Enjoy this well-built soundbar with movies, but steer well clear when it comes to music
Soundbar manufacturers try all sorts of trickery to create a convincing surround effect in the absence of rear speakers and Orbitsound has hit upon a more effective solution than most with the M10 soundbar.
Instead of replicating a 5.1 stage, airSOUND technology widens the stereo sweet spot to make you feel enveloped. It does so using side-firing ‘spatial’ drivers that bounce sound around your lounge.
It works well with movies. During Pacific Rim’s fight scenes, the carnage is loud and engrossing, and there's little drop in quality if you move round the room. It’s helped along by the soundbar’s full-bodied sound, with solid bass, lashings of lucid detail and a clear, authoritative midrange. It attacks without sounding brash, although some effects strain at high volumes. The subwoofer is no slouch, either. Pacific Rim's explosions and footsteps thump into all corners. Bass is taut and hard-hitting, fusing well with the 'bar.
Great, but airSOUND doesn’t do music any favours. The spatial drivers add a distracting echoey effect that affects focus and cohesion. The sound is spacious and detailed, but something doesn’t sound quite right – and you can’t turn it off either.
Design-wise, the M10 looks good. Crafted from wood and finished in black lacquer, the styling and build easily justify the price. And at 500mm wide by 95mm deep, it’ll make minimal demands on your space. There are no HDMI sockets but you get an optical digital input, stereo phonos and 3.5mm. There’s built-in Bluetooth too.
So with its loud movie sonics and neat design, the M10 is worth investigating – but be aware that music playback is an acquired taste.
HCC Verdict: 4/5
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