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
Zvox

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 spatial…
SiriusXM’s Taylor Swift channel is free if your car has satellite radio
Taylor Swift on SiriusXM in a Hyundai Palisade.

It's Taylor Swift's world — we're just living in it. That was true before today, which saw the release of The Tortured Poets Department. But it's especially true given that you'll now be able to listen to all the Taylor Swift you want, for free, for the next few weeks.

Sirius XM earlier announced that the previously open Channel 13 has been transformed to Channel 13 (Taylor's Version). That is, all Taylor Swift, all the time. All you needed was a SiriusXM account. But even that minor bit of gatekeeping has been lifted a good bit. If you have a car that has the hardware for SiriusXM — and SXM believes that 50% of all cars on the road are so equipped — Channel 13 (Taylor's Version) will be available for free, through May 6.

Read more
Best subwoofer deals: Up the bass for as low as $90
The Klipsch Reference Series 12 on a shelf.

A home audio setup isn’t complete without some bass, and whether you’re looking to add one of the best subwoofers to your arrangement or something more affordable, there are a lot of subwoofer deals worth taking a look at. Some of the best TV brands make great complementary audio equipment, so you’ll find the likes of Sony, LG, and Hisense among currently discounted subwoofers. But you’ll also find some more subtle brands with some impressive savings. We’ve tracked down all of the best subwoofer deals you can shop right now, so if you’ve been shopping the best TV deals and need something to pair with a purchase or if you already have a TV that needs an audio upgrade, read onward for more details on how to save on a new subwoofer.
Dr.J Professional 2.1 channel soundbar with subwoofer system -- $90, was $200

More than just the subwoofer, this surround system includes a versatile soundbar or dual-speaker -- it can be split in half -- offering a versatile audio system. It does featured Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, so you can connect a phone or tablet, for example. You can also plug your TV in via HDMI ARC, optical, or 3.5 mm audio. The 35W bass woofer delivers a nice little kick.

Read more
Best Sony TV deals: Save on best-in-class 4K TVs and 8K TVs
The Sony Bravia XR X93L 4K Google TV hanging over a media center in a living room.

Sony has been one of the best TV brands around the globe for decades, and it currently makes some of the best TVs you can buy. This is true whether you prefer 4K or 8K resolution, as well as OLED or QLED picture technologies. But despite its popularity among home theater shoppers, Sony doesn’t price its products out of range for most people. You can almost always find something by Sony among the best TV deals, and there are quite a few Sony TV deals worth taking a look at right now. We’ve tracked down what we feel are the best Sony TV deals among the current crop of sales. While there aren't currently any Sony 8K TV deals to shop, you’ll find a wide selection of Sony 4K TVs below, as well as some information on which may make the right centerpiece for your home theater.
Sony 55-inch X80K 4K Google TV — $600, was $650

Another TV that performs much better than its cost suggests is the X80K. Customers rate it near flawlessly for picture quality, which is enhanced by both the 4K HDR Processor X1 and Triluminos Pro, a system that allows over a billion colors to be used by the X80K's LED screen. You'll also get a 120Hz refresh rate enhanced by Motionflow XR tech to get even the fastest moving items on your screen a crisp look.

Read more