TESTED: ZVOX Z-Base 550 One-Box Surround Sound System

Zvox Audio Z-Base 550
TESTED: ZVOX Z-Base 550 One-Box Surround Sound System

On the day we bring home a new flat-panel HDTV, usually we’re dazzled by the clarity of the images. We go to bed happy. The picture continues to impress, but over time we begin to notice that the sound quality from our mega-pixel wonder is a bit disappointing. Speech is often muddled. Sounds that are filmed in huge spaces are compacted onto the (fairly small) screen. And bass? What bass? Of course you could invest the dollars, space, and effort necessary to acquire and install a full surround-sound system to solve these issues. But if you can’t or don’t want to go that far, the ZVOX Z-Base 550 is aimed at you. It sounds vastly better than most built-in TV audio gear, and is easy to set up.


Consider this speaker system if: you want far better sound than your TV alone can provide, complete with viable surround sound effects, all in a small, easy-to-install, simple-to-use package.

Look elsewhere if: you want the high-volume, big-impact sound that only a full-on surround sound system can provide (think of the Z-Base 550 as more of an intermediate step).

Ratings (relative to comparably-priced single box systems of HTiB rigs)

  • Treble: 6
  • Midrange: 8
  • Bass: 5
  • Surround Imaging: 8
  • Dynamics: 6
  • Value: 7

Features/What Comes in the Box 

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