We've been fans of Zvox's sound bars for years, but we've often griped about a few missing features: no front-panel display, digital inputs, or true input switching. Zvox has recently released two new Z-Base units (the 555 and 580) and there's virtually nothing to complain about on the design and features end. The new front-panel display is excellent, there are two digital inputs plus true input switching, and the Z-Base pedestal remains by far our favorite sound bar design.
Still, the Zvox Z-Base 580 ($600 street price) fell a little short of our (admittedly high) expectations. That's largely because of its sound quality, which isn't bad, but didn't impress us as much as previous Zvox units. We also didn't think the Z-Base 580 sounded that much better than the smaller (and cheaper) Z-Base 555, although the 580 does get louder thanks to its size and an additional subwoofer on the bottom, making it a better choice for large rooms.
If you're not picky about sound quality or are just looking for an upgrade over your built-in TV speakers, the Z-Base 580 is an excellent choice for large rooms, especially since the Z-Base 580 gets just about everything else right. But if you're planning on playing a lot of music or looking for big home theater thrills, you'll want to look competitors like the Harman Kardon SB 16 or Vizio VHT510.