Creative will soon release a 5-driver portable wireless speaker called the Sound Blaster Roar (model SR20), also called the Audiophile Sound Booklet. The $200 Bluetooth speaker measures only 57 x 202 x 115 mm and weighs 1.1 kg. It combines wireless connectivity, portability, high fidelity and audio power all into one compact unit that can rest on the palm. In addition, the device functions as an external Sound Blaster sound card when plugged into a PC via USB.
The Sound Blaster Roar features a bi-amplified design that utilizes two amplifiers — one dedicated to driving the lows and mids, and another dedicated to delivering the highs. This allows the speaker to produce uncompromisingly clear, high definition, well balanced music.
Another key differentiating factor is that the Sound Blaster Roar is specially designed to produce space-filling audio, instead of small, constrained audio. This is achieved by the incorporation of far-field high frequency front-firing drivers that project audio further than most other speakers in its class, allowing users to hear subtle audio details clearly even when at the other end of a room.
Audio spaciousness is further enhanced through the unique placement of the five different drivers. While the two high frequency drivers are front-firing, the active bass and mid-range driver is top-firing, with lower-range audio enhanced even further by the two side-firing passive radiators. This design results in a holosonic soundscape that enables improved width, height and depth while preserving stereo focus. The listener thereby experiences spacious audio that is not sweet spot-dependant.
Placing the top-firing bass and mid-range driver horizontally also allows for a low centre of gravity, which increases the stability of the Sound Blaster Roar. This eliminates any unnecessary movement, vibration or rattling of the speaker’s body during audio playback, even at high volumes.
By default, the Sound Blaster Roar is designed to deliver clear and balanced high fidelity audio, even at high volumes. In scenarios such as parties or gatherings where a wider audience needs to be addressed, pressing the ROAR button will instantly and significantly boosts the loudness, depth and spaciousness of the speaker audio for an even more powerful, kick-ass, no-holds-barred listening experience.
Other Useful Features
The Sound Blaster Roar also comes with several useful features, such as speakerphone teleconferencing, a MicroSD slot for MP3/WMA/WAV playback and audio recording, a siren, Bedtime Mode and Life Saver Mode.
The Sound Blaster Roar conveniently features an integrated MicroSD WMA and MP3 player that allows users to play audio directly from a MicroSD card, so users do not need to always commit their smartphone to play music. The player even allows users to skip music folders so that they can navigate to their songs faster without having to tediously cycle through all their individual tracks.
With its built-in high quality microphone providing for clear 360° voice pickup, the Sound Blaster Roar is able to take calls when connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
The Sound Blaster Roar’s Integrated Voice Recorder utilises the speaker’s built-in microphone, allowing for versatile one-touch recording of all kinds of audio – calls, external voices, or streamed music – directly to an insertable MicroSD card. The feature is ideal for recording voice memos, lectures, interviews, teleconferencing sessions, business/corporate meetings.
The speaker is able to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, and utilizes the aptX and AAC codecs for the highest quality audio and lowest possible latency. The sound booklet also features the latest Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, allowing users to quickly and easily connect to Bluetooth devices, requiring only a simple tap from an NFC-enabled smart device to the sound system to pair and establish a connection. Users can also connect two Bluetooth devices to the Sound Blaster Roar simultaneously.
In Bedtime Mode, the Sound Blaster Roar gradually reduces its volume before automatically shutting down. The feature allows users to be gently and gradually lulled to sleep, and at the same time preserves the speaker’s battery by turning it off after a predetermined time, instead of having it switched on for the whole night. Parents of young children would also appreciate the feature – they can record themselves reading out a bedtime story, and play the recording back to their children as they are falling asleep.Life-Saver Mode
Life-Saver Mode allows the Sound Blaster Roar to play random tones and sound bytes at random, unpredictable intervals to keep users alert.
USB Audio With Sound Blaster Enhancement
Users can connect it to their PCs or Macs via USB to enjoy clear digital audio for their desktops or laptops. Connecting the speaker via USB enables advanced PC audio processing via the downloadable software, Sound Blaster Control Panel, and full access to the SBX Pro Studio suite of technologies that intelligently enhance audio in real time.
Dual Purpose Battery
The Sound Blaster Roar also features a Dual Purpose Battery. The large, built-in 6000 mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery can be used to charge smartphones and tablets, beyond providing up to 8 hours of audio playback.
The Sound Blaster Roar comes with a built-in one-touch siren that lets users instantly grab attention, for example, during emergencies and at campsites.
- The Sound Blaster Roar’s bi-amplified design sets it apart from most other portable speakers that feature only one amplifier, allowing it to produce amazingly powerful and balanced lows, mids and highs.
- Far-field high frequency front-firing drivers project audio further than other portable speakers. Audio spaciousness is further enhanced through the top-firing bass and mid-range driver and side-firing passive radiators, resulting in room-filling audio that is not audio sweet spot-dependant.
- The Sound Blaster Roar’s boxer-bass-module design allows it to have a low centre of gravity that increases speaker stability. This means that the unit will not move from its position or rattle even at high volume levels.
- The ROAR button: in scenarios where audio power is of absolute importance, such as in parties or gatherings, pressing the ROAR button will instantly and significantly boost the speaker’s loudness, depth and audio spaciousness.
- Housed within the Sound Blaster Roar is a high quality microphone that provides clear 360° voice pickup, making it suitable for speakerphone teleconferencing.
- Integrated MicroSD WMA and MP3 Player – Plays music directly from a MicroSD Card without having to connect to the user’s smart device.
- Integrated Voice Recorder – Allows for simple, one-touch audio recording directly to a MicroSD card.
- High-quality aptX and AAC codecs Bluetooth support for wireless audio playback that sounds as good as a wired connection.
- NFC connectivity – One tap of an NFC-enabled smart device on the Sound Blaster Roar connect it to a device via Bluetooth.
- Connects to two Bluetooth-enabled devices simultaneously – Ideal in a situation when a user is watching a movie on a tablet and wants to take a phone call on the Sound Blaster Roar from another device.
- Bedtime Mode – Gradually lowers the volume level before shutting off, perfect for bedtime listening or playing back pre-recorded bedtime stories for children.
- Life Saver Mode – Plays random tones and sound bytes at random intervals to keep users alert.
- Dual Purpose Battery – 6000 mAH battery charges smartphones and tablets beyond providing up to 8 hours of continuous audio playback.
- Siren – Comes with a built-in siren that lets user instantly grab attention when need to.
- Additional Sound Blaster Functionality – Connecting the Sound Blaster Roar via USB to a PC or Mac enables advanced audio processing through Sound Blaster Control Panel, a downloadable software program specially designed for the speaker.
- Size: 57 x 202 x 115 mm
- Weight: 1.1 kg
SBX Pro Studio Features:
- SBX Crystalizer – Restores the “highs” and “lows” that are compromised during audio compression to create and audio experience as the original artist intended
- SBX Smart Volume – Intelligently minimises abrupt volume changes by automatically adjusting the loudness of audio playback
- SBX Dialog Plus – Intelligently enhances voices in music and movies for drastically clearer vocal range
- SBX Bass – Dramatically improves the sound experience by expanding the low frequency tones
- SBX Surround – Creates unprecedented levels of audio realism by producing virtual speakers around, above and below the listener
Pricing and Availability
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar portable wireless speaker will be available April 22, 2014 in different regions through major retail outlets and online channels for $199 (USD).