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Aric
Aric, Engineer
Category: Home Theater-Stereo
Satisfied Customers: 42006
Experience:  15+ years in the field. Owner of AV Installation, OEM and Repair company
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Visio s3821w-co pairing doesn't work on sound bar

Customer Question

Visio s3821w-co pairing doesn't work on sound bar
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Home Theater-Stereo
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Hello and sorry you're having problems. What pairing are you referring to- pairing with the wireless subwoofer?

If so, how long have you owned this for and when did the problem occur?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Pairing the sound bar to the subwoofer. Just got if from a friend because they couldn't get it to work. Everything on the sound bar works, just can't connect to the subwoofer. The pairing light on the sound bar doesn't come on
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the reply. If your friend also had the same issue, then it's likely the subwoofer has a defective Blue Tooth receiver, there's only a couple of things that you can try, but if it didn't work for the friend either, it's likely defective.

First, how far away from the soundbar is the subwoofer?

Also where it the closest Wi Fi router- since this operates on the same frequency as BlueTooth and will directly interfere with pairing?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Worked with Vizio tech support and they said the pairing on the sound bar needs repair, but didn't know what was wrong
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the reply. If your friend also had the same issue, then it's likely the subwoofer has a defective Blue Tooth receiver, there's only a couple of things that you can try, but if it didn't work for the friend either, it's likely defective.
First, how far away from the soundbar is the subwoofer?
Also where it the closest Wi Fi router- since this operates on the same frequency as BlueTooth and will directly interfere with pairing?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It's not the subwoofer. The pairing light on it works, the problem is the sound bar pairing light doesn't come on or work
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Okay, if the light doesn't come on for pairing on the soundbar then the soundbar has a failed Bluetooth transmitter, which is a hardware failure in the unit. How long ago was it purchased? Was it less than a year ago that your friend bought it? Or were you looking to perform a hardware repair inside of the soundbar's amp board?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It's out of warranty, was going to fix it myself, if it's worth fixing
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

I'm assuming the Vizio tech already had you try to unplug the soundbar, then plug it back in and press the pairing button for 8 seconds? Still no light?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It will Bluetooth connect to my iPad or iPhone. But will not pair to the subwoofer... Yes we tried all that
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Yes the BlueTooth for connecting external audio signals and the one for pairing to the subwoofer- are different. In order to fix this you would need to find a replacement amplifier module for the soundbar. This part is only available through VizParts, or by purchasing a used one and cannibalizing it for the amp module. I can attempt to look for this part, but generally they don't carry replacement parts for their soundbar systems, as they're only in the $180 range brand new anyhow. I will see what I can find however- may take a few minutes.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sounds like it may cost more than it is worth
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Unfortunately that's how they're designed. When you can find one the board is around $90 and then there's labor- so shops won't repair these. As such Vizio doesn't put much effort into supplying replacement boards, since they will generally change the model out within a year or two for a new one anyhow.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I figured as much. Was a bench tech for Sears and they did the same thing
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

The entire soundbar/subwoofer system is available for $90 at the link below. Looks like a Vizio refurb:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vizio-S3821w-C0-38-2-1-Home-Theater-Bluetooth-Sound-Bar-w-Wireless-Subwoofer-/121465791172?_trksid=p2141725.m3641.l6368

You could keep the current one for spare parts, or salvage the amp off of the refurb to put into this one and keep the other for parts. In any case, it's about what the amp alone would cost a repair shop. I realize it's not the answer you'd hoped for originally though. Sorry for the bad news on this one.

Feel free to reply back if you need more help, or want to reply back with more details. It does not cost you anything more to reply back once you've rated. Please do rate me positively (at least 3 STARS) and I will continue with you until this is sorted. The positive rating ensures I am credited for my work.

Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Did you need further assistance here?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, not any better off than before. Just confirmed what I already thought.
Expert:  Aric replied 9 months ago.

Okay, well there's only so much I can do with the limitations of the equipment. The question is still open showing that you need help with this, so I wanted to see if you did.

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