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Crystal Acoustics Teevy 6 review

Tom Morgan
6 Jun 2015
crystal accoustics tevee
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
299
inc VAT

It looks basic, but clever internals make the Teevy 6 sound great

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Specifications

Speakers: 7, RMS power output: 100W, Dimensions: 75x900x120mm, Dock connector: N/A, Networking: Bluetooth (SBC, apt-X)

Sound bars, sound bases and any kind of speaker system where the drivers are all pointing in one direction typically suffer from the same problem; the sound they produce only sounds right from a single point, or ‘sweet spot’. Crystal Acoustics claims its WiSound range of audio gear, of which the Teevy 6 is a part, directs sound around a room more effectively, without the need for multiple speakers.

The Teevy 6 sound base is the first device we’ve seen with this technology. It’s not the most attractive speaker to place under your TV; it’s chunky, black, and made almost entirely from MDF. It’s designed for 55in TVs, but as long as your set isn't heavier than 60kg or take up a surface area of more than 720x280mm, it should support it. The finish feels tough enough to resist scratches when putting your TV on top, and the silver WiSound logo and feet try to add a little class, but the black cloth covering the speaker drivers looks fairly drab.

The remote feels disappointingly cheap too, with just power, volume and input selection controls. It’s tiny, is finished in a horrid black plastic that shows off fingerprints almost instantly, and takes a watch battery – which wasn’t even included with our review sample. There’s no screen on the main unit, just a single LED that changes colour depending on what input is selected and blinks when you issue a command. This is all you really need, though, as there aren’t any tone controls. There aren’t any buttons on the main unit at all, so if you lose the remote there’s no way to even turn it on, let alone change inputs or volume.

The Teevy 6 is unashamedly simple, with just digital optical, 3.5mm audio and stereo RCA inputs on the back. There’s also a USB port, but it’s only used for charging up a mobile device; you can’t use it as an audio input. With no HDMI input you’ll have to send audio from a Blu-ray player or games console through your TV. You also get Bluetooth, but there’s no NFC for easily pairing a smartphone.

crystal accoustics tevee ports

The speaker is fairly large, but inside there's room for six balanced drivers: two mid-range drivers face forwards, another mid-range driver fires outwards on both sides and the woofer drivers fire downwards. These are combined with a DSP designed specifically to use reflections from walls, which Crystal Acoustics hopes will make your films, games and music sound better than with other sound bars.

We tested with the Teevy 6 placed close to the wall, which is typical of most living room setups. Because the speaker drivers are positioned in opposite pairs, and the DSP is designed to take both direct and reflected sound into account, it should cope well with most listening positions and placements – regardless of your room shape or the position of your furniture.

Audio quality

Although we would agree that the WiSound technology makes a difference compared to more traditional sound bars and bases, the lack of any up-firing speakers means the Teevy 6 can’t create a completely convincing surround sound effect. There’s no sense of height, which might be fine for watching TV or films but is less helpful when listening to music as you aren’t guaranteed to be sat in a particular position. Even so, we could walk around the room without noticing any obvious gaps in audio coverage, or any change in the mid-range or treble response when we changed position.

We weren’t left wanting for volume either; although the Teevy 6 won’t completely fill up a cavernous living room, even on maximum volume, we could watch TV comfortably from several feed away at under half the maximum. Turned up to full, the drivers took on a slightly harsh edge, but there’s still enough leeway if you like it loud.

Sound quality was impressive too with impeccably clear vocals for films and TV no matter where we sat in a room. There was more than enough bass for everyday watching, although we still would have liked some tone controls to give explosions and action sequences just a little more oomph. This balance extended to audio, where high-end cymbals and hi-hats sounded crisp, without being overpowered by the mid-range or bass.

Conclusion

With limited inputs, a basic design and practically no controls other than volume, the Teevy 6 is an undeniably simple soundbar from the outside, but some clever DSP and speaker placement makes it more than suitable for TV, films or occasional music playback. Panasonic’s SC-HTE180 has a convenient HDMI input, costs less and is arguably more attractive, but it can’t match the Teevy 6 for sound quality.

Hardware
Speakers7
RMS power output100W
Subwoofer optionNo
Rear speaker optionNo
Dimensions75x900x120mm
WeightNot stated
Ports
Audio inputsOptical S/PDIF, 3.5mm analog, RCA
Audio outputsN/A
Video inputsN/A
Video outputsN/A
Dock connectorN/A
USB portN/A
NetworkingBluetooth (SBC, apt-X)
NFCNo

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