That’s the science out of the way, now onto the fun part – performance. Our first disc for the Oli3 to get its teeth into is that perennial Blu-ray favourite Transformers, replete with manic, OTT action scenes and absorbing sound design.
The good news is that the OLi3 system is able to deliver a big sound when the movie demands it. For example, Transformers’ defining end scene, in which the robots knock six bales of steel out of each other, is a cavalcade of crisp detail, gut-wrenching explosions and sharp, forceful effects that ping around the expansive soundstage, helped along by the OLi1’s wide reach.
Throughout the film it demonstrates pace and precision, and during the few moments when Michael Bay stops blowing stuff up and lets the characters talk to each other, the dialogue is crystal clear through the front and centre channels. Particularly enjoyable is Optimus Prime’s warm, bassy voice.
The clarity and detail offered by the Oli3 fronts is also impressive, exemplified by the light, perky electronic robot noises that flit around the soundstage, and although some high frequency effects are a tad strident, it’s never a major problem – on the whole the Roth is a cool and composed performer, putting some similarly-priced systems to shame.
Bass effects, like Prowl’s thumping footsteps as he chases Sam through the underpass, are satisfyingly solid and hefty through the KH2. It’s imperative, though, that you get those crossover and volume controls just right as it can sound decidedly wobbly and overbearing if they’re not.
Overall the Roth is a very impressive system for the money. Build quality across the entire system is a lot better than you have any right to expect – superior to the Monitor Audio Vector and Klipsch HD Theater 500 systems – and it’s backed up by superb sound quality with movies and music. Sure, it lacks the punch and drive you get from one or two similarly-priced and more expensive systems (like the KEF KHT2005.3) but the OLi3 is still a very likeable speaker package, and great value to boot.