Published on February 28th, 2015 | by Greg
Creative Sound Blaster Roar: Good Looks, Great Price
There are quite a few storied brands in the audio world, from many different countries, that specialize in many different components. Some names are best known for their microphones, or A/V receivers, or even instruments. Today’s company came to popularity on the strength of their computer audio gear, from very well-known soundcards to some excellent speakers. It’s tough to bring something new to a crowded field like Bluetooth speakers but we were impressed.
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar is more than just another wireless speaker. It connects easily to your phone or tablet, and does a great job bringing your music to life. But it also lists the following features, a longer list than we’ve seen from any competitor, from AAC & aptX for high-quality audio, NFC pairing technology, MP3 player, voice recorder, speakerphone, 6000 mAh Li-ion battery, battery bank, bedtime listening mode, and even a couple of truly unusual ones: a siren and link security. The design won a Red Dot Award last year, and and we were impressed at the dual-amp system of five total drivers (two active mids and a pair of passive bass radiators along with an active subwoofer). They brag about the “rigid monocoque endo-skeletal chassis”, which basically means that the frame is structural.
The battery life provides about eight total hours of playtime, and you can even link two of them together with a special cable for wireless stereo sound (sold separately, as is a carrying case). We only tried a singular Roar, and found the soundstage a little constrained- but there’s plenty of volume, and unlike many competitors which can be very directional, this speaker works well in a broader range. Bass was a bit limited, but highs and mids were crisp and clear and the Roar is dense, solid, stable, and weighs in at about 2.5 pounds. The rubber feet on the bottom keep it nicely in place even during bouncier moments.
Some of the features might seem a little odd but turn out to be really handy- the microSD card reader can access cards up to 32GB, perfect for sharing and storing songs when you don’t want to take up all of the space on your phone. Bedtime mode gently reduces volume so you can fall asleep, and then automatically shuts off the speaker. The Roar isn’t waterproof, but is a great bedside companion, ideal for use in a mid-size room or with a laptop- any place that the unique feature set can be a bonus. Available now, for around $150 online and in stores.