Sonos has just announced its first truly portable Bluetooth speaker for travellers, the Roam. Back in 2019 Sonos took steps into making their premium speakers travel friendly with the Move, but that was more focused on just moving from indoors to outdoors. Roam has been built for travelling!
Sonos Roam Portable Speaker
As the name suggest, Roam, is a speaker for doing just that and is what we really expected from the Move a couple of years back.
But perfection takes time, and not only has Sonos delivered a signature minimalistic looking speaker packed full of premium features, but it’s also done so whilst making it the most affordable Sonos to date and a great entry point for anyone wishing to build a Sonos system at home.
Roam is now the smallest speaker in the Sonos range which already puts it ahead of the Move, but the real commitment to making this a portable speaker for travellers is in the design.
On the outside, this new speaker is dustproof and waterproof with specially designed end caps to provide better protection for drops and knocks. The concave design of the end caps also protects the button controls, hopefully resulting in a speaker that can go anywhere you can.
Sound is what’s set Sonos apart from other brands and whilst the Roam is a portable speaker you can still expect that Sonos experience. It has 2 Class-H digital amplifiers, a mid-woofer that will deliver faithful playback and a single tweeter for a high-frequency response, claims Sonos.
A point to note is that as with other Sonos speakers the Roam must first be set-up via the Sonos App and while on a Wi-Fi network.
Hardware to Survive
Whilst Roam maintains that sleek minimalistic Sonos appearance it’s far from a stay indoors speaker. The IP67 protection not only keeps dust out but means the Roam can be submerged in water up to 3ft of water for 30 minutes.
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It’s much more portable too, at only 430g in weight and the smaller form factor, the Roam speaker won’t take up to much space in your luggage and could even fit in a deep pocket. The battery has around 10 hours of playback between charges so the Roam should be good for a full days use in between charges.
The speaker grille only reaches about two-thirds of the way around the unit leaving room for a footer plate on which to sit when in use, but if room is tight, the Roam can also be stood up vertically when in use. All of the control buttons are concealed under the end cap surface and are presented as raised symbols on the left-hand end cap.
Smart Portable Speaker
Roam is boasting much more than great Sonos audio and comes with several software features you’re unlikely to find on any other portable speakers.
For travelling, Roam connects to your music streaming device by Bluetooth 5.0, but when you return home the speaker will automatically switch to your Wi-Fi network and continue to play your audio and join your Sonos ecosystem. This works both ways, and when you take Roam out of your Wi-Fi range it jumps back to Bluetooth only mode.
Sound Swap is another new feature that passes the audio playback from the Roam to any other Sonos speaker you own by holding the play button down for a few seconds. Maybe not the most of important features for travelling with, but if you own multiple Sonos speakers at home, its a welcome addition.
The most significant feature has been taken from the Move and upgraded for the Roam and that’s Trueplay. This automatically helps Roam “always be tuned for the best listening experience in any environment“.
If physical controls are not your thing the Sonos Roam speaker can be controlled by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Again these along with the Apple Airplay 2 compatibility are more suited to home users but will no doubt make using, and owning a Roam, easier.
Sonos Roam Specifications
|Sonos Roam Portable Speaker|
|Dimensions||168 x 62 x 60mm|
|Colour Options||Lunar White|
Apple AirPlay 2
|Playback||Up to 10 Hours|
|Voice Assistant||Amazon Alexa|
Apple Siri (via iOS device)
|In the Box||Roam Speaker|
USB-C to USB-A Cable
Sonos Roam Pricing
I can’t wait to see how the Roam Portable Speaker from Sonos performs. Whilst it is the cheapest entry point into the Sonos range it’s important to remember it’s also at the top end of the portable speaker market, and noticeably more expensive than the competition.
On paper, at least, the Roam looks to be setting a new benchmark for travel speakers and that’s before you even get to how it sits within your current Sonos hardware when you return home. The only small complaint I have is that there isn’t full 360° audio but with that Sonos sound, I’m sure that will not be too much of an issue when its used outside this summer.
Admittedly, some of the core features still focus on the home system and might not be much use when travelling, I’m excited to finally be able to take the Sonos sound with me and hopefully the upgraded Trueplay feature will help justify the price!