Soundbars are your most affordable solution when you flatpanel TV’s audio just don’t cut it anymore. So, if you are looking to take your audio system up one notch, than the Roth Audio Bar 1 Soundbar might be one to look at. It comes with eight mid-range drivers, two high-frequency tweeters and an impressive wireless subwoofer that just makes this an awesome package. Other than that, it is also very slim, compact and is designed beautifully thus making it all the more appealing. Add that to the minimal need for wiring and you are looking at one perfect solution. So let’s see if it has the audio performance to match its specs.
This surroundbar as we previously mentioned is a super-slim offering which means you can place it on a tabletop as it comes with feet that clip onto the bottom. Nevertheless, if you feel more comfortable mounting the Roth Audio Bar 1 Soundbar on the wall, it is just 57mm which means it is ideal for that purpose plus it only tips the scales at 1.95kg. There’s also a mounting kit provided in the box for this purpose. You can even place it right in front a TV that’s between 32in to 42in as it measures 780 wide, about the ideal size. The sound bar is complete as it comes with a 150 x 500 x 260 mm subwoofer which is wireless too, so you don’t have to worry about where you are going to place this 8.03kg weighing unit.
The Roth Audio Bar 1 Surroundbar is designed the way a soundbar should be. It’s not there to take the glamour away from your expensive TV but it sits there with some elegance as it will blend in well and also look good to the eyes too. Your front panel has got a removable grille which is in place to protect your speaker drivers at the same time hiding that funky silver front panel. In the middle of the front panel is the control panel which is smartly made off transparent plastic so that the blue LEDs can do their job in indicating volume level or the sound mode. The other buttons on the control panel include subwoofer volume, mute, input and surround mode. However, if you are as lazy as us, then you won’t be relying on the control panel too much as there is a remote control which you can use.
The soundbar comes fitted with ten drivers that to do the job of getting the sound all over the room with their multi reflection design. Of these ten, eight of them are 40mm long-throw full range drivers and the other two are 19mm aluminum dome tweeters. Within those drivers, four of them are Vector Firing (VF) side drivers meaning they widen the so called sweet spot and also gives better surround effects. Working hand in hand with the Fractal Expansion (FX) technology – a virtual surround processing functionality – the VF drivers can work with any stereo content to create a virtual channel and at the same time expanding surround information.
Looking at the back of the surroundbar, you find a section that is recessed to fit all the available connection options. The connections are not too many on the Roth Audio Bar 1 soundbar but just nice to get the job done. There are two analogue stereo inputs and also a 3.5mm minijack input. There are two things you can do with this minijack input, the obvious one would be to connect your gadgets like your iPod or any other music player. Another thing is you could connect this jack to your TV’s headphone output and now you’ll be able to use your TV’s remote control to control the volume. Normally though you would connect your TVs and set-top boxes that have phono outputs to the red/white inputs. We can already predict that there will be some complains at the fact that there are no digital audio inputs, but we think for a unit that’s supposed to be an upgrade to your TV’s speakers; there are enough inputs to go around.
Setting up the Roth Audio Bar 1 Soundbar
It’s extremely easy to set up the Roth Audio Bar 1 soundbar. The first time you turn on this baby, the soundbar will automatically communicate with the subwoofer so they are ready to go. However, should the connection drop at some point, there are pairing buttons on both units so you can get them ready and good to go again. There are blue lights to inform you that the connection has been made. If you decide to wall mount, it looks like a pretty straightforward job too plus the mounting kit is already provided to make things easier. The remote control is also very easy to operate and you have all the buttons you need on it so you can just sit back and enjoy its performance.
The most important thing we expect from a soundbar is its sound quality and the Roth Audio Bar 1 Soundbar does that well too. It does well in articulating music and you can also make out dialogues as they are very crisp. So if you have only experienced using your TV speakers previously, you will instantly fall in love with this soundbar. We watched a movie on Blu-ray by making a connection into the analogue stereo ports and it handles everything with ease. Be it high frequency audio or low frequency audio, they are handled equally well. The soundbar and the subwoofer also sync well in our opinion. Speaking about the sub, it delivers some amazing bass which does not have any lag either. It also tackles bass for quieter scenes relatively well.
Pros and Cons
We liked the Roth Audio 1 Soundbar’s really slim dimensions as it gives you the option of placing it in front of the TV or wall mounting without much to think about. The soundbar itself impresses with its detailed and dynamic sound. Finally, its subwoofer also offers great bass.
The lack of connections was probably the only thing that left a sour taste in our mouths.
If you have been stuck with your TVs speakers for a while now, then the Roth Audio Bar 1 soundbar will feel like a heavenly addition to your ears. It does a great job in being an upgrade to your TVs speakers.