Trouble hearing voices on TV? Try ZVOX AccuVoice

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually decipher and properly hear the dialogue in on TV and in movies? Yes, it’s baffling. As technology advances and the advent of immersive technologies like surround sound and Dolby Atmos, to enjoy as show, we still might have to crank up the volume, which may help marginally or turn on close captioning. Sometimes we may even have to “rewind” and go back to make out what’s actually being said. Of course, adding long term exposure to noisy environments, a little too much loud music and perhaps a little aging doesn’t help the cause either.

The ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 is a compact dialogue clarifying sound bar that cleverly uses the science behind the hearing aid to create more intelligible dialogue and better catch what’s actually being said. 

The concept isn’t new. The company, Massachusetts-based ZVOX, launched their first product mimicking the hearing aid using advanced algorithms to gain voice clarity, over five years ago. This latest offering incorporates two innovative technologies; their new SuperVoice and the latest Generation IV AccuVoice.  

“The best way to understand our SuperVoice technology is to picture a stage,” says ZVOX founder Tom Hannaher. “But instead of a row of actors, imagine a row of sounds. Our proprietary AccuVoice technology, that we introduced in 2016, clarifies voices and brings them forward on the stage. Our SuperVoice technology takes the other sound effects into the background – ‘pushing them backstage’ – so they don’t interfere with voice intelligibility.”

Together, the dynamic duo offers 12 different levels of dialogue boost, achieved by combining the six levels of AccuVoice then applying SuperVoice to each one of those levels. With a little trial and error, you can find the right combo that suits you best. You’ll certainly know the sound sweet spot once you hear it.

For more fine tuning, three PhaseCue virtual surround sound options help create a 3D effect to fill the sound around the room. The first features minimal surround but with a strong focus on vocal clarity. The second offers a moderate virtual surround with moderate voice focus, ideal for watching TV shows. The third best for movies, gives you the widest surround sound also with modest vocal focus.

Another nifty feature is OL, Output Levelling. It’s designed to the volume within a range and help avoid significant volume swings which may occur when a show heads to a loud commercial break on or perhaps for example when switching services like from Netflix to broadcast television. Adjustments can also be made for both bass and treble.

The modestly designed soundbar fits perfectly in front of most TVs, or easily mounted on a wall. The sturdy injection molded ABS cabinet measures a mere 17” wide x 3 3/8” deep x 2 7/8” high and weighs just under three pounds.  Behind the front grille is a bright easy to read alphanumeric display that cleverly disappears within seconds time when not needed, so you’re not constantly seeing it while watching TV.

At the rear of the cabinet are a power jack, a digital and analogue input jack and a headphone jack that also doubles as an output for a powered subwoofer.  

Under the hood are three 2”x 3” oval speakers powered by a built-in 24-watt digital amplifier with Dolby Digital decoding that nicely fills the room with sound.

It’s simple to hook up, just connect the power adapter and one connecting wire to your TV or cable box. All the sound controls are accessed via its large button infra-red remote. It can also be programmed to work with universal remotes.

If you use wireless headphones, this model is not equipped with Bluetooth so you’ll need a transmitter connected to the headphone output. It’s also not really designed for Wi-Fi streaming, so you if you do want to listen to music from a compatible device, the unit is Alexa ready, so you can do so by simply connecting and Amazon Echo to the secondary input. 

Now if you’re like me, you’re likely still wondering why Hollywood can’t make movies with dialogue you can clearly hear from the outset. According to ZVOX and part of their raison d’être and “It’s because Hollywood is mixing sound for drama not clarity,” with their adventurous mixing techniques.” 

I guess it’s a godsend the ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 with SuperVoice technology focusses on dialogue clarity. It can certainly better help you hear what’s being said rather than a simple sound equalization or tone control used on other soundbar. It may not have all the bells and whistles you might find on other soundbars or TV speakers. But then again beauty can certainly be found in simplicity.

The ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 comes with a power supply, remote with batteries and three connecting cables; a 3.5mm analogue, 3.5mm-RCA and an optical cable. It retails in Canada for $279.99 and available through Amazon and The Shopping Channel

A syndicated version of the article also appears at Troy Media and affiliated syndicated sites.

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator at Crestcom International, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at

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