Far too often, technology in the electronics world fails to account for those amongst us that have difficulty hearing or require a hearing aid. This can make television, music and sometimes even radio hard to listen to because we can get overwhelmed with noise significantly with age. The AccuVoice AV157 TV speaker from ZVOX (a specialty soundbar) purports to change everything about the listening experience and make it much more pleasant for everyone.
The AV157 from ZVOX is a compact TV speaker that is neatly packed in a small form factor. The device measures 17″w x 3 3/8″d x 2 7/8″h and weighs in at 2.8 lbs (3.1 lbs with power supply cord). On the front of the device, facing the user is a bright alphanumeric display that indicates power on/off, in addition to volume and sound mode.
While aesthetically generic, the speaker blends well with most other audio-visual equipment. The device lacks the ability to easily mount the speaker out of the box, which may limit your options as it relates to placement.
The remote features prominent tactile buttons and the typeface on the remote makes it easier for those with vision challenges.
The speaker itself serves its principal purpose well, that is being a TV speaker. While advertised as working with other devices (i.e. Amazon Alexa smart speakers), it is not the most flawless integration and requires additional hardware. Connectivity is limited to hardwired options and supports 3.5mm, RCA or optical connections.
The AccuVoice technology is where this speaker sets itself apart. This does not mean that it is a replacement for all other speakers, but for its purpose of enhancing speech/audio, it is a game-changer. The system allows users to adjust enhancements to best suit their listening abilities and style depending on the audio being enjoyed. In terms of surround sound, this seems more akin to a “standard” equalization experience and one that is pleasurable but not outstanding. That being said, the priority when choosing this speaker should be voice enhancement technology and not universal use.
This speaker will not replace your home theatre system, which is not meant for everyone. We mean that the audio quality is specifically engineered for those who are having specific hearing challenges and not those who are not.
Given the small form factor, it seems to get all of the small basic details right. The speaker is adequately powered to fill most volumes with full-range 2″x3” drivers backed by PhaseCue 3D surround sound. The system also features an impressive (for the size) 24watt digital amplifier which delivers a lot of power.
Overall we were pleased with the crisp, polished sound of the device.
In our comparisons with similar class devices like the Q Acoustics M4 Media 4 HiFi Soundbar with Built-in-Subwoofer ($349USD), the ZVOX AV157 was very attractively and competitively priced. Unlike the AV157, the Q Acoustics M4 Media 4 supports Bluetooth and adds the ability to pair via NFC. Given the end-user in this case, we don’t believe that most will see much additional value in choosing the more expensive unit. With an MSRP of $249.99USD; it is $100 less than the closest competitor. It contains all the performance at a lower cost, making it a great buy.
This is a great little TV speaker, especially for those who are hard of hearing. The price and easy-to-use remote make it one of the most senior-friendly devices for the TV. We would have loved for the device to combine speaker/TV remotes or have a smart assistant built-in, but it did everything we asked it to do. We recommend this for an entry-level soundbar to seniors looking for an improved listening experience.
*Featured photo is from the manufacturer. This review is not sponsored.