Bluetooth speaker brands have multiplied and showed up all over the place last 2015. From speakers ranging from Php500 to up to Php30,000 you can now select speakers to your preference whether portable, on-the-go sounds system or even a home entertainment system.
Last Christmas I was personally on the search for my portable speakers as company in doing gym. Though I already have a good portable speakers, its not just enough to give you the right volume especially when in those “push yourself more” moments. So in my search, I was torn in-between the Bose SoundLink Mini II and the Creative Sound Blaster Roar.
Knowing that the price premium of my search is around 15 thousand pesos, I had to be sure of my selection. At last with 2 hours of checking both demo units at Power Mac Center, I eventually ended up with the Creative Sound Blaster Roar II. Priced 3k lower than the Bose SoundLink Mini II, I was impressed with the features packed in this baby. So check out why I choose this over the Bose SoundLink Mini II.
Pronouncing a very speaker entity, the whole Sound Blaster can tell it’s about sound in first looks. It weighs around 1.1kg in weight, but just think of it’s 6,000mAh battery and 2.1 monster speakers to compensate.
Size wise the Creative Sound Blaster Roar wins by a mile. It’s almost double the size of the SoundLink Mini II but I didn’t mind it, afterall my goal was power than portability. So testing both for music output, the Sound Blaster Roar is around 50% more loud and has better bass in deliver. It can easily fill up music of around a 40sqm room or function space, in my case the Gym is mine when I have these baby.
Lot’s of features
Ultimately I was drawn into the control at the back. The SoundBlaster Roar can be a standalone unit thanks to it’s MicroSD card reader, you can playback music. Ultimately it’s not just a Bluetooth Speaker
Here are some features worth noting
- MicroSD Playback
- Stand Alone Voice Recorder
- PowerBank Function with 1A Output
- MicroSD Connection for Off-Charging or USB-PC Playback
- Aux-In for all devices
- Siren Function – Alarm in terms of Emergency
- Link Security – Connects up to 2 devices simultaneously
- NFC Connectivity – Pair any device via NFC
APTX CSR Bluetooth
New generation of Bluetooth speakers now have APTX CSR Bluetooth technology, this allows a more clear, loose-less and no delay sound in your listening experience. A feature that is highly appreciated especially when watching movies, to avoid the lag in voices. Although this only uses Bluetooth v3.0 which is slightly more power hungry than v4.0.
The Speakers is built on the Sound Blaster SR20A are a total of 2 1.5″ Speakers, 2 Passive Radiators and 1 Subwoofer. Quite incredible they we’re able to fit in those components while having a 6,000mAh battery inside.
Audio quality is top notch, bass are felt good while delivering flawless treble. We like playing eDM music as the subwoofer doesn’t mask the lyrics or any effects. Even with full volume, the unit can handle the sound without any distortion.
Since Creative is an audio technology specialist, they have inserted special features in reason why they call it ROAR. Plus it’s built-in sound card audio driver by Creative is a plus factor, which means your music are in good hands.
One is the ROAR button, by pressing it will enable you to have louder output, better depth and audio reach. By our ear, we estimate around 20% better audio deliverywhen the ROAR button is activated.
At the back is the magic Terra Bass button, this enables better combination of bass with your music. We opted to have this feature enabled at all times, we particularly like listening to eDM based music and its perfect especially in those drop moments.
Within the 1st month of technically abusing the Sound Blaster Roar, we have seen some of it’s weakness. First is it’s legs, technically there are none so the side chrome finish will get chipped off.
Second is the weird stigma of overcharging. Technically while charging the device you should see a stable 3 bars once fully charged, but if the device is open you will just see it charging forever. Now this might be an issue in the future, but people in the Power Mac Center assured me that there are no overcharging issue.
Third is the unexplained battery loss, despite connected to an iPhone to see battery levels, sometimes there are occasions of significant battery drops. We usually encounter it once the battery is at 30%, not really significant of a problem but we think a battery drain issue is present as the unit can get hot when not in use. (We will try to email Creative in regards to this)
Lastly is the supplied AC Adapter, yes it can charge faster fortunately but you have to bring the charger. Though you can use a standard USB port, the unit has to be off to charge. Slight disadvantage, but think of the positive way of you have a more faster way of charging (If you brought along the charger).
Overall the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20A is a head turner, mostly all of my friends were surprised how loud and clear it is. It can definitely beat your usual 2.1 speaker setup at home, but with the portability of just being 1.1kg light. Function wise you won’t go wrong with it’s diverse connectivity options, sometimes you’ll just have to make up your mind to optimize the battery.
Despite the battery issue and the sides getting chipped, we didn’t mind it significantly as we loved the speakers. It’s definitely a steal for SRP Php9,800.00, though in other countries the SRP is around $149.00 ($7,200). Throw in a free carrying pouch and everything would have been complete, then again with savings of around 3k versus the Bose SoundLink Mini II, and all the additional features we got…I’m definitely happy with my purchase and puts the Bose SoundLink Mini II into shame.
Here is the complete specifications of the Sound Blaster ROAR SR20A
- System ConfigurationOne-piece
- DimensionsSpeaker: 57.0 x 202.0 x 115.0mm (2.2 x 7.9 x 4.5 inches)
Power Adaptor Cord Length: Approx 1.9m
USB Cord Length: Approx 0.75m
- WeightSpeaker: 1.10kg (2.5lbs)
Power Adaptor Weight: 153g
- Included Accessories1 x Micro USB Cable
1 x Power Adaptor
2 x Interchangeable Adaptor Plugs*
*Supplied Interchangeable plug(s) may vary according to region and country.
- Controls / Connectivity
- Bluetooth® VersionBluetooth 3.0
- Bluetooth® ProfileA2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth)
AVRCP (Bluetooth Remote Control)
HFP (Hands-free Profile)
- Supported CodecsAAC
- Near Field Communication (NFC) –Yes
- Multipoint – Yes
- Connector TypeAux-In
- Volume Level ControlYes
- Drivers1 x 2.5″ Woofer
2 x 1.5″ Tweeter
2 x Passive Radiators
- Drivers1 x 2.5″ Woofer
- DesignBi-amplified Design
- Supported Platforms for Wireless Audio (Minimum Requirements)
- Mobile/Smart DevicesMobile / Smart devices with A2DP -enabled Bluetooth technology
- ComputersCompatible with PC (Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1)
Apple Macintosh equipped with Bluetooth wireless stereo
- USB Audio – Yes
- Battery Specifications
- Battery TypeBuilt-in Li-ion
- Battery Life 8 hours
- Charging by Micro USB
- Charge Mobile DevicesUSB
1.0A Max Output
- Battery TypeBuilt-in Li-ion
- MicroSD Slot – Yes
- Supported Audio FormatsMP3 (up to 320kbps)
WMA (up to 320kbps)
WAV (16 bit 48kHz PCM)
- Other FeaturesSound Blaster Control Panel