Audio

The New Sonos Roam Portable Speaker

The new Sonos Roam finally solves one of the most common quibbles about the brand’s product offerings: true portability. Sonos has long been the industry leader in wireless audio, a market segment they essentially created. But while their entire product lineup has always been “wireless,” they were never truly wireless. Sonos did revolutionize the industry by more or less ushering in the wireless audio era, but their speakers were still always constrained by power cords. And that made sense, since they were intended to be used as home speakers. 

In 2019, the Sonos Move finally brought battery power and true wirelessness to the brand, but weighing in at more than 6 lbs., it wasn’t something you’d want to lug around all day. With the debut of the Sonos Roam portable speaker, you’ll finally get to enjoy the Sonos experience in a design that that’s truly meant to go anywhere. It packs everything you love about your Sonos home speakers into a rugged, compact form factor that will be at home wherever the road takes you. Here’s your first look at the new Sonos Roam.

On the surface, the Sonos Roam is unmistakably part of the Sonos family. The monochromatic design, logo placement, and wraparound perforated grill are highly reminiscent of its siblings the Sonos One and the Move. Up top, four tactile buttons with embossed icons make it easy to control the Sonos Roam by touch. Weighing in at just under a pound and measuring about 6 ½ inches tall, the Sonos Roam can easily be stowed in a tote, the water bottle pocket of your backpack, and even a large pocket.

Stuffed inside the tiny package is all of the advanced audio technology you’d expect from a Sonos product. Clever audio engineering promises big sound from the small drivers, and the inclusion of Sonos’ acclaimed Trueplay means the Roam will automatically optimize its sound based on the speaker’s surroundings. The Roam is a directional speaker, but it’s built to be used either upright or lying on its side—whatever suits your setting.

The inclusion of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity addresses one of the common annoyances with Sonos’ home speakers, which can only connect via Wi-Fi. Sonos has designed the Roam to seamlessly switch between the two connection options, so if you move from indoors to the backyard, the speaker will automatically transition from your home Wi-Fi network to your phone via Bluetooth. Two Sonos Roam speakers can be linked to create a stereo pair, for a richer soundstage. And a built-in microphone means the Sonos Roam can operate as a full-fledged smart speaker, putting help from Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant just a question away.

The Sonos Roam is all about usability and removing the obstacles to listening wherever you want. An IP67 rating protects it from dust and the accidental dip into the pool, and the built-in battery gives it up to 10 hours of listening time, so the Roam can go from the backyard to the beach without skipping a beat. The Roam can wirelessly charge on any Qi charging pad, or on the optional dedicated charging base.

If you’ve been holding out for the perfect portable speaker, one that marries sound quality, durability, and functionality, this just might be it. The Sonos Roam will cost $169; preorders will open on March 16 and the Roam will hit shelves on April 20.

Sonos Roam Portable Speaker Now Available
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