We were impressed by the stereo sound Zvox's 425 and 550 soundbars produced when we checked them out a few years ago, and now the company has announced two new models in the Z-Base 555 and Z-Base 580. As indicated by the name, these aren't just skinny bars that sit in front of your TV, they're an entire box meant to be placed underneath one's flat panel. That difference gives them the space to deliver quality sound, and these new models expand the line with a few new features including Dialogue Emphasis and output leveling. Both are shipping now, the 555 sports a $399 MSRP, while the 580 sports a more powerful amplifier and larger speakers to justify its $599 price.

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New ZVOX Sound Bars Deliver Greater Clarity, Superb Bass and Energy Efficiency from a Single-Box Home Theater Solution

Digitally tailored surround sound, built-in subwoofer, highly efficient "green" digital amplifiers, super-clear vocals and ability to work with any remote; all from one slim, stylish box

SWAMPSCOTT, Mass., June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ZVOX, the company that pioneered the concept of single-cabinet home theater, has announced the introduction of the Z-Base 555 and Z-Base 580, designed to fit elegantly under flat-panel TVs and use only one connecting wire. Both new models deliver revolutionary features and room-filling sound from real wood enclosures at prices that make them the clear choice versus plastic "home theater in a box" products.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110609/NY17160)

"To most people, a high-performance surround sound system means lots of speakers, lots of wires and a giant owner's manual," says ZVOX president Tom Hannaher. "But our new Z-Base systems deliver ground-breaking new features and accurate, three-dimensional sound from slim cabinets that seem to disappear under a TV. No external speakers. No external subwoofer. No big manual."

The new systems combine a strong, traditional approach to high fidelity speaker design with radically new features, some of which have never before been used in home theater systems.

Great Sound: Both new ZVOX systems use five high quality full-range speakers and built-in subwoofers all housed within real wood (MDF) cabinets. New computer-controlled tonal balance delivers ultra-smooth midrange and remarkable bass (as low as 35 Hz). ZVOX's proprietary PhaseCue® II virtual surround system creates room-filling three-dimensional sound-all from one cabinet.

Green Design: The new ZVOX systems feature a super-efficient Class-D digital amplifier that uses approximately 1/10th of a watt in standby mode-making it one of the "greenest" audio systems ever made.

Ultra-Clear Vocals: ZVOX systems are known for their startling vocal clarity. The Z-Base 555 and 580 add a stunning new feature: Dialog Emphasis (DE). When you push the "DE" button on the remote control you engage a circuit that mimics the functions of a hearing aid. We don't know of any other speaker system that provides such an easy-to-use and effective method for improving the intelligibility of television dialogue.

Output Leveling: If you've ever been blasted out of your chair by a too-loud commercial or by a cable channel that's twice as loud as another channel, you'll love the new Output Leveling (OL) feature on the ZVOX 555 and 580. Just push the OL button and a sophisticated compression system takes over, making soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer so there are fewer jarring moments while you enjoy TV programming.

Controlled Remotes: The new Z-Base systems can be programmed to respond to your TV or cable/satellite remote control. The illuminated display walks you through an ultra-simple programming cycle. Then virtually ANY remote control can control volume, mute, power and input functions of the ZVOX system.

Disappearing Display: The 555 and 580 feature a four-digit display located behind the speaker grille that shows the current setting for volume, bass, treble and PhaseCue™ (virtual surround) – and also shows when you have engaged the Mute, Output Leveling (OL) or Dialog Emphasis (DE) features. A few seconds after you stop using your remote (or front panel) controls, the display disappears completely.

Multiple Inputs ... including front-panel connection for iPod® and other portable devices: The new Z-Base systems each have two analog audio inputs, one optical (Toslink) digital input, one coaxial digital input – plus a front panel 3.5mm analog stereo input for convenient connection of your iPod or other portable audio device. Any specific input can be selected using either the remote control or the slim-line module below the speaker grille.

Wood Cabinet with Hand-Lacquered Side Panels: The 555 and 580 feature hand-built cabinets of MDF (medium density fiberboard) with beautiful hand-lacquered high-gloss end panels. Its low-profile design blends perfectly with flat-panel TVs. Most people don't even notice a Z-Base system...until they hear it.

Availability: The ZVOX 555 and 580 systems are shipping now. They are available directly through the manufacturer's web site (www.zvoxaudio.com) as well as through select retailers throughout the country. ZVOX products are available from trusted websites such as amazon.com, crutchfield.com, onecall.com, vanns.com, listenup.com and worldwidestereo.com. For information on local dealers, email info@zvoxaudio.com

ZVOX 555 Specifications

Dimensions; 28"w x 14 1/2"d x 3 3/8"h
Weight: 20 pounds. With box and packing: 23 pounds.
Amplifier: The 555 uses a high-efficiency 70 watt Class D digital amplifier.
Rear inputs: (2) analog stereo inputs, (1) optical (Toslink) digital input, (1) coaxial digital input.
Front input: (1) 3.5mm stereo front panel input.
Frequency range: 45 Hz – 20 kHz.
Virtual surround sound: The 555 uses ZVOX's proprietary PhaseCue II virtual surround sound system. PhaseCue II manipulates the phase of the separate channels to "fool the ear" into believing that sound is coming from a variety of sources throughout the room. Live music and well-recorded modern movie soundtracks will deliver rich, three-dimensional sound – pulling the sound out from the speakers and into the room, literally surrounding the listener.
The 555 is bi-amplified, using a specially designed amplifier that includes digital contouring for superb frequency response.
The 555's 5.25" subwoofer uses a high-mass long-throw design in a ported enclosure.
The 555's five 2" main speaker drivers use a long-throw design to create remarkably wide range, accurate sound.
Unlike most systems in its category, the 555 uses an MDF (medium density fiberboard) wood cabinet - instead of molded plastic. MDF is the preferred construction material for high-performance speaker systems.
A subwoofer output jack on the rear allows an owner to connect a separate powered subwoofer (optional).
A 2-meter RCA-RCA analog stereo connecting cord is included.
The ZVOX 555 is backed by a one year limited parts and labor warranty.
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: $399.99


ZVOX 580 Specifications

Dimensions: 36"w x 16.5"d x 5"h
Weight: 33 pounds. With box and packing: 39 pounds.
Amplifier: The 580 uses a high-efficiency 120 watt Class D digital amplifier.
Rear inputs: (2) analog stereo inputs, (1) digital (Toslink) optical input, (1) coaxial digital input.
Front input: (1) 3.5mm stereo front panel input.
Frequency range: 35 Hz – 20 kHz.
Virtual surround sound: The 580 uses ZVOX's proprietary PhaseCue II virtual surround sound system. PhaseCue II manipulates the phase of the separate channels to "fool the ear" into believing that sound is coming from a variety of sources throughout the room. Live music and well-recorded modern movie soundtracks will deliver rich, three-dimensional sound – pulling the sound out from the speakers and into the room, literally surrounding the listener.
The 580 is bi-amplified, using a specially designed amplifier that includes digital contouring for superb frequency response.
The 580 uses dual 6.25" subwoofers with a high-mass long-throw design in a ported enclosure.
The 580's five 3.25" main speaker drivers use a long-throw design to create remarkably wide range, accurate sound.
Unlike most systems in its category, the 580 uses an MDF (medium density fiberboard) wood cabinet - instead of molded plastic. MDF is the preferred construction material for high-performance speaker systems.
A subwoofer output jack on the rear allows an owner to connect a separate powered subwoofer (optional).
A 2-meter RCA-RCA analog stereo connecting cord is included.
The ZVOX 580 is backed by a one year limited parts and labor warranty.
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: $599.99


About ZVOX Audio

ZVOX Audio is a collaboration of long-time industry veterans with years of experience at companies like Best Buy, Advent Corporation, Tweeter, Boston Acoustics and Cambridge SoundWorks. ZVOX Audio is dedicated to designing and manufacturing audio products that combine high sound quality, compact size, simplicity and affordability. www.zvoxaudio.com

SOURCE ZVOX Audio

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