With the Sonos Roam, the US experts for smart speakers launch their smallest speaker to date. A special highlight: Unlike previous smart speakers from Sonos, the Roam can also be used conveniently on the go. Not only a connection via Bluetooth is available. The advantages of WiFi connectivity should also be available. However, the design of the Roam might remind some people of a competitor product. Thus, the design is already rather close to the UE Boom or the Beats Pill.
Sonos sound now finally on the go
At first glance, Sonos seems to be putting an uncompromising further development of the Sonos Move from 2019 into action with its Roam. For example, the compact and mobile speaker is not only lighter and smaller, but also smarter than the Move to boot. CEO Patrick Spence has let it be known what the company plans to do with its new addition:
“With the Roam, we wanted to give our customers the opportunity to take the unique Sonos sound with them wherever they go”
It quickly becomes clear what mistake the company has made with its Sonos Move. Since this also portable speaker namely weighs a proud three kilograms, it is not really suitable as a portable solution. Sonos now relies on much more manageable dimensions and a lower weight for its Roam. It weighs less than 500 grams and measures just 168 x 62 x 60 mm. In combination with the elongated design, it is thus strongly reminiscent of the popular UE Boom.
A lot of sound in a small case
Of course, Sonos is fully convinced of the sound quality of its newcomer. In this regard, Emily Lazar (sound engineer and member of the Sonos sound board) expresses herself as follows:
“For a small, portable speaker, the Roam delivers rich and authentic sound, thanks to its intelligent design. The Roam is unique in its category because it actually behaves like a perfectly tuned speaker, not a megaphone.”
If nothing else, the small Sonos Play 1 speakers make it clear that Sonos can deliver great sound quality even in the smallest of cases. However, only a personal sound test will show whether the company can keep its promises. On paper, however, the prerequisites already seem to be there. In addition to two class H amplifiers, the smart speaker houses a tweeter and a Racetrack midrange driver. According to Sonos, the core is a “highly efficient driver”. Users should be able to make individual adjustments via equalizer. The True Play function known from other Sonos speakers is also supposed to be used. Thus, the sound of the small speaker can be perfectly adapted to the respective room. Of course, Sonos has also thought about protecting the technology inside. After all, the case itself is waterproof according to IP76 thanks to matching silicone flaps.
Bluetooth and WiFi
Particularly exciting is the fact that the Sonos Roam supports both Bluetooth and WiFi. This makes it just as suitable for mobile use as it is for playing music in your own four walls. It is practical that the speaker can automatically change the connection type. Thus, a seamless transition between WiFi and Bluetooth takes place when you leave the home network. You should not have to fear an interruption of the music. Conversely, the speaker switches from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi when you are back in range. If this feature works without any problems, the smartphone batteries should be the first to be pleased about the increased longevity.
That’s not all with the features. On top of that, Sonos gives its Roam the so-called “Sound Swap”. Here you can conveniently forward music playback to the nearest Sonos speaker in the system. All you have to do is press the play/pause button for a long time. This feature should definitely prove to be a cool addition to the entire Sonos system in practice. After all, this is an uncomplicated way to transfer the sound from room to room.
Of course, according to Sonos, you can also use the Roam for seamless Bluetooth streaming. So you can put together a corresponding speaker group with the Roam as well. Here Sonos has worked out another advantage over the Sonos Move. Although you can also use the Roam as a stereo system in a pair, it is not compatible as part of a home theater system with Sonos speakers. Apple users will also be pleased with the fact that the Roam also supports Airplay 2.
The Sonos Roam again offers various operating options. On the one hand, the buttons known from the other Sonos speakers are also used here. On top of that, you can also use the familiar Sonos app. Support for Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa is also on board again. Sonos promises a good and reliable speech understanding of the smart speaker thanks to far-field microphones. In terms of battery life, the Sonos Roam offers ten hours of continuous music playback.
It cannot keep up with the competition from JBL, but this battery life should be enough for most people. The battery is supposed to last a maximum of ten days when the speaker is in idle mode. The fact that the Roam cannot only be charged via USB-C cable sounds exciting. Wireless charging is also possible via a Qi charger. While the cable is included, the matching wireless charger has to be purchased separately from Sonos. Here, the manufacturer calls 50 euros.
Price and availability
With the Sonos Roam, you have the choice between the colors Shadow Black and Lunar White. Regardless of the color, the MSRP of 179 euros looks fair at first glance. We are curious to see how the new speaker for on the go will perform in practice. It is supposed to celebrate its market launch on April 20.