way to fix this is to turn the whole system off at the subwoofer and then it should work. My problem with this is that my mother is not technology savvy and doesnt understand how it all works, she just wants to know that when she turns the tv on, she'll be able to watch it and if this happens to be first thing n the morning she cant use the TV at all. This has happened every morning since we got the system. Is this a common issue among soundbars? Is this 'the norm' and to be expected daily? Do I have a faulty system? Thanks.
Ryan -ll on January 31, 2017:
S4251w worked perfectly for 2-3 years, up until I plugged it into a different outlet, and now it is unresponsive to the power, input, and bluetooth buttons. Volume buttons are the only responsive ones, but the volume just resets to half way when let go, and can't even reach under 2 bars, which in my time with this bar, might mean the volume is currently controlling the input. (maybe not) Phones / tv / anything can connect to the soundbar, but it seems like the bluetooth button is stuck and is overriding the action of any other button. I have tried resetting it, it does "restart" but goes back to searching BT connection after few seconds.
Francisco on January 29, 2017:
Vizio Sound Bar SB4051-D-5.
No sound using HDMI-ARC
Dawn on January 28, 2017:
Sound bar works with Bluetooth but not thru the tv..I just figured out turn off the bluetooth from that device. For me it was my ipod. I unconnected and wahla..hope this helps someone!
Colleen on January 27, 2017:
The tracking is off for my Vizio tv and Vizio sound bar.
Kathy on January 27, 2017:
Just purchased a Vizio sound bar model SB3821-D6 and the lights are now not working. How can I fix it?
Mark on January 13, 2017:
When my 45" 5.1 Vizio is connected, the audio and video jump to the input screen for a few moments, then return. Using the HDMI cable dedicated to the sound bar on a 60" Vizio 4K TV.
Quincy Cunningham on January 11, 2017:
@ Sharlene Just "forget" the soundbar on your device's bluetooth menu. Then reconnect. It should work after that.
Yvette on January 09, 2017:
Thank you the information you provided was very helpful.
Sharlene on January 09, 2017:
My Vizio sound bar works for almost a year, but now it has really lower I almost cannot hear it when I paired with Bluetooth from my phone or tablet. Even I turn the sound bar and phone to highest sound.
Please helpe if anyone has same experience.
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on December 15, 2016:
Go into the audio settings on the TV and ensure that it's set up to output audio through the optical output. I'd bet that's what's causing your problem.
Paul E. on December 13, 2016:
Trying to get audio from model # SB2920D6 soundbar using the optical input. I have confirmed there is a signal (red optic) coming though the optical cable. I've tried this on several brands of TVs but still no sound unless I connect the analog input.
JuanitaT on December 07, 2016:
Just got our Vizio Model: S4251w-B4. Everything was set up ok, however can't get the woofer and side speakers to work. Dles anybody know why?
dennis on December 07, 2016:
My sound bar does not turn off when I turn off with Direct tv remote. every thing else seems to work great. Need trouble shooting help,
Eddie on November 29, 2016:
Sound bar went out but woofer works well, I've unplugged it changed cables but still no sound..
Dori on November 25, 2016:
Everything is working but when ever any kind of music comes on the sound cuts in and out....any suggestions on how to fix this?
barbara on November 20, 2016:
Have a V2 and reset it a few months ago, same problem back-no sound. thought I remember seeing something about contacting Vizio about upgrades? ?
Sue on November 06, 2016:
Why does the volume go up and down on the sound bar when commercials come on and every so often the bar cuts off for a second
D on November 05, 2016:
So my soundbar starts getting a buzzing noise. It get progressively worse and worse. An easy fix to it (for about 30 min) is to switch from one tv output to another and then back again. WTF?!
T Rhodes on October 27, 2016:
This happened to me. I fixed the problem by cycling through the inputs by pushing the INPUT button on the sound bar remote. It was not using the optical cable input (source 4). Hope that helps. It's nice to have my sound bar back.
Tommy on October 27, 2016:
I have a Vizio sound bar model #VSB210WS. It worked great for several years. Now the sound bar will not turn on but the bass module light blinks. There seems to be power getting to the sound bar but it is dead. Any suggestions or has its time just come?
Brandon Peyton on October 22, 2016:
I have a visio sound bar with wireless subwoofer. The subwoofer stoped working but the suround speakers plugged into the woofer work as well as the sound bar. Any help?
Laidback on October 18, 2016:
Manually or remotely can be turned on and turns of after a few minutes of non use
YBSLIM on October 10, 2016:
I have a Vizio 2.0 soundbar, speaker works great using Bluetooth from my phone but cant get TV to play through it. Ive tried every cable and every cord.. Any HELP Please!!!!
ROBIN on September 22, 2016:
Unplug and it reset works great thanks
AubreyD on September 18, 2016:
We turned on the sound bar last night and all was well! Next day turned it on and nothing!! All the led lights were on across the board, never seen this! Will not respond to anything, I unplugged the power,held down the on/ off button, input button doesn't respond! Anyone know what the problem is??
Jizzman on September 16, 2016:
Will never buy a Vizio product again. Straight garbage.
Jim on September 15, 2016:
my vizio sound bar comes on and then in about 20 to 30 minutes if starts making a loud nose and no sound from tv.
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on September 13, 2016:
Try muting it using the physical button on the sound bar rather than the remote control.
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on September 13, 2016:
It's going to sound silly, but try moving them closer together.
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on September 13, 2016:
Try moving the two devices closer to each other.
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on September 13, 2016:
I would exchange it ASAP and see if they'll ship you a different one. Issue is likely tied to the fact that it's a refurb.
Debbie on September 08, 2016:
My sound bar won't mute
firstname.lastname@example.org on September 06, 2016:
I just got this vizio sound bar with a wireless sub woofer. I was able to get the sound bar to work great, but i cannot get any sound coming from the woofer. I followed the directions on how to pair the wireless woofer to the sound bar but no sound.
Any help would really be appreciated.
Matt on August 19, 2016:
Sound bar works fine, sub quit. Thoughts?
Tom on August 09, 2016:
Vizio sb 29 something, worked for a while and sometimes had this problem but never hard to fix, power on, right input, no sound coming out, tried it with multiple devices all with volumes up and working. My sb was on a plug with many other things plugged in so I switched outlets and it still didn't work?
Derrell on August 06, 2016:
I have a Vizio SB4021E sound bar and woofer. The wireless woofer has never worked. Bar is great. I can barely hear a faint bass sound from the woofer. Is it possible the wireless frequency is not the same on the 2 units. This was a Vizio refurbished unit.
Risco on July 19, 2016:
Great article. Worked well. Thanks!
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on July 14, 2016:
May be a power issue. Do you have it plugged into a power outlet with a bunch of other stuff? If so, try disconnecting the power strip and plugging the sound bar directly into the power outlet and playing audio through it to see if that resolves it.
vic on July 11, 2016:
my vizio sound bar sound goes in and out all the time.
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on July 01, 2016:
Awesome. Glad to hear it, Joe.
Joe on June 30, 2016:
My sound bar was producing severe static when connected to the tv via digital optical output. A new cable did not help and the speaker worked on another tv. I connected the cable to my cable box digital optical output and it works great.