CRE­ATIVE SOUND BLASTER ROAR

Plenty of fea­tures. Great sound and im­pres­sive vol­ume. Limited stereo sep­a­ra­tion.

HWM (Singapore) - - Test -

Cre­ative is no stranger to the speaker mar­ket, and the new Roar cer­tainly made it­self heard when it was launched lo­cally in Fe­bru­ary. Cre­ative packed no less than five driv­ers into the diminu­tive Roar - two for­ward-fac­ing driv­ers in charge of the highs, an up­ward fir­ing ac­tive bass unit in the mid­dle to han­dle the mids and bass, and two side fir­ing ra­di­a­tors to han­dle the bass. Cre­ative also em­ploys two am­pli­fiers to en­sure that the driv­ers have suf­fi­cient juice to go to their lim­its. A “Roar” but­ton fur­ther boosts vol­ume and is great when you are tak­ing the speaker out­doors, though this will drain its bat­tery faster. In­ter­est­ingly, Cre­ative rec­om­mends “Roar” mode to be used when plugged into a wall out­let, which de­feats the out­doors pur­pose.

Blue­tooth and NFC pair­ing is sup­ported, while Cre­ative’s Mul­ti­point tech­nol­ogy al­lows you to have up to two de­vices con­nected si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Ob­vi­ously only one source will be able to play at a time, but this al­lows you to save the has­sle of hav­ing to dis­con­nect one source just to pair the other.

We do like the ad­di­tion of a mi­croSD slot though, as it al­lows you to al­ways have some mu­sic tracks handy. Even bet­ter, the in­ter­nal mi­cro­phone can be set to record to mi­croSD, so you can use it to record your con­ver­sa­tions or au­dio played from Blue­tooth de­vices. The USB and mi­cro-USB ports can be used to charge por­ta­ble de­vices, and the Roar can even be used as an alarm by sound­ing a loud siren.

In our au­dio tests, the Roar ex­celled and ren­der­ing sound well over the en­tire range. On the Ea­gles’ Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia, the bongo drums sounded deep and im­pact­ful and gui­tars on the in­tro riff sounded bright and tex­tured. Don Hen­ley’s vo­cals were well ar­tic­u­lated and smooth sound­ing. Speed and dex­ter­ity were ex­hib­ited, with a draw­back be­ing that there wasn’t much of a sense of stereo sep­a­ra­tion, an is­sue that dogs most speak­ers this size.

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