Creative iRoar Rock Review

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Every tech enthusiast faces a similar dilemma when new, innovative products hit the market: “Do I really need this latest piece of tech, or do I just want it?” It’s the kind of question you’ll face when trying to decide whether Creative Labs’ latest iRoar Rock, a subwoofer addon for the superb iRoar, is an immediate necessity. The Creative iRoar is a stunning-sounding speaker with more features than most users will ever need, so is the extra bass boost alone worth another hundred fifty bucks?

It essentially comes down to whether you’re seeking a professional audio tool, or whether you’re just looking for a little extra kick to your music and gaming. If you’re leaning towards the latter, the iRock Roar may be a little too much for casual users. But, if you’re a serious hobbyist or audio professional, the Rock is an essential investment. It’s yet another excellent device from a team of engineers who live and breathe perfection.   

If you’re already investing over three hundred dollars on the Creative iRoar, then audio quality and customizable features must be very important to you. With that in mind, spending a little extra for the complete iRoar experience seems like a logical next step. Then again, the iRoar Rock doesn’t pack any tweakable features, and ultimately serves as a giant bass boost and speaker charger. It enhances mid-range, bass and surround sound performance of the iRoar, but its lack of adjustable controls means you’re stuck with the bass dialed to the max.


"If you’re a serious hobbyist or audio professional, the iRoar Rock is an essential investment. It’s yet another excellent device from a team of engineers who live and breathe perfection."

And talk about intensity. The bass quality is superb, and the added depth is a notable improvement over the base iRoar speaker. When testing the complete iRoar bundle in our open office space, music via the iRoar sounded infinitely richer when connected to the Rock. However, after taking the bass box back home, I struggled to enjoy its overpowering bass when gaming in a smaller space. The iRoar Rock’s bass packs a serious punch. Its relentless kick can send pretty noticeable vibrations when placed on a small book shelf, and that’s when listening on medium to low volume. The vibrations it sends out are just too strong for apartment living, and it could've easily been resolved with an adjustment knob.

Objectively speaking, this is like deciding between a Toyota Corolla and a brand new Bugatti Chiron. The Bugatti Chiron is a beautifully designed vehicle that has more horsepower than most people can handle, or need. But, no one is going to buy a Bugatti for running daily errands around the city. It’s a luxurious asset crafted only for the most devoted (and affluent) car fanatics. The Creative iRoar Rock is a similar beast. It’s designed with audiophiles and audio professionals in mind. There’s a reason Creative Labs collaborates with the incredibly talented Wyclef Jean to promote their latest iRoar line. This is an advanced audio tool/peripheral for artists and enthusiasts who crave only the finest quality.


"Combined, the audio is unquestionably better, but the total cost is well over five hundred dollars. This is why I only recommend the iRoar Rock to serious audio hobbyists and professionals."

Aesthetically, the iRoar Rock continues Creative Labs’ sleek and modern approach to design. The Rock is constructed similarly to Creative Labs’ E-MU XM7. The exterior boasts a dark, wood grain finish with a thin glossy strip that envelopes the docking expansion port where the Creative iRoar connects. Installing the iRoar Rock is as easy as placing the Creative iRoar speaker on the dock, plugging it in and turning it on. The Rock also becomes the main charging station once synced up, so it’s no longer necessary to use the speakers’ power cord.The Rock looks great, but I’m not particularly fond of how the speaker sits on the base. Visually, the two don’t look like they snap together. Since the units don’t line up on either side, it looks like the Creative iRoar is sitting on a large subwoofer from a different setup. But, that may be more of a personal gripe, and it doesn’t really impact the subwoofer’s general sleekness. 

I tested the iRoar Rock with various media, although I personally believe that music lovers will benefit from the bass boost the most. Gaming sounds absolutely fantastic, but like I mentioned earlier, the high bass setting might be overwhelming if you live in an apartment complex and are playing action-packed titles like COD or Battlefield. Music, on the other hand, sounds beautiful regardless of where you use the device. Unlike the thunderous explosions in video games, not to mentioned the wide dynamic range setting of most audio in games, the bass in bass-heavy music genres isn’t as excessive. 

If you’re reading this review, you’ve probably already purchased the Creative iRock, and you’re clearly serious about audio quality. Audiophiles tend to go the extra mile to achieve perfect audio from their hardware, so the iRoar Rock is precisely what you need if you’re a fan of Creative Labs’ latest lineup. But if you acquired the Creative iRock as a speaker setup alternative and you’re happy with the way it sounds, the extra bass boost may not seem worth an additional hundred fifty bucks. The Creative iRoar is the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker on the market right now, but it also costs close to four hundred dollars. 

Combined, the audio is unquestionably better, but the total cost is well over five hundred dollars. This is why I only recommend the iRoar Rock to serious audio hobbyists and professionals. The iRoar combo delivers the best possible audio performance on the go, but if you’re an average user who’s just looking to spice up their current setup, you may want to look somewhere else. 

Review by: Tin Salamunic

B+

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