Orbitsound SB60 airSound Base full review
Orbitsound's latest soundbar is the SB60 airSound Base.
The airSound Base's flat box-like design puts it up against the Bose Solo. The idea is that you place it on your TV on top of it, instead of behind it, as with most soundbars. It can handle up to 55 in TVs but you'll want to check the size of your TV's base to be sure. See also: Soundbars buying advice.
Like Obritsound's other products, the SB60 has a sleek and glossy piano-black finish. Included in the box are black and silver grilles which are easily swappable as they're held on by magnets. See all audio reviews.
The airSound Base is a well-built product and feels solid. It's made of wood and the glossy finish is applied by hand. See Group test: What's the best soundbar?
Setting up the device couldn't be much simpler. Plug it into the mains, connect it to your TV with the supplied optical cable and switch your TV speakers off. There is also a 3.5mm jack and stereo phono inputs in case your TV doesn't have an optical digital output, but they can also be used for other devices, such as a DVD player or games console.
The airSound Base is controlled by a comprehensive remote with which you can adjust the volume, treble, bass, source and more.
Sound is provided primarily by two forward facing 2-inch drivers which sit in a sealed enclosure. There are also two side-facing 2-inch drivers much like the Orbitsound M12. These provide what Orbitsound calls 'spatial sound' with the aim to eliminate the need for satellite speakers and the traditional stereo sweet spot. Like the M12, it works impressively well.
Some soundbars come with a wired or wireless subwoofer, but the airSound Base has one built-in. You wouldn't even know (apart from hearing it) that there was a 5-inch subwoofer inside the box if you didn't look. It makes for super-easy installation that also looks neat; there's no need to find somewhere for a separate, bulky subwoofer.
Although the airSound Base SB60 has 200W of power it wasn't a significant improvement when watching regular TV broadcasts. However, that's when comparing it to our Philips test TV which has possibly the best audio of any TV we've tested recently, bar Sony's new 4K set, but that does cost £6,000. However, once you fire up a film (or a decent TV series like Game of Thrones) you really start to notice the benefit of the Orbitsound.
You can expect a solid mid-range performance. Vocals sound particularly clear but the subwoofer is the star of the show here with the ability to punch above its size and weight. Unfortunately, the airSound Base does lack slightly in the top-end like the M12 but it doesn't taint the sound too badly.
If you've got £300 to spend on a soundbar then the SB60 is a hassle-free and effective choice, but if you don't mind a seperate subwoofer then the Sony HT-CT60 provides excellent sound for half the price.
Orbitsound SB60 airSound Base: Specs
- Optical S/PDIF
- 3.5mm minijack
- Stereo phono
- Power output (RMS): 200W
- Built-in Subwoofer
- Remote control
- Dimensions (soundbar): 600x300x80mm