Smaller and lighter Bluetooth wireless speaker from Creative (Tech Review)

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Singapore-based Creative recently launched a brand new variant of the popular Sound Blaster Roar portable Bluetooth wireless speaker — the smaller and lighter Sound Blaster Roar 2.

The all-new portable speaker retains the same five speaker drivers and battery life as the Classic Sound Blaster Roar but is now 20 per cent smaller and 10 per cent lighter.

The Rs. 16,999 device comes with Bluetooth, near-field communication (NFC), 6,000 mAh battery unit, supports microSD or microSDHC cards up to 32GB.

With dual orientation, users can choose between placing the speaker horizontally for room-filling and balanced audio, or vertically, for louder and more directed audio.

Here is what works for the device.

The one-kg portable device sits pretty in a sleek case. If you have an NFC-enabled device, just tap it on the right side of the speaker and this will pair your smartphone or tablet and start streaming music, just like that!

Another interesting feature is “Bedtime Mode” wherein the speaker gradually reduces its volume before automatically shuts itself down.

The feature allows users to go gently into sleep and, at the same time, preserve the speaker’s battery by turning it off after a pre-determined time, instead of leaving it switched on for the whole night.

New parents will love this feature where they can record a bed-time story and play it back to children as they go to sleep.

A charge-up port is also provided which comes in handy in situations where you are running low on power — say at a beach or during a party by the pool. There is also a record button that can record voice for playback for self reminders — and it did this pretty clearly.

The speaker also doubles up as MP3 player, allowing you to play music that you stored on a micro-SD card and use the pause/play buttons on the speaker to control music.

Tapping the Roar button enhances audio characteristics, giving a louder sound stage. Another press on Roar button activates TeraBass which increases bass characteristics.

On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like DJ Magic Mike’s “Feel The Bass,” the speaker pumped out flawless bass with a lot of oomph and detail. The mid and treble ranges are well-defined and, surprisingly, the vocals sound crisp and clear even at low-volume levels.

On tracks like “Titanium” by singer David Guetta which features dance club style beats, the speaker produced high fidelity sound with attacking bass and sounded booming and bright — making this melody truly pleasurable from starting to end. Australian co-singer Sia’s vocals were clearly audible in between the bass of this electric pop song.

The TeraBass does make a difference in listening experience, specially those listening to EDM, hip-hop and pop music.

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.

Over long-duration usage, we hardly found any weakness in the device.

Conclusion: Sound Blaster Roar 2 has good sound quality for a portable Bluetooth speaker. If you want more refined sound quality, the Bose SoundLink Mini II and Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 are there even if they don’t have nearly as many features as Roar 2.

(Anuj Sharma can be contacted at anuj.s@ians.in <mailto:anuj.s@ians.in>)

–IANS

anuj/na/vm

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