Orbitsound has announced a new version of its t12 soundbar. The Orbitsound t12 v3 is a long, narrow speaker designed to sit underneath a flatscreen TV. The iPod-compatible speaker costs £299 and will go onsale in the UK from early September through John Lewis and Harrods.

In contrast to traditional left and right stereo speakers, the Orbitsound speaker creates a “spatial sound” space that doesn’t favour a particular sweet spot. Orbitsound says the new v3 model soundbar has both a lower range and more sensitive speakers, while the driver is deeper at the bottom and brighter at the top end. It is also louder than previous iterations. 

The t12 soundbar creates stereo sound from a single point, says Orbitsound’s Dan Fletcher. The ideal use for this, he believes, is as alternative to the complex subwoofer plus satellite speakers usually found in home theatre setups. The t12 v3 consists of a single soundbar plus a subwoofer. It can be used with an HDTV, iPhone or iPad, games console, laptop or PC or as a speaker for a CD or MP3 player. In addition to inputs for these, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack.

As TVs have got thinner, their sound has got noticeably worse, he says. “Very thin TVs have lots of small speakers, but very poor ones”, opines Fletcher.

Orbitsound technology uses “no digital effects or trickery – you can’t cheat physics”, says Fletcher. Company founder Ted Fletcher has a background as a sound engineer and came up with the spatial sound approach in 2005 while working in his studio. The first Orbitsound t12 speaker launched in 2008. 

Orbitsound eventually aims to use the single point spatial sound speaker in TVs themselves, and is in active discussions with consumer electronics manufacturers about licensing the technology.

The Orbitsound t12 v3 soundbar will be onsale through Orbitsound.com from 1 September and through John Lewis, Harrods and other retailers later in the month.