Role Audio’s Earth-Friendly Designs

I enjoyed speaking with Role Audio’s Erol Ricketts, who is proud of his company’s formaldehyde-free designs. After researching the harmful effects of heavy exposure to toxic substances such as formaldehyde, Ricketts decided it would be best for his own health, and for the health of his company, family, and planet, to manufacture a new sort of loudspeaker, one with a small, and environmentally friendly, footprint.

Because Role Audio believes hi-fi should aid in the discovery of new music—a philosophy I hold dearly—all of the company’s products are named after ships, vessels for discovery. The slim Sampan ($1400/pair) measures just 4” W by 4” D by 37” H, and uses a single 3.5” driver in a transmission line design. Mated to a Peachtree Audio iDecco, the system impressed me with its transparency and solid stereo imaging; these speakers “disappeared” like no others I heard at the show.

chum2286's picture


Nice job on reporting from the show, you are doing great work and I'm really enjoying reading all the articles you are posting. I'm a subscriber to Stereophile but I'm still coming to the website just to read your show reports. Thanks for doing a good job, just wanted to let you know that your effort is much appreciated. I'm jealous of your photos, I wish I could have been there!


Stephen Mejias's picture
Thanks very much, Steve. It was a pleasure covering the show, and I'm glad you're enjoying the coverage.'s picture

Marc Philips and I heard these, in turn, and they sounded very nice in the near-field position. Deep and wide soundstage...of course killer mids.