Cre­ative Sound Blaster Roar

Huge sounds from a small box.

HWM (Singapore) - - FEATURE - TEXT // KENNY YEO

In the au­to­mo­tive world, there is a say­ing that there is no re­place­ment for dis­place­ment, which means to say the big­ger the en­gine, the bet­ter. This say­ing is true to a cer­tain ex­tent with au­dio speak­ers too. Get­ting small, com­pact speak­ers to sound good is no­to­ri­ously hard to do, which is why good-sound­ing por­ta­ble wire­less Blue­tooth speak­ers are few and far be­tween, which is why the new Cre­ative Sound Blaster Roar is such a treat.

Ac­cord­ing to Cre­ative, the Roar is the re­sult of years of re­search with the goal of cre­at­ing a true au­dio­phile-grade sin­gle piece speaker sys­tem. To achieve this goal, the Roar comes with five driv­ers - two for­ward-fac­ing driv­ers in charge of highs, an up­wards-fir­ing ac­tive bass unit in the mid­dle that tack­les mids and bass, and fi­nally two side-fir­ing ra­di­a­tors that han­dle bass. This setup al­lows it to ef­fort­lessly “fill” a room with sound.

The Roar is also shaped in a rec­tan­gu­lar block to fur­ther widen its sound stage, with an additional ben­e­fit of keep­ing its cen­ter of grav­ity low. Even when the vol­ume is cranked up and the driv­ers start to vi­brate more vi­o­lently, the en­tire speaker stays sta­ble and does not move un­con­trol­lably. Also im­por­tant is that the Roar em­ploys two am­pli­fiers to en­sure its driv­ers have suf­fi­cient power to op­er­ate ef­fi­ciently even at high vol­umes.

Set­ting up the Roar was very easy. If you have an NFCen­abled de­vice, sim­ply tap your de­vice on the NFC logo on the speaker. You can also pair it man­u­ally with Blue­tooth, or out­put mu­sic to the speaker via USB or the aux­il­iary jack.

Apart from func­tion­ing as a speaker, the Roar has a ton of other fea­tures. It has an in-built mi­cro­phone that users can take calls with, plus a mi­croSD card slot to read mu­sic from as well as record mu­sic and con­ver­sa­tions to it. The speaker can also be used as a mo­bile bat­tery bank to charge other de­vices.

In terms of au­dio per­for­mance, the Roar did not dis­ap­point. The first thing that struck us was how loud it was de­spite its com­pact size, man­ag­ing ex­treme vol­ume lev­els with no signs of cracking or dis­tor­tion. It also ex­hib­ited very good clar­ity and trans­parency, which was ev­i­dent on our Buck­et­head test track Sail on Sooth­sayer. We heard sim­i­lar per­for­mance with the strings on the Ea­gles clas­sic, Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia. Vo­cals were well ar­tic­u­lated and smooth, while bass was very deep, tight and well-con­trolled.

Our main gripe with it is its un­der­per­form­ing stereo sep­a­ra­tion, with lit­tle distinc­tion be­tween left and right chan­nels. It also sounded too di­rect for our lik­ing, though it is im­por­tant to note that these prob­lems plague nearly ev­ery speaker of this size and cat­e­gory.

All things con­sid­ered, over­all au­dio per­for­mance is ex­em­plary for a speaker of its size and class. If you are in the mar­ket for a por­ta­ble wire­less Blue­tooth speaker, re­gard­less of your budget, it would be fool­ish not to at least con­sider the Sound Blaster Roar.

The Sound Blaster Roar can also func­tion as a mo­bile bat­tery bank, cour­tesy of a USB port on the rear.

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