Product Review: Creative Sound Blaster Roar

Disclaimer: I received the Creative Sound Blaster Roar for review purposes, which in no way colors my review. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon where I get a cut if you purchase it from there. #FeedABlogger

Shown with a Galaxy S5 for scale.

Shown with a Galaxy S5 for scale.

When I first told Claire that Creative was going to send me their new wireless speaker for review, her response was “Do they read our site?” I’m not an audiophile, but I am pickier than average when it comes to audio equipment. (If I see you with Bose or Beats anything, I will give you a lecture.) Wireless is not something I’m typically a fan of. But I figured I had nothing to use in giving the speaker a shot.

The Sound Blaster Roar is a battery-powered, portable, “audiophile” speaker from Creative Labs. Before I go any further, I have to do a short rant. Not everything needs to be “audiophile” quality. If you’re sitting in a room doing nothing but listening to music, that is when you need audiophile quality. Not when you’re on the go, or hanging out outside, which is when the Roar would be used.  Moving on…

Inputs and Pairing

The Roar is certainly flexible on inputs. You can pair it with Bluetooth or NFC. It can read Micro SD Cards.  You can plug-in with an aux jack. You can connect via USB. I tested it using the aux jack and Bluetooth. Its simple enough to pair. There’s no code to enter. Just enable Bluetooth on your device, find the Creative speaker, and pair. The aux jack, well it’s an aux jack, what more do you expect? One thing I’d really like to see is an RCA input. I could really see this speaker being hooked up to those Crosley Cruiser record players people love (for whatever reason) to be used a simple speaker upgrade. Granted, you could get an RCA to Aux cable, but it’d be nice to see it built-in.

Sound Quality

I was honestly surprised by the sound quality. It was better than the outdoor speakers we had at the time (which prompted an outdoor speaker upgrade). Which even though the outdoor speakers we had were small, they were still wired, powered, speakers. Creative details how they got the most audio quality out of a small device on their site if you’re interested.  Whatever they did, it worked pretty well. The closest thing I had to compare it to is my Fluance iPod speaker dock and a Yamaha TSX-120. It’s not a completely fair comparison (neither are wireless), but it’s what I have. And while the Roar didn’t sound as good as these two (especially the Fluance, because I really love the sound profile of it in particular) it certainly came closer than I’d expect from a $200 portable wireless speaker.

We even ended up using the Roar at Claire’s wedding. She opted for a Sonos system over a DJ, and was planning on moving the speakers from the ceremony to the reception. But when I showed up with the Roar (for decorating music) we opted just to use that instead. It worked well in both situations. We were able to hook up my iPod classic while we were getting ready. Then we hooked it to Claire’s iPhone for ceremony music. You could hear the music, and operation was simple enough I was able to explain to a friend of ours how to operate it with a few sentences.

The Verdict

Overall, I was impressed by the Sound Blaster Roar. It’s not something I’d buy for myself (I don’t have a use case for it), but it is something I’d recommend to friends who just want something to play music when they’re hanging out on their patio. You can pick one up for $199.99 from either Creative directly or Amazon.

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