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All posts tagged "home theatre"


Friday, August 1, 2008

My Digital Wall Audio Conundrum: Powered or Non-Powered Speakers?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 06:00 AM

My digital wall project continues, inch by inch, but I've run into a bit of a snag: I'm having a hard time deciding on which type of audio implementation would be the best fit. As a refresher, here's how the wall looks today (the electrician hasn't come yet):

The question is, what's the best audio solution? The LG plasma TV I picked looks gorgeous hanging on a wall, so I didn't entertain the notion of putting one of those surround-sound bars on the bottom for more than a nanosecond - that would just look hideous. I briefly pondered trying to get a 5.1 system set up, but that didn't last long: having to hack into my ceiling for the rear channels would be messy, and since this isn't the primary movie-watching location in my house, it's overkill. There's also the question of where to put the centre channel. So I settled on a 2.1 system, which will be much easier to wire. Ah, wires! I want no wires to be visible when looking at this wall, so I have to be smart about how I position the speakers.

I also have to take into account two audio sources: the Dell Studio Hybrid Desktop that I ordered a few days ago, which will play DVDs and videos off the network, and the Roku networked media player, which will be the primary source for music. Why not do everything through one player? The Roku is incredibly reliable, simple, and very fast to get going. The thought of powering up a computer, and turning on a plasma TV just to play some music strikes me as incredibly inefficient. So two audio sources it is. Read more...


Monday, April 28, 2008

Orb Audio: Do These Small Speakers Measure Up?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM


Product Category: Home Theatre Speaker System
Manufacturer: Orb Audio
Where to Buy: Orb Audio
Price: starts at $549 USD for two-channel system with sub-woofer (the Mod2 configuration reviewed here, without stands, is $1289 USD)
System Requirements: An amp to power the speakers, and hopefully a nice big TV to go with them.
Specifications: See the Orb Audio specifications page.

Pros:
  • The great-looking satellite speakers sound incredible, with crisp, punchy audio;
  • Both the 8" and 10" sub-woofers are extremely powerful, yet deliver smooth, distortion-free bass;
  • Reasonable price for the quality of the speakers when compared to retail prices;
  • Many options for custom order configuration and speaker finish.
Cons:
  • Mail-order means you probably can't hear them before you buy them;
  • If you need them for your setup, the beautiful hand-crafted HOSS speaker stands put a big bite into your budget at $299 per pair.

Summary:
You've probably never heard of Orb Audio before, or their speakers, but if you're looking for small, powerful home-theatre speakers that are surprisingly affordable for the quality you get, this is one company you should pay attention to. Read more...


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Re-Launch Contest #18: Orb Audio MOD1 PLUS Home Theatre Speaker System

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.orbaudio.com/index.asp?P...WPROD&ProdID=50

Here's our 18th giveaway, and one of our grand prize giveaways, courtesy of the generous people at Orb Audio: one MOD1 PLUS Speaker System, valued at $999 USD, will be given away. Right now I'm testing a slightly bigger system of theirs (same speakers, just a few more of them), the Mod2, and words fail me: these speakers sound so incredibly good. Punchy, bright, powerful - just superb. The sub-woofer is tight and shockingly powerful for an 8" sub - hell, for any sub. I've been watching too many movies and enjoying the sound instead of writing my review! Here's a bit about the configuration that they're giving away to one lucky winner:

"The Best $999 Orb Audio Speaker System. The MOD1 PLUS speaker system is our solution for our customers on a tight $1,000 budget. It includes a 5.1 Mod1 system with Mod2 center channel upgrade, our BOSS Mod2 horizontal center speaker stand, 100 feet of speaker wire and a 12 foot subwoofer cable. It has great sound, an upgraded look and all the little things that you forget like speaker wire and a subwoofer cable. You can also choose to configure it as 3 Mod2 speakers if you do not plan on having rear speakers or if you already have them. There are no tricks here...while other systems are $999 BEFORE you add wire, cables and stands, this system is $999 INCLUDING all of that. If you don't need the add-ons, we suggest that you consider our People's Choice Home Theater Speaker System, which upgrades your front left and right speakers to Mod2 for about the same price. If you'd like the add-ons AND the upgraded front speakers (in a medium or large room or if you prefer louder output) that option is available as well. Either way, the MOD1 PLUS system is completely customizable to include 5, 6 or 7 speakers and you may also add any additional audio and video cables you might require for other components, to ensure you don't have to do any last minute shopping when your system arrives."



Here's how to enter: just post a message as a reply telling me about your home theatre setup - whether that's a 14" TV and no surround speakers, or a 72" plasma with an in-wall speaker system. Tell me how the Orb Audio speakers would improve your movie watching enjoyment. There's one post per person allowed, and one winners will be randomly chosen. The contest will stay open for entries until April 7th, 2008. Because of the physical size and weight of this prize, only people in the USA and Canada may enter this contest.

Special thanks to Orb Audio for their donation of this kick-ass speaker system!


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