Hands on with Boston Acoustics’ Tvee 10 and 26 sound bars

boston acoustics tvee l 26

It’s tough to talk about Boston Acoustics’ sound bars without noting the ironic fact that the company introduced one of the first versions of the product in the late 90’s, only to have it flop. The product was dubbed, simply, Soundbar. The problem wasn’t product quality, just lack of demand. But since it was such a dud, the company didn’t bother to register the name. Well, hindsight is 20/20 and, with the TVee10 ($200) and TVee26 ($350), the future still looks bright for one of the sound bar’s pioneers.

We got some ears-on time with both products in a clever little demonstration where the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet took center stage. First, we listened to the film on the TVs built-in, down-firing speakers, and it didn’t seem to sound all that poor. Then we switched over to the Tvee10, which, of course, represented a very notable step up. But the real trick was switching back to the TVs audio again, which now sounded like it was trapped inside a tin box. It felt recessed, as if it were sequestered within the television. It created the bizarre but persistent urge to stick one’s head into TV-land to get closer to the source of the sound. The difference isn’t surprising when you consider that both of Boston Acoustics’ sound bars break down the entire source audio signature and replace it using their own technology. The result is that the quartet of drivers (two 2-inch and two 5-inch) produce audio that seems to be emanating from all around you, rather than from directly in front of you.

The big difference between the TVee26 and the Tvee10 comes with respect to low frequency output. Big bass – the kind that will cause percussive sounds to thump in your chest – is not the TVee10’s strong-suit. Its frequency response is rated at 70Hz-20KHz, meaning the lowest of the lows aren’t covered. The TVee26, on the other hand – with it’s accompanying sub-woofer and 40Hz-20KHz response – specializes in digging down to bring the theater-like boom. Though the addition of the sub is essentially the only difference between the 26 and 10, if you’re about powerful, big sound, you may want to go with the more expensive model.

Also of note, is that both models sport three inputs (one optical, two analog) and feature face-mounted buttons that light up at a touch, but go dark after a few seconds of inactivity; those of us with distractable eyes are grateful. Neither features Bluetooth technology.

We left impressed with both soundbars, and it seems clear that both will appeal to a distinct customer niche. If you’re looking for a solid, immersive, lower-cost step-up in sound, go with the  TVee10. If you’re looking for a sizeable, pect-thumping audio option, go with the Tvee26. Both are available now.

Product Review

Vizio's best-ever soundbar brings Dolby Atmos theater magic to the living room

Soundbars with true Dolby Atmos surround sound have historically been a rich man’s game, but Vizio’s 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos soundbar undercuts similar competitors by hundreds of dollars. Can this budget Atmos system stand up to the big boys?

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as hard as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

Stranger Things season 3 predictions: Decoding the episode titles

Netflix has revealed the episode titles for season 3 of Stranger Things, and the eight titles could shed light on what we can expect to see when the hit show returns in summer 2019.

This one-day Skullcandy sale gets you wireless earbuds for under $30

Today only, you can save 40 percent on wireless earbuds, noise-canceling headphones, and classic earbuds direct from the Skullcandy website. If you're hoping to get a pair of headphones before the holidays arrive, now is the time.
Product Review

AKG's signature studio sound goes straight to your head with these stunning cans

With gorgeous looks and great sound, AKG’s N700NC are a formidable entry into the wireless noise-canceling headphone race. We put them to the test to see if they can beat out the absolute best in the business.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Home Theater

Boy dies after being electrocuted through his headphones

A 16-year-old Malaysian boy appears to be the latest victim in a growing list of people who have been electrocuted by their smartphones via their headphones. It's believed that a faulty charging cable is the culprit.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

This TV stand buying guide will cover how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, and the size of the stand you need as you look for a new model that fits in your home.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.