The Good The Zvox SB500 sound bar offers great sound quality and a simple setup process. Bass is plentiful despite the lack of a subwoofer. Styling is chic and the unit seems well put together.
The Bad It doesn't include a wireless subwoofer, or subwoofer output jack. Deep bass can cause the soundfield to collapse into mono. The bar is taller than most and may block your TV's IR sensor if you're not wall-mounting.
The Bottom Line The SB500 sound bar is easily the best-looking and -sounding Zvox we've ever tested, and among the best for the money, period.
Zvox bar puts out grade-A sound
Despite practically inventing both the sound bar and the sound base, Zvox is still not a household name in the way that Bose or Yamaha are. But the SB500 could be the product that brings the brand to a wider audience.
Zvox founder Tom Hannaher told us at CES that he believed the $599 Zvox SB500 was the best sound bar you could buy. While that might sound like a baseless boast, it could have some truth to it. The SB500 does produce very sound good indeed, and better value for money than most sound bars we've tested.
The lack of subwoofer can be a problem, especially on bass reproduction during music playback, but the unit produces plenty of bass for watching blockbuster movies. Most sound bars exhibit some form of compromise, but the SB500's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. This is definitely Zvox's best-sounding unit yet, and if you're looking for a performance-first bar that will trounce most of the skinny, style-centric competition, it belongs on your short list.
Samsung's slim sound bar is designed to be heard, not seen
The NW700 includes a subwoofer onboard and is designed to be wall mounted under the company's TVs.
Is one speaker enough for movies and music?
Is just one speaker enough for movies and music?