iRoar from Creative Review
We have been playing around with the Creative iRoar Bluetooth Speaker for about a month now, and are thoroughly loving it! Although we have reviewed a number of units in the past – including a few lower level items from Creative – nothing we have used yet compares to the iRoar when it comes to the balance of portability and sound. With only a few issues to talk about, the Creative iRoar is easily recommendable by us, and although you pay a little extra than your average speaker, the end product is completely worth it.
Let’s Talk About the Bad…
I would love to say I found nothing wrong with the iRoar, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I’ve used the iRoar in two situations – in my home (and more specifically, on my wall unit in my kitchen), and at work. In my office at work, I never had issues with connectivity. Even when traveling between my office and adjacent rooms, the iRoar worked wonderfully. The situation in my house, however, is not as great.
I own a split level home, and my Kitchen is right in the middle of all the action on the middle floor. When walking through the various rooms connected to my kitchen, the connectivity is perfectly fine. However, once I start moving further – although not that far – away, the speaker does cut out quite often. To be fair, I often don’t venture into those areas of the house often, so while it is worth noting in case this might impact you, it was really a minor issue for myself.
…but Let’s Focus on the Good!
There is so much to love about the Creative iRoar, I’m not 100% sure where to start. I could easily write a LENGTHY review that most people won’t bother reading, so I’ve decided to simplify it by using short headers! More detailed information can be found on the iRoar website, so instead of rambling on about what the system can do, I want to point out my favorite and most impressive features!
360 Sound: The iRoar boasts speakers on all sides of the unit, meaning no matter where you are in a room – or adjacent room – you will be able to CLEARLY hear the audio. Very few Bluetooth speakers boast this number of speakers in their units, and although the iRoar is priced higher, it does come packed with double – and in some cases triple – the number of drivers than your average device. The iRoar has five drivers total: two on the front, one on each side, and a long horizontal driver along the top. For quality audio for everyone to hear, the iRoar is an easy choice!
iRoar Dashboard App: when briefly looking at the iRoar product while I waited for it to arrive in the mail, I was skeptical of the Dashboard App that the company touted so highly. Having a remote that controls volume is nothing new, and is done by MANY companies with products in this marketplace. Once I had the system set up and the app downloaded, however, my opinion completely changed. While some may view the app simply as an added gimmick, understanding how to use app to customize your audio experience is a must, because it will highten your audio experience immensely.
The app comes preloaded with a number of great audio options: BlasterX (the signature Creative sound you expect from all their products), Live Concert, Audiophile, Game On (this workings amazingly when hooked up to your TV), Sonic Bass (for those looking for a little extra rumble), Cinemania (again, outstanding when hooked up to your TV), and finally a customizable, personal option.
Outside of personal option that you can customize to meet your own audio needs – a major plus to the iRoar’s incredible lineup of features – my two favorite audio options are the Game On and Cinemania modes. The Game On mode, when used to review Sniper Elite 4 on the Xbox One, provided me a similar audio experience that I would get out of a high quality Xbox One headset or surround sound system unit. That is a huge accolade for something that easily could slip into a medium sized pocket on a backpack. For it’s size, the iRoar is pumping out phenomenal audio at all times, and can be tuned to every situation. In the case of Sniper Elite 4, the iRoar did a great job making the explosions better, the footsteps of nearby soldiers very clear, and more. While I was skeptical of this mode, it turned out to exceed my expectations.
Cinemania mode was what I was really looking forward to, and I knew exactly what movie would try it out with: The Lord of the Rings. My biggest beef with the Lord of the Rings was that the movie fluctuated to often between very loud sequences, and very quiet sequences, meaning I was constantly turning up or down the volume on my television. Using the Cinemania mode on the Dashboard App, I was able to clearly hear all the dialogue, while also getting the benefits of the loud, battle scenes. Not once did I touch my remote control. Again, this mode exceeded expectations.
iRoar Compatible Peripherals: The iRoar is fairly expensive, and for good reason. That being said, if you want to heighten your experience even further, you can easily turn your iRoar into a permanent fixture in your home by purchasing the sub woofer charge station. With that extra little kick of sound, and the ability to charge your unit, the extra cost becomes very worth it – although not entirely necessary! The iRoar alone is still a wonderful product!
We also tried out the microphone that controls the PA system built into the iRoar. Although I haven’t found a lot of uses for it right now, my kids are having a hell of a time using it to disguise their voices using some of the cool built in features of the remote and app. However, in certain situations – a DJ at a party for example – a PA mic would be a phenomenal, and fairly inexpensive, peripheral to have.
So Much Connectivity: A staple of portable creative products is the number of ways you can connect your devices and audio to your unit. While standard Bluetooth will be the go-to for most people using the unit, there are a number of other options for quick access to music, including an auxillory cable and port and a microSD slot.
The microSD slot serves two purposes. Yes, you can play audio off of it – which I actually do: the system is loaded with songs for my kids when I move the iRoar into their playroom – but using the remote app on your iOS or Android device will also allow you to instantly record what ever is playing to the SD card.
There is so much to love about the iRoar, and it is really hard to put it into words. Everything about this unit is phenomenal, and I enjoy every minute I spend listening to it. Whether it’s the 20 hours battery life when not attached to the dock, or the wide variety of connectivity options, the iRoar is packed with features that justify the price. The claim from Creative that it is one of the smartest speakers on the market is not even close to being wrong. I’ve never used a Bluetooth speaker with so many options before.
The sound is amazing, at the highest highs and the lowest lows. Nothing ever feels distorted which is a huge accomplishment as many portable devices can not boast the same achievement. The smart connectivity of the iRoar is its greatest feature, and one that Creative uses over and over again to its fullest. I’ve loved – and disliked – many Creative products over the years, but I’ve never been more impressed with one of their units as I am now.
Congratulations Creative, you blew my mind again.