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Saturday | October 16, 2021
Creative iRoar Review

Creative iRoar Review

In recent times Creative have really been evolving their product range. They still produce some great soundcards, they’ve created some very impressive portable amp/dac devices for mobile users  and we’ve seen some cool speakers too. Todays review product falls into the last of those categories and the marketing states that it is  “the most intelligent speaker on the planet”. Let’s find out what that means in our Creative iRoar Review.

Creative iRoar Review – Packaging and Bundle

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The iRoar arrives in a box which gives us some decent info on the features across the various sides. Inside the product is well presented and bundled off in a separate section are our extra items. In a second box, an optional purchase, is the iRoar Rock, a sub-woofer which is compatible only with our iRoar.

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In the left image above we have the items included with the iRoar. These are mains adapter, travel plugs, USB cable, travel pouch and documentation. On the right, we have the Rock bundle which is more documentation and a bunch of mains cables for various countries.

Creative iRoar Review – The iRoar

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Shown above is the iRoar, measuring 225.0 x 120.0 x 57.0 mm (8.8 x 4.7 x 2.2 inches) with a weight of 1.10kg (2.5lbs). The chassis is a mix of metal and plastic, both textured and glossy with the colour scheme being black and rose gold. On the top surface we have a speaker grill, NFC area, power/pairing button and touch panel for our controls such as volume up/down, play and skip, record, etc. Hidden when off is a compact LED panel which gives us some visual cues on volume level and mode such as Bluetooth pairing. Also present on the top of the iRoar are two mic inputs which can be used for chat purposes.

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Turning the device over we find a set of rubber strips which keep the iRoar steady on our surface and towards the centre is a set of contacts which dock with the iRoar Rock subwoofer. As well as audio communications these also supply power to the iRoar unit and can charge it as well as providing power when on.

At the back of the iRoar is our connectivity. Starting from the left we have power in, PC USB audio, MicroSD slot (and mode selector switch), aux audio (which can be used to combine two iRoar devices), optical audio in and the final port is USB out for charging an external device such as a phone.

Looking through the features of the iRoar we get the following:

Active 2.75″ bass driver with dual 2? premium high-end drivers.
Dual opposing, side-firing passive radiators to widen the sound stage.
SB-Axx1 Digital Signal Processor (DSP).
2 high-performance amplifiers. One dedicated to driving lows and mids, another for delivering highs.
Bluetooth aptX Low Latency codec and MP3/AAC/WAV compatibility.
Asynchronous USB Audio.
9000mAh Li-ion battery (2-3 hours charge time with 1.5A USB output)
Optional wireless mic.

Creative iRoar Review – The Rock

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Up next is the iRoar Rock, our subwoofer designed for use with the iRoar unit. The build is a mix of plastic, soft touch and wood with measurements of 160 x 245 x 150mm and a weight of 2.4kg. On the base are four feet, the back has a power input and on/off rocker switch with the iRoar docking connector up on top.

Creative iRoar Review – Software

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For desktop users, who will connect via USB, the software used to control the iRoar is iRoar Dashboard. It is a nice simple application which allows us to perform a range of key functions. First up is selection between a set of profiles designed by Creative (including Sound BlasterX signature sound and audiophile/clean) or we can custom design a sound. Next up is iRoar mode which adds more depth to the sound when at lower volumes.

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Our next setting is Smart Volume which tailors the sound to keep it balanced across a range of tracks (enhancing low-quality audio where needed), or at more appropriate levels for late night listening Mic beam allows us to focus sound in a narrow area or 360 degree range and Voice morph offers us the ability to change how we sound to the listener at the other end of a call. It is also possible through this software to check for application updates and firmware updates,

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Apps are available for mobile devices also. One of those is Dashboard which mirrors the desktop app but then goes further by adding in the ability to install add-ons. These are stored on a MicroSD card and can add features such as alarm clock and metronome. Users can also get a dev kit from Creative which allows the creation of custom apps. iRoar Remote Assistant can be used for other tasks such as volume control and playing of content on the MicroSD card.

Creative iRoar Review – Conclusion


Starting with the build quality of the iRoar we things look pretty good. The iRoar is well constructed, feels solid and has a mix of some nicely finished sections. There are no noticeable defects, ill-fitting parts or issues with LED brightness/clarity. Each of the ports feels solid and the unit has a decent weight to it. The iRoar Rock continues the experience, offering a nice finish and parts which are assembled to a high quality. We appreciate the little touches such as rubberised top to the Rock which ensures our iRoar sits in place with minimal chance for movement or unwanted vibrations and a handy LED gives us an indication of the power status of the sub. In terms of assembly, all very easy. Just place the iRoar on the Rock and the curves around the edge of the top surface ensure a quick and simple fit.

Pairing with a device is an easy process, just tap the NFC-enabled product on the top of the iRoar and follow the on-screen prompt. TV’s and consoles can be connected via optical, other devices via 3.5mm connector and for those on PC/Mac there is the USB option. The controls on top of the iRoar are all intuitive.

Could any aspect of the design be improved? Yes, sometimes it is in little tweaks such as moving the MicroSD card slot to the front or side, which would make it easier to access. Other changes would be more significant. Creative suggest that the iRoar and Rock could be used to enhance sound from our TV. That is true and the optical connector is perfect for that. There is an issue with placement, though. As the iRoar and Rock need to be docked when used together, it means a product which is around a foot tall sitting somewhere between our TV and couch. It would be great if the iRoar and Rock communicated wirelessly, or with some sort of cable so that the iRoar could be placed in front of the TV, the sub hidden away round the side.

As far as the software goes, the iRoar Dashboard is responsive and intuitive. We can tweak our sound profile with ease and change all the key functions quickly. The mobile version is very similar however we do feel the implementation is a little clunky due to the two app solution. Really iRoar Remote assistant should be part of Dashboard.

As far as volume goes, that feels like the major issue with the iRoar. at £299 it is a significant purchase, over £400 for those who want the Rock too. There is no doubt that the iRoar is a feature packed product but we feel a number of the features will be rarely used by most consumers, such as the Add-ons via mobile. For this price, Creative should probably also be bundling the optional mic and even the little things like an optical cable. A 2-year warranty does add value though.

So what about the sound? First off, the aspects where the iRoar doesn’t excel. TV, movies, and gaming. For movies and gaming, we get a decent sound, nothing spectacular though. There is plenty of bass when the Rock is connected however there just isn’t a lot of clarity going around without a lot of tweaking in the EQ settings. The unit also sends too much of the soundscape to the subwoofer when watching the TV. Male voices are all too frequently sent there, leading to a more muffled sound than we would like. On the plus side, voice comms are decent on the iRoar with those we had calls with able to hear us clearly.

Music seems to be the main focus of the iRoar and on that front, we see significant improvements. Over a wide range of sources and genres we found the iRoar and Rock to offer excellent clarity along with deep/powerful bass. There were noticeable changes in the audio signature as we moved through the profiles however we felt that the clean profile was the most appropriate for the majority of content. Finally, no issues with volume or ability to fill a large room with powerful audio.

Summary: Well built and packed with features. We are not 100% sold on the price point or the usefulness for TV/Movie/Gaming tasks however for its primary purpose, music listening, the iRoar and Rock impress.


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Creative iRoar
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Stuart Davidson

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