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's bar sounds big, but isn't perfect
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

First Look: Zvox's bar sounds big, but isn't perfect

2:34 /

The Zvox Z-Base 420 offers an uncluttered look and solid sound at a budget price, but its quirks might give some buyers pause.

Hey. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and we are taking a look at the Zvox's Z-Base 420. This is a budget price sound bar that's currently selling for $300. Now, Zvox originated the pedestal sound bar design, which lets you place a sound bar under your TV rather than in front of it. It's a great look with a lot less clutter, and you never have to worry about the sound bar blocking your TV's remote sensor. The Z-Base 420's cabinet is made out of wood and it has a boxy look with sharp edges that's a little less sleek than some of the other pedestal sound bars that are around in the market now. One of its great features is its front panel display which is hidden behind the speaker grill and it's only visible when it's in use. A lot of sound bars don't have a front panel display at all, and it's really nice on the Zvox to get some visual feedback when you're adjusting the volume or making bass and treble adjustments. The included remote is a slight step up from those thin credit card style remotes that we're used to getting on sound bars, but it's still isn't that much of an improvement. The buttons are mushy and they're pretty cluttered. So, you may end up replacing it with a solid universal remote. Around back are the inputs including 2 analog inputs, 1 optical, 1 coaxial plasters and many jack input up on the front. That's more inputs than to get on a lot of competitors, although, you may end up not using those extra ports if you use your TV as a switcher. Sound quality on the Zvox is a bit of a mix pack. On one hand, it delivers a big rich sound particularly on movies and it clearly outclasses the more expensive Bose Cello. It also has an excellent dialog emphasis option, which boosts dialog, so it's easier to hear voices over background sounds and music. On the other hand, the Zvox did occasionally destroy at high volumes, which is something that never happened on the other pedestal sound bars that we tested. Along similar lines, that cabinet of the Zvox has a tendency to vibrate, and in our setup, it actually made the TV audibly buzz at times. And that's not gonna happen with every TV, but again, it didn't happen with any of the other pedestal sound bars that we tested. So ultimately, that's why the Zvox Z-Base 420 is more of mix recommendation. It has a bigger sound than the Bose and it has a great budget price. But buyer should be aware that the can sometimes vibrate and distort. Locally, Zvox has a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can give it a shot in your setup, and see how it works. I'm Matthew Moskovciak, and this is Zvox Z-base 420.

New releases

Upgrade your MacBook with an S...
4:29 September 23, 2014
Replacing your MacBook's hard drive with an SSD can give you a huge performance boost. Check out these simple...
Play video
Contour returns with the waterproof...
1:31 September 23, 2014
Its first new camera since announcing its return, the Roam3 picks up where its predecessor left off, delivering...
Play video
Leave your smartphone behind with...
2:19 September 23, 2014
The Wink Relay smartphone hub replaces a light switch and lets you control all your Wink-compatible devices...
Play video
Polaroid takes tiny cameras to...
1:18 September 23, 2014
It captures HD video and shoots photos and the whole thing fits inside the palm of your hand.
Play video
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