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ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Powered home theater sound bar with Bluetooth®

17 Reviews | 4 questions - 11 answers

Item # 729SB500

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Overview

Our take on the ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Looking for an easy way to upgrade your TV's sound quality? The ZVOX SB500 houses three high-performance speakers and two woofers in a slim, acoustically stable aluminum cabinet so it can fill a larger room with sound without filling it with speakers. Flexible connections include both digital and analog audio inputs, for newer or older TVs. The cables are included, so you have everything you need for a quick setup. You can use your existing TV, cable, or satellite remote to control volume, mute, and power on the sound bar. Built-in Bluetooth lets you stream any music you listen to on your compatible mobile device to the SB500.

ZVOX SB500

The ZVOX SB500 looks great wall-mounted, or it can rest on a stand with your TV.

Bigger sound for bigger spaces

Looking for an easy way to upgrade your TV's sound quality? The ZVOX SB500 houses three high-performance speakers and two woofers in a slim, acoustically stable aluminum cabinet so it can fill a larger room with sound without filling it with speakers. Flexible connections include both digital and analog audio inputs, for newer or older TVs. The cables are included, so you have everything you need for a quick setup. You can use your existing TV, cable, or satellite remote to control volume, mute, and power on the sound bar. Built-in Bluetooth lets you stream any music you listen to on your compatible mobile device to the SB500.

Dial in the sound you want

The SB500 adds volume and clarity to your TV setup, but it doesn't stop there. It offers a custom listening experience for different situations. PhaseCue® virtual surround creates three-dimensional home theater sound for more dynamic sound from movies and TV shows. The AccuVoice® feature uses hearing aid technology so dialogue is extra clear. ZVOX's Output Leveling feature eliminates the sudden, jarring shifts in volume that occur when commercials come on or when you switch channels.

Product Highlights:

  • Dolby Digital® decoding
  • PhaseCue virtual surround sound creates spacious effects
  • AccuVoice dialogue emphasis mode uses circuitry similar to a hearing aid to enhance vocal clarity
  • Output Leveling mode helps tame loud commercials
  • MegaBass system uses advanced digital contouring for deep, accurate bass
  • built-in Bluetooth lets you stream music wirelessly from a compatible device
    • aptX® audio coding for better Bluetooth sound quality with compatible devices
  • built-in 140-watt Class D amplifier
  • three 2" full-range drivers
  • two 4" woofers
  • frequency response 42-20,000 Hz
  • digital audio inputs: 1 optical and 1 coaxial
  • 1 stereo RCA analog audio input
  • mono RCA line-level output for adding a powered subwoofer
  • learns commands from your TV remote
  • remote control also included
  • aluminum cabinet provides strength, rigidity, and lower resonance for better sound
  • 43-5/16"W x 5-3/4"H x 3-5/16"D
  • weight: 12.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Active soundbar speaker
  • AC power adapter (attached 47" DC cord)
  • 40" AC power cord
  • Remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 6' Optical digital cable
  • 6.5' Stereo RCA cable
  • 58" Stereo minijack-to-RCA cable
  • 2 Rubber feet
  • Setup & Operation Guide
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • "Adjustment Options" booklet
  • "Using Bluetooth" instructions
  • Programming Remote instructions

product has performed as described and completely meets my expectations. And as usual Garrett and the staff at Crutchfield exemplify what customer service is and should be!

Anonymous, Palm Harbor, FL

Reviews

ZVOX SoundBar SB500 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(17 Reviews)

ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Anonymous from Palm Harbor, FL on 2/11/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

product has performed as described and completely meets my expectations. And as usual Garrett and the staff at Crutchfield exemplify what customer service is and should be!

Pros: reasonable price for the quality and performance received.

Cons: none

ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Anonymous from Mcdonough, GA on 1/25/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very crisp and clear dialogue with accuvoice. I am hearing impaired and this sound bar works great for voice clarity when no one else is in the room. All other times when someone is in the room I use my Sennheiser headphones.

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Cons:

Nearly Perfect

Den from SusquehannaValley, PA on 1/12/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This SB500 I've not thoroughly tested, thus, I can presently report simply on how it handles sound via Ultra TV, OTA reception + skilled hook-up. I find it nearly perfect; but, the Output Leveler that is designed to diminish increased sound with commercial ads IMO should have more advanced circuitry for auto-sensing once it's depressed on the remote. Therefore, if you wish to use this feature and you'd rather spend your efforts pushing buttons, i.e., on-off...on-off...I suppose, then, this won't detract any by it's crisp delivery otherwise.

Pros: Quality Build

Cons: A few features not perfected.

ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Anonymous from Jasper, GA on 12/24/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good, full sound and the dialogue is very clear with Accuvoice. With a sub--and I would suggest one-- it will blow you away. Very much recommended.

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ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Bill from Prospect,CT. on 9/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent sound and voice enhancement .works well with direct TV remote

Pros: Excellent

Cons: None

Best bang for the bucks!

Scott from Dallas, TX on 8/22/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Totally rocks! Bass is better than expected. Highs are crisp. A lot of higher priced models would not compare well. Worth the bucks and and would recommend highly.

Pros: Great sound for the price.

Cons: None, accept I wish I would have heard about them sooner.

ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Anonymous from Mcpherson, KS on 7/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Had problems with dialog especially with loud background sound. Doctor said I needed a pair of hearing aids for $3800.00. Purchased an SB500 sound bar in the hopes it would help if even a little. Well glory-be, the ASB500 has allowed me to hear all dialog covered by back ground music or not. Even understand foreign accents. 5 stars all the way.

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ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Anonymous from Butler, PA on 5/2/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am completely satisfied.

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Great sound, best vocals!

Ron from Sequim, WA on 4/7/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Finally, a soundbar that offers us mid-seventies seniors full range and incredibly crisp vocals even at low listening levels. And a steal for the money.

Pros: As advertised

Cons: remote did not work. ZVOX sent us new on same day and now works perfectly

ZVOX SoundBar SB500

Anonymous from Warwick, RI on 3/24/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I did considerable research looking for a soundbar that provides the best clarity for the spoken words from TV programs, and so far this units is providing a much improved (for us) sound. We are happy with this choice. Easy to install.

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Really Man ! .... this is it.

Ed from Lake Buena Vista , FL on 3/12/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Without out a doubt the BEST sound bar I have ever purchased in the under $700. category. I have tried Samsung, Yamaha, Vizio and a couple others .... many have their good points but none had it all. I was concerned at first about the lack of a separate subwoofer ..... no problem! This sound bar belts out great base and I have it just barely turned up. This music wonder fills my 12 x17 room (11' ceiling) .... with great sound. Without additional add on speakers it seems to make my movies play dimensionally . This sound bar sits on a table below the flat screen. As a plus the unit looks good and feels substantially made. This is so good I am trying to justify (to my wife) replacing two other sound bars purchased a year ago! ( side note: This ZVOX is in my man-cave not my media room 80" flat screen w/ Yamaha RX 3060 receiver Definitive Tech speakers )

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Good Alternative

Blair from Clarksville, TN on 2/19/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted to get away from having to use a home theater receiver to get better sound from everything I watch. The products from Zvox had good reviews so I thought this should work out ok. It does a better job than the tv speakers for sure. I use it as a wall mount under my Samsung UN60KS8000. It has a very clean look as well as good sound. It does not pair up to the Samsung remote. It isn't compatible due to the fact that one is IR and the other is RF. You can go into the samsung setup and use the universal remote setting to fool it by setting it up as a home theater system. The problem is you only have a maximum of 2 "sources" that work with a home theater system. I have TV, A channel master ota dvr, and Amazon fire tv that I watch. So I have to use the zvox remote with one of them. There may be another way around this, but nobody had any suggestions. I found this remedy on my own. If someone knows of a better way to make this work I would appreciate any suggestions. All in all I think it is a great sound bar. It does a very good job with the speech clarity. It has good bass considering there is no sub. I am glad I bought this and would recommend this if you are looking for a very clean sound bar, especially if you don't have enough room for a sub. I take off a star because of the lack of info from zvox because they are aware this does not pair up with some tv remotes.

Pros: Simple , Good Sound , Speech Clarity

Cons: Some TV remotes don't pair up

Excellent soundbar!

Doug from Clinton, NJ on 2/14/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

What a fantastic sound bar. The bar is a perfect fit for our 20' family room, fills the room with great sound. Excellent lows, mid and highs and crystal clear sound using the accuvoice setting. Definitely recommend this to anyone looking to improve their sound while watching tv.

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Great Dialog Sound Bar

John from Mokena, IL on 12/13/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound bar. Terrific for dialog. I purchased a Yamaha sound bar several years ago when I wall mounted our first flat screen TV. The sound seemed okay - at least better than the TV speakers. Lately my wife and I (both now in our seventies) noticed that the sound, especially dialog, was not so okay. We kept asking each other, "What'd they say? I began checking reviews on many sound bars and kept coming back to ZVOX models. I am really, really glad we bought the SB500. You can customize the sound to exactly fit what you are watching or listening to. It's great to be able to understand dialog again.

Pros: Great sound quality. Wall mounts easily.

Cons: Maybe pricier than some other sound bars, but you get what you pay for.

One nice soundbar

Mark from San Bernardino, CA on 12/6/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I really like this soundbar, the speech comes out so great so you don't hear the people mumble. I don't think that the bass is all that great but it doesn't come with a subwoofer so what can you expect. I hooked it up with my daughter bluetooth phone and it plays music wonderful. I think that the price tag is a bit high though, I had 2 other soundbars and had problem getting the subwoofer to work right(Klipsch r10b). This is so nice I programed it to work with my Directv changer.

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Great Overall Package

Dave from Wildwood, MO on 12/4/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy set-up, intuitive design. Sounds great; only wishlist feature would be bit of a more robust amp. Bass is great for a single unit and the built in Bluetooth is seamless. Good sound overall, vocals are crisp; have already recommended to colleagues at work.

Pros: Build quality, ease of use, good vocals and bass.

Cons: Perhaps a bit more power.

Excellent soundbar

Gordon from The Colony, TX on 6/5/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this Zvox because of some other online reviews about dialogue clarity. They were right! Terrific improvement understanding voices and outstanding bass without a sub. Zvox is the best I've heard. Highly recommended

Pros: No sub need. Dialogue is easy to understand. No sub needed. Bluetooth works great.

Cons: None.

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Enclosure Bass Reflex
Design Bar
Pieces in System 1
Color Black
Tweeter None
Midrange 2.0" (3)
Woofer 4.0" (2)
Separate Subwoofer No
Subwoofer Driver None
Features
Surround Sound Decoding 5.1-channel
Dialogue Enhancement Yes
Auto Volume Yes
4K Video Compatible No
HDR Video Compatible No
Audio Return Channel N/A
Remote IR Passthrough No
Works with TV Remote (IR) Yes
Control by App N
Bluetooth Connectivity Built-in
Wi-Fi No
Wall-mountable Yes
Mounting Bracket Included No
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
Specifications
System Frequency Response 42-20k Hz
Powered System Yes
Sound Bar RMS Power 140
Subwoofer RMS Power N/A
Inputs and Outputs
Mini Stereo Audio Inputs None
RCA Stereo Audio Inputs 1
Optical Digital Audio Inputs 1
Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs 1
HDMI Inputs None
HDMI Outputs None
USB Port No
Subwoofer Output 1
Dimensions
Sound Bar (inches) 5-11/16H x 43-15/16W x 3-1/2D
Sound Bar Weight 12.6 lbs
Subwoofer (inches) No Subwoofer
Subwoofer Weight N/A

Product Research

Features

Active Soundbar Speaker: The ZVOX SB500 active soundbar speaker system adds great sound to your high-definition or ultra-HD flat-panel television. The SB500 uses three high-performance speakers, two built-in powered subwoofers, an acoustically stable aluminum cabinet, and a 140-watt Class-D digital amplifier to create warm, natural sound, and surprisingly powerful bass. The ZVOX SB500 uses PhaseCue virtual surround to create three-dimensional home theater sound from one speaker, incorporates AccuVoice hearing aid technology to deliver incredibly clear voices, and offers Output Leveling to tame loud commercials. The ZVOX SB500 active soundbar speaker system provides digital (Optical/Coax) and analog (RCA) inputs, built-in Bluetooth music streaming, and remote control.

Advanced Speaker Design: The ZVOX Soundbar SB500 speaker system incorporates high-quality full-range drivers, built-in subwoofers, a highly efficient Class-D amplifier, and digital signal processing for high-fidelity sound. And its all packed inside a slim, aluminum cabinet.

  • 3 Full-Range Drivers (including dedicated center): The Soundbar SB500 features three high-performances full-range 2" drivers for crisp, detailed sound. One of the full-range drivers is a dedicated center speaker for excellent dialog and vocal reproduction.
  • Dual Subwoofers w/ MegaBass: The soundbar speaker is also equipped with two long-excursion 4" woofers for accurate bass & midbass response. The new ZVOX MegaBass feature uses digital processing to tailor sound and control the subwoofers to a degree never before achieved. The result is robust, accurate bass (down to 42 Hz) without an external subwoofer.
  • Class-D Amplifier:  The ZVOX SB500 employs a highly efficient 140W Class-D amplifier that includes digital signal processing (DSP) for superb frequency response. The result is a very warm, natural, smooth, and accurate sound.
  • Aluminum Bass Reflex Cabinet: The SB500 features a stylish, slim cabinet constructed of anodized aluminum (not plastic). The metal design provides low-resonance audio characteristics, and allows the SB500 to produce room-filling sound. The cabinet is ported on one end for added efficiency and bigger bass response.
Note: If the built-in dual subwoofers are not enough bass for you, the SB500 also has a mono-subwoofer output so you can add a powered subwoofer for even bigger bass.

PhaseCue Virtual Surround Sound: The Soundbar SB500 uses ZVOX's proprietary PhaseCue virtual surround processing to give you rich, three-dimensional sound with movies or music. PhaseCue, as its name implies, 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. The benefits of PhaseCue vary greatly based on program material. Live music and well-recorded modern movie soundtracks will deliver rich, three-dimensional sound - pulling the sound out from the speakers and into the room, virtually surrounding the listener. You choose from 3 PhaseCue Virtual Surround Sound modes.

  • Surround 1: Low virtual surround effect and strong vocals for enhanced vocal clarity.
  • Surround 2: Moderate virtual surround effect and moderate vocals for most program material.
  • Surround 3: Strong virtual surround effect and moderate vocals for movies.
Note: AccuVoice cannot be used in conjunction with a PhaseCure Virtual Surround Sound mode.

Audio Enhancements: The ZVOX Soundbar SB500 offers a variety of audio adjustments to enhance your listening experience.

  • AccuVoice: The Soundbar SB500 includes the ZVOX AccuVoice feature, which uses hearing aid technology to create super-clear voice reproduction. When you push the "ACCU" button on the remote control you engage a circuit that mimics the functions of a hearing aid. The frequencies used by human voices are dynamically emphasized, while other frequencies are minimized.
  • Output Leveling: The Soundbar SB500's Output Leveling feature automatically turns down loud commercials, while boosting audio levels from DVD and Blu-ray movies that are not loud enough. Simply press the "OL" button on the included remote and a sophisticated processor takes over, making soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer, so there are fewer jarring moments when switching channels or when commercials come on.
  • Bass & Treble: The Soundbar SB500 has independent bass and treble controls. Each has a range from -4 to 4, and can be adjusted using the remote control only.
Note: AccuVoice and Output Leveling can be activated simultaneously.

Digital & Analog Inputs: The Soundbar SB500 has one optical (toslink) digital input and one coaxial digital input, plus one analog stereo RCA audio input on the rear-panel. The digital inputs will support both 2ch PCM and Dolby Digital 5.1ch audio. The analog inputs only support 2ch PCM.

Note: The digital optical output terminals of many newer flat-panel TVs only send an audio signal in 5.1ch when receiving Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound from the TV's built-in tuner, network connection, or connected USB device; and will output only 2ch stereo from sources connected to the TV via HDMI, or RCA (like your Blu-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).

Bluetooth Wireless Audio + aptX: The  ZVOX Soundbar SB500 supports Bluetooth A2DP which allows you to wirelessly stream audio from your Bluetooth-enabled Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Windows PC/Phone, Mac computer/laptop, etc.. You'll be able to stream stored music or music apps from your Bluetooth-enabled device to the soundbar speaker system. The Soundbar SB500 even employs AptX audio coding technology for lossless, CD-quality streaming with compatible AptX-compatible phones (like Android OS 4.0+). You will continue to use your Bluetooth-enable mobile device for music navigation and to view song/artist information.

Remote Control: The ZVOX Soundbar SB500 comes with an IR remote control for wireless operation of the speaker system. The included wireless remote has controls for power, input select, mute, volume, PhaseCue II effect level, bass & treble level, and DE/OL functions. The Soundbar SB500 can also be programmed to respond to your TV or satellite/cable remote control. Once programmed, you can control volume, mute, input, and power with your TV or satellite/cable remote. There are also Power, Volume, and Input control buttons on one end of the soundbar speaker.

Note: Many newer TVs are coming with RF remotes and don't offer IR functionality. In this case, you would not be able to program the soundbar and TV remote to work together.

Hidden Display: The ZVOX Soundbar SB500 features a four-digit display located behind the speaker grille that shows the current setting for volume, bass, treble, and PhaseCue (virtual surround); plus shows when you have engaged the Mute, Output Leveling (OL) or AccuVoice (ACCU) features. A few seconds after you stop using your remote (or side-panel) controls, the display disappears completely.

Mounting Options: The soundbar speaker can either be table-top or wall-mounted, and works well with TVs from 50" to 80". You can place the SB500 on any flat, stable surface near your TV. There are three general placement options to choose from (Face Front, Face Up, & Wall-Mount). The SB500 has a "Tonal Profile" adjustment to allow it to sound better based on its room placement.

  • Face Front: You can place the SB500 on a flat surface so it faces forward. This placement is ideal for a shelf below, above, or near the television.
  • Face Up: You can place the SB500 facing up; often in front of the television. Check to ensure the SB500 does not block the television infrared remote sensor. There should be no shelf or flat surface immediately above the SB500 in this configuration.
  • Wall-Mount: The SB500 has two sturdy keyhole-shaped hanger mounts on the back-panel. You can hang the SB500 on two screw-heads (not included) that are securely installed in a wall or other vertical surface.

Auto On/Off: The ZVOX Soundbar SB500 will automatically turn on if it senses a volume adjustment or power command from your programmed remote control or the included remote control. The Soundbar SB500 will also automatically turn off if the selected input is silent for longer than approximately 30 minutes.

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.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

wall street journal [ Taeho  Feb 15, 2018 ]
After reading literally hundreds of reviews and forum posts I felt like the SB500 got me 80% the way to "the best" without delving into the world of diminishing returns. [ Joshua  Jan 14, 2018 ]
Great reviews [ MEADE  Jan 07, 2018 ]
Did some research on the internet and decided on this model. We have been very happy with the performance as had a problem hearing the speakers on the TV set. [ Dean C.  Aug 18, 2017 ]
Ratings [ Scott  Aug 09, 2017 ]
Because this soundbar has accu-voice. [ Kay  Jun 24, 2017 ]
Looks like it will provide clear dialogue and good sound all around without a subwoofer. The reviews are good. [ John  Mar 23, 2017 ]
Crutchfield & Sound & Vision Reviews ! [ Edmond  Feb 25, 2017 ]
Excellent ratings pertaining to voice quality. [ Douglas  Jan 30, 2017 ]
I wanted a sound bar without a subwoofer and one that had great voice or people talking quality. The SB500 had great reviews wherever I looked on the internet. [ John  Nov 28, 2016 ]
I have read very good reviews about it and wanted no subwoofer. [ mark  Nov 23, 2016 ]
Reviews on several web sites. [ Peter  Oct 17, 2016 ]

4 questions already asked

I wouldn't think it would effect the sound set up that way. I have mine in front of the tv facing the listener. [ CLARENCE  Feb 01, 2018 ]
Hi I have mine under my tv on the wall in my garage Therefore tv above and wall behind but nothing below I would expect it still would be ok [ SAMUEL A  Feb 01, 2018 ]
I have my soundbar standing up facing me, I wouldn't think the sound would be effected covering the top,back, and bottom. [ BARRY  Feb 01, 2018 ]
It's an excellent soundbar. I don't think your installation would have any negative impact, though note that since the it does not have a separate sub you may get a bit stronger bass response. That said, you won't be disappointed! [ DAVID G  Feb 02, 2018 ]
The speakers face the front. The bass comes out from the left end. [ BLAIR  Feb 01, 2018 ]
IT SHOULD'NT MATTER. THE SPEAKERS ARE FRONT FIRING. [ Thomas  Feb 01, 2018 ]
I have had this unit standing up on end and also on floor of unit with a similar rectangular opening and the sound is great either way. Optimal would be wall hung or on shelf but sound is not compromised. Also you will wind up keeping accuvoice turned on as it enhances voices clarity significantly without compromising bass and mid range. [ STEPHEN  Feb 01, 2018 ]
Though we have ours on an open rack, I think there'd be minimal to no impact on the sound if the top, bottom and back are covered. There's a bass port on the left side so that should remain unobstructed. [ Spencer  Feb 01, 2018 ]
The ZVOX Soundbar SB500 will automatically turn on if it senses a volume adjustment or power command from your programmed remote control or the included remote control. The input source would need to be changed manually from the remote or using the controls on the soundbar itself. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=159 [ Larry  Jul 11, 2016 ]  Staff
Tax is only charged if shipping to the state of Virginia, all others no. [ Kenny  Apr 23, 2016 ]  Staff
?43-5/16"W x 5-3/4"H x 3-5/16"D You'll find this listed for most every product we offer under the "Product Highlights" section as you scroll down it's main webpage. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan  Apr 22, 2016 ]  Staff
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