Introduction The ROAR had tremendous success since its launch back in 2014 and now it's back, bigger in sound, but smaller in size. Creative's Sound Blaster ROAR 2 has had a 20% reduction in size whilst keeping the same quality drivers housed inside. There have also been other tweaks made; instead of the twin tweeters being front-firing and the subwoofer up-firing, all are now up-firing together. The specifications may seem very similar if not the same compared to its predecessor, there has been a lot of engineering put into developing this newer version which makes it a much improved model. The ROAR 2 is available in two different colours: Black | White. I received the black version which has a sophisticated smart look. Whilst I haven't seen the white version personally, I would say that one has a much more elegant look to it. Box Contents & Optional Extras Box Contents: ROAR 2 Speaker | Micro USB Cable | Power Adaptor* | User Guide**. * The power adapter has an in-built US/Japan plug, however there is a UK & EU plug attachments included in the box. ** Creative have done a great job in making this guide clear and easy to understand; the layout is good and uses both text and imagery. Optional Extras: AUX Cable | MicroSD Card. Features 6000mAh Lithium-Ion Internal Battery: The advertised battery life on a full charge is 8 hours, however of course may vary depending on use. The charging time is approximately 3 hours and can be used whilst charging, however the manual advises the speaker to be turned off during the charging process. To charge the speaker, you can either use the included power adaptor or connect the speaker to a powered USB port via a micro USB cable which is also included. USB Port Charging: If your smartphone or other device is running out of power, you can hook it up to the speaker via an appropriate cable with a USB end. The USB port has an output of 5V 1A. TeraBass & ROAR Modes: These modes are controlled by the "ROAR" button located on the rear of the speaker. Pressing it once will activate 'TeraBass', a second time for 'TeraBass+ROAR' and another to turn this feature off. 'TeraBass' is a great mode for those who want an extra kick off bass whereas 'TeraBass+ROAR' will greatly enhance the overall volume as well as bass. The manual recommends the speaker to be connected via the power adapter when using the 'TeraBass+ROAR' mode as it will give the music better volume boost. Speakerphone: If you have the ROAR 2 connected to your smartphone, you can retrieve calls with a touch of a button and use the in-built microphone. Additionally, you can even record your phone calls providing you have a microSD inserted into the speaker. Bedtime Mode: Only available when playing music through a microSD, you can set the music to gradually fade out over a 15 or 30 minute period before turning off completely. A great feature which many will like, I'm sure. MicroSD Card Reader: As an additional bonus, when the ROAR 2 is connected to a computer, you can use it as a microSD card reader. Handy if you don't have one already. NFC (Near-Field Communication): Probably one of my favourite features to have in a device, NFC cuts straight to the chase by sorting out the connection between two devices with a touch. To utilise the NFC feature, your device will also need to have NFC built-in and for it to be enabled also. Audio Inputs The ROAR 2 has a whole variety ways to connect to various devices, making this a very versatile unit. Apart from the wireless features, all wired connections are located on the rear of the speaker. Bluetooth: There are two ways of connecting via Bluetooth; the first being the NFC feature, this is easily done by enabling your devices NFC and tapping it above the clearly marked 'NFC' area which will connect the two together. Alternatively you can hold the Bluetooth button down until it enters its pairing mode, then find the device through your Bluetooth settings. The speaker should appear as 'SB ROAR 2'. AUX-IN: An auxiliary port is available for those devices which cannot connect via Bluetooth or you just simply prefer this way of connection. An AUX cable which unfortunately isn't included will be needed to connect this way. USB (PC/MAC Use): That's right, you can even use this as a PC speaker (sure you could connect via AUX-IN) however that way doesn't supply power to the speaker like it does when using it via USB. Creative have made available a control panel software to use in-conjunction with the ROAR 2, giving you more enhancement and control over the audio. MicroSD: If you wish to listen to music without having to connect to any other device, then a microSD is a great solution. It can support microSD up to 32GB capacity and can play audio files with a file extension of 'WMA', 'WAV' & 'MP3'. A downside to using a microSD for playing music is that you have to find the small buttons located on the rear to skip tracks. There's also no shuffle button. Sound Quality Being in the lower-end market of premium portable speakers, you would definitely expect decent sound quality to come from this unit. Personally, I think it delivers very well for the asking price. For a unit that's quite compact in size, it sure can output a big sound without compromising on overall quality. When the volume is at its max, there is no noticeable distortion, even when the ROAR mode is activated which boosts the volume even further. I really like how clear and well balanced the audio is, no matter what genre I listen too. Whilst this speaker delivers bass, it's doesn't deliver too much, though if you want more, just hit that ROAR button to activate the TeraBass which I favour when listening to dub-step am in the mood for an extra kick. Compared to the first ROAR, I actually found the ROAR 2 to be better in sound quality, although the drivers are apparently the same; maybe it's the new positioning of the twin tweeters which have enhanced the sound more. As for the internal microphone, it seems to have exactly the same "quality" as the previous ROAR, which is average at best. Basically if you want to record some speech notes, it will do the job, just don't expect it to be super clear, leave that for a proper voice recorder. Final Thoughts The ROAR 2 truly is an awesome portable speaker for the price; it's stylish, easy to use and outputs great sound, what more could you want? Now, for those who already own the previous model, if you really want the extra stylish look, 20% less in size and a bit of extra boost in sound quality, then I'd say upgrade to the ROAR 2. However, if you're happy with the ROAR and are just wondering whether the upgrade is worth it, just still with the ROAR. Those who don't own either, I'd say go for the ROAR 2.
Posted:  09/10/2015
Sound Blaster ROAR 2
RRP: £199.99
Pros:  + Reasonable price tag.  + Smart looking.  + High quality audio.  + Delivers great bass.  + Decent battery life.  + Multiple audio connectivity. Cons:  - Average internal mic.
Places to Buy: (UK) Amazon (US) Amazon (UK) Manufacture
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