How a lot do you have to spend on a sound bar? Within the final couple years the candy spot between sound high quality and worth has been about $300, and that is precisely the place the Zvox SB380 sits. 

Zvox’s sound bars have been persistently well-built and belt out a variety of sound from a compact field. Its specialty is enhancing dialog, making it simpler to listen to the actors’ voices — versus sound results — in TV reveals and flicks. The SB380 continues that pattern and provides attractiveness and strong general sound.

Sadly for Zvox, “strong” is now not adequate. The brand new funds celebrity, the Vizio SB3621, simply eclipses the Zvox in sound high quality and prices half as a lot. So does the Yamaha YAS-106, which similar to the Zvox would not have a separate subwoofer.

For those who actually crave clearer-sounding dialog in TV reveals and flicks, the Zvox SB380 continues to be worthy of consideration. But additionally think about the cheaper SB400, which incorporates Bluetooth and will sound very comparable.

Design and Options

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The SB380 is a glossy, brushed-aluminum sound bar which is itself a shrunk-down model of the SB500 at a little bit over 35 inches. In some ways it is an identical to the equally priced SB400. The one distinction is that the SB400 has Bluetooth whereas the SB380 would not.

Like most Zvox designs, the SB380 is a three.1-channel system with a trio of 2-inch drivers, and a Four-inch bass woofer. The lengthy aluminum tube is buffeted by enticing rubberized stoppers, with controls on one finish and a bass port on the opposite. The entrance is roofed in a steel grill and beneath this lives an orange four-character show, which gives info on quantity or enter choice.

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Processing options embody Zvox’s Intellivoice function for higher dialog for the hearing-impaired, in addition to a bass-limiting circuit which guarantees to provide full bass with out distorting at excessive volumes. Just like the SB500, the SB380 lacks a subwoofer output jack, so you’ll be able to’t add a powered sub to the system.

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My colleague Steve Guttenberg and I have been dissatisfied by its costlier sibling’s relative lack of connectivity, however the SB380 has a good variety of inputs. Although it does lack Bluetooth — the corporate mentioned this was designed to maintain the value down — the Zvox contains two optical connections and stereo RCA.


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