"A mised improvement over previous Zvox soundbases"4.0 starson by Dakmart
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.
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