Orbitsound SB60

This glamorous-looking speaker lacks bonus features, but sounds clean and balanced

The Orbitsound SB60 stands out from the crowd somewhat as a soundbase speaker with a glossy finish. This runs the risk of incurring scuff marks or scratches and adds to the cost. Handled with care though, it does look the part. For added interior design flexibility it is supplied with interchangeable black and silver grilles. Orbitsound says every screen up to 42in on the market will fit on its 60cm x 30cm footprint. 

Fashioned from 20 individual distortion-minimising wooden sections, the SB60 has twin sealed 2in front speakers, a 5in down-firing hybrid subwoofer and two side-firing sealed 2in drivers. Socketry consists of just optical digital, stereo phonos and a 3.5mm line-in with no wireless audio streaming option. The optical input accepts PCM signals with no Dolby Digital or DTS decoders.

Like the Onkyo LS-T10 and Cambridge Audio Minx TV, the SB60 uses a single LED behind the grille to indicate its status. In standby it glares with laser-like redness and turns blue when switched on, remaining excessively bright, which can be distracting in low light. The smallish remote has cramped lozenge-style buttons and in the absence of dedicated EQ modes, allows adjustment of bass and treble.

Audio from the 200W amplifier is highly impressive in terms of power, clarity and dispersion. Volume isn’t the loudest but distortion is absent and the tonal balance seems about right. Tony Stark’s dialogue in Iron Man 3 is rich and resonant, although some of the individual effects such as sparks during the snow crash aren’t as distinct as they could be.

Despite the inconvenience of connecting an iPod by cable, the SB60 makes a reasonable fist of things with music. Pleasingly, there’s very little need to tweak the bass and treble when changing sources and the SB60 doesn’t prove tiring even after long listening sessions. 

Orbitsound SB60, £300, www.orbitsound.com

Verdict: 4/5