Loewe makes a splash with its wireless '3D' surround speaker system

Loewe likes to do things a little differently, and this 3D Orchestra IS surround speaker set-up is a case in point.

It's designed to work with Loewe's latest TVs, including the Individual SF range and the forthcoming, updated Connect ID sets. Surround sound Dolby Digital and DTS processing takes place within the TVs themselves, then the signal is sent wirelessly (5.8GHz lossless) to the active 3D Orchestra IS speakers.

That means there's no need for a separate AV amp or cables all round the room (although the speakers do need to be plugged into the mains). The speaker bulit into the TV handles centre channel duties, with the satellites being used for the front and rear channels and a separate subwoofer for bass.

A spherical sound wave is emitted in all directions, says Loewe, spreading a "consistent soundfield throughout the room and eradicating the traditional sweet spot". Instead, the system creates a "sweet space" so the listener doesn't have to sit in one place to get the best sound.

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The speakers can be placed at different heights, and unlike conventional speaker packages, they don't need to be positioned in a straight line at the front and back of the room, making placement more flexible.

An auto-calibration system measures the room once the speakers are in position and calibrates them accordingly.

The aluminium-cased speakers can be specified with a wide variety of coloured insets on the top, and are available in 3.1 and 5.1 configurations. Additional speakers can be added to make up a 7.1 system.

Prices are £1500 for the 3.1 system, and £2000 for the 5.1 set-up, with the TV acting as the centre speaker in both cases. Additional speakers cost £650 a pair.

A multi-brand version of the system that can be used with non-Loewe TVs, surround amps and processors will be launched this autumn.

By Andy Clough

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.