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Roth OLi POWA-5
Roth OLi POWA-5

7 Pictures - Roth OLi POWA-5

  • Roth OLi POWA-5
  • Roth OLi POWA-5
  • Roth OLi POWA-5
  • Roth OLi POWA-5
  • Roth OLi POWA-5
  • Roth OLi POWA-5
  • Roth OLi POWA-5


March 21, 2013, 10:25 am

OK - that's just too funny! A friend of mine bought *identical looking* speakers in Hong Kong but under some other random brand name. Clearly these are getting pumped out by a Chinese factory somewhere, and they are happy to stick your "brand" on it, whatever it happens to be. Seriously - these are *identical*!!! Can't remember what his ones are called, but name was different. And if I remember correctly he paid around $US150 - again, no surprise I guess. For that money these are almost worth having if what you are after is a bit of background noise.

Chinese propensity for flogging same stuff under different brands aside, these don't actually sound too bad - definitely better IMO than most dock / single speaker stuff with a couple of exceptions from B&W and B&O (no surprises). But obviously absolutely no comparison to the real deal when it comes to wireless speakers, like the Dynaudio Xeo. And I bet they would be even more unimpressive against the legent-in-the-making (ship please!) Moos Mini Aero - the sublime Scan-Speak Revelator drivers are *not* made in China, and the knock-offs just don't compare!

Dan Gleballs

March 21, 2013, 11:30 am

ajake. Note that the cross-over design and box tuning was undertaken by James Roth personally in the UK over a period of some weeks. Suggest you get your facts straight.


March 21, 2013, 12:04 pm

@ajake - as funny as you may find this the whole rebranding issue you bring up it kind of gets flawed when you mention B&O...Philips rebranded ring any bells? So not a couple of exceptions really.

All around the world things are rebranded, or produced under a joint venture, go take a look at the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GT86.

Now i cannot comment if these POWA-5 are the same as any other speaker and i don't believe you are able to either, yes they may look the same as another but are the the same technically and specification wise.

At the end of the day i cannot see anything like these for sale in the UK and for the price they look to be extremely good value, so overall well done Roth.


March 21, 2013, 12:05 pm

@Dan - All I know is the speakers look *identical* down to every last detail to ones my friend bought in Hong Kong. He has the red ones. Wouldn't be the first time a western company took a Chinese product and put their name on it.

BTW - I just checked out the Roth website. It sure looks to me like a hodge podge of stuff sourced from China. Why? Well, because there is no common "design language" across any of the Roth products - companies that design stuff themselves usually have a very distinct brand look. Roth does not. Either these guys are sourcing direct Chinese designs or they should fire their industrial designer!

Oh, and to say they did crossovers in UK is bollocks - most of the acoustic performance is in the quality of the cabinet and drive units. There is no way that Roth designed the cabinets or drivers - these are straight from a Chinese supplier that also designed them.

All that said, this stuff is cheap - at this price point everything else is also made in (and often designed) in China.


March 21, 2013, 12:28 pm

It's nigh on impossible to trademark or copyright a product in China. Ask Apple, Samsung, Nike etc. Identical looking doesn't mean the internal components are of the same quality or even that the housing being made of the same material.


March 21, 2013, 12:46 pm

Sure - this does happen. Would be interesting to hear from Roth directly on this - they should be able to tell us if they designed this speaker (or what part of it they designed), and whether they got ripped off. Seemed to me that Dan may know them as he seems to have insight into the details of work done by Roth "personally" - perhaps he can get onto Roth and ask them to clarify for us.

I admit I am still suspicious. My friend has had his speakers for some weeks. Roth is only just releasing theirs now. Have the Chinese ripped off Roth's early prototypes and started to sell them without Roth knowing? I guess it's possible in theory...

trust me

October 7, 2013, 10:29 pm

ill tell you exactly what happened. a canadian company called Kanto designed these speakers (check out the Kanto 'YUMI'), the Chinese manufacturer stole the design and sold it as their own to Roth. boom.

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