Denver – Zvox is going to the CEDIA Expo to expand its selection of SoundBase under-TV speakers and expanding its assortment of sizes to accommodate the growing size of flat-panel TVs.
Three new models, comprising the new Platinum series, are the $399-MAP Zvox 570, $499 670 and $699 770, which are 30, 36 and 42 inches in width, respectively, to accommodate most 60-, 70- and 80-inch TVs. The company’s largest speaker had been 36 inches, and the line’s pricing previously topped out at $599.
The company is exhibiting off-site.
“The majority of pedestal-style sound systems can’t accommodate TVs over 42 inches,” said CEO Tom Hannaher.
Although a 42-inch speaker will accommodate 80-inch TVs that stand on a center-mounted pedestal, 42-inch SoundBase speakers can’t accommodate some TVs with screen sizes as small as 55 inches if they use v-shaped feet mounted on each far end, Hannaher noted.
For those TVs, Zvox plans a 60-inch-wide speaker for later in the year. It will accommodate most 80-inch TVs whose multiple v-shaped feet extend out to their far left and right. Details of that product were not disclosed.
With the three new speakers, Zvox is adding stereo Bluetooth to its line for the first time, adding an additional digital-audio input compared to their predecessors, and slimming down their height to 3.5 inches from 5 inches to look less boxy, Hannaher said.
The top two SoundBase speakers are the company’s first with three long-throw subwoofers, all 5.25 inches in diameter, “to put out formidable bass in a slim-line cabinet, which consumers really like from an aesthetic point of view,” Hannaher said. “Our top goal with the new systems was to deliver style — which sort of has to include a low profile because tall boxy speakers are not stylish, at least not under a TV — and performance. Our competitors all seem to choose one or the other.”
All three new speakers are also the company’s first with a new CSR processor for better frequency-response control, which makes the midrange smoother, Hannaher said. The processor also improves control of the company’s proprietary AccuVoice technology, which uses hearing-aid technology to improve voice intelligibility. AccuVoice works in part by defeating surround-sound channels so crowd noise is reduced to give prominence to a sports announcer’s vocals.
The CSR processor also improves the bars’ output-leveling technology to reduce variations in volume when users switch among channels and sources or when TV programs switch to commercials.
Like the company’s existing models, the three new models feature built-in subwoofer, wood cabinets to improve sound quality over plastic cabinets,
All feature a slightly textured top instead of a smooth high-gloss top to avoid scuffs and make dust less visible.
Also like before, the SoundBase speakers incorporate Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder and PhaseCue technology, which delivers virtual surround sound from multichannel and two-channel sources.
Like their predecessors, all feature one rear coaxial input, two stereo analog rear inputs, and one front minijack input, but the new models offer two optical inputs instead of one.
All models also come with an IR remote control, but they also feature IR learning to respond to a TV remote’s on/off and volume commands.
All feature one or more subwoofers, and all come with subwoofer output jack to add an outboard powered sub.
Bluetooth features include support for the AptX audio codec to deliver CD sound quality from AptX-equipped tablets and smartphones. The company chose the BlueGiga Bluetooth chipset to stretch range to 40 feet from 33 feet, and ensure a more reliable connection, Hannaher said. The speakers don’t include NFC for tap-to-pair functionality.
The $399 model feature five 2-inch main drivers, ported 5.25-inch subwoofer, and 65-watt Class D amp to deliver frequency response of 45Hz to 20kHz.
The $499 model features five 2x3-inch main drivers, three 5.25-inch sub, and a 105-watt Class D amp to deliver 35Hz to 20kHz response.
And the $699 model features the same size and number of drivers and subwoofers but adds 125-watt Class D amp to deliver 35Hz to 20kHz response, though at louder levels.
The 11-year-old company sells its SoundBases through such retailers as Magnolia Home Theater within select Best Buy stores, P.C. Richard & Sons, Paul’s TV, Video Only, Karl’s TV, ListenUp, Bjorn’s, World Wide Stereo and more than 200 other locations. The products are also available with unilateral pricing through select on-line retailers such as BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, Crutchfield, OneCall, Vanns, ListenUp and World Wide Stereo along with Zvox.com