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Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2: Same same but different

By Marcus Wong - 2 Apr 2015
Launch SRP: S$329

Sound Blaster Roar 2 review - Introduction, Design and Handling

 The new Sound Blaster Roar 2 in white, with the original Sound Blaster Roar in the rear.

The hardest thing about creating something truly extraordinary, is following up with something better. That’s the challenge Creative faces in the release of the Sound Blaster Roar 2, as the original Sound Blaster Roar was extremely well-received. As we mentioned in our exclusive preview article here, the only change requested was for the unit to be lighter, and for a choice of color as the original Sound Blaster Roar was only available in a simple utilitarian silver finish. 

Creative Sound Blaster Roar speakers compared
  Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Creative Sound Blaster Roar
  Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 Creative Sound Blaster Roar
Launch SRP
  • From S$329
  • From S$299
Satellites (per speaker)
  • 2 x top-facing drivers
  • 2 x front-facing drivers
Subwoofer Driver
  • 1 x active bass unit
  • 2 x side-firing radiators
  • 1 x active bass unit
  • 2 x side-firing radiators
Inputs / Outputs
  • 1 x auxiliary port
  • 1 x USB
  • 1 x auxiliary port
  • 1 x USB
Dimensions
  • 51 x 188 x 109mm
  • 1kg
  • 57 x 115 x 202mm
  • 1.1kg

The new design has the drivers all facing upwards.

The color options were simple enough to fix, but downsizing the unit to allow for weight savings without compromising on quality proved to be quite a challenge for the Creative team who spent a good six to nine months working on various options before settling on moving the front dual 1.5-inch drivers to the top, placing them in line with the main active high-excursion driver (the bass driver in the center or also often known as the subwoofer).This inevitably resulted in the sound from the Sound Blaster Roar 2 being more directional, but also worked to answer the needs of some users who wanted to use the speaker while having it upright in their bags. 

Meanwhile, Creative also did away with the alarm function but included a new Tera Bass function that works to intelligently boost the bass when the speaker is playing at lower volumes, thus maintaining the balance of the audio. This is especially so when you just want some background music but don’t want to the bass to sound thin because of the lower volume.

Tapping the Roar button once activates Tera Bass, and a second tap puts it to Roar mode.

We like being able to see the side-firing radiators in operation.

The final external change would be the side-firing bass radiators. Where these were previously hidden behind a metal grill, Creative now has them out in full view, so you can literally see the radiators  pulsate with the bass. Machine-finished to a sleek gloss finish, they certainly do add a touch of class to the new Sound Blaster Roar 2. 

Otherwise, everything pretty much remains the same.  Like the original, the Sound Blaster Roar 2 is NFC-enabled with Bluetooth Multipoint support, has an integrated microSD slot and in-built microphone for making calls and recordings, and a dual purpose 6000mAh Lithium Ion battery that provides up to eight hours of playback and can be used to charge devices via USB. 

The NFC point is on the right of the speaker.

The Sound Blaster Roar 2 maintains the ability to directly play music from a microSD card.

You will still be able to play songs stored on the microSD card, but unfortunately, unlike the earlier version, the new Sound Blaster Roar 2 will not support Creative's MegaStereo Cable that enables you to connect two units together for better left and right channel stereo separation. Of course the Sound Blaster Roar 2 will also act as an external sound card and speaker for your computer, simply by hooking it up to your computer via USB. This last point is a lesser known fact, although this ability was also present in the original Roar speaker.

As with the Sound Blaster Roar, setting up is a simple process. Simply enable NFC on your phone and tap the NFC spot on the right of the speaker, or hold down the Bluetooth button till it starts blinking and then go into the Bluetooth settings on your phone to complete the process.

9.0
  • Design 8.5
  • Performance 9
  • Features 9
  • Value 9
The Good
Smaller size makes it easier to move around
Still very good audio performance
Good list of features
The Bad
Doesn't feel substantially lighter compared to the original
Poor stereo separation
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