Zenith DA3520 review: Zenith DA3520

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Nicely balanced sound; compact receiver/DVD player.

The Bad Won't play all that loud; feels inexpensive.

The Bottom Line This little Zenith won't tempt audiophiles, but it sure delivers a high level of performance for the money.

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Zenith's DA3520 home theater in a box (HTIB) won't win any industrial design awards or belt out rock-concert volume levels, but it exudes a confidence that's rare in budget products. This nifty $399 kit has a bona fide 5.1-speaker package and A/V receiver/DVD player; no obvious corners were cut. Zenith's DA3520 home theater in a box (HTIB) won't win any industrial design awards or belt out rock-concert volume levels, but it exudes a confidence that's rare in budget products. This nifty $399 kit has a bona fide 5.1-speaker package and A/V receiver/DVD player; no obvious corners were cut.

Simple pleasures
The setup chores are unusually straightforward: without even cracking open the manual, we had the DA3520 up and playing DVDs in less than 20 minutes. Zenith isn't stingy with the features, either; the system has DTS and Dolby Digital surround sound and plays DVDs, CDs, CD-R/RWs, and MP3 files. The 6X 30-watt A/V receiver/DVD player is smaller than most, and the full-sized remote's ergonomics are excellent.

Connectivity choices cover just the basics. You get two A/V inputs and one A/V output set--no digital audio ins or outs. Video output connections to your TV are limited to one composite and one S-Video. That's all she wrote.

The five-inch-tall plastic satellite speakers are generic-looking, but the matching fiberboard subwoofer definitely rises above the beer-budget HTIB ranks. That subwoofer runs off the receiver's power amp, but since the receiver is also outfitted with a line-level subwoofer output jack, upgrading to a powered sub later on is a possibility. That sort of flexibility is refreshing in a $399 HTIB.

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Where to Buy

Zenith DA3520

Part Number: DA3520
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Components (for S.D.) radio / DVD
  • Output Power / Total 180 Watt
  • Response Bandwidth 4 - 20000 Hz
  • Color silver
  • Built-in Decoders DTS decoder
  • Additional Features magnetic shield
  • Functions DVD player
  • Sound Output Mode Surround Sound
  • Components DVD player / AV receiver
  • Type home theater system