OrbitSound is a relatively new company based in England which utilizes it’s own research and development to churn out some interesting and high quality audio products Since launching it’s first products a little while back, OrbitSound has continued to refine and improve its copyrighted ‘spatial sound’ of its iPod dock speaker or TV soundbar system. The new OrbitSound T12v3 stereo soundbar is the third iteration of OrbitSound’s T12 model. The new unit promises more of the spatial sound system as its predecessors and also several technical improvements which include new drivers that is said to produce brighter and clearer sound at greater volumes and a tweaked subwoofer with better bass response.
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Out of the box you can see straight away that OrbitSound wasn’t lying when they mentioned their improved production process, it becomes quite apparent that the new unit is of far better build quality than that of the previous OrbitSound T12v2. In place of the T12v2’s dinky looking front facade, the new T12v3 boasts an upgraded metal grille that cleverly connects magnetically to the front side of the surround bar. Not only is the new unit better looking but it also bodes well for the interior improvements.
The new design is not only aesthetic but also for improved sound quality. If you remove the new grille you would notice that the insides have been given a facelift too in place of the OrbitSound T12v2’s utilitarian look that showed a bare circuit board for the status light, the new professional and neat looking interior simply exudes class. Thus the design is clearly a transition from the previous model, sporting the same silhouette as the T12v2 but with improved design cues and better quality build and components.
The T12v3 stereo soundbar and iPod dock was meant to be used as an add-on sound system for a TV, or simply as a iPod. The main unit is relatively small at 600 x 100 x 100 mm with the aforementioned metal speaker grill enveloping the front and both ends, the finish is glossy black with a mirror finish is definitely classy but is easy to smudge up with fingerprints so keep a wiping cloth nearby. The subwoofer unit measures in at 230 x 460 x 200 mm, so it isn’t as petite as the main soundbar unit, but still small enough to be hidden away discretely.
Setting up the OrbitSound T12v3Features
Luckily OrbitSound was wise enough not to merely upgrade the looks over the previous system but also the features, OrbitSound has seen fit to install new amplifiers as well as brand new drivers, the upgrade includes both the soundbar and also the large subwoofer, whilst retaining the same popular outer casing. OrbitSound’s rise to fame came from their propriety spatial audio technology which is designed to produce real surround sound and recreate non-directional stereo audio whereby it negates the need to search for a ‘sweet spot’ to get the best sound quality. OrbitSound manages this feat by utilizing a set of mono speakers in the front portion of the speaker and an extra two side speakers that create the stereo effect.
To put it succinctly the audio effect is mind blowing for such a small system the spatial sound produces an amazing, bright wonderful filling sound with enough bass and depth to effectively fill a room. OrbitSound T12v3 has also seen fit to upgrade the T12v2’s remote control to a new unit which is better built and far more responsive. The controls have also been simplified with controls for only the bass, treble and volume, input selection, and iPod control which include play, pause, track skip and menu navigation. Turn the unit around to reveal a range of connections – this includes the ports for necessary for connecting the subwoofer, the power input, coaxial and optical ports as well as a useful analogue connection for use with a TV (another plus is that both the optical and analogue cables are provided with the unit). Finally a 3.5mm input is also thrown in that allows the connection of any non-Apple music devices, and again the required cable is included for customer convenience.
Connecting the T12v3 to a TV, music device or iPod is simple, there is no HDMI support or onscreen menu so everything is manual and you will have to use the supplied optical or coaxial or analogue inputs. Nonetheless the task of switching through the sources using the remote until finding the correct TV output is an easy task.
Pros and ConsSound Quality
The uniqueness of the OrbitSound product means there is nothing much to compare it to in its class except its predecessor the OrbitSound T12v2, the OrbitSound T12v3 stereo soundbar’s improvements are clear, the sound quality is a lot clearer with punchier and brighter notes and much more depth. Minor gripes with the OrbitSound T12v2 have also been ironed out such as audio balance with the new T12v3 dock able to cope with minute details of treble and bass regardless of musical genre. The new unit is also able to handle higher volumes without any audible distortion.
The improvements that OrbitSound incorporated to the new T12v3 are amazing and the company has successfully created a better a product to replace one that was already near to perfect in the first place. The only con that we can see is the slight increase in price which we feel is not a major problem as it is justified by the better build quality, extra features and improvements.
There is just one conclusion, OrbitSound has created one of the best iPod or TV sound systems regardless of class with their new T12v3 and the best advice we can give is to buy one, it won’t disappoint.