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

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 tablets powers...
2:43 October 30, 2014
The 8.9-inch tablet adds item-identifying Firefly function and audio enhancing Dolby Atmos technology.
Play video
App that translates sign language...
1:37 October 30, 2014
Many millions of people worldwide live with a disabling hearing loss. Now a team of deaf entrepreneurs is...
Play video
World of Warcraft hits its tenth...
5:19 October 29, 2014
CNET speaks to World of Warcraft Lead Game Designer, Ion Hazzikostas, about the history of WoW and making...
Play video
The 13-inch Lenovo Yoga Tablet...
1:56 October 29, 2014
Lenovo's new 13-inch Yoga Tablet 2 couples it's unique hinged design with Windows and a high-resolution d...
Play video
Sony's Action Cam Mini has big...
1:47 October 29, 2014
The HDR-AZ1 delivers great video in a lightweight splashproof body that you can mount places other cameras...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 077: The Antares...
25:50 October 29, 2014
On today's show, we talk about the Antares rocket incident, how scientists might use hydrogel to create artificial...
Play video
Motorola's Droid Turbo brings 48...
3:37 October 29, 2014
Google wants to get into your bloodstream, Amazon announces their Fire TV stick and the two day smartphone...
Play video
Use a tablet as a photography...
2:08 October 29, 2014
Your iPad or Android tablet can be used as an instant photographic light. CNET's Lexy Savvides shows you how...
Play video