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4.5 out of 5 stars
Orb Audio QuickPack - Metallic Black Gloss
Color Name: Metalic Black GlossChange
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
Color Name: Metalic Black Gloss
I don't usually take the time to write reviews here but I always find Amazon reviews helpful and I really want to help other people learn about these speakers. So here it goes.

I'm no audiophile but I am a huge fan of home audio. I have never listened to multi-thousand dollar soundsystems but I know mostly what to listen for when trying out speakers and I know what sounds good and what doesn't. Since I've started caring about home surround systems, I've only had several different brands in my house. Starting with a cheap Panasonic home theater in a box (HTIB) many years ago. It worked but only a little better than TV speakers. When my wife and I bought our house two years ago, I knew that we needed a much better sound system since we were going to be living there for a long time. We bought a 60" Sharp Aquos LED TV, which was our first flat screen. Of course my wife isn't as concerned with the sound aspect unfortunately so I couldn't spend a bunch of money on a surround sound like I had hoped to. I had already started doing serious research into speakers before we moved into the house so I had already found Orb Audio and was really excited to try these speakers out. But I wasn't able to spend the money I wanted so I bought a Denon AVR790 7.1-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater Receiver with 1080p HDMI Connectivity receiver and the Polk Audio RM6750 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System (Set of Six, Black)speaker package. It wasn't the Orbs but it was cheaper and it was ok with my wife.

These speakers worked great in our living room. But about a year and a half later I was ready to slowly move up. I did more research and for Christmas of last year I got the MartinLogan Motion 6 Center Channel Speaker (Piano Black, each)to replace the Polk center channel. Then soon after I was able to replace the left and right channels with a set of these Orbs. Now the Polks that were replaced are in the back of the room to complete a 7.1 channel system. I also upgraded the subwoofer to the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer (Single, Black). This sub is amazing especially for the price.

Anyway,I can't say enough good things about the Orbs. Not only do they blend in well with the Marin Logan speaker, but they blow me away in every aspect. Everything is clear and beautiful. Sound effects sound like they are coming from a foot away from the speaker. They really have great dynamics and create an amazing soundstage. After looking at their website I was worried that it would be better to have the Mod2 setup (2 orbs for each channel) but amazingly one Orb for each channel is more than loud enough for our living room. My wife continually asks me to turn it down. Of course if you have a fairly large room then you would want Mod 2's. I am currently working on replacing the rear left and right channel Polk's with Orbs. Can't wait.

After having the Orbs and the Martin Logan for about five months now, I still am amazed with them every day. Despite the fact that they don't have tweeters, and the ML speaker has a ribbon tweeter, I actually like the sound of the Orbs better. They have such and awesome sound that I really get a kick out of. Of course I am glad that I have the ML speaker as the center channel as the dialog is very clear and realistic, but for the music and effects coming out of the side channels, the Orbs are just perfect. It's the best home theater setup I've ever owned. I also have the speakers mounted directly on the wall. So they don't take up space, can't be knocked over, etc.

If you want a badass sound system and don't have the money or space for a $5,000 plus theater system, go with the Orb Audio speakers. You won't regret it. Hope this review helps.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
Color Name: Metalic Black Gloss
I have had these speakers for 2 year and has been extremely pleased with their sound quality the only problem is the woofer, which has self-destructed twice. the company required a full payment for a replacement even though I never turned the volume up and had had the system for 16 months.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2013
Color Name: Metalic Black Gloss
I have been building an Orb system since 2010 with beautifully finished bronze speakers and HOSS hunk of solid steel stands. Had my system working perfectly and the soundstage (my measure of good sound - though bass and highs are fantastic too) is truly awesome - blowing away Bose, Mirage, and Polk - rivaling speakers that literally cost four times as much. I am not sure my friend's $20k Bang & Olufsen system sounds much better.

I accidentally turned off the crossover on my sub and ran way, way too much current to the Orbs during a party to celebrate the United States v. Windsor civil rights decision regarding marriage equality. I blew up my $1500 Marantz receiver - and just had to replace it because my warranty period was over. I also blew out 2 of the 10 Orbs in my 5.1 system. I emailed Orb and was told to send my speakers to California and they would take a look to see if I had actually blown out or if it was a warranty issue. Turned out I had in fact blown them out - bad. Nevertheless, Orb fixed for me for less than $100, including shipping back to me and gave me advice about how to set up my system to keep from this issue happening again. Every email I sent was answered almost immediately by a real person, who was seriously interested in fixing my problem and making sure I knew exactly what was happening with my speakers.

In sum, I had amazing customer service from real folks who understand good sound and who actually stand behind the product that they and their colleagues make themselves in southern California. I always try to buy high end products made in the USA when possible because in my opinion they are better quality and also support American jobs. Orbs are no exception. Amazing quality combined with amazing customer service. If you buy their speakers I promise you will not be disappointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2011
Color Name: Metalic Black Gloss
I purchased these direct from Orb Audio over a year ago and these little guys are great! Lows, mids, and highs are incredibly distinct and separated. The sound field is broad and easily fills my apartment with quality sound. You will want to use a subwoofer with these speakers, however. Currently I use two of these with a Polk PSW10 sub but I am planning on purchasing another Mod1 pack to enlarge my system. Pretty sure you cannot go wrong with these. Very happy customer here.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
Color Name: Metalic Black Gloss
For the last 6 years we've been looking for a small speaker system for our small weekend town condo--just 900 sf. We wanted something to entertain in our open kitchen/living room space. After an hour long discussion with an Orb representative recently, I decided to try the Mod1 with Booster amplifier. That's two Orb speakers, their Super8 subwoofer, and a multi-input channel mini amplifier. Customer service was quite good. Orb reps are very proud of their company and the products they carry. They're also very honest about their expertise. I asked the agent advising me what system would best present classical music. He honestly told me he didn't listen to it so couldn't advise. But he himself used a Mod1 at home and was very satisfied. He also advised me against the smaller Yamaha subwoofer Orb carries, letting me know the Super8 was far richer.

I received the components and had them up and running in under an hour. I don't have wire strippers so had to make the wire connections the old fashioned way--stripping with a knife. By the way, I'd purchased everything I needed--including speaker wire and subwoofer cable--through Orb, so everything is exactly as the rep advised. I write that to let others know my quality assessment isn't biased by components that might not be intended to work together optimally.

Having used Bose systems for years and having been sorely disappointed with Bose at higher volume (too little power, though excellent at low volume), we looked for years for a replacement that didn't require a third mortgage. The Orb system was affordable, but more importantly, had outstanding reviews all over the web. We first connected an Ipod Touch and tried a mixed contemporary (rock) playlist. Without the Super8 the speakers sounded very tinny. But with the Super8 the sound was whole, even powerful. Then we tried a Bach French Suite. I have Bose in my car, listen to the same recording there, and have been disappointed at low volume where the sound is smoothest, but find that on loud I begin to feel as if I'm in the concert hall, however this is limited by the ugly distortion at high volume. So when the Orb Audio, with Super8 turned almost to maximum, delivered mediocre sound, I was crest fallen. The piano sounded dull, listless, and the subwoofer had to be turned to maximum to catch the lower keyboard range. Worst of all, at the upper volume range, classical pieces--whether solo instruments or ensembles--break up. Listening recently to a Rachmaninoff concerto for piano & orchestra, the distortion was so bad we turned off the system, preferring silence to the poor sound quality.

The Orb sound (Mod1 with Booster amplifier) is good with contemporary, bass-rich pieces. It's strong in treble across genres. But after trying 9 "classical" albums from the early 17th through late 19th centuries, we resigned ourselves to listening to classical music only through our headphones. The Bose is fine for contemporary music, but breaks up horribly with classical pieces. There is less distortion with Orb, but that "Oh-my-god-that's-exquisite" sensation you get when you're listening to a piece via headphones and you feel as if you're in the middle of the musical ensemble is simply, for us, not there with the Mod1 system. Maybe the Mod2--doubling the number of speakers--would be satisfactory. And if it matters to any reading this, we've tried many different placements of the speakers and subwoofer, but after days of listening--always hoping it would take just a few days for the system to settle into marvellous sound--keep finding the Mod1 works best when the speakers are pointed towards us, and in close range. Simply put, we don't find the Mod1 an apartment-filling sound system.

I've always subscribed to the under-promise-but-over-deliver business philosophy. We had very, very high hopes from Orb Audio, but will likely be returning the set to pay an audio professional to come into our space to make recommendations on a system. We feel guilty leaving this less than stellar review; the Orb reps were so enthusiastic and frankly likable that we WANT to say we love the system. But we're just terribly disappointed.

UPDATE, 16 FEB
We've listened to a variety of music since getting the Mod1 system, and we're very sad to report we remain underwhelmed--so much so that we'll definitely be returning the heavy system. We'd rather take the hit on shipping back the large Super-8 than continue to feel dissappointed in the system. To reiterate, we find the Mod1 system with subwoofer and amplifier reasonable for contemporary pieces (though it doesn't compare to a traditional large-box speaker system--not by a long shot), but abhorent for classical pieces--especially large ensemble pieces. Too, we're always afraid of damaging the system because in order to get fair volume in our tiny condo space we have to crank up the mini-amp JUST below the red indicator lights--as we continue to lust after more volume. We'd rather pay 4 times the Orb cost for a system that thrills us deep in the bones. Sorry, Orb. We wanted to love you, but just don't. But thanks, Orb, for your 30 day in-home trial. Indispensable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 18, 2014
Color Name: Metalic Black Gloss
The Orb Mod 1 satellite speakers have a beautiful circular design breaking the mold of speakers in a rectangular box. The Orbs measure 4.25" in diameter. The 3" aluminum cone driver sets in a circular metal casing and has a rounded metal front grill. The Mod 1's have high quality custom gold plated brass binding posts and come with a metal desk stand. The Orb speakers hardly take up any room which makes them ideal as main speakers when paired with a mini amp to create a very compact laptop or desktop computer audio setup or if creating a bookshelf audio system. The Mod 1 speakers very small size also makes them ideal to use as surround speakers in a larger home theater system or used as front speakers if you desire speakers to go completely unnoticed. If you are using them for either application Orb sells wall mounts for the Mod 1's.

SOUND:
The Mod 1's have a forward, clean sound. I'm able to crank the volume with these speakers and the clarity holds up very well. The speakers simply consist of a 3" driver so don't expect any bass thumping from them. The specs state a frequency response of 80Hz-20kHz but I feel they'd be lucky to produce any frequencies below 110Hz. I have other satellite and bookshelf speakers with similar frequency response but they produce noticeably more bass. It is worth noting those speakers are significantly larger than the Orb's. Because the Mod 1's lack a tweeter I also find their highs not to be as bright as the satellite and bookshelf speakers. None of this is to dissuade a potential buyer from the Orbs but to inform them of the trade offs of getting a speaker 1/4 to 1/10 the size of normal satellite or bookshelf speakers. The sound the Mod 1's are able to create according to their size is nothing short of impressive and makes them very attractive.

SUBWOOFER:
If using the Mod 1's as main speakers to achieve the best sound it's advantageous to pair them with a subwoofer. Orb makes the subMini which is designed to go with the Mod 1 speakers. Other subwoofers will work as well so long as they have a high frequency crossover. I have the subMini and it works perfectly with the Mod 1 speakers. The crossover is set at 160Hz. With a subwoofer, the 2.1 Orb audio system sounds incredible. The sound is spacious and the bass is tight. Considering the subMini and pair of Mod 1 speakers combined take up about as much space as one of my large Boston bookshelf speakers the sound the Orbs are able to create together is awesome.

SUMMARY:
The Orb Mod 1 speakers are made in the USA and Orb is known for their great customer service. The Mod 1's are beautifully designed speakers that can be used for many different applications. Their tiny size, high quality durable build, and sound quality make them an excellent choice as satellite speakers in a larger home theater system. You could even use several Mod 1's and a subwoofer to create a full home theater system that no one will know is even there. The Mod 1's can also be use to create a compact computer audio system or bookshelf system. Just be realistic about their sound if you are used to much larger bookshelf or floorstanding speakers. Paired with a subwoofer any reservations about their very limited bass output completely goes away. I am currently using the Orbs along with the subMini as a 2.1 desktop computer audio system and couldn't be happier.

Note: A product sample was provided by the seller in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
Color Name: Metalic Black GlossVerified Purchase
My Orb Audio Mod 1's solved my small room TV speaker problem. Clear, crisp sound; minimal space; quality construction, and unintrusive in my dining room decor. I hear every word of dialogue. Great for music, too. I don't need a sub woofer for casual listening. I also own Klipshhorns in my larger music room for really serious listening with maximum impact. Orb Audio Mod 1's meet a specific need perfectly! Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
Color Name: Metalic Black Gloss
I've had a Mod 2, 5.1 set up for three years (that's 10 Orbs, plus their subwoofer). The system is excellent. Terrific separation (running through a Denon 4311) and balanced tone. Build quality is superb. I also have the HOS stands. Pricey, but well worth the cost if you wish to highlight the beauty of these units (which I have in steel). Would love to go overboard and expand to Mod 4!!! Definately worth the buy. Excellent customer service also. I had to try several wall mount options for the rear speakers and the company was patient and helpful until I finally found the proper mounts for my particular needs. Go for it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2012
Color Name: Metalic Black GlossVerified Purchase
I bought these speakers from Amazon to replace my rather large Linn speakers with mega cable. While the two speakers are worlds apart in audio world, I can't say enough about the Orb speakers - great sound for the $. I really like the small size as they fit nicely into the media cabinet. Two thumbs up on this buy! Also, when the box arrived without the stands. I called Orb and they sent them out post haste and the phone was answered by a pleasant person to boot. Top notch company that stands behind its product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
Color Name: Pearl White Gloss
I have been bumping a pair of these as my main home theatre speakers for over a year now and am content with them, along with the accompanying 8-inch sub.

These satellites are not going to blow away your high-quality floorstanders but they definitely get the job done for their size, and will give mid-level bookshelf systems a run for their money. Love the thick aluminum (no plastic) and size. Wife did not want big huge speakers in the living room so this is what I came up with.

You can add more and more of these bad boys to your setup, but they will go plenty loud on their own and disperse sound well. My problem is getting them enough power, since I power them with a small T-amp. The highs aren't as crisp as I'd like, but I've yet to find a speaker or headphone that does a flawless cymbal crash. This system definitely compares with my music room setup, which is a pair of decent Klipsch bookshelves and a cheap subwoofer.

I would recommend the Orb Audio subwoofer to go with these, as my cheap one did not match well and left dialog sounding strange. The Orbs do not push out much sound below 120hz, so you're going to need a sub that handles higher frequencies without getting too muddy. I played it safe and got the matching Orb subwoofer and think it sounds great. Dialog and movies (especially Blu-ray) are a highlight, with most music working out very well too. But again, you're not going to get that completely full-range audiophile setup out of these. It's a size compromise.

I do feel that at $130 each they're a little on the pricey side, but the materials are quality and I believe the Mod1s are made in the U.S. (the sub is assembled in China).
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