Vizio SB36312-G6 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 17, 2020 at 08:17 am
Vizio SB36312-G6 Picture
5.8
Mixed Usage
4.4
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.4
Music
6.3
Movies
Channels
3.1.2

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is a 3.1.2 setup with a slim subwoofer that can be placed upright or on its side. On its standard 'Direct' mode, it has a boomy sound that some may find a little overwhelming for most audio content. It also lacks a dialogue enhancement feature, and it doesn't get too loud. While its volume level shouldn't be too problematic for most listeners, it has compression artifacts and pumping at max volume. On the upside, it has a full set of inputs so you can connect most devices to it, and you can stream audio to it using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Chromecast built-in. There are also three EQ presets as well as bass and treble adjustment. It supports Atmos and DTS content too, but it has to downmix this content to stereo in order to play it.

Our Verdict

5.8 Mixed Usage

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is disappointing for mixed use. It has a very boomy sound profile that can be overwhelming for movies and music. The bar doesn't get very loud, and if you push it to its max volume, there are compression artifacts and pumping, which is disappointing. On the upside, there's a couple of EQ presets as well as bass and treble adjustment available. It can also support Atmos and DTS content, which is nice.

Pros
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in compatible.
  • Three EQ presets plus bass and treble adjustment available.
Cons
  • Very bass-heavy sound profile on default 'Direct' mode.
  • No room correction feature.
  • Pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.
4.4 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is poor for dialogue and TV shows. On its standard 'Direct' sound mode, it has a bass-tilted sound signature, and there isn't a dialogue enhancement feature to help boost vocal clarity. That being said, it has an auto-volume/night mode which can help to correct differences in volume.

Pros
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in compatible.
  • Three EQ presets plus bass and treble adjustment available.
Cons
  • Very bass-heavy sound profile on default 'Direct' mode.
  • No room correction feature.
  • No dialogue enhancement feature.
6.4 Music

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is passable for music. It has a boomy sound profile that can be overwhelming for a lot of musical genres. That being said, you can adjust the amount of bass, and there's three EQ presets that can help you tweak the sound to better suit your music needs. It can't get very loud, though, and if you want to listen to your music at max volume, there are pumping and compression artifacts.

Pros
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in compatible.
  • Three EQ presets plus bass and treble adjustment available.
Cons
  • Very bass-heavy sound profile on default 'Direct' mode.
  • Poor surround performance.
  • Pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.
6.3 Movies

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is mediocre for movies. It supports Atmos content but its height and surround performances are poor, so it's not the most immersive experience. It also has a very bass-heavy sound profile that may be a little too much for some movies, and the bar itself can't get very loud. If you push this bar to its max volume, there are pumping and compression artifacts, which is disappointing. On the upside, you can tweak the sound a bit by adjusting the bass and treble, or by using the 'Movie' preset.

Pros
  • Three EQ presets plus bass and treble adjustment available.
  • Supports Atmos and DTS content.
Cons
  • Very bass-heavy sound profile on default 'Direct' mode.
  • Poor surround performance.
  • Pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • 5.8 Mixed Usage
  • 4.4 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.4 Music
  • 6.3 Movies
  1. Update 9/22/2020: The Dynamics tests have been reconducted due to a value input bug.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is a 3.1.2 channel soundbar from Vizio's 2019 lineup. This soundbar has a full set of inputs and it supports Dolby Atmos. Its subwoofer stands out amongst the crowd for its slim size; however, it makes this bar sound overly bass-heavy. Its main competitors are the LG SN8YG, the Samsung HW-Q70R, and the Sony HT-Z9F.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has a similarly plain look and feel as the SB36512-F6. The front and top of the bar are covered in fabric while the back and bottom of the bar are covered in good quality plastic. The silver ends of the bar give it a little more pizazz, but they're also made of plastic, which ends up making it look a little cheap.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

This subwoofer has a very unique look. Its slim and tall body is made from MDF and there's a vinyl covering on top of it. There's a square of black fabric that covers the woofer, and a sleek, gray plastic plate covers the front of the sub. This sub can also be placed horizontally or vertically to better fit your space, which is nice.

Design
Style - Satellites

There are no satellites in this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 35.9" (91.3 cm)
Bar Height 2.5" (6.4 cm)
Bar Depth 3.4" (8.6 cm)

The Vizio SB36312-G6 isn't very wide but you may still have difficulties placing it between the legs of a 55" TV, depending on its stand. However, it's not too tall, so unless your TV is flush to the table, it shouldn't obscure your view of the screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width 3.3" (8.3 cm)
Sub Height 17.0" (43.3 cm)
Sub Depth 13.5" (34.2 cm)

This subwoofer is extremely thin and is designed to fit into smaller spaces. You can also place it on its side if you find it's too tall for places like under shelves. You shouldn't have a problem placing it anywhere in the room, as it connects to the bar wirelessly.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
Universal (holes on back)

The bar of the bar has two openings. The first one on the left is for its power cable, AUX, and Optical Audio inputs. The second opening on the right side houses the other inputs. There are also universal holes on the back of the bar so that you can mount it on the wall with the provided screws and brackets.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the subwoofer is made from MDF with a vinyl covering. There's a power cable on the bottom, and an on/off power button which doubles as a pairing button when held for five seconds.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has a decent build quality. The bar is mostly made up of good quality plastic while the subwoofer is comprised of MDF with a vinyl covering. These two materials make the total setup feel solid and robust. Fabric covers the front and top sides of the bar while the sub only has a square of fabric covering the woofer. However, it feels like this fabric can be easily ripped or get dirty in either place.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
6.3 ft (1.9 m)
Digital Optical Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)

  • Manuals
  • 2x Power cables
  • Remote with 2 AAA batteries
  • RCA to 3.5mm cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Optical cable
  • AUX cable
  • Wall-mounting screws
  • Wall-mounting brackets

Sound
5.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-1.54
ST Std. Err.
5.26 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
41.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
16.3 kHz

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has a sub-par stereo frequency response. On its standard 'Direct' mode, it has a very boomy bass that overwhelms the mid and treble range which may be too much, even for fans of bass-heavy content like EDM or action films. Luckily, you can adjust its subwoofer level, and there are two other EQ presets to try out if you're looking for a different sound.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.45 dB

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has a decent stereo soundstage. It sounds a bit larger than the bar itself, but the bar doesn't do any tricks to further widen it. Objects also sound like they're coming from general moving areas rather than accurate pinpoint locations.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
88.1 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
1.83 dB

Update 09/22/2020: We've discovered a value input bug that would cause the Dynamics box results to be slightly off. All soundbars reviewed since January 30th 2020 have been updated.

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has satisfactory stereo dynamics. While it doesn't get as loud as the LG SN8YG, it should still satisfy most listeners. However, at max volume, this bar produces pumping and compression artifacts, especially in the bass range.

6.8
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.98
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.06

The THD performance of the Vizio SB36312-G6 is okay. At normal listening levels, there's a bit of distortion present, especially in the bass range. If you push this bar to its max volume, there's also quite a bit of distortion, again in the bass range. That being said, it's difficult to hear this with real-life content.

7.7
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
-1.12
C Std. Err.
3.77 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
87.6 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.55
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.51

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is a 3.1.2 setup with a good center channel performance. It has a dedicated center channel speaker, which helps to reproduce clearer and more accurate dialogue in movies. While its bass is overemphasized, there usually aren't a lot of bass frequencies on the center channel, so its boominess most likely won't be very audible for most listeners.

2.5
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
No
Sr Slope
-1.80
Sr Std. Err.
6.39 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
90.1 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.88
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.69

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has a bad surround sound performance. It downmixes content into stereo to play it, and it sounds very bass-heavy. It produces a lot of distortion at max volume, which is disappointing.

4.8
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
H Slope
-1.86
H Std. Err.
5.06 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
83.4 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
1.99
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.66

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has a poor height performance. It uses up-firing speakers to bounce sound off your ceiling, which helps to give you the impression of height. However, the localization of objects sounds diffused, and it doesn't sound as real as discrete localization produced by down-firing speakers.

5.7
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
No
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has sub-par sound enhancement features. Just like the Vizio SB36512-F6, it lacks both a room correction and dialogue enhancement feature, which is a little disappointing. On the upside, you can adjust the bass and treble, which can help temper this bar's boomy sound profile. There are three EQ presets: 'Movie', 'Music', and 'Direct', which is the bar's standard sound mode. It has a virtual surround feature alongside height settings too, which may help improve your audio experience. However, it has fewer sound customization options than other 3.1.2 setups such as the Samsung HW-Q800T.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
1
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
1
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
1

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is a versatile bar that has a full set of common inputs, and you should be able to connect any device to it using one of its inputs.

8.4
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

This soundbar has great support for audio content using its HDMI ARC port. It supports both Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats, which are found on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs. As it also supports Dolby Atmos, an object-based surround sound format, it can offer a more immersive sound experience. Unfortunately, there isn't support for uncompressed sound formats such as 5.1 PCM over this port.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
Yes
5.1 PCM
Yes

The Vizio SB36312-G6 supports all common sound formats when connected via Full HDMI In. It has to downmix surround content to stereo to play it though, but it's still able to offer a somewhat immersive sound experience. You can also use this soundbar as a hub between an external device such as a gaming console and your TV, which is nice.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has excellent support via Optical Audio, and it supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content. These audio formats are usually found on Blu-ray discs and on streaming platforms. On the downside, it has to downmix this surround content into stereo in order to play it.

9.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
Yes
Apple AirPlay
No

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has excellent wireless playback connections. You can connect to the bar using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which is handy if you're streaming music from your laptop or smartphone. You can also use Chromecast built-in, but this bar doesn't support Apple AirPlay.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes

The Vizio SB36312-G6 can passthrough the highest quality signal. If you have it connected between your PC and TV, the text on the screen appears clearly.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

This sub connects wirelessly to the bar. It has an input for its power cord and as well as an on/off button for the sub itself. If you hold down the power button for five seconds, you activate its pairing mode.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The Vizio SB36312-G6 uses a very simple light interface. There's a row of vertical lights on the bar's left-hand side that flash depending on your setting. They also change color depending on what kind of audio format you've selected.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

This bar has controls on its top panel. You can turn the bar on/off, change inputs, pair via Bluetooth, and turn the volume up or down.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The Vizio SB36312-G6 comes with a remote that allows you to control all the functions of the soundbar. Unfortunately, while it has a screen, it's pretty hard to read as the screen itself is dark.

Additional Features
App
App Name Vizio SmartCast
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Audio Files Only

The Vizio SB36312-G6 can pair with the Vizio SmartCast app. You can control all the soundbar's settings from here, and it's easier to read than the bar's remote screen.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Vizio SB36312-G6 has an auto-off feature that turns off the bar after some time, which helps to save energy. This bar also has HDMI CEC support, so you can use your TV remote to control the bar's basic functions.

Compared to other soundbars

The Vizio SB36312-G6 is a 3.1.2 setup from Vizio's 2019 lineup. It has a very unique-looking subwoofer that's very slim, and you can even place it upright or on its side if you prefer. It doesn't get as loud as the Vizio SB3820-C6, and its boomy sound profile can be overwhelming, even for bass-heavy audio content. Just like other 3.1.2 setups such as the LG SN8YG or Samsung HW-Q70R, it supports Dolby Atmos content by downmixing it into stereo, but its height performance isn't as good as soundbars with rear satellites. Check out our recommendations for the best soundbars with subwoofer, the best soundbars for movies, and the best soundbars under $300.

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 is better for dialogue/TV shows than the Vizio SB36312-G6. The Sony has a slightly better build quality, its sound profile is more neutral, and it has a dialogue enhancement feature to further improve vocal quality. Its center, surround, and height performances are better, and it has eARC support. However, the Vizio has more physical inputs as well as more options for wireless playback. It also has an auto-off power-saving feature.

Samsung HW-Q70R

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better 3.1.2 setup overall than the Vizio SB36312-G6. The Samsung is better built, its sound profile is more neutral and better balanced, and it can even get louder with less thumping and compression artifacts. It even has a dialogue enhancement feature as well as a graphic EQ. It also has a better center channel and height performance, and it supports eARC. However, the Vizio has an auto-volume/night mode, more physical inputs, and it even supports Chromecast built-in.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T is a better overall soundbar than the Vizio SB36312-G6. Both are 3.1.2 setups that support Atmos content. However, the Q70T has a better-balanced, less boomy sound profile that makes it more versatile. The Vizio also can't get as loud the Q70T. The Q70T also has more sound customization options that allow you to adjust the sound based on your preferences.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F is a better overall soundbar than the Vizio SB36312-G6. The Sony feels better built, it has a more neutral sound profile, and it has a dialogue enhancement feature. It can also get louder with less thumping and compression artifacts, and its center, surround, and height performances are better. It even has two Full HDMI In inputs and it supports eARC.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a better overall soundbar than the Vizio SB36312-G6. The Vizio has a very boomy sound profile, while the Samsung's more neutral, well-balanced sound profile is much better suited for a variety of audio content. The Vizio only has three EQ presets, while the Samsung offers a graphic EQ and four presets to help you customize the sound to your liking. Also, unlike the Vizio, the Samsung has a dialogue enhancement feature to help make voices sound more clear and crisp, which is good for watching TV and listening to podcasts.

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