The evolution of surround sound

Orbitsound SB60

The SB60 airSOUND BASE from Orbitsound is a new breed of soundbar, an all-in-one speaker system that combines multiple loudspeakers, a subwoofer and a series of amplifiers and electrical systems into one thin box. What differentiates this unit from previous soundbars, though, is the inclusion of both a low-frequency speaker within its case – where traditionally soundbars have come with a separate subwoofer – and secondly, a unique airSOUND audio processing unit.

The airSOUND processor works by taking an audio recording’s left and right electronic surround-sound signals, then separating and processing them into a ‘main’ and ‘spatial’ signal. The former is the recorded signal in its entirety, while the latter is the left and right signals with any common information filtered out. Common information includes any elements of the two signals that are identical, so in removing them each spatial signal only transmits the differences in the audio track, making for better sound quality and less distortion as caused by wave cancellation.

The included subwoofer – technically a low-frequency loudspeaker, as it produces audible frequencies too – is possible thanks to the vacuum-sealed, resin-bonded casing of the SB60. Indeed, the subwoofer and all four loudspeakers are located in their own sealed, irregularly shaped compartments to minimise acoustic reverberations and oscillations. The sub is placed in two compression zones that help it deliver bass frequencies without rattling in the box and surface it sits on.

Combined, the airSOUND spatial surround sound and integrated sub allow the SB60 to re-create an audio track’s sound picture – the original position and timing of all the track’s sounds – without requiring a number of traditional floor-standing speakers.

For more information about the SB60 please visit Orbitsound’s website now.