One thing that’s almost certain is that the quality of the sound from flat screen TV speakers rarely equals the quality of the picture. It’s understandable, considering the size and location of the speakers. You can of course invest in a surround-sound system and wire up your TV viewing room, or there is the option of the sound bar. Boston Acoustics has taken a different approach with their TVee One Speaker Base. Setting it up was a snap and it sounds good too.The acoustic base works for TVs up to 60 lbs and with base dimensions not greater than 21.5″ X 13″. At my house, this meant I could use it safely with my 32″ Vizio.
Specifications and Features:
- Frequency range: 49Hz – 20kHz
- System Speakers: (2) ½” tweeters and (2) 2”x5” woofers
- Dimensions: (H x W x D) 2.63 (66.8 mm) x 23.56 (598.4 mm) x 14.0 (355mm)
- Weight: 9.5 lbs
- Fits underneath your TV for easy placement
- Optical and coax digital, and analog inputs with automatic input selection
- Connects directly to your TV with just one cable
- Learns your TV remote control commands
Hook up was a breeze using the supplied optical TOSlink cable. Not all TVs have this output, but it’s the preferred way to connect. You can also use the coaxial digital input (cable NOT supplied) or as a last resort connect from your TV’s headphone output to the analog input (cable supplied). All of this is pointed out in the very clearly written manual which advises, that when using the TVee One you should turn off the speakers on your TV. Usually this is done via the setup menu.
The backside view of the base shows the rear-facing subwoofers. Please excuse the mess in the background. That’s my power strip with a bunch of devices plugged in. The only 2 wires necessary for the TVee One are on the right.
The front panel controls are not normally used, because you can either program your TV remote to perform the functions or use the included remote.
Except to test it out, I haven’t used the supplied remote since I installed the TVee One, because my Vizio remote was able to control the volume and mute functions of the base without using the learning feature of the Boston Acoustics unit. The learning feature of the unit saves you from having to deal with another remote. It’s a simple process of pressing the remote learning button on the base, selecting the function you wish to learn and then pointing your TV remote at the base and holding the button you wish to use for the command for a couple of seconds.
Here’s my setup. In the manual they advise to center the TV on the base and position the base so that it is at the edge of any shelf. There’s even a center mark on the unit for those of us that have spacial issues.
Although the TVee One has inputs only for a TV, there is a way to play audio from a Bluetooth streaming device. Setup and pairing worked for me using an iPad mini, and it definitely sounded better coming through the TVee One than the on-board mini speakers.
Something I appreciate about the Speaker Base is its ease of use. I don’t have to fool around with a remote to turn on the sound system and another to turn on the TV. The TVee One senses the audio inputs, and if the TV is on, the TVee One will turn on, and conversely, when I turn off the television, the One will turn off.
So, you’re asking, “how does it sound?” To my untrained, non-audiophile ears, it is an exponential improvement over the sound coming from the television speakers. Firstly, the best endorsement comes from the fact that we no longer keep asking “what did he/she say” while watching a live program or streaming a movie. The TVee One has 5 different “listening modes”; the default is called “dialog”, and it appears to clean up the muffled sounds when using the television speakers.
I am a skeptic when it comes to sound enhancement features on audio devices, because to me they rarely make a difference. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the TVee One, especially when using the “movie wide” mode. While looking straight ahead at a Netflix stream, I could swear that I heard activity going on to the left and right of the TV set. Further listening confirmed that there is apparently a room-filling sound from the device.
The purchase of the TVee One is not an easy decision, especially given the $300 price. It would be best if one could hear the unit at a store, or better yet at home. In keeping with my “buy quality” mantra, the TVee One fits the profile and is something I would add to my television.