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Boston Acoustics TVee 26 Soundbar Review

by Aaron Howard January 22, 2013
Boston Acoustics TVee 26 Soundbar

Boston Acoustics TVee 26 Soundbar

  • Product Name: TVee 26 Soundbar
  • Manufacturer: Boston Acoustics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: January 22, 2013 08:15
  • MSRP: $ 299
  • Buy Now

 

  • System Power: 150 watts peak

  • Frequency Range: 40Hz to 20kHz

  • Soundbar Speakers: Dual 2 x 5” (51 x 127mm) HHRT driver

  • Subwoofer: 6.5” (165mm) woofer

  • Wireless Technologies: 2.4 GHz frequency hopping (subwoofer)

  • Dimensions: (H x W x D)

    • Soundbar 35/16 x311/2 x 215/16” (83 x 800 x 73.5mm)

    • Subwoofer 93/8 x 101/2 x 11” (238 x 266 x 279.4mm)
  • Weight:

    • Soundbar 4.8 lbs (2.1kg)

    • Subwoofer 6.6 lbs (3kg)

Pros

  • Simple installation with no need for a receiver
  • Digitally Optimized Virtual Surround
  • Programmable to operate with your existing remote control
  • 2.4 GHz wireless subwoofer

Cons

  • Inconsistent Bass
  • Few Inputs options

 

TVee 26 Setup & Build Quality

Featuring a dual 5” HHRT driver soundbar and 6.5” downward firing wireless subwoofer, the TVee 26 offers 150 watts peak power and is designed to bring “powerful, quality, and dynamic audio to TV, movies, games, and music.” Boasting Boston Acoustic’s Digitally Optimized Virtual Surround (DOVS) technology and BassTrac circuitry for rich, immersive sound without distortion; can the TVee 26 provide a simplistic, user-friendly fulfilling listen experience?

Setup

Boston Acoustic’s TVee 26 nails the simplistic, user-friendly goal when it comes to setup. In the box are the soundbar, wireless subwoofer and remote, in addition to a 1/8” (3.5mm) stereo cable, RCA to 3.5mm adapter, optical digital cable, and power cords. Once out of the box, setup took less than two minutes. Simply place the soundbar and subwoofer in the desired locations, connect the system to the inputs and turn on the soundbar and subwoofer. The two synced within five seconds producing surprisingly clear and deep sound. Simple and user-friendly? Absolutely.

TVee inputs

Build Quality

Overall, the Tvee 26 is built well. The use of high quality plastic and fasteners, the sound system did not rattle or shake at high volumes. The system's soundbar and subwoofer are only available in black and is designed to be inconspicuous. Additionally, the TVee 26 comes with a five year mechanical parts and one year electrical components warranty.

Soundbar

The center of this sound system is the virtual surround sound bar. Just over 2.5 feet long with the front covered by a black metal ‘honeycomb’ mesh, the bar contains two 5” HHRT drivers which provide both analog and optical digital inputs. The front right of the soundbar contains the front panel controls, containing the “music/movie” button which “selects the style of sound you want to hear. Music Mode is for music and Movie Mode is for movies and television.” Mute, input selection, volume up/down, and power buttons are located next to the music/movie button. Rubber feet on the bottom keep the soundbar from sliding around; and additional rubber pads located on the back protect the wall as the TVee 26 soundbar can be wall-mounted using the integrated keyhole mounts. A mounting template is provided in the product carton.

connections settings

The back of the soundbar also house the rear panel controls, which contain the DC power input, AUX 1 & 2 inputs, Optical Digital input, and pairing button should the soundbar and subwoofer not sync automatically. Additionally, the TVee 26 soundbar includes a “trim level” which adjusts the input sensitivity of the AUX 1 input. This is a great and simple method to level match your Aux input with your optical digital input.

Wireless Subwoofer

A nice feature along with the Boston Acoustics soundbar is its wireless subwoofer. The 6.5” down firing driver can be place anywhere up to 25 feet away from the sound bar. Featuring “Boston’s BassTrac circuitry which offers more bass without distortion,” the subwoofer has the potential to produce very nice sound. With the ability to sync automatically with the sound bar, setup is simple. The power input, power on/off switch, volume control, pair button, and status indicator (lights green when actively connected to soundbar, red when in standby mode) are located on the rear panel of the subwoofer.

Remote Control

Boston Acoustics TVee 26 comes with a simple and effective "credit card" style remote for operating the system. Standby, music/movie toggle, mute, input, and volume controls can all be found on the remote. Included with the system is the CR 2025 lithium battery required to power the remote. Though you are able to continue using this remote, the system has the option to learn your television’s remote control commands, so you don’t have to add yet another remote to your collection. Directions on how to sync your remote with the soundbar are provided with the systems manual b ut it's very straightforward and I highly recommend this method.

remote control

TVee 26 Listening Tests & Conclusion

The ease of setup with the TVee 26 allowed me to open the box and listen to music within minutes. Because the soundbar features both a Music and Movie mode, I took the time to throw several genres of music and varying movies to see how it performed.

Music

I enjoy many different genres of music and I appreciate a system that is able to handle all types of sounds. On the softer side of the music spectrum, the TVee 26 performed very well. The sound bar offers crisp mids and highs while the subwoofer produces deep lows surprisingly well for its size. Though the woofer is only 6.5”, it performs well; although I feel that tweakers might find themselves constantly be tweaking the volume on the back of the sub enclosure in order to even out the sound. Looking past this issue, the overall listening experience provided by the system is quite nice; especially when the subwoofer is placed behind you.

Listening to some heavier music like Megadeth, Dream Theater, etc. the soundbar and sub performed well, but not without some room for improvement. The system as a whole works well together, but with music where double-bass is often present, the soundbar takes on some of the bass duties which washes out the mids and highs. Because of this you may find the TVee 26 lacking in midrange fidelity.

TV/Movies/Video Games

Like most men, I enjoy a variety of action movies; the more explosions the better. However, like most women, my wife prefers movies of a gentler nature. So for our first movie/TV experience, we decided to watch an episode of HBO's “True Blood.” Music and dialogue came through clearly on the TVee 26—voices were crisp and clean through the soundbar and the bass was adequate, though not very overt. Like most shows and movies, there are scenes of dialogue and scenes of action, all of which were handled well by the system. However, in one part of “True Blood” a beating heart was heard, and with this system, you really heard it—so much so that I felt like pausing the show to turn down the bass. However, even though the heartbeat was overpowering, the subwoofer did not distort. In actuality, this speaks well to the dynamics of the system, which are significant enough to make room acoustics more of an issue.

subwoofer

Video games and other movies and shows did not have the same issue of explosive bass and were handled quite adeptly by the system.  Just like with the music listening session; I found that the system sounded best when the subwoofer is placed behind you and required periodic tweaking of the subwoofer volume. However, overall I was pleasantly surprised by the clarity and depth the TVee 26 system provided for movies, television and video games.

Overall Perception

Boston Acoustics has some areas were the TVee 26 falls short, but overall, I enjoyed the system. Granted there are some features on the soundbar that are not necessary; one of which being the Music/Movie mode. I found that keeping the TVee 26 on Movie mode provided the fullest sound. Music mode, though it sounded almost equally good, seemed a tad shallow in comparison and did not provide the depth (or bass response) that movie mode produced. Another feature that may not be necessary for many is the “Trim” option. Setting the trim on “one” limits the TVee 26 volume output. After many hours of listening, keeping the system on trim level “three” produced the best sound and seemed able to handle both music and movies without distortion. Additionally, the constant need to adjust the volume on the subwoofer and lack of a variety of inputs does keep the Tvee 26 from being an even more flexible system. I would like to see more input options, such as an RCA input without the need for an adapter and, of course, a model with HDMI ARC support would be very handy.

Between the soundbar and the subwoofer, the former is stronger speaker of the two. With the ability to handle most of what you throw at it, the soundbar makes a great center speaker and would be a nice upgrade from most TV speakers. If you are able to place the wireless subwoofer behind the listener, the sound bar and subwoofer provide a near-surround sound like experience. Of course the TVee 26 won’t re-produce a true 5.1 experience, but it does sound pretty good. The system as a whole works very well together; but be prepared that minor adjustments to the subwoofer volume will be a necessity if you enjoy a large spectrum of music and movies.

Overall, I believe that Boston Acoustics achieved their goal of building a simple, user-friendly, full sounding audio system. When you factor in the cost and the ease of setup, it's hard not to give it a hearty recommendation—particularly if you are still listening to the awful audio from your flat panel television's integrated speakers!

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Build QualityStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStar
ImagingStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStar