Welcome … To the age of the affordable wireless speaker. The Rockstone Audio Orbit True Wireless Stereo Speakers are a great example of what wireless can do for you. They’re cord-free with a charging base, and really deliver on the volume front.
These Orbit speakers (not to be confused with Orbitsound speakers, which are a brand of high-quality sound bars and wireless speakers) offer generous volume, impressive sound, and very little weight.
The Rockstone Audio Orbit speakers: what’s in the box
The Rockstone Audio Orbit True Wireless Stereo Speakers available at Best Buy come with everything you’ll need to use them, but that’s not where I want to start this review.
Rather than beginning with what’s in the box, let’s talk about the box itself. Tech packaging has been coming leaps and bounds recently, and this is no exception. Rockstone Audio has created an experience with their Orbit speakers, using coated cardboard and presentation-style placement of each speaker. Without a flimsy paper or plastic outer layer, this presentation makes the box feel particularly gift-worthy.
Okay: now that that’s out of the way, let’s focus on the good stuff. The Orbit speakers come two to a package, with a thin charging base. Also included in the box is a small manual, a velvet carrying bag, and a short micro USB charging cable. (There isn’t a plug for the cable, but let’s be honest: who doesn’t have two or three or seventeen of those lying around already?)
These come charged, but as they may have sat on a shelf for a number of months before arriving at your door, it’s a good idea to charge them fully overnight before using them. I was unable to find any literature on how long a full charge takes with these, but as they have a 3 hour battery, I’d recommend charging for 6 to make sure you’re fully covered.
The technology behind the Rockstone Audio Orbit speakers
The Rockstone Audio Orbit speakers are sturdy, aluminum-bodied, lightweight speakers. They provide stereo sound, with one speaker pairing with your device and the second acting as a slave.
The Orbit speakers have a 20Hz-20KHz frequency response. At 3W each, they’re nice and loud, and offer up to 3 hours of playback. They pair with devices using Bluetooth 4.2, and they’re a true wireless model – meaning there’s no option of using a direct input.
Pairing and playback with the Rockstone Audio Orbit speakers
I struggled to pair these speakers at first, but then I realized my mistake: though I had left them plugged in, they hadn’t been charging. Once I got them plugged in properly and charged up, pairing was a breeze. Though they do cut in and out a bit on a low charge, these speakers can be used while they charge.
I’m terrible at remembering to charge my devices, so it’s always handy when something can be used as it charges! The Rockstone Audio Orbit speakers can be plugged in during playback, as long as you have enough of a charge left in each. They use power slightly faster than they can charge, so you’ll still need to wait an hour if you’re trying to use them from empty.
The base of each of these tiny speakers is a soft-touch power button, which you hold briefly to turn on and hold for a longer time to pair. When searching for a signal, the three blue lights on each of these bases pulse. Once paired and left on, they remain solidly lit.
Playback on these speakers is loud, if not completely crisp, but there is a noticeable delay. This is normal for Bluetooth speakers. The delay is distracting enough that I can’t Netflix while using these speakers, but I can watch movies or other TV shows as long as they’re being played on my computer. A +10ms audio delay should be enough to fix the problem and get your audio syncing up correctly.
My experiences with the Orbit speakers
As I mentioned, my first experience with these speakers was frustrating. Though I had left them plugged in on their dock, they wouldn’t pair with my devices.
That’s when I realized my mistake. The blue lights on the base mean that these speakers are on, but when they’re charging, they actually have a small red light that turns on. (So I had, in fact, left them on and not charging all that time.) I found that the most reliable way to charge these speakers was to plug a micro USB charging cable directly into the base of each one, forgoing the use of their magnetic charging base altogether.
Once I had sorted out my mistake, using these was really easy. They have a great volume range, getting nice and quiet (similar to the speakers built-in on a MacBook) and turning up impressively loud. I do a lot of chores while listening to podcasts, and I frequently have to press “pause” because I can’t hear my audio over the sound of appliances. These speakers, however, comfortably get loud enough that they can be heard clearly over the sound of a dishwasher or hood vent.
Like other speakers in this price range, the Rockstone Audio Orbit speakers are a little fuzzy. They performed best with music playback; in particular, they excelled with folky, acoustic music. However, they’re not quite crisp enough to make listening to voices satisfying. They’re functional, for sure, but you will need to concentrate a little harder to make sure you catch every word.
Another definite “plus” when it comes to these wireless speakers is that they’re not just speakers. They also have a microphone on each speaker, allowing you to pick up calls through your paired device without switching audio inputs. The audio delay is not any more noticeable than in a regular phone call, but there is a definite loss in quality. I had my mom call me to get an accurate feel for what a full phone call would be like using these speakers, and while I could hear her very loudly, the audio was grainy enough that I needed to ask her to repeat herself a couple of times.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the Rockstone Audio ORBIT True Wireless Stereo Speakers. While they’re not crystal-clear, they’re an impressively loud, lightweight speaker with in-body microphones. As long as you don’t need anything special from your speakers (for instance, a waterproof body), they’re worth a look.
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