ZVOX isn’t a brand you may be familiar with but don’t let that dissuade you from giving them a try. The company was founded in 2003 and ran by a team of speaker industry veterans with experience at Tweeter, Apple, Cambridge SoundWorks and Boston Acoustics. ZVOX is a pure-play audio engineering firm dedicated to building products that are simple, affordable and perform exceptionally well for their price points. In today’s article we will look at everything you need to know before buying a ZVOX SoundBase 350.
ZVOX packs a lot of smart features into the Soundbase 350 for under $200 at Amazon.com. We have a hard time calling this product a “sound bar” because it’s really designed to be placed on a dresser, entertainment cabinet or similar flat top surface under or near your television. The enclosure is built from a sturdy medium density fiberboard (wood) which is both stylish and stronger versus the plastic enclosures typically used by other sound bar manufactures. You’re not going to mount this product on the wall or attached to the flat screen television mount but you can use it as a stand for any television weighing less than 50lbs.
The ZVOX 350 is designed for 27” to 42” inch televisions.
Speakers and Amplifiers
The ZVOX Soundbase 350 has three 2” full-range speakers covering left, center and right audio channels with a built in 5.25” subwoofer. The unit is bi-amplified and powered by a 40-watt class D amplifier using a digital power supply. The frequency range is wider than other sound bars in this price point thanks to the onboard sub woofer, which is usually an option on other products.
Surround Sound Support
Unless you have five speakers and a 5.1 channel sound bar you shouldn’t expect true surround sound but the SoundBase 350 does a decent job with virtual surround sound technology called PhaseCue from ZVOX. The unit takes full advantage of having three speakers and a built in sub-woofer to isolate sounds on the far left or right channel signals producing a decent surround sound effect.
Enhancing dialogue is probably the number one reason people buy a sound bar for their regular television shows. The SoundBase 350 takes advantage of a center channel speaker and points the dialogue channel sound right at you but if you still need help hearing what’s being said you can engage AccuVoice. Every ZVOX sound bar uses a proprietary feature called AccuVoice that reproduces voices with technology derived from hearing aids. The system decreases the volume of non-vocal signals to sharpen the dialogue and vocal tracks allowing you to clearly hear what is being said. You control AccuVoice by pushing the “ACCU” button on the remote control.
The Soundbase 350 supports Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to stream music wirelessly from a phone, tablet, computer or any Bluetooth enabled device. You can also stream music from Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud or any other service through your Bluetooth connected device. Pairing your device with the Bluetooth receiver is easy and remains connected up to 40 feet.
Other Smart Features on the ZVOX Soundbase 350
Last but not least in our round up of smart features are the “Output Leveling” and “Disappearing Display”.
Output Leveling is a feature that lowers the volume of commercials by compressing the louder sounds and enhances soft sounds. Output Leveling allows you to transition from show to commercials and back to show without being blasted out of your chair by the latest OxyClean commercial. You turn it on by pressing the “OL” button on the remote control.
What’s the worst thing about watching a move on your television in dark room? How about bright LED lights on your sound bar or television shining in your eyes while your trying to watch a movie? We hate that and that’s why we love ZVOX’s disappearing display. The Soundbase 350 has a bright, large and easy-to-read display behind the speaker grill but when your done controlling the sound bar it disappears a few seconds later, genius!
ZVOX Soundbase 350 Product Images
- ZVOX 350 Front Display
- ZVOX 350 Sound Bar Back
ZVOX SoundBase 350 Technical Specifications
- Size: 23.7” wide x 11.5” deep x 3.5” high
- Weight: 12 pounds (17 pounds for shipping)
- Color: Black
- Amplifier: 40 watts
- Channels: 2.1
- Speakers: Three 2” full-range drivers.
- Subwoofer: One 5.25” subwoofer enclosed in the sound bar
- Surround Sound: Virtual surround sound using ZVOX’s PhaseCue system.
- Frequency Range: 55 Hz – 20 kHz
- Television Size: 27” to 42” inches
- Enclosure: Wood (MDF)
- Power Support: 100 – 240 volt power systems
- ZVOX SoundBase 350 Connectivity
- Digial Audio Input(s): 1 Optical (TosLink), 1 Coaxial
- Analog Stereo Input(s): 2 Left / Right RCA jack pairs
Who Should Buy a ZVOX SoundBase 350?
We think this sound bar is a good option for medium sized rooms and people who need clearer dialogue and a little more bass with a lower price. The ZVOX Soundbase 350 would also make a good gaming console sound bar because it doesn’t take up much room, has an onboard subwoofer and three full-range speakers vs. other sound bars in this price point. It’s a good entry-level unit for your living room, exercise room, office or guest room. If you’re looking for theater quality surround sound you need a 5.1 channel sound bar and this is not the right product for you.
Pros and Cons of the ZVOX SoundBase 350
- Pro: Three full-range speakers are hard to find in a sound bar this size.
- Pro: One dedicated center speaker enhances dialogue and voice sounds.
- Pro: The built-in subwoofer is a great feature for this size sound bar and price point.
- Pro: Study enclosures built with wood or aluminum versus plastic.
- Pro: LED display disappears when not in use which is great in a dark room.
- Con: This ZVOX model does not offer HDMI input.
- Con: This sound bar cannot be mounted on the wall.
What’s in the Box?
The ZVOX Soundbase 350 includes the following items in the box:
- One 2-meter long RCA to RCA connecting cable.
- One 2-meter long Stereo RCA to Stereo Mini-Jack connecting cord.
- One 2-meter long optical (toslink) digital connecting cable.
- One power adapter and cord.
- One remote control.
- ZVOX’s signature one-page easy installation instructions.
How Easy is it to Install?
Installing a ZVOX product is very simple and should take you less than five minutes. ZVOX includes a one-page installation guide that makes the process clear and easy to understand. If you’d like to see for yourself we’ve included a copy of the one page installation guide below:
ZVOX 350 Sound Bar One Page Setup
You can place the unit on any flat, stable surface near your TV or use it as a stand if your television weights less than 50 pounds. Connecting the sound bar to your television is done with optical, coaxial or RCA input cables. We recommend using the optical or coaxial cables to get the best digital sound from your television. If your television does not support digital output use the RCA analog jacks. Connect the power cord and your done installing a ZVOX SoundBase 350.
One caution about connecting power to your ZVOX SoundBase 350; make sure a light switch does not control the power outlet. If your sound bar is connected to a switched outlet and the switch is turned off you may erase any user preferences you have saved. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people but some users like to control everything with one switch and now you’ve been warned.
Finally you need to teach the SoundBase 350 to use whatever remote control is being used to control your television to avoid using multiple remote controls. ZVOX provides easy instructions to help you “teach” the sound bar and setup volume, mute, power and sound output controls using your preferred remote control.
ZVOX explains the entire installation process on one single page of folded paper included in the box. It’s easy, fast and should be no problem even if you’re not a technical person.
How Long is the Warranty?
ZVOX provides the original purchaser a one-year warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship. To make a warranty claim you’ll need to contact ZVOX and obtain a return authorization and ship the unit to ZVOX using the address provided in the return authorization. You’ll be responsible for the shipping charges to ZVOX as usual with these sound bar warranties. ZVOX doesn’t make any distinction between personal and commercial use like VIZIO so it appears one-year means one-year regardless of how you’re using the product.
ZVOX support is also based in the United States with trained technicians who understand their products. Their support hours are pretty convenient unless you live on the West Coast because they close at 7:30pm Eastern but they are available on Saturday. Customers we’ve seen on Amazon.com seem pleased with their support experience and our impression is ZVOX is a smaller company that takes pride in their products and support team.
What’s the Bottom Line?
We really tried to find something we could dislike about this entry-level sound bar from ZVOX but came up empty.
We like the wood or aluminum body versus plastic, we like the North American support team, we like the center channel speaker, on-board subwoofer and Bluetooth. It also has a lot of smart features like dimming the front LED displays after you’ve stopped using the remote control.
It’s not going to provide true 5.1 channel surround sound but it has a lot of nice features for its size and price.
When you need a sound bar for a small to medium sized room and don’t care about hanging it on the wall this is a really solid choice for the money. We also like the companies small size, history and focus on audio engineering, North American support team and commitment to making simple products that produce quality results.
What Do You Think About the ZVOX SoundBase 350?
Do you own a ZVOX SoundBase 350? What do you like about the product? Have we missed something important in our article? Tell us what you think in the comments below and thank you for visiting IMPRadio.com!