BUILD YOUR ULTIMATE SYSTEM OVER TIME
The true beauty of Orb Audio is that you can build your system one piece at a time, watching a simple set of PC Orbs grow into something similar to this report. Pricing starts for as little as $249 for a ‘Quick Pack, $588 for an included subwoofer, or $889 for a Mod1X 5.1 Home Theater System with the Orb Audio subONE subwoofer. When looking for a quality home theater speaker set up, pricing of this system is very comparable to what one might expect for true quality.
The stereo used for this test was a Sony STR-DA1800ES with 100 watts per channel and set to Multi St.
I am a bit of an audio nut and easily spent a 40 hour work week listening through my music collection before starting this report. The first thing that must be passed on is not to judge these speakers before giving them a 12 hour burn in. There is definitely a more accurate reproduction after as first impressions might leave one thinking the speakers sound ‘tinny’. Next, find a song that you believe these speakers will be perfect for and listen to it. Leonard Cohen’s ‘Tower of Song’ was my pick and it was as sweet as I thought it would be.
If Orb Audio were to look for a perfect advertising partner, Leonard would definitely be it. The clarity of Leonard’s voice, at least I think, goes unmatched and the depth experienced through the subONE subwoofer was unbelievable. I had to get a measuring tape to confirm that this baby was 12″ x 12″ x 12″. Not only did I find myself going through my entire Cohen collection, but also, digging into some serious bass tunes like Eminem – Stan, Kanya West – Goldigger and then Ciara – One two Step. If you want to fall in love with speakers, that last song will do it.
By the end of the week, I noticed certain things about the Orb Audio system, one of them being that, in addition to the great highs and lows, I was also picking up recording imperfections which never occurred before, small errs in older recordings, for the most part, that I would have overlooked prior. Is that good or bad? As well, I was so impressed with the lows that I tried to find a song that was simply too much…It took a lot of work but I did and, heads up because this song blows away the best home theater systems when pushed; Vindicated by Dashboard Confessional. Oh by the way did I tell you that I like my music loud? Even when loud, distortion was very hard to come by.
In the end, I reverted back to old favorites like Pink Floyd – Dogs, Charlie Daniels – The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Guns and Roses – Estranged and Hawthorne Heights – Ohio is For Lovers to give me what I wanted. Clarity is amazing in these speakers with some great highs and lows. I could notice mid-levels being a bit ‘tame’ and this was only after hooking up other speakers to confirm. Still very impressive were the satellites themselves that hold up at even the loudest level.
Included with the Sony receiver, our system is set up with a Samsung UN60F8000 and the SmartHub was used to find specific movies, in addition to outside download purchases that were simply plug and play. Movies watched included Saving Private Ryan, Sixth Sense, Pink Floyd The Wall, Blade Runner (an old favorite), The Dark Knight and Seven.
My favorite still has to be the ghost voices that sound from behind you in Sixth Sense. The Orbs improved on that and, every movie in fact much more than expected. Sound reproduction was very realistic and you almost found yourself closing your eyes just to appreciate the sound alone. As much as The Wall was an expected success, I never really thought Seven would be and just wanted to feel the reality in the apartment shoot out. It was amazing.
Where before we might pick up on the surround now and then, it was always present and Orb Audio did a great job in completing the movie viewing experience.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Our goal was to find the best speaker system to incorporate into our Test Suite for both audio and movie viewing when we test televisions and audio equipment. The Orb Audio Mod4X does that and then some. Not only is their appearance outstanding, but also, sound reproduction from such small modular speakers is ‘quite frankly’ unbelievable. Even with music cranked at full shot, there is very little vibration from the outside of the speaker itself. I can’t tell you how many times the left JBL hit the ground over the past two years.
Audio reproduction in a home theater setting is just as incredible with the better half actually stating that she wasn’t sure if she liked ‘that reality’ through a few Saving Private Ryan scenes. As much as she was nice enough to play along with my audio passion for a bit she asked if I could try something she liked…wait for it. Taylor Swift – White Horses. Incredible…. I have to say that, as diverse as my music tastes are, I don’t listen to Ms Swift but, if I have to be honest, that song sounded great.
Pricing can get a bit steep if you don’t watch yourself. On the positive side, basic configurations, along with the Home Theater 5.1 configuration, are comparable to other brands. As well, your speaker system can be added on to according to your own needs and financial situation. Build it as you can afford it and, with a five year warranty and 30 day ‘no questions asked’ money back guarantee, this is a great option!
So…in the end…if you elect to try out ‘The Orbs’, you might not want to listen to the music I recommended here or, like I, you will be sold! Editor’s Choice!