Sonos has a new speaker that begins delivery later this month, and it’s a important departure from the firm’s normal 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 staff participant, with wifi streaming, multi-room characteristic, voice assistant assist 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 beneath 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 be IP67-rated, that means it’s successfully waterproof, with a resistance ranking of as much as half-hour at depths of as much as 1 meter (3.3 ft).
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, relatively 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 situations 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 (bought individually), or with any commonplace Qi-powered wi-fi charger you need.
In addition to wifi streaming, Sonos Roam also can connect 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, in response to Sonos, and also can 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 positively a massive plus relating to this class of machine. The dimensions make it really feel like a barely taller can of Red Bull, which ought to provide you with some sense of simply how portable it’s. Unlike Sonos’ first portable speaker with a built-in battery, the Sonos Move, the Roam really looks 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 — seemingly the greatest 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 in all probability count on it might, whereas preserving audio high quality clear and freed from distortion at the identical time.
One of the keys to the Roam’s nice sound high quality is Sonos’ Automatic Trueplay tech, which tunes the audio to greatest go well with its environment actively and frequently. This characteristic requires that the mic be enabled to work, but it surely’s properly price having on in most settings, and makes a massive distinction whereas streaming in each Bluetooth and wifi modes. This additionally helps the speaker regulate when it’s switched from horizontal to vertical orientation, and it’s one in all the primary causes that the Roam punches above its weight relative to different audio system on this measurement and worth class.
The Roam could be a winner based mostly on audio high quality alone for the worth, however the additional Sonos system-specific options it boasts actually elevate it to a true class chief. These embody a standby mode that preserves battery whereas preserving the Roam accessible to your system for wifi streaming by way of the Sonos app (helpful, and likewise non-obligatory since you possibly can 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 really wonderful skills 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 virtually like magic, and is a nice speaker superpower for if you happen to’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 properly. The Sonos Roam is the most thoughtfully-designed, feature-rich and best-sounding portable speaker you will get for beneath $200 (and higher than many costlier choices, at that). Even if you happen to don’t have already got a Sonos system to make use of it with, it’s a simple alternative if you happen to’re in the marketplace for a portable, rugged Bluetooth speaker — and if you happen to’re already a Sonos convert, the resolution will get that a lot simpler.