Digital Summer Special: High-tech audio systems

Digital Summer 2008, Home audio, iPod

digital_summer_logo_small.pngSeveral of the companies exhibiting at Digital Summer had some interesting audio technology on show.

There’s been plenty of talk about creating virtual surround sound from a pair of stereo speakers, but not so much (that I’ve heard of) about creating a wide stereo sound space from one speaker unit. Audio Pro, Geneva, and Orbitsound are all pushing technology that does just that. It sounds great, too.

Read on for five great home audio products, and please don’t let the iPod integration put you off.


Truly portable iPod speaker from Audio Pro

We’ve seen enough iPod speaker docks to last a lifetime, but this one from Audio Pro is the first truly portable one I’ve seen.

The aptly named “Porto” is a durable, leather-clad speaker unit featuring EmbracingSound technology which can generate a stereo image from a single unit. It features twin 38mm aluminium tweeters and an oblong aluminium bass driver, all individually powered by three dedicated class D amplifiers and running off a high-power, long-life rechargeable battery. The fully charged battery can supply the iPod for up to eight hours.

It works quite happily with most of the iPod range, as well as accepting two external audio units simultaneously via its dual 3.5mm inputs. It also has a built in FM radio, headphone jack, supplied credit-card sized remote control unit, and comes in either red or black.

Available this month, priced £175.

geneva_sound_system.jpgSingle box sound systems from Geneva

You may not have heard of Geneva’s products before, but this Swiss company has created a trio of all-in-one home audio units combining simplicity with cutting edge audio technology.

Utilising the same EmbracingSound technology, a full stereo sound stage can be reproduced from the four or six drivers.

All units feature an iPod dock, built-in top slot-loading low-distortion CD player, radio, plus a whole range of connections for linking up other audio equipment.

The smallest Model M features four 25 watt drivers, and retails for £499. Model L features four 50 watt drivers, and retails for £799. The largest Model XL features six 100 watt drivers and will set you back £1,499.

Additionally, pedestal stands are available for L and XL, priced £139 each.

These wooden cabinets come in white, red or black lacquer, and are available now from the exclusive likes of Selfridges, twentytwentyone, Conran stores, and other selected design stores.

orbitsound home audio with airsound technology

The previous products used EmbracingSound technology, whereas orbitsound’s three featured products use airsound to reproduce a stereo sound space from a single-point speaker system.

orbitsound_t6.jpgThe orbitsound T6 “dual valve stereo aura” is a compact system which can be used with iPods and other music systems, featuring an audiophile-class preamp, dual triode valve amplifiers.

The airsound technology produces identical, balanced, high quality stereo sound regardless of where the unit, or the listener, is situated. It comes with a separate subwoofer.

It features audio in and out, video output, and remote control unit.

orbitsound_t12.jpgThe orbitsound T12 spatial stereo soundbar dock is a single unit which can be used with iPod or any auxiliary audio devices. It comes with a separate subwoofer. It offers 50 watts of continuous output.

Finally, the orbitsound T3 is a personal stereo system which allows you to listen to your music on the move without the need for headphones. It is worn around the neck, and plays music into the air around your head. Together with airsound, it features a BODYSOUND effect which uses the human body to reinforce the sound. This even works when using the unit with headphones.

orbitsound_t3.jpgI’ve been assured that these products are coming very, very soon, so keep an eye on the orbitsound web site for more information on the products, or for info on the technology.

All in all, some stylish and innovative audio products.

Check out the rest of our Digital Summer Special

Andy Merrett
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