Orbitsound: We want to be bigger than stereo

Orbitsound - trying to rival stereo sound
Orbitsound - trying to rival stereo sound

iPod docks are ten-a-penny at the moment, so something special has to come along if it wants to stand out from the crowd.

One company who is trying its best to be different is UK-based Orbitsound.

Created by sound engineer Ted Fletcher – who has worked with Jethro Tull and the Eagles – Orbitsound's products are based around a simple premise: 'believe your ears'.

In short, the company is looking to redefine the systems music is played on and believes it has done so with the Orbitsound T12 and T4.

Fletcher and his cohorts have taken the idea of the company's first release – the wear-round-your-neck T3 – and utilised its airSOUND technology to be used in a home environment.

While it already released a version of the T12 soundbar back in 2008, the new edition of the T12 is all ready for the digital age, with digital inputs added (something that was sorely missing on the original release).


DIGITAL ORB: The new and improved T12

Orbitsound's technology means that it can create stereo sound from just one speaker. None of this 'left and right' business, airSOUND produces natural spatial stereo from one sound source which means that, unlike stereo, the sweet spot of the speaker follows you around the room.

While this concept sounds new, the roots of the technology have been around for 80 years.

"When I first came up with the idea for the airSOUND, I couldn't believe that the technology wasn't around," said Fletcher.

"So I scoured the web and found out somebody had done something similar before – but way back in 1930. He was called Alan Blumlein and he worked for HMV at the time."

Blumlein was one of the pioneers of creating stereo and Fletcher is hoping that his airSOUND technology can revolutionise the audio industry as much as Blumlein's work did.

"The world of 3D TVs means that imaging technology has come a long way but audio has been left behind," notes Fletcher.

"Orbitsound's airSOUND technology is different and it is this difference that has made the company a talking point."


iPOD RADIO: The new T4 from Orbitsound

Originally launching at CES 2008, it wasn't until 2009 when Orbitsound managed to get itself into the CES Unveiled section of the show that the media really started to pay attention to the company.

Two launches later and a distribution deal with John Lewis, and Orbitsound managed to sell out of its initial stock of the T12.

The company's two new launches this month are the T4 Radiopod – an iPod dock and DAB radio in one – and the T12 Soundbar (mark II).

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.