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ZVOX Audio Z-Base 575 Low Profile Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System

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ZVOX Audio Z-Base 575 Single Cabinet Surround Sound System with Accessories

ZVOX Audio Z-Base 575 Single Cabinet Surround Sound System with Accessories

Photo (c) Robert Silva Licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

The ZVOX Audio Z-Base 575 is a surround sound solution targeted to those that want more than just listening to sound from cheap built-in Television speakers, but don't want the hassle of setting up a multi-speaker home theater system. The Z-Base 575 is easy-to-use system and delivers bigger sound than you would expect. Even you already have a multi-channel surround sound system in your main room, the Z-Base 575 is a great home theater solution for a second room. You can even use the 575 as a TV platform - Max weight: 140lbs, Max stand width: 35-inches.

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Pros

  • Great sound - good midrange and highs, very good bass response.
  • Simple one-piece design that can also double as TV platform.
  • Infinite compliance system produces big sound and clear dialog.
  • Easy to set up and use - even without a user manual
  • Wireless remote control makes operation easy

Cons

  • Only two audio source inputs.
  • No discrete audio input switching.
  • No digital audio inputs.
  • No Dolby Digital or DTS audio decoding.
  • No LED or other type of display to reference adjustments.

Description

  • Compact one-piece surround system - (36-inches Wide x 16.5-inches Deep x 5-inches High)
  • Speakers: Five 3.25 mid-range/tweeters (bi-amplified) and two down-firing 6.5-inch Subwoofers boosted by by rear port.
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz - 20Khz. Amplifier Power: 133 Total Watts
  • A subwoofer output jack on the rear allows owners to connect a separate external powered subwoofer (optional).
  • Two sets of Standard RCA audio connectors on rear of unit. NOTE: The inputs on the Z-Base 575 are "mixing" inputs.
  • Auto off/on mode. System activates when it senses a source signal.
  • Can be used with iPods, PCs, satellite radios, portable CD players, game consoles, and even DVD and Blu-ray Disc players.
  • PhaseCue and Infinite Compliance provide a virtual surround soundfield. The degree of surround is continuously adjustable.
  • Remote Control for volume, mute, subwoofer, and Phase Cue functions. User manual Included.
  • Product Weight: 45lbs. Can be used a platform for TVs 15-in deep, weighing 140lbs or less, and with stands up to 35-in wide.

Guide Review - ZVOX Audio Z-Base 575 Low Profile Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System

All you have to do to get going with the Z-Base 575 is unbox it, plug in the power, connect an audio source, and turn it on. The total time, less than 10 minutes from box to surround sound.

The Z-Base 575 has two sets of analog RCA stereo inputs on the rear panel. It is important to note that the inputs on the Z-Base 575 are mixed inputs. In other words, both sets of inputs are always active. If you have two sources connected and they are both on, you will hear sound coming from both sources. It is suggested that you only have one source on at a time.

There are no controls provided on the front panel of the Z-Base 575. All controls are located on the remote control. There are several settings on the remote: Mute, Auto on/off, Volume, Phase Cue, Subwoofer level, and Treble control. Also, other than a blinking blue light on front the 575, there is no LED display to give you feedback on the degree of adjustments you make - you have to do it all by ear. The problem here is that although your ears are the best judge for listening, having a display reference would be helpful to enable to reset your listening preferences for a particular DVD or CD, such as the degree of Phase Cue or Subwoofer level.

However, all that being said, the real test is how the ZVOX 575 actually sounds. I found that the Z-Base 575 delivered both very good sound and was easily powerful enough for a small or medium size living room. Testing audio soundtracks from DVDs, the highs were not overly harsh, the mid-range was distinctive, and the bass response was deep, but not overly boomy. The surround sound imaging provided a wide front soundstage and lots of depth, but did not produce as accurate directional cues, or side/rear effects, as a true 5.1 channel system would be able to do.

In addition to providing good performance with DVDs, the ZVOX also does very well with music CDs, which full frequency range and depth. Vocals standout very well in most cases. In some instances the Phase Cue adjustment produces an unneeded "reverb" effect on vocals, but this can be easily remedied to your own preference by decreasing the Phase Cue effect slightly. Movies sound better with a wider Phase Cue effect, while music lends itself to a more restrained Phase Cue setting.

This system is not a replacement for a true multi-speaker system in a large room, but it is a great option for a basic no-frills surround system that can enhance your TV viewing, as well as providing a great way to listen to CDs and other music sources; it sounds great with movies or music. The Z-Base 575 can also be used as a bedroom, office, or secondary family room. system. However, some features that would be desirable additions would include more inputs and source switching.

If you are looking for a no-frills, but practical, way to get better sound out of your TV, or even to listen to music, without the hassle of a complete home theater system, the Z-Base 575 is a good value and definitely worth a critical listen.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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