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TVee 26 Listening Tests & Conclusion

By Aaron Howard

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

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Recent Forum Posts:

DreamUnicorn posts on January 23, 2013 17:42
Soundbars just suck. Who's with me?!?!?!?!
Nuance AH posts on January 22, 2013 16:20
Mu buddy just E-mailed me this morning wanting some advice on a new TV and a sound bar to go with it. I'll recommend he takes a look at this one. Thank you for the review.
utopianemo posts on January 22, 2013 16:15
It's Eli Whitney.
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