Pros Rich, full sound.
Excellent dialogue enhancement.
Easy set up
Cons Nothing. Nada.
Summary I am responding to your email for my wife who joined with you this Christmas as Santa's secret elves to fill my wish for a sound system that would allow me
to understand the dialog on our new HD TV. I am hard of hearing, was frustrated for the better part of a year and started looking into soundbars and surround sound
after Thanksgiving. Long story short, I came upon ZVOX, explored your website and reviews, talked to a fellow name Dave and decided this was the answer.
My wife saw my excitement and, being the CFO, pointed out the cost and the upcoming expense of Christmas. We were traveling to Virginia to celebrate with kids and
grandkids. So I cooled down, thinking when we return after new year, this will be on the front burner. Well, Christmas morning as the grandkids passed out the presents,
a large box was dragged in front of grandpa. Yep, Mrs. Claus ordered and had delivered to Virginia a Zvox555. Couldn't wait to get home and set it up.
The sound improvement is nothing short of amazing. It is richer, fills the room, and definately improves the dialogue delivery. I have been telling friends about Zvox
and will continue to do so.
We are enjoying it immensely; it was a wonderful Christmas surprise. Yes,We. Mrs Claus thinks it is terrific as well. Alls well that ends well.
Pros Great sound, output customization, multiple-source inputs (electronically switchable), and physical controls to complement those accessible via remote
Cons Three levels of surround sound are "simulated" rather than actual -- which would be impossible to achieve in a sound-bar system, anyway. (So, not really a con.)
Summary When I was younger, I didn't mind owning a sound system that dominated my living room. Components -- amp, pre-amp, tuner, turntable, reel-to-reel tape player -- along with speakers (with removable grills, naturally), plus super-tweeter add-ons were the center of my entertainment existence. Later on, other devices, such as Compact Disc (CD) players, were added to the mix.The title of my review should, of course, read: "Zvox is even better than its big-name competition." (Why I originally repeated the word "than," I don't know. Moral: Review / revise twice, hit Submit button once.)
But, as I grew older, I grew tired of the mass of equipment and mess of wires seemingly necessary to produce good sound. I was delighted, therefore, when "big sound in a small box" devices arrived on the scene, which solved those problems.
But then another emerged: the flat-screen television. It came in all manner of quality and sizes, and the best high-definition ones among them were great to watch. And their slim design made for myriad placement options.
As we all know, however, most of them sounded horrible. The very design feature that made them desirable (their slimness), was ruinous to sound quality. Absent a decent baffle, deep sounds were impossible to reproduce.
When a big-name company introduced (and heavily advertised) its "sound bar" device, therefore, I rejoiced. Already an owner of several of its table-top, radio / cd products, I had no doubts about the likely quality of its new product.
So I purchased one. And, sure enough, the sound was pretty darned good for the price. And the convenience -- the ability to place the system beneath my living room HDTV, and to connect it via only one cable -- was a delight.
Only one thing bothered me: The device allowed virtually no sound customization. The only adjustment available to the user was up / down volume selection. I wanted another sound bar (for the family room), but I also wanted more control -- I wanted to be able to vary the output relative to different input-source types: action movie, drama, sitcom, music, etc.
So I did some research online, and discovered Zvox products.
Wow. Talk about options. Bass and treble adjustments were only the beginning. Simulated surround-sound, dialogue emphasis (especially useful at low listening levels), output leveling (which helps tame those amplitude spikes when shows "go to commercial") were all attractive features.
Also appealing was the fact that, while both companies' products allow for connection via a variety of cables (optical, digital, analog, etc.), only Zvox's machines allow them to all be connected simultaneously -- and to be switched between electronically. That allows a user to, for example, connect a CD player, MP3 device, Bluetooth receiver, etc. to the sound bar all at once -- along with a television -- and pump audio input signals alternatively through the sound bar.
In addition, the Zvox products all have several front-panel, physical controls to go with the ones accessible via their remotes. (The other brand did not.)
Finally, when I learned of the reputation of Zvox's engineering team, the decision was made. And so I purchased the ZBase 555 (which was priced nearly identically to the other company's sound bar).
I have had both sound systems for several months now, and I have to say it: Zvox is the superior product. Proof of that conviction is the fact that I have moved the ZBase 555 to my primary listening / viewing location, and have demoted the competitor's product to the secondary one.
I like both machines. A lot. But I like the Zvox more. So much more that I have purchased another ZBase -- the 220 -- for the bedroom. Oh, yeah, that's another thing I like about Zvox: There are a variety of model choices. One or more should meet the needs of virtually anyone who likes getting "good sound from a small box," and who doesn't want to go broke (or clutter up the place) doing so.
Updated on Dec 7, 2012
Pros 1. Ease of use
2. No messy wires
3. Low Profile
4. Quality Audio: Sounds are crisp and the built-in woofer does a good job. Movies, TV, Sports, Music - all sound good, especially hearing dialog is no longer stressful! You dont need to up the volume!
Cons 1. Definitely not for someone who wants awesomeness of a 5.1 / 7.2 home theater setup!
2. Can't think of anything else!
Summary I spent a good 3-4 months looking for a complementing speaker system for my 42" TV. I live in an apartment and the TV is in the living room. I wasn't looking for a 5.1 system as it would have not received the all important wife-approval and for the fact that it might be a bit too loud for my neighbors. There were many soundbars I tested at local Frys and BB, the Sony 150, Polk 3000/6000, Bose, HK, JVC. I also posted on the avsforum to get some suggestions. Read all the good reviews abt Zvox and decided to give it a shot. Installation was a piece of cake - you need to check in advance what audio out your TV supports. Check Zvox website and keep the appropriate cables ready. The speaker comes with a cable but you still gotta check in advance if that is supported by your TV. Besides that, connect your speaker to the TV and you are all set! No need for a receiver at all. You can connect all device outputs to the TV and then one line to the Zvox. Else, it has two more input options (verify), so you can connect another device to the system. I also connect my iPod from the audio jack in front. Switching b.w inputs is a piece of cake. It has a nice LCD display hidden behind the grille. Also the TV sits comfortably on top. That's it! Enjoy the show :) I got my spkr five months back and these days I don't even notice it. It just blends well with the TV and makes listening enjoyable and consistent. Never had to fiddle around with settings to make it sound right, if you know what I mean!
Pros Great sound quality; superb bass response given size of speaker
Quality construction, highest quality finish and appearance
Non obtrusive - looks like part of TV
Very easy to set up
Crisp, clean full sound; no muddy bass or tinny upper frequencies
Cons None at all
Summary If you want great sound without the hassle of trying to set up a full theater system or putting a clunky-looking sound bar in front of your set, look no further than the Zvox 555. It is to conventional sound bars what the Bose Wave is a clock radio. Great job, Zvox!
Pros virtually invisable... truly doubles as a speaker stand. Holds up to 120 lbs.
Cons hook up is only RCA cables, but included
Summary Sounds great. Easy hook-up and packs a nice punch. Quality box, everything you need is in the box including easy set up instructions. The best part is the system easily learns your other remotes so it can turn off / on and adjust volume with your standard TV or cable remotes in seconds. It's so easy to use, you'll definatly forget you have it while having great sound. It's the best bang for your buck. You'll thank me for buying this system over anything close price-wise. Buy this product!!!
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