Pros soundbase design; easy integration with TV/cable box remotes; new volume leveling, dialog emphasis controls; front panel input and volume control; visual indication of settings, no need for separate subwoofer
Cons Lacks the auto turn-on of previous soundbases, relatively restricted virtual surround settings, no substitute for true 5.1 surround; may require break-in
Summary This model represents a departure for Zvox; it trades ease of use for a sew of new features that allow the user more control over the sound, and address some of the issues reviewers have consistently has with Zvox products. By and large, the new features are useful -- and the learning function whereby the Zvox can respond to commands from your TV/cable box remote was long overdue -- but longtime users will miss the auto-turnon feature and finer PhaseCue (virtual surround) settings of earlier models.
While the sound quality of the 580 isn't as good as its immediate predecessor, the 575 -- bass doesn't seem to go as low, nor does the sound seem to catch your attention as it did on the 575 -- it is good enough for most situations and certainly miles above what comes out of your TV. It may also be the case that the 580.requires extended breaking-in to sound its best and I haven't run it long enough (I've had mine about a week and a half).
One thing I have found amusing in reviews is how reviewers compare it to true 5.1 surround sound and find it lacking. Of course any reasonably good 5.1 system will blow this model, and any other soundbar, out of the water, but that's not the point. If you have the room for 5.1 sound, that's what you should get -- the sonic realism 5.1 provides greatly enhances the viewing experience -- but if you don't, the Zvox is an unobtrusive way to provide sound far better than that coming from your TV.
Pros Sounds outstanding. Great bass and great surround sound!
Cons none that I have experienced.
Summary I've had the 580 two months now and it's the best investment I've made for my big screen tv!
"Mediocre at best"on by BG51
Pros Compact size. Attractive cabinet. Good integration as a stand in a limited space.
Cons Doesn't quite deliver the full rounded sound I had hoped for.
Summary Got a great deal on a "B" unit directly from Zvox on Ebay. It was very easy to set up including integration with my Direct TV remote. Unfortunately it's just missing the dynamic sound quality I had hoped for. I did not expect a 5.1 surround experience. But, based on other reviews, I had expected a bit more depth and character to the sound. If turned up quite high it does get a little better. But then it gets uncomfortably loud. It's only okay with music.
Pros Easy hook-up. It's just one audio cable from the TV.
Excellent music replication.
Dialogue Enhancement feature WORKS.
Sub-woofer output for those who may want even more bass.
Surprising 5.1 surround sound emulation.
Direct Dolby Digital 5.1 support.
Cons Cannot view a setting without changing that setting.
Good low range but not room shaking, bone jarring bass.
Does not directly support DTS 5.1
Simulated surround sound diminishes as you move to the sides of the unit.
Summary Love the unit. Terrific value for the money. So much nicer than 'home theater' multiple speakers and receiver with the ensuing snake pit of cables that always occurs. As someone who is a little hearing impaired and tired of complex cableing and lots of AV rack units, the Zvox 580 is exactly what I needed.
Pros Excellent sound by itself.
Dialogue enhancer is remarkable.
Fills my large room with great music and speech.
Does a fantastic job of eliminating the "dead" sound if your television is not installed to the wall.
Cons None that I have encountered after 5 months of service.
Summary This is an outstanding unit. It is remarkably solid, and eliminates any distracting vibrations or other negative sound artifacts. It is elegant simplicity and fits into the design and color scheme of my 60" wide screen television and stand. The auto-learn to use my existing remotes is great for me and a life-saver for my wife. The unit is simplicity itself for setting up. I'm certain if you want to spend a lot more money you could get a theatre experience, but this unit offers beautiful sound and dialogue separation, excellent ease of use, features for both both men and women of varying technical experience, and is GREAT value for money. I highly recommend this unit.
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