Speakercraft RooTs review

posted on Tuesday, 8th November 2011 by Steve May

home cinema  Speakercraft  Speakers  Hi-fi 


SpeakerCraft is best known to the CI trade as a proponent of architectural speakers and infrastructure technologies. But in an interested product line development, the brand has moved back into the open, with its premium RooTs take-away speaker packages. The company began life as a Hi-fi dealer back in the Seventies, designing the first in-wall speaker, and this new line is named in homage to its past.

The most immediately appealing thing about the RooTs line is its design. In terms of both aesthetics and build, they're class leading. The speakers are available in gloss black or white. Fingerprints are inevitable.

Inside CI was given exclusive access to the first samples to hit the UK. Our system comprised four 450 satellites, a CC centre and the top-of-the-line 310 subwoofer. The brand is also offering 350 and 650 satellites (which have 3.5 and 6.5inch woofers respectively), and a smaller sub, the 280. The set reviewed here retails for £2,450, so this is not a system designed to compete in the mass market.

The star of the show proved to be the RooTs sub. A ported design with a 300w digital powerplant and 10inch driver, the 310 goes deep (measured down to 30Hz) and loud.

It's versatile too. Connections comprise a pair of phono line inputs with a loopthrough to daisy chain more (surely only really necessary in larger rooms or theatres?). There are also speaker level connections with high-grade binding posts, for those without an LFE feed. This can be used in conjunction with a 12v trigger for simple system control. 

A small remote control is supplied, which has three user definable presets; typically you might set one level for movie watching, another for music and a third for late night listening. One option these presets offer is that specific IR commands can be added to a system control macro, which is a nice touch.

The L/R/RL/RR 450s feature a 38.1mm paper cone woofer and 19mm silk dome tweeter, and can be wall, shelf or stand mounted. The dedicated CC centre is a larger horizontal design and features two 38.1mm woofers separated by the same silk dome tweeter. All the RooTs boxes have detachable grilles, but frankly look better with them on.

In a standard five point one configuration, the system works well. Tonally matched, audio pans front and back are pleasingly seamless. When it comes to action movies, the set is fast and exciting.

Although the package looks like a standard sub/sat offering, the 450s are actually full-range designs. Ported, they go down to 50Hz. The sub has an adjustable crossover between 40Hz to 200Hz (choose 80-100Hz for the best results), and also offers Boundary Gain Compensation (from -10dB to +10dB).

Midway through the fantasy action movie Sucker Punch (Blu-ray) I began to think the 310, with its 10inch pressure-loader was probably overkill, and that the 8inch 280 would have done a more socially responsible job. But then Sucker Punch does have a particularly manic LFE track - and I didn't hear anybody complaining. 

Care should be taken setting up the 450s, as they can sound a little toppy. If I were a match-maker, I'd look to partner these babies with some luke-warm amplification capable of serious grunt.

It's reassuring to see Speakercraft, a brand that's been so influential on the US custom installation scene, expand back into traditional enclosures. Although ferociously expensive, these beautiful looking boxes with a surprisingly European aesthetic should be considered a welcome addition to the UK loudspeaker scene.

For more click here.

RooTs UK pricing (VAT inc)

Roots Centre Channel - £350 each

Roots 350 - £400 pair

Roots 450 - £525 pair

Roots 650 - £725 pair

Roots 208 Subwoofer - £900 each

Roots 310 Subwoofer - £1050 each

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

Share this!

Have your say...

Sorry guests can't post comments.

Please Login if your an existing member or Register a new account.


projectors  3D  lcd  home cinema  tv  Speakercraft  Lighting Control  Apple  Design  Installs  Meridian  Artcoustic  Control 4  Processors  HDMI  CI TV  CEDIA  Lighting  Subwoofers  Apps  Media Server  CES  CD players  Speakers  Architectural  Streamer  Multi-room  Control  AMX  Touchscreens  Commercial  HD over IP  Hi-fi  Blu-ray  Panasonic  Smart  Crestron  Home automation  Training  Corporate  Retail  Power conditioners  Social media  Tablets  Residential  Education  Automation  PR  Charity  Linn  Arcam  Marketing  4K  ISE  Awards  iPad  LED  Plasma  Zigbee  Pro  Interactive  Distribution  Appointments  Wireless  Outdoors  Epson  AWE Europe  OLED  Android  Screens  Smart home  Eco  DAC  Genesis  Rako  Opus  Trade  Lutron  HVAC  DLNA  Network audio  lighting Design  ISF  Karma-av  Cables  Streaming  Loudspeakers  Alan Titchmarsh  Wiring  Calibration  Matrix Switcher  Wryestorm  Wyrestorm  Ethernet  HDBaseT  Events  Retra  Video Conferencing  In-car  Furniture  Luxury  Research  Somfy  2012 Olympics  Sky+HD  UltraViolet  Infocomm  Smart Building  Olympics  Audiophile  Super Hi-Vision  8K  D-Tools  CEDIA EXPO  Multimedia  IFA  AirPlay  NFC  Music server  Interior Design  High-end  Digital signage  Mirror TV  IP Networking  Habitech  Networking  Waterproof  Nuvo  Konnectiv  Control4  Security  Landscape  Cor  Showrooms  Marine  Mounts  Soundbar  HD Connectivity  IPTV  RGB Communications  Broadcast  Sonos  KNX  Racking  Savant  THX  Expo  AV  Amina  Aldous Systems  Trade show  Invision UK  IP Camera  Dali  Seating  Movieserver  Datasat  Automotive  Robson Acoustics  High Res Audio  Monitor Audio  Christmas  Auro-3D  Wi-Fi  JVC  Dolby Atmos  RTI  StormAudio  Marata Vision  Enterprise  Home  Netw  Leaf  IFA 2014 

Latest Review

Latest Article