You are looking for an affordable soundbar that won’t take up a lot of space? The ZVOX AV157 could be the perfect option. This soundbar delivers clear, crisp sound and has a variety of inputs to choose from.
Plus, it’s easy to set up and use. With this soundbar, you get a lot of bang for your buck. ZVOX AV157 soundbar review is all you need to decide whether it’s the right fit for you.
- 1 What’s inside the box?
- 2 High Points
- 3 Low Points
- 4 Design
- 5 Setup And Connections
- 6 Ease Of Use
- 7 Sound Quality
- 8 Is There An Alternative?
- 9 How Long Can It Last?
- 10 FAQs
- 11 Conclusion
What’s inside the box?
The AV157 is packaged in a cardboard box that can be recycled. The packaging is recyclable and can be recycled if necessary.
The box contains the speaker, the remote control, batteries, and three types of audio cables (optical 3.5mm analog cable and RCA-to 3.5mm), as well as a quick-start guide and power supply.
The ZVOX AV157 soundbar is versatile and affordable. It solves real problems. It makes watching TV dialogue and computer videos more enjoyable for most people. It is also helpful for those with significant hearing loss, such as those with severe hearing aids.
Although it doesn’t deliver the same home theater surround sound like an accurate multichannel system, the cabinet’s size allows for impressive soundstage expansion.
The surround effect can create a sound system for a computer or small-screen application.
ZVOX AV157 or SuperVoice set at their highest settings; there is noticeable pumping in the audio. This may not be an issue for those who need this level of dialogue enhancement.
AccuVoice can sometimes be heard when the volume is increased.
A well-designed remote control can cause interference with the codes of a cable set-top box.
ZVOX soundbar is possible to adjust the volume or frequency activity of the subwoofer output by using the AV157, which sends a full range signal to it.
There are three options for the AV157: Black, a greyish-pewter color known as titanium, and Espresso, which is a medium-brown color. The color of the speaker’s cabinet does not affect its appearance. The front metal grille, however, is always black.
The cabinet’s surface is made of shiny, textured plastic. It’s solidly built and feels great, but the overall appearance doesn’t convey high-end quality. It’s not as generic as you would expect a $300 speaker.
Its plain-Jane exterior has a positive side. You can place it on a surface directly in front of your bedroom TV or mount it on a wall (two threaded holes at the back make this possible). The ZVOX AV157 is very easy to overlook, which is excellent. I believe accessory speakers should be heard and not seen.
It is about the same size as a dedicated center channel speaker (for those used to 5.1 setups). This means that it is small compared with even the smallest soundbars.
It measures 17 inches in width and is just 3 inches high. This makes it a lot smaller than the $400 Sonos Beam, which, at only 27 inches, is relatively small. It’s the same width and height as the Panasonic Soundslayer, but only one inch higher.
The speaker has no buttons, and there are no other physical controls except a Zvox logo on the side.
Even the digital display that indicates volume level, input, and sound mode, is small and easy to read. It comes to life behind the grille for a few seconds before it turns itself off.
The back of the unit has a few connections options. One optical digital Toslink port, one analog input (3.5mm), and one output for headphones or subwoofer. Zvox’s product page on the AV157 states that the 3.5mm input is compatible with an optical miniplug cable. However, I can confirm this is incorrect.
The included cables and inputs allow you to connect the AV157 with any source, provided it is not HDMI-only. Some TVs are losing support for optical and analog outputs, although this is rare. It’s best to double-check your TV’s results.
The remote control for infrared is also commonplace. It’s a rubberized slab made of small, durable rubber with large, easy-to-read labels and simple-to-press buttons. The rubber membrane covering the buttons means the remote will withstand spillages far better than regular remotes.
Although it would be nice to have the buttons of the remote illuminated, the contrast between the bright white labels and the black membrane makes them legible in darkened rooms.
Setup And Connections
It’s easy to connect the ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 with your TV audio. You need to choose a suitable cable (I recommend an optical cable) and plug it into the appropriate ports on your TV or speaker. Finally, connect the power adapter, and you are done.
There are no Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or apps. Although this may affect the AV157’s capabilities, there is still something to be said about technology that works as soon as you plug it in.
You can still play music with the AV157, but that’s not to say it can’t. You’ll have to connect your music source to one of the inputs. This may have been fine during the iPod era, but it is a drag now.
An alternative is to connect the ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 via the 3.5mm jack to an Amazon Echo Smart speaker to use it as an external speaker. You can use Alexa to access your streaming music services. Many popular stream music apps can be supported by intelligent TV speaker operating systems. Although it may sound strange, you can navigate background music on your TV speaker.
Ease Of Use
It is easy to use the remote. Button presses produce immediate responses.
The four-digit alphanumeric display is a great idea. The bright, large display will never make it difficult to know what volume level you are at or, in the case with the AV157, which voice enhancement mode or level you are on. A brightness adjustment would be an excellent addition, especially if you’re using the AV157 indoors in dark or very bright rooms. However, it doesn’t matter enough to make a difference.
The ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 can be used with an existing remote, but you won’t access all functions. Keep the factory remote close by.
The remote’s primary functions are great, but the speaker’s deeper settings might be more intuitive.
The buttons and labels are simple to read, but some features, such as switching between Accuvoice or Supervoice modes, require that you press a button for a long time instead of each mode having its control.
This is especially true for the Other Settings button, which allows you to access three adjustments: Bass, Treble, and ZVOX Output Leveling. However, you will need to cycle through each adjustment using the volume up/down buttons to change the settings.
Complex devices such as A/V receivers have hundreds of settings. You can only have so many buttons. The AV157 isn’t as powerful, and there seems to be plenty of space on the remote for a few additional buttons.
These settings are still easy to access for most people.
Although the Accuvoice AV157’s primary mission is to provide more explicit dialogue clarity, it’s a great all-around speaker that can handle all types of TV speakers. It has a more extensive and bolder sound than its small frame suggests.
Zvox’s claims of room-filling, 3D sound may seem a little optimistic compared to the AV157. However, the AV157 has more power source and range than a budget soundbar with a wireless subwoofer.
If you want it to be loud, it can get quite noisy. Bass starts to drop towards the full-range speakers. This can cause a slight knocking in the cabinet. However, this is to be expected for a speaker this size.
It also gives you great control over your ability to hear voices and dialog.
The class D digital amplifier within the active speaker optimizes voltage signals for a good pairing with other setup components.
The six standard levels of Accuvoice enhancement are enough to make any speech easier to understand when you engage AC. In the first level, music and sound effects almost all other audio drop noticeably while dialogue leaps ahead.
You may feel like you are getting a huge volume boost after entering Accuvoice mode.
Each level increases this effect until voices appear almost as clear as glass. The effect becomes even more vital when switching the AV157 to Supervoice mode. Although I don’t have any hearing problems, I can testify that these modes work well. However, it isn’t easy to imagine voices getting clearer. Super voice level 6 is when the dialog becomes so sharp and clear that you have trouble focusing on any other task.
Amazingly, it is possible to achieve this feat with minimal distortion and at the highest boost levels.
It can take some time to get used to.
To see if I could have both my cake and eat it too, I tried running the AV157 simultaneously from my TV’s optical port as well from my 5.1.2 home theatre system via the HDMI ARC output. Although it worked, there was a noticeable delay between the TV speakers.
The AV157’s music is surprisingly good. It was tested using Tidal on my Apple TV 4K and fed into my TV via HDMI. The best thing about Zvox is the immersive 3D sound it produces. It is more evident with music than with TV sound or movie soundtracks.
You would expect high-quality vocals from a speaker designed for speech enhancement. They are clear and crystal clear even on the immediate surround sound mode. Although the AV157 cannot compete with the Sonos Beam in music, it can still produce excellent audio quality for most genres.
It’s essential to be cautious with bass-heavy tracks. Swae Lee and Post Malone’s Sunflower are two good examples of songs exceeding the AV157’s ability to produce bass at moderate volumes.
The ZVox Output Level Control feature (OL) can be found. This reduces background sound. Use the output level controls to reduce background sounds (loud commercials) when watching TV at night.
Is There An Alternative?
There are many great soundbars available on Amazon that can improve the sound quality of your TV, even if speech enhancement is not an important feature. The $400 Sonos Beam is an excellent place to start if you need a small speaker.
If you are looking for better dialogue, it has an Accuvoice AV157 tv speaker competing with the AV157, such as the $250 AV155 and the $170 AV100 Mini. Each improves voice clarity, but the AV157 only has twelve levels of combined Accuvoice/Super voice modes.
How Long Can It Last?
Zvox only offers a one-year warranty, but I think it’s very likely that AV157 will be in trouble soon. This speaker will last many years.
The battery is easy to replace, and the power adapter can be purchased as an inexpensive accessory if it ever fails. Zvox charges only $15 to replace the remote if it stops working.
What is Zvox AccuVoice, and how do you use it?
Zvox AccuVoice speakers are designed to improve and clarify speech. The AV157 model has 12 Accuvoice levels and six SuperVoice levels. It also features three surround sound modes, OL controls, and PhaseCue.
These technologies, similarly to the way a hearing aid works, along with the Dolby Digital decoding, will enable you to hear every word and balance the sound of your content.
Is zvox compatible with Samsung TV?
ZVOX systems can be used with any TV brand, provided that it has an analog or digital audio output. There were many older Samsung TV models without any audio results.
How do I connect my zvox to my Roku?
You can set up the Roku remote to control your TV. Go to Settings -> Remote > Set up remote to TV control. Follow the instructions to program remote.
You can then have the ZVOX speaker learn from our remote learning method, the Roku Stick + remote controls.
Are soundbars good for hard of hearing?
A soundbar can help people with hearing loss. Some soundbars have built-in technology to provide extra speech and clarity for hearing impairments. The best soundbars for the hearing impaired also have additional speakers that offer high-quality sound and a room-filling sound.
Is zvox good for music?
Its size is not reflected in its performance, producing excellent clarity and deep bass. It is also very good at music.
How can I improve the sound of my TV from hard of hearing?
There are several ways to make a TV more audible.
- Closed Captions
- Set the TV’s audio settings.
- Hearing aids
- Wireless Headphones Earbuds For TV Viewing
- Loop Systems (Neck and Room Loops).
- Wireless headphones for TV
- Sound Bar Speakers.
- Home Theater Systems (Vocal Clarity Device).
Some manufacturers have lost sight of voice intelligibility because sound effects and 3D surround sound are the main focus. ZVox Audio is not one of them. ZVOX AV157 soundbar is a good soundbar. This device gives you the audio you want, and the size doesn’t take up too much space on your desk or shelf.
It’s also easy to set up and sounds great. If you’re looking for a soundbar that will work well with your new or existing gaming console, this device is worth checking out.
So, thank you for reading this soundbar review of Hooke Audio. This affordable soundbar delivers the kind of sound you want and doesn’t cost too much.