It's the rare TV that wouldn't benefit from an audio upgrade, in part to get speakers that are actually pointed at you (rather than down) and in part to bring bass into the mix (courtesy of a subwoofer). Let's not forget overall volume, either. Even a cheapie soundbar would improve your aural experience -- though, as evidenced by today's deal, you can spend just a little more and net a lot.
Read more: The best soundbars for 2020
For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished Vizio SB3651-E6C 5.1 SmartCast Sound Bar System for $114.99 with promo code CNETVZO. It originally sold for $238, and the best deal I've seen for a refurb elsewhere today is $140.
The SB3651-E6C combines a three-channel soundbar (left, right and center) with a wireless subwoofer and two wired rear speakers. If you can't easily accommodate those rear speakers, it should be no problem to just leave them out of the mix.
Like most soundbars these days, this one doubles as a Bluetooth speaker: Just pair it with your phone or tablet when you want to play your tunes. However, the SB3651 is also Google-savvy: You can use any Google Assistant-equipped device to play music ("OK, Google, play my Herb Alpert playlist on the soundbar") or take advantage of built-in Chromecast to stream from compatible apps.
When shopping for any soundbar, be sure it supports HDMI ARC (which this one does). That's so you can use your TV remote to control the volume. On the other hand, I like that Vizio's remote has a little LCD window so you can easily see the selected mode and whatnot.
CNET hasn't reviewed this exact model, but the similar, slightly lower-end Vizio SB3621 was dubbed "the king of budget sound bars." Reviews elsewhere (for this exact model) are mostly good, and average customer ratings tend to fall in the 4.3-star range.
This being a refurb, the warranty is just 90 days. I don't feel like there's much that can fail here unless there's a power surge, but it's something to consider. Even so, this is a pretty amazing deal for a 5.1-channel sound system.
Originally published last year. Updated to reflect new sale availability. Removed expired bonus deal.
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