Zvox Z-Base 220 Review


The Z-Base 220 has a unique design that plops all the speakers into one neat wooden box. The Zvox system delivers outstanding sound and is a cinch to set up.

The Zvox Z-Base 220 (starting at $200, Amazon) is an odd-looking home theater system in that all the speakers and the subwoofer are built into a box that's about the same size as a large DVD player. Don't let the plain package fool you, though. Zvox Z-Base 220 reviews assert this system packs a wallop, and the bass is particularly robust. An expert proclaims in a Zvox Z-Base 220 review at CNET that he's bowled over by the "fantastic" sound despite the system's very small size. The reviewer is less enamored of the Z-Base 220's virtual surround sound effect, but concedes it isn't his thing. This home theater system also includes a volume leveling feature that minimizes the uptick during commercials and a feature that boosts dialogue during movies; both earn reviewers' affection. A Zvox Z-Base 220 review by PC Mag praises the clear dialogue playback, but notes that enabling this feature can slightly flatten the treble and bass in accompanying sounds (including music). At 12 pounds this home theater system is a bit heavy but with just one piece, set up is a breeze.

Inside the Z-Base 220's wooden case -- a design choice that Gadget Review says yields better sound than plastic housing -- you'll find three speakers and a subwoofer. This system also includes a variety of inputs, including a digital optical input, a digital coax input, two analog inputs, and a 3.5mm input on the front of the case. As noted above, it offers virtual surround sound processing through its proprietary PhaseCue II technology, as well as volume leveling and dialogue enhancement. It comes with a small remote control.

One of the nicer aspects of the Zvox Z-Base 220 is the narrow profile -- it's not nearly as wide as a typical sound bar, so it fits into smaller spaces. The unit measures approximately 4(H)x17(W)x14(D) inches but should still find a comfortable home in an entertainment cabinet. The Z-Base 220 delivers surprisingly big sound for a small package.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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