Boston Acoustics has a respected audio heritage, and judging by the TVee's superb performance it's not hard to see why. We plugged in a Pioneer DVD player and let it loose with the recent DVD release of Poltergeist, and the movie's thunderous soundtrack was delivered with an astonishing amount of raw power.
Much of the credit for this goes to the subwoofer, which musters a tight and punchy bass output that melds beautifully with the soundbar, provided you don't get carried away and set its volume too high. The ominous claps of thunder towards the start of the movie are particularly powerful, but the system really gets into top gear at the movie's climax, driving the action along at breakneck pace. What's even more impressive is that the system delivers this clean and convincing bass output without being fed a dedicated LFE channel, and we're also pleased to report that there were no problems with the wireless communication between the two components either.
In addition, the soundbar's excellent midrange and top-end reproduction gives the sound output a crisp and detailed edge. This greatly benefits dialogue heavy movies or TV programmes, which sound clear and audible even at low volumes. The lack of any pseudo surround or soundstage widening technology might make it seem less appealing than some rival soundbar systems, but given that these modes rarely live up to the manufacturer's claims it's refreshing to find a two-channel system that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Unsurprisingly, given the system's stereo focus, music playback sounds superb. We tried our trusty CD copy of Kind of Blue fed directly from our Pioneer DVD player, and the TVee handles the delicate jazz arrangements with far more sophistication than your TV speakers ever could.
What's refreshing about the TVee is that unlike other soundbar systems it doesn't pretend to do the job of a 5.1-channel system with disappointing virtual surround modes - it's an unashamed two-channel system that makes stereo sources sound their absolute best. It's well made, powerful and incredibly easy to install thanks to the wireless subwoofer, providing flat-panel TV owners with a classy, convenient alternative to a proper home cinema system.
And as an added bonus it's a lot cheaper than other soundbar systems like the Philips HTS8100, though the lack of a dedicated remote, fancy sound modes and limited connections makes it seem like less of an attractive proposition. But the bottom line is stereo performance and on that score the TVee delivers the goods.