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WTF IS THE ORBITSOUND AIR D1?

Someone's nicked one of your speakers ...

Your witty quip has left you looking foolish , because Orbitsound's Air 01 is very much a lone wolf . While it might look like half of an old - fashioned stereo pair that you'd find attached to a hl-fi nerd's stack of separates, the Air 01 is a thoroughly modern ali-in-one audio system with Wi-Fi, aptX Bluetooth, Ethernet, optical and aux inputs.

Won't it sound a bit 'mono'?

While it's true that one-box speakers don't usually offer a soundstage as wide as their two-part alternatives, Orbitsound reckons it 's come up with a solution. Inside the Air 01 is a pair of lOin woofers, a 5in mid-range driver and a lin textile dome tweeter .. . but there's also a couple of 4in Airsound drivers.

And what's that when it 's at home?

Airsound is a unique Orbitsound tech that 's said to create a spacious stereo image for everybody listening to the Air 01, no matter where in the room they're standing or sitting in relation to the speaker. Of course, the proof with stuff like this is in the listening; and while the tech has been used in the company's soundbars, the Air 01 is a different proposition entirely . But if it works as well as Orbitsound says it does , it could be a significant sonic breakthrough. Is that why it costs £12,000?

Yeah , it 's not cheap , but Orbitsound isn't messing about when it comes to what's inside. There's a pair of 150- Watt bass power amps , plus a single 70- Watt'Airamp ' that utilises transconductance , which means it continually monitors the performance of the speaker and corrects its own output to eliminate distorton. It 's also over a metre tall and weighs 50 kg, which is about the same as an adult male chimpanzee- although chimps don't come with a fancy stand and a choice of matt black and bamboo finishes.