Earlier this year at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, Creative announced one of their most innovative bluetooth speakers to date, the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20. I actually heard some positive comments mentioned on Twitter so went to the CreativeLabs Youtube channel to check it out and was quite impressed by not only the sound delivered by such a compact unit but all the functionality that it came with.
Before I talk about the Sound Blaster Roar SR20 in depth let’s take a look at the main features and specifications of this book-sized audio monster.
Features of the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20:
- Weight 1.1kg
- 57 x 202 x 115 mm
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Two amplifiers built in: one for high frequencies and the other for mid-low frequencies
- Space-filling dispersion technology through two high frequency front-firing drivers
- Bass optimised design : top bass driver and horizontal mid range driver
- ROAR button to instantly boost: loudness, depth and spaciousness of sound
- Speakerphone teleconferencing
- microSD slot for MP3/WMA/WAV playback
- Integrated voice recorder
- NFC-enabled Bluetooth
- Bedtime mode that fades music out after a period of time
- Life-Save mode that plays sound bites to keep the user awake and alert (road trips)
- PC / Mac USB Audio
- Dual purpose battery
- Built-in Siren
Magnificent Design and Sound
The key factor that distinguishes the Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 from many others in the market is its quality design that’s focused on delivery massive stable sound from a diminutive form factor. Creative use a five driver approach to create the space-filling sound that the SR20 so wonderfully achieves: top-firing driver for mids/bass, two horizontal bass-focused drivers and two front-firing drivers for the highs. This particular configuration of drivers not only produces a beautiful rich balanced sound but also ensure that the device remains stable even at max volume.
You can really feel the quality of this design as you increase the volume pass the 50% mark. The power and sound that emanates from the compact SR20 is simply amazing.
Now that’s just the inside of the Sound Blaster Roar SR20! Creative have encased the five drivers in a rigid book-sized monocoque endo-skeletal chasis. The perforated metal design gives it a modern slick and stylish touch. It also ensures that sound is maximised and the additional weight of metal keeps the device rock-solid.
I’ve taken the SR20 with me a couple of times to use as a Skype teleconference speaker. The microphone was able to pick up all the speaker’s voice from various sides of the room at ease and of course produced clear voice tones back for all to hear. If you have extra room in your luggage and don’t mind carrying an additional 1.1kg, the SR20 is a great travel companion to also use to chill in the hotel.
Other features of the ROAR S20
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar S20 not only provides users with awesome sound, but also has a swag load of other features. I’d have to say that my favourite ones are the PC USB Audio function which allows you to hook up to your PC or MAC via USB to use as a sound device and the 6000mAh battery within which you can charge other USB gadgets. The latter is especially useful for road-warriors who rely on all the battery power that they can get their hands on (e.g. me). One get almost two full charges on the iPhone with this charger.
What I liked about the Creative Sound Blaster ROAR S20:
- Compact book size
- Surround stereo sound
- Rich powerful sound especially strong bass and mid
- Dual purpose 6000mAh battery that allows for charging of other USB devices
- the ROAR button which boosts loudness, depth and spaciousness of sound (I always have this pressed!)
- Siren option
- Perforated steel design
- Stability when maxing out volume
What I think can be improved on the Creative Sound Blaster ROAR S20:
- Weight : 1.1kg is still a bit heavy especially for road warriors
- Strengthen the side walls so that it doesn’t collapse easily if accidentally dropping
- Digital display with MP3/WAV/WMA track names and other playback info
Creative Sound Blaster ROAR S20 : Best Wireless Speakers on the market
I thought that the Sound BlasterAXX AXX200 was the best bluetooth speaker that I had reviewed this year; that’s changed. The best bluetooth speakers in terms of sound and features is hands down the Creative Sound Blaster ROAR S20. Well done to Creative Labs who have been diligently working on producing the best sound from their devices for years and have such a great reputation for it.
If you’re looking for a high performance portable wireless speaker, the Creative Sound Blaster ROAR S20 is it. Absolutely highly recommended.
Mr.Gadget Score: 9.5/10