·-·-----­ - ·- ---·--------­
speaker feels rightweight and Is
deceptively shallow atjust SOmm.
Hidden from view are lour mid·
ra119e drivers and a pair of high·
frequency tweeters.
Connectivity is audio centric.
lacking HDMI inputs. There's an
optical digital Input which takes•
teed direct from theTV, plus two
stereo 3.Smm minijacks. One or
these Is obviously for whatevN
mobile device you care to connect.
while the second is a fail·safe
connection f0< those whose
televisions lack a digital output
It's envisaged that users will run
a3Smmcable direct from the
headphone jack on the TV to the
'bar. It's an Interesting provision.
although we suspect very few
screens likely to benefit from the
addition ofa soundbar will actually
lack an optical output
Bundled in the box Is a stereo
phono·to-3.Smm adaptor, should
you need it Roth has clearly tried
hard to cover all the connection
bases. In addition to these hard\/vlre
options, this soundbar also supports
Bluetooth streaming. The system
comes with a reasonably sized
remote handset
ROTH BAR3
DSP modes:Cinema,
The.ltre. Sperl.G4me. SmaU
Hall, urge Hallood Opera
Conno<llons: Opticaldigital
audio lnpu~ 2• 3.Smm
mlnija<k Input
MD.UMX~SIJOOO
• TN5wn>!iltsound
podo1UI spofU -HOMb.
'l'(·X-.othondlvM
digltll audio lnpw. A 10t:NI
Set up
By d int of connecting the
headphone jack to the 6AR3. the
TV's internal speakers will mute.
Those utilising an optical digital feed
will probably need to dig around In
the TV's settings menu to achieve
the same result.
Partnering this soundbar Is a
wlreless subwoofer. Standing 295mm
tall, this Is remarkable primarily for
Its llghtwelght, pl.uticky build. There
are no controls. Users need simply
power It and initiate pairing betwffn
the two; within a few moments the
units are wed. The process couldn't
be more straightforward. The Roth
With copious volume and a rowdy nature, this slim-line
soundbar and subwoofer combo isn't for the meek of heart
THE SOUNDBAR market
continuestogrowand
~ evolve.Whatwasoncea
pragmatic solution to downright
dreadfultellyaudio, Is morphing
Into something else.Peopleare
no longerjust supplementing
theirTVswith better-5peclfied
external speakers, butactually
~..II
usingthese upgrade packagesto
replace t raditional living room
sound systems completely.
This latest sonicsolution from
Rothseemstohave this new
burgeoning market squarely in its
sights. Given that the companyhas
a measureofaudiophile DNA.
expectations should be high.
Build and connectivity
To a certain exten~ the Roth 6AR3
Is acookle·cutter 2.1 package.
The m<1ln soundbar. which
stretches to l ,OOOmm. will suit
l<>rger llatscreens. ll features a l<>rge.
clear display that doubles as a clock
when the unit is in standby. While
the grille Itself Is metallic. the
-~·rothaudio.~~m • o.~753 682 782 • £2~~j TEST SOUNDBAR
BAR3 ls officially rated at 2x 40Wf0<
the soundbar. with an additional
6lJW poweting the active sub. While
such paper specifications are always
worth taking with a pinch or salt
there's certainly no shomge of
volume available from the pairing.
In the average living room, the
system goes very loud indeed. Given
that most natscreens struggle to say
boo 10 a goose, this fact alone
should bring a beaming smile to
the lace ofmost buyers.
The soundbar itself can be either
located on fumiture beneath the
screen or wall mountedTwo
mounting btackets locote into
matching bracket heads on the bar.
Performance
Cranked In anger. the BAR3 certainly
kicks up a storm. However it's not
particularly refined. and often comes
across as a little thumpy. This is
because thevast majority of the
work 11 being handled by the 1ub
Itself. Audio makes Its presence
known around 50Hz and carries up
untll 200Hz. whereupon it crosses
over with the main soundbar.
One consequence or this high
crossover point is directionality. You
really shouldn~ place the sub far
from the main unit. If yoo park the
sub In a c0<ner of a room. the vast
ma)O<ityolTVaudio will appearto
be emanating from the same
direction. Ideally, the sub should
be located close to the soundbar.
Some programmes benefit from
the Roth's lull·throated roar. The
system adds physical weight to
those weaving race cars in Sky's F 1
coverage: similarly the action
~quen(es 111 C4's Ma;wr1Agenu of
SHIELD gains a Hulky bulk. But In
equal measure, the system can
sound like a belligerent neighbour
unnecessarily throwing furniture
about in an upstairs flat
'The BAR3 provides a lively
solution to the conundrum
of wafer-thin TV sound'
Helpfully. there's some
sonic room for manoeuvre,
thanks to eight DSP Movie and
Music modes (Clnema, Theatre,
Sport, Game. Small Hall large Hall
and Opera).
E>cpcrlmentatlon Is dearly the
0<derof the day here. The BAR3
proves to be eno<mously
entertaining whell offMing up
game audio (GTA V in particular
sounds Immense!).
Bluetooth pairing on the 6AR3
proves to be quick and painless;
simply search for the Roth on your
smartphone and then Initiate
pairing. Bluetooth Is convenient
for a quick and dirty listen, but it's
not really ahigh·Mellty option.
Disappointingly, the soundbar
does not support apt·X.
• Steve May
Verdict
The Roth BARl provides a
lively solution to the conundrum
ofwafer·thln TV sound. It
offers prodigious volume and
a fulsome mld·band. 6ut it can
be prone to quite onerous
thuddery and care certainly
needs to be taken with
placement as the subwoofer
bogs for attention. The lack
ofapt·X Bluetooth support
may also encourage mobile
streamers to consider rivals.
On thct pfos side, thesystem
makes a valiant attempt to
accommodate all TV types. suits
blockbuster action movies in
particular and ls a noisy hoot
with 9ame1 consol~s..
PLUS
• Goes clectpllvelyloud
• llefwfitsfrom a large.
clNr >t>tus d'Pfoy
• Simpo to instbl
MINUS
• The~
P<OYlde....,...._.
M>andh'JIHI.-"'°*"
- - - - - - - -t
~
I
Samsung HW~FSS1
• S.msuog\ hlghlypoMll\ed
Oitcitofly) 2. J l)'ilfm ls more
Sky AllHMn MTV"1d
~~·
I 1jt
re"""" HOM! locjtc"""91\
•J
apt-X 81utlooch one!• tot.>1
r,
-OUlputol)IOW
'I
r.,
·~
1•
subwooler unmake
things sound tht.rnpy
• Bluetooth lacknpt·X
• Lightweightbuild
••••••
lill!l·
l ilti.11111/,j(
>a· I 11
I
I
••••••
I U\11111
•••••••
•••••••
0-..
Setting up the Roth BARl coukln~ be easier and
the fascia cli>play providn aa the ne<essary
information. Aremote Is also Included
44
What S.atelllte & Dlgltal TV November 20t3
Connections lncludo an opti«tl digital input,
plus two stereo 3.Smm mlnlJacks. but tht!"' are
no HDMI Input>
November 2013 What Satellite & DigitalTV 45
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