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Boston Acoustics TVee Model 20 First Look

Boston Acoustics TVee Model 20

Boston Acoustics TVee Model 20


  • Product Name: TVee Model 20
  • Manufacturer: Boston Acoustics
  • Review Date: January 21, 2010 06:00
  • MSRP: $299.99
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

6" downfiring wireless subwoofer

Single connection soundbar

Hyberbolic High Rigidity Transducer (HHRT) drivers

Back in 2007 Boston Acoustics introduced their TVee Model 2 - a combination of soundbar and wireless subwoofer solution. The system was different from what others were trying to bring to market. At the time (as now) surroundbars were all the rage. Everyone was trying to push out pseudo-surround using multiple drivers bouncing sound around a room or by using digital signal processing (DSP). While these often sounded good to consumers, what didn't was the price. Sticker shock was a huge problem. Sure, you want surround but if you are going to pay all that money, why not get the real thing?

Boston Acoustics took a completely different appoarch. Rather than trying to simulate surround, the focused specifically on upgrading the two channel experience. Face it, consumers were used to using the speakers built into the TV. To upgrade from those isn't much of a problem and, if you can keep the cost down, is something that would be attractive to most consumers. Boston did one better by not only upgrading the speakers and keeping the cost down but also adding a wireless subwoofer.

As Audioholics, we know that the single most impressive upgrade for most people other than surround speakers is a sub. Adding a sub is immediately noticeable (especially during sports or action movies). Making the sub wireless is not only convenient but is a huge selling point. Wireless is such a catchword these days that it really resonates with the public. Out of all speakers, we like subwoofers to be wireless as people are already posed to plug them in, they are close to the ground (as opposed to surround speakers which are usually mounted higher), and really it has zero impact on functionality (provided the signal isn't affected in any way).

With such a great product, why is Boston tampering with it? Well, it is getting a bit long in the tooth so of course they'd like to make some improvements. While the driver compliment for the TVee Model 20 hasn't been released, we expect a similar configuration (four 2-1/2" drivers, 2 1/2" tweeters) but now Boston is using their new "HHRT" (Hyberbolic High Rigidity Transducer) driver technology. According to Boston, "the light and rigid cones use a new and highly complex shape to reduce distortion, widen the "sweet spot", and enhance dynamic performance." They also call them full range which we find to be a dubious claim at best. The sub will still sport a 6" downfiring driver and will be wireless. 

So what's the big news? Well, not only has Boston made improvements over the Model 2, the TVee Model 20 will retail for less. That's right, they are dropping the price. While the Model 2 retailed at $349, the Model 20 will retail for $299. Boston apparently has really refined their manufacturing techniques and are passing those savings on to you. Either that or they are trying to catch new users at entry level to generate brand loyality (and name recognition). Regardless, it means that you're getting a better (theoretically) product at a less price.

The Model 20 Soundbar can be placed on a flat surface with its integrated feet or wall mounted. It comes in any color you want as long as you want gloss black (and who doesn't?). It is sized for displays 32" and larger. It connects to a TV's (remember, it is designed to replace the TV's speakers, not as a piece of a full surround system) line level outputs (left/right RCA). Like the TVee Model 2, the Model 20 has an integrated Learning Function. This means that you don't need a separate remote for the TVee Model 20. Instead, the Model 20 learns your TV's remote. We find this to be a particularly useful function as too often manufacturers provide a remote and expect you to use theirs instead of the one provided by your cable/satellite company. Having the device learn an existing remote impresses upon the user that the Model 20 is an upgrade to their existing equipment rather than an add-on. At this price point and with the target audience, that makes a lot of sense.


Let's not beat around the bush here, there aren't many Audioholics that are looking just for an upgrade to their TV's speakers. We want full surround with a hernia-inducing subwoofers. We want, in the immortal words of Seth Green, "Speakers big enough to blow women's clothes off." But we are not everyone and there are plenty of people that just don't get surround sound. Not only that, but there are plenty of people that love their surround sound but don't really care for it in every room of the house. For these people and in these applications, an affordable upgrade to the display's speakers is very attractive. At less that three C-notes, it's practically an impulse buy. The TVee Model 20 is scheduled to be available in stores in March 2010. For more information on the company's full range of advanced products, please visit BostonAcoustics.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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