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Roth Audio Sub Zero review



Our Score



  • Stylish, compact design
  • Powerful, detailed sound
  • Easy to install and use


  • Limited connections with no HDMI
  • Not ideal for music

Review Price £149.00

Key Features: Fractal Expansion; Vector Firing Side Drivers; Eight speaker drivers; Wall or table top mounting; 2 x 16W (RMS), 2 x 32W (peak)

Manufacturer: Roth Audio


We all know how rubbish most flatscreen TVs sound, but these days there’s no excuse for putting up with it – even if you don’t have the space, or budget, for a full 5.1 surround system. Soundbars provide powerful sound quality from a single unit without making a major impact on your living space.

Roth Audio Sub Zero

There are different types of soundbar available – some, like LG’s BH5521A, are a complete home cinema system and Blu-ray player squeezed into a single unit with connections and features galore, while others are designed to simply be an extension of your TV’s own speakers. Roth Audios’ Sub Zero falls into the latter category.

The Sub Zero is so-called because there’s no need to add a subwoofer thanks to the built-in Ultra Bass drivers, plus you can mount it on a wall or place it on top of a TV stand – all of which gives you plenty of placement versatility and takes up very little living room space.


Although the Sub Zero doesn’t dazzle you with glitzy styling like some soundbars, it’s a tastefully designed, satin black unit that will blend in nicely with most surroundings. At 790mm it’s fairly narrow, making it suitable for TVs with a screen size between 32- and 42-inches, and with a depth of just 89mm it won’t jut out from the wall too far – certainly no further than your TV. Both ends of the bar are angled diagonally, allowing the Vector Firing (VF) Side Drivers inside to disperse sound into the room with greater width.

Roth Audio Sub Zero

The black cloth grille that runs across the entire front section of the Roth Audio Sub Zero soundbar keeps everything nice and minimal so it doesn’t distract from what’s on screen, while the discreet control panel in the centre uses little twinkly LEDs that won’t bother you in a darkened room (plus they automatically disappear when idle). A vertical row of lights indicates the volume level, while others indicate selected sound modes. Also on the panel, large click buttons control the volume, mute, input, surround mode and standby.


On the back of the Roth Audio Sub Zero, the sockets are downward facing to make it easier to plug in cables while on the wall. You get a set of analogue stereo inputs, an optical digital audio input and a 3.5mm minijack input, which is perfect for on-the-fly connection of MP3 players and the like. This isn’t a particularly expansive selection of sockets but then it’s not supposed to be a hub for all your audio gear. That said, an ARC-compatible HDMI input and output might have been useful for connecting a Blu-ray deck directly, rather than having to pass the sound signal though the TV.

For wall mounting, you get a kit in the box, which is fairly simple if you’re handy with a drill, plus there’s a pair of table stands which easily clip on to the bottom of the soundbar. And as if that wasn’t generous enough, Roth is even donating a share of the proceeds for every Sub Zero sold to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).


Because of the simple connections and controls, it takes no time at all to rig everything up. You can connect the headphones output to the Sub Zero’s 3.5mm input (which means you’ll can control the volume using your TV remote or the soundbar’s); connect the TV’s digital audio or analogue output to the stereo input jacks (with volume controlled by the Sub Zero only); or connect a set-top box directly to the Roth’s stereo input.

Once installed it’s easy to operate. In the box is a remote control, which is larger and more substantial than the credit card-style zappers you normally get. Its layout is spacious, the buttons are large and clearly labelled, plus there are dedicated bass level controls, which could come in handy if the neighbours start moaning.

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October 28, 2012, 11:26 am

I bought this from Tesco yesterday to hook up to our LED Samsung Flat Screen. Rigged it up using the headphone jack provided just in time for Xfactor yet there was this continuing whining sound coming out during the performances? Seriously there was some sort of distant echo sound coming through. I tried the red and white audio cable and just couldn't get any sound at all from the TV. Tried all the various ext's and external speaker settings on the TV and on the Roth but nothing. Tesco sold me an optical cable and can't get them to plug into the sockets on either the TV or the Roth so back to Tesco this morning. Will let you know how I get on.

Mark stannard

December 20, 2012, 11:34 pm

bought this from Tesco and I don't have a problem with it, even with music. The sound from movies is fantastic and so is the sound from my PS3 which i use for blu-rays. All in all, well worth what i paid for it and im very happy.


January 3, 2013, 11:12 pm

Just purchased the Roth sub zero and I'm delighted with it.
Exactly what I wanted to add a bit of voom to my new TV set.
Excellent buy and I endorse the comments above thoroughly.
It's no expensive Hi-Fi replacement but superb as an add on to a 40 inch TV.
Easy to set-up, good remote control unit with large buttons and it looks quite stylish.
Easily 8/10, maybe more!


January 8, 2013, 10:55 am

Picked one up from Richer Sounds, got to say, it is a great little piece of kit for the money. Running a Blu Ray (The Dark Knight Rises) the sound bass wise is immense without distorting. Watching the football was great setting on FX mode rather than surround was brilliant. The general crowd chanting seemed to come forward with the people banging drums (you gotta love lower league grounds!!) seemingly sitting behind this!

Also, playing PS3 thorugh it is equally as great. I would recommend this sound bar as a great entry level to get your flatscreen sounding better. Remember, cheaper "branded" ones like LG and Samsung don't have built in subwoofers, this does, and considering its size, it does a great job.


November 1, 2013, 8:58 am

Did you take the dust protecting blanking plugs off of the optical cable plugs before trying to plug them in?

Kool Gadgetz

August 30, 2015, 11:41 pm

Great peace of kit

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