In an industry that is hard to differentiate from seemingly hundreds of thousands of competitors, comes a company willing to stand out from the rest. That company is Creative Technologies — the maker of the Sound Blaster Roar.
Creative Technology CEO, Sim Wong Hoo, said it best while describing this special breed of portable speakers.
“Many portable wireless speakers are designed primarily to be small and compact. They hardly suffice in audio fidelity to provide decent sound as a home stereo system. We’ve approached the Sound Blaster Roar from the opposite direction.”
The direction he and his company chose was to put an emphasis on sound quality first over portability and aesthetics. It’s a daring move being that most companies rely on looks and compact size to sell their products. It’s safe to say that Sim Wong Hoo does not care if his company fits the same mold as others.
But don’t get me wrong, the SBR looks clean with its black gun-metal color tones. It looks like an expensive piece of DJ equipment; an accessory that can be nicely tucked away along a mixer or something.
I love how high-end this speaker feels, it carries some real heft. Without the box it has to weigh anywhere from three to four pounds of premium constructed materials.
If you’re a spec-nerd then you’ll love the SBR even more, as it comes with all the bells and whistles most fawn over. It’s like Creative Technology had a check off list just for nerds when building this thing.
A Micro SD card slot can be used for playing stored music or for recording, due to the speaker’s built-in microphone. That feature also allows users to take hands-free phone calls.
With a 6000mAh Li-ion battery inside, its USB port can be used for charging other devices. Add in the other features like Bedtime mode, Loud Sounds Mode, NFC (Near Field Communication) and you’ve got a well-equipment entertainment machine. The SBR even has a One-touch siren to help grab the attention of house guest at a party.
I honestly didn’t have a need for at least half of the features the Sound Blaster Roar offered, as I tried to focus more on how good the speaker was at the simple things. Using the SBRs’ Bluetooth 3.0 tech to connect to all my devices including my computer (iMac) was without any issue. And taking calls were great as the sound on both ends were crystal-clear.
But let’s get to what really matters, and that is the audio quality. The Sound Blaster Roar has a science to it. Creative designed the sound box by placing a speaker at the top to deliver mids and bass, while adding two in the front for putting out the highs. The two vents on the left and right of the box is for the more intense bass to exit.
Some real thought went into designing this sound system, it wasn’t just slapped together with a cheap-underperforming speaker and a flashy coat of paint.
It’s solid all around. You can really notice the bass, and the highs don’t get in the way. As you can imagine, it’s a given that Hip Hop sounds amazing on the SBR (made sure to put it through the paces with Kanye West, Schoolboy Q, and Kendrick Lamar).
I also played electronic / dance music to check out the highs, and it performed just as well (Skrillex, Bonobo, and Flume to name a few — if you’re interested).
In a small apartment with a few people, the sound won’t get drowned out. However I’m not sure how the sound would carry in an environment of a dozen or more people, like in a back yard cookout. Although I feel it could still handle itself adequately in that situation.
So many times I’ve gotten my hopes up with a portable speaker to then only have them crushed with an avalanche of disappointment.
In this case, I can say things are different. The Creative Sound Blaster Roar makes other speakers in its field look and sound like toys, with its advanced technological sound system and premium materials. It’s the best wireless speaker I’ve tested so far.
The bottom line is, the SBR is a legit option in a market filled with overpriced portable wireless speakers. Creative Technology went out its way to give you everything you want and more, all at the bargain price of $149.99.
If this were made by a more popular brand out there, it would be at least $50 more. The quality would command it. Although it isn’t perfect (wished it were more compact) it still should please a majority of audiophile’s out there, it did for me.