I planned on purchasing a ZVOX SoundBase 570 to
complement my new wall-mounted OLED TV. I see ZVOX has
some new sound bars, the SB400 and SB500. The less
obtrusive, wall-mounted sound bar be much preferred
aesthetically if the sound quality holds up. Will you be
reviewing these soon to compare to the SoundBase design
that has had such positive reviews everywhere?
Burquest, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Thank you for this question, which will help me get my
CES report done a little bit sooner. I saw the new sound
bars at CES under a non-disclosure agreement and since
then have been able to review production models.
new ZVOX Sound Bars ($499 SB400, $599 SB500) were
designed to provide strong bass without an external
subwoofer. An extremely rigid aluminum enclosure is
used, along with premium-quality drivers a step up from
those used in prior ZVOX products. They can be
wall-mounted or placed on a shelf or table.
soundbars set up as easily as other ZVOX products and
have Bluetooth for use with portable devices. I was
extremely impressed from the moment they first came on.
The sound is akin to a premium quality center channel
speaker and small subwoofer driven by a separate
receiver. It is rich, clean, full and dynamic and
matched perfectly to the source, be it television shows,
movies, or music of all kinds. I was especially pleased
with jazz music and the way instruments were reproduced.
have one word for the vocal reproduction: WOW. If you
are having trouble understanding the dialogue on your
television and are tired of half-measure solutions that
ultimately fall short, this is the weapon of mass
destruction that will definitely obliterate the problem
once and for all. When I was listening to cable news
shows, it sounded like the anchors and guests were in
the room with me. Even a room away I could hear and
understand them with absolute clarity, and there was no
distortion or artificial heaviness though the sound was
phenomenally solid. I did not even need to turn on the
AccuVoice feature for this and found surround setting 2
perfect for all program material.
of the previous SoundBase models may create a somewhat
more immersive surround experience, due to more
aggressive signal processing. That isnít necessarily a
negative since the aggressive processing can also change
the character of the sound. I definitely preferred the
very natural sound of the new sound bars and am willing
to give up a bit of spaciousness to get it.
sum it up, the leap forward in sound quality alone is
worth the extra $200 (and then some) and you get the
form factor you want along with world-class vocal
reproduction. The new sound bars take ZVOX into new
territory in terms of sound and performance, and given
an unpowered home theater center speaker of this size
and quality easily costs this much or more, they are a
fine value as well. I think even the smaller SB400 would
be enough for almost everyone, unless the room is very
Electronics Show report, continued: Monoprice displayed
a 25-watt stereo hybrid integrated tube amplifier (tube
preamp/solid state amp) with Bluetooth for $149 at the
electronics show. Iíve since tested one and it is
great-sounding little amp with incredible visual appeal.
It has Bluetooth and one RCA input for a turntable or CD
player and makes a wonderful keystone to a compact
system with great sound and looks.