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Orb Expands Spherical-Speaker Count

5/05/2008 10:36:00 AM Eastern

New York — Direct-to-consumer marketer Orb Audio has expanded its selection of modular spherical speakers with a Mod4 model consisting of four spheres, each only 4.2 inches in diameter.

Orb is packaging multiple Mod4 speakers in three home theater speaker packages priced at $1,699, $1,999 and $2,399.The company also markets speaker packages based on its single-sphere Mod1 and two-sphere Mod2 speakers. Packages incorporating these speakers are intended for smaller rooms where less audio output is needed.

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Consumers can upgrade to a Mod4 speaker by adding individual Mod1 speaker spheres.

Mod1, Mod2 and Mod4 speakers use the same high-carbon-steel spherical enclosures, each of which houses a single full-range driver. Because Mod speakers are modular, however, consumers can buy Mod1 speakers and upgrade them at a later date by attaching additional Mod1 models to a special speaker stand to create Mod2 and Mod4 speakers. Likewise, consumers can add an additional Mod2 to an existing Mod2 to create a Mod4. Consumers who upgrade are charged as if they bought all of the components in the final product at once rather than individually.

Orb subwoofers are also available in some of the packages. All speakers are available in five finishes.

Orb systems start at $239 for a pair of Mod1 satellite speakers. The Mod1 Plus home theater system at $999 consists of five speakers, a subwoofer, handmade stainless-steel speaker stands, and all wires and cables.

One of three Mod4-based systems incorporates three Mod4 speakers for the front channels, two Mod2 speakers for the surround, a 200-watt subwoofer, and speaker stands at $1,999. Some finishes add to the price, and additional Mod2 speakers for 6.1- and 7.1-channel systems are optional. A $2,239 Mod4 system consists of five Mod4 speakers and a subwoofer.

Orb cites its Internet-only direct-to-consumer distribution as enabling it to price its systems for less than equivalent-sounding systems sold by e-tailers and retailers. The company, however, said it is considering retail and e-tail distribution.

CEO Ethan Siegel said the company combines advanced components and “labor-intensive manufacturing and finishing process” to provide “a better-sounding, better-looking speaker that also happens to cost less.”

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