Sonos has a brand new speaker that begins delivery later this month, and it’s a major departure from the corporate’s standard choices in a variety of methods. The all-new Sonos Roam is a compact, moveable speaker with a built-in battery and Bluetooth connectivity — however nonetheless very a lot a Sonos system staff participant, with wifi streaming, multi-room function, 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 offered in both a matte white or black end, which is par for the course for Sonos when it comes to colorways. Roam can also be IP67-rated, that 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 ft).
Sonos has positioned the speaker’s management floor at one finish of the gadget, together with a microphone button, quantity controls and a play/pause button. These are precise, tactile buttons, moderately 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 an influence button on the again, subsequent to a USB-C port for charging. It additionally presents wi-fi charging, through a receiver discovered within the base of the speaker, which can be utilized with Sonos’ personal forthcoming magnetic charging adapter (bought individually), or with any customary Qi-powered wi-fi charger you need.
Along with wifi streaming, Sonos Roam also can hook up with any gadget through Bluetooth 5.0. It additionally options AirPlay 2 for connecting to Apple units when on wifi, and it really works out of the field with Spotify Join. The built-in battery is rated for as much as 10 hours of playback on a full cost, in keeping with Sonos, and also can present as much as 10 days of its sleep-like standby mode.
Design and efficiency
That is the smallest speaker but launched by Sonos, and that’s positively an enormous plus in relation to this class of gadget. The scale make it really feel like a barely taller can of Purple Bull, which ought to offer you some sense of simply how moveable it’s. In contrast to Sonos’ first moveable speaker with a built-in battery, the Sonos Transfer, the Roam actually seems like one thing designed to be thrown in a bag and introduced with you wherever you occur to want it.
Regardless of its small measurement, the Sonos Roam presents spectacular sound — possible the perfect I’ve but encountered for a transportable 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 quite a bit louder than you’d most likely count on it may, whereas retaining audio high quality clear and freed from distortion on the similar time.
One of many keys to the Roam’s nice sound high quality is Sonos’ Automated Trueplay tech, which tunes the audio to finest swimsuit its environment actively and regularly. This function requires that the mic be enabled to work, nevertheless it’s properly value having on in most settings, and makes an enormous 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 one of many primary causes that the Roam punches above its weight relative to different audio system on this measurement and value class.
The Roam can be a winner primarily based on audio high quality alone for the worth, however the additional Sonos system-specific options it boasts actually elevate it to a real class chief. These embrace a standby mode that preserves battery whereas retaining the Roam obtainable to your system for wifi streaming through the Sonos app (helpful, and likewise non-compulsory since you’ll be able to maintain the ability button down for 5 seconds to really energy off and protect your cost for even longer, which is nice for journey).
One among Roam’s actually superb skills is a hand-off function that passes playback of no matter you’re utilizing it to take heed to on to the closest Sonos speaker in your system once you lengthy press the play/pause button. This works nearly like magic, and is a good speaker superpower for when 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 moveable speaker, however they clearly used that point correctly. The Sonos Roam is probably the most thoughtfully-designed, feature-rich and best-sounding moveable speaker you may get for below $200 (and higher than many dearer choices, at that). Even when you don’t have already got a Sonos system to make use of it with, it’s a straightforward selection when you’re out there for a transportable, rugged Bluetooth speaker — and when you’re already a Sonos convert, the choice will get that a lot simpler.