Sound Blaster Roar

Ever since I purchased a TV I was looking for a good speaker system to complement it. I was looking for a solution which I can use with any and all devices I have or I will have in future such as my Lumia 925 or Dell Venue 7. My search ended with Creative Sound Blaster Roar.

I liked Roar because it has the signature sound quality of Creative Labs. Creative also has very good presence in the Indian market in terms of availability and service. Also, people seem to be satisfied with this speaker set judging by reviews on Amazon.

This review is not about technical aspects of Roar. To know that just visit the official homepage of Roar where you can find the RMS, power rating, connectivity options etc.


The package comes with bare minimum items. You get the speaker, one power cable, one MicroUSB cable and user manual.

The package
The package
Box contents
Box contents
The speaker
The speaker
As speakers with PC

To start with I used this speaker with my PC. One good thing about Roar is that you can connect it to a Desktop or Laptop using a Micro USB cable and SoundBlaster control panel which will install this as a separate audio device in Windows or Mac while bypassing inbuilt audio solution.

Creative says that you can also connect your Roar to PlayStation 4 via USB and use as a dedicated audio output. I cannot test this as I don’t have a PlayStation 4.

Sound Blaster Control Panel
Sound Blaster Control Panel
Control Panel
Using “Dynamic Boost” mode with a movie

This is good if you are using on-board audio/speaker in your desktop or laptop which is often not high on quality. However, if you are using a dedicated sound card such as Asus Xonar DG or something from Sound Blaster series then it is advised to connect this speaker to your sound card.

Connected to PC via USB
Connected to PC via USB

This USB connection mode and Sound Blaster control panel also gives a game mode. I did not test this mode as for games I prefer headphones which gives better and accurate sound positioning in games compared to any speaker set.

As portable speaker

Roar has a 6,000 Mah battery inbuilt which gives it around 8 hours play back time when used as a portable speaker. This makes it good for rooftop parties, road trips or during bonfire. With a wide sound stage and loud output it will fit in this scenarios easily.

Connecting to my Lumia 925 was easy using NFC. Just a tap at the “NFC” area gave me option to pair over Bluetooth. Roar supports Bluetooth AptX codec which resulted in improvement in quality when used with my Lumia 925.

Connected as Bluetooth device
Connected as Bluetooth device

You can also connect your phone with a 3.5mm AUX cable. Due to its 6,000 MaH battery Roar can also be used as a power bank for your phone.

Roar has a Micro SD slot at the back side. This is good and convenient because during road trips or rooftop parties I can just dump all my music in a SD card then insert it in Roar and play. This will save battery used in Bluetooth. This kind of turns your Roar in a big iPod Shuffle.

However, in this mode you will need to go again and again to Roar if you want to change a song or change volume. A RF remote should be given at this cost. But I guess this is a low use case as most people will just play songs over Bluetooth and control using their phones.

A neat feature is the ability to record audio and save in SD card when using Roar as a speakerphone. Kind of handy if you are using Roar in a meeting room.

Another good feature of Roar is to use it with another roar in daisy chain and playing audio over Bluetooth. I don’t know how useful this feature will be as I don’t have two Roars.

Daisy chain mode

As sound bar for TV

Finally, the primary use case for which I got this speaker. The speakers in my LG 42LB550A TV are basic but it is good that LG gives RCA output. I connected my Roar to TV using RCA to 3.5mm audio cable.

Playing Uptown Funk on my TV using Teewe and Roar
Audio quality with PC

My first observation was the loudness of this speaker set. This easily filled my Man Cave. I listened to various songs and movies with SBX mode enabled as well as disabled and with SBX enabled the audio quality was indeed much better. The Roar function which is enabled by double tapping the “Roar” button on device further increases the sound stage.

In movie mode the vocals were very clear with an option to make them further clear at the loss of background music with “Clear Dialog” mode.

The bass is very high for my taste so I did some adjustment in SB Control Panel to change this. Listening to music in SBX default mode was eargasming after bass adjustment.

Audio quality with TV

My wife watches TV shows so she is  a better judge of audio quality than me for TV usage. She immediately told me that the vocal audio in Roar is better compared to Gigaworks T20. My DTH connection is Tata Sky HD.

Watching a movie on TV with Roar while streaming via my Teewe gave similar result to using it with PC but without the SBX sound enhancement control available in PC. However the audio quality was very good with mids and highs clearly defined. The bass value increased again which I had to reconfigure. The TerraBass feature is useful only for extreme bass lovers.

As soundbar with TV
As soundbar with TV
Audio quality in music

This is where Roar truly shines. Roar fires audio upwards so it fills entire room with sound. I like the audio quality but you might need to adjust the bass according to your taste.


I believe I have found a very good speaker system with Roar. Even better is the fact that unlike an expensive sound bar from LG or Philips which are big, Roar can be used as a portable speaker system while giving similar audio output. This immediately increases its utility. I strongly recommend Roar to anyone who is looking to buy a sound bar speaker system for any use case they can think of.

I will be updating this blog post regularly with my experience with this speaker.

Unify Remote – Control PC using Lumia

As you all know, I switched to Lumia 800 recently from my Nokia N8. I still love Symbian a lot and find Windows Phone lacking in features but just cribbing about Windows phone won’t give it features. The only way to fix Windows phone is to make apps for the features it lacks and make some money too in the process Smile with tongue out. For this along with many developers making apps for Windows phone, I also have to give accolades to Mike Dabney.

If you remember, I designed a Remote profile for Vectir for my Nokia N8 which lets me control Windows Media Centre from my N8. This was something I was missing a lot since I started using Lumia 800 as my primary phone as Vectir isn’t available for Windows Phone yet but it is coming soon with something awesome.

I tried a lot of remote control apps for Windows phone but none of them were as nicely designed or developed as Unify.

home_media home_touchpad home_keyboard








Unify lets you control your Windows PC completely. Some benefits are…

  • It gives you a remote control for Windows Media Player or Media Centre.
  • It lets you control the cursor on your screen using an area designated to register movement on your phone which moves the cursor in your Windows PC.
  • It gives you key commands like Ctrl+C, Ctrl+alt+del and much more.
  • It even gives you the ability to type in your phone which in turn will type on your just like you would using a regular physical keyboard connected to PC.

You can check more screenshots and download Unify at its Windows Phone marketplace page.

Here is the thing. You must try this app because once you get hooked to it, you won’t let this app go. It is that wonderful, magical and useful.

Custom app icons for Nokia Belle and Icon Changer

So, Nokia Belle OS is coming soon. I am already using a custom firmware for Belle by “The One” in my Nokia N8.

Previously, defining a custom icon for an app needed to be done via Symbian theme designer. You could also use SisContent to manually apply icons. You would need the App UID and a SVG icon for the app. This was cumbersome.

I found a nifty little app called Icon Changer from LanternSoft who make some awesome utility apps for Symbian. What you need is just a PNG file which is easier to create compared to a vector file which needs more learning for creating properly optimized SVG files via Illustrator or InkScape.

I have made some icons for my personal use which I am releasing here. You can use them for the mentioned app they are made for. If you want to distribute them then give credits to me and please link to this blog post.


GX Nokia Belle custom icons

Nokia N8 – Also a Mini PC

Right now, I am in the middle of shifting my house so I am without Internet at home. The only way to access internet is through 3G Data plan in my Nokia N8.

However, tethering is costly in terms of bandwidth. My Vodafone 3G data plan in India is limited to 1 GB so it is better to use internet in phone. So, I thought about something and tried to use my Nokia N8 with my Samsung P2370MS monitor as a mirrored screen.


All you need is a HDMI cable & connect your monitor to Nokia N8 via mini hdmi to hdmi convertor supplied with N8.

Everything you see in your N8 will be visible in monitor too. The only issue is that the output is not 1080p which is native resolution of my monitor. I think the resolution via HDMI to monitor was limited to nHD only.

After this, you can use any generic keyboard and mouse via the USB OTG cable supplied with your N8. In my case I am using my Microsoft Wireless Desktop 6000 v3.0. I just plugged in the USB receiver in my N8 and I immediately saw a cursor in my phone & visible in monitor. Mouse movement was choppy but workable. Keyboard was working flawlessly.

The Windows key mapped to “menu” of Nokia Belle OS and showed me all the app. However, I haven’t been able to figure out what key combination to use for showing the task switcher. I tried alt+tab, ctrl+ tab etc but they did not work. I had to use an app for this from Nokia Store called “Task switcher” or something.

Here are some screenshots of the process

This is just another reason among many due to which Nokia and Symbian rocks.

fMobi 2.3

We just released latest version of fMobi 2.3 on Nokia Store. This new version continues on our work of making fMobi a breeze to use.

With fMobi 2.3 we are the first ones to provide support for Unified Messaging and User actions. This means that now you can write a message to a friend and it will be visible to him next time when he is using either a desktop browser or Facebook app on other platforms or even Facebook Messenger.

Facebook messaging support in fMobi

However, we did not stop here. We wanted to give our paying customers the most value for there purchase, so we also enhanced the album and picture viewer. It is still not perfect so we request users to provide us feedback.

Some of our users gave us feedback so the exit dialog is gone for good.

We have added more notifications

With our next version, we are aiming not on giving new features but on making interaction and experience better. Features can wait but a bad experience cannot be given to our valued customers. In the next 1 or 2 versions we are only going to fix visual and interaction bugs. Once this is stable, we will again start making new features for you.

Here is the changelog for fMobi 2.3

  • We are trying to move to Qt Components everywhere, but it also depends on compatibility with users of Symbian S60 v5. For now we are using the default Qt Component for buttons. The colour etc will change to better reflect fMobi branding.
  • You can now send and receiver messaging with support for new Unified messaging of Facebook.
  • New Picture and Album view.
  • Support for Facebook user actions in newsfeed like “Someone shared a wall photo” etc.
  • Haptic feedback
  • You can now reply friend requests. Accepting a friend request is still not possible from within fMobi due to API restriction so we open a new webpage in your mobile browser for this.
  • Various interface and visual bug fixes.

We request you not to pirate the app. fMobi is available at a very decent price of $2 only and buying it will support us in making this app better. Also, you will buy us a coffee that way. Download now. 


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