mStation 2.1 Stereo Orb

Apr 12th, 2008 | By Jared

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mStation 2.1 Stereo Orb

: 04/12/08 – 10:26:30 PM


: Sound

Page 1 : Index


mStation is a relatively new company with a newly focused mission based off of three concepts; Sleek and Clean in Form, Compatibility in Function, High Standards in Sound. While their main focus is on designing accessories and speaker systems for all of the various iPod's, they also aim to keep their products functional with other MP3 players as well.

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Today I get a chance to try out their 2.1 Stereo Orb. Aiming to bring a lot of performance in a small package, can the Orb deliver? Read on to find out.

Page 2 : Package

The box has a familiar style to it, with a simple layout and solid black background.

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Aside from the handle, the top of the box just has the company name with the product name underneath. On the bottom you have an extensive list of features and specifications which we will take a closer look at later.

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On the sides are simply pictures of the 2.1 Stereo Orb from the top and front with an iPod situated in the cradle.

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The front is pretty much like the top with the company and product name in white on a solid black background. The back of the box is the only section with a white background, again it has a picture of the Orb along with three key points about the product inside.

Page 3 : Accessories and Specifications

Opening up the top, we get the first peak at the accessories included inside.

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Nestled in the top portion of styrofoam are all of the accessories included with the 2.1 Stereo Orb with the instruction manual sitting on top.

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Sorting out the accessories, we have the power supply and cord, stereo mini cable, USB cable, remote, instruction manual and six cosmetic docking inserts. Each of the six docking inserts has a label for which iPod model it goes along with. There are inserts for the Nano, Mini, Photo, 40Gig, and two different ones for the 20Gig models.

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As you can see the remote has all of the basic controls for skipping through your iPod playlists. The instruction manual states that the volume, bass, treble and power buttons will work with any device connected to the 2.1 Stereo Orb, however the Play/Pause, skip and Previous buttons work only with connected iPod devices.

Now here is a closer look at the features and specifications taken directly from the mStation's website.


  • 2.1 Stereo with Dedicated Subwoofer

  • 30 Watts of Peak Power
  • Docking Station-Syncs w/iTunes
  • 10 Key IR Remote
  • 6 Cosmetic Docking Cradles
  • Cables Include: USB, Stereo Mini



  • (1) 3′ Subwoofer 3ohm Shielded

  • (2) 2′ Midrange 6ohm Shielded

Amplifier Output – Power:

  • Subwoofer: 15 W RMS @ 3ohm

  • LR Speakers: 2 x 7.5 W RMS @ 6ohm

Amplifier Input Sensitivity:

  • Subwoofer: 320mV±20mV

  • LR Speakers: 400mV±50mV

Frequency Response:

  • Subwoofer: 50Hz to 200Hz ± 5dB

  • LR Speakers: 200Hz to 20kHz ± 5dB
  • S/N Ratio (A-weighted): >70dB
  • THD (kHz, 1W): <0.5%
  • Channel Separation (1kHz): 40dB
  • Stereo Channel Balance: ±1dB


  • iPod Dock Connector

  • USB Mini B
  • IEEE1394 6-pin
  • Stereo Mini Jack (3.5mm)

Supply Voltage:
120V AC


  • Height: 7.4 inches / 188mm

  • Width: 7.8 inches / 200mm
  • Weight: 4 lbs. / 1.8 kg
  • Warranty: 1 Year Parts / 90 Days Labor
7 Available Colors:
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Page 4 : The Orb

That was a lot of data to take in, so let's take a closer look at the Orb itself.

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The 2.1 Stereo Orb comes in 7 different colors, I will be taking a look at the white model. The Orb is fittingly a round ball that is plastic on the top half with cloth on the bottom half covering the speaker section. In the center is the sensor for the remote with the onboard controls above. The Orb comes with a cover plate in place that you change to match the model of iPod you have. The power LED is located to the left of the control buttons.

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Removing the top cover reveals the iPod docking connection. There are four holes that securely fit the cradle for you specific iPod model.

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The bottom of the Orb has a rubber grip to secure it to your desktop and prevent it from sliding or rolling around.

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While along the front the white mesh covers the entire lower portion, it stops halfway back. On the back is the 3′ subwoofer that is also covered in the white fabric cover.

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On the lower side of the back is a recessed panel that houses the different ports and jacks. There is a mini stereo jack, USB connection, Firewire connection and the power plug. While all new iPods use USB, its a nice extra to have the Firewire port should you have an older iPod model.

Well we have gotten a good look at the orb, now to see how it performs.

Page 5 : Testing

For testing I used two different devices; an iPod Nano and my daughter's Disney Mix Stick. First up is the Nano.

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The first thing I found was the Nano would not fit into the insert due to the protective cover I have on the Nano. I just inserted one of the other inserts and it worked fine however this is something to keep in mind as most people I know use the protective covers on their iPods. One slight complaint I have is that while the iPod is plugged into the Orb, the backlight on the screen does not stay illuminated so it can be difficult at times to see what song you are on.

I'm no audiophile, so sound testing is purely subjective on my part. First turning on the Orb the sound was really flat, but with a few adjustments to the treble and base and I was soon quite surprised by the crisp, clear sound coming out of this small package. The sound stayed clear and only got slightly distorted at really high levels. Listening to Linkin Parks Meteora album, the base was very responsive and clear.

Next up was testing out the remote which proved to have a nice range of use. I was able to stand about 40 feet away and use the remote. There were just a few instances that the remote would not work, it was only for a few seconds but I could not work out why it suddenly stopped and then started working again. Since it used IR, line of sight is a must in order for it to work. While the remote works for navigating through playlists, you will still have to use the touchwheel on the iPod to navigate to different playlists.

The 2.1 Stereo Orb can also be connected to your PC via USB or Firewire to act as a docking cradle with iTunes. All in all a very pleasant experience with an iPod.

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While the 2.1 Stereo Orb is primarily aimed at functionality with the iPod, mStation doesn't neglect users of other audio devices such as CD players or other MP3 players. I decided to borrow my daughters Disney Mix Stick (yes, that is High School Musical and I know your jealous). Sound output is the same, delivering crisp and clear music. While the remote works for volume and bass and treble controls, you lose the ability to navigate the playlist. So while you can listen to your devices, it is not like the full experience you get when using an iPod.

Page 6 : Conclusion

With the 2.1 Stereo Orb, mStation delivers on their goal. The Orb is a stylish and great sounding speaker system that doesn't have a large footprint. With a variety of colors and multiple docking inserts, you can match your iPod.

As much as I am impressed with the sound and the controls in such a small unit, I still can't shake the feeling I get with most iPod accessories: it's a one trick pony. Yes it has the functionality to work with other devices, but boiled down it's just a speaker set, there is no radio and you obviously need another device to hear anything on the speakers.

Even with this minor gripe, I can't help but smile when I do hook up a device and listen to the impressive sound that this little bowling ball sized device outputs. I would say that mStation has fulfilled their three goals with the 2.1 Stereo Orb: Sleek and Clean in Form, Compatibility in Function, High Standards in Sound.


  • Crisp Clear Sound

  • Bass and Treble controls
  • Small footprint


  • Limited functionality with other devices

OverclockersOnline would like to thank mStation for supplying their 2.1 Stereo Orb for review.

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