Week 24, 2017: Using your car audio system equalizer, ZVOX SB380 soundbar introductory offer

Sound Advice

By Don Lindich

Week 24, 2017

Q. My new car has a Logic 7 Sound System and I found an “Equalizer” audio menu with lots of settings. The settings are vertical, with a marker in the midpoint. You can go up (+) or down (-) from the midpoint to adjust them. What are the best settings for optimum sound quality?

-A.M., Crafton, PA

A. Assuming both the car and audio system manufacturers have designed the system properly for the car’s acoustics, the proper setting is “flat” with everything at the midpoint. I could write pages and pages about equalization, all its myriad forms and why it exists. In your case it is just a tone control with lots of settings. Adjusting the sliders up and down may make the system sound more impressive at first, but it is not accurate and over time it is likely to cause listening fatigue.

I’ll be writing more about equalization in an upcoming column.

A second chance at an introductory ZVOX soundbar promotion: Last year I told readers how to get a special deal on a revolutionary new ZVOX soundbar. More than once I spelled out the promotion in the column, yet I still received many emails saying, “It’s just a fundraiser, I don’t see how to order.” Unfortunately a lot of people missed out due to the confusion, or they simply stopped reading after the word, “pledge.” Another opportunity has presented itself and I am going to try again. Please read very carefully so you understand how it works!

ZVOX’s new soundbar is a smaller version of the SB400/SB500/SB700 soundbars that were my 2016 Sound Advice Product of the Year. The new SB380 nearly matches the performance of the $499 SB400, yet it is notably smaller and sells for only $299. It combines premium quality speakers and a built-in subwoofer in a sturdy aluminum body, and features ZVOX’s AccuVoice feature to make television dialogue much easier to understand. It all comes together to produce rich, clear and room-filling sound. Given its capabilities and price, I think it is an even better deal than the $249 AccuVoice TV speaker offered last year.

ZXOX is selling the first batch of SB380 soundbars on Kickstarter. When you see something that says, “Pledge $215 or more, one ZVOX SB380 Soundbar” it means you will pay $215 and receive the product, with free shipping. What ZVOX is doing is providing a significant discount for preordering, and Kickstarter is the vehicle through which they are doing it. You are not charged for your “pledge” as a donation, and you are not donating money to a private company. You are buying the product, which you will receive from the first shipment arriving in July.

There are a limited number of each offer, first come first serve. The best deal is “pledging” $195 to buy the $299 sound bar. At the time I submitted this column almost all of these offers were taken, so it is unlikely any will be available by the time you read this. The next best deal is $215, and there were 150 available at submission time. The next best offer is $235, with 225 available. Finally, the most expensive, though it represents the biggest discount, is two SB380 soundbars for $380. At the time of submission 24 out of 25 of these offers were available.

You can see the promotion at http://tinyurl.com/zvoxsb380 or go to kickstarter.com and search for ZVOX SB380. The promotion ends on July 10, 2017 though I am sure it will sell out long before then. Good luck, I hope this time no one misses out!