Zvox Refreshes Z-Base TV-Pedestal Sound Systems

By Joseph Palenchar On Jun 20 2011 - 4:01am




SWAMPSCOTT, MASS. — Zvox is bringing new features to its Z-Base series of low-profile single-cabinet sound systems that improve flat-panel TV sound, deliver virtual surround, and double as TV pedestals.

Compared to their predecessors, the $399-suggested Z-Base 555 and $599 Z-Base 580 add a dialogue emphasis button to enhance dialogue intelligibility; dynamic range compression to prevent abrupt volume shifts when channels are changed, TV commercials appear, and sources are switched; IR programmability to enable control from most TV remotes; and a front-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input to connect mobile devices to play back stored audio content.

Also new is a new generation of virtual surround technology called Phase Cue II, which manipulates the phase of multiple audio channels to deliver what Zvox called “room-filling three-dimensional sound” from two-channel analog and multichannel digital content. The new version is said to perform better on stereo music sources.

All of the new Z-Base features are firsts for Zvox, which also offers soundbar- like single-chassis audio systems for TVs.

With the launches, Zvox is shrinking its pedestal-sound-system selection to two SKUs from four by offering analog and digital inputs in the two new models. Previously, the company offered two SKUs with analog inputs and two SKUs that offered analog and digital inputs.

Both Z-Base models feature five embedded main speakers, subwoofer drivers, Class D amplification and Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder.

Embedded connections consist of two analog audio inputs, one optical (Toslink) digital input and one coaxial digital input. The top model adds frontpanel 3.5mm analog stereo input.

With both models, sources can be selected from most any TV or cablecompany remote or from the devices’ front panels. The TV and cable-company remotes will also control the products’ volume, mute and power functions.

Both models feature wood MDF cabinets and hand-lacquered side panels.

The $399 model is 3.38 by 28 by 14.5 inches and comes with 70-watt amplification, bi-amplified design, frequency range of 45Hz to 20kHz, builtin 5.25-inch ported subwoofer, five 2-inch drivers with long-throw design, and a subwoofer output jack to add a separate powered sub.

The $599 model is 5 by 36 by 16.5 inches and features 120 watts of amplification, bi-amplified design, frequency response range of 35Hz-20 kHz, dual 6.25-inch ported subwoofers, five 3.25-inch main long-throw drivers, and subwoofer output.

Both products are shipping.

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