One of the most popular products of Vizio is their Soundbar, which delivers great sound quality backed by the latest technologies at a reasonable price. However, it’s not uncommon for the soundbar remote to stop working suddenly or not pair with the soundbar.
If your Vizio soundbar remote isn’t working, ensure there aren’t any obstacles between the remote and the soundbar when using it. Following this, power cycling the remote and the sound bar, replacing the remote batteries, using a different remote, and updating the soundbar should fix the issue.
The rest of the article will expand on the different ways to fix a Vizio soundbar remote if it’s not working. In the following sections, I’ll take you through a detailed guide on implementing these fixes, along with a run-down of the troubleshooting process that can help you diagnose the underlying problem.
Also read: Vizio Soundbar Lights Flashing Up And Down? (Here’s Why)
5 Things To Do if Your Vizio Soundbar Remote Is Not Working
Are you unable to control your Vizio soundbar with the provided remote? If yes, a myriad of underlying problems can cause this issue.
I’ve listed 5 potential fixes so you can start normally controlling your Vizio soundbar with a remote again.
I’d advise following these fixes in the same order I’ve listed below.
Remove Any Obstacles Between the Remote and the Soundbar
When controlling the Vizio soundbar using a remote, you send IR (Infrared) light from the remote to the soundbar. If something is blocking the IR light, the signals from the remote won’t reach the soundbar, and it won’t respond.
Most Vizio soundbars will have the IR sensor near the light bar or at the center of the unit. If you’re not sure, you can check the manual to see where the IR sensor is on your specific model.
Once you know the position of the IR sensor, get close to the soundbar, point the remote exactly at the IR sensor, and press any of the buttons.
If the soundbar is responding, something is blocking the signal from the remote to the device. Try rearranging the way you have placed the soundbar so that there’s always a clear line of sight between the device and the place from where you usually control it using the remote.
Other than this, ensure you’re no more than 10 feet (3 meters) away when using the remote with the soundbar. The IR signal gets weak at longer distances and won’t reach the soundbar.
Power Cycle the Remote and the Soundbar
Sometimes firmware bugs in the remote or the soundbar might make the devices unresponsive. However, you can quickly fix that by power cycling the remote and the Vizio soundbar.
Follow these steps to power cycle the remote:
- Open the back cover and take out the batteries.
- Press every button on the remote twice.
- Ensure none of the buttons are stuck.
- Put the batteries back into the remote
- Test if the remote is working properly now.
Follow these steps to power cycle the Vizio soundbar:
- Turn off the soundbar by pressing the power button. It’s usually located on the top or left side of the device.
- Unplug the soundbar from the power outlet.
- Press the power button and hold it for 30 seconds.
- Plug the soundbar back into the power outlet.
- Test if the device is now responding to the remote inputs.
Replace the Remote Batteries
Dead batteries are another common reason for your Vizio soundbar remote to stop working. This is also the simplest problem to check and fix.
Open the back panel on the Vizio remote and remove the old batteries.
Vizio remotes commonly use CR2025 lithium coin batteries. However, I’d advise checking the old batteries or the user manual to see the exact type. It’s extremely important to use the same type of batteries; otherwise, you can damage the device.
Once you have the new compatible batteries in hand, insert them into the Vizio remote. Don’t forget to align the +/- ends of the battery properly, or it won’t work.
With the new batteries in place, use the remote to see if it’s working with the soundbar.
Try a Different Remote
If your Vizio sound system still doesn’t respond to the remote after trying the above fixes, it’s likely the remote or the soundbar is faulty.
The best way to check which device is causing the problem is to use a different remote on the soundbar.
Vizio sound systems are more or less compatible with remotes of other models.
If you or one of your friends/family members has another Vizio soundbar (or any Vizio sound system), take that remote and use it on your soundbar.
The new remote working with the soundbar means the old one is busted, and you need to replace it.
However, if the new remote doesn’t work as well, you’ll likely have a problem with the soundbar itself.
Replace the Remote
If the Vizio soundbar is working with a different remote, it means the original one is faulty and not working.
This can happen due to physical damage from accidental drops, water damage from spilled drinks, etc.
Whatever the reason, you can now either choose to keep using the different remote to operate the soundbar or buy a new one.
Moreover, if the Vizio soundbar system is in warranty, you can contact the support team or ask for a replacement remote. You might just get one for free.
Update the Vizio Soundbar Firmware
If your Vizio soundbar is not responding to its accompanying remote, the problem might lie with the soundbar itself.
Any sound system more than 5-6 years old will have hardware or firmware issues. While you might be unable to resolve hardware problems, you can try updating the firmware to see if it helps.
Here’s a thorough guide on how to update the firmware on a Vizio soundbar:
- Check the Vizio soundbar serial number.
- Head over to the Vizio official website.
- Click on “Support” and then “Find Your Firmware” option.
- Enter the serial number in the provided field and click the “Get Firmware Data” button.
- The results page should give you a download link for the latest firmware patch for your specific Vizio soundbar.
- Download the file.
- Load the firmware file to an empty USB thumb drive.
- Please switch off the soundbar and unplug it from the power outlet.
- Insert the thumb drive into the Vizio soundbar as it’s turned off.
- Reconnect the soundbar to the power outlet. Don’t switch it on just yet.
- You should see 2 LED lights followed by 3 LED lights turning on the soundbar. This indicates that the update is in process.
- When the LED lights turn off, the update is complete.
- Hit the power button to turn on the soundbar.
- Use the remote to see if it’s working now.
Call a Technician
Suppose, after trying all the solutions mentioned above, including using a replacement remote; the Vizio soundbar still doesn’t respond to the remote inputs. In that case, it’s likely that the IR sensor on the device is faulty and not working.
To fix this, you’ll need to replace the IR sensor module with a new working one.
I’d suggest calling a technician to do this for you. Alternatively, you can also take the soundbar to a repair shop.
Consequently, if you’re into DIY electronic repairs, you can check out this 10-min YouTube video on how to replace the Vizio IR sensor on a Vizio TV (the Vizio soundbar works similarly):
Vizio Soundbar Remote Isn’t Compatible With Bluetooth Apps
When you say your Vizio soundbar remote isn’t working, do you mean it’s not working at all, or it’s not working with certain applications?
One of the best things about Vizio soundbars is that it connects to other devices over Bluetooth (as long as you’re using a Bluetooth-compatible unit), e.g., with your phone, allowing you to use it like a secondary speaker.
You can play songs using Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, Deezer, or other apps from your phone and listen to them on the much more powerful Vizio soundbar.
The only problem is that these apps aren’t directly compatible with the Vizio soundbar and won’t support many of the buttons on the remote, e.g., “back”, “skip track”, “fast forward”, etc.
So, if the Vizio soundbar remote isn’t working only when trying to control Bluetooth apps, there’s nothing to worry about. The remote is fine as long as the buttons usually work in regular use.
The most common and often overlooked reason for Vizio soundbar remote not working is something blocking the signal between the remote and the soundbar.
However, if that’s not the case, you should try power cycling the remote and the soundbar, followed by replacing the remote batteries.
You can also try using a different remote, updating the Vizio soundbar firmware, and buying a new remote to fix the issue.
Moreover, if your Vizio sound system is within warranty, I’d suggest calling Vizio customer care or tech support so that they can solve the problem for you.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.