orbitsound T3 ‘single point stereo’ personal speaker released

Chris Davies - Aug 11, 2008

Trade shows are notorious for introducing products that never actually reach the market, and if we’re honest we thought the orbitsound single-speaker “stereo aura” range would disappear without trace.  Not so: the company’s T3 personal powered stereo speaker – which hangs around the neck and creates a bubble of stereo sound around the wearer – goes on sale this week.

The 115g box contains the company’s airSOUND speaker array, which claims to encode stereo signals as direct and spatial information, rather than separate left and right channels. According to orbitsound, the “single point stereo soundfield” is heard identically no matter where you are in a room, providing a uniform stereo balance irrespective of the listening position. They’re also keen to differentiate airSOUND from DSP processing, or any kind of artificial effect.

Too good to be true?  We’ll have to wait for the first reviews to find out just how successful airSOUND is.  Meanwhile the orbitsound T3 is priced at $149 (pre-tax); it uses a rechargeable battery said to last for 10hrs use, and has a single 3.5mm input jack.

Press Release:

Here at last – the orbitsound T3: a revolution in personal sound 

orbitound has announced the arrival of its new T3 personal powered stereo speaker. The T3 a whole new product concept – a truly original idea made possible only by airSOUND’s single point stereo technology: a miniature powered personal speaker, which worn around the neck and plugged into an iPod, music phone or any mobile audio/ video player, provides the wearer with a stereo aura around their head as an alternative to headphones. Unlike the sound from headphones, the T3 aura is a fully balanced stereo soundfield produced from the miniature airSOUND speaker array.

Headphones clamp separated mono signals to your ears. To produce a full stereo soundfield you have to hear both left and right channels with both ears, as you do with stereo speakers, to perceive all of the spatial cues. With headphones the left and right ears only hear the left and right speakers – this is why most people hear headphone sound in the middle or even in the back of their head. By comparison, the T3 immerses listeners in their own portable, highly accurate stereo soundfield – with all the spatial information fully intact.

The T3 doubles as a high quality portable speaker system when travelling, or for sharing music with others; place it on a flat surface and connected to a laptop, or digital music player, it produces real stereo signals in the room. With airSOUND an identical stereo balance is heard everywhere – in effect providing an infinite sweetspot, rather the limited fixed sweetspot within which it is possible to hear an accurate stereo balance with conventional two speaker stereo.

Measuring just 102 x 60 x 19mm (22mm at maximum) and weighing 115g, the T3 is powered by a lithium rechargeable battery, providing up to10 hours playing time on a single charge. The amplifier supplies 8 watts of total audio power to the airSOUND speaker array within the miniature enclosure. Audio input is via a 3.5 mm stereo jack socket.

  • rechargeable battery powered
  • ultra light and compact
  • produces real spatial stereo sound
  • works with iPods, music phones, personal media players, laptops, games consoles, etc.
  • powered by airSOUND® single point stereo technology™
  • recommended selling price $ 149 ex tax
  • available now from the orbitsound e-store at www.orbitsound.co.uk/shop

airSOUND® single point stereo™ – how it works

airSOUND single point stereo is an amazing new listening technology that resolves fundamental problems associated with conventional stereo by returning to the first principles of stereo reproduction, encoding stereo signals as direct and spatial information, rather than separate left and right channels. This, in combination with other electro-acoustic principles, the design and engineering of which are the subject of airSOUND international patents, enables the reproduction of uniform spatial stereo signals from a single speaker enclosure. This single point stereo soundfield is heard identically anywhere in the room, providing a uniform stereo balance irrespective of the listening position. The airSOUND stereo signal is not produced by DSP processing, or any kind of artificial effect, it is true stereo sound.

airSOUND offers major performance, operational and cost advantages:

  • frequency and phase response are uniformly accurate throughout the stereo soundfield.
  • a far smaller number of enclosures is required to cover any given environment compared with conventional stereo systems; due to stereo signals being reproduced from single enclosures, and there being no loss of energy or sound quality through frequency cancellation effects between adjacent cabinets, as in left / right stereo installations.
  • power draw for an airSOUND enclosure is about 40% less than a conventional stereo system producing similar sound levels.

Standard L / R stereo is encoded by airSOUND amplifiers in the speaker enclosure to direct and spatial signal information: the direct signal is reproduced from a front firing driver and the spatial information from side firing transducers, in reverse polarity to one another. These signals combine in the air, in front of the speaker enclosure to produce a uniform stereo soundfield throughout the room. orbitsound® is the first range of CE products to feature airSOUND single point stereo.

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