Setup: Supply your own remote
The TVee Model 25 system doesn't need speaker calibration, but since it doesn't come with a remote, you'll need to program your TV's remote to control the sound bar. You'll need to go through the same tedious process to program volume up/down, mute, input selection, music/movie surround modes, and power on/off. It's a hassle, but we got all of the functions working.
You'll also have to explore your TV's setup menus to turn off its internal speakers, although that can reveal the drawback of using a TV's remote codes to program the TVee Model 25. Some HDTVs will display a message like "TV speaker disabled" every time you adjust the volume on the TVee Model 25. You can't blame HDTV manufacturers for the error code (it's useful feedback if you're pressing volume up and wondering why the volume isn't changing), but it's a very annoying problem for sound bars without remotes. The Boston Acoustics TVee Model 25 isn't the only sound bar with this problem, but you should be aware of the flaw before purchasing.
You'll also need to pair the wireless subwoofer by selecting the same wireless ID number (1, 2, 3, or 4) on the sub and sound bar. The sub has its own volume control knob on its rear panel, which permits finer tuning of the sub and sound bar bass balance than systems with just a few subwoofer volume settings. That's nice, but it also means you can't adjust the subwoofer from the remote, which is nice if you like to make adjustments on the fly. We recommend placing the sub within 4 or 5 feet of the sound bar to get the best possible sound.
The TVee Model 25 didn't need any fine-tuning, so right from the start movies sounded spacious, dialogue was clear, and there was a satisfyingly rich tonal balance. The subwoofer may not be the sort that'll shake the foundation of your house, but we were impressed with how well it blended with the sound bar.
The lush orchestrations on Yes' "Symphonic Live" Blu-ray sounded sweet, and were nicely integrated with the music of vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, and guitarist Steve Howe. The TVee Model 25 sound bar is strictly a two-channel speaker, but we found the Movie mode created a large, wide-open soundstage. Once we were involved in watching the concert it was easy to forget we were listening to a sound bar system. It was more like a small hi-fi.
Action-heavy films with lots of soft-to-loud dynamics sounded mildly compressed, but that's a common failing of sound bar systems in the TVee Model 25's price class. The system maintained its composure when we turned up the volume on Will Ferrell's "Talladega Nights" Blu-ray. True, the thundering roar of the big Nascar engines was shortchanged compared with what we heard from the much more expensive and larger JBL SB 300 sound bar/subwoofer system. The JBL can also play louder than the TVee Model 25, but the Boston sound bar handily trounced the (now discontinued) Monoprice sound bar in every dimension of audio performance.
The TVee Model 25 sounded fine with CDs of Duke Ellington's big-band jazz and Gillian Welch's vocal and banjo folk tunes. Hard rock produced more audible strain from the speaker. That's not unusual; few sound bar speakers excel with rock. The TVee Model 25 was at its best with movies.
The Boston Acoustics TVee Model 25 actually sounds pretty good for its size, but its design flaws and high price make it tough to recommend over competing products. We'd suggest checking out some of our other top sound bar picks before deciding whether to get the TVee Model 25.