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For The Love of Bass
Creative's SoundBlaster Roar 2 is as small as a book. But it's filled with features and packs a punch
Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma, Model: Arvind
When I pulled the Creative SoundBlaster Roar (and this is version 2) out of its casing, I was taken aback at the weight for something that small. But that also reassured me that this little Bluetooth speaker would give out some heavyweight sound. It did.
The Roar 2 is built for those who like their music with some bass. To this listener, this speaker is great because it's designed to have a good bass at low volume. It doesn't sound crude or artificially boosted and nor does it need you to crank up the volume to full to get the feeling of depth in the music. At the same time, it doesn't distort at high volume.
The mid and high frequencies are good — not great. I wouldn't call the sound from this speaker finessed or refined, but rather biased towards bass and not in a bad way. The Roar 2 has a trick to deepen its bass.It has a TerraBass mode which you turn on with a dedicated button. It's also the same button that turns on the Roar feature, opening up the music and making it louder. Often, the difference can barely be detected, but apparently the change is done intelligently, making up for what the music lacks. That's what is supposed to make it possible to hear that bass even at very low volumes.
Most wireless speakers are minimalistic and don't go beyond the most basic controls — pair, play, volume, forward and back tracks, and a few connection options. But uniquely, the Roar 2 does. You can choose to just go the simple way and pair it with a device and play. But if you want to — and you should if you pay the Rs 16,999 for it — you can do a lot more. For example, it has an integrated MicroSD WMA and MP3 player that allows you to play audio directly from a MicroSD card. The player even allows you to skip music folders so that you can navigate songs faster.
Then, there's a built-in microphone for 360° voice pickup, because the Roar 2 is able to take calls when connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth. There's also an Integrated Voice Recorder that uses the speaker's microphone to one-touch record of all kinds ofcalls, general voices, or streamed music saved to an insertable MicroSD card. The feature is nice for recording voice memos, lectures, interviews, teleconferencing sessions, and business meetings.
The Roar 2 has a classic speaker look. You can't mistake it for anything else when it's not playing. When you set it down for listening, you can choose between placing the speaker horizontally to send the sound up and around or vertically for louder and more directed audio. On the sides, you can see the passive radiators pulsing and vibrating with the sound and bass.
The Sound Blaster Roar 2 builds on the original and has the same five drivers and the same 6,000mAh battery. It's 20 per cent smaller and lighter. It lasts for about eight hours, but you can always connect it to power, use a PC or use it to charge a phone. It's honestly not that portable. It weights a kilo and while you can definitely move it about, it's not the type you'd slip into a bag or rucksack on a trip unless you don't mind the extra weight. As long as there's no long bouts of carrying it though, it's a gadget you can take wherever.