Shopping online can be a wonderful thing. Unless whatever you buy doesn’t work. Then you have to pay to ship whatever is broken back to wherever it came from in order to get a replacement. It’s a hassle, can be expensive, takes a long time and is why I tend to prefer brick and mortar stores when I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking for. Yes, BestBuy might be more expensive than Amazon. But if the item is broken or I don’t like it… I can have something else in short order.
The exception to the rule may be ZVOX Audio. ZVOX makes single cabinet surround sound systems. The 325, which I bought, has three, 3.25 inch front speakers and a powered subwoofer built in a single 17x17x5 inch unit. This isn’t 7.1 surround… but my room is oddly shaped and a 5.1 or 7.1 system isn’t practical. The 325 connects with one wire and fits perfectly under my dvd player & satellite receiver. The 325, in particular, had outstanding reviews on AVSforums from people in similar situations … and great press reviews as well.
Mine arrived a week ago and I was really excited. After two years of listening to the 10W speakers built into my LCD panel, I was ready for something with some omph. This was not it. The dialog was clearly distingushable from the background music (+). The powered subwoofer did a good job with explosions and bass (+). But it was like someone cut out the mid range of the sound. There was no depth or richness to anything. My wife even commented that it sounded better when I turned on the TV’s speakers because they rounded out the sound a bit.
So I called ZVOX yesterday. They said “hollow” was not a word associated with their speakers, ever. They were not only going to ship me a new one -immediately- but also going to send me shipping labels for both units. If the new one didn’t sound any better than the old one, I should ship them both back – on their dime. Talk about customer service.
I have no idea if the new one will be an improvement. But I want it to be. I want to like it because of how well they treated me and how strongly they believe in their own products. How often can you say that?