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Hardware Review OSD SPHERE-1 Round Shape Ball Speakers Review

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Todd Erwin, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
    Reviewer

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    When space is limited, sometimes you end up sacrificing sound quality by having to choose smaller speakers for your home theater. Outdoor Speaker Depot (www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com) sent a pair of their SPHERE-1 Speaker Balls for review. At their price point (around $100/pair, purchased direct), they were a pleasant surprise.



    OSD SPHERE-1 Round Shape Ball Speakers

    Specifications
    Speaker Type: 3 ½”
    Tweeter: ½” Silk Dome
    Woofer: 3 ½” Paper
    Frequency Reponse: 150 Hz to 22 kHz
    Impedance: 4 to 8 Ohms
    Power Handling: 5 to 100 watts
    Sensitivity: 85 dB

    Note: Specifications are provided by the manufacturer and were not tested in this review for accuracy.

    The speakers are available in either a black or white finish, and I opted for black. As I unpacked the speakers, I found them to be fairly solid and well-built, with a nice, wide and sturdy base for placement on a shelf or table top, with a non-skid rubber bottom. There is a rubber plug in the base that can be removed for wall or speaker stand mounting. When mounting on a wall, I would recommend screwing it into a stud or using a heavy-duty stud anchor to keep the speaker from rotating, since only one hole was provided in the center of the base. The speaker wire connectors on the back are, unfortunately, screw-on posts, requiring you to use bare wire rather than a banana plug or other type of connector.

    I hooked the SPHERE-1’s up to my Yamaha RX-V563 receiver as the Front Left and Front Right speakers, then ran the receiver's YPAO speaker calibration program. I proceeded to listen to various sound sources (Pandora Radio, MP3s, SACD, Blu-ray movies, cable, etc.). For their small size, the speakers were able to deliver an impressive range of high and mid-level frequencies, but low frequencies were clipped. I found it best to program the receiver to allow the subwoofer to handle bass and lower frequencies, rather than route them through the SPHERE-1’s. The results were a much fuller sound, with little to no distortion at higher volumes. Many speakers in the same price range tend to have a hollow sound to them, but these sounded quite solid. If your space and budget are limited, OSD’s SPHERE-1 ball speakers are well worth considering.
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    Thanks Todd. How do you think these would work as surrounds? Its interesting that its quite a bit cheaper to buy direct ($99+free shipping) than through Amazon ($119+shipping).
     
  3. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    These should work very well as surrounds.
     

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