The original Creative Sound Blaster Roar was an impressive little Bluetooth speaker.
Its performance didn't wow us, but it had many unique features that set it apart from the competition, including a voice recorder, a built-in MP3 player, a full-size USB port for charging mobile devices, and even a siren.
The $169.99 Sound Blaster Roar 2 is smaller and lighter than the Roar, but it has almost all of the same features.
However, like the original Roar, its audio performance isn't quite on par with other options in its price range, like the Bose SoundLink Mini II and the Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 (both $199.99).
If you want to save a little money, though, and enjoy a feature-rich portable speaker, the Roar 2 is an excellent choice.
DesignThe Roar 2 is slightly slimmer and lighter than the original Roar at 4.3 by 7.2 by 1.9 inches (HWD) and 2.2 pounds, though it's still on the large side for a portable speaker.
You'll be able to pack it into most bags, but don't try to fit it in your jacket.
A metal grille protects the main drivers on the speaker's face, and two covered rubber radiators sit on either end to improve bass performance.
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(See how we test.). A flat strip above the grille holds Power, Volume Up/Down, and Call/Bluetooth Pairing buttons, plus a pinhole microphone, a set of indicator lights, and an NFC panel for easy pairing with compatible devices.
That's all pretty standard for Bluetooth speakers, but around the corner you'll find a more imposing array of controls.
The back panel has playback controls for the built-in MP3 player, Record and Play/Pause buttons for the voice recorder, a mic muting switch, a USB Audio/Mass Storage mode switch, and a Tera Bass mode button. The panel also holds a proprietary power port for the included charger, a 3.5mm input jack, a full-size USB port for charging mobile devices with the speaker's battery, a micro USB port for connecting the speaker to your computer as a digital-to-analog (DAC) convertor, and a microSD card slot for the MP3 player and voice recorder features.
By default, the Roar 2 sits flat and projects sound upward, as indicated by the two long rubber feet located on the back/bottom of the speaker.
However, two additional rubber feet are included, and you can place them on the panel opposite the side with the ports and switches to stand it upright. Read Our Amazon Echo (1st Gen, 2015) Review.