For a small little device (102 x 60 x 20mm and weighing 115g), it packs a hell of a punch! This device takes a 3.5mm connection from your phone, your mp3 player, your DAB radio, anything really, and produces a very rich stereo sound from a single unit. This is achieved by the companies’ airSOUND technology to achieve this. The T3 is designed to either hang around your neck and use your chest cavity to enrich the sound, or you can place the device on a hard surface to achieve the same effect.
It has two switches, the first a power switch to turn the unit on or off (the device has a rechargeable Lithium battery built in giving up to 10 hours music), whereas the second sets the airSOUND to either Off, Normal, or High. The volume is controlled by the device it’s been connected to, as it has no direct volume control. We found the neckstrap a little small, so left the device on a solid wooden desk for a few hours, and connected it up to the, which sports Dolby Mobile as well, and wow, what a nice rich sound we heard from the selection of mp3 tracks we had on the .
Keeping the Dolby Mobile turned on seemed to make the sound even richer, and allowed us to hear additional background lyrics that we had never even noticed before when using in ear headphones, or playing the same tracks through a normal music system.
Orbitsound explain their airSOUND technology with the following:
“The problem with personal music systems like the iPod® or the Walkman® is that you have to wear headphones. And the trouble with headphones is that they are not really stereo – just two separated mono signals clamped to your ears.”
“Listening to stereo means hearing the sound from both speakers with both ears – that’s what gives you the stereo soundfield in between the speakers. With headphones you can only hear the left speaker signal in the left ear and the right speaker in the right: most people therefore hear the sound in the middle or back of their head, as opposed to in front and around you where the soundstage is supposed to be. With the orbitsound T3, the music is literally in the air, all around your head. This means that the sound from the T3 is a real spatial stereo soundfield. With the T3 you are not isolated from the environmental sounds around you, as you are with headphones; you can listen to your entertainment and still be aware of traffic noise and people around or behind you in the street.”
To be honest, that’s the only downside we see to the unit; not everyone wants to hear other people’s music, and so for situations like a train, this device will not be popular, but for listening or sharing the music with others, we think it gives a good sound.
We’re going to give this device some more testing, including looking at battery life, as well as giving it a greater variety of music and connect it to more devices and will report back.
The device costs £49 (which includes the device, neckstrap, mains charger and a short 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable) and is available direct from orbitsound’s online store.