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All posts tagged "orb audio"


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...


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