Creative has been my favorite brand for bluetooth speakers ever since I bought the first Sound Blaster Roar. With a succesful history of premium audio products for a decent price, Creative kept enriching their Roar-line of bluetooth speakers. While launching the soundblaster roar 2, a speaker that's as powerful as the first Roar bluetooth speaker but much smaller in size, Creative recently released another speaker by the name 'iRoar'.
The iRoar is very pricy and is primarily focusing on professional use or the real audiophile that wants the best of the best. To be honest, we visited Creative's booth yesterday, and it's easy to say that the iRoar is probably the loudest portable bluetooth speaker we've heard until now.
Not much after we checked out the iRoar, we had a press talk with Jan Johannson who explained about an even newer product called the 'iRoar GO'. Like the name suggests, this speaker is meant for people on the go or in a more rough environment than at home. With the Splash-proof-Rated design at IPX6, you can take the speaker almost everywhere you want.
That said, the iRoar GO offers a similar amp design as the Creative iRoar, but assembles it in a smaller package and somewhat smaller drives resulting in a slightly less powerful audio output. In comparison to the Roar 2 or Roar Pro, the Creative iRoar GO should be slightly more powerful and shape the bridge between the widely acclaimed audio performance and speaker architecture of the classic Sound Blaster Roar and is bestowed with the intelligence of the Creative iRoar. Quote from press release:
Like these speakers, the iRoar Go is engineered to deliver huge room-filling audio from a small booklet-sized form factor. Although small and compact, this speaker actually features 5 speaker drivers, including a subwoofer: dual lightweight high-frequency 1.5” drivers for projecting far field high-frequency dispersion, a built-in enhanced Neodymium subwoofer, plus two side-firing passive radiators to spread the bass out even farther.
The iRoar Go features 2 high-performance amplifiers – one dedicated to driving lows and mids, another solely for delivering highs – they produce clear, spacious, well-balanced audio without compromising on the bass. As a result, the iRoar Go is able to deliver powerful room-filling audio that is not sweet-spot dependant.
Users can even choose between placing the speaker horizontally for room-filling and balanced audio, or vertically for louder and more directed audio. And just like the Creative iRoar, the iRoar Go also comes with a suite of intelligent smart device apps that allows users to customize and control their audio the way they want it.
Other interesting features of the iRoar Go is the Intelligent SuperWide Technology and integrated MP3 player.
Creative's SuperWide technology delivers a startlingly wide audio experience from such a small device. It stretches the audio beyond the limits of conventional acoustic design laws as the speaker is tuned as a total sustem where algorithms work intricately with the amps and speaker architecture to create a spacious sound. In various scenarios, this technology will take its form:
Vertical Placement on a Table Top: SuperWide Stereo Imaging
Placing the speaker vertically on a table top will enable users to experience a startlingly wide soundstage and stereo imaging beyond one’s imagination.
Horizontal Placement on a Table Top: SuperWide Stereo Imaging with Dispersion
Placing the speaker horizontally on the table top allows users to experience a wide stereo image with a distinct positional audio. For example, instruments in the track will magically appear at the different parts of the sound stage around a user.
Vertical Placement Against a Wall: Enhanced SuperWide Stereo Imaging
Placing the speaker vertically up against the wall at ear level harnesses the resonant properties of the wall surface behind the speaker where the whole wall, along with the speaker, projects an even wider stereo image that can be experienced anywhere throughout the room.
Horizontal Placement Above Ear Level: SuperWide Room-Filling Ambient Dispersion
Placing the speaker horizontally (drivers firing up) close to the ceiling allows users to experience an ambient dispersion of audio that sounds like it comes from speakers all around the room instead of from a single speaker source.
Also the integrated MP3 player is a very nice feature. In the past I've been struggling with the micro-SD slot, it was awesome playing music from the speaker alone, but whenever I wanted a particular song, I had to scroll through the whole bunch of other tracks. That's why Creative reinvented the feature and made it truly worth it.
Users now have the ability to put a microSD or USB in and use the SoundBlaster Connect App to scroll through your list of music using your smartphone. This is actually allowing users to add more storage to your device if the smartphone doesn't have any microSD option. If the user has no smartphone, he can just use the onboard MP3 player.
The Sound Blaster Connect app enables users to control the speaker remotely and adjust audio settings such as EQ and select audio voicing profiles designed to enhance the audio experience in different usage scenarios –such as movie watching or listening to music tracks that require a more ‘live concert feel’ – directly from their phone with a user-friendly graphic interface.
The speaker sports beautifully machine-finished passive bass radiators caps that pulsate mesmerizingly with the bass. And, the dual brushed aluminium rings on the sides add that touch of class.
“The lateral metal rings lend this speaker a classic appearance, while simultaneously rendering it
so robust that it also masters challenging conditions easily.” – Statement by the jury of the Reddot Product Design Award
Jan also told me that Creative's founders and higher Staff all have a history as engineer, willing to create the best for the lowest price they can. While he explained how difficult it is to bring some marketing sense in their plans, he also told us they're not like other great audio brands like Bose or KEF. You can't compare them as Creative is mainly focusing on what they can bring more within their planned price tag. Other products, from more popular brands, do carry the weight of their brand's name which adds in price as well.
With even more features like the speakerphone teleconferencing, Personal PA System, Integrated Voice Recorder, USB Audio with Sound Blaster Enhancement, Dual-Purpose Battery and ROAR Audio Mode; Creative stays the brand with the most feature rich bluetooth speakers on the market.
Some Quotes from the Creator of Sound Blaster and CEO of Creative Technology, Sim Wong Hoo reveal the company's enthousiast behaviour about the new iRoar Go:
The iRoar Go is the best speaker we’ve ever designed to date. In terms of size, weight, looks, and acoustic performance, it surpasses all my tall and unrealistic expectations. It is also the most challenging endeavour we have undertaken. It takes breaking all the rules of acoustic engineering to deliver something so good, so nice, so small.
The team pulled out all the stops to deliver the unimaginable SuperWide technology that is something so breathtaking it is akin to magic. Like magical illusions, the algorithm psychoacoustically tricks your ears into perceiving sound coming from the extreme corners of the room instead of the small speaker in front of you. It creates an expansive stereo soundstage that can be experienced even from different parts of the room. Finally with its Captivating Beauty, Heart-Grabbing Fidelity, Mind-Blowing Power, Unreal Size… there’s no other speaker like the iRoar Go!”
Sharing their enthousiasm, we're looking forward to reviewing this new masterpiece of Creative. The speaker will be available this september for a recommended price tag of EUR199.99.
Stay tuned for more news!