The fourth in ZVOX’s series of single-box TV-audio systems is the company’s first wall-mountable system intended for use with flat-panel TVs.
The ZVOX 425 is due in the second or third quarter at a suggested $599 direct from ZVOXaudio.com and through specialty retailers, who can buy direct or through distributors.
It joins the TV-top $199-suggested 315, the $349 325, and the $199 Mini. All incorporate amplification and multiple speakers in a single cabinet with one-wire connection to a TV’s audio output. Built-in PhaseCue technology widens the sound stage and delivers a virtual surround-sound effect from Dolby Surround-encoded TV, VHS or DVD soundtracks. The devices, however, aren’t designed to deliver a full 5.1-channel effect because they don’t incorporate a 5.1-channel surround decoder.
Although other single-cabinet surround systems are on the market, ZVOX claims its model is the only one that doesn’t need a separate subwoofer to deliver deep bass. The 7-inch by 37-inch by 5-inch cabinet, made of medium density fiberboard (MDF), incorporates two long-excursion 4-inch side-firing subwoofers to deliver bass down to 35Hz.
The system’s other drivers consist of three 3.25-inch full-range mono speakers, driven by a dedicated amplifier, and two 3.25-inch full-range speakers, which use PhaseCue technology to widen the sound stage to approximately that of separate speakers 10 feet apart, the company said. A signal-sensing auto on/off circuit automatically turns the unit on when a TV connected by minijack cable or RCA cables is turned on. A small remote controls volume, on/off, mute and PhaseCue effects. A front-panel input connects to iPods, portable CD players, and other sources with a headphone jack.
Grilles are available in black or silver.
PhaseCue widens the sound stage by feeding right-channel information plus out-of-phase left-channel information to the right driver, while the left driver gets left-channel information and out-of-phase right-channel information. Users can vary the amount of out-of-phase material supplied to the left-right drivers.