Sonos has a new speaker that begins transport later this month, and it’s a important departure from the firm’s regular choices in a variety of methods. The all-new Sonos Roam is a compact, portable speaker with a built-in battery and Bluetooth connectivity — however nonetheless very a lot a Sonos system crew participant, with wifi streaming, multi-room characteristic, voice assistant help and surprisingly nice sound high quality.
Priced at $169, the Sonos Roam is really diminutive, at simply over 6 inches, by roughly 2.5 inches for each top and depth. It weighs below a pound, and is out there in both a matte white or black end, which is par for the course for Sonos by way of colorways. Roam can also be IP67-rated, which means it’s successfully waterproof, with a resistance score of as much as half-hour at depths of as much as 1 meter (3.3 toes).
Sonos has positioned the speaker’s management floor at one finish of the machine, together with a microphone button, quantity controls and a play/pause button. These are precise, tactile buttons, fairly than touch-sensitive surfaces such as you’d discover on different Sonos audio system, which is sensible for a speaker designed for use on the go, and in circumstances the place contact controls would possibly get flummoxed by issues like rain and water.
The Roam additionally has a energy button on the again, subsequent to a USB-C port for charging. It additionally provides wi-fi charging, by way of a receiver present in the base of the speaker, which can be utilized with Sonos’ personal forthcoming magnetic charging adapter (offered individually), or with any normal Qi-powered wi-fi charger you need.
In addition to wifi streaming, Sonos Roam may hook up with any machine by way of Bluetooth 5.0. It additionally options AirPlay 2 for connecting to Apple gadgets when on wifi, and it really works out of the field with Spotify Connect. The built-in battery is rated for as much as 10 hours of playback on a full cost, based on Sonos, and may present as much as 10 days of its sleep-like standby mode.
Design and efficiency
This is the smallest speaker but launched by Sonos, and that’s undoubtedly a huge plus in the case of this class of machine. The dimensions make it really feel like a barely taller can of Red Bull, which ought to offer you some sense of simply how portable it’s. Unlike Sonos’ first portable speaker with a built-in battery, the Sonos Move, the Roam actually appears like one thing designed to be thrown in a bag and introduced with you wherever you occur to wish it.
Despite its small measurement, the Sonos Roam provides spectacular sound — probably the finest I’ve but encountered for a portable speaker on this measurement class. Inside, it manages to pack in twin amplifiers, one tweeter and a separate customized racetrack mid-woofer, which Sonos developed to assist ship each lows and mids with a faithfulness that usually escapes smaller audio system. The Roam additionally will get a lot louder than you’d most likely count on it may, whereas retaining audio high quality clear and freed from distortion at the similar time.
One of the keys to the Roam’s nice sound high quality is Sonos’ Automatic Trueplay tech, which tunes the audio to finest go well with its environment actively and regularly. This characteristic requires that the mic be enabled to work, nevertheless it’s nicely value having on in most settings, and makes a huge distinction whereas streaming in each Bluetooth and wifi modes. This additionally helps the speaker alter when it’s switched from horizontal to vertical orientation, and it’s considered one of the foremost causes that the Roam punches above its weight relative to different audio system on this measurement and worth class.
The Roam can be a winner based mostly on audio high quality alone for the worth, however the further Sonos system-specific options it boasts actually elevate it to a true class chief. These embrace a standby mode that preserves battery whereas retaining the Roam out there to your system for wifi streaming by way of the Sonos app (helpful, and in addition non-obligatory since you’ll be able to maintain the energy button down for 5 seconds to really energy off and protect your cost for even longer, which is nice for journey).
One of Roam’s actually superb talents is a hand-off characteristic that passes playback of no matter you’re utilizing it to take heed to on to the nearest Sonos speaker in your system whenever you lengthy press the play/pause button. This works nearly like magic, and is a nice speaker superpower for should you’re wandering round the home and the yard doing chores with the Roam in your pocket.
Sonos waited a very long time to launch their first travel-friendly portable speaker, however they clearly used that point correctly. The Sonos Roam is the most thoughtfully-designed, feature-rich and best-sounding portable speaker you will get for below $200 (and higher than many dearer choices, at that). Even should you don’t have already got a Sonos system to make use of it with, it’s a straightforward selection should you’re in the marketplace for a portable, rugged Bluetooth speaker — and should you’re already a Sonos convert, the choice will get that a lot simpler.