Review: orbitsound T3

The orbitsound T3 is a personal powered stereo speaker that gives an aura of sound around your head. The idea is to give the listener true stereo sound that envelopes them in the sound, as opposed to headphones that put it in the middle of your head. Headphones have the biggest fault with stereo sound since your left or right ear only hears the left or right speaker, where as with the orbitsound T3 you get a full stereo soundfield using their airSOUND speaker array. The T3 is designed to be worn around the neck and connect up to any device with a standard headphone jack. I took the T3 out for a spin, read on for the findings!

Box Contents

  • USB charging cable
  • AC adapter
  • Stereo line to connect to the device
  • Lanyard


First Impressions
To be honest, I was skeptical about the stereo soundfield and how much better it could be over my headphones. The T3 certainly looks nice with its polished black case (which is a fingerprint magnet), and is probably lighter than it may appear, considering it has a speaker and is powered by a lithium battery, which pumps out 8 watts of audio power, which is impressive for something of this size.

Before first use, you have to charge the T3 for minimum of a half an hour, but it is recommended to charge for at least four hours prior to use. You can charge this via the AC adapter or pretty much any USB port you have available. Now that I have it charged up, it is time to test it out!


Usage
I grabbed my iPod Nano and connected it to the T3, powered everything up, and went for a walk. After listening to a variety of music, including Rage Against the Machine and some classical Gustav Holst, I found that it sounded quite good. Once I returned home, I compared it to a few different pairs of headphones and then my laptop. Until this, I was pleased with the sound, but didn't realize how much better it actually was. I then tested watching Transformers while using the T3, and again was surprised at how much better it sounded over my headphones.

I found you can easily sense the difference with the T3 by doing a little test. If you hold the T3 about a foot away from your chest, it sounds like a normal speaker, but as you get to around an inch from your chest, you can really hear the sound aura going over your ears.


Pros
Sound quality: Great! Far better than I had expected

Battery life: Seems to be excellent; I have yet to kill it after watching a movie and listening to a couple hours of music. The estimated battery life is 10 hours, which is pretty good when it only needs up to around four hours to charge

Rechargeable: No batteries and charges off of USB and the provided AC adapter

Simple: You have an on and off switch, and a switch to change the airSOUND off, normal, or max
Plus, doubles as a normal portable speaker


Cons
Speaker on your neck: everyone around you can hear it

Price: At £79.00 msrp, this one is questionable, if you don't want to sacrifice your sound quality, the price is reasonable. For casual use, it may be a little too high

No charge complete indication: I left it on the charger over night, and the same red charging light remained lit in the morning, when it should have easily been fully charged


Overall
I was very pleased with the orbitsound T3. The sound is amazing and it looks sleek and feels sturdy. They deliver on their promise of making an aura of sound around your head, and it is definitely worth getting if you need portable, quality stereo sound with depth.

I give the T3 4 out of 5 stars

Link: orbitsound

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21 Comments

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I think a few people have missed the point here, this unit isn't just for replacing headphones. Mine is great to have as a laptop speaker upgrade, the airSOUND effect still works brilliantly on a desktop surface and beats sitting with a pair of earphones stuffed in your ears for two hours while you sit and watch a movie!

Good review! (y)

Price: At �79.00 msrp

At this price range, I'd rather get Sennheiser or Bose ear buds OR real nice portable speakers, larger => with better sound.

All things aside, won't this give a flat bass output? Because there is no way in hell that thing can give the level of bass a good pair of earphones provide.

It may make it seem like the sound is "around" you, but it won't do anything for a movie. With no left/right/rear differentiation, it would completely negate any surround sound. At least with headphones, you get L/R sounds.

Actually this does give you the stereo sound around your head, making your right hear more right, but still the left, and same for left, vs headphones only having left sound in left ear, and right sound in right ear, which makes it like the sound is in the middle/back of your head, vs being 'in' the sound. Using this was MUCH better (I felt) watching a movie by myself over using headphones. Obviously still not a replacement over a typical sound system on tvs

I obviously wouldn't use this in public.

Most of my music is stereo, so cans work fine.

If I want to watch a film in surround, I use my surrous sound system.

I consider this to be "the norm" for the majority...

So... Where does this fit?

Not sure, which sadly is the biggest issue with these. I think (no basis) that they are working on making their airSOUND technology smaller. I have another one of their products I will be reviewing over the next few days which is sort of a home theater system (T12).

I totally agree with the people above regarding this is not a good idea at all.
some may say that maybe it is designed to use indoors.

But if you are going to use it indoor, you may be better using some good quality
cans headphones and have a better sound quality than what this little machine
will ever provide you.

my 2 cents

The idea of forcing others around you to listen to your music went out with the 50 lb. luggable boom boxes back in the 80's. This just about qualifies as the dumbest invention of the year.

yeah that thing actually does look like it might be a bit annoying wearing that thing. would def like to hear the difference though.

don't really understand how it's supposed to work but for it looks too big and chunky to feel practicle over head/ear phones/buds. I'm sure people around you aren't interested in listening to your music movies and other stuff.

Even if it does sound great, Crunchie nailed it: The entire point of headphones is that it's music -you- hear, not music you force on everyone around you.

Headphones have the biggest fault with stereo sound since your left or right ear only hears the left or right speaker, where as with the orbitsound T3 you get a full stereo soundfield using their airSOUND speaker array.

Fault? Music is mixed to take that into account. Often I prefer the sound through headphones.

Headphones have the biggest fault with stereo sound since your left or right ear only hears the left or right speaker, where as with the orbitsound T3 you get a full stereo soundfield using their airSOUND speaker array.

I think it's better to buy 5.1 headphones with build-in subwoofer. If music was created by using 5.1 headphones in studio, then best way would be to use same headphones, so you can hear same sound as creator was intended.

Another pointless invention. This wont sell. It's not like u can use it on a train and if you walk down the street with this on, not only do you look like an idiot but you'll annoy everyone as well.
Plus with the speaker on the lanyard its pointing outwards so the person in front of you will no doubt get a better sound than you wearing it!

No offense, but this is not a review. Please change the title prefix. I can probably find out more about the product on the manufacturer's website. :cheeky:

I don't know why you don't think its a review. It most certainly is a review. A review is defined as "an essay or article that gives a critical evaluation " and this certainly fits that criteria.

I enjoy the sound I get out of headphones but I only use them at my pc for a better sound (since I can't turn things up too loud at my place) but I would never walk around with something like this no matter how good the sound. Its bad enough people talk to themselves (w/bluetooth) then we have to listen to their music as well?

(chconline said @ #1)
No offense, but this is not a review. Please change the title prefix. I can probably find out more about the product on the manufacturer's website. :cheeky:

Troll some more..."contributor"