For wireless streaming:. Compatible Bluetooth devices that support the Stereo Bluetooth Profile (A2DP). For playback or recording via microSD slot:. microSD or microSDHC cards up to 32GB formatted in FAT/FAT32.Common audio formats such as MP3, WMA and WAV.(MP3 and WMA up to 320kbps). For one-touch pairing:. NFC-enabled devices. For phone calls:. Compatible Bluetooth smartphones that support the Hands-Free Profile (HFP). For direct connection to Line-in jack:. Analog audio devices with a 3.5mm output or RCA output. For Sound Blaster Control Panel:. For Windows® OS. Intel Core™2 Duo processor 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core or equivalent processorMicrosoft® Windows 10, Microsoft Windows 8.1 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit1GB RAM600MB of free hard disk spaceAvailable USB 1.1, 2.0 or 3.0 portInternet connection (optional).
Intel Core 2 Duo processor 2.8 GHzMac OS X 10.6 and above1GB RAM600MB of free hard disk spaceAvailable USB 2.0 portInternet connection (optional). Wonderful sound, worked great with windows 10. I loved the listening experience, options for sound, NFC to pair with multiple devices, the option of putting music on an SD card and I used this as my computer speaker.
I expected better quality from Creative.UPDATE - Creative wanted $70 to look at my speaker (plus I would pay for the cost of shipping both ways) IF it was the battery they would replace it and I would have to pay for any additional costs.I remembered that I had purchased a Square Trade warranty. I contacted Square Trade and they also thought it was a battery failure. SqTrade sent me a shipping label I sent it in for a repair. They could not repair the speaker so I am getting a refund of the full purchase price.Disappointed that this speaker lasted 18 months (especially at that price), I also think Creative wanting $70 to look at a speaker that should have lasted longer given the price is shameful.Thankfully Amazon suggested the Square Trade warranty when I purchased this speaker.
Working with Square Trade was awesome so now I have money to buy another speaker.If you buy the Creative Roar Pro without Square Trade you will be very disappointed and either forced to spend more to have Creative diagnose your problem or stuck with a paperweight.
Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2
Bose SoundLink Mini II
Amazon Echo (1st Gen, 2015)
Divoom Voombox Party
The Roar 2 doesn't offer any new functionality over the original Roar, but the Roar already boasted an impressive array of features to begin with. The aforementioned MP3 player and voice recorder features can play music stored on a microSD card (not included), or record audio with the built-in microphone to the card. The full-size USB port outputs 5V/1A current, which should be enough to charge most smartphones (though this will obviously drain the speaker's battery faster than regular use). The micro USB port can connect to a PC with the included USB-to-micro USB cable to let the Roar 2 serve as a speaker with its own USB sound card, and the mode switch turns the speaker into a microSD card reader for loading or removing files from the installed card. You can even connect the Roar 2 to a Sony PlayStation 4($954.65 at Amazon Canada) over USB if you want to use it instead of your HDTV's speakers for gaming.
The siren function and "Loud Noises" feature (playing loud noises periodically to keep you awake) from the first Roar aren't present on the Roar 2, but they're such limited and obscure aspects that you probably won't miss them unless you have very specific needs. On the bright side, the MP3 player has a Bedtime mode that slowly turns the volume down over 15 or 30 minutes while you go to sleep.
According to Creative, the Roar 2's 6,000mAh battery can power the speaker for up to eight hours, though this depends on how loud you play your music, and whether you use the mobile device charging function.
Creative boasts that it fits all of the drivers of the original Sound Blaster Roar into a smaller package with the Roar 2, and this means you shouldn't expect particularly improved performance. It certainly sounds good, but slightly pricier portable speakers like the Bose SoundLink Mini II and the Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 offer more power and clarity. To its credit, the Roar 2 handled our bass test track, The Knife's "Silent Shout," very well. It didn't shake the walls, but it reproduced the bass synth and kick drum at maximum volume without distortion.
For less bass-intensive tracks, the Boom 2 sounds good, but not incredible. It can put out an appreciable amount of low-end and gets fairly loud, but it doesn't quite reach the volume levels of the Boom 2, and the high-end isn't quite as crisp as the SoundLink Mini II. Miles Davis' "So What" and Yes' "Roundabout" both had satisfyingly full bass. The piano on the former and the acoustic guitar on the latter were clear enough to enjoy, but performance isn't anything to write home about.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "Red Right Hands" demonstrates this good-not-great performance very well. The crunchiness of the rustling sounds in the opening, and the ominous bell throughout the track are loud and clear, as is Cave's deep voice. However, the subtle, muted bassline of the song sits too far in the background, and Cave loses a bit of sibilance at the end of certain words, which would come out with a bit more high-end clarity.
Like the original, the Sound Blaster Roar 2 is an intriguing multi-tool of a portable speaker. It can do a lot of different things and its performance is satisfying, especially for a price tag closer to $150 than $200. If you want the best sound quality, though, the Editors' Choice Bose SoundLink Mini II and Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 are superior options, even if they don't have nearly as many features. The SoundLink Mini II offers crisper high-end and better balance, and the waterproof, rugged Boom 2 offers more power and a fuller sense of bass. Still, you won't be disappointed by the Roar 2, especially if functions like the built-in MP3 player and voice recorder appeal to you.
Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2
- Voice recorder.
- Solid sound quality.
- Not as crisp or as powerful as other speakers in this price range.
The Bottom Line
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 has plenty of unique features you don't typically see on Bluetooth speakers, but there are slightly better-sounding models for the price.
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