Orb Audio People's Choice - 5.1 Speaker System - Orb Audio People's Choice

By Danny Philips



  • Recommended by TR
Orb Audio People's Choice - 5.1 Speaker System


Our Score:


We’ve cast our eye over a few ‘compact’ speaker systems of late, and impressive though they are, none is as distinctive or well-crafted as this. The Mod1’s spherical shape and unobtrusive size immediately demands your attention, but the best part is the Hand Antiqued Bronze finish, which gives them an elegance that no amount of gloss-black plastic can match.

Orb Audio kindly sent us a selection of Mod1s in different finishes to ogle (including Gloss Black, Pearl White, Hand Polished Steel and Copper) and all of them are stunning, but the steel finish is by far the sexiest.

On the back of each Mod1 is a screw hole which allows you to attach them to the various stands, which is incredibly easy to do, and a pair of gold binding posts. Cleverly these contain springs, which means you simply press them in to expose the hole, feed in the exposed cable then let go.

This would be perfect, except that the hole is far too small to accommodate thick speaker cables, and when the Orbs are attached to the desk stand in the Mod2 configuration the binding posts are difficult to access. What’s more, the Mod2s require jumper cables to link the two Orbs together, which means two cables have to be inserted into the same post – all of which makes things a little fiddly to set up.

The Super Eight powered subwoofer is the perfect bass box for this system given that it’s acoustically matched to the Mod1/Mod2 satellites and has suitably compact dimensions. It features a 200W BASH hybrid amplifier and a long-throw 8in woofer on the inside, but we’re not sure about the outside – it’s coated in a weird sparkly textured finish that makes it look like it’s been left out in the rain. However it’s built like a quarterback and stands on sturdy rubber feet to absorb vibrations, and on the back you get all sort of dials and switches to control crossover frequency (which can be set between 40Hz and 180Hz), phase and volume, as well as high- and low-level inputs.


December 26, 2009, 9:41 pm

give your home theatre system some balls!

sorry, somebody had to say it...


December 26, 2009, 10:31 pm

If you say they are good I believe you. But I have always been sceptical of small cones being able to deliver the full frequency range without being/sounding forced. Mind you they are a hellish delivered price anyway. My bet would be a set of Teufels - at least if there was a problem I don't have to phone the States!


December 26, 2009, 10:58 pm

Where do the wires run in relation to the stands? Do they go inside the legs, or are they supposed to be binded to them somehow?

Also, I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Please can you run some kind of article by of introduction to home cinema surround sound? What does the ability to "control crossover frequency" mean, for example? You've done a superb job with the digital photography tutorials. Please extend the philosophy! I'm sure I can't be the only one who would appreciate this!

Low B

January 1, 2010, 9:52 pm

Great review Danny, I'm sorely tempted to take a chance on a set of these. I new to all this; what receiver did you test these with? And would you recommend it as an optimal choice? I agree with Bluepork - a beginners guide to surround sound would be well very well received; by 2 of us at least!

ed 7

January 29, 2010, 9:03 am

im planning to get this system once i received my tax refund, and i saw a insignia receiver 5.1 500 watts NS-R5101HD from best buy for only $179.00. Is it a good combo? pls reply.

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