Zensonic Z1080S

Zensonic Z1080S
  • Zensonic Z1080S
  • Zensonic Z1080S
  • Zensonic Z1080S
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Attractive design, wide array of inputs, good performance, value for money.

Cons

  • No HDMI, fiddly to set up.

Bottom Line

The Zensonic Z1080S AV receiver is a great all round product which provides a good level of bang for your buck.

Would you buy this?

The Zensonic Z1080S is a fairly standard AV receiver without any overblown bell and whistles. It offers solid performance and stylish design at an affordable price.

Silver in colour, the Z1080S is dominated by a large volume knob emblazoned with a neon blue ring of light. While attractive and eye-catching, those who like to watch films in complete darkness may find the light a tad bright, especially since it can't be turned off. The front panel has an S-Video and composite port making it ideal to quickly connect a camcorder or temporary AV device. The on-screen display is hidden nicely behind a mirrored panel, only visible once turned on. In contrast to the blue ring of light on the volume knob, the display can be dimmed or turned off using the remote control.

The mark of a good AV receiver is its connectivity features. The Z1080S offers a wide range of options in this domain with HDMI being the only omission. There are three composite, two component and two S-Video connectors as well as an in-built AM/FM tuner, accessed with the supplied antenna. Naturally, the Z1080S also allows optical audio connection, although since there is only one at the rear you are forced to prioritise your AV equipment. Most people will use optical for their DVD player, but in the current climate of full 5.1 gaming there are other audio devices that may vie for your optical connections. There is a second optical input, fortunately, but it is placed on the front panel and using it somewhat ruins the overall aesthetic with cables jutting out from the front of the unit.

There are enough speaker connections to support seven speakers and a subwoofer. This is handy when you consider the impressive array of sound formats supported: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS, DTS ES, DTS NEO:6 as well as DSP are on offer and cover most sound fields the average user could want.

Setting up the speakers could have been a little easier. Zensonic fly in the face of the traditional alligator clip connectors with their own screw-in style plugs making it unnecessarily fiddly. Here the wire is thread into the side of the red and black terminals and then screwed down and fastened. This method would be excellent if only the inputs were spaced further apart.

Unlike some high end units such as the Harmon Kardon AVR 340, there is no automatic calibration tool included with this receiver, so you will need to play it by ear or get the speaker volumes calibrated by a professional. Thankfully, the cutomisation options for each speaker are robust enough to make minute changes possible and we found it quite easy to achieve our desired sound mix.

With a 100dB signal to noise ratio, we were quite impressed with this system's sound quality. Naturally, the sound is also dictated by the speakers you use with your receiver, but elements like static and sound separation are universal across any speaker system. We were impressed with the lack of static using optical sound from the Xbox 360 game console. Both gaming and DVD movies were clear and precise with excellent bass and rich mid tones. We would have liked a little more treble, as even after calibration it was slightly lacking, but it's a small quibble easily forgiven. In our tests we used the massive Sony SA-WM500 subwoofer in a 5.1 array with top-notch Torpedo Digital speakers.

The volume levels achieved by the Z1080S were more than acceptable. With 150 watts per speaker the volume became quite loud, shaking the window panes of our test environment (always a good sign). At the highest volume there was a little distortion which is not usually present in the speakers when connected to our regular Pioneer receiver. However, anyone that consistently uses the Z1080S at this volume probably doesn't have much hearing left anyway.

Overall, the Zensonic Z1080S AV receiver is a great product which gives good bang for your buck. Its only real negative is that it doesn't support HDMI and it's fiddly to set up, but hopefully future models will correct these issues.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?