Orbit Reader 20+

Braille on Apple Products

Hi everyone,
I am looking at an orbit reader 20, and just have a few questions. I have read many reviews about the Orbit Reader, and am quite excited, but am curious as to whether the extra $100 for the Orbit Reader 20+ is worth it. Have any of you used this newer version?
1. How can I switch languages on the device? Is that possible? I will do most things in Spanish, but will need to switch to English every now and then. Is there a quick command to do this?
2. I have heard that the refreshing of the braille can be quite loud. I mostly want this to use for those times where I might be asked to preach or give a Sunday school class. My concern is that the noise caused by the display might be distracting to those listening to me, or even to me as I go along. I would be very curious to hear from anyone using the reader in this same way. Also, I would be using it during my online radio program, where I read the verse of the day, weather, things like that. I'm pretty tired of having to use the Perkins for that, let alone writing out a full sermon on that thing. So, if anyone has experience using the Orbit Reader in more of a professional setting similar to what I would be doing, I would love to hear from you.
3. Is there a way to export documents made in Pages to brf or brl format? I know it can handle text format, but figured brf or brl would work better.



Submitted by mehgcap on Monday, March 1, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

First, I used the Orbit Reader 20, not the Plus version. My understanding is the noise level is the same on both, though. I found it far too loud to be usable in a quiet setting. I used it at work, and was alone in my office, but it irritated me after a while. If you're recording, or wanting to read to people using the display, you might want to look at other options. That, or know your return policy, so you can test it out and send it back if it proves too loud.

I'm sorry I can't answer your other questions off the top of my head.

Submitted by Mike on Monday, March 1, 2021

I have used both models of the Orbit Reader. I teach my students how to use them as well. As previously mentioned it can be quite loud in quiet areas. The plus does allow for up to 4 profiles. Each profile allows the user to change the read and write language as well as the language in wich the menus and messages are presented. It is as simple as using select and dots 1 through 4 to change between profiles 1 through 4. I am not sure how to convert a pages document to brf but I can tell you the built-in translation works great from text to brf. This is to say you could drop a text file on the orbit and when you open it the file will display using the settings you have selected. Feel free to reach out if you have further questions.

Submitted by Justin Harris on Monday, March 1, 2021

Thanks for your comments. I am still concerned about the noise level, but I don't think there is anything else remotely in that price range that would be any better. At least my church is hardly what I would call a quiet environment as people really really get in to the message, so might not be as bad there, but would have to see about using for the radio station. Again, might be one of those situations where people including myself will just have to get over it, as there is nothing better in that price range, and it will beat doing things on the Perkins any day.
Thanks for the info about profiles. That will help me a ton!

Submitted by Tiflo Manolo on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

it's important to clarify that you need to download from the Orbit Research web page the spanish language files and then copy it to the root of the SD card in a folder.
Then, you can select spanish in any of the four language profile.
So, by default, the unit menus and all profiles options are in english.

Submitted by Brad on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

I did have an orbit reader 20 plus and it wasn't for me.

The braille is very hard, when they say signage quality braille, they're not kidding. It hurt my fingers after a couple of minutes of reading.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

I loved the braille of the orbit 20 when I took a look in 2017. I hate squishy braille. I did not like the slow refresh rate, but maybe taht got better. The noise I can deal with and or filter out in the studio. it is I think between 3-6 k or something like that.

Submitted by Margaret M on Tuesday, April 26, 2022

I have a client who purchased this device for use with his iPhone SE and is having many difficulties. Currently, the device is stuck with a display of "busy" and we can't even turn it off. Has anyone run into this issue, and if so, were you able to resolve it?

Submitted by Maldalain on Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The noise level is just OK. Personally I am very sensitive to noise and kept headphones in my ears to stop distraction. When I had the unit, I asked my students during the class if it disturbs them and they said they could hardly hear it. So it depends on where you are using the unit. For the price, I would not complain about the noise.