Orb Audio has become quite famous in the industry with its unique spherical speakers since 2003. The company sells its products online with an awesome 30-day no-hassle trial. In this article, we will discuss about the Orb Audio Mini review – an inexpensive 5.1-channel speaker system aimed at people who want to enjoy breath-taking music and movies without breaking the bank.
Now, continue reading below to learn more about:
- The included items and components in the box
- The design and finish options of Orb Audio Mini
- The installation and usage of the home theater speaker system
- The performance of Orb Audio Mini in playing music and movies
- The 5 reasons why you should get Orb Audio Mini
Orb Audio Mini
Home Theater Speaker System is a testament of the company’s effort in bringing domestically tolerable speakers. The unique qualities of this speaker system create such a huge value for the money. It is a very good choice for an entry-level home theater speaker system because it is upgradeable. It allows you to upgrade the components without ditching your initial investment.
You can get Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System in a complete bundle, which already includes the subwoofer, front and satellite speakers, and even an AV receiver. So, this is a very nice all-in-one solution that can get your home theater running in no time. The bundle is awesome if you are building from scratch.
Don’t worry; you may choose to buy the speaker system alone without the AV receiver if you already have one. Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System is available in two finish choices, white or metallic black. There are other finish choices available, but choosing a special finish comes with an additional cost.
When you open the box, you are greeted by five Orb Audio Regular Mod1 speakers, the Orb Audio subMINI Ultra Compact subwoofer, a 100-ft speaker wire, a high-quality subwoofer cable, and optionally the Denon AVR-S510BT 5.1-channel AV receiver. Keep in mind that this receiver is an entry-level model, but it already has five HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. Three of the inputs are already certified to support 4K UHD content with HDCP 2.2.
It is interesting that the company has taken a textbook approach for surround performance: all of the five speakers are of exactly the same model, so they are all tonally balanced. In other words, all of the five speakers will have equal sound and timbre. You will have no problem in setting up the speakers to create a perfectly matched sound field.
This Denon receiver already supports the Denon HEOS Linkmulti-room audio technology. You can stream music from your mobile device via Bluetooth. And there is a front-panel USB port for connecting a digital media player. Unfortunately, the networking and streaming features are very limited. This Denon receiver does not support Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Spotify, Apple AirPlay, or other subscription music streaming services. So, if you want to enjoy these features, you better purchase the receiver separately.
Every speaker in Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System has a unique spherical shape. It is very compact with a very small footprint. The diameter is only about 4-3/16 inches. However, it weighs about 20 oz, which is pretty heavy. This is because of the carbon-steel enclosure, which houses a 3” full-range aluminum/magnesium driver with a neodymium magnet and custom voice coil.
The compact design should allow you to mount the speaker easily. Just make sure that your mount it properly without any loose part. On the back of the speaker, there is a standard ¼-inch thread-mount for placement flexibility. You can mount it on the wall, ceiling, shelf, or any other furniture piece.
As mentioned above, the speakers may come with a white or metallicblack finish. You are free to choose between these two finish options. However, the company also provides special finish options, which are Hand Polished Steel, Hammered Earth, Hand Antiqued Brozed, and Hand Antiqued Copper.
However, if you choose a special finish, you will be charged with an additional cost. This is totally not a problem if you really love the finish – these special finish options indeed look very classy and elegant. If you want your speakers to suit a particular color scheme, Orb Audio has you covered. Nevertheless, the standard metallic black finish is already versatile and is easy to blend with almost any decoration.
The Orb Audio SubMINI Ultra Compact subwoofer is just as tiny as suggested by its name. It is really compact despite housing a respectable 6.0-inch driver. This is a big advantage if you have severely limited space. Despite the tiny design, Orb Audio SubMINI Ultra Compact boasts an impressive frequency response, which goes down to 32 Hz thanks to the dual-port design.
What really sets Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System apart from the competition is the upgradeability. You can upgrade to a speaker array on every channel, which is done by connecting additional speakers. The Orb Mod2 upgrade brings two speakers per channel, and the Orb Mod4 brings four speakers per channel.
The manufacturer says that the additional speakers will deliver fuller midrange and treble frequencies, as the drivers work together to increase the sound pressure levels. The manufacturer also says that the reduced impedance presented to the amp will not damage the receiver. The optional upgrade kits include stands for accommodating multiple speakers and jumper wires for clipping multiple speakers together and connecting multiple binding posts.
Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System is generally easy to set up. However, it does require some care and attention. You probably need to prepare a good pair of wire strippers. The included speaker cables are surprisingly thicker and of better quality than our expectations for an entry-level speaker system.
You start by stripping the white insulated coat from the ends of the cables. You will see two wires of different colors, one is copper and the other is silver. These wires do not have any functional difference. However, if you put the copper-colored wire into the positive terminal of a speaker, make sure that you also put the copper-colored wire on the other end into the positive terminal of the receiver. The same thing applies to the silver-colored wire.
The wiring solution is a little less fool-proof than the ones provided by other manufacturers. However, it does not require rocket science, and the all-white coat makes it very easy to hide.
Once the speakers are set up, just follow the included instructions. You need to set the subwoofer’s volume to the half-way mark. Afterwards, plug in the included calibration microphone, and let the receiver’s room correction do its magic. The automatic calibration takes only several minutes, and is smooth without any problem. The results are quite satisfying.
As an affordable 5.1-channel home theater speaker system, Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System is very impressive. It does an excellent job in creating an immersive sound field. Indeed, there are some rooms for improvement, but it is already very good from the beginning.
The tiny subwoofer has dual bass ports. This design allows the subwoofer to reach deep bass frequencies, down to 32 Hz. You will be surprised by the bass performance, although you will not really get the fullest impacts from rumbles and explosions. Even so, note that the included Denon receiver is the only model in the price range that is able to drive two self-powered subwoofers at once, so you can just add another subwoofer to improve the bass performance.
When playing some movie soundtracks, Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System performs beautifully. There is a very good sense of depth, space, neutral presentation, and instrument separation. It is almost as if the speakers have disappeared, and you are listening to a live orchestra performance. Almost.
Brass instruments are rendered by the speakers very nicely with great extension. Strings sound delicate, sweet, and accurate. The timbre is very natural with little to no coloration. In fact, Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System can reproduce virtually all instruments with great realism – all, except percussions.
Drums are lacking their commanding presence and authoritative weight. They sound somewhat dull and weak. Changing the placement of the subwoofer and recalibration do not help. This problem is apparently caused by the small size of the subwoofer.
This is just a minor issue compared to the overall performance, but it would be perfect if the subwoofer were more powerful. But, hey, nothing is perfect in this world. As the solution, you can add a second subwoofer or replace the subwoofer with a larger, more powerful one.
Nevertheless, the top end of the percussion instruments is quite respectable. It just lacks a little sizzle. Cymbal strikes have pretty good characteristics with enough power and brightness. However, they lack some sparkle, detailed decay, and real-time presence, which are the perks available on the more expensive speaker systems.
Throw in a movie with rich sound effects or soundtracks, and you will be delighted by the intense sensation right from the start. Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System bonds the individual channels together to create a seamless and immersive sound field. This is definitely a big benefit from using matched identical speakers.
The speaker system masterfully reproduces voices from the center channel and flanks. The directional accuracy and detail allow for a very realistic performance. Voices are also very clear and crisp. Thanks to the outstanding clarity, you will never find problems in understanding character dialogues.
Well, as good as Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System goes, it is still a level or two below the Dolby Atmos technology. Yes, Orb Audio Mini sounds more natural and less colored. However, a Dolby Atmos-enabled receiver can easily deliver bigger, more impactful audio.
Upgrading the speakers to Mod2 or Mod4 can enhance the performance, but not to the level of Dolby Atmos. In order to truly enjoy Dolby Atmos on Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System, you need to upgrade the receiver.
In the end, Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System has good music and movie performance. If you put the inexpensive price tag into your consideration, the overall value is impressive. It has good capabilities in bringing good timbre, resolving details, and rendering dynamics. The only minor issue is the lack of deep and powerful low-end performance.
|- A custom 5.1 Speaker System from Orb Audio offered exclusively by Amazon.com – includes Five Award Winning Orb Audio Mod1X Speakers (each speaker 4.25”x4.25”x4.5”), one Orb Audio subMINI Powered Subwoofer (9”x9”x9”) and all wiring required to connect the speakers and subwoofer to your Home Theater System.|
Orb Audio Mini Home Theater Speaker System is an excellent choice if you need an affordable speaker system that sounds great. It can easily create an immersive sound field. The output is accurate and neutral, with little to no coloration. The unique spherical design is compact and very easy to place. The speakers are upgradeable, meaning that you won’t have to throw away your initial investment as you build a more powerful set up.
Orb Audio Mini Review: Specifications
- 3-inch full-range driver
- Spherical Acoustic Suspension metal enclosure
- Magnetic shielding for use near video displays and other magnetically-susceptible devices
- Binding Posts: Custom gold-plated brass (fits up to 14-gauge wire)
- Black, Pearl White (no extra charge)
- Hand Polished Steel, Hammered Earth, Hand Antiqued Brozed, Hand Antiqued Copper (extra charge)
- Power Handling: 15 – 115 Watts
- Sensitivity: 89db
- Frequency Response Range: 80 Hz to 20,000 Hz
- Effective: 120 Hz to 18,000 Hz
- Impedance: 8 ohms
- 8” driver with 30 oz. ferrite magnet, rear port, bass reflex design
- Amplifier Type: BASH (Bridged Amplifier Switching Hybrid)
- Power Output: 200 Watts (RMS), 450 Watts (Peak)
- Frequency Response Range: 28 Hz – 180 Hz
- SPL: 107dB (continuous), 111dB (max)
- THD: Less than .05% (full power, 100Hz)
- Hi Pass Filter: 12dB per octave
- Crossover: Continuously adjustable between 40Hz and 160Hz
- Phase: Continuously adjustable between 0 and 180 degrees
- Dimensions: 12”x 11 1/2” x 11 3/4” (H x W x D)
- Weight: 26 lbs
- Power: On, Auto, Mute
Orb Audio Mini Review: Pros and Cons
|- Very small footprint||- No Wi-Fi or Ethernet|
|- Easy installation||- Can’t stream from network devices, Spotify, or Apple AirPlay|
|- Upgradeable without tossing away the initial investment||- The bass isn’t really powerful|
|- Supports Denon HEOS Link multi-room technology|
|- Impressive music and movie performance|
Get the best price for Orb Audio Mini here!