Feature | Tech Up! - T3 Mobile Stereo Speaker

By Adam Riley 21.12.2008 13

There is nothing worse than wanting to listen to the fine music in your back catalogue of Nintendo DS games and being disappointed by how the full effect just cannot be garnered from merely relying on the system's stereo speakers. But what is the solution? Well, in most cases people will plump for a powerful pair of earphones, blasting the soundtrack right into their head, which is not always ideal, or pick up some cheap external docking station that horribly distorts the sound. Now, thankfully, there is another option on the table, one that could very well prove to be the perfect answer - the T3 Mobile Stereo Speaker from orbitsound.
The T3 Mobile Stereo Speaker
Most of the external speaker solutions always seem to promise so much, yet inevitably prove to be disappointments either due to high battery consumption rates or heavy distortion on the actual sound output. But has orbitsound finally been able to offer something that can satisfy the masses? Upon opening up the packaging it may well seem like a firm no, as it is hard to imagine how such a diminutive device could be vastly powerful. The T3, though, is purposely miniature for maximum portability potential. In fact, with it measuring 102 x 60 x 20mm and weighing roughly 115g, the T3 is on par with the size of most mobile phones and probably slightly lighter. Yet do not let that fool you, as inside it is packing eight watts of audio power that pumps through its airSOUND loudspeaker with surprisingly great results.

Click to Enlarge - The T3 Mobile Stereo Speaker Click to Enlarge - The T3 Mobile Stereo Speaker

Rather than merely plump for pure sound quality, though, orbitsound was acutely aware that if the T3 did not look stylish enough, many would simply leave it at home. Therefore, having been styled by a leading UK design house, the company has ensured the T3 looks as cool as possible, with its sleek, curved shape, plus the black and silver colouring. It also comes with a lanyard attached to encourage consumers to wear it around their neck for the best aural experience, which certainly brings a whole new feel to the product and, as the company itself states, 'provides the wearer with a stereo aura around their head', which is definitely true. The sound literally envelops the user when the airSOUND spatial feature is turned to its maximum setting and when switching back to simple stereo the difference is stark to say the least. There are three settings to choose from in total: simple stereo, plus two levels of airSOUND. The first option works just like most ordinary speakers, so to get the most from the T3 it is definitely advised to use the fantastic airSOUND single-point-stereo technology found inside it in order to fully appreciate the majestic soundtracks found in many a DS game. Of course, it does not just have to be your DS the T3 is used with, since because of its standard 3.5mm stereo jack socket audio input it can work with PCs, TV sets, MP3 players, and so on and so forth. You also do not need to wear it round your neck, as when sat flat on a desktop the sound reverberates around the room just as well as when dangling under your chin. It really is that versatile!

The T3 Mobile Stereo Speaker

One point mentioned earlier was about how the competition can eat through batteries at a rate of Knots. With the T3 obviously being battery powered this might cause concern for some. Yet worry not as there is no need to keep on changing batteries on a regular basis thanks to the T3's high tech in-built Lithium-Ion 1000mA-hour 3.7V battery, which fully charges in less than two hours and then keeps on trucking for easily over ten hours before needing to be plugged back in to either the mains, using the plug included in the package, or a standard USB cable hooked up to a PC. So you will hardly ever have to do without your sound bubble. With the T3 retailing at 49.99 GBP, some may still be thinking about why the T3 is better than an ordinary pair of earphones. Well, with headphones and earphones, all the user is receiving in their head is two separated mono signals, instead of the true stereo sound field acquired via external speakers that send out the sound from both, letting your ears hear the music the way it should be. With earphones people only hear the left speaker signal in their left ear and the right in the other ear, meaning that the sound ends up being heard in the middle or back of the head. The T3 offers the true experience of sound being in front and all around you, just where the soundstage should really be - the real spatial stereo soundfield.

Tech Up! Final Thoughts

The T3 Mobile Stereo Speaker offers as best a surround sound experience as can possibly be expected from a small, portable, external device and once used with the likes of your MP3 players, Nintendo DS or even laptops, going back to ordinary earphones just is not the same at all. It may come at quite a price, but after using just a few times it becomes increasingly apparent that going back to what you had before simply will no longer suffice. Highly reliable and extremely versatile - this could be the perfect Christmas present this year!

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Comments

Everything I read sounds quite like an advert, but a great one at that...I've actually been looking for some portable speakers for a few weeks now, maybe this singular thing'll suffice.

I was rather skeptical about it at first, but it really won me over and I keep using whilst playing my DS and PSP wandering around the house! In non-carpetted rooms the sound reverberates even more for a better experience! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Nice. Ive been looking for something like this for a while.
EDIT

Its available on Amazon

I bet this would be awesome with Rez on the Dreamcast when worn.

( Edited 21.12.2008 00:08 by Linkyshinks )

Yeah, I saw it on Amazon UK as well, but for the same price as via the official link in the review summary.

The sound from my TV's pretty average, so I was pleasantly surprised by its performance when playing Wii through it. Sadly there's not a lot of bass as it's such a small device, but the whole 'sound bubble' thing works pretty damn well. Would have been nice if the jack-in cable was a little longer.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

If I had the money, I'd be wearing that right now.
Maybe I'll order it after Christmas if I have enough money
It's a wonderful device, I've been searching for good external speakers and these fit what I'm looking for plus the extra nice portability

I'm currently sat with it around my neck right now playing Phantasy Star Zero Smilie Good times! The normal DS speakers just don't cut it anymore...

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Nice review! Sounds.... good! *ba dum ch* Headphones usually do it for me though.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

True, if you're in a situation where the external noise is bound to bug others, then there's no other choice than to use headphones. Currently my wife's away visiting family, so I've got it on all the time Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Bought it. I like it.

Glad to hear you're happy with it Smilie Anyone else thinking of picking this up?

I didn't use it whilst reviewing 100 Classic Book Collection, but just got RIZ-ZOWAD (the Wizard of Oz RPG that just hit Japan) and stuck it on...wow, never ceases to impress when playing something with a really good soundtrack (and this game's soundtrack is pretty stunning so far!).

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Linkyshinks said:
I bet this would be awesome with Rez on the Dreamcast when worn.

Or Rez HD! Smilie

Yeah, it sounds like an advert... But how to express your feelings when you are happy with it?
And the price, however not small, seems okay when it's assembled, researched and put together well. I almost ever had small 3rd party gadgets, which where cheap, plastic and ugly and not worth the little money I put into them. better to pay 65 Euro-bucks for this one and being happy with it!


By the way, you may plug your DS into your home theater system's audio section via cinch and enjoy stereo, too...?! Maybe even surround-emulated?

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

Laurelin said:
Yeah, it sounds like an advert... But how to express your feelings when you are happy with it?

Strange, sorry about that. I really like the device and wanted to get the specs mixed into the review as well. Seems from the comments that I missed the mark Smilie

And the price, however not small, seems okay when it's assembled, researched and put together well. I almost ever had small 3rd party gadgets, which where cheap, plastic and ugly and not worth the little money I put into them. better to pay 65 Euro-bucks for this one and being happy with it!

Exactly what I was thinking. I remember buying a set of cheap external speakers for the GBA: SP and being VERY disappointed with the sound quality.

By the way, you may plug your DS into your home theater system's audio section via cinch and enjoy stereo, too...?! Maybe even surround-emulated?

I don't know about that, but I love the portability of the T3. I've actually had it around my neck all day today, completely forgetting about it until I grabbed my DS again and wanted to hook it up (Suikoden Tierkreis has such a perfect soundtrack!).

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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