Taking centre stage in any Orbitsound review is the company’s spatial stereo technology and with the T9 it is no different. In a nutshell the claim is spatial stereo eliminates the geographic sweet spot for stereo in a room and instead allows it to be enjoyed from any position.
How it works is by mixing the audio produced by the drivers with spatial loudspeakers positioned at 90 degrees to them and 180 degrees from one another – in the case of a soundbar that means they are at the ends. Their interaction primarily takes place in the mid frequency band and is reduced at higher frequencies to ensure sound fidelity. When combined with a separate subwoofer the effects can be startling and with the T9 they most certainly are.
For such a small system the performance of the T9 is quite extraordinary. It produces rich, warm and truly room filling audio that is as comfortable with music as it is handling the latest explosive blockbuster. The room filling aspect is perhaps the most impressive element as it is not just the surprisingly high 140RMS output of the T9 which helps achieve this, but the success of the spatial stereo system.
Wherever you sit in a room there is a sense that the sound has been repositioned just for you. When you are camped in front of a movie this isn’t vital, but for music (when you are more likely to be moving around) it is a revelation and it won’t matter that the T9 itself is probably stuffed under the TV. Those who prefer to arrange their rooms stylistically rather than based around their audio equipment will rejoice.
Naturally enough though, we do have some quibbles. For those with specific sound signature preferences the T9’s treble and bass adjustment is crude taking rather substantial jumps with each press on the remote. As such it is easy to find yourself stuck in a too much/too little scenario, but we can’t imagine it will bother the majority of listeners. In addition, good as spatial stereo is, it doesn’t respond particularly well with lower bitrate music and can sound more monotone than spatial so some re-ripping of your CD collection may be required (and recommended in general, in any case).
That said it is hard to get too picky about either of these elements when looking at the T9’s price…