Most all of us love watching TV, Movies, etc. while sitting on the couch at home. A good sound system generally improves that experience significantly, but not everybody has the time, money, or space to set up a full stereo system. Thankfully there are other available options. ZVOX is a company that understands all of these possible constraints and has developed a line of under-TV speaker systems in a variety of sizes and configurations. ZVOX was kind enough to let me test out one of their Soundbase models. Keep reading to hear all about how the ZVOX Soundbase 570 stacks up to a conventional stereo system.
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What’s In The Box
- ZVOX Soundbase 570 unit
- One stereo RCA to stereo RCA connecting cable
- One optical digital (TOSLINK) cable
- One remote control
- Power cord
- One-sheet safety instructions and operations manual, fast setup sheet and remote control programming instruction sheet.
Considering what’s built into the ZVOX Soundbase 570 I was honestly surprised at just how light the entire system is. Coming in just under 20 pounds the Soundbase 570 was very easy to unbox and move around. Don’t let its light weight fool you though, the entire line of Soundbase products are constructed from a medium density fiberboard, a construction technique that more closely matches most home audio speaker systems. This construction also provides a very solid base since the Soundbase is meant to sit underneath your TV.
The entire front of the device is covered with perforated metal grating as protection for the front speakers. The ZVOX logo is emblazoned in the middle of the front of the Soundbase. Just to the right of the logo are the front manual controls and the “disappearing display.” The four digit display will show your current volume or sound settings while you are changing the applicable setting, then after a few seconds will disappear leaving only the front grate visible. The display is bright and vivid when turned on, so it’s rather nice that it quickly disappears so as not to distract from your tv show, movie, etc. if you’re watching in a darkened room.
The top and sides of the Soundbase are pretty ordinary, but that all changes on the back and bottom of the speaker. The bottom includes the downward firing subwoofer while the back has all of the input options.
Ease of Use
As long as your TV has an optical (TOSLINK) output setup is a breeze. Simply place the Soundbase where you want it to live, then plug the included optical cable into the Soundbase and your TV. Connect to power and you should be all set. The Soundbase should automatically pick up the signal from your TV. If you don’t have an optical output on your TV, not to worry. The Soundbase also includes RCA to RCA cables that can be used if necessary. One thing you’ll want to confirm, even if you’re using the optical cable, is that the Soundbase is on the appropriate channel for the input you’re using. It should be set to optical by default, but you may need to cycle through the input options via the remote or front buttons to ensure you’ll get sound from your TV.
I was definitely impressed with the amount of sound that this slim pedestal speaker was able to produce. I’ll talk more about the speakers themselves in just a bit, but the Soundbase includes a few features that will definitely be of interest to a lot of people.
First up is AccuVoice. Anyone who has watched certain movies such as Interstellar or The Dark Knight Rises knows that speech can be covered up by background music or sound effects pretty easily. AccuVoice boosts speech just a bit to make it easier to hear. I tested AccuVoice on quite a few TV shows and sportscasts and speech was definitely clearer. AccuVoice would also be a great feature for the hard of hearing, or someone who just needs a little bit extra push to hear things clearly.
The next major feature is Output Levelling. I think we’ve all been startled by a commercial or show that is suddenly significantly louder than the preceding commercial or show. Turning on the Output Leveling function will normalize the sound level preventing any deafening surprises.
The ZVOX Soundbase 570 includes five 2” speakers and a 5.25” subwoofer, and they’re put to good use. The five main speakers utilize a long throw design that allows them to reasonably recreate a surround sound experience. You obviously won’t get the same quality of surround as you would with a full surround sound system, but for an under-TV bar, the effect is sufficient. Those main speakers are loud too. I found a comfortable listening volume was in the 13-15 range, and anything higher than around 18-20 caused some vibration noises. That could have been at least partially due to the TV stand that the speaker was on, so your mileage may vary. The subwoofer works well considering its size and the configuration of the speakers. Again, a dedicated subwoofer will absolutely shake your room more, but I was quite impressed with the sound and volume that the Soundbase 570 was able to put out.
The ZVOX Soundbase family has several available options with the 570 sitting square in the middle in terms of price. Coming in at $350 the 570 is very reasonably priced for the performance it provides. The quality construction, simple setup, added features, and powerful sound make this soundbar one that you should definitely consider. If you need a bigger or smaller speaker you can check out some of the other ZVOX Soundbase options here.
I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of ZVOX before, but the company has my attention now. It’s doing some interesting things in the home theater market and deserves your attention.
*We were sent a demo unit of the ZVOX Soundbase 570 for the purposes of this review.