Orbitsound’s T9 Speaker bar was a big hit at the TDL user group a few week’s back and having spent a few weeks with it in many other environments I can say it still is.
We reviewed and liked the Orbitsound T12 as while back. Whilst the T12 is a conventional size Speaker Bar the T9 is its much smaller brother. Looking the size of most iPhone speaker docks and with a pre iPhone 5 port on the top it could get mistaken for just being a speaker dock but that would be to seriously underrate this marvellous piece of technology.
This little marvel is equally at home producing sound from a high-end audio system or a television. Equipped with both coax and 3.5mm analogue ins as well as Optical SP/Dif and coming with a plethora of cables in the box this is a very device to set up. Indeed in our testing we were able to hand the speaker bar to someone with no instructions and have it outputting sound from a TV in a matter of minutes. It should be noted that there is no HDMI in which some people may see as an omission. Having said that input is limited to stereo with no on-board decoding of multichannel audio so HDMI might have been a bit of overkill.
Being only stereo might also seem limiting but this is no ordinary stereo sound. Like its bigger T12 brother, the T9 uses Orbitsound’s spacial stereo to produce a room filling sound that does not have a Sweet-Spot. This means unlike conventional stereo speakers where you have to stand in just the right place to get the correct balance with the T9 you can stand anywhere. It is truly great for parties.
That wouldn’t mean anything if the sound quality was poor but it is pretty exceptional this sub £200 combo of tiny speaker bar and reasonably small subwoofer can put many much more expensive speaker sets to shame with good if not pounding bass merging effortlessly into transparent midrange and revealing highs.
Talking of the Sub-Woofer the T9’s designer told me if you just looked at the maths it shouldn’t work acoustically – which just goes to show you how wrong maths can be sometimes. One of my few criticisms of the T12 was how difficult it was to get the bass balance right. There are no such issues with the T9. It may have sacrificed a little bit of ability to create bangs and crashes but for sheer musicality it beats the T12 hands down.
In fact that is one of my few questions with the T9. It is so good, so refined and so capable of filling large rooms, I have to wonder why anyone would buy the T12.
We had a really good demonstration of the T9’s room filling ability at the TDL user group. The hall we were in was substantially larger than any living rom I have ever been in but when we turned the T9 up we had people the other side of the room requesting we turn it down so they could talk. That was without any sign of distortion.
It’s amazing to think that the room filling stereo is coming form such a small box and a box that really only has a mono front facing speaker array. The stereo comes from some clever use of audio acoustics powered by the two side facing speaker ports.
In conclusion this is a fantastic device which whilst maybe being perceived as lacking in connectivity and multi-channel ability is a simply amazing performer in stereo which outweighs all such deficiencies for me. I have no hesitation in awarding the T9 a Highly Recommended
Speakers: 2×2.5″ mid-high drivers, 1×1″ tweeter, 2×1″ midrange spatial generators
Enclosure: Single enclosed infinite baffle arrangement
Power: 140W RMS. 80W Sub, 35W Main, 25W Spatial Crossover Frequencies: 160Hz/5KHz
Type: Tuned ported enclosure
Speakers: 1×6.5″ long throw subwoofer