The ZVOX Audio SB400 and SB500 Sound Bars Profiled

ZVOX Audio SB400 and SB500 Sound Bars
ZVOX Audio SB400 and SB500 Sound Bars - Connections, Remote, TV Size Compatibility Chart. Images provided by ZVOX Audio

ZVOX Audio has a reputation for making great Sound Bars and Under TV Audio Systems, and, in fact, were pioneers in both the sound bar and under-TV audio system product categories.

I have had the chance to use several ZVOX sound bars and under-TV audio systems over the years, including the Incredibase 580 and SoundBase 670.

On the sound bar side, two offerings from ZVOX Audio include the SB400 and SB500.

What The ZVOX SB400 and SB500 Sound Bars Have In Common

  • To start both sound bars feature aluminum cabinet construction. Aluminum was chosen for cabinet construction not only for its lightweight, but sturdy characteristics, but its thinness is used to maximize interior volume size of the sound bars, helping to facilitate deeper, more accurate bass performance. In other words, there is more interior volume to push more air.
  • Full Range speakers are provided for the upper bass, mid, and high frequencies, combined with a built-in subwoofer for low bass response.
  • Both sound bars incorporate built-in Wireless Bluetooth, which provides the ability to stream audio content directly from most smartphones, tablets, or other compatible portable devices.
  • Physical connectivity for both sound bars includes 1 Digital Optical, 1 Digital Coaxial, and one set of Analog Stereo inputs.
  • PhaseCue Virtual Surround processing is included to provide a more immersive listening experience that is more like a system that has multiple speakers. Although not as precise as a true 5.1 channel speaker system, PhaseCue definitely provides a wider sound-field to the front and sides than a straight two-channel sound bar without any virtual surround processing.
  • ZVOX AccuVoice (also referred to as Dialog Emphasis) technology improves vocal presence and clarity. This is especially useful for those that have some hearing impairment or have trouble understanding the dialog. Also, some DVDs and Blu-ray Discs may exhibit subdued vocals or dialog in relation to sound effects and music, which AccuVoice can compensate for.
  • Output Leveling (OL) smooths out unwanted volume spikes, such as from commercials - similar to what is often referred to as Dynamic Range Compression
  • MegaBass employs digital audio processing to precise more control over subwoofer output, resulting in clean bass response without excessive booming.
  • Both sound bars are remote controllable through most TV/Cable/Satellite and Universal Remote Controls (remote control also provided with the units).
  • The SB400 and SB500 can be wall or shelf mounted. However, wall mounting screws and accessories require additional purchase.

Now that you have an idea of what both these sound bars have in common, let's check out their differences.

Additional Specifications for the ZVOX Audio SB400 Sound Bar:

  • Speakers: Three 2-inch main speaker drivers combined with one 4-inch subwoofer.
  • Stated Amplifier Power Output For Entire System:140 Watts.
  • Frequency Response: 58 Hz – 20 kHz.
  • Dimensions (WDH): 35 x 5.7 x 3.2 inches.
  • Weight (out of box): 12 pounds.

Additional Specifications for the ZVOX Audio SB500:

  • Speakers: Three 2-inch full-range speaker speaker drivers combined with two 4-inch subwoofers.
  • Stated Amplifier Power Output: 188 Watts.
  • Frequency Response: 42 Hz – 20 kHz.
  • Dimensions (WDH): 43.9 x 5.7 x 3.3 inches.
  • Weight (out of box): 12.6 pounds pounds.

More Info - The Bottom Line

In addition to the features of the SB400 and SB500, the retail packaging also includes the following: Power Cord/External power supply, one Digital Optical cable, one set of RCA analog stereo cable, One set of analog audio RCA-to-3.5mm stereo cable, remote control, Quick Start Guide, and User Manual.

It is also important to point out that neither sound bar provides HDMI pass-through/Audio Return Channel functionality, nor do they provide output for connection of an external subwoofer. Although the subwoofer response is actually pretty good, it could be more subdued in a large room.

If you have an HD or 4K Ultra HD TV, and desire a better sound experience that those cheap built-in TV speakers, but don't want all the hassle and clutter require with a home theater receiver and multiple speakers, the ZVOX SB400 or 500 might just the right solution for you. .

The SB400 works well in a small or medium-size room with TVs up to 70-inches, while the SB500 can work well with TVs in the 50 to 90-inch screen size - Give them both a listen - the choice is yours.

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