VIZIO soundbar not working with VIZIO subwoofer

How to fix VIZIO subwoofer not working with soundbar | 2021

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Have a wireless VIZIO subwoofer that just won’t connect to your soundbar? Perhaps your soundbar and subwoofer is not working at all?

When a VIZIO subwoofer is not working it’s possible you have purchased a defective subwoofer and need to perform a few fixes. I’ve found it’s not uncommon for a VIZIO subwoofer to not work and have serious pairing issues over time with frequent use.

Here are the steps for fixing a VIZIO subwoofer that is not working with it’s sound bar:

  1. Reset to Factory settings
  2. Next, properly pair the subwoofer to your Vizio soundbar
  3. Power Cycle both your Vizio subwoofer and soundbar
  4. Turn off Eco-Mode (disable Energy Star feature)
  5. Run a software update and check your subwoofer for sound!

I bought two VIZIO soundbars, both identical with subwoofers (wireless)… and of course, after a while, one stopped pairing, while the other wouldn’t connect (and the bass stopped working). I’ve done some deep research on this topic and also collected feedback from VIZIO support to help solve this problem.

In this post, there will be specifics for each above step in further detail. There will be a point where you may need to consider whether you need a replacement subwoofer or not.

Do VIZIO subwoofer’s that don’t connect need a replacement?

Many VIZIO subwoofers and soundbars eventually run into the same problem just weeks after fixing it… This is why I personally chose to replace it with another soundbar (see below)

Should I just replace my VIZIO subwoofer: This happened to me not too long ago… I ended up replacing my entire soundbar and subwoofer with this Samsung Soundbar 2.1 with Dolby Audio. I don’t have to worry about it not working and I love the sound of the deep bass. I can’t watch my favorite 4k movies without it now. This was honestly the easiest, most reliable way I’ve found to solve this frustrating issue.

A replacement subwoofer is the most successful solution for fixing the defected VIZIO subwoofer. The reason being is that it’s common for these VIZIO subwoofers to stop working again shortly after it’s fixed.

I didn’t enjoy wondering if my VIZIO subwoofer or soundbar was going to suddenly stop working in the middle of my favorite TV series again.

Experts aren’t sure whether the core issue is with the VIZIO soundbar or the subwoofer itself. The VIZIO subwoofer is typically only sold along with the soundbar and is tough to find.

Still not fixed? Let’s further dive into the specifics on how to solve this issue for those not looking to grab a new soundbar or subwoofer just yet.

Related: How to add Apps to a VIZIO TV not in app store

Related: How to install KODI on VIZIO smart TV

How to fix VIZIO subwoofer not working with soundbar

VIZIO Subwoofer not connecting to soundbar how to fix

Here’s are the steps on how to fix a VIZIO Subwoofer that is not working or connecting with a VIZIO soundbar:

If you’re unsure whether you need to replace your VIZIO Subwoofer/soundbar or not, then skip to this section of the article to help you decide.

Reset to factory settings 

While this is more of a last resort method, it’s often the first one many try when subwoofer to soundbar pairing won’t work because it undoubtedly has the highest success rate. 

There is a drawback to resetting your VIZIO soundbar and subwoofer back to it’s original setting; you’ll lose any custom preferences you set up as well as any software updates.

If this does solve your issue, it might only be for the short time. It’s likely the issue will re-occur again as Vizio subwoofers appear to be malfunctioning all over Reddit and tech forums. (skip to best replacement Vizio subwoofers)

Important

If a factory reset doesn’t work, move your subwoofer very close to the soundbar not pairing.

Here’s how to perform a Factory reset for VIZIO Subwoofer & Soundbar:

  1. Press the Bluetooth button while simultaneously holding the ‘Volume Down’ button (minus symbol) on the soundbar.
  2. Hold both buttons for 5 seconds total
  3. Ensure all LED lights on the left of your soundbar are flashing.
  4. You’re VIZIO Soundbar is now factory reset!

Next, you’ll need to properly pair and connect the VIZIO subwoofer to it’s soundbar again. Don’t forget to turn off eco-mode (energy star feature). Eco-mode is enabled by default and this is known to possibly interfere with the subwoofer working with the soundbar correctly. 

This is yet another reason why I chose the replacement subwoofer mentioned at the beginning of this post… the VIZIO subwoofer had far too many flaws for me to comfortably enjoy the only time I get to relax.

Properly pair a Vizio Subwoofer to VIZIO Soundbar

Pairing a Vizio Subwoofer to soundbar when not working connecting

When your wireless VIZIO subwoofer won’t connect or pair with your soundbar you’ll need to take the following steps to fix it… especially if you’re not in the market for a new sound system just yet.

After the factory reset, the next step to fix the VIZIO subwoofer that’s not working is to properly pair your VIZIO wireless subwoofer to it’s soundbar to make it work again. You’ll need a proper Vizio soundbar with wireless subwoofer setup.

VIZIO Subwoofer won’t pair with VIZIO Soundbar

Here’s how to pair a VIZIO soundbar to your subwoofer:

  1. First, plug in and turn on the subwoofer’s power switch
  2. Then, hold the ‘Pair’ button on the rear of the subwoofer for 3-5 seconds until the red light begins blinking.
  3. Next, hold the ‘Pair’ button (power button) down on the Soundbar for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Look for the soundbar lights to begin flashing to indicate a successful pair.

If the red light is not blinking or the subwoofer is still not working, you’re likely in need of a replacement subwoofer and/or soundbar as mentioned towards the end of this article. 

Power Cycle

Properly pairing the subwoofer and vizio soundbar
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Power cycling can fix a VIZIO soundbar that won’t connect itself to the subwoofer, but according to forums successful outcomes are mixed. This is certainly worth a try/ Those who want to avoid a factory reset should perform a power cycle first. Power cycling is also a common fix for those whose VIZIO soundbar won’t turn on or stopped working.

Here’s how to power cycle a VIZIO soundbar:

  1. Ensure there is no power connected to both the Soundbar and any wireless subwoofers.
  2. While unplugged, hold the ‘Power’ button down for 30 seconds.
  3. Plug the devices back in and pair all devices.
  4. Your VIZIO soundbar power cycle is now complete.

Software Update

How to play downloaded movies on TV using a USB

When your VIZIO soundbar or subwoofer keeps disconnecting, stops working or isn’t pairing it will be ideal to perform a software update. This sounds great, right? Well doing a software update on a device without WiFi is more complex than you’d think. 

To perform a software update on a VIZIO soundbar, you’ll need to place the correct software update for the precise model soundbar. This means you’ll need to find your serial number, then search on VIZIO’s website for the most recent update and pray that it works out for you.

Visit the VIZIO website and grab the software update that matches your soundbar/subwoofer model. This can be done by using a USB drive.

Alternatively, you can contact VIZIO technical support and ask for a thumb drive to be mailed. However, we personally found the support to be a bit unresponsive and the software update we attempted didn’t fix the issue (the factory reset at the beginning of this article did)

What I did instead: I personally chose to replace my VIZIO subwoofer and soundbar with this Samsung 2.1 soundbar & subwoofer from Amazon to solve the headache. It kept breaking over and over again every time I thought I fixed it.

Sure, in some cases a software update could solve the issue, but when we had contacted support on this matter there was absolutely no mention of this being a solution for fixing a subwoofer not working with our VIZIO soundbar. Some report results, however as I mentioned earlier… 

Turn off Eco-mode (Disable ‘Energy Star’)

Power cycling the vizio subwoofer nad sounbar that is not working

Eco mode, (or “Energy Star” feature) on Vizio sound bars can cause a multitude of issues such as the sound bar powering and turning off randomly. Eco-mode was created to power down the soundbar after a period of inactivity. 

I’ve found Eco-mode can frequently cause issues making the subwoofer not work, connect or pair properly. If your VIZIO soundbar and subwoofer are not working together properly it’s best to turn this feature off.

VIZIO support instructed us to turn off Eco-mode/Energy Star mode off when fixing a VIZIO subwoofer… but the most interesting part is that VIZIO has this setting enabled by default. So make sure to turn it off after a factory reset is performed.

Here are the steps to turn off Eco-mode (Energy Star) on a VIZIO soundbar:

  1. Press and hold the VIZIO soundbar ‘Power’ button
  2. Next, simultaneously hold the volume down button for 5-10 seconds.
  3. If there is an absence of 2x vertical lights on the left of your soundbar, then the Energy Star/Eco-mode feature is now disabled!

VIZIO subwoofer replacement for VIZIO Soundbar

VIZIO soundbar and subwoofer replacement not working

A VIZIO subwoofer replacement appears to be a very common purchase amongst those experience VIZIO subwoofer & soundbar connection issues.

To enjoy the deep bass tones we all know and love for that true surround sound, home theater experience… a alternative subwoofer and soundbar combination is ideal. 

I made the switch from my non-working, VIZIO system over to this Samsung subwoofer (amazon) and I couldn’t be happier. I haven’t experienced any headaches and I never have a fear of the sound turning off during my hours I have off of work.

VIZIO subwoofer problems consistently resurfaced time and time again for me. I would fix it for a moment with a factory reset… just to have the subwoofer keep disconnecting again in a day or two. This drove me to make the switch over to the Samsung sound system mentioned.

Can I use a different subwoofer with Vizio Soundbar?

No, you can not use a different subwoofer connected to a soundbar of a different branded system, especially without a technical expertise. The only case this is possible is if are a sound specialist or have the soundbar bluetooth connect a matching wireless transmitter to plug into the sub out of the soundbar. (source)

Vizio Subwoofer keeps disconnecting

If your VIZIO subwoofer keeps disconnecting and reconnecting from the soundbar, then you’ll likely want to turn off eco-mode. Eco-mode (or “Energy Star”) is known to cause random disconnecting of the subwoofer from your VIZIO soundbar.

Turning off eco-mode can be be done by holding the VIZIO soundbar ‘Power’ button down along with the ‘Volume Down’ button for 5-10 seconds. If you see two vertical lights on the left side of the soundbar then that means “eco-mode” is enabled. If not, it is disabled.

Try the following steps to fix a VIZIO subwoofer that keeps disconnecting:

  1. Reset to factory settings.
  2. Re-link the Subwoofer to your VIZIO Soundbar.
  3. Power Cycle’ the Vizio soundbar.
  4. Turn off Eco-Mode (disable Energy Star feature)
  5. Run a Software Update and re-test your subwoofer connection.

VIZIO Subwoofer paired but there’s no sound

VIZIO subwoofer paired but there's no sound or bass not working

If a VIZIO Subwoofer is paired, but there’s no sound, then you’ll want to try a power cycle followed by re-linking the subwoofer to the VIZIO soundbar. Ensure eco-mode is off and be sure to run a software update. If all else fails, perform a factory reset as instructed in this article.

Before doing anything, make sure the bass volume on the VIzio remote is not on silent.

How to turn up the Subwoofer bass volume on the Vizio Remote. 

VIZIO soundbar subwoofer remote turn off mute using the bass

If your subwoofer is paired but there’s no bass sound, then it’s possible you have the bass volume on mute. 

To turn up the bass on your VIZIO subwoofer press the Next or Previous’ button on your remote. The LED lights on your soundbar will indicate the strength of bass volume. This common when you notice your VIZIO subwoofer stopped working.

Adjusting the bass can be quite frustrating, if the bass and the lights on the VIZIO Soundbar are distorted and you’re confused which is which, it’s best to reset the VIZIO Soundbar not working back to factory settings as properly instructed in this post earlier.

FAQ

How to fix a Vizio subwoofer not connecting with soundbar

Will any subwoofer work with VIZIO soundbar?

No, not any wireless subwoofer will work with a VIZIO soundbar. Many brands create their products so they are purchased together by the consumer and typically only work with each other. If you are a sound specialist you could find workarounds using transmitters from the VIZIO soundbar sub.

Why is my VIZIO soundbar making a popping noise

If your VIZIO soundbar is making popping or cracking noises you’ll need to check all loose connections by unplugging and plugging all wires. You can perform a factory reset by pressing the Bluetooth button and Volume Down’ button (minus symbol) at the same time for 5-10 seconds. A damage power supply can also cause this issue.

How do I fix my Vizio subwoofer power light not working?

If your VIZIO subwoofer has no power light showing, then this could mean the subwoofer is not getting power. A damage power supply is possible. You’ll want to contact VIZIO Support or purchase a replacement subwoofer.

 What can I do when a Vizio Subwoofer light shows up, but still won’t connect?

When the light on the Vizio Subwoofer turns on it means it’s working, however the Vizio Subwoofer sound system still won’t connect to the soundbar and this appears to be a common issue by many. The Best way to fix this is to bring the Vizio Subwoofer close to the soundbar and pair it.

If this does not work it may be ideal to stray away from this model of Vizio Subwoofer and try a samsung device as mentioned earlier. I personally borrowed my friends samsung subwoofer to test it and it worked perfect, then I bought my own!

I’m streaming media from a Private Roku Channel to my VIZIO Soundbar and the sound won’t work

Sometimes the Private Roku channels don’t have audio configured the same way as a movie or show you buy on demand from Fubo, amazon prime or roku. In this case you’ll want to make sure you’re Private Roku channel is up to date by using the update mychannels secret channel code. See our full list of Private Roku channels here.

In other cases, the issue will lie in the VIZIO soundbar not working properly with the subwoofer and does not have to do with the Roku Private Channels. it doesn’t connect and won’t connect until you try all the methods listed earlier such as reseting the Vizio Subwoofer back to factory settings and re-pairing by bringing the subwoofer closer to the soundbar.

It also helps to rule out: If there’s not a lot of different wifi signals or the subwoofer is not stuck between a concrete object like a bathroom or concrete wall.

Can I send audio from Fire HD to Vizio Subwoofer & Soundbar?

If you own a Vizio sound bar and a Vizio TV, you may be curious about the connection between your TV and your sound bar. In other words, can you send audio from your fire HD to your Vizio sound bar and is it possible to project audio from a fire HD tablet onto my Vizio TV?

Since the amazon fire tablet is a less expensive device, it’s known to have a few audio issues; even Alexa voice app doesn’t work sometimes. For more on this, see: How to Fix Alexa Not Working on Fire HD

As far as mirroring content from the Amazon Fire HD tablet to a sound system like the Vizio soundbar and subwoofer, you’ll want to check the bluetooth settings and ensure the Vizio soundbar shows up.

If it does not, you’ll have to pair the soundbar once again and ensure the Vizio device pops up on the potential connection options. In most cases the Fire HD 8 and 10 work best with Firestick and Amazon devices; in which you can connect to the Vizio soundbar that way. This is no simple set up, but it’s possible.

Conclusion

Fixing a VIZIO Subwoofer that does not work requires a long series of troubleshooting consisting of a factory reset, power cycling, disabling eco-mode, updating soundbar software. In the case the VIZIO subwoofer keeps disconnecting from the soundbar it’s important to pair the two devices properly as well as taking all the necessary steps I’ve just outlined.

In many cases, a proper fix for a VIZIO subwoofer that stops working is a replacement soundbar/subwoofer. I personally went with samsung since VIZIO fixing the subwoofer connection is oftentimes a malfunction of the VIZIO product and not a long-term fix. I was tired of my VIZIO subwoofer not turning on when I needed it to and not connecting at times I need it most.

It’s common for these issues to resurface after you fix them, even if you perform something as drastic as a factory reset… this is why so many are replacing their subwoofer’s. This is unfortunate because we pay good money for our soundbars and many of us are out of warranty. 

Some common models that have reported issues (such as my VIZIO subwoofer that stopped working) are the VIZIO 2.1 soundbar as well as the following models: SB 3821, V51-H6, SB3651, and SB3821-C6, SB2821-D6 and VHT215.

A VIZIO subwoofer replacement in the form of a new soundbar/subwoofer combination is very common amongst those I speak to as well as on tech forums where the problem re-surfaces. Many have experienced that the subwoofer is likely to have the problem again. As mentioned by several users on Reddit. 

What route will you take?