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The Orbitsound A70 airSOUND Bar is a traditional-looking soundbar that's trying to do something a little different.
Despite its small size the proprietary airSOUND tech is designed to fill the room. The aim being to rid the home cinema setup of the requisite 'sweet-spot' meaning you ought to get an equally good audio experience wherever you're sat in the room.
In theory that sounds admirable, and in practice it almost works. The soundstage is definitely wider than you would expect, given the spatial audio pumped out by those peripheral drivers, but it feels as if there is something in that audio processing which seems to be detracting from its overall impact.
The compact nature of the A70 soundbar itself is a definite bonus. It's not going to dominate your TV stand, even if there's only a 40-inch screen above it. And despite that diminutive scale the airSOUND technology does manage to expand the soundstage, and spread the audio out into the room.
When it comes to vocals in music and dialogue in TV and movies, the A70 really does excel.
The design is another plus point for the A70. I like the rounded edges of the bar and the glossy finish, although that concave frontage does love to hold onto a fingerprint once the backlit capacitive touch controls have faded into the background.
Connectivity is simple, varied and mostly very robust.
The overall sound isn't really up to what we would want from a soundbar that costs £500 – and that's a rather sizeable check in the cons column for the Orbitsound A70.
For a budget soundbar we may not have been so down on it, but that strangely digital note to the audio and tinny sound in movies makes us reticent to recommend.
When we're talking about audio products it doesn't really matter if the feature list is packed if the actual sound doesn't make you desperate to part with the cash. And when we're talking about this much cash you want the audio to be spot on.
And the Orbitsound A70 doesn't quite do enough to justify it price tag.
The vocals and dialogue sound incredible coming out of the device, and the airSOUND effect does work pretty well out on the peripheries of the home cinema experience, but the overall sound just isn't quite good enough.
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