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Orbitsound T9 review

Tiny box with big sound; but there are stronger rivals Tested at £200

Our Verdict

Tiny box with big sound; but there are stronger rivals

For

  • Big, loud sound
  • Loads of bass
  • Plenty of punch
  • Compact size

Against

  • Could do with more subtlety and refinement
  • Crowded soundfield

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Tiny box with big sound; but there are stronger rivals

Pros

  • + Big, loud sound
  • + Loads of bass
  • + Plenty of punch
  • + Compact size

Cons

  • - Could do with more subtlety and refinement
  • - Crowded soundfield

It’s a small system, but the Orbitsound T9 is flexible and doubles up as a respectable iPod/iPhone dock.

Built to be the compact little brother to the Orbitsound T12v3, the T9 comes finished in high-gloss black or white, with metal grilles that are magnetically attached, and nicely so.

Underneath you’ll find a 2.5cm tweeter flanked by two 6cm mid-drivers. Again, there’s no HDMI, but along with digital optical and stereo RCA inputs, there’s a 3.5mm input and composite video output for showing video from a smart portable to a TV.

Orbitsound T9 review: Performance
Big and loud sound with bags of bass are just a few of the familiar traits handed down from the excellent T12v3 to its little bro.

It’s certainly a step up from the thin and reedy sound most TVs produce, with the T9 delivering lashings of deep and powerful sound, giving prominence to dialogue and bass-heavy thrills.

While the sound is gutsy and aggressive – ideal for pairing it with any typical Michael Bay-directed AV assault – there’s little subtlety or refinement on offer to counteract its robust, attacking nature.

Even with a few days’ running in, the T9 retains a brash edge, with things getting a bit unruly when you crank up the volume.

You can adjust the treble and bass levels using its basic remote control, and we found that lowering the bass level improves things a touch.

Switch to music, and while your iDevice charges (via a 30-pin connector and not Apple’s new 8-pin Lightning connector) the T9 pumps out tunes with good rhythm and dynamics.

However, a blast of The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter reveals the T9 delivers a slightly crowded soundfield.

Orbitsound T9 review: Verdict
But the T9’s smaller size means it will be a good fit for small TVs in medium-to-small rooms, and could even be used as a desktop speaker if you don’t mind having the equally compact sub under your desk.

However, you can get dedicated desktop speakers with better skills – the Epoz Aktimate Micro, say, at £260 – which would be much easier to live with.

While we applaud the T9’s ability to deliver thunderous sound from its petite casing, there are similarly priced options that provide a subtler performance.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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