Review: Sound Blaster Roar is One Great Bluetooth Speaker

g2We love our music over here at inside-Startups, so when we got a chance to review the new Sound Blaster Roar Bluetooth system, we jumped at the chance.

It’s all about the sound

If you don’t get much chance to read further, this is a great-sounding portable speaker that puts out incredible sound for the money. If you like to entertain on the patio, this thing will get your guest’s toes tapping without the blaring loudness you might remember from the Boom Box days.

I’m not an expert audiophile or anything like that, but I really enjoy listening to the Roar outdoors. The music is clean and crisp and it delivers a presence in the sound that we found lacking in similar offerings like the Jambox or the FoxL.

g13The secret here is Creative’s sound enhancement technology they call “Roar.” When you want to fill the room with your tunes, the Roar button makes it sound like the speakers are all around you instead of just coming from a single point.

What about the boom?

In our unscientific tests, the Roar speaker was not quite as loud as the Jambox, a device that can really blare out and wake up the neighbors. With that loudness though comes distortion, and our review team all preferred the sound of the Roar system over the Jambox.

Great features for a party

When we host a patio party, we often have guests that want to play their songs. This can be a real dilemma with the Jambox, as pairing and unpairing the Bluetooth connection can be a pain. In fact, some smart phones couldn’t connect to the Jambox no matter what we tried. Nothing brings the festivities to a crawl faster than a five minute lapse n the music.

With the Roar, two smartphones can pair to the speaker at the same time. You can pair off and play your music back and forth, song by song. This alone makes the speaker stand alone out there in the field.

g14If you have a couple of DJs at your party, the Roar also lets you record the whole music session in digital quality onto a microSD card. Very clever!

Quality and Construction

The Roar speaker has great quality fit and finish. This thing is heavy as it takes some mass to move that much air around. It comes with a fishnet case that includes a vibration-absorbing base, so it won’t vibrate off the table like my FoxL.

Summary

If you are looking for a great Bluetooth speaker, the Roar is the way to go. At $149, you can spend less or more, but you probably can’t find a better deal.

Video: Why You Should Move to Oregon

In this video, Skip Newberry, President of the Technology Association of Oregon presents:  Why You Should Move to Oregon. Joining Newberry are Eric Sorenson, Open-Source Product Owner at PuppetLabs and Jared Wiener, Industry Liason at PDC.

Attend this presentation to learn why technology professionals and entrepreneurs are relocating to Portland, Oregon. You will hear firsthand from Eric Sorenson, who recently left Apple in Cuppertino, California, to join Puppet Labs in Portland. You will also hear about economic trends, startup initiatives and unique industry resources that paint a compelling picture of Portland as a talent rich, fast-growing, affordable and competitive tech center. Boasting its own TV show, Portlandia, Portland is home to Pink Martini, The Dandy Warhols, The Decembrists, and The Shins, world class coffee houses, breweries, wineries, and distilleries, the center of the universe for the athletic and outdoor industry, innovative food carts, and James Beard Award-winning chefs. Undoubtedly, Portland has a lot going for it. What a lot of people are starting to find out is that Portland is also a serious tech center, with top tier creative talent and leading companies in mobile, open source, social, and enterprise software. For example, Portland is home to Intel’s largest campus in the world with over 17,000 employees, as well as its software group, with over 3,500 employees. Portland is also home to eBay Mobile, IBM’s open source division, Mozilla, Autodesk, Walmart Labs, Salesforce, McAfee, Symantec, Jive Software, Thetus Corporation, Caoxis/Viewpoint, Tripwire, Webtrends, WMWare, Puppet Labs, Urban Airship, Elemental Technologies, Janrain, ShopIgniter, Giftango, Simple, Cloudability, Meridian Apps, Cvent, Acquia, the Drupal Association and of course Puppet Labs. The list goes on beyond these great companies and includes the recently announced Salesforce expansion that will bring hundreds of jobs to the City. Portland is home to some of the most prestigious leaders in software and online development including Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the wiki, and Russell Kirsch, the inventor of the world’s first internally programmable computer.

Recorded at the PuppetConf user group event in San Francisco. See more videos from the conference at the Puppet Labs Channel.