FIRST LISTEN: ORBITSOUND AIR D1 ONE-BOX LUXURY STEREO SPEAKER

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by Jay Garrett

24th April, 2019

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FIRST LISTEN: ORBITSOUND AIR D1 ONE-BOX LUXURY STEREO SPEAKER

British audio company, Orbitsound, is treading new ground with its remarkable Air D1 luxury loudspeaker and we've heard it.

Orbitsound is a brand that, until now, has been synonymous with soundbars and wireless speakers. Well, that is set to be blown right out of the water with the arrival of the Air D1.

Answering the question of “how can I fit a decent hi-fi in my tiny city apartment?”, the Air D1 starts by halving the number of speakers you need.

Orbitsound Air D1 review

The Air D1 is an entirely active, single, standalone speaker that uses Orbitsound’s proprietary Airsound technology that delivers a full and compelling stereo image without needing a pair of loudspeaker cabinets.

Having walked around the sides and front of the Air D1 (going around the back would just be silly), I can attest that the new flagship Orbitsound speaker does an impressive job indeed of presenting stereo from wherever you are. Furthermore, what makes the Air D1 a contender for 'Best Party Speaker 2019' is the fact that when someone walks in between you and the speaker, there appears to be very little loss in stereo image or fidelity. Nifty!

Orbitsound Air D1 review

Orbitsound’s chief audio engineers, father-and-son duo Ted and Daniel Fletcher, have been tweaking Airsound while also working to improve sonics through transconductance. Now, here comes the science bit. Without getting too involved, what you get is that the amplifier monitors the speaker's performance and uses that information to dynamically correct its output accordingly to eliminate distortion in the audio signal. The upshot of that through my time with the Air D1 is clear, transparent, precise sound reproduction with powerful dynamics.

Measuring 113 x 56 x 34 cm (HxWxD) and weighing 50kg, the Air D1 comprises of a pair of opposing 10-inch custom designed neodymium woofers sat in a 32L sealed and reinforced enclosure, a 5-inch mid, and a brace of 4-inch Airsound drivers all set in sealed individual acoustically designed enclosures, and a surface mounted 1-inch textile dome tweeter. The frequency response is electronically limited to 35Hz-25kHz.

Orbitsound Air D1 review

Powering the bass drivers are two 150W Class A/B analogue bass/sub-bass power amps. The Mid/Airsound drivers are pushed along by two 100W Class A/B analogue amps with that Airamp transconductance special sauce. Finally, the tweeter gets its own 70W class A/B Airamp.

A statement piece such as this would be laughable if the design and technology weren't suitably connected to receive music in a multitude of ways. Thankfully, then, the Orbitsound Air D1 possesses wi-fi and Bluetooth with aptX radios for wireless streaming. Additionally, you get a single optical and three aux inputs for the wired audio. Digital input is good for PCM 16-24bit, 36-96KHz, upsampled internally to a base rate of 96KHz.

Orbitsound Air D1 review

Also, there is an Ethernet socket for hardwiring the speaker system to your home network.

The wooden cabinet looks and feels like a quality item. There were two finishes on display, the wood seen in most of the pictures here and an extremely stealthy black finish. The speaker is raised upon a neat stand that enables the bass frequences to be unfettered and as linear as possible. Additionally, the stand also allows the unit to be tilted to accommodate listeners in either a seated or standing position.

There is also a control panel set atop the Air D1 that enables you to select the source as well as tune the EQ by the looks of things.

Orbitsound Air D1 review

Orbitsound set out to create a new luxury loudspeaker that showcases the brand's originality and innovation all wrapped up in an aesthetically pleasing package worthy of being sat front-and-centre in only the best of modern homes - and by golly, I think they've done it with this hand-built in the UK tour de force.

The Air D1 boasts a stylishly contemporary design and further stamps its luxury tag by being available now, hand-built to order, exclusively from Harrods for an initial period for £12,000.

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Written by:

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Lifestyle
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