6
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 580

About Video Transcript

First Look: Zvox Z-Base 580

2:22 /

The Zvox Z-Base 580 has a nearly perfect sound-bar design and a solid feature set, but it won't please critical listeners and the smaller Z-Base 555 is a better value.

-Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak at CNET.com and this is the Zvox Z-Base 580. This is a sound bar home theater system and is currently selling for $600. Now, Z-Base 580 doesn't look like your typical sound bar. It's a big wooden slab and while most sound bars are designed to sit in front of your TV, the Zyvox is designed to sit under it. Now, this arrangement actually makes a lot of sense as there's no chance of the Zvox blocking your TV remote sensor and it looks a lot sleeker. It's more like a piece of furniture than audio equipment. The front panel is also smartly designed with a few key buttons on the lower right and mini jack input and there's also a large front panel display, which is cleverly hidden behind the speaker grill showing up only when you're actively using it. Overall, it's the best design sound bar we've tested. Connectivity is around the back and there are 2 digital inputs and 2 analog inputs and unlike previous Zvox models, there's true input switching. So, you connect up to 5 separate devices total including the mini jack input on the front. You will notice there is no HDMI connectivity on the back, but we don't consider that to be a big loss. You can either connect everything directly to your HD TV and use that as a switcher or you can make separate audio connections straight to the Zvox. The sound quality on the Z-Base 580 was good, but it didn't quite live up to our expectations. Like the smaller Z-Base 555, it does a great job with dialogue clarity and there are tons of useful adjustment options right on the remote to help you dial in the sound just how you like it. The Z-base 580 is larger and has additional subwoofer on the bottom compared to the 555, which helps its sound louder, but the sound quality benefit is only modest. It's still doesn't handle music or loud dynamic action movies as well as with like, and if sound quality is important to you, which just checking out the similarly priced Harman Kardon SP16. Altogether, the Zvox Z-base 580 has nearly perfect sound bar design and the feature set is solid, but it won't please critical listeners, and the smaller Z-base 555 is a better value. I'm Matthew Moskovciak, and this is the Zvox Z-Base 580.

New releases

The Renault Megane 275 Trophy is a Lord of the Ring
8:56 November 27, 2014
When someone dared to take the FWD lap record at the Nürburgring away from Renault, the Frenchmen fought back The result is the Megane...
Play video
How the Samsung Galaxy Note got its pen in CNET UK podcast 412
20:16 November 27, 2014
The Samsung Galaxy Note almost came with a toothpick, we're going back to Jurassic World, and BT has its sights on O2 -- or maybe...
Play video
Apple looks to Virtual Reality
4:55 November 26, 2014
Apple is pursuing virtual reality harder than it ever has before. The iPhone 6 can play 4K video, and the best Black Friday deals for...
Play video
Olympus E-PL7's mainstream appeal
2:24 November 26, 2014
A good interchangeable-lens series for budding enthusiasts gets better.
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 093: Underwater cities, MST3K's new website, robot security guards and more
23:17 November 26, 2014
On today's show, we discuss a Japanese design firm's plans for a futuristic underwater city, the newest way to watch your favorite...
Play video
Sparing no expense, 'Jurassic World' features Gear smartwatch
2:56 November 26, 2014
Samsung products find a way into the latest "Jurassic Park" movie, Amazon launches Local Services, and Twitter tests coupon offers...
Play video
Tablet tips for traveling with kids
2:47 November 26, 2014
Learn how to use the tech you already have to entertain your kids during a long trip.
Play video
Razor scooters drive electric
1:54 November 26, 2014
Razor's small E100 and larger E300 electric scooters make for a fun ride, but don't expect much in the way of features.
Play video