Generally the wireless speakers on the market will be focused on their design rather than what they actually sound like, Creative is changing that specification with their Sound Blaster Roar, which may not be the best looking Bluetooth speaker around, but it certainly does pump out a huge and full sound.
It is priced at around £130, but we would definitely say that the Roar offers up enough to make that price tag valid, featuring a metallic build that is extremely sturdy, and feels like it isn’t going to break on you anytime soon.
The metallic build is then covered with an easy-to-grip silicone padding that means it won’t slip on a surface or in the hand (there’s also rubber feet on the bottom), this is then combined with a dotted mesh cover on the top that not only finishes off the design but also allows the speaker to do its job.
Aside from that the speaker is pretty simple in design, featuring a number of main buttons along the top of the device, with a number of extra controls, inputs and outputs along the back of the speaker.
To connect to it you can use the Bluetooth connection from your device, this is combined with the speaker’s compatibility with NFC and aptX, for easy pairing and the highest possible sound quality respectively.
The addition of a 3.5mm AUX in, microUSB port and microSD card slot is a nice one too, allowing the user to play music without the need for a secondary device.
On the back of the speaker you will also find controls that allow you to record and playback media to/from a storage device like a microSD card.
It also features a built-in microphone for use with conference calling, or even as a Dictaphone, as well as buttons for an alarm and a weird switch labeled LS, which stands for “life saver” and will randomly play sounds from the speaker to keep you awake, we’re not sure how many would use a feature like that, but more is always good right?
And all this is within a pretty slim design that measures 20cm across, 11.5cm deep and 5.6cm tall, it is quite heavy at about 1.1kgs, but considering its included features that kind of weight is to be expected.
Despite this small form factor the Sound Blaster Roar still packs a serious punch, maybe even a serious Roar, pardon the pun.To provide its booming sound the Roar has two side-positioned radiators for bass enhancement, two 1.5 inch drivers for the high and mid range sounds and one 2.5 inch subwoofer that boosts the bass even further from the radiators that we previously mentioned.
Despite the subwoofer and radiators the Roar provides a balanced sound output that doesn’t sound distorted, and but still provides a nice amount low-end bass without vibrating the chassis, keeping the audio clean.
The speaker is also really frigging loud, like seriously loud.
Featuring volume controls on the top of the speaker, you can operate the device independently from the device that you have connected to it, providing two-tiers of incremental volumes. And with the Roar button yo can boost the volume even further.
The only real problem with the Roar is that it doesn’t provide a full 460 degrees of output, and it performs best when the speaker is raised when the speaker is facing you, which shouldn’t matter too much for most users, but you should note it anyway.
Inside of the speaker there’s also a rechargeable battery that will definitely get you through the entire day, with up to eight hours of use from a single charge, which should be plenty sufficient for most. During our own tests we found that the speaker hit this 8 hour number a lot, even when the volume was cranked right up.
We did also find that the range of the Bluetooth connection for the speaker was pretty low during our tests, but given that the speaker is pretty portable, you should be okay to move it from room to room with you.
Overall the Creative Sound Blaster Roar is a terrific Bluetooth speaker, capable of providing huge and clean sound, with a range of features, inputs and outputs whilst sticking to a form-factor that is reasonably portable.
Disclosure: Creative sent us a sample of the Sound Blaster ROAR for the purposes of this review.