How to Connect a Wireless Subwoofer to a Vizio Sound Bar

Old-school home theater setups could make your TV area look cluttered with separate small center-channel and front speakers that had to go somewhere near your TV. Vizio and other manufacturers tamed the mess by combining those speakers into a single, sleek sound bar that sits at the front of your TV. Current models may include a wireless subwoofer, or you can add one to your setup after the fact.

Current models of speakers may include a wireless subwoofer.
Image Credit: Gabriele Maltinti/iStock/GettyImages

Connecting Your Vizio Sound Bar Subwoofer

If you purchased your Vizio sound bar with a wireless subwoofer setup, the sub and the sound bar are paired at the factory through Bluetooth. When you connect and set up your system, they automatically recognize each other and connect.

If your Vizio wireless subwoofer is not working, usually it has lost its saved Bluetooth connection to the sound bar and needs to be re-paired, as opposed to repaired. It's a simple, straightforward process:

  1. Turn on the power to your subwoofer.
  2. Press and hold the Pairing button on the back of the subwoofer for five seconds until its red LED begins to blink. Release the Pairing button.
  3. Press and hold the Power button on top of the sound bar for five seconds. The LED on the sound bar flashes three times to show the pairing was successful.
  4. Release the Power button. Play audio through your speaker system to verify that the subwoofer is working.

Connecting a Third-Party Wireless Subwoofer

It's convenient to buy your whole home theater system as a package from a single vendor, but it doesn't always work that way in the real world. If you've purchased a Vizio sound bar that didn't include a subwoofer, or if you want to incorporate another company's subwoofer into a mixed system with your Vizio sound bar, you need to start by pairing them.

  1. Choose a location for the subwoofer and plug it in.
  2. Consult your subwoofer's manual or the manufacturer's website for pairing instructions. If those resources aren't available to you, look for a button that says "Pair" or something similar.
  3. Hold down the Pairing button or follow the pairing sequence described in your subwoofer's manual to put the sub into pairing mode or make it "discoverable."
  4. Hold down the Power button on the Vizio sound bar for five seconds until its LEDs blink three times to show that it has paired successfully with the subwoofer.
  5. Play audio to test that the subwoofer is functioning properly. If the subwoofer came with satellite speakers, they can be attached before or after you pair it with the sound bar.

Connecting to an Older Vizio Soundbar

If you have an older Vizio soundbar without Bluetooth, it's still possible to connect a wireless subwoofer. A handful of manufacturers produce wireless adapters designed to work with the wired line-out connections on your sound bar and transmit a signal either to their own wireless subwoofer or a third-party product.

Depending on the product, it may connect through old-school RCA cables, a digital coax or Toslink optical connection, or HDMI. Most models then use Bluetooth, like the newer Vizio sound bars themselves, to send the wireless signal to the subwoofer. The transmitter and the sub may be paired at the factory, or you may need to pair them manually as directed in the user manual.

You may also see wireless transmitters that work through Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth because it offers longer range and stronger signal. Those usually connect through your home network. Seriously techie types can manually add them to the network, but it's simpler to use the WPS button on your devices and your router. It's the one that looks like a circular arrow, and you hold it down the same way you do when you're pairing through Bluetooth.

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