The rear of the soundbar is home to its connections and controls. There are both a coaxial and an optical digital input, alongside both phono line-level and 3.5mm aux stereo inputs and the system’s subwoofer connects via nasty spring-clips. The presence of video-out is puzzling until you notice that there’s an iPod dock up-top. This works with the entire current raft of iPod touches, iPod nanos, iPod classics, and iPhones – including the iPhone 4. Usefully, the bundled remote will control any docked device.
The Orbitsound T12 v2 has a switch varying the spatial setting between ‘Off’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Wide.’ While the latter option does indeed increase the stereo width, and the foremost removes it, we’re not fans of either. The ‘Wide’ setting sounds artificial and forced and the ‘Off’ setting sounds flat and lifeless. Besides, removing the spatial stereo from the T12 v2 rather misses the point.
While trailing a piece of wire between the soundbar itself and the subwoofer isn’t too much of a concern, we can’t help but think that this system is just crying out for a wireless connection between the two parts. Bearing in mind that the low frequencies supplied by the sub are about as direction-independent as the stereo from the soundbar, there’s really no need to restrict the placement of either.
The Orbitsound T12 v2 is equally at home playing music, or used in conjunction with a TV. Unsurprisingly the soundbar did a much better job of audio reproduction than the built-in speakers of the Panasonic TV we tested against. The Orbitsound T12 v2 sounded clearer and had superior bass response, thanks to the subwoofer. A separate volume control for the sub would have been welcome, though, as it can sound a bit boomy at times.
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