Orbitsound T12v3 review
Orbitsound is something of a nice surprise: a British company using its own clever technology to produce some amazing-sounding kit. We were impressed with the Orbitsound T12 V2 Soundbar iPod dock, which used the company’s patented 'spatial sound' to fill a room with a wide audio soundscape. Now the company has gone one better with the v3.
Strong sales of the second-generation product has meant that Orbitsound could change its production process, choosing better quality components along the way. It’s immediately obvious that this is the case when you first unbox the T12v3.
Rather than the V2’s cheap-looking material front, the v3 has an upgraded metal grille which attaches magnetically to the front of the soundbar. Not only does it look a lot better, but it's designed to improve sound quality.
Pull the grille off and inside it looks a lot better, too. Rather than the V2’s rough-and-ready look with a bare circuit board for the status light, the neat interior of the v3 gives it a much more polished and finished look.
It’s not just in the looks department that the v3 has been upgraded, as Orbitsound has fitted new amps and new drivers, both in the soundbar and the large subwoofer, which retains the same outward casing.
As with the V2, the v3 uses what Orbitsound calls spatial audio to fill a room with sound and create non-directional stereo where you don’t need to sit in the ‘sweet spot’ to get the most out of a track. It does this with a set of mono speakers at the front with two side speakers to produce the stereo effect.
This effect is incredible. We were able to test the difference the technology makes by switching it off using the switch at the back of our review sample (retail units will not have this option and the stereo effect will be hardwired on). The difference between the two modes is incredible, with music turning from rather lifeless sound with an obvious source point to amazing, bright beautiful room-filling sound.
All the upgrades Orbitsound has made are incredible and the company has managed to better a product that we thought was pretty close to perfect in the first place. Compared to the V2, the v3's sound is punchier, brighter and a lot more detailed. Audio balance is also improved, with the dock coping with the tiny nuances of percussion instruments, as well as bone-crunching bass from heavy guitar tracks. It can more than handle massive volumes, too, without any distortion.
Orbitsound has upgraded the old V2’s remote control to a unit that’s better made and more responsive. It is refreshingly simple, too, with controls for bass, treble and volume (the only three sound adjustments you truly need), input selection, and iPod control (play, pause, track skip and menu navigation).