I had quite high expectations when I went to Challenger to try the Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2. The original Creative Roar had gathered quite a following, and the Roar 2 was said to be its worthy successor.
It comes in either Black or White, with a smaller form factor and a little bit lighter too (at 1kg). The black one was on display and it looks darn good. I picked it up and wow it did feel almost as heavy as the original Roar. This is something I would expect from a bi-amped 5-drivers compact portable with an 8 hour battery life bla bla. Don't play play, I haven't listened to it yet and I had a feeling that it's gonna be a monster. It looks and feels solid, and the machined metal bass radiators at the side... Simply elegant. Except for the row of buttons and ports at the back, the speaker looks damn sexy. Other than what I have mentioned, the Roar 2 has the same functions and features as Roar senior. Speakerphone, MicroSD card slot, MP3 player mode and a voice recorder for recording what your colleagues are bitching about behind your back.
I asked Mr Young Salesman whether this is in stock, as I see that it's on promo at $229, quite a fantastic value! But he said no! It hasn't been in stock for a week and they aren't sure when will it be re-stocked! I cursed secretly and proceeded to try the speaker anyway.
The sound quality actually seemed to be as good as the original. I played the same songs on the Roar 2 as I did when I tested the Roar. The bass guitar in 'Have a good time' by the Brand New Heavies still sounded impactful, with the various instruments sounding distinct and clear. 'Baby it's cold outside' from the ISSE 2013 album also sounded like it did on the Roar, with impressive richness to the vocals and a fullness to the double bass. When I stood the Roar 2 up so that the drivers faced me, the sound was more 'in my face'. When I engaged 'Roar' mode, just like the original Roar the audio became louder, but this time, I could sense better airy-ness and imaging, which the original didn't have. Pressing the 'Roar' button also engaged 'Terabass' which makes the bass louder at low volumes so that you can still enjoy it playing music softly. I really hope Creative makes this a default behavior of the speaker rather than making it a 'mode' that I have to activate.
I was fairly impressed by the overall performance of the Roar 2 so far. When I expressed my interest in the Roar 2 (which was out of stock) the salesman kept insisting that there is a difference in sound quality to the original, implying that the Roar 2 is not as good and that I should get the in-stock Roar classic. Young chap... He probably thinks I am a noob just arriving here on a banana-boat. Let him think whatever he wants, I'm willing to wait for the Roar 2 to arrive. So I left my number and shopped elsewhere.
Passing by a smaller store I did a U-turn cos I SAW A FREAKING CREATIVE ROAR 2 BOX IN THE WINDOW DISPLAY. Asked the guy how much, he gave me a blank look but I quickly pointed to Roar 2. $229, same price! So I quickly bought 2 white ones, because my wife and I like how the white looks
"Buy one for yourself kay, but don't be stingy and buy one for your other half too".