This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
First Look: Zvox Z-Base 550
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

First Look: Zvox Z-Base 550

2:00 /

In addition to delivering solid sonics, the Zvox Z-Base 550 sets itself apart from competing single-speaker units with the unique capability to double as a stand for your TV.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> I'm John Falcone from CNET.com and we're taking an in-depth look at the Zvox Z-Base 550. This unit is a single speaker home theater speaker that doubles as a bass for your TV. From the front it looks like just another sound bar, but viewed from the side you can see that it's almost 15-inches deep. That extra depth and the built-in 5.5-inch subwoofer allow the Z-Base 550 to produce a fuller bass-rich sound that delivers a lot more bass than all the other sound bar speakers we've seen to date. Yes, you can hook up a powered sub, but because the bass is so good you don't have to. In keeping with Zvox's keep-it-simple mantra the Z-Base 550 doesn't have any buttons or control at all on its rear or front panels. You access volume and other controls via a small credit card-style remote. Connectivity covers just the bare basics: Two stereo RCA analog inputs and a subwoofer output. We wish Zvox had included at least one digital input that would have fill things out a little better. The emphasis here is on clarity versus fancy surround effects. We find the dialogue to be impressively natural and clear, but the PhaseCue control allows you to increase the fullness of the sound. Treble in subwoofer volume are also adjustable. On the downside, the Z-Base 550 can only handle a TV that weighs 90 pounds, so jumbo screen models need not apply. Also, the unit has no built-in controls, so you'll need to make sure you don't lose that remote. On and off however the $500 Zvox Z-Base 550 is a good choice for anyone who doesn't like the underpowered speakers on their flat screen TV just to make sure that TV weighs less than 90 pounds before you buy this unit. I'm John Falcone for CNET and this is the Zvox Z-Base 550.

New releases

The SanDisk Ultra II is a new low...
2:44 September 22, 2014
Somebody alert the media -- while talking about the new SanDisk Ultra II solid-state drive, CNET editor Dong...
Play video
The Technivorm Moccamaster takes...
2:30 September 22, 2014
While it costs a lot of cash, it's hard to beat the Technivorm Moccamaster's skills of brewing delectable...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 055: A $1 microscope...
24:13 September 22, 2014
On today's show, we wonder what we'd use a cell phone microscope for, discuss the ongoing (and highly entertaining)...
Play video
The 404 Show 1,555: Netflix tries...
29:46 September 22, 2014
Today we're not spoiling anything, unlike what Netflix is trying to do with a random spoiler generator it...
Play video
iPhone sales records and 3D printing...
2:53 September 22, 2014
Apple reaches new records for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch weekend, HTC is said to be working on the Nexus...
Play video
Bose QuietComfort 25: Top noise-cancelling...
2:57 September 22, 2014
With the freshly redesigned QC25 ($299.95), Bose has not only enhanced the sound and noise reduction of its...
Play video
Give your MacBook a makeover
14:49 September 22, 2014
In this episode, learn how to improve your MacBook Pro's performance, add custom art to your laptop lid, and...
Play video
Can RPM Technik improve the Porsche...
8:43 September 22, 2014
Not only are the folks at RPM Technik passionate about restoring and selling Stuttgart's finest, they're also...
Play video