Skip to main content

Zvox’s new soundbar is like a magnifying glass for TV and movie dialog

In the soundbar world, plenty of companies offer dialog enhancement modes aimed at making speech easier to understand, but few companies are as laser-focused on this aspect of TV audio as Zvox.

Its latest product, the $300 Zvox AccuVoice AV157 TV speaker, takes the company’s existing AccuVoice “hearing aid” technology and then levels-up the dialog enhancement with its new SuperVoice technology.

Zvox AccuVoice AV157 TV Speaker

If AccuVoice is all about making it easier to understand on-screen actors by making their voices easier to hear, SuperVoice, Zvox claims, performs the exact opposite function on the background noise of a given scene, forcing it further into the background where it competes less with the dialog.

Between these two technologies, you get 12 levels of dialog enhancement — six levels for each — which is six more than Zvox’s previous best speaker, the AV155.

AccuVoice may sound like marketing-speak, but it’s the real deal — Zvox uses the same technology in its line of Food and Drug Administration-approved hearing aids.

In keeping with Zvox’s previous TV speaker models, the AV157 isn’t geared toward typical soundbar features like HDMI ARC connections or Dolby Atmos. Instead, it keeps things relatively simple, with an optical connection, a 3.5mm line-in jack for audio sources like phones or iPods, and 3.5mm output that can be used for headphones or a subwoofer connection.

But just in case you’re concerned that it might lack the ability to deliver on big sound, Zvox assures us that the AV157’s three full-range drivers and PhaseCue virtual surround technology can deliver “room-filling 3D sound from one small cabinet.”

Cleverly, the AV157 brings voice enhancement to more than your TV. If you own an Amazon Echo speaker like the Echo Dot, you can connect it to the AV157’s line-in jack, and when Alexa responds to your voice commands, the Zvox speaker will automatically lower its own volume so you can better hear what Alexa says when she responds.

The AV157 comes with its own slender remote control and has a large, easy-to-read LED display that hides behind the speaker grille. It lights up when you make changes to the settings via the remote.

We’ve covered Zvox’s technologies in the past and the company’s AV200 currently sits as our pick for the best soundbar for dialog, but as soon as we get a chance to review the AV157, we may decide to update that recommendation.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
Usually $120, these Sennheiser wireless headphones are on sale for $70
Ebay home learning sale - Sennheiser HD 350BT headphones

If you're a casual headphones user that still wants something of decent quality, the price tags can be scary. For something showing even decent levels of comfort and features the price tag usually climbs over $100. And so it is with the Sennheiser HD 350BT, which usually sit at $120. However, the rest of us can now enjoy the comfort that those willing to spring on the latest have had. While this deal lasts, you can pick up your own pair of comfy HD 350BTs for just $70. That's a savings of $50! So, pull up your chair, turn on the music, and tap the button below to get what the rest have been using for awhile now.

Why you should buy the Sennheiser HD 350BT
Sennheiser, a company that nearly always has something in our listing of the best headphones, created the HD 350BT with just a couple of things in mind. If you're familiar with the Beats headphones line, and we're sure you are, then the first objective won't surprise you; they wanted to create headphones with an intense sound profile, especially emphasizing a deep bass range. Secondly, they wanted to create a streamlined approach to headphones, using a simple and minimalist style so the average person can start using them right away without vast audiophile-level knowledge. For example, in the Sennheiser Smart Control App, you can choose between listening modes for music, news, podcasts, and films to suit your needs quickly and comfortably on the go.

Read more
YouTube TV password sharing — is that even a thing?
YouTube TV family sharing.

There's been a little bit of a to-do this week about YouTube TV cracking down on password sharing. Potentially. Ya know, like Netflix is doing. Except not really, or at all, probably. And that has to do almost entirely with how YouTube TV's account structure works.

First, some context. A few posts on Reddit stated that some family members — that is, not the primary account holder — were being asked to sign up to YouTube TV, despite already being authorized to use the service. YouTube TV allows for up to six family members to share one YouTube TV subscription, with one of them serving as the primary account. Those family members basically have to be anyone older than 13 who lives with the primary account holder.

Read more
How we test headphones and earbuds
Side view of man wearing Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones.

Our evaluation of headphone and earbuds begins the moment the product lands on our desk. We take note of the product’s packaging and presentation before diving into the unboxing.
Out of the box

Nicely packaged products can have an effect on your overall experience. But we're a lot less concerned with beauty and design than we are with a box's impact on the planet. Even a $1,000 set of headphones can be packaged responsibly -- with fully recyclable materials -- without compromising the protection offered. In 2023, most companies do a good job of this, but we'll definitely single out the ones that are still relying on heaps of plastic and foam.

Read more