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  • Recommended by TR

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9/10

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Orb Audio People's Choice - 5.1 Speaker System

You many not have heard of Orb Audio before, but this small US-based company is generating a bit of buzz in its home country with a range of impressive-sounding yet enticingly-priced speakers, which in their words deliver the ‘best bang for the buck’.

Orb is able to undercut many of its rivals by selling products directly from its website, which means it can plough the money it would have spent on overheads into buying the best components. But it also means that British buyers can get their hands on them despite the company not having an operational arm in the UK.

The most interesting thing about Orb Audio’s systems is that they’re modular, which means you can team up one, two or four speakers on each channel to create a sound that’s as big and potent as you want it to be. Each individual ‘orb’ (or Mod1) is sold separately, but you can join together two Mod1s to create a Mod2, or link up four Mod1s to create a Mod4. Still with us? Good.

In each case, there are bespoke speaker stands to house the multiple speakers, which are daisy-chained using the supplied jumper cables. It’s an unusual but appealing approach, as it allows you to build up your system over time, perhaps starting with single Mod1s then adding extra Orbs when you have the cash to upgrade.

The system on test here is the People’s Choice, which as the name suggests is the company’s most popular package. It’s made up of three Mod2s for the front and centre channels – the fronts use a Boss desk stand that places one Orb above the other, while the centre channel uses the Boss Center stand that places them side by side.

For the rears you get single Mod1s (mounted on a basic steel desk stand), but if you’d prefer Mod2s at the rear then you can add the extra Orbs yourself or go for the Mod2 package, which supplies double Orbs for all channels. Completing the system is the Super Eight subwoofer.

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