Pyle PSBV600BT Wave Base - Review

Pyle PSBV600BT Wave Base - Front and Rear View
Pyle PSBV600BT Wave Base - Photo of the Front and Rear View. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Sound Bars are definitely one way to get better sound for your TV for those that just don't want to put up with the clutter of a lot of speakers. However, sometimes even a sound bar might take up too much space - so alternative that is gaining in popularity is the Under TV Audio System. Pyle Audio, well-known make of car audio speakers, has decided to enter this product category with its PSBV600BT Wave Base.

Product Overview

Here are the features and specifications of the Pyle PSBV600BT Wave Base.

1. Design: Bass reflex pedestal design with left and right channel speakers, subwoofer, and one rear mounted port for extended bass response.

2. Main Speakers: Four 1.5-inch full-range drivers (two for each channel).

3. Subwoofer: One 3.5-inch down-firing driver.

4. Frequency Response (total system): 50 Hz – 20 KHz (+ or - 6db)

5. Maximum Amplifier Power Output: 15 watts per channel x 2 (1kHz at one watt, 6 ohms, at 1% THD). 1% THD is high, so this means that actual maximum clean power output is less than 15 watts per channel. The stated power output for the subwoofer is 30 watts.

6. Audio Decoding: Accepts uncompressed two-channel PCM, analog stereo, and compatible Bluetooth audio formats.

7. Audio Processing: Music/Movie EQ setting Presets

8. Audio Inputs: One digital optical two sets of analog stereo inputs (one set RCA-to-RCA and one set of RCA-to-3.5mm), and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

9. Control: Both onboard and wireless remote control options provided.

10. Dimensions (HWD): 3.0 x 20.6 x 12.0 inches.

11. Weight: 13 lbs.

12. TV Support: Can accommodate LCD, OLED, and Plasma TVs up to about 44-pound weight (as long as the TV stand is not larger than the PSBV600BT platform dimensions) NOTE: The Official product page (link listed at the end of this review) states that the maximum TV weight is 110 lbs, but the user manual specifically states 20kg (about 44 lbs) as the maximum acceptable TV weight - be cautious if your TV weighs over 44 lbs.

Setup and Performance

For audio testing, I decided to use an OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Disc player as one source. I connected to the TV via HDMI outputs for video, and both the digital optical and RCA stereo analog outputs were alternately connected from the players to the PSBV600BT. I also used a Samsung DTB-H260F Digital Set-top Box for TV Channel-based content, once again, connected to the Wave Base alternately via analog stereo and digital optical connections.

To make sure that the reinforced rack I placed the Wave Base on was not affecting the sound, I ran the "Buzz and Rattle" test provided by the Digital Video Essentials Test Disc and there were no audible issues.

Using other tests, I observed an audible low point of about 40Hz, a listenable low point of about 50Hz to a high point of only about 12kHz.

In terms of listening to actual content, the Pyle PSBV600BT did a fair with both movie and music content and did provide a well-centered anchor for dialog and vocals, despite the lack of a dedicated center-channel speaker. Also, although the Wave Base does not provide any additional surround sound processing, the left and right channel information can project out about a foot out from each side of the unit - depending on the content mix.

I found that the PSBV600BT could produce moderate, undistorted, volume for the 15x20 room I used, but definitely, does not push much in low-frequency range as evidenced by its 50Hz cut-off I observed in my testing.

Moving to the mid and high-end of the sound spectrum, the PSBV600BT provided a clear midrange, which served both movie dialog and music vocals well, in terms of presence, but without incorporating separate tweeters, high frequencies were a little dull. This is definitely noticeable in movie scenes with lots of flying debris or transient background elements, or music tracks with percussive effects.

In those cases sounds are subdued, or, in the case of very fine low volume background sound, sometimes lost, resulting in a less effective listening experience.

With regards to audio decoding and processing, the Pyle PSBV600BT does not provide Dolby Digital or DTS decoding or added surround sound processing.

This means that when accessing content from an HDTV, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc player, it is best to set the source device to PCM output if using the Digital Optical connection option (CD players output in PCM by default, so there is no issue there).

What I Liked

1. Fair sound quality overall - but good centered vocals and dialog.

2. The design and size of the sound stand form factor match well with the appearance of LCD, OLED, and Plasma TVs.

3. Incorporation of wireless streaming from compatible Bluetooth playback devices.

5. Clearly labeled rear panel connections.

6. Very quick to setup and use.

7. Can be used either as an under-TV audio system or a standalone stereo system for playing CDs or music files from Bluetooth devices.

What I didn't Like

1. Not enough audio inputs and no HDMI video pass-through option.

2. No tweeters to extend high-frequency detail.

3. Lacks deep bass response and there is no subwoofer preamp output provided for connection to an external subwoofer if desired by the user.

4. No real front panel status display, except for a couple of blinking LEDs - makes it difficult to know how you have set the volume levels and what input source you have selected (you need to remember which LED corresponds to each selection).

Final Take

Pyle has made the jump into the "under TV" sound system category, but I have heard better sounding units using employing this form factor - but is still a step-up from depending on a TV's built-in speaker system.

As it is currently equipped, I feel the Pyle PSBV600BT is best suited as an alternative to a TV's built-in speakers, or sound bar, if you have space limitations (no need to place a separate subwoofer in the room). It is worth consideration if you have a small to medium sized flat panel TV that is placed in a second room, such as bedroom or office, or if you live in a small apartment.

On the other hand, if Pyle uses this unit as a foundation for additional models, and adds tweeters to both the left and right channels, as well as adding a larger built-in subwoofer and also providing an option for adding an external sub, that would make for a more flexible system.

Also, there definitely needs to be more inputs, such as adding a Digital Coaxial audio input for Blu-ray Disc players that may provide that option, but not Digital Optical or analog stereo connections, and possibly an HDMI video pass-through connection option so as to eliminate the need for connecting both an HDMI cable to the TV and a separate analog or digital audio cable to the Wave Base unit. Also, including HDMI could allow for the of the Audio Return Channel feature available on a growing number of TV that are in use.

Official Product Page - Buy From Amazon

For a closer look and perspective, also check out the supplementary Photo Profile.