Saturday, November 14, 2015

Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Up for review today is the new Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2. I remember back in the day, if you wanted to share your tunes with friends while on the go, you got a boom box. Our boom boxes of today have gotten much more sophisticated. They are much smaller, provide good sound and can play music from multiple sources. These new players can even do so wirelessly. The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 is one of those players.

Features and specs:
  • System ConfigurationOne-piece
  • DimensionsSpeaker: 51.0 x 188.0 x 109.0 mm (2.0 x 7.4 x 4.3 inches), Power Adaptor Cord Length: Approx 1.7m, USB Cord Length: Approx 0.7m
  • WeightSpeaker: 1kg (2.2lbs), Power Adaptor: 150g (5.3oz), USB Cable: 26g, UK Interchangeable Adaptor Plug*: 19g, CE Interchangeable Adaptor Plug*: 17g
  • Bluetooth® VersionBluetooth 3.0
  • Bluetooth ProfileA2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth), AVRCP (BluetoothRemote Control), HFP (Hands-free Profile)
  • Supported CodecsAAC, aptX, SBC

The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 came in a nice looking box with photos of the product as well as its features. The Roar 2 was well protected. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some metal, and was of very good quality. Quality of construction as well as the fit and finish was also very good. The Creative Roar 2 was very well made, and had good heft to it, so it felt very solidly put together. The buttons and connects were well put together as well. Also included was the charging cable, micro USB, Cable, and manuals.

I was very impressed with the design of the Roar 2. The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 uses 5 drivers. These include 2 stereo drivers for the highs, 1 subwoofer for the mids and lows, and 2 passive radiators. The highs, mids and lows are top firing, with the passive radiators on both sides. And the work is divide up between 2 separate amplifiers: one for the highs, and one for the mids and lows. And it all came together very well.

The host of other features is also impressive. The Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 features Bluetooth, NFC, Micro USB, micro SD card slot, 3.5 mm audio input, USB, and microphone. So you can use it as an external speaker using the 3.5 mm audio input. The USB input or micro USB will also allow you to charge your other devices such as your smartphone. You can use the microphone to record memos. You can also save your music collection to a micro SD card, and use the card slot on the Roar 2 to play it. The Creative Roar 2 certainly provides a lot of functionality!

I was very impressed up to this point, and excited to see how it performs!  The wireless performance was nothing short of stellar!  Linking it to my HTC One M9 smartphone was a breeze.  Living in a large home I left the Creative Roar 2 in my bedroom upstairs, and proceeded to walk all throughout my house...upstairs, downstairs, with several walls between me and the Roar 2.  To my surprise there was not a single drop in signal!  Now I set it on my porch and proceeded to walk to the end of my cul-de-sac.  It wasn't until I got close the the end of the cul-e-sac that I started to get drops in signal, which was at 170 feet!  And continued to get signal for up to around 200 feet!  The wireless performance was amazing!

Now it's time for it's audio performance.  Here the Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2 continued to perform in spades!  I was able to hear the music in stereo.  I thought I would turn to some old school Michael Jackson: Billy Jean.  Vocals sounded very natural.  Percussion was very crisp and clean with good dynamics. The bass had impact with depth I was not expecting from such a small device!  Next I went to one of my favorites for critical listening, Mannheim Steamroller: Going to Another Place.  Again, it was the great sound that I have been hearing.  Percussion was crisp and clean, drums had good impact.  The flute was smooth with good air.  I continued with other tracks as well, from multiple bands and genre, all with the same result.  The highs and mids were clean and natural with bass that actually had some impact and also had more depth than expected from such a small device.  The Creative Roar 2 also played sufficiently loud to fill a small room, such as a bedroom, or den.

I was impressed all around with the performance of the small Creative SoundBlaster Roar 2.  It does a lot, and sounds great!  If you are in the market for a similar device, the Roar 2 should be on your short list.  With an MSRP of $199, it has also been able to be found online on sale for much less.   And don't forget the available carry case for it that can be had for a measly $39.99.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Creative Roar 2 has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  Kudos to Creative for a great product!  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at