ZVOX's Z-Base 550 is an innovative, décor-friendly way to improve the sound of your TV. This one-piece system houses five full-range speakers, a high-output woofer, and built-in amplification — you won't need to use a separate receiver or run wires to any external speakers. The Z-Base 550 is designed to serve as a base for most flat-panel TVs with screen sizes from 26" to 50". Place it directly underneath your TV and you won't have to worry about making room for it on your entertainment stand.

The Z-Base 550 creates virtual surround effects by manipulating the phase and timing of each channel, sending signals to separate drivers at the appropriate moment. This expands the soundstage and "tricks" your ears into thinking that sound is coming from points throughout your room.

Setup couldn't be simpler, with just one cable to plug into your TV. Control the Z-Base 550 from your favorite chair with the included remote. Signal-sensing on/off circuitry powers the system on and off along with your TV.

Product Highlights:

  • video-shielded
  • serves as a platform for most flat-panel TVs from 26"-50" — TV base should not exceed 27"W or 13"D, and TV should not exceed 90 lbs.
  • PhaseCue virtual surround sound
  • frequency response 45-20,000 Hz
  • built-in 60-watt (peak power) amplifier
  • five 2" full-range speakers
  • 5-1/4" woofer
  • 2 stereo RCA inputs
  • RCA output for connecting an optional powered subwoofer
  • auto on/off
  • remote control
  • rigid MDF (medium density fiberboard) cabinet
  • 28-1/16"W x 3-3/8"H x 15-13/16"D
  • weight: 20 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Sound bar speakers: room-filling sound with less clutter

Add big sound to your TV without a roomful of speakers. Sound bars require minimal space and wiring, and their sleek designs complement today's flat-panel TVs. Most sound bars have their own built-in amplification, so you won't need to use a home theater receiver. Some models use advanced surround processing and carefully aimed speaker drivers to simulate the effects of a full home theater audio system.

ZVOX Z-Base 550 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

26 reviews
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kicks butt

Written By jason, calif. on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

this thing kicks butt. It is loud and clear with the adjustable treble and base you can simply dial it in for a full spectrum sound as if was a much larger more powerful speaker surround unit.

Great Product for Bedroom / Office

Written By epubcar, Naperville, IL. on Monday, July 18, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is our second ZVOX. First one went into master bedroom. Great job. This one is for guest bedroom / sewing room. Another great job. Perfect solution for small spaces.

ZVOX Z-Base 550

Written By Anonymous, Emerson, NJ on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great system- one of my friends loved it and is going to recommend it to clients
in the future.

Love It

Written By Vette, Killeen, Texas on Friday, March 11, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this item for bedroom. I am very satisfied.

Great Buy Great Value

Written By DSec, Crystal Lake, IL on Friday, March 04, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My wife and I and indeed our entire family are very satisfied with the Zvox550. We have a
new flat screen Sony that sits on a piece of furniture. The TV speakers are on the bottom
of the TV and direct the sound downward to the top of the furniture, making it hard to hear.
The Zvox lifts the TV up about 3.5" and provides excellent sound. We are able to control
the base and treble and are enjoying the variations that the Zvox allows. Depending on the
features included with your TV you may be able to control the Zvox with the TV remote
however, that is not the case with our TV so we need to use the separate Zvox remote.
Would definitely recommend as an auxiliary sound system....DSec

excellent sound for the money.

Written By Sid G., Corpus Christi,Tx on Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This was one of my best purchases ever. The sound is very satisfying and makes a
movie a complete experience. It is not a true surround system but with a connected
subwoofer it will fill a mid size room with great sound. The remote is rudimentary but
does what it has to do. For a plug and play system, it doesn't get any better than this.

What happened to clear dialog?

Written By G, San Diego on Friday, February 04, 2011

Easy to install. Didn't actually make the voice section of programs as easy to hear as I
had hoped. Then again, maybe television program makers are ramping up the music
sections of their programs so they can comply with not making the ads significantly
louder than normal programs. Movies seem for some reason to have the same
problem, really loud music and special effects, but the actors whisper and mumble a lot!

Not much feed back in changing volume or adjusting bass or treble. Both would be
helpful (maybe an LED bar the lights up to show location, either on the unit or on the
control unit.)

Great speaker!

Written By Chuck L, Bonita Springs, FL on Friday, November 12, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

We bought this speaker for our vacation home in Florida. Our Toshiba 46" TV has a great picture, but really poor sound. Sometimes we had to use closed captioning to follow the dialog. We didn't want the expense and wires of a full surround sound system, so tried the Zyvox Z-Base 550. While not as good as a surround system, it gives great sound. Turning up the woofer to maximum really gives as much base as I would want. No need to add a separate subwoofer. This speaker is well worth the money. The speaker arrived promptly and when i had a question about hookup, the Crutchfield team answered my question right away. Buy this speaker. You won't be sorry.

Impressively Simple and Sound

Written By JeffL, Plano, TX on Monday, October 18, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking to simplify from a full 5.1 receiver, surround speakers, and sub to a sound bar type set-up. Decided to try the ZVOX Z-Base 550 as it would meet my requirements. I was impressed on how quickly I could get it set-up, cut all the previous clutter, and still have a very good sounding system. Letting my 42" LCD switch all audio/video inputs from my Apple TV, Blu-ray player, Wii, and OTA TV. Nice looking one-piece system that sounds much better than many other sound bar/sub systems I listened to... ready to buy a ZVOX Mini for my son. As always - great service from Crutchfield!

Didn't Meet Expectations

Written By Matt T., St. Louis on Friday, September 03, 2010

I purchased the ZVOX 550 based on mainly positive reviews here and elsewhere. Accordingly, my expectations were high when I hooked it up, which was a breeze. Unfortunately, the sound was only slightly better than what my TV provides, which isn't that great. I'll be returning the 550 and looking for something that provides a real audio experience.

Great Sound

Written By TA, Hartford. CT on Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Surprisingly good sound from a sleek low profile sound system. Big improvement
over the TV speakers. Great solution if you're looking for an easy/ acceptable
alternative to a .full surround sound system.

ZVOX Z-Base 550

Written By Bob, Montgomery, AL on Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

this unit made very little improvement in the sound of the tv, not enough to justify so much money.

ZVOX 550

Written By Anonymous, Potomac, MD on Monday, February 15, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this unit to supplement the sound on our HD in the bedroom. It is a good deal at this price. On the plus side, it is solidly built with good quality components. It is easy to set-up and has a clean, uncluttered look. Once the levels are set, you can control the volume with your variable audio out (if your TV has one). It turns itself on and off automatically. It provides good lower mid range but no base (you probably don't want much woofer in a bedroom anyway). The unit gives a warm sound with good depth - a definite improvement over the stock TV speakers.
On the negative side, the "phasecue" surround system provided less surround than what the TV did naturally - I turned it off. It sounds like a good idea but I couldn't hear the difference.
One thing never mentioned in these reviews is the problem with lipsync. I find that this can be an issue with all supplemental sound systems - even if all your connections are HDMI. The ZVOX 550 uses straight right and left audio out and lipsyncing is definitely an issue. My HDTV has a 0-5 millisecond lipsync adjustment (which outputs to the external audio) and I usually run a 4 millisecond delay to synchronize the lip movements correctly with the audio. If you do NOT have such an adjustment on your set, this could be a deal killer for you.
It is for this last issue that I dropped my rating to 4 stars.

Just what I needed

Written By Hampton, Washington, DC on Friday, February 05, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Boosts the sound considerably from the 52" Samsung perfectly. I know it's not true theatre sound but for a smallish main room, it's perfect. Opens up the sound and no problems hearing anything. I like this dang thing and I like that it serves as a perfect base for the unit.

Nice addition to our 46" Toshiba.

Written By Richard, Feeding Hills, MA on Friday, January 15, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

We purchased this product for our new 46" Toshiba flat screen. At this time, I
didn't want to deal with a true surround set-up AND I needed something simple
that the wife could figure out. I cannot overstate the latter.
This unit does exactly that, it adds a nice bottom to the sound, once
set-up it's VERY easy to use. In fact, other than play with the Phasecue
setting, it doesn't require much intervention at all. It goes on and off with
the set and volume/bass/treble controls on the set are reflected in the sound
out of the ZVox-550.
The Phasecue setting is interesting and does add some depth to the sound
stage over the stock speakers. This is NOT surround sound, however, so if that's
what you seek, you need to look at something else. This also will not rattle
the walls with bass. However, it does have a sub-woofer output if that's what
you desire. I haven't tried that yet.
It does a very adequate job of giving full spectrum sound to program
material. My wife IS able to hear the difference (good) and she really likes the
fact that she doesn't have to do anything different. It just works.
My biggest concern was whether it would fit on our TV stand. It did. For
those in a similar situation, the feet on the base will fit on a 25" wide x 13"
deep platform.
And kudos to the Crutchfield team for their helpful website and speedy
shipping. We received it in 2 days with FREE shipping.

Much better than flat screen speakers

Written By Bryan, Chicago, IL on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I have a 46 inch sharp Aquos. Great picture, horrible sound. I hooked up the Zvox 550 in about 10 minutes and there was an immediate improvement. I took my old subwoofer from my previous surround system and plugged that into the back of the zvox speaker bar. Now it sounds even better. Its not as good as a complete surround sound system, but it sounds fantastic.
The auto-off feature was giving me a slight problem. The sound bar would turn off during quiet parts of movies and shows. So i called crutchfield support and they were able to fix that problem. Now my system works perfect and the sound is an extreme improvement over the factor speakers. And it looks pretty cool too.

Serves it's purpose perfectly!!

Written By Rich, Alabama on Monday, December 28, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this for my parents (senior citizens), who were constantly complaining about:

1- wires all over the room
2- DVD sound effects very loud, and speech very low
3- numerous complex remotes

I read the reviews, and went for it. I'm glad I did!
You plug it in, hook it up, adjust it to your liking, and you're done.
It turns on and off automatically, and has excellent sound.
Both of my parents have hearing aids, and for some reason
surround sound was very annoying to them.
This product has solved their problem.
This will not compete with full size home theater systems.
It's not designed for that.
What it will do is provide an easy to use, space saving alternative to a full size home
I fully recommend this product.

Love it!

Written By Mike, Boulder CO on Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I saw enough positive web reviews on this unit to go forward with a purchase. This was part of a TV/Blu-Ray upgrade and a 'de-clutter' in my small living room, getting rid of my Denon 5.1 surround system in favor of something simpler. It's coupled with a new Sharp Aquos 40" LED LCD and a Blu-Ray player.

While not an 'audio snob', I wasn't sure I was going to be happy. That feeling lasted about as long as it took me to unpack the unit and hook it up (about 5 minutes).

I know that sound quality is a subjective thing, but I was simply awed when I turned it on and played with the settings a bit. I can't believe that much sound comes from a relatively small/compact unit! No, it's not as good as a true surround system...but it's still good.

Star Wars Episode II was on Spike HD last night, and I turned the unit up for a big battle scene and was blown away. The dialong was crystal clear, the bass is booming, the PhaseCue seems to do the trick in mimicking surround effects...it's awesome. This unit offers exactly what I wanted to simplify my setup and maintain quality sound to match my new equipment. I might add a sub, but for now I don't see the need.

I like this unit so much that I just ordered a ZVOX 325 for my computer in the basement, to replace the weak/cheapo speakers I'm using. I don't think I'll be disappointed...

I never heard of ZVOX until I got my Crutchfield catalog a few weeks ago...but they just won another satisfied customer!

Awkward remote

Written By Edward, Knoville, TN on Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The installation was simple and the sound as advertised OK but not great. The "credit card" control is awkward - should be much improved. I was able to get IR commands "learned" on a Universal RF20 with great difficulty - and that works fine.

Simple-Good Sound and Good Value

Written By pete, Matawan, N.J. on Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this speaker to eliminate clutter with exterior speakers and negate the need for an amplifier [ has 60 watt amp of it's own]. Most unique is that you can put a 90lb. TV on top of it using the supplied pedestal that comes with the TV [footprint must be within 27X14 inches].
Clutter and amp expense are eliminated.

The sound does not compete with my home theater in the basement, but does well in a medium sized room [about 200 sq.ft.]. The response range of45 to20k gives enough bass without booming. A subwoofer can be added later if you want. The small remote easily changes the volume,base and treble along with the woofer and surround effect to suit the program you
are watching.

I tried a component hook-up, but found the HDMI hook-up worked best connecting the cable box to the TV and an analog connection for the speaker. TV MUST have an analog out for the speaker!

Good sound - simple set-up - no clutter - good value

Grossly Overrated...

Written By Wayne, Chicago, IL on Sunday, June 07, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I fail to see why this unit obtains such high ratings. I 'test drove' the ZVOX 550 for one week before returning it. Overall, audio quality is ok... definitely better than the audio from the typical flat screen TV. The 550 fails on two levels. First, the surround capabilities are very poor. The unit requires frequent adjustment (depending on the source material) to obtain a hint of 'dimensional' sound. Second, the remote is cheap and the user interface (a simple blinking LED) is ineffective and confusing. The unit provides absolutely no clue as to how it is configured. The concept of building a soundbar into a base for a flat screen TV is brilliant; it is a pity that the 550 does not live up to the hype.

Hookup doesn't get any easier - worth giving a listen

Written By Silverstonem5, Minneapolis, MN on Thursday, May 14, 2009

For what it is worth, when I first came across this product, I thought it was too good to be true. Like that ShamWow towel. It is just too simple to be effective.

I put this system in my living room with a 50" LG Plasma (50PC5DC) and it works fantastic. I programmed my TiVo remote to operate the volume up, down and mute codes of the ZVOX. Wife loves it. Neighbors are impressed. The bass rocks so much, that if you have kids that go to bed early, you may need to turn it down when you are watching movies. You certainly don't need an auxiliary subwoofer, but you can add one if you want.

You will want to adjust the surround sound settings based upon material that you normally listen to. For example Monday Night Football adds artificial surround crowd noise that will want to make you turn the surround down. If you watch a baseball game, turn it up. You will hear all sorts of things that you won't hear with a 5.1 system. I read their website on how they do it, but still don't get it. Mostly you will just set it and forget it.

I have a 7.1 system in my basement in a full-blown home theater setup. If you are looking for that, the 550 or any virtual surround product (even the Yamaha YSP series) won't cut it for a "true" home theater room. But, if you are looking for a simple to install, simple to use solution, particularly for a bedroom or living room, you will be happy with this product.

Near Perfect 3.0 Sound System

Written By Fred, Santa Fe, NM on Saturday, May 02, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Although I have a high end 7.1 surround system, sometimes I just want to watch television or 'talk talk' DVDs without the distraction of surround sound. The Zvox 550 provides outstanding television sound in a 3.0 format. The audio quality including the 'subwoofer' (really a woofer with good response in the 60-120 Hz range) is excellent. The 'phase' or width of the sound stage can be adjusted to any taste without sounding artificial. A clear left-center-right stage is created with very good center channel vocal response. Although the resulting sound is not as dynamic as with a true surround system, it is far ahead of the quality of any television's speaker system.

My only criticism of the Zvox (or any sound bar) is that the acoustic environment of the home can create a perceived imbalance in the left-right sound field that can only be eliminated by decreasing the width of the sound stage.

Improved audio for TV

Written By Eric, Schenectady NY on Friday, April 10, 2009

I bought this unit to improve the audio on my 32-inch Sony Bravia, which was not bad to start with. The unit arrived very shortly after my order was placed. The unit was perfectly preserved in its packing. It took me longer to get the pieces unpacked than it did to hook it up and get it running. Setup of the surround-sound effect is subjective. There is no microphone which you switch from place to place and which calculates how to bias the various little speakers. You just add or subtract the stereo effect using the supplied remote. So you need to spend some time playing various video formats (TV, DVD, etc) and adjusting the amount of effect you desire. My room is 25x12, and the TV is 1/3 way down one side, pointing at an angle, so it's a challenge. I believe I have better audio now than before, but as audiophiles know it's all subjective!
I did not get a subwoofer with the ZVOX. I think I will do that, and I expect that will create a further improvement.

ZVOX Z-Base 550

Written By Richard, Elizabeth, NJ on Saturday, March 07, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product is exceptional. I have this hooked up to a 52" Toshiba TV and the sound quality is virtual surround. Because I dwell in an apartment house, I did not want to go with the true surround which would necessitate additional speakers, sub-woofer, etc. That's overkill in this type of living quarters.

This fits the bill. It has everything you need in just one unit. It's simple to set up and gives me the sound I want.

I couldn't be any more pleased. Well worth the investment.

Thank you.


Written By Kenneth, Gallatin, TN on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted to improve the sound quality of the Samsung 46 LCD that is in my bedroom but did not want to add a receiver or have a multitude of spearkers to mount etc. I considered and was looking for a sound bar as we have one in another room. My concerns were adding a receiver and if I just put the bar in front of the TV it would block my remote sensor.

I stumbled across this item on Crutchfield. With no reviews (new item) I was a little skeptical so I researched the item and found a very positive official review online.

It was incredibly simple to set up. Sounds full and remarkable considering the ease of set up and the size. Sounds identical to my other Samsung 52 that is on a soundbar with a receiver. Makes a huge difference over the factory speakers and looks good under the TV. The remote is small but I was able to program the system into my universal so I am not using it anyway.

Highly Recommend!!

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • ZVOX Single cabinet surround system
  • Wireless remote control
  • CR 2025 Lithium battery
  • AC adapter with attached 6' DC output cord (19 volts DC/3.15 amps)
  • 5.5' AC power cord
  • 6.5' Audio cable (Stereo RCA plugs on both ends)
  • Instructions

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Design ---
Pieces in System 1
Color Black
Tweeter 2" Cone (x5)
Midrange ---
Woofer 5.25" Cone (x1)
Separate Subwoofer No
Subwoofer Driver ---
Surround Sound Decoding No
Dialogue Enhancement ---
Auto Volume ---
Remote IR Passthrough No
Works with TV Remote ---
Control by App ---
Bluetooth Connectivity ---
Wall-mountable No
Mounting Bracket Included ---
Surface Mount Stand Included No
Speaker Parts Warranty 1 Year
Speaker Labor Warranty 1 Year
Amplifier Parts Warranty 1 Year
Amplifier Labor Warranty 1 Year
System Frequency Response 45-20k Hz
Powered System Yes
Sound Bar RMS Power 60W total
Subwoofer RMS Power ---
Inputs and Outputs
Mini Stereo Audio Inputs None
RCA Stereo Audio Inputs 2
Optical Digital Audio Inputs None
Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs None
HDMI Inputs ---
HDMI Outputs ---
Subwoofer Output Mono RCA
Sound Bar (inches) 3-3/8H x 28-1/16W x 15-13/16D
Sound Bar Weight 20 lbs
Subwoofer (inches) ---
Subwoofer Weight Not Given

Product Research


Overview: The ZVOX Z-Base550 is a single-cabinet audio system for use with TVs, iPods and other MP3 players, and PCs. It combines high-quality speakers, a built-in amplifier, a built-in subwoofer, and ZVOX PhaseCue virtual surround sound processing to give you an easy surround sound solution. Since there are no speaker wires to deal with, you just need to connect the power and audio cables to get started.

Placement: Most 32"-50" flat panel TVs can be placed directly on the Z-Base550. The TV should be 90 pounds or less and the base should not exceed 27" wide x 13" deep.

PhaseCue: The proprietary PhaseCue virtual surround sound system manipulates the phase of the separate channels to fool the ear into believing that sound is coming from a variety of sources throughout the room. You can control the size of the sound stage and the amount of virtual surround effect using the included remote control. Dynamic soundtracks from movies and live recorded music programs provide a rich, 3-dimensional sound, while the surround effect is somewhat less with TV programs and newscasts. Note: While the surround experience isn't the same as high-quality 5.1-channel system, the performance is much more pleasing than simply using the TV's built-in speakers.

Speaker Configuration: The ZVOX Z-Base550 uses five Ferrofluid cooled 2" main speaker drivers with neodymium magnets. The drivers use the Infinite Compliance system, which connects the outer two speakers with an acoustic tube, to create a big sound from a small cabinet. The speakers are magnetically shielded, allowing the unit to be placed near a CRT TV or monitor.

Subwoofer: In addition to the five main speakers, the Z-Base550 has a down firing high-mass, long-throw 5-1/4" subwoofer in a ported enclosure. An optional powered subwoofer can be connected via the single rear-panel RCA output. The subwoofer output is full range.

Power Output: The ZVOX Z-Base550 has a built in 60 watt amplifier that drives all of the speakers.

Cabinet: The ZVOX Z-Base550 has an MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) wood cabinet.

Auto Power: The Z-Base550 has an auto-on/off power circuit. The power automatically turns on when an audio signal is sensed (the power LED changes from green to blue). When you turn off the audio source, the Z-Base550's power will automatically turn off after approximately three minutes with no signal. There is also a power button on the remote to override the auto power circuit and a master power switch on the back panel.

Inputs/Outputs: The ZVOX Z-Base550 has two pair of RCA inputs on the rear panel. Input 1 is for connecting your TV, PC, or other audio source; input 2 acts as a mixing input, you'll hear both simultaneously. A single RCA output allows you to connect an optional powered subwoofer.

Remote: The included remote has controls for power, mute, volume, PhaseCue effect level, subwoofer output, and treble level.

Connecting To Your TV: It is recommended that you connect the Z-Base550 to the audio output of your TV. If your TV's audio outputs can be set to Variable, you can use your TV's remote control to adjust the volume. If not, use the Z-Base550's remote to control the volume.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.