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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I hear them?

Where can I hear them?

Will Orb work with my existing equipment?

I already have a “Theater in a box” system, can I use Orb to upgrade the sound?

How can I use Orb in the bedroom, den or kid's rooms?

Can I use Orb for multi-room applications?

Do the speakers come in any other colors?

How do I choose between Mod 1 and Mod 2 speakers?

How do I determine which system to use in my room?

I'm on a super tight budget, what do you advise?

Do you have any specific equipment recommendations?

How do I upgrade my system?

I already have a subwoofer, will it work with Orb?

Can I mount them on a wall?

Can I mount them on the ceiling?

Can I mount them inside my armoire / TV cabinet?

How long will they last?

How does Orb compare to other mainstream products?

Do they play loud?

How many watts are they?

Is Orb magnetically shielded?

Can I use Orb with my PC?

Can I use Orb satellite speakers without a subwoofer?

Where do I put the speakers for best performance?

My receiver is 6-8 ohms, will the Mod2 work?


 


How can I hear them?

Where can I hear them?

The best way to experience the unique sound of Orb is to have them in your own room. We offer a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, so it is easy to try Orb and to see and hear the difference in quality you receive with every Orb speaker system. Orb is modular, too, so you can start small and grow into whatever system fits your needs over time.  In addition to our 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, it is possible to hear the speakers in New York and Los Angeles.  Please call or email for further information.


Will Orb work with my existing equipment?

Yes. If you have a stereo or home theater receiver, even a boom box or TV with “external speaker” jacks, Orb will work really well. Our speakers are very efficient and so it takes very little power to run them. This means that you will get plenty of volume and far better detail using Orb, even with very old or very low cost electronics. You can use Orb instead of the low quality speakers that usually come packaged with most “Theater In a Box” or executive "mini" systems.  We would be happy to discuss how Orb will fit in with your existing equipment, please call or email us for specific recommendations.


I already have a “Home Theater In A Box” system, can I use Orb to upgrade the sound?

Yes.  If you have already become a victim of HTIB, Orb can probably cure your problems.  The best way to protect yourself from HTIB is with our steel balls.  Both the Mod1 and Mod2 will work with most of the electronics included with HTIB systems. When we designed Orb speakers, we made them very efficient. They can run on as little as 15 watts per channel while still providing loud volume. You might want to start by purchasing just two Mod 1 satellites in our Quick Pack. You will be amazed at how much you can improve your system with new front left and right channels. If you like what you are hearing, you can replace the center and rears as well. Of course, using Mod 2’s will make an even more dramatic difference. Please call or email us for specific recommendations, we would be happy to discuss your options for getting the most out of your system.



Can I use Orb in the bedroom, den or kid's rooms, or for multi-room applications?

Yes.  You can use Mod1 or Mod2 speakers with or without a subwoofer in bedrooms, hallways, dining rooms, kitchens, playrooms or any other space where you do not wish to knock holes in the walls.  Mod1 or Mod2 speakers placed in the corners of the room (without a subwoofer) are more than enough to provide ambient sound in most situations. They will look and sound better than most in-wall speakers and you will save money for sure.  You can add a Super Eight subwoofer if situations that require more bass output.  The small size of the Super Eight is perfect for these applications.



How do I choose between Mod1 and Mod2 speakers?

 

How do I determine which system to use in my room?

If you are using our speakers for home theater (surround sound with 5 or more speakers and a subwoofer), and your room is 14 by 18 feet or smaller, then most people will be happy with our Mod1 home theater system with a Mod2 center channel.  If you prefer more output, or if you will be listening to both music and movies, you should consider upgrading your front 3 speakers to Mod2.  This is called our People's Choice system and it is our most popular configuration of Mod1 and Mod2. Those with larger rooms, or those who prefer the highest output should consider the Mod2 system.  If you are listening to high resolution DVD-A and SACD 5.1 audio discs, the Mod2 system is a great choice.

Of course, the Mod1 is sounds fantastic on it's own. Upgrading to Mod2s will mostly provide additional volume, although the Mod2 has a slightly extended frequency response.  If you are unsure, remember that our system is modular, so you can upgrade Mod1 speakers to Mod2 if you want more output, and you can even turn a Mod2 back into Mod1 and receive a refund if you feel you've ordered too much system for your room.  That means you shouldn't stress too much over the decision and you should definitely call us at 877-672-2834 or email support@orbaudio.com if you have any questions.


I am on a tight budget, what should I do?

You should definitely consider a pair of Mod1 or Mod2’s and any low cost sub you can find.  While the Mod1 and Mod2s sound best with our acoustically matched Super Eight subwoofer, they also sound quite nice with many other subwoofers.  Even some inexpensive $99 subwoofers will be satisfactory for many purposes.  So, you can save a few dollars if you are willing to sacrifice some subwoofer performance, and also tolerate a larger box subwoofer.  To be even more frugal, you can use this 2 speaker system (of Mod1 or Mod2s)for both stereo and theater, forgetting about the center and rear channels for now. You will be surprised at how little you are missing. Orb speakers image so well that the dialog will still be positioned directly in the center of the TV screen without the use of a center channel. You will be losing the rear channel sound effects but saving the hassle of wiring around the room and a little bit of money there as well. This way you have a system that is optimal for listening to music, plays quite loudly and delivers most of the theater experience. You can add in the center and rears later on, since Orb is modular and upgradeable.


Do you have any specific equipment recommendations?

Yes, we do.  Most people will be happy with the sound quality of most $275-$500 home theater receivers (retail).  It's not to say that you won't appreciate a more expensive receiver, but we do recommend that you consider what features you need before buying something in the $500-$1,000 price range.

While the amplifier section might be slightly superior in the more expensive receivers, most of the cost difference is because of additional video features found on more expensive receivers.  These are functions such as video upconversion and HDMI switching, as well as the ability to use Apple AirPlay and other wireless functionality.  If you don't need these features, you might be very happy with receivers like the Denon AVR-1513 or AVR-1613.  These receivers all support HDMI and have most of the features that you could possibly need.  For a step up in amplification quality, we recommend the Denon AVR-1913 or Marantz NR1602.  For upgraded video capabilities and multi-zone use, we recommend the Denon AVR-2313 or AVR-3313 as well as the Marantz SR7007.

 

Orb has complete packages that feature Orb speakers with some preselected Denon and Marantz receivers.  We are authorized dealers for both of these brands.  If you want to do all of your shopping in one place, we've put together some nice systems that come with everything that you need to get your sound system started.


How do I upgrade my system?

If you already have the Mod 1 speakers and wish to turn them into Mod2s the upgrade path is simple.  Call us at 877-672-2834 and order one Mod 2 upgrade for each channel you wish to modify. We will send you additional speakers and Cozy brackets. Setting them up is simple and requires no tools.  You will receive a discounted upgrade price and won't have to pay the "a la carte" satellite prices.


I already have a subwoofer, will it work with Orb?

Probably. Any subwoofer using an 8 inch woofer will be fine. 6.5 inch woofers will also work but are limited in output, perfect for bedroom or small room systems.  Subs using a 10 inch woofer will also be fine as long as they have a variable crossover that goes to at least 120. (almost all of them will). Subwoofers using a 12 or 15 inch woofer will be more difficult. More likely than not, they will not blend well with Orb or any other small sized speaker, unless they are very high quality. Please email us at support@orbaudio.com for specific recommendations.


Can I mount them on a wall?

Can I mount them on the ceiling?

Can I mount them inside my armoire / TV cabinet?

Yes. Orb can be used in desk stand, wall or ceiling mount positions.  We sell custom wall mounts, although Mod1 and Mod2s are also compatible with most popular wall mounts requiring a 1/4" threaded insert.  Pleaseemail us at support@orbaudio.com  for specific recommendations.


How does Orb compare to other mainstream products?

That would depend upon what you are looking for. If size, performance and style are your main concerns then we think that Orb is better, by far. We have spent years listening to those other systems. None of them perform like Orb.  There is no other small system that is both stylish and affordable with sound quality this good.  If other companies have tiny satellites, they are still boxes, they do not blend harmoniously with your décor, they will always stand out and look like speakers. They are also way more expensive while offering far less performance. What they do much, much better, is advertise. You are paying for their tremendous ad budget. These systems also have other design limitations which greatly affect your ability to place them within the room. Their subwoofer is typically huge, which is why you will almost never see it in their ads. When you do it is always at an angle to shorten the view. You are also required to wire all speakers through the subwoofer, which makes it very hard to hide it in the back of your room or in a cabinet. Also, certain speaker manufacturers require you to use their proprietary electronics. There is no upgrade path. Our solution is to use a compact, powerful subwoofer that looks great. Orb builds tiny speakers that are so beautiful and so décor friendly that you will want to show them off. By using very high tech, ultra high quality parts and selling direct, we can deliver performance that will absolutely trounce the competition.


Do they play loud?

Yes, very. Orb uses a high-tech magnet technology called neodymium that is extremely powerful. This allows us to get really high volume levels from a fairly small moving cone without distortion.  It also allows our satellites to hit the highs better than most other mainstream products using a 3" or similar full-range driver.

 

In a "normal" sized living room (up to 14 by 20 feet), our Mod1 speakers and  Super Eight subwoofer will play loudly enough to wake the neighbors in any apartment, coop or condo. Actually, two Mod1s and a sub can do that.  If you want "loud" though, definitely consider the Mod2 speakers for your front speakers.

 

 



How many watts are they?

Our favorite question. Watts are a measure of electrical current flowing in a wire. Speakers are passive, except for subwoofers which have their own built in amplifier. Speakers have no "watts." Only something that plugs into an electrical outlet can have watts.  So, your receiver has all the watts. Speakers get their cones pushed and pulled back and forth by those watts. 

 

The real question is “how many watts can they handle without blowing up”? Orb speakers are compatible with most receivers rated up to 125 watts.  They can also work with recievers of higher wattage as explained below.  Watts are not the only enemy of speakers, though.  Distortion is just as bad if not worse.  You will be safe using almost any receiver or amplifier so long as you do not play loudly enough to hear constant distortion. Distorted sound due to extreme volume is caused by the amplifier (receiver) trying to push the speaker cone out farther than it is designed to travel, or from a distorted signal being sent from the amplifier. Eventually this will cause heat to build up in the voice coil (the inner part of the moving cone that all those watts travel through) and the voice coil will burn out. This happens literally, if you blow out a speaker, it will smell burnt. The ultra fine wires that form the voice coil will simply melt thus breaking the electrical current and causing the speaker to stop making sound. There is no danger of actual fire. It is very much like a light bulb burning out.

 

This means you can use the Orbs with receivers or amplifiers rated at more than 125 watts, so long as you are careful and avoid playing them to the point of distortion.  This also means thatunderpoweredreceivers are just as likely to cause damage to the Orbs or any speaker.  The general rule is that if you hear distortion, you can hurt the speakers.  Even a 20 watt amp can blow a 125 watt speaker if it is playing at high distortion.  We recommend that you don't push most standard receivers much past 40 or 50% of their maximum output.  We also recommend being very careful with MP3 files, as they can contain distortion (especially at 128k bit rates).  Don't be scared, though...the Orbs are very robust and very, very few people have ever had problems with power handling.


Is Orb magnetically shielded?

Yes. Orb satellite speakers can be used directly on top of or next to a TV or PC monitor. Orb uses high tech Neodymium magnets which focus their magnetic field very precisely. There is very little stray magnetic energy to cause discoloration or damage to a TV or monitor.  Due to the very large and strong magent in the Super Eight subwoofer, we recommend that the subwoofer be placed at least 12 inches from anything that is magnetically sensitive.


Can I use Orb with my computer or laptop?

Yes.  Computers do not have amplifiers, so you will need a small amplifier.  We have several products made exactly for this purpose.  Click here for our package for computers, TVs and Ipods.    You can also use basically any stereo or home theater receiver, or any mini amp (like T-Amps).  Orbs only require a real 5 watts to play very loudly, so virtually any amp will work.

 

No matter what you use to power the Orbs, they will sound MUCH better than pretty much any computer speaker out there.


Can I use Orb satellite speakers without a subwoofer?

Yes - well, sometimes. In a small room or a bedroom you can run a pair of Mod1 or Mod2 satellite speakers directly off your television or any other electronics having speaker jacks. We find that in bedroom and some multi-room applications, many people do not want or need the extra bass that a subwoofer provides. This also eliminates the physically larger subwoofer cabinet. We have experimented with using the satellites in this manner and found that for augmenting television playback, a pair of Mod1s is usually enough to provide significantly better sound than the speakers in a television or most executive mini systems can deliver. A pair of Mod2 speakers is equivalent to most bookshelf sized speakers in terms of their ability to play loud. This is of course the most décor friendly option.


Where do I put the speakers for best performance?

Since they are attractive and small, you can place them in the traditional stereo or theater configurations for optimal reproduction and suffer no aesthetic compromise. Orb speakers are designed to sound great just about anywhere you place them. It is an inherent characteristic of spheres to have very wide dispersion of sound. Even if you were to hide them up in the corners of the room, you will still get wall to wall sound. Orb is about not having to sacrifice your décor in order to get great sound.  Click here to see the "ideal" home theater speaker locations.


My receiver is 6-8 ohms, will the Mod2 work?

Yes, the Mod2 work with every receiver we've ever tried them with, regardless of impedance rating.  This is not an issue at all.  Nominal impedance is an average rating over all frequencies, and the Mod2 have a nominal impedance of 4.7 ohms.  Minimum impedance is just as important, however, and the Mod2 do not drop below 4 ohms at any frequency.  Therefore, they do not behave the same way as large, 3 way speakers with a 4 ohm impedance might behave.  Instead, they are a much easier load on amplifiers and neither we nor any customer has ever encountered a problem.