It’s portable; it’s small, and it sounds WIDE. In fact, Creative advertises it SUPER WIDE right on the packaging. Knowing that Creative has been a veteran in the audio technology business for decades, does it really ring true? Can the iRoar Go be your perfect everyday speaker on-the-go? Read the review to find out!
For Video Review of iRoar Go vs UE Boom 2, click here. (this review uses different songs from this written review, and it’s more of versus review than a pure review of iRoar Go)
**Update 26/10/2016: Added Flac files played through Audioquest Dragonfly Red.
(this review is written with excessive care to avoid any errors, however, there might still be some appearing due to human error)
Packaging & Contents
For Video of Creative iRoar Go unboxing, click this.
Creative has chosen to present iRoar Go in a minimalist yet stylish packaging. Most of the box is deep black with the words and iRoar Go’s rims standing out in white. It looks really cool and they make you feel like you are buying a premium product (which it is). They are not shying away from displaying the Red Dot Award sticker at the top right, to show that they have already won an award just a month after releasing it. We will see whether it deserves it in the next section.
At the back, it lists out all the features this speaker possesses, which is really a lot and some of them are exclusive just for the iRoar Go. Creative seems to make sure that everyone knows this iRoar Go is from the iRoar series very well through another posted review at top right, even though the name itself already suffices lol.
One word – Superb, Durable & Stylish! Ooops! That’s three words, but yeah, the iRoar Go literally ‘roars’ quality the moment you hold it in your hands. The materials used are quality grade firm plastic that does not leave behind a fingerprint. The front is kept with just a few buttons and some light indicators at the right, which makes it really minimalistic. The symbols are large enough and each of them (except the volume and Source buttons) will light up when pressed. It requires some pressure but they are not too hard to press, so it’s more of a slight inconvenience.
Both sides of the speaker are chromium plated and are actually the small subwoofers. They don’t leave behind fingerprints as well and have a nice looking Creative logo on both of them. Their build quality is on par with the front. They also make a nice contrast with the all matte black of the front and back side.
The top of the iRoar Go is where most of the functions reside. All of the buttons require the same pressure to press as the front ones. Though, to be honest, they are ironically the ones you will touch the least because most of them can be accessed through an app on both smartphones, pc, and mac.
It is also IPX6 Splashproof, but I haven’t tried it out yet. Though, it must be noted this does not mean waterproof, so no swimming with it :s
Now it is the meat of the article and perhaps, the most important! This is where we shall test out whether Creative iRoar Go deserves the award, and also whether most of its functions are practical and not just gimmick. Here we go!
The Sound is tested in the following ways:
Optical input/ AUX in: Motorola X 2014 Edition Phone, iBasso DX90 DAP, AudioQuest Dragonfly Red connected to MacBook Pro 15-inch 2014
Bluetooth/NFC: Motorola X, MacBook Pro
Songs played: Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire, “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” by Backstreet Boys with “Numb” by Linkin Park, JJ Lin’s 新地球 and 关键词。
–All songs played with Roar mode activated, which I heavily recommend, as it really increases the depth, width, and bass of the songs. Otherwise, they sound quite flat and Lifeless–
We will begin with general music listening experience:
—Motorola X— bluetooth—Spotify 320kbps
Volume is set to the loudest. (There are some problems occurring ONLY with Moto X that causes the Bluetooth to disconnect every 5 songs, but other phones work fine.)
The iRoar Go instantly roars! Each song’s vocal is brought out and the bass is felt through the floor. Its side subwoofers really work and every song is just satisfying to listen to. Ed Sheeran’s guitar can be heard clearly and the silence in each section is prevalent. Everything is equally handled well for the JJ Lin’s songs and Numb. Basically, you will be surprised at the sound quality and loudness it can reproduce using Bluetooth alone from streamed source files. The songs themselves come to life and you can feel each rhythm, hits, and bass going through you.
—Motorola X— optical input—Spotify 320kbps
Honestly, it sounds just a slight tad better, but you would be hard-pressed to hear the difference when you play it outside. It’s only a very small difference that I would say using Bluetooth connection on smartphone trumps the optical input because of the convenience and very similar audio quality.
—Macbook Pro— bluetooth—Spotify 320 kbps
The MacBook Pro is able to project 1.5x louder than Moto X in Bluetooth loudness. The quality of the songs are similar and I can’t tell the difference between both. Perhaps it’s due to the Bluetooth limitation and that Creative iRoar Go does not support Aptx Bluetooth standard. So the Bluetooth is the limiting factor in this case. Unless your Bluetooth is version 1 and below and the surrounding is not packed with wifi or other Bluetooth signals, it should sound the same. The only difference is that the loudness is more on MacBook Pro.
—AudioQuest DragonFly Red— optical input—Spotify 320 kbps
Now, this is where things get interesting. As the Dragonfly Red acts as both the DAC and Amp, the sound actually sounds meatier and has enhanced depth and bass. Once again, you will hear and feel the difference when playing with the same volume. The iRoar Go’s loudness is increased yet again but retains the quality of the music. This is when I would close my eyes to just appreciate and enjoy the music. It’s not really a high audiophile quality, but for a budget audiophile, this combination is more than enough!
—AudioQuest DragonFly Red— optical input—flac 16bit CD files
Music heaven for me. Period. The sound quality just improves notably from the Spotify version. Bass thumps harder and with better control, the mid and vocals are crystal clear and the treble is just rightly controlled. I’m blown away by this result as I typed this. This is definitely one of the best ways to maximise the potential of iRoar Go audio capability! You will need to get decent DAC/Amp and good source files of at least 16bit FLAC/WAV to enjoy it.
—iBasso DX90— optical input—flac 16 bit CD files
Dayuum, the Flac files and iBasso with the dual DAC set-ups further improves the music, though it’s not by much as I have already been blown away by the Dragonfly Red combo. Now, each music is rendered out smoother and the overall music command is slightly better. I can feel the bass that is tightly handled, which is also just a tad better than the Dragonfly Red. The silence parts with just a few instruments stand out for the Ed Sheeran’s and Jj Lin’s songs. I can hear them in a detailed presentation. Sure, they are not as good as using mid-range open back headphones but the similarity is almost there.
I still can’t decide between this combination or the Dragonfly Red though. If you prefer vocals and instrumental, the iBasso DX90 is better, but for pop and hip-hop, the DragonFly Red takes the cake.
Packaging/ContentsBuild QualitySound QualityUser-friendlinessWhat's good?Able to produce loud clear soundFits most of the common music genresBass is felt with enough oomphWater-resistant and portable sizeAble to connect via Bluetooth and NFC and 3.5mm cableDecent battery lifeIn-phone App allows own customisation and EQ settingsPrice is pretty affordable for its performanceWhat's bad?Can't output 360 degree sound4.5Holy!Amazing affordable speaker that plays Loud!Creative has once again introduced a very cool speaker that is much more portable than the iRoar and also make it splashproof. The added functions of controlling with App, and also acting as portable battery further makes it into my recommended list. This is the speaker you will buy and then just proceed to enjoy the music or to bring to the party! For its price, which can be a bit high, it's well worth the money and you won't be disappointed!