Creative Sound Blaster Roar

A portable Bluetooth speaker that delivers a roaring sound

Image: Hugh Threlfall

A common question I’m asked is which portable Bluetooth speaker I’d recommend. From the original Jawbone Jambox less than five years ago, these proliferating products have been amazingly popular. They may not be exactly hifi but they produce a disproportionately large sound for their size. My advice has been to go for either the Loewe Speaker2Go or Jawbone’s Mini Jambox.

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Now I’ll be adding Creative’s Sound Blaster Roar to my list. Creative should never be underestimated – it had a portable digital music player, the Nomad, out two years before the iPod. And the Roar is insanely good as well as weirdly underpriced. This is a £299 device for less than half that. Its squat form (20.2cm x 11.5cm x 5.7cm) is like a mini Naim Mu-so; the build is superb, the controls a joy and the sound mighty, with two amplifiers, five speakers, a subwoofer and a ROAR button that boosts the depth, loudness and spaciousness of the audio. It runs for eight hours on one charge, but if you buy two with a special connecting lead you can do the same trick as with two Mini Jamboxes and have real stereo, one playing the left channel and one the right. It also doubles as a speakerphone and can record conference calls to an SD card.

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For other portable Bluetooth speakers, Jonathan also recommends thePolk Camden Square  for its 360-degree coverage, andMonster Superstar, quite possibly the smallest Bluetooth speaker out there.

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