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Event Coverage
First looks: Creative iRoar Go - their smartest portable speaker yet
By Liu Hongzuo - 2 Oct 2016,11:48am

First looks: Creative iRoar Go - Page 2

The stylish leatherette carrying case is sold separately.

 

What does iRoar Go have that the old one doesn't?

A few things, like their SuperWide audio profile, a splash-proof body, better microSD card support, support for lossless .FLAC audio files, and improved software.

 

SuperWide

SuperWide audio profile gives a more immersive listening experience by digitally expanding the speaker's soundstage capabilities.

First, they added a new audio profile called SuperWide. SuperWide gives the iRoar Go a wider soundstage.

What does a wider soundstage mean to us? In this case, the iRoar Go is capable of helping a listener picture where every instrument or vocal in a song is located in an imaginary live stage. By contrast, a speaker with a normal or mediocre soundstage feels less immersive. Through our trials with Creative, the iRoar Go's SuperWide audio profile felt much easier to immerse in, in comparison to their default audio signature. It was easy to picture what SuperWide wanted to portray, as the music gave us a mental image of the instrumental and vocal placement in the tracks. To toggle SuperWide on, it must be done via the proprietary app or desktop widget.

SuperWide also opens up the freedom to do Near-Field or Far Field Projection. By utilizing your surrounding walls and open space, you can adopt four different listening experiences: SuperWide Stereo with or without audio dispersion, as well as SuperWide room-filling audio, with or without dispersion.

This is done by either choosing to have the speaker nearer or further from its user, followed by choosing to have the front drivers directly facing the user, or having it face-up on a table. To us, this means that the iRoar Go isn't omni-directional. While more experimentation is needed, we were still rather impressed with the SuperWide's soundstage capabilities thus far.

 

Splash-proof body

Secondly, the body of the iRoar Go is rated at IPX6. According to Creative, this makes the speaker splash-proof, while the IP rating code indicates that the speakers should be able to withstand water from water jets up to three minutes (at a volume of 100 liters per minute) without the speaker receiving water damage. Given the size of the speaker, we would choose to take Creative's recommended use instead. The previous iRoar wasn't proofed against the elements like how the iRoar Go is, so adding splash-proof capabilities is a welcomed addition, even if it's late to the portable speaker party.

 

Control microSD card songs via app

There's also some slight upgrades to their proprietary apps as well. Creative fans would be pleased to know that the Sound Blaster Connect app will allow the user to pick and choose tracks from the speaker's microSD card. The new SuperWide audio profile is also available as an equalizer preset option too. The app will be available on iOS and Android come 6th September 2016.

The desktop version of Sound Blaster Connect provides extra controls, like SBX Pro Studio.

The desktop version of their app (also called Sound Blaster Connect) mirrors the features found on their mobile app. That also applies to the microSD card song selection and EQ settings. The desktop version has another set of equalizer options called SBX Pro Studio. It's available on both PC and Mac.

 

Lossless audio support (.FLAC)

We liked how the iRoar Go supports lossless .FLAC audio files now. Any .FLAC songs pumped into the device via microSD card or USB will play just fine. This also makes the iRoar Go the very first iRoar device to natively support .FLAC audio.

 

What's the iRoar Go's audio quality like?

We had an audio trial within the confines of Creative's demo room. Since the demo provided a cursory listen across a wide range of audio materials, we are unable to narrow down its strengths and flaws. However, we can see that the iRoar Go wasn't simply designed for music. As mentioned above, the SuperWide audio profile was designed to provide a wider soundstage, which creates an aural map through immersive sound. This makes it a versatile in-room portable speaker for movie-watching and mood-setting.

 

Is it available?

"Killer" deal - don't play play.

The Creative iRoar Go will officially start retail at Comex 2016. It has an original price of S$299. Creative members get to grab the iRoar Go at S$199 instead. all iRoar Go speakers come with a PWP offer - you can buy the separate head-worn microphone at S$10 (originally S$19). If you're already familiar with portable speakers at large, as well as Creative's Roar-type speakers, S$299 is already a good deal for what the iRoar Go offers, and the S$199 special for their loyal members just makes it outrageous.

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