Well, I wasn’t expecting that! The Roth Audio Sub Zero II is a TV soundbar with Bluetooth Apt-X that is really quite nice, particularly at this price. Of course, I’m putting a purpose designed soundbar on an already poor audio output from the TV and it is bound to sound good, but this proves the point. Almost all TVs can have their output improved and at the retail prices indicated by this product it is almost a no-brainer. The fact that the Roth Audio Sub Zero II has Bluetooth is just a bonus.
Almost all TVs can have their output improved and at the retail prices indicated by this product it is almost a no-brainer
I set the soundbar up firstly on my main TV that has a rather nasty, but matching, (LG) soundbar that is not the best but does, in any event, improve the sound from the TV. The set-up is all rather simple although there is no optical connector in the box. No big deal. The power lead plugs in with a right angle connector but the all of the inputs point upwards (or downwards). This is sort of OK except that the optical lead, which needs to be treated with care, is bent over to access the Roth Audio Sub Zero II. The other inputs are similarly tight, although the 3.5mm line in from the RCA connectors which you could use are designed with the right-angled connector.
Specification & Design
The dimensions of the Roth Audio Sub Zero II are H 88mm x W 900 x D 87. It is weighty, I can’t find the weight and it could mount on a wall with the screws and slot holes supplied. The Roth Audio Sub Zero II features several inputs, Bluetooth Apt-X, Optical (SPDIF), Aux (RCA) and Line-in (3.5mm). The output is through 2 x 10W and 2 x 20W outputs, both Class D driven. There is a rather plasticky remote control, that is only functional.
There is good feel to the soundbar out of the box and it looks pretty good to me. The rubber feet ensure a positive connection on a TV stand. I have no complaints at all really, although the remote is a letdown.
Roth Audio Sub Zero II – Performance
The sound is very good indeed and I am impressed…this product is a very good, quality, piece of equipment for the price
I’ve had a good play with this. The sound is very good indeed and I am impressed. Like the Soundcore, this product is a very good, quality, piece of equipment for the price. There is no issue with syncing the TV output, a problem I do have with my own LG soundbar that is a right pain.
Using the Optical Toslink connector (my own) from my LG TV, the sound is very good, and of course better than the TV. There are three DSP (Digital Signal Processor) processing modes, called Movie, Music and Voice. They are effectively different equaliser settings. Bizarrely, I have found the Voice setting to be not great at all for normal speech (e.g. BBC News) and I much prefer the Music setting, which is, of course, bassier! The Movie setting is a bit lighter and I suspect many people may prefer this setting every day. At least we have the choice. For me, the resolution is good and the bass lines are clear and clean, not over-bearing. The overall presentation, as you would hope is wider with a fulsome soundstage. I think you should make sure your audio output settings from the TV are PCM to ensure a clean signal, mine were not and it definitely helps.
There is no auto standby seemingly, so you just need to tap it off whenever you’re done.
The remote, as I said, is functional. The mute button is clear and easy and volume adjustment is pretty simple, though difficult to see, or rather hear, what is happening. You could do with seeing that the remote is doing stuff with a light, to be honest, but you will get used to it. The LEDs on the front of the Sub Zero II show a volume level though in daylight this is difficult to see. A different set of LEDs indicates the input mode and the power standby status.
The Bluetooth is surprisingly good. Surprising because many Bluetooth processors struggle but this is nice. It sets up in seconds, though there is no NFC like the Soundcore. The sound reproduction is clear with a good baseline and midranges. It turns up to a high volume without discomfort or distortion (using a Nexus 6P, and my obligatory Amnesiac lossless music files).
If you’re looking for a really good priced soundbar to improve your TV experience, without reservation, you should try this.
Powerful wide soundstage
The Roth Audio Sub Zero II is retailing at around £89 at Richer Sounds or Amazon.