Review Price free/subscription
Roth Audio OLi 3
Like the Monitor Audio Vector and Klipsch HD Theater 500 systems we auditioned recently, Roth’s system looks to offer classy home cinema sound at something at least approaching affordable price. Despite this, the OLi3 system certainly doesn’t feel like a ‘budget’ proposition – the speakers are larger, come in separate boxes and boast the sort of solid build quality you’d expect at a higher price point.
This 5.1-channel system is pieced together from separate speakers in Roth’s current range. At the front we find a pair of OLi 3s floorstanders, centre channel duties are handled by the OLi C2, for the back of the room you get a pair of OLi1s and the subwoofer of choice is the OLi KH2.
The OLi3 system is one of three packages in Roth’s range and is the most expensive of the trio due to the floorstanding fronts. The cheapest is the OLi1 system (SRP £450), which comes with four OLi 1s for the fronts and rears, while the OLi 2 system (SRP £550) comes with four OLi 2s, a better specced version of the OLi 1.
After heaving the OLi 3 fronts from their boxes it’s hard to believe that they cost just £250 separately. The build quality is exceptional, with solid dark wooden cabinets, gloss-black lacquer panels, and a thick, stable base. They’re not the most elegant or glamorous to look at, but at 870mm high they’re nowhere near as imposing as some floorstanding speakers.
On the back of each OLi3 are two pairs of binding posts for bi-wiring purposes, which is a statement of their audiophile intent – certainly more impressive than the springclips found on the Klipsch system.
The Oli3s employ Roth’s Dead as Lead Technology, or DALtech damping to you and me. This aims to cut out distortion through the strategic placement of acoustic damping within the cabinet, giving them a firm, sturdy structure that should make all the difference when playing movies loud. They also feature two 5.25in woven fibreglass hybrid woofers and a 1in polymer integrated soft dome tweeter positioned above them, which achieve a frequency response of between 45Hz and 20kHz. They can also handle a maximum power input of 150W.