Review: orbitsound T12

The orbitsound T12 is a sound bar and subwoofer that can add a full sound experience to a room with little effort. Using orbitsound's airSOUND single point stereo reproduction technology, see how the T12 fights against typical home stereo systems or a full surround sound system!

Box Contents

  • T12 soundbar (contains analogue processors, amplifiers and 8 loudspeakers)
  • Subwoofer (passive)
  • Remote
  • Power adapters (several most common for different countries)
  • iPod tray adapters
  • Composite and speaker wire

First Impressions
Since I had already reviewed the orbitsound T3, a mobile version of the airSOUND technology, I already had decent expectations of a full size feature. When I was unboxing the T12, it was evident how much care they put in packaging: there was NO room for it to wiggle at all during shipment, everything was extremely well protected. After removing the sound-bar and subwoofer from their packaging, you are met with the high gloss piano black look; needless to say they look stunning. I then hooked it up to see if the sound quality matched the looks.

Usage
The T12 features an iPod dock, so the first test was listening to some music. I tried a range of songs, including some Korn and Pachelbel, and it definitely met my expectations set from the orbitsound T3. From there, I hooked up the T12 to my DVD player and watched bits of a few movies. We have a surround sound system (nothing fancy, probably a typical midrange system) set up that I was comparing with the T12, and the T12 sound was much fuller and well rounded. I had a few other people come into the room as I swapped between systems, and out of the five of them, they all preferred the T12. Since different people hear in different ways and have different preferences, that is simply impressive.

Pros

  • Sound quality: Excellent, filled the room with a full sound and decent bass
  • Simplicity: Three inputs (composite, 3.5mm, and iPod) and power is all you need to get set up
  • Remote Control: Control iPod, volume, treble, and bass remotely

Cons
  • Sounds a little muffled at low volumes
  • Price is a slight negative at $350 MSRP (£249.00/€335.00), but it isn't too much more than a typical consumer surround system

Overall
The T12 delivered on the big sound from a small package. This would be a great upgrade for anyone who doesn't want the trouble of a surround sound system setup but still wants a surround sound like experience. I could also see one big market for this being apartment owners, since you cannot run lines as easily through walls/ceiling (some places not at all). It is hard to describe the actual listening experience when using orbitsound's airSOUND technology, and hopefully their products will make it into stores soon were you can experience it to understand the difference first hand (and trust me, there is a difference!)

I give the orbitsound T12 4.5 out of 5 stars

Link: orbitsound T12

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11 Comments

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Picked one up a few weeks ago and it blew my mind. Tried it out at the What HiFi / Stuff Mag exhibition at ExCel.

I don't get why people are flipping out about a £249 price tag - you can't even pick up a half decent mini system for that price. If you compare it to any processed horrible digital sound system in this price bracket it blows all competition out of the water.

My 3G iPhone sits proudly upon this beast whenever I'm at home while my previous ill-advised 'stereo spread' units gather dust on top of my cupboard. It's nice to finally find a company that offers a full stereo image that isn't only in effect when you sit 6 inches away from it (and without an awful over compressed sound with no mids!).

Best £249 I've ever spent!

You can't beat a proper surround sound setup, I know someone who has something similar to this and to be honest its sounds alright but it just looks cheap to me.

I have a hard time a unit like this deserves such a high rating. Sound bars, as a whole, seem a bit gimmicky to me, but, even then, you can get units from the likes of Sony and Philips for less money and ton more inputs.

bangbang023 said,
I have a hard time a unit like this deserves such a high rating. Sound bars, as a whole, seem a bit gimmicky to me, but, even then, you can get units from the likes of Sony and Philips for less money and ton more inputs.

It really is hard to explain, but this does sound different that other ones I have listened to before...shame they don't have them around in stores to try

From my understanding, it has normal audio connecitons too.. its not just for ipod, you can connect your tv, dvd player to it...

MitchLeBlanc said,
I would buy, but I don't use an iPod, I use a Zune and there is no support for this. =(

Same here. :(

I wouldn't mind having one of those in my bedroom, though! But yeah, £250 is a bit steep. I'll wait a year or two, and possibly get one second-hand.