223 of 270 people found the following review helpful
The best Bluetooth speaker I have ever heard!,
I just left a party with family, friends and neighbors from around the area getting together for a cook out and a pitch in dinner. I set this speaker up on the window ledge outside of the home we were at and played music for 6 hours. I had put about 100 songs on a Micro SD card and just had the speaker randomly play through them. About 40 people asked me what kind of speaker I was using and where they could buy one. I hadn't even told them that I brought the speaker but they asked the hostess of the party and she directed them to me. Yes this speaker is that good.
In 6 hours the battery still has 2 of the 3 LEDs going strong and the sound quality was outstanding. Everyone commented on how good the speaker sounded and they even took photos of the speaker and told me that they planned to buy it. I had the speaker on about 50% of the volume and it covered a deck area about 45 feet long by 20 feet wide. It made a great background music atmosphere for the party! People could still talk and carry on a conversation but you could see them singing along or dancing as they walked and mingled. It was a lot of fun!
This is the best speaker of this size that I have reviewed. If I could honestly rate it as a 10 star product I would. This speaker came to me for review along with a net carrying case for it. I am not sure if the carrying case is a standard part of the product or not.
This speaker has been developed by Sound Blaster who is a leader in audio for digital and computer systems. I have used their sound cards in computers for as long as I can remember. This speaker is an engineering marvel and the sound volume and quality proves it. This speaker is worth every penny they are asking for it. The speaker is simply exceptional in its performance!
What's in the box?
* The speaker itself that weighs in at 2 pounds and 6 7/8 ounces of pure power!
* A 30 inch Micro USB to USB cable to charge the speaker with your PC or Mac computer and play your audio from your computer.
* An AC power wall charger that comes with a 70 inch cable. It operates on 100 to 240 VAC at 50/60 Hz. The AC wall plugs fold out for use and fold in for portability. The output is 15 VDC at 1.6 Amps and the unit is UL approved.
* The test unit came with a nice net carrying bag but I am not sure if it is a standard item with the speaker or not as it came in a separate product box.
* A Quick Start Guide
* A Handy Guide for the Sound Blaster Roar
The first thing that you want to do is to charge the speaker and I used the supplied AC wall power adapter. The speaker has an internal 6000 mAh Lithium-Ion battery inside of it that can power the speaker for up to 8 hours of continuous operation in playing your music. As I mentioned you can also charge the speaker and play your music by using the supplied micro USB to USB cable. When the unit is charging you can see three LEDs on the top of the speaker flashing to indicate that charging is taking place.
On the rear of the speaker there is an Auxiliary input port so you can play your devices that do not have Bluetooth using a 3.5 mm audio cable. The cable does not come with the unit. There is also a USB output power port that is rated at 5 VDC at 1 Amp. You can use your phone's charging cable and you can charge your phone with just the speaker's internal battery or you can charge it with the speaker having the speaker's AC wall adapter plugged in. when using just the speaker's internal battery the speaker is acting as an emergency battery pack for your phone. Nice Feature!
Also on the back is a Micro SD card slot in which you can plug in a 32 GIG Micro SD card and you can load up 32 GIG of your favorite songs from your computer and play them for the SD card. In this mode you do not need to use the Bluetooth and this saves battery power and lets you play your music a bit longer.
The speaker has an internal microphone in it and you can make and answer hands free phone calls. When we did this the connection was so good that the people on the other end of the phone call did not even know that we were using a hands free system. In our test this feature worked perfectly and there was no feedback on either end of the call. This same microphone lets you record your conversations and it will store the recording on the free space of the Micro SD card. You can turn the microphone on or off. You press the record button to record and you have a play/pause button to listen to your recording.
There is a continuous play button on the back and your can switch it to shuffle while playing songs from your SD card. There is also a skip forward, skip back, play or pause button for your SD card songs. There is a Life Saver function on the speaker that you can turn off, to mode 1 or to mode 2. Mode one randomly plays a loud sound bite at ¾ of max volume and mode two plays a sound bite at max volume. This is a feature to randomly make that noise to keep you awake and focused when studying.
This speaker even has a siren button on the back and when you short press it the siren will go off. It is loud and it will attract attention. If you long press the siren button the speaker will say Terra Bass on and it will boost the bass output of the speaker. The speaker does use voice prompts but you can turn them off by pressing the Bluetooth/phone button and the minus button simultaneously. Pressing the Bluetooth/phone button again with the plus button will turn the voice prompts back on.
The speaker has NFC (Near Field Connection) and Bluetooth 3.0 built in and in the video I show how to pair the unit with an iPhone 5S. There are several Bluetooth pairing options listed in the manual. I walked about 35 feet away and the speaker and my phone stayed paired and working perfectly even shooting through 2 walls. On top of the speaker is a power on/off button. There is also a ROAR button with boosts the volume output for you when you need it as at a very loud party. The Plus and minus buttons are to control the volume of the speaker. Please remember to have the volume also turned up on your smart device. Pressing and holding the Bluetooth button will make the white LED flash and put the speaker into the pairing mode. The same button will also let you answer a phone call.
Sound System Quality
This is where this speaker shines. It has 5 drivers with dual 1.5 inch high frequency speakers and a 2.5 inch speaker for the pulsating bass sounds. There are also two passive bass radiators and this speaker really sounds good. It actually has two amplifiers and one controls the high end sounds and the other controls the mid-range and the bass. This speaker has excellent sound, great bass and crystal clear treble. It has good stability at high volumes with no noise or rattling. The wireless music sounds as good as the wired connections using state of the art data transmission technology. This speaker was built to party!
There is a Sound Blaster Control Panel software for a PC or a MAC that lets you control the speaker's functions. There are even features I don't cover and this speaker has so many options. When I say it is outstanding, it is outstanding! This speaker is a 5 star and it deserves even a higher rating. I play small pieces of a couple of songs just to give you an idea of what it sounds like. You will enjoy this speaker.
I was supplied a sample for test and evaluation. A review was not promised to the supplier in exchange for the sample but I stated that if I provided a review that it would be fair and honest.
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Showing 1-10 of 36 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 8, 2014 8:27:51 AM PDT
Bob Davis says:
Your suggestion to turn both the phone and the speaker to full volume is insane! I would never turn both devices up to those levels. Listen to all the distortion in your own video - it sounds horrible! I can't imagine what the THD ratings must be. Turn it DOWN!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2014 8:58:41 AM PDT
Bob perhaps I was not clear enough in my review. I have reviewed over 150 Bluetooth speakers and about 25% of the lower review ratings are from people who paired the Bluetooth speaker with their smart device and have no volume out of the speaker. I was trying to point out that there are two volume controls that are interactive. One on the speaker and another on your Bluetooth device. If the volume of your smart device is turned all the way down then the speaker will not work. By turning them both up and pairing they can then turn down either the smart device or the speaker and adjust the music to a suitable level. At least they know it is working and they do not send back a perfectly good speaker. I never suggested to play the music at full volume.
Posted on Jul 9, 2014 10:06:32 AM PDT
Wow! I love reading reviews from people who are well-researched like you. In the 'old days' I often relied on product reviews from Consumer Reports, until discrepancies w/ their opinions and my experiences turned me off. Thanks for sharing your experience and enabling me to be as informed as I can be w/ this purchase.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2014 6:57:02 AM PDT
Kirsten Esposito says:
Does this have a remote like the kicker? My griffin evolve kicked the bucket yesterday (the very day of my daughter's 16th party...grrr) after many great parties and I really loved it. I'm sad
My friend brought her bluetooth kicker and it has a cordless remote to skip, turn up, etc...
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2014 7:11:31 AM PDT
Sorry there is no remote control except if you are playing music from your phone like a play list. You can switch songs and volume from your smart device.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2014 9:25:05 AM PDT
Stephen Lerch says:
I also had the pleasure of receiving a Roar for review purposes and I went that extra step and bought a second with the Mega Stereo Cable. I can confirm that you HAVE to use the Mega Stereo Cable from Creative. A normal 3.5mm w/ mic will not work. There doesn't seem to be any electronics to it, but for some reason only the Mega Stereo works.
And let me say, if you think ONE of these bad boys sounds amazing, pair two and get true stereo separation and sound! I, figuratively of course, had to pull my jaw off the floor when I heard my first Roar. I am happy to say that, while not quite as jaw dropping, it is still nothing short of amazing and darn close. Definitely recommend 2 of these if someone is serious about their music, they have the means, and they can set them on a flat surface as they were designed to truly enjoy a phenomenal musical experience.
If you get the chance, try it out sometime!
Posted on Jul 22, 2014 11:18:37 PM PDT
L. Burr says:
Will this work with both an iPad mini and an iPhone 4S? Can you jump back and forth from the iPad to iPhone or are you locked in to only one Bluetooth device?
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2014 3:43:58 AM PDT
Stephen Lerch says:
Hello L. Burr.
You can pair two BT devices to the speaker. Obviously only one can connect to play music at a time, but it's possible to pair them so they can both readily work with the Roar.
Hope that helps.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2014 5:46:26 AM PDT
Yes you can pair two devices at the same time but you can only play music from one. Both devices will list the SB Roar in their list of devices under Bluetooth. If you are listing to your iPad and want to play something on your iPhone just go to Bluetooth and touch the SB Roar and it instantly connects and starts playing your music.
It is not automatic as you do have to go to Bluetooth and touch the SB Roar but it is fast and easy.
Posted on Jul 23, 2014 6:58:09 PM PDT
thanks much for your review. I have been trying to find a comparison between the Roar and TDK A-34 Trek, which also has very high reviews, and is the same price. Do you know about the TDK and does it compare? thanks