Taking soundbars into orbit

IT looks like the looming black monolith from 2001, A Space Odyssey, but the speaker system on the left is a deft spatial stereo gizmo constructed by another plucky British company, the sci fi-sounding Orbitsound.

Announced this week and coming into shops next month, the soundbar (which has the not-exactly-charismatic title of T12v3) is able to disperse sound into a room for a surround-sound effect that emanates from the same spot.

Whack it in front of your flatscreen telly, and the high-gloss, minimalist unit fills the room with sound from all directions, without the need for grouping multiple speakers round the room and running messy wires along the floor (you’ll just have to find somewhere to slot that big bass woofer). The T12v3 also works as a standalone dock for an MP3 player.

This is technology with which Orbitsound, founded by former musician and renowned audio designer Ted Fletcher, has forged a strong reputation.

He launched the company in 2005 with the specific aim of creating spatial stereo technology, which it first unveiled in 2008 where it wowed the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The T12v2 soundbar was launched last year, and this new version promises improved bass response, a greater volume range, and greater sound clarity – in other words, it’s pretty awesome.

It’s distinctly affordable, too, at £299. Expect to find it in John Lewis and Harrods from September.