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Orbitsound T12 soundbar

Stereo sound from one speaker? That's just crazy talk

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Review The T12 stereo ‘soundbar’ represents a totally unique take on the category; it goes back to the dawn of stereo technology itself to deliver a genuine revolution in sound reproduction.

Using technology developed by its sister technology Airsound, the Orbitsound T12 is designed to give a boost to TV audio as well as act as a music system for an iPod (via its own dock) or other peripherals by way of a line-in jack and stereo inputs. Whilst the unit is not the highest specified you will ever come across, what it does in terms of the sound is extremely impressive.

Orbitsound T12 soundbar

T12: can reproduce wide stereo fields from a single speaker

The unit’s ace in the hole is that it can reproduce wide stereo fields from a single speaker. "Impossible!" we hear you cry. By definition stereo is two speakers. Actually, that's not necessarily true, but we have to go back in time to the beginning of stereo reproduction for an explanation.

Airsound explains its technique is based on the theories of inventor Alan Blumlein, who in 1931 described a method of recording and reproducing 'stereophonic' sound. His theories centered around the notion that (as we have two ears) the ability to recognise where a sound is coming from is to do with how the sound reaches our ears - if one side is louder than the other, then the sound is located on the loud side.

Alan thought that it might be possible to record and reproduce 'spatial' sound, using a principle called 'sum and difference' or 'middle and side' (M/S). This involved using an omni-directional microphone to record the main signal information, and a figure-8 response (or 'dipole') microphone set across the 'field of sound' to record the spatial information.

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