Sound products firm Creative Technology recently launched the Creative Sound Blaster Free, a Bluetooth speaker which aims to compete with the already heated portable speakers segment. We got our hands on the device, priced at Rs.7,999, and here is what we think of it:
What is good?
The Free is a medium-weight portable speaker and its looks are decent although not eye-poppy. The speaker has the bass membrane at the back along with the AUX and the USB ports, a few control buttons which include the shuffle and repeat buttons.
Interestingly, the speaker, which plays songs of any genre with equal clarity, good bass and treble, comes with a microSD slot allowing consumers to put in a microSD card or a USB to play music on the device directly. The USB mode also consumes less battery than the Bluetooth mode.
Creative has also included a loud button which comes in handy on different occasions. The sound definitely increases once the loud mode is turned on which is an immediate plus.
The device also supports the calling function and can be used to answer calls. It also comes with a microphone mute button at the rear.
In terms of charge and battery which forms the core of a portable speaker, the device scores a lot of points as it charges faster than it dissipates charge.
The most interesting feature of the device is that it is splash proof and so the user can carry it anywhere and can be a little careless with the device. Mind you! It is only splash proof and not water proof.
What doesn’t work?
Although some controls of the speaker are at the side of the speaker, others are in the back making it a problem for users to pick it up or turn it around to change settings every time. The user needs to reach to the back to change songs or pause it altogether. These buttons could be easily incorporated at the other side of the speaker.
Although the loud button increases sound, some portion of the music gets distorted leading to a bad experience.
Verdict: The Free is priced a little higher as it is splash proof but is a little behind rivals in terms of sound quality. Well, if you are the pool party kind, this is the ready-made solution from Creative.