Portable Media Blaster
Creative’s Sound Blaster FRee portable speaker features surround sound, which is ideal for the great outdoors.
Creative has, over the years, gained massive popularity with its affordable and value-for-money products across their entire range. Their latest product in the Indian market is the compact Sound Blaster FRee portable wireless speaker and we decided to take a look at how it fares.
Holding the Sound Blaster FRee in your hand, you can immediately tell that the product is well built. It has an IPX4 certification for dust and water proofing as the FRee is designed for outdoor usage. And it is available in black and grey colour options, both of which come with red rings around the edges, giving the design a bit of an edge.
The FRee is cylindrical in shape with clever contouring, making it functional and easy to place on any relatively flat surface. The Sound Blaster FRee can even be used when placed vertically and Creative claims it can provide 360-degree sound. The speaker can also be placed horizontally, but the buttons on the back are designed to be used when the speaker is positioned vertically.
At the back of the device, you get a USB input port, a 3.5mm port and a micro SD card slot covered with a black rubber seal to protect the ports from dust and water, which helped in obtaining the IPX4 rating. Also on the back is the Bass sub woofer port. Creative has also provided the FRee with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity and it can easily be connected to Apple OS, Android or Windows OS devices. The speaker also has an inbuilt mic which allows for easy answering of phone calls as well.
The bass of the FRee does feel a bit over-powering indoors, but outdoors it makes sense as the frequency roll off is perfect for the conditions, ideal for small parties. The mid range, however, is slightly boosted for some colour and clarity, but is relatively flat, which is good. But the high end seems a bit too shelved and could have been given lesser amount of boost. As for the vertical positioning 360-degree sound feature, we didn’t find much of a problem apart from the opposite side from the sweet spot which, thanks to the Bass sub port, is slightly heavy. We tested the speaker with various genres of music during the test.
For Rs. 5999, the FRee is a very versatile product, if one uses it for what it has been designed for. The sound quality isn’t earth shattering like its elder brothers from the Sound Blaster range, but on its own, it’s a speaker worthy of the Creative badge.