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Sound Blaster Roar SR20: The best wireless Bluetooth speaker today?

Updated on February 18, 2016
The Creative Soundblaster Roar
The Creative Soundblaster Roar | Source

Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 Bluetooth speaker

If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker, you must ABSOLUTELY check out the Sound Blaster Roar SR20 which was recently released in the US on July 8, 2014. It is available at major online retailers like Amazon.

Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20
Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 | Source

Being the geek that I am, I love to play with technology toys. I have had quite a few of these bluetooth speakers but the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 is the best that I have come across so far.

It is amazing to hear the quality and clarity of the sound that comes out of this small book size package from Creative.

Before you proceed further, just in case Amazon runs out of stock as it was selling like hotcakes (1 sold in every 30 seconds during a recent four days tech show in Singapore), you can always click on the link below to buy the Sound Blaster Roar SR20 first; otherwise just read on and you will understand how and why the Sound Blaster Roar SR20 is such a hot and amazing Bluetooth speaker.

See what an enthusiastic reviewer has to say:

Creative Sound Blaster Roar: Portable NFC Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with aptX/AAC. 5 Drivers, Built-in Subwoofer
Creative Sound Blaster Roar: Portable NFC Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with aptX/AAC. 5 Drivers, Built-in Subwoofer

"If you have the money to spend on this speaker, don't walk, RUN to the order button and just buy it. This is easily the best sounding portable speaker I have ever heard, and if you pair them it is likely the sound from these two devices will trounce what most normal people usually listen to music on at home." - Quote from Stephen M. Lerch, a reviewer at Amazon.

 
Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 on the drawing board
Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 on the drawing board | Source

The impossible speaker

It all started with a very tall order concept which at first sight seems impossible - a goal to create the best Bluetooth speaker but with impossible contradictory demands on it.

The product development team at Creative, the manufacturer of the Sound Blaster Roar SR20 has this goal to create a portable Bluetooth wireless speaker that must be no larger than a booklet.

Not only that, this speaker has to not only look cool and sexy but also must have powerful killer audio with kick ass thumping bass.

On top of that, the speaker must provide power for about a day’s worth of listening and be able to support loud audio with a battery size that will fits into the small book size casing. It must be so feature rich that it will out-feature all portable speakers available in the market at that time. Finally it must out-perform speakers more than twice its price and beat them in terms of the quality, features and form factor.

Wow. All those seems like a very very tall order; especially when you are subjected to the laws of acoustic engineering, design and economics.

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How to make the impossible possible?

This is how the impossible became a reality:

Big bass in a small box?
Big bass in a small box? | Source

Big Bass

One of the key requirement is to have a big bass coming out of this compact and portable speaker. As mentioned earlier, this compact speaker also needed to house a big battery.

However, to have a big bass, you would need a big acoustic chamber. Everything here is screaming B I G!

So how to overcome this? What the engineers at Creative did was to position the battery and all the electronic circuits inside the acoustic chamber and enhance the bass by making the chamber air-tight. They also employed two low frequency acoustic radiator drivers at each end of the chamber.

By doing so, the bass of the Sound Blaster Roar was improved dramatically without taking up much space as every cubic millimeter of free space in the speaker was utilized to boost the bass acoustics. Brilliant!

How to have loud music without draining the battery in the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20
How to have loud music without draining the battery in the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 | Source

Loud Music

When you play very loud music in a battery powered speaker, the speaker’s power requirement will increased accordingly.

The battery will be drained faster as a result of the increased power requirements.

On top of that the power amplifier circuits will also get heat up. To compound that, heat will be trapped inside the speaker as the acoustic chamber is sealed.

So, after playing very loud music for some time, the battery protection circuit in a battery powered speaker will normally be designed to shut down the battery so as to prevent overheating.

A common and easy solution would be to place the battery and the circuit board outside the acoustic chamber. However this would significantly increase the size of the speaker. It is either a small size or a high power output but not both.

Being Creative, pun intended, they came up with a brilliant and novel way to implement an intricate heat sink system in the chamber itself. They attached two heat-conducting copper plates on to the walls of the chamber together with a thick braid of copper wires to bond them to the printed circuit board that contained the two high-power amplifiers.

In this manner, trapped heat can be dissipated simultaneously through two ways: via convection and conduction. As a result of this, Creative was able to maintain its goal on the small size chamber and at the same time still maintain the high power output.

How to make tuning easy for everyone in the Roar SR20
How to make tuning easy for everyone in the Roar SR20 | Source

Tuning

Even though the Sound Blaster Roar has a built-in advanced audio signal processing that can be tuned, the challenge Creative faced was how to provide a perfect tuning that satisfied everyone - the audiophiles and non audiophiles.

Audiophiles are looking for speakers that are like professional loudspeakers - tuned to be accurate, balanced and well-defined while the non audiophiles do not need the audio to be so precise and balanced. Instead, all they want is just spacious, no-holds-barred audio.

It is easy to tune the Sound Blaster Roar either way. However tuning for both camps is impossible as the settings are the opposite to each other. Again an easier solution is to make a compromise between the two. However a compromised solution is a bad solution as it meant that the solution is neither here nor there.

The other option is for the users to tune it themselves but this would be a big hassle for most users except those who are more technically inclined. (By the way, the Sound Blaster Roar can be tuned by the users themselves through the Sound Blaster Control Panel software for PCs and Macs - Creative just want to make it easier for its customers.)

That's when the "Roar" button idea came about. From the default factory setting you will get well-balanced, precise audio. However when you push of the Roar button, you will immediately boost the loudness, depth and spaciousness of the audio. Smart? In this way, everyone would be happy.

One unit of the Sound Blaster Roar was sold every second in a four days cash and carry tech show.
One unit of the Sound Blaster Roar was sold every second in a four days cash and carry tech show. | Source

As a result of that thought process that has gone into the design of the Sound Blaster Roar, Creative had a very successful product.

In its inaugural product launch during a four days cash and carry Tech exhibition in Singapore, Creative claimed that 1 unit of the Sound Blaster Roar sold every 30 seconds. Amazing!

During a sneak preview at the CES 2014 in Las Vegas in January, this new concept, 5-driver high performance portable wireless speaker simply blew the visitors away the moment they heard its astoundingly powerful, precision-tuned, high fidelity sound, emitted from a very compact and portable booklet-sized form factor.

As a result the Sound Blaster Roar generated such great interest and positive comments from the media and general public alike that almost everyone who saw and heard the product demonstration at the Creative booth wanted to buy one right away.

In fact, Creative is expecting the Sound Blaster Roar to be even more successful than when it first launch its original Sound Blaster card which became the global PC audio standard.

By the way, Creative sold over 400 million units of its original Sound Blaster card globally.

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What do you get from the Sound Blaster Roar?

  • NFC (near field connection ) and Bluetooth 3.0 speaker
  • Speaker with excellent sounds, tight bass and crisp highs - this speaker sounded as good as wired speakers
  • Portable but yet powerful enough speaker that also double as your home stereo
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Store music to act like a jukebox
  • Speakerphone for the smartphone - make and answer hands free phone calls
  • Phone recorder
  • Long lasting battery
  • Portable power bank as a backup power source for your smartphone and tablet
  • Personal computer speaker

In summary, what you will get from the Creative Sound Blaster Roar is an amazing small booklet size Bluetooth speaker with a lot of features that also delivers uncompromisingly loud and powerful kickass audio with a thumping bass at a very more than reasonable price tag.

If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker, stop looking and get the Sound Blaster Roar now. You will really thank yourself for taking that action.

What other things is the Sound Blaster Roar SR20 good for?

The Sound Blaster Roar SR20 is good for anyone who need to play or share their music wirelessly (i.e. in this case via Bluetooth) via a loudspeaker from their gadget.

However, its has additional benefits for situations or people such as:

  1. Travellers - especially if your work requires you to travel. You don't have to worry about having to stay in boringly quiet hotel rooms anymore. You can get the Sound Blaster Roar SR20 to fill your room with your favorite music like what you would do in your home
  2. People having a party - don't underestimate the power of this little box. It has the ability to provide music to your room or deck party
  3. Teachers – able to share the speaker with multiple students through the Bluetooth connections
  4. Educator/biz trainers - nifty pocket book size speaker that is able to project loud audio without the use of the traditional speakers

Creative Sound Blaster Roar: Portable NFC Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with aptX/AAC. 5 Drivers, Built-in Subwoofer
Creative Sound Blaster Roar: Portable NFC Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with aptX/AAC. 5 Drivers, Built-in Subwoofer

One of the best if not the best Bluetooth speaker that you can get in the market today. It absolutely beat its competitors even at a higher price range hands down with the features, stunning looks and most importantly stunning music. A must buy if you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker.

 

One of the feature that the Sound Blaster Roar does not have is that of being water proofed; then does it really matter? This is because the majority of the people looking for a Bluetooth speaker do not even get their speaker anywhere near water!

So unless you really have a need for a waterproof speaker, I highly recommend that you get the Sound Blaster Roar; otherwise you can get the Photive Hydra or the Creative Labs Sound Blaster AXX 200 below which is waterproof.

Creative also recently added the Creative Muvo Mini to their lineup of waterproof Bluetooth wireless speakers.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster AXX 200 Intelligent Wireless Sound System - A portable wireless speaker with Bluetooth, NFC and microphone
Creative Labs Sound Blaster AXX 200 Intelligent Wireless Sound System - A portable wireless speaker with Bluetooth, NFC and microphone

The Roar is an overall much better speaker than the AXX 200. Sound wise, the Sound Blaster Roar is also much better than the AXX 200. A good reason to go with the AXX 200 is because you need the waterproof feature. However if you are looking for a weather proof wireless Bluetooth speaker, I highly recommend you check out the latest Creative Muvo Mini Pocket-Sized Weather Resistant Bluetooth Speaker in the next section.

 

Creative Muvo Mini Pocket-Sized Weather Resistant Bluetooth Speaker

Following the hugely successful SoundBlaster Roar is the Pocket size Creative Muvo Mini weather resistant Bluetooth speaker. The Creative Muvo Mini wireless speaker is good especially if you frequently need to use it outdoors.

The Creative Muvo Min is also cheaper than the Soundblaster Roar but don't underestimate its lower price as it also packs a punch. You have a choice of four colors with the Creative Muvo Mini weather resistant Bluetooth speaker.


Creative Muvo Mini Pocket-Sized Weather Resistant Bluetooth Speaker with NFC that Delivers Loud and Strong Bass (Black)
Creative Muvo Mini Pocket-Sized Weather Resistant Bluetooth Speaker with NFC that Delivers Loud and Strong Bass (Black)

This small Creative Muvo Mini speaker packa a lot of punch. The sound quality, clarity and range is very good and it is easily able to fill a decent size room. The Muvo Mini also deliver long-range sound outdoors. For the price that you are paying, it is a fantastic value!

 

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