- Will improve the sound compared to television speakers
- Has a number of features for a complete set up
- Set up is extremely simple
- Bass is slightly lacking over a 2.1 system
- HDMI cables require 90° angle adapters if keeping on a television stand
- Budget build quality
So the Roth SUB ZERO 3 is following in the footsteps of it’s predecessor, the SUB ZERO 2 which was released to market as a basic sound solution to those tinny, rubbish sounding televisions of today. Generally, soundbar speaker setups offer improved audio, and the SUB ZERO 3 is no different. It’s not going to replace an entire 5.1 system with separate speakers and a subwoofer, but it’s not really designed for that. It’s for those with tight spaces.
Just to let you know first, the Roth SUB ZERO 3 comes in two different colours – black and white, and we were sent the latter to check out. The soundbar itself has been very well designed, and will keep a living room area looking quite tasteful and minimalistic. The rear however has this very plasticy feel, and there is a tight cloth that spans across the face. There is a small control panel, which doesn’t really suit a moder naesthetic, but as a simple and traditional setup goes, it’s pretty nice.
Setting the soundbar up is extremely easy too and really only requires two cables for completion, one being the power cable. The other being the optical input, which if you run it from a television or another source with an optical output, you will receive sound through the bar. The inclusion of two HDMI ports as well as an ARC capable input means you can plug two HDMI sources into the soundbar and still receive sound coming from television input sources. So there’s no shortage of inputs here. There’s also a 3.5mm aux port, but I can’t see that being used in the modern day.
Keep in mind that if you are going for a HDMI setup, they are down facing, which is a bit of a problem. You will definitely need right-angled cables if you are going to be setting up this way. The soundbar does come with one adapter, but more will be required if you’re using the inputs.
Other features include Bluetooth AptX which will connect to a mobile device for some music streaming which works quite well, although I tried to walk out of the room with my mobile phone, and I witnessed some struggle with keeping connected. You know, cutting out music type thing.
The drivers inside the SUB ZERO 3 aren’t too bad either. There are four 2.75-inch ferrite drivers, split into two woofers and two full range as well as two passive radiators. The sound quality that you can get out of the Roth SUB ZERO 3 is ten-fold over that of the Samsung LED television we used when testing. Bass frequencies are surprisingly present too. It automatically makes action sequences that more immersive than relying on television sound.
There are three different sound profiles: Voice, Music and Movie. I will say now to give the Movie and Voice profiles a miss. They are nowhere near as refined or detailed as the Music profile, and I found myself using that for everything I threw at the Roth. Movie produces very muddy audio, where as Voice is just rubbish.
The remote control is extremely simple too. There are eight buttons in total. There are two for volume, three for the sound modes, and the rest are dedicated to changing the source, muting the sound and power.
I liked the Roth SUB ZERO 3 very much, and at this price point, it’s hard to really think of anything that could counter the quality that you would get from a single soundbar setup without the inclusion of a subwoofer for those bass frequencies. The price point is pretty good too, and it won’t break the bank if you do want to improve the audio of your television without sticking speakers around the room. You can find more information on the Roth website.