Product Review: ZVOX Z-Base 525 Sound Bar


The Z-Base 525 sound bar makes a great 2.1 surround sound speaker system for smaller rooms like a bedroom or even a PC system for a simple to use and great sounding speaker.
Ease of Use, Performance: 21/25
Look amp; Feel: 24/25
Features 18/25
How much I enjoy 20/25

Total: 82/100

The ZVOX Z-Base 525 is a great sound bar that works well for small to medium sized rooms and those smaller setups like bedrooms or kitchens. The sound bar makes a great pedestal being designed for sitting under your television and acting as a 3 1/2 inch stand for your TV with great sound.

The ZXOV Z-Base 525 sound bar is not like other sound bars, it is 3 1/2 inches tall, 24 inches wide and 13 inches deep for a good size for those 27 to 42 inch TV’s. The Z-Base 525 sounds great and has adjustments for volume, subwoofer, treble and phasecue which equates to virtual surround sound adjustment.

I found using this adjustment for the room size makes the sound stage or surround sound area sound better and has  immersive sound or worse depending on the adjustment. The ZVOX Z-Base works as a regular 2.1 surround sound bar with integrated subwoofer but also has a subwoofer output for addition sound quality.

The ZVOX Z-Base 525 comes with the base unit, power adapter, an RCA to RCA cable, remote control and an instruction sheet for the sound bar. The Z-Base 525 has a simple remote control that has the volume, subwoofer, treble, phasecue, power and auto power on/off buttons.

The sound from the Z-Base 525 is great with a few adjustments for your particular tastes but I had no problem using the Z-Base quickly and easily in minutes. The phasecue is the main adjustment you will want to use when getting the perfect sound from the Z-Base as it works according to the acoustics of your room.

I found that the phasecue adjustment does make the sound bar a fuller surround sound but if you put it up just one step too much it starts to sound too out of balance between voice and other sounds. When I first plugged in the Z-Base I had a problem with voices being loud or soft and the rest of the sounds being just the opposite.

When I adjusted the phasecue down it settled down to just right and there were no more problems that a couple of days of listening enjoyment and a few more adjustments using the treble and bass did not settle out. The adjustments all have a range from 1 to 7 which may not be as much as you could want but it works well.

What really could have been nicer was more information for these levels with more than a blinking light on the front of the case but that’s all they give you. The Z-Base 525 only has a blue LED on the front that shows adjustments as it blinks for each level, a small LED display would have been nice to show these levels a little more clearly.

Other than that the only other down side of the Z-Base for a full entertainment system is the connections options on the rear for only two inputs. The Z-Base 525 has two RCA inputs as well as the one subwoofer output and both are tied together so if both inputs are receiving a signal you will have both on the speaker bar.

If your two inputs are on at the same time like a cable box and a DVD player the sound will be coming out from both of them at any time. If you can power off any particular device when using the other it is no problem like using your cable box or antenna and a DVD player but if you want more connected you’re going to have to something else as an audio switch.

The Z-Base 525 may not be able to switch audio inputs but for a smaller setup like the medium to smaller rooms such as a bedroom or if you have a smaller living room this makes a great setup for sound. My living room is not your typical entertainment setup but my bedroom is with a simple TV and DVD player and my antenna based digital TV setup.

The Z-Base 525 is perfect for this type of setup with television coming in from the antenna where you can simply shut off audio using the mute button for your television. You can also do the same if you’re using a cable box or TV digital analog converter which is what I have on my bedroom television.

The Z-Base sounds great for both bass and high notes as well as voices for really great entertainment enjoyment from a single sound bar. The Z-Base does sound great and I have no problems recommending it for both a great sounding system as well as an easy one to set up and use.

One thing I noticed looking around on the internet at various reviews and two things, it doesn’t hold more than 90 pounds of television on top and does not sound well for large rooms. This equates to my situation exactly, I have a smaller 12 by 15 foot living room and a smaller 19 inch television so this is the perfect solution for a small room and smaller TV.

The Z-Base 525 makes a great sound bar that includes the benefits of being perfect for a smaller room like a bedroom or a small to medium sized living room. I had no problems using the Z-Base 525 as a main 2.1 sound bar and as a computer sound bar for surround sound on my PC and gaming use.

I also connected the Z-Base 525 as a separate speaker set in a 7.1 surround sound setup that worked very well with its bass and treble adjustment but the main adjustment I needed was to adjust volume and phasecue. The Z-Base 525 worked very well as the rear speakers in my 7.1 surround sound setup and makes a great addition for a PC setup as well.

The Z-Base worked well for both a television speaker system and a computer setup for gaming and general DVD and Blu-ray viewing without many problems. Simple adjustments with the remote solved all my problems and I was quite impressed with the ZVOX Z-Base 525 as a full 2.1 surround sound bar that makes a great stand for a television.

Using the Z-Base 525 for a PC setup may require a bit of additional space on your desk but I found it worked well both for the regular 2.1 setup and as rear speakers for my 7.1 surround sound. I have a table behind me for picture shots and this worked out well for a spot to set the Z-Base for my rear sound which worked out great.

The Z-Base is a great sound bar and works well for many situations such as small to medium sized rooms for your all around medium sized entertainment system. I highly recommend the ZVOX Z-Base 525 for a great sounding sound bar for smaller entertainment setups.

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